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tv   Doc Film - Rethinking Nero Part 2  Deutsche Welle  August 23, 2018 7:15am-8:00am CEST

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my first bicycle was a sewing machine. where i come from women are always by the social tools even something as simple as learning how to write them by say those isn't. since i was a little girl i wanted to add up by cycle of my home and it took me more as the months might. finally gave up and went on buying and bicycles and three times because sewing machine sewing i suppose was more appropriate for those than writing advice as knowledge i was only challenged to those woman back home full of bones my duties and social goals i was informed and told that basic rights my name is dave out of the hood and i wore t. to.
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nero murderer and despot a madman on the imperial throne. whose name is inexplicably linked with one of the biggest disasters of the ancient world the great fire over a. hero set roma like to make room for his own building plans to fix the blame for the fire on the christians ordering the torture and execution of thoughtlessness. but scholars today question the legend of nero as the arsonist of rome and doubt that he initiated a policy of persecution against the christians. to date there is no archaeological evidence to support the theory that the apostle peter was ever in rome but there are mounting indications that nero's infamous crime. worse crime to the emperor by
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later writers. nero an eccentric ruler who wanted to be an artist and preferred to live in a world of fantasy. but neither an arsonist nor persecutor of christians. is july nineteenth in the year sixty four it hasn't rained for days. rome is home
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to almost a million people it's a sweltering summer night. the majority of rum citizens can't escape the heat unlike the wealthy who have long since retreated to their estates in the cooler plains of nearby latinos. in just a few hours an inferno will erupt turning the city's narrow streets into a death trap. nero is also not in rum he's retreated to his summer residence in the seaside resort of an town. in rome the brothels bars and betting shops lining the circus maximus are packed on this fateful night. it is here that the catastrophe begins. the great fire of rock a dramatic calamity for the city and its people comparable in the magnitude of its destruction to the earthquake infante. the blaze will raise. age for seven days
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thousands will die when the smoke clears three quarters of the city will lay in ruins. according to legend the apostle peter was in rome at the same time to supervise the city's fledgling christian community. later he would go down in the annals of the catholic church as the first bishop of rome. with. another natori as legend emperor nero himself started the fire as an excuse to rebuild rome to his own liking and to rename the city mirapolis and that's not all the mad megalomaniac watched the conflagration from his palace on the peloton you know merrily singing and playing his liar. in need of a scapegoat he blamed the fire on the christians who meet indiscriminately and
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mercilessly crucified. the apostle peter was also arrested and condemned to death by crucifixion on the vatican hill. so that his death would differ from that of jesus he asked his executioner to invert the cross on which he was nailed. christopher mancini's is a protestant theologian and church historian he's one of the world's leading scholars of early christian studies in nero's time the christians were a new and obscure jewish sect. chad. when narrating cost events historical writers always tend to simplify reality somewhat for i'm for hold over the king and the simplification of reality in nero's case turned him into a ruler who unleashed the persecution of christians out of pure criminal intent so there was no legal basis though naturally many of the incidents recorded as.
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christian persecution was nothing more than the result of legal proceedings conducted according to the rule of law at the time but here we have a figure who is borderline crazy with a deeply troubled personality emerges his relatives and he is declared the author of or horus it's easy to see a myth in the making here who might remember seeing it in these you can talk on almost everything we know about nero's era derives from the works of three ancient historians tacitus so joining us. from cassius to. these early biographers were writing to entertain their readers and they had a poor opinion of nero their works are rich in detail but they're misleading because much of what they wrote was fictitious. scholars today take a more discerning approach to the ancient texts than their predecessors as a result they've come to question the integrity of many written accounts from
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antiquity. the apostle peter is martyrdom on the vatican hill is one of them. it marks the dramatic climax of a religious legend but as one of the most powerful stories in church tradition. some one and a half centuries later a magnificent basilica was erected on the vatican hill at the site believed to be the very spot where peter was buried. peter's basilica is a monument to the apostle and one of the holiest catholics rheims. in the catacombs deep below the church is an ancient roman graves a veritable city of the dead in which according to legend jesus is first apostle simon peter was buried. peanuts it does. poto one of rome's grand squares in the middle ages it was
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believed to be haunted by demons and evil spirits because it harbored the remains of the most barbers man new ever walk the earth nero. in the twelfth century anyone entering the eternal city from the via flammini or would have caught sight of the family tomb of the domi de niro's family. and it was here that nero lived on in the imagination of the people of rome long after the fall of the empire the ravens roosting in a walnut tree on the side of his remains were said to be demons in the service of nero. out of fear that nero himself could rise as a demon from hell pope us god the second had the tree cut down the tomb opened and nero sarcophagus removed then a church was built over nero's family muscly and. arrows
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remains alive beneath its altar. a church to seal off neuros grave to banish him to the depths of the earth for all eternity. strong christian symbolism is designed to put an end to the superstitions that plague the locals. christian tactics to counter the magic of the demon nero. him a devil rome banishing nero's remains to eternal obscurity seemed like a good idea nevertheless the priest at the church of santa maria don't pop on no knows where nero is hidden. an ancient tunnel beneath the church leads to the place where nero sarcophagus was allegedly stored. but the chamber at the end of the cord are. these empty.
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how did the roman emperor of come to be known as the anti christ and the beast of the revelation. it all started here the circus maximus at the foot of the palatine hill the green oval of the ancient racetrack has survived to this day in narrows time an audience of possibly two hundred fifty thousand could pack into the stadium to share the emperor's delight in chariot racing. the circus maximus was the biggest entertainment complex in the ancient world. it was also the origin of the spark that ignited the great fire of rock. it's the evening of july nineteenth in the year sixty four the summer heat is stifling and the shops clustered around the circus maximus there are hundreds of bars shops and stalls almost all of them constructed from wood with open fires burning everywhere the blaze breaks out under the racecourses wooden bleachers at
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the edge of the killing and in palatine else soon a fire storm sweeps through the narrow corridors of the complex. summer residence in antioch a seaside resort on the west coast frequented by wealthy functionaries and politicians it's a day's journey from rome. and here he's built a monumental waterfront palace that includes its own amphitheater where he pursues his artistic ambitions. word of the catastrophe reaches in that night and he hurries back to rome. this city is a sea of flames. when the fire eventually dies three of the city's fourteen administrative regions will be totally destroyed only ruins will remain in another seven. wooden houses dry. as a tinderbox narrow passage ways the heat so intense not
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a trace is left of tens of thousands of residents. rome's water delivery system fails to provide enough water to battle the flames new fires break out the blaze rages on for days. back in the city nero supervises the firefighting operation he sets up a disaster fund and quickly begins reconstruction efforts introducing rome's first building codes and incentives for private rebuilding. passages praises the reconstruction efforts but he also reports the suspicion that arises after a second fire breaks out on the estate of nero's police chief tickling us the writing on the wall now reads nero arsonist. rumors begin to circulate in the ravaged city nero set fire to rome to build a new city that he will rename after himself. and the biggest nero
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cliche of them all while the city was burning nero mounted his private stage and comparing modern disasters with ancient and son of the destruction of troy. his words. in the story appears to corroborate accounts of his expressive facilities as an artist and of the way he presented himself at other times it's one of the many scenes that one is tempted to regard as an exaggeration of the literary sources but i'm not so sure. you can see. what tacitus noted as a rumor was recorded as a fund to tony's nero started the fire. and a century after so tony use casio's dio wrote nero said his heart on accomplishing what had doubtless always been his desire namely to make an end of the whole city and realm during his lifetime. because it's really the main problem with these
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accounts lies in the fact that nero's image was colored by bias and hatred sighs from the. one thought it was the type tacitus plays alone as the trick with nero and the great fire because he suggests that nero was responsible for the fire without openly saying so if he had come right out and said it his claim could very easily have been identified as an anti nero representation and very quickly discredited as such but by portraying the whole thing as a rumor as something vague and repeatedly portraying nero with such ambivalence tacitus lends greater credence to the impression that nero actually did set fire to rome more than he would have if he'd just alleged it straight out that. was at the revenge of the roman elite and an emperor who rejected what they saw as decorum. nero's biographers began painting a negative picture of the emperor as soon as he died and his odious reputation has
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survived into the twenty first century. i think. i'm certain that all surviving texts in any way connected to the famous fire of rome were tainted by all teary and motives. is intrinsically that escaped validas there is no valid primary source testimony from which one could deduce that nero actually set fire to rome and if you try to list the reasons why he may have done so after all the arguments appear very tenuous there really is no motive that one could assign to a kind tif but many were touched and credited. even if nero played no part in starting the fire the romans blamed him none the less as pontifex maximus he was the high priest of the empire a mediator between the people and the gods and he seemed angry. nero was also commander. of the vigilance rome's force of police and fire fighters and office
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traditionally held by the emperor and one taken very seriously by his predecessors people expected the emperor to rush to the scene of the final. nero couldn't he was an anti and get details didn't interest the public which felt betrayed by nero. his efforts to oversee firefighting operations were praised but they came too late. and warms. or nero lost a great deal of his capital among the population because he was very very late arriving back in rome after hearing about the fire so work the whole thing down and though he then assumed control of the rescue and reconstruction efforts people still felt that he had arrived too late. and we know from the examples of other roman rulers and even arrest kratz of the republic that when it comes to
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catastrophes it's always key to show up as quickly as possible nero missed that opportunity as mukesh no presents to the office on. christian graves dating from the first century. early evidence of a new sect that would rise to become a world religion. x. and p. alpha and omega the first and last letters of the greek alphabet suggest the all encompassing nature of god. ancient writers repeatedly reference christians and christ in their accounts of the great fire. tacitus wrote nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations called christians by the populace. rome's establishment was incensed by the egalitarian. some of the christian
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community where freed men sat a long aristocrats a no go in the hierarchical and class conscious society of age. and tribes from delaware the traditional roman would have looked at a christian community and sat i mean i did because their attacks that quote them and this is an outrageous gathering which permits fishmongers weiss to speak about religion and he ordered press. and credits and so a traditional roman would have found the christian community pretty scandalous and because of the disconcerting way it removed hierarchical distinctions in the social stratification he finds he is a shaft of. the church of son giovanni a paolo on the kalian hill this was where the super rich lived in nero's day and age. three meters under the church's foundations a subterranean world allows a glimpse into the past. bank in nero's day this was
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a light filled city palace. the owner presided over a network of twenty rooms magnificently appointed with frescos. as was typical in the homes of rome as well healed the walls and ceilings were painted with fantastical creatures and mythological scenes. but the owner of these rooms was christian. the proof lies in the frescoes on the wall were the oldest surviving private chapel in rome dating from a time when support for the jewish sect was not dangerous because the citizens of rome enjoyed religious freedom. the world of roman guns was hard to navigate every aspect of life was governed by a different d.d. . each god was no better than the person worshipping at its altar you could be
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equally cruel insidious evil or eventual the gods were immortal like super heroes but their world was as hierarchical as that of humans on earth. jupiter the supreme god wielding thunder and lightning to control the skies and striking fear into the hearts of mourning. for fear of offending an important day of the romans tended to adopt the gods of conquered lands and adding them to their burgeoning pantheon. in nero's day dozens of sects fired for new followers but faith in the traditional collection of pagan gods dominated across the empire most romans unquestioningly followed the rights of their religion priests appease the gods with sacrifices and as long as the empire prospered all
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was well. tombstones and inscriptions from the first century the romans too believed in an afterlife but their ideas of what it looked like differed. one thing all romans had in common was a fear of being forgotten. immortal glory was the highest achievable goal those a good afforded mark their grave with a tombstone. them and not just mixed the motivation behind the past secu sion of christians through the roman authorities probably lay in the notion that this here was an unpredictable bunch of who it was fit could start a revolution. by them and the first most. from your own or his advisors couldn't. possibly have asked for
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a better scapegoat. with some three thousand members of the roman christian community was a minority that was viewed with suspicion reviled feared and hated by the population at large. and after the catastrophe of the fire nero knew rome was clamoring for justice. like all emperors nero feared the fury of the masses so he went on the offensive. there were no public prosecutors under the roman legal system charges were filed on the basis of accusations brought by individuals it's not known how many christians were interrogated or arrested but it's clear only a small percentage of rome's christian community was targeted. justified or not the arsonists arrest was branded religious persecution at the end of the second century by the christian theologian to too early on. in the fifth century christian
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monks produced copies of ancient texts and may well have intentionally falsified their accounts in the process. it's likely that tacitus is original works delivered a far less damning indictment of nero than the versions we know today. if they created the impression we have today that ever since the dawn of christianity there were violent waves of persecution in which christians were systematically and indiscriminately lined up for execution that is true of russia's persecution of christians in the twentieth century and that the current situation in the middle east but not in antiquity but that's just me and. on a late summer day in the year sixty four pounds head towards the palatine hill. it's showtime at the imperial palace where emperor nero is open the gates to his gardens the people of rome have been. demanding revenge for the loss of loved ones
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and property in the fire. the emperor lights up the festivities with the perpetrators using their bodies as human torches. nero reportedly ordered tarr pitch to be poured on christians who were crucified and set on fire to light up his garden death by fire was common punishment for arsonists so that was nothing unusual what is strange for us today is the juxtaposition of jovial festivities and a brutal mass murder. another indication of just how strange life could be in ancient rome. if god went on the abel kinds of this for there was no systematic religious persecution of christians under nero and. the so called persecution of christians must be viewed in the context of the great fire
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and it's rather a caution it's the. most honk from it all it was designed to offer the romans who had experienced great sufferings if a big spectacle before namely people who were on fire be nameless but end a mission. according to christian legend the apostle peter was also among those condemned to death. the story first surfaces in a second century collection of writings about peter's life. others adopted the story as a motif. for most christians this legend has long since become historical fact. but the opulent tomb of the apostle in st peter's basilica is a center john and m. de grey. where. grounds of st peter's bones is controversial and always has
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been. kind of a but there is no valid historical evidence to support the theory that peter was ever any around our oldest source the late first century pistol of claimant only alludes generally to the fact that christianity is two leaders met their deaths in significant places and gives no further details. in fifteen forty five martin luther wrote i am content to be able to say since i have seen it and heard it at rome that it is unknown where in the city the bodies of st peter and paul are located or even whether they are there at all. even the pope in the cardinals know very well that they do not know. in one nine hundred forty pope pius the twelfth authorized the search for the bones of the apostle peter beneath the basilica. digging was conducted in secrecy and at night so no one would hear anything above in the basilica it wasn't long before workmen made
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a significant discovery. soon a vatican archaeologist was overseeing the operations for the find was a christian tomb and ultimately a handful of clones was on earth it was only twenty five years later that pope paul the sixth announced the remains of st peter had been found below the vatican. after the great fire nero set about reconstructing the destroyed districts two thousand years later not much of his efforts has survived the ruins of an insulating a multistory department block in nero's day such tenements were groundbreaking both in terms of architecture and city planning as a way of providing housing for the growing population. near zero made his mark on the city's design and proved to be a visionary and pragmatic planner with his advisors he set out to rid rome of its.
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narrow streets and congested spaces unbearably confined in the hot summer months. instead he ordered wide avenues in colonnades to provide shade a mammoth project that nero helped finance from his own coffers tacitus praised nero's actions as wise and prudent. at last i'm going to be able to be housed like a human being that is also tony is quote here on the completion of his new palace the domus aria or golden house. it's wall and ceiling frescoes were rediscovered at the height of the renaissance painters were abseiled down into the subterranean labyrinth of the palace to copy the works of their predecessors ferment dignity. rome was no stranger to coliseum but the sheer size of nero's new drilling was unprecedented. romans complained one else was taking over the entire city to tony's
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wrote parts of the house were overlaid with gold they were dining rooms with fretted ceilings of ivory whose panels could turn and shower down flowers and were fitted with pipes for sprinkling the guests with perfume as. the architectural highlight and heart of the palace was the octagonal hall of all to dome built on an octagonal basis one of the first known concrete vaults in the history of architecture. tony has remarked the hall constantly revolved day and night like they haven't. become plex consumed eighty hectares in the center of rome the entire palace complex was laid out like a stage accessible to all it included a huge artificial lake its own see her villas with. fields vineyards and woodlands
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teeming with all kinds of team down. even by imperial standards the golden house was nothing short of bombast. nero commissioned a giant statue of his likeness golden thirty meters high for the entrance all of his palace was all this a sign of megalomania proof of his madness. he would enable me to buy it for hooked but siphon if i wouldn't describe nero is crazy not because i rule out that he was crazy but because ultimately we just know too little about nero to classify him as such. carked of his human vibe and we need to keep in mind is that even if his contemporaries described him as crazy and they did his behavior doesn't necessarily have to have
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a pathological explanation. of your void ken on dust they could simply be a label for his inappropriate inexplicable and surprising conduct which people simply lacks the means to describe. under mukesh garden don't tribal kata. trance or just concluded that it was nero's artistic streak and showmanship they were most damaging to his reputation. the biographer contemptuously recounts nero's performance of a woman giving birth. the emperor onstage as a pregnant woman playing to a capacity audience. and taking gender role reversal to the point of absurdity. nero's sexual escapades were. take surely open to attack because he demonstrative
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lee crossed the line when it came to gender and social norms and if a man doesn't that here to norms he simply can't be an adequate ruler in political terms. in the years sixty five euros enemies began plotting to assassinate him. his greek style arts festival the neuron i was coming up and many roman senators couldn't bear the prospect of their emperor once again making a fool of himself identifying roman tradition. for many of the emperor's appearance on a public stage was scandalous. but not all of rumsey lead condemned nero's second career. as an oft with. reactions to his performances were very mixed we know of roman aristocrats who supported nero's performances and encouraged them others were deeply contemptuous of what he debt and it was tessa tests in particular who gave a voice to their view
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a horse for tots it was. a conspiracy was exposed and nearest police cracked down at least one thousand men and women were arrested going to go on their social status they were killed or forced to commit suicide nero's former tutor and advisor sen it was one of the. nero put his life on public display he gave guitar of performances and poetry recitals and increasingly he appeared on stage in roles that echoed his own personal history erasing the boundary between stage in life. as a kind of classic and. he was clearly identifying himself with the characters he played a part and he went so far as to specifically select a role. calls that reflected episodes in his own life.
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that's most evident in the murder of. he repeatedly performs the role of arrested as the greatest epitome of matricide in antiquity and by doing so repeatedly reminded the public of his own mother's murder. zero. zero zero as biographers describe using creasing like attacks and growing state of anxiety. it was at this time that mural made a fateful decision. and if he really didn't want to rule over the roman world as the princeps the emperor he wanted to recycle witchery he wanted to perform he wanted success as a chariot race or because he wanted to stand in front of a large audience naturally he tried to assert himself as emperor but probably only
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because it afforded him a heightened experience of the things that really matter to these invocations king was on the visor also the. nero disregarded all the warnings in place to government in the hands of his trusted freedman. in august sixty six he took his show on the road to greece he was accompanied by an entourage of six thousand people with string instruments bows and theater masks the crusade for the arts. zero ask the organizers of all four games the new me and pythian used to be n and olympic games to reschedule their competitions within the same year so that he nero could take part. with guns in the us and able fought in we have accounts that reveal nero suffered from. severe stage fright before these events
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but that he still put in spirit at performances against his competitors and he was always tremendously surprised when as if by coincidence he won first place and very humbly accepted the prizes and the applause. even if he'd fallen off the chariot and nearly died during the race as. you know so here again we have the phenomenon that we can observe and many other areas of nero's persona he was living in his own world and shaping his own reality in any tate a shuffle. aside from athletic competitions like chariot racing the games also featured artistic contests near own took part in all of them organizers displayed ingenuity as they vied for the emperor's favor they hired veteran singers who still sang well but were no longer interested in accolades nero was celebrated
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as the most successful competitor since the birth of the games. the venue of olympia served him as a stage and he won every competition. it will never be known whether nero was aware of this charade but he didn't just accept the trophies that came with his victories he also pocketed the cash prizes gold that he badly needed to restock is depleted travel fund what is certain is that nero's popularity among his subjects reached its zenith during his tour of greece.
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preece providing a shortcut of some four hundred kilometers. it was near zero began a canal during the isness of carinthia employing thousands of slaves for the six kilometer dig but the project died with him and was only completed in the nineteenth century. rome celebrated nero like a triumphant general when he returned from greece in january sixty eight with one thousand eight hundred eight trophies. but rome's elite could no longer stomach nero's act they viewed it as a mockery of the imperial copped. a new conspiracy to pick. up the leg it's been dicks and got back joined forces in a rebellion. got a very head his legion declare him emperor. one last time nero
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mobilized his loyal generals and initially he even won the upper hand but then he sank into apathy. trenberth not even the ancient texts repeatedly note that in the final phase and the first signs of apostasy nero would certainly have had the chance to turn back the tide in his favor had he shown more determination reached out and taken the necessary steps but he didn't his response was hesitant at times he didn't respond at all and merely concentrated on his artistic interests and that served to solidify the opposition and facilitate nero's downfall and the changes. the new prefect of the praetorian guard in future use of venus informed nero that his loyalists had all abandoned him but this was a lie as tacitus wrote nero was undone. by rumors and vague intelligence
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not by force of arms. that's based on which bits if you combine i think what was particular about nero was that he knew no boundaries he staged his life like a play his life was one big spectacle when he and i believe he always planned his end accordingly. and but he doesn't think of it didn't play out that way because of the particular circumstances and also because he panicked too soon but in the rose life there is virtually no way of differentiating between theater drama the stage and real life will go on should he also. nero flit from. the biographers of antiquity described his last hours as the death of a cowardly tyrant not man enough to voluntarily and his own life. bad p.r. until the very end. and yet this emperor did rack up victories even if they weren't
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on the battlefield. what we can determine is that under nero latin literature really flourished amid a burst of literary activity felt the pull of the team aspect the positive side of nero's personality was certainly his enthusiasm his love of the arts and culture which had a formative influence on rome not just in the development of the arts but also in city planning and in entertainment where romans were familiar with greek culture but not so much with things like athletics so he was absolutely pioneering in these respects with absolute knowledge and who's in that house that he saw himself in the first place as an artist and only in second place as emperor that's why i always describe nero as the emperor artist question. the ancient drama starring emperor nero ended with his words what an artist dies in me when he stabbed himself. in the
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throat with a dagger. the script of nero's life needs a rewrite it remains unclear whether st peter was ever in rome to harden the drama of his narrative christian historians later cast neuro as the anti christ. nero was no monster nor was he any more brutal than many so-called good emperors but the dead do not write their own history nero's was tainted by the passage of time. the bishop of rome became the head of the church and rome the center of christianity. gave.
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us. entered the conflict zone with me show sleep on. this week on conflict zone i'm an adult lives too except that in a second yet the foreign minister who gathered his among the politicians searching for a common approach on the question of lost state by gracious that a compromise has been found is a fair deal for everybody conflicts so folks thirty minutes to double. the fun beethoven. his work and the goddess fortuna.
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the maestro and figures. beethoven insist upon twenty. lehman brothers ten years on a story of ambition. mania. control box full of investment bankers who topic ourselves would never stop of a system that spun out of control. probably never. even the crash the investment bank lehman brothers start september thirteenth on g.w. . after. this
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is d.w. news live from berlin the u.s. history you know with a new round of trade tariffs washington is targeting another sixteen billion dollars of chinese products beijing has retaliated in khartoum so who stands to lose the most will have a special report from one u.s. region bracing for tough times and staying in the u.s. president trump says he did nothing wrong a day after being implicated in us money davis with two former associates facing prison time.

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