Skip to main content

tv   Doc Film - Rethinking Nero Part 1  Deutsche Welle  August 14, 2018 9:15pm-10:00pm CEST

9:15 pm
hour with more bold news followed by the day to see if. these creationists exists to spread the mystical tongue of that icon of the fish and say look do we really know about the man behind the talk shades. just moments in the life of a great fish and designer. says conor duffy it starts september ninth w. . f. .
9:16 pm
zero krona just shy of seventeen a mere teenager when he was vested with absolute power over the mightiest empire in the world the roman empire. emperor nero was remembered as the incarnation of the evil one of the greatest despots in history a monster and a madman. he killed his brother. his mother and ordered his own wife to be put to death. he was a frustrated artist who made a fool of himself and the imperial throne. but there is evidence that nero was not that crazed and capricious ruler that he has been nato to be. could nero be the victim of a smear campaign. did his early biographers distort the facts when they were morning. lies does remain. are his reputed crimes nothing but slander.
9:17 pm
narrow range in an era shaped by fear morality and brutality his world this is just into us is another planet and yet it's straight there's no disputing the fact that rome adored me cry. nero claudius caesar augustus dramatic us was not yet seventeen when he ascended the throne of the julio claudian dynasty. he was worshiped like
9:18 pm
a god. but he was not destined to become emperor his accession was carefully engineered by his power hungry mother. agrippina was the daughter of an emperor the widow of a number of unknown the mother of an emperor. and astrologer once predicted her son would ascend the throne but that she would pay for his glory with her life to rich agrippina replied let them kill me that as long as he is emperor. that humbled university in berlin researchers are trying to piece together the puzzle of nero's legacy. code here tara she is a leading expert in the field a professor of ancient history and a specialist on the role of women in imperial rome. what is fiction and what is historical fact. here's
9:19 pm
a study the women in nero's life and one in particular i'd repeat. he's a prophet so i don't it's i know this prophecy is a fabrication handed down through texts by tessa to sin cos you steal who were writing fifty to one hundred years after the rose death. but it's an ingenious fabrication because it combines what we know about both protagonists the power hungry agrippina and nero into a telling tale so in that respect it's a brilliant invention by the authors of the ancient texts and is probably based on many of the rumors that circulated in their day. you know was the product of her time a child of rome just like her son mira. it's impossible to understand their own without understanding is world a dog eat dog world governed by. unpredictable fickle gods. the competent the most sacred of rome's seven hills two thousand years ago offered
9:20 pm
sacrifices here to the highest god in the roman pantheon jupiter. aside for jupiter's temple stood is today dominated by an equestrian statue of the emperor hadrian. he was the philosopher among roman emperors and has gone down in the annals of history as a good emperor. but what did ancient rome view as good and what was evil. from the forum roman emperor and senators ruled the world this is a reconstruction of the forum the political heart of imperial superpower. nero's rome was defined by a region iraq and social structure. most of the city's one million inhabitants were daily brewers or unemployed and their own look very different.
9:21 pm
one out of three roman subjects was a slave legally defined as the owner's property like an animal or house. merchandise that only the elite could afford. the patrician and senatorial classes the wealthy accounted for less than one percent of the population. early histories recount the young emperor's antics me is said to have roamed the city at night in disguise doing gaijin thieving and violence. did nero enjoy being close to his subjects. the fact is that throughout his reign he did everything to earn rome's love because he knew that only the people's devotion secured his hold on vali. misha meyer is a professor of ancient history at the university of tubingen. a specialist in the early roman empire he's looking for the man behind the myth of nero. he doesn't
9:22 pm
trust neuros first biographers tacitus to tony us because he has dio. and he suspects their stories of nero's nocturnal adventures were based on malicious concert. stuff. the problem is that in a letter just stories like this frequently to the creation of stereotypes which can then be applied to rulers who already have a bad reputation they could be what happened in the case of an era of. the. library involvement good or harm or is a significant collection of historic volumes by the authors of antiquity. but biographers of past centuries often had their own agendas from scholars take a discerning view of these texts three writers had what could be called an information monopoly on nero's biography tacitus as attorney assumed cassius dio.
9:23 pm
catheters was a teenager when nero died. so tony as wasn't born until a few years after nero's death. and cassius dio wasn't writing until a century later. it was in custody of tacitus and cassius dio belong to the senatorial class so you turn uses social standing was a little below that but he too wrote for an heiress to traffic audience. and those were exactly the circles that narrow antagonized so these primary sources endorse a very negative picture that draws heavily on distorted aspects of the neuron a narrative of these distortions are highly. the magic for historians. the characters into tony and his biography of nero are authentic but the same can't be necessarily center of the plot the author was seeking to entertain not inform
9:24 pm
his readers on tikun you can't judge anxious historiography according to the standards of modern historical writing the writers of antiquity about voting to produce literature when they conceived their works accordingly. and question. it's up to historians today to verify how much truth lies in these ancient sources and peel away fiction from historical fact and what contrasts in ancient historians view nero and how credible are their accounts. the most ileum of august us rome's first emperor. only his blood relatives had a claim to the throne. nero's mother agrippina was his great granddaughter. almost a dozen of augustus blood relatives lived in the empire vying for the imperial
9:25 pm
crown with ruthless determination. margravine it to plotted against her brother color and was exiled as punishment. as a result her young son spent years without his mother nero's upbringing was very different to that of an imperial prince maybe that is why he flouted convention as an adult with. because we know from ancient texts that nero showed an early interest in literature art poetry dance and above all chariot racing. that's always mentioned in text about his early childhood which he spent in the care of his centimeter because his mother was in exile. it was there that he was allegedly looked after by a barber and a dancer we don't know if they had a formative influence but the texts reveal that he harbored these interests from a very early age and that. agra pina tried to steer
9:26 pm
a neuro away from such frivolous interests by employing a tutor to prepare him for the role of emperor. the philosopher seneca was a celebrated writer and a charismatic orator. the view from the circus maximus to the college tiny of the science of the emperor's magnificent residence. its remains still testifying to the prestige of its former residence. agra pina promoted the prospects of her son through scheming and intrigue. her brother caligula was murdered and succeeded by her uncle claudius him she married in the year forty nine. tacitus wrote from this point the empire was changed and all obeyed a woman. negra pinas choice of tutor for a young son proved wise. in his late forty's seneca was
9:27 pm
a brilliant speaker and an acclaimed author. as follower of stoic philosophy he had devoted much of his life to ethical issues he was attuned to social problems and analyzed things with psychological insight. seneca's task was to mold that grouping as son into an emperor fit to rule the world above all however seneca would become nero's closest adviser. by the year fifty agrippina managed to persuade her husband emperor claudius to adopt naira. agrippina was conferred with the honorary title of augusta a title no imperial wife had acquired so young. claudius had been in power for a decade he loved mushrooms says that tony is noted and the young girls.
9:28 pm
his wife and niece agrah pina was twenty six years his junior and she had big plans ancient historians describe the emperor as ignorant weak and mean. modern scholars view him as an excellent administrator and of thoughtful ruler. this is also tony as recorded the day of october thirteenth fifty four. the imperial family is gathered around the table. mushrooms are on the menu claudius his favorite dish. nero the devoted son is that his mother under pinas. god is his biological son britannicus is also there. claudius. dotes on the board nero's biggest rival in the line of imperial succession. so
9:29 pm
tony's gives a detailed account of the plot to murder claudius who had sealed his fate via ducting nero. after reading the mushrooms the historian writes claudius begins to gasp for air and began suffocating. ensue tonio says version the mushrooms are poison and he points the finger at agra pina. she colludes with claudius his physician who is called to induce vomiting with a feather but the feather delivers a second fatal dose of poison. if i could be. a question as to whether i grip enough poison and quality as is highly contentious among scholars. ancient historians recorded certain episodes in great detail
9:30 pm
would be false but there is a rule of thumb and a further removed in time the authors are from the stories they narrates and the more detail they put into those stories the more unlikely it is that those stories are true torque on the. death by poison or an accident the debate continues. either way i'm gripping you know was now at the pinnacle of her powers it was the year fifty four and the first part of the astrologers prediction had come true. maghrib you know the daughter of germanicus sister of emperor according to a law and widow of emperor claudius was now the mother of the emperor. never before had a woman in the empire held so much power. agrah pina had a fortune which she could use to buy decision makers friends and access to all the
9:31 pm
corridors of power. but most importantly she had the backing of the military. rome boasted the world's most modern army and it was designed to conquer. nero's empire stretched from southeastern britain to africa deep into southern egypt from his commercial gateway of us one the capital syria and syria. a population of almost seventy million spread over an area twenty times the size of modern day germany. all power rested in the hands of the emperor but in reality it was angry pina who was holding the reins . she ruthlessly began to liquidate family members but seneca two was ambitious as his influence on nero grew so too did his personal fortune he brokered state contracts and granted loans an exorbitant interest seneca was now
9:32 pm
a major power broker. the beginning of a growing conflict between nero and his mother and her piano is traced to a particular event nero fell in love. active was a freed slave who belonged to the retinue of his wife a tapia. born increase active was the beautiful daughter of syrian parents and offered nero respite from his loveless arranged marriage. according to tacitus and cassius dio a woman named look costa brewed the best poisons in rome. she's alleged to have supplied the. poison for claudius is murder amid ubiquitous ambition and political intrigue poison was often employed as
9:33 pm
a means to an end throughout their lives imperial family members took poisonous cocktails in homeopathic doses to boost their immunity. and medical historian current slaven has focused on the death same heroes imperial palace and examined the poisoning practices of the roman elite and he's conducted a critical review of the primary sources. so was the core stood dreamed up by ancient historians or was she a real person. if. it in his forties innings where the order of the day in hellenistic royal families and in imperial rhyme in the context of near a specific mention is made of. a mixture of poison she stands out because the identity of peddlers and toxic substances only shrouded in mystery so look krista did exist she was hired by nero for various jobs and later condemned to death by
9:34 pm
his successor. some food for the winter and on and off for good and. britannicus nero's step brother was emperor claudius his biological son from his marriage to his first wife mr lena. for tanneke as came of age when he turned fourteen in the year fifty five. with a bloodline to emperor augustus through both his mother and his father britannica's had a more legitimate claim to the from and was nero's biggest rival. because was ill it said he suffered from a collapsing. in their. girls tacitus and cassius dio recorded their suspicions as fact nero hired the costume to mix
9:35 pm
a potion that would kill his step brother britannicus they painted low cost their owners an accomplice in nero's first crime. could this be a slanderous allegation against. me or you can be said of nero's case in particular and the early imperial era in general that roman historians couldn't possibly know what are going on behind the palace walls and how alleged murders were carried out they themselves complain bitterly about their lack of information so none of it really adds up the past as others and so wish to. february of the year fifty five. once again try to do skits a detailed account of the circumstances surrounding britannicus his death. to bypass the food taster britannicus his first handed a heart untainted drink. tacitus says the poison has been added to
9:36 pm
a jug of chilled water which is added to cool britannica's his car. and he leaves no doubt about the identity of the perpetrator nero. the three year story ends do more than just recount a crime there chronicles are peppered with insinuations that any reader back then would understand their goal was to close to nero in a bad light. before. primary sources generally relate stories of political murders from the moral high ground. bad monarchs or morally deprived characters carry out murders they poison their victims no less which from a moral standpoint is particularly reprehensible good rulers don't do such things of course. but after britannicus his death opinion on the street was clear graffiti appeared on the walls of rome accusing nero of fratricide. these are taught from the time the death of britannica's was
9:37 pm
a major setback for agrippina until that point she could always use him as leverage in her efforts to control nero. she could say that you have a step brother who has a much greater claim to the throne than you have because he's claudius is real son you are just adopted. britannicus is death as fall was public she was stripped of her powers under privileges including her residence in the imperial palace and her bodyguards. nero assumed control he paid more he to his advisors resulting in five years of exemplary government these would later come to be known as the queen quiney of the five good years of nero's rule. seneca and the praetorian praefect buhrow swer nero's most trusted aides. together they presided over a period of stability with peace abroad and prosperity at home.
9:38 pm
seneca addressed his most famous moral treatise entitled on mercy in europe extolling the virtues of the young for. this is we have so it's hard to say whether near i was a particularly mild rolo not there are a few episodes in primary sources that contradict the image of the bloodthirsty monster that he was repeatedly portrayed as in later accounts will be money in my view the dog stands out. it's clear that nero's earlier reign was very unlike that of his uncle emperor of the gorilla who went out of his way to entangle is the senate. he insulted you really needed and expropriated senators driving some to suicide and effectively disenfranchised the council. in contrast nero and his advisors initially treated the senate with respect while senators could propose new legislation the emperor was free to accept or reject their proposals.
9:39 pm
but all members of the senate were patricians from the wealthy landowner class with huge financial assets. the young emperor was keen to have them on his side never the less a conflict erupted. the latter funnier of the leading aristocratic families great estates employing up to sixty thousand slaves some properties the size of a nation state. their crop yields were exempt from cars. his duties and sold without surcharges are at rome's giant food market unlike goods from the empire's provinces which were taxed every time they passed through a harbor or city gauge. many senators raked in fortunes by controlling
9:40 pm
the terrorists and that gave them their competitor bit. affiliates here were discovered injustice and above all corruption in the practice of living customs duties and rents and saw that landlords in particular were making huge profits. because it often. nero reigned in the ambitions of many senators eyeing minister ariel portfolios like his predecessors he filled these positions with friedman former slaves and he trusted him and he had the backing of the military for nero was loved by his subjects. for a roman emperor in the first century it was exceedingly important to be accepted by the roman population before if the city's residents withdrew their support for an imperial leader he was in for trouble that's what nero knew that and he correspondingly trying to win popular approval because he tried a little too hard and went further than other first century emperors. but there is
9:41 pm
a whole sequence of accounts that reflect how the kenyan nero sought to maintain the public sistine. undergo instance for it is going to need a hot temper of political is quoted as wishing his subjects had just one throat slashed that so much he feared public opinion he had begun construction of a racecourse on the vatican yola project nero finished the building centered on an obelisk nero looted from heliopolis in egypt which stands to this day on st peter's square. near rome launched a charm offensive in the year fifty seven dispensing generous gifts among the people. from the ordered scrolls of gift certificates to be thrown into the crowds turning poppers into wealthy property owners in the blink of an eye.
9:42 pm
it was an emperor's duty to provide his subjects with bread and circuses the people of rome honored to be fed and entertained and they were delighted that their princeps shared their pastimes as a child nero dreamed of a career in chariot racing even as a teenager is said he created model races with small wooden orses. he rooted for his favorite racing club the greens. but his accession to the throne respects i see nero as a tragic figure because he was always being forced into roles that he obviously didn't want to fulfill and probably couldn't fulfill. and the deficits that are attributed to his leadership are probably the result not so much of general ineptitude as they are of the simple fact that he felt his calling lay somewhere else entirely. stunned. to hear. about.
9:43 pm
politics were never nero's cup of tea he harbored very different interests nero loved poetry music dance the fine arts and above all theatre all pursuits unbecoming of a roman aristocrat. the hierarchical ladder of roman society actors and musicians occupied the bottom rung. room was a military power jeered to waging war on like an ancient greece gymnastics and sports in the roman empire were viewed solely as a means of military training any type of physical activity practiced as an end in itself was considered a sign of weakness and unmanly us. to improve his. work to strengthen his muscles by having
9:44 pm
a lead plates laid eyes chest in the seclusion of the palace he practiced breathing exercises and wrote. very little material and when it comes to judging the quality of. poetry for example. the little we have indicates that i was not on talented and that he must have achieved a certain level of achievement. described . as a pleasant. was evidently aware of this weakness of the most famous. court.
9:45 pm
it was a carefree time for nero who indulge his pleasures with little interference from his advisors. agrippina deplored his artistic ambitions the gulf between mother and son wide. fifty nine was a fateful year for agra pino and for nero who became infatuated with sabina. a rare beauty from an aristocratic family she had her own place this. lets is the time at least she was a lot like agrippina she too was a woman of noble birth with a hunger for power and the will to do everything necessary to get it. she made the most of her opportunities to get into nero's fear and started a love affair. and come for the biggest obstacle in her hopes to marry nero was agrippina and when i was dizzy i thought of once and i mean and this. neuro
9:46 pm
and the payer seemed made for each other they share the same sense of humor and a love for the arts and theatre. but the peo wasn't content in the role of mistress she wanted to be marrows wife. yet nero was still married to one tapia and the subject of divorce sparked an open war with i repeat. nero decided to dispose of his mother and the plan he had for her murder reads like a play. he was fond of drama and reenacted maritime battles his scheme was a bit of both. aggravation his death was to look like an accident didn't seem. to be secretly commissioned a ship designed to collapse and sink with his mother and her entourage on board. he just put them to boards doesn't explode off a constant yet to be a famous booby trapped by a few minutes trying to break up but see boyd is
9:47 pm
a bit of an. nation of how nero approached everything he did for us he had a poem shelf a spectacle. planned the murder of his mother as a veritable showstopper. so i am cause article she took. it is march fifty nine. nero invites his mother to israel in the resort town of by on the pretext of a reconciliation visit. after dinner she's picked up by the death ship. the collapsing mechanism works but bankruptcy no survives the shipwreck and swims to shore. she sends word to nero experienced an intrigue as she is she keeps her cool and avoids levelling blame. nero however is mad with fear of his domineering mother.
9:48 pm
not only not enough one of the rose successors emperor to meet in while said we only believe in conspiracies after they've succeeded that's what the problem for nero was that a group in it was relatively well connected and he had every reason to believe he could strike back that's a clipping of the life i only way of preventing an attack on his life was to be proactive. and an active and nero dispatches assassins to finish the job i grew pina the ancient historian say asks the soldiers to stab her in the womb that bore nero. nero defended the deal before the senate by labeling acra pina a traitor you had been plotting against him. on the whole the senate backed him but some senators didn't it was an oblate companion was divided too near i was aware of that but it's safe to say that the upper classes of roman society knew that murder
9:49 pm
went hand in hand with time. mastic rivalry. it was simply the order of the day in politics. dust from water tired to put into an author. but how would rome react. graffiti appeared accusing nero of matricide one of the worst possible crimes. nero feared rome would seek revenge. when he returned he was actually given a warm welcome from crowds and senators turned out to accompany him into the city so his return took on a triumphant quality this is done and he will follow. but nero had always been fearful and now you're weakened at night gripped by panic agrah pino haunted his dreams. tacitus wrote
9:50 pm
he's pursued by fury's goddesses of vengeance sent retribution. london filled with. the mad roman emperor insane caesar these are stereotypes that emerged in the late nineteenth century so retroactively it's not be taken at face value it can diagnose a mental condition two thousand years later it was of what we can say is that nero broke unwritten rules of decorum and. he paid the price in the biographies of his first historians who were writing under a new dentist that perceived him as an enemy of the people. of the new. traditionally roman sun just one path to glory triumph in more and then honorable
9:51 pm
death. the policy of conquest and expansion was crucial to the elite ranks of the roman army because it fueled the wealth of the aristocratic classes. the conquests the provinces as costly as it was ensured military honors for the sons of the youngest on proceeding on lucrative post says roman viceroys for their father. but nero wasn't interested in expanding his empire and that didn't go down well with his enemies. or for him and for vital expounds you know one of the roman elites continue to define expansion as the main goal of the empire. or the rule of an emperor was frequently jogged by whether or not he managed to drive expansion for what it was and what i mean since this wasn't the case with nero he got promise from the outset
9:52 pm
the place of. the temple of jefferson ancient rome. its doors were closed there was peace across the empire. only three emperors in roman history managed to maintain peace. nero was one of. the success of neuron in foreign policy is certainly one of the true highlights of nero's rannoch and even though he was repeatedly blamed for not going on the offensive enough as i. thought he was fortunate in that he had imported a capable team he had very experienced commanders who knew how to couple well waited military pressure with other options such as deescalation strategies. so during his reign flashpoints were dealt with using military force. as was the case in britain as well as through a combination of force and diplomacy. in the hope that no. one up till.
9:53 pm
for. announced that a man who preferred diplomacy to war would come to be characterized as a brutal tyrant. but then nero did acquire a reputation for ruthlessly pursuing his own agenda. he's going to send one of her . was one of his victims. that's ahead this is i just was tabio and he rose relationship through the years can really be called a non relationship. this these e.e.o. it was very reserved because it was a destiny marriage and nero had always said that though he was married to her and she should have the insignia of the marriage he always knew he would never love her . and. she was very loyal to him and never pose a threat to his rule. because she was and remained a very demure woman all these computers. she may have been in conspicuous but tabio was loved and deeply pity by the people of her own. nero remained hell bent on marrying pious sabina but then required a divorce from tom
9:54 pm
a convention not even an emperor could ignore. nero want but needed to rid themselves of octavia but he couldn't simply vanish or especially in view of her popularity. nero appears to have lost his ability to gauge the mood of the masses. maybe the reason he tried to exile overtopping into the provinces and he charged her with treason. but his efforts to convict her were thwarted by viagra of the plebeians. crowds demanded up to offer his return yet the pay is going for the unsung hero was greater assassins were sent to slash a ton of years wrists she bled to death. once again writing appeared on the walls of rome nero wife for you. want to talk august
9:55 pm
had an oct obvious murder was tremendously damaging for nero because people expected an emperor to follow traditional roman conventions and that meant showing respect as a husband and father toward one's family members and in addition he had been extremely popular so it was an emotionally charged issue and contributed significantly to the negative verdict of nero's reign in the church nails and he could buy a top. neuro wrote poems waxing lyrical about puppies amber colored. in january sixty three she bore him a daughter. the couple seemed the picture of happiness but the elite disapproved of a number of displayed his emotions and gauged singing lessons wrote poetry and ignored conventions and their view was known by ancient historians.
9:56 pm
neuros daughter diary three months after her birth. tacitus wrote the emperor was excessive in his grief as he had been in his joy. inside can also and the school board could be isn't infests people at the time had very rigid ideas about how a princeps should behave i'm all the more baffled when nero failed to fit the mold well it wasn't but he also didn't fit the mold of the so-called bad empress in the way that type area soul killing. but. he was something singular and he. and the consternation over how to judge such a figure echoes throughout the literary narratives of my heroes life. because if i don't i. don't think it was. nero may still have had a shot at being memorialized as a good emperor but then something happened didn't show. word he would be passed
9:57 pm
into legend as a monster great fire. so tony as an cassius dio both wrote their histories after nero's lifetime they accused nero of starting the plagues and placing the blame on the christians. centuries later christian historians would even claim he ordered the execution of the apostle peter. but new evidence has led scholars to believe the fire was not nero's fault and that he's been wrongly accused of persecuting christians they believe it's time to rehabilitate temperature near zero.
9:58 pm
org or. the i am. the fun betokened. his works the goddess fortune or. the maestro and think of. the children first bond twenty the. matching being born because. you're a liar the can prove that since you want to look at the new school. you want to be useful but on allowed to. when you're sick the doctor knows when you
9:59 pm
fall in love they won't make you don't have children for fear they'll be invisible to. humans have no human rights. when you die there's no proof of ever exist. every ten minutes. someone. ten million people in the world the stake they have no nationality and a told made up along the lines. of that everyone has the right. everyone has the right to say my warm.
10:00 pm
in a worry siggins time rescue workers in genoa italy say they will spend all night searching the ruins of a collapsed bridge for survivors dramatic images today when the highway bridge woke up during severe weather at least twenty two people are doing we'll have the latest on the rescue effort also coming up british police investigate an apparent terrorist attack.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on