Friday, September 02, 2005

Nero and the Burning of Rome, 64 A.D.

Something to ponder from here Comments in italics:

Nero was at Antium (Crawford). He returned to the city only when the fire was approaching the mansion he had built to link the Gardens of Maecenas to the Palatine. The flames could not be prevented from overwhelming the whole of the Palatine (New Orleans), including his palace. Nevertheless, for the relief of the homeless, fugitive masses he threw open the Field of Mars (Superdome), including Agrippa's public buildings, and even his own Gardens. Nero also constructed emergency accommodation for the destitute multitude. Food was brought from Ostia and neighboring towns, and the price of corn (gas) was cut to less than ¼ sesterce a pound. Yet these measures, for all their popular character, earned no gratitude. For a rumor had spread that, while the city was burning, Nero had gone on his private stage and, comparing modern calamities with ancient, had sung of the destruction of Troy (played the guitar).

By the sixth day enormous demolitions had confronted the raging flames with bare ground and open sky, and the fire was finally stamped out at the foot of the Esquiline Hill. But before panic had subsided, or hope revived, flames broke out again in the more open regions of the city (explosions on 9/2). Here there were fewer casualties; but the destruction of temples and pleasure arcades (Bourbon Street - Casinos) was even worse. This new conflagration caused additional ill-feeling because it started on Tigellinus' estate in the Aemilian district. For people believed that Nero was ambitious to found a new city to be called after himself (no comment could suffice here).


In spite of the bad press for Nero:
Rumors soon arose accusing the Emperor Nero of ordering the torching of the city and standing on the summit of the Palatine playing his lyre as flames devoured the world around him. These rumors have never been confirmed. In fact, Nero rushed to Rome from his palace in Antium (Anzio) and ran about the city all that first night without his guards directing efforts to quell the blaze. But the rumors persisted and the Emperor looked for a scapegoat. He found it in the Christians, at that time a rather obscure religious sect with a small following in the city. To appease the masses, Nero literally had his victims fed to the lions during giant spectacles held in the city's remaining amphitheater. (emphasis added)
How very strange.

5 comments:

TRES CEE said...

if u mean bush, shame on u, who else could be i dont know amen,

Dr. C said...

I'm a firm believer in Irony.

mark from ireland said...

If you want to make some nominations I'm sure we should send some Lions over.

How hungry and angry do you want 'em?

Dr. C said...

Lions. In Ireland? Naw. I never understood why there were lions in England either (Richard the Lionheart, etc.). Its not like they're close to the Serenghetti, for Christ's sake.

But I wonder if any of our Bible Thumpers might take you up on a little martyrdom. Has gotten bad press recently. There seems to be different ideas of what awaits a martyr. 70 virgins in on scenario. Too much of a good thing, that. Like falling into a vat of praline ice cream.

Mark from ireland said...

Yikes! A man (who to use his own words) was in Ireland while I was a "little tusker" has forgotten the famous Dublin Zoo lions?

Actually I'm living in Denmark right now and will be for a few years more before I go home. But that's OK they've got Lions here too ...

I've already anticipated the theological difficulty you raise.

I'm willing to supply 140 Lions - seventy of each grammatical category used in the classification of nouns, pronouns, adjectives, and, in some languages, verbs that may be arbitrary or based on characteristics such as s*x or animacy and that determines agreement with or selection of modifiers, referents, or grammatical forms.

If you agree to supply the "christians" well I'll guarantee to respect their family values by feeding only male "christians" to female lions and only female "christians" to male lions.

Don't even think of mentioninig the Jeff Gannon/Guckert dilemma. These are somewhat naive lions who've led sheltered lives I don't want 'em turned off their feed.

I'll also let you decide which charity gets to keep the gate money :-)

Deal?