Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus

 - Fifth of the Roman Emperors -

( 37 - 68 )

* List of the stories he appears in :
- AR 125 : "The Crocodile Collector", from 1988, by Don Rosa (by name only).


* His biography :
    Nero was born at Antium (Anzio) on December 15, 37 and was first named Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus. He was the son of Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus and Agrippina the younger, who was the daughter of Germanicus.
In 39, his mother was banished by Caligula, her brother, and in 40, his father died and his inheritance was then seized. After Caligula died, Agrippina was recalled from exile, and in 49, she married her uncle, Emperor Claudius, persuaded him to adopt Nero. Nero's name became Nero Claudius Caesar Drusus Germanicus, and he took precedence over his younger adoptive brother Britannicus. He was educated by the eminent philosopher Lucius Annaeus Seneca. In 58, he married Octavia, Claudius' daughter.
   After Agrippina poisoned Claudius, in 54, Nero took the throne, and became Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus. His first five years of rule were exemplary : he abolished capitol punishment, outlawed the shedding of blood in the arenas, reduced taxes, and allowed slaves to take cruel masters to court.  He took a great interest in the arts, sponsoring many poetry competitions.  But in 59, his exemplary rule ended with the murder of his mother, soon followed, in 62, by a divorce his wife Octavia. He then married Poppaea Sabina, his mistress. He was a very cruel man, pretending he was an talentuous artist, and had lots of weird, cruel and bloody ideas and habits, particularly for Christian persecutions. In 62, Octavia was executed and her head was sent to Rome for Poppaea's pleasure.
   In 64, a fire swept through Rome, burning for a week and destroying a large portion of the city. He blamed the Christians and proceded to kill them in horrendous ways.
   In 1965, he kicked his wife Poppaea Sabina to death while pregnant with second child, and one year later, he married Statilia Messalina, after her husband, Atticus Vestinus was murdered.
In 1966, he took prefix of title imperator, after investment of Tiridates, and so was called Imperator Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus. In the same year he took the boy Sporus as lover because of his resemblance to Poppaea.
   Meanwhile, Nero's enemies grew in number.  The Senate resented his confiscation of their property.  The people were being taxed to death to fund the rebuilding of the city and the construction of the emperor's palace.  The army felt neglected when Nero went on a tour of Greece to display his artistic talents instead of visiting the soldiers in the field.  Several conspiracies against Nero were instigated.  Eventually, his Praetorian guard turned on him and the Senate sentenced him to death.
   In 68, Nero fled Rome and eventually committed suicide.
   His last words were "Qualis artifex pereo." ("What an artist the world loses in me.")

* His place in the Barks/Rosa stories universe :
    In "The Crocodile Collector", Scrooge says that Pliny the Elder told that Emperor Nero had made the Circus Flaminius filled with water to organize fights between the Tentyrites and a special species of Crocodiles with a special symbol.

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