Skip to main content

tv   Doc Film - Rethinking Nero Part 1  Deutsche Welle  August 31, 2018 11:15am-12:00pm CEST

11:15 am
schedule reminder now of our top stories this hour far right demonstrators have again taken to the streets of the eastern german city of calmness splay say the protest was tense but passed off peacefully earlier in the week twenty people were injured when thousands of protesters including from the far right class was left wing demonstrators after a fatal stabbing in that city. i'm brian thomas for the entire news team thanks so much for joining us terry martin will be with you again at the top of the hour have a great weekend. letter we were. when we were. eighty percent of americans at some point in our lives really experienced a ship listen all. that matters w four minds.
11:16 am
nero krone just shy of seventeen a mere teenager when he was vested with absolute power over the mightiest empire in the world monster and a madman. he killed his brother. his mother and ordered his own wife to be put to death and. he was a frustrated artist who made a fool of himself and the imperial throne. but there is evidence that nero was not the greatest in capricious ruler that he's been made up to be. could nero be the victim of a smear campaign. did use early biographers distort the facts when they were more aligned. as his reign. is reputed crimes nothing but slander.
11:17 am
narrow range in an era shaped by fear of morality and brutality his world is is just into us as another planet. and get it 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
11:18 am
a god. but he was not destined to become emperor his expression was carefully engineered by his power hungry mother. agrippina was the daughter of an emperor the widow of an emperor of the known 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 then as long as he is emperor. at humble university in berlin researchers are trying to piece together the puzzle of nero's legacy. counter-terror 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. jerusha studied the women in nero's life and one in
11:19 am
particular. he's a prophet so i don't it's i assume 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 he 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 and the one 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. peter was the product of her time a child of rome just like her son nero. it's impossible to understand miron without understanding his world a dog eat dog world governed by. unpredictable fickle gods. the capital the most sacred of rome's seven hills two thousand years ago offered sacrifices here to the highest god in the roman pantheon jupiter. decide for
11:20 am
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 foreign roman the emperor and senators ruled the world this is a reconstruction of the forum the political heart of the imperial superpower. nero's rome was defined by a rigid hierarchal social structure. most of the city's one million inhabitants were daily brewers or unemployed and their role looked very different.
11:21 am
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 power. he is a professor of ancient history at the university of tubingen. specialist in the early roman empire is looking for the man behind the myth of nero. he doesn't trust
11:22 am
neuros first biographers transmitters to tony use in custody of studio. and he suspects their stories of nero's nocturnal adventures were based on malicious gossip. but probably just us the problem is that in literature stories like this frequently lead to the creation of stereotypes which can then be applied to rulers who already have a bad reputation this could be what happened in the case of an era of. the hatto library involve an arm or is a significant collection of historic volumes by the authors of antiquity. but biographers of past centuries often had their own agendas to scholars take a discerning view of these texts free writers or what could be called an information monopoly on nero's biography tacitus as attorney assumed cassius de.
11:23 am
tacitus 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 because he was in 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 the draws heavily on distorted aspects of the neuron a narrative of these distortions are highly problematic for historians who work on with the problem of what. the characters into tony uses biography of nero are authentic. but the same can't be necessarily sort of the plot the author was
11:24 am
seeking to entertain inform his readers on tikrit his colleague josh anxious historiography according to the standards of modern historical writing the writers of antiquity above all i'm to produce literature and they conceived their works accordingly. and question. it's up to historians today to verify i'm much truth lies in these ancient sources and peel away fiction from historical fact in what context did ancient historians view nira and how credible are their accounts. the most ileum of august us romans first emperor. only his blood relatives had a claim to the throne. nero's mother agrippina was his great granddaughter. almost a dozen augustus's blood relatives lived in the empire vying for the imperial crown
11:25 am
with ruthless determination. gripping 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. 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 into media because his mother was in exile and it was there that he was allegedly looked after by a barber in 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. that. agra peanut tried to steer nero away from such frivolous
11:26 am
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 hill the science of the emperor's magnificent residence. its remains still testified to the prestige of its former residence. gripping at promoted the prospects of her son through scheming and intrigue. her brother colleague yellow 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. that gripping his choice of tutor for a young son proved wise. in his late forty's seneca was
11:27 am
a brilliant speaker and in acclaimed author. as a 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 agrippina son into an emperor fit to rule the world above all however seneca would become neuros closest and tries or. by the year fifty agrippina managed to persuade her husband emperor claudius to adopt mira. agra peña 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 johnny is noted and young girls.
11:28 am
his wife and niece agra 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 not full ruler. this is ours who tony has recorded the day of october thirteenth fifty four. the imperial family is gathered around the table. mushrooms are on the menu claudia's his favorite dish. nero the devoted son is that his mother and rypien is. glorious his biological son britannicus is also there. claudius. dotes on the board nero's biggest rival in the line of imperial succession. to
11:29 am
tony's gives a detailed account of the plot to murder claudius who had sealed his fate by adopting nero. after reading the mushrooms the historian writes claudius begins to gasp for air and begin suffocating. tony is his 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 peanut you know the question asked or is the more unlikely it is that those stories are true torque on the. death by poison or an
11:30 am
accident the debate continues. either way i grip you know was now at the pinnacle of her power 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 colleague and widow of emperor claudius was now the mother of the emperor. never before had a woman in the empire held so much power. over being a head of fortune which she could use to buy decision makers friends and access to all the 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 its commercial gateway of us one the capital syria
11:31 am
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 agra pino 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 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 belong to the retinue of his wife octavia. born in greece act it
11:32 am
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 his murder amid ubiquitous ambition and political intrigue poison was often employed as a means to an end throughout their lives imperial family members took poisonous cocktails in homeopathic doses to boost their immunity. medical historian current. slaven has focused on the deaths a mere owes imperial palace and examined the poisoning practices of the roman elite
11:33 am
and he's conducted a critical review of the primary sources. and so was the coaster dreamed up by ancient historians or was she a real person. if more the version on it in if boys innings were the order of the day in hellenistic royal families and in imperial rome in the context of near a specific mention is made of look a mixture of poison she stands out because the identity of peddlers in toxic substances normally shrouded in mystery so look krista did exist she was hired by nero for various jobs and later condemned to death by his successor. so that some photo for that went to and on and off for good and. britannica use nero stepbrother was emperor claudius his biological son from his marriage to his first wife messalina. or tannic as came of age when he turned fourteen in the year
11:34 am
fifty five. with the bloodline to remember augustus through both his mother and his father has had a more legitimate claim for the from and was nero's biggest rival. was ill it said he suffered from purple f.c. . in their chronicles tacitus and cassius dio recorded their suspicion as fact nero hired the costume to mix a potion that would kill his step brother britannicus they painted low cost as an accomplice in euro's first crime. could this be a slanderous allegation against you. he or she can be said of nero's case in particular and the early imperial era in
11:35 am
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 i listen so wish the. former were in the year fifty five. once again chance to do so gives a detailed account of the circumstances surrounding britannica's his death. to bypass the food taster britannica's his first handed a heart untainted drink. chasseur just as the poison has been added to a jug of chilled water which is added to cool britannicus his car. and he leaves no doubt about the identity of the perpetrator nero. the three historians do more than just recount a crime their chronicles are peppered with insinuations that any reader background would understand their goal is to close to nero in
11:36 am
a bad light. only for. primary sources generally relate stories or 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 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 threw
11:37 am
a wrench in the works of agribusiness political plans the political deck was reshuffled in the former madam the imperial seat of government. as fall was public she was stripped of her powers and her privileges including her residence in the imperial palace and her bodyguards. nero assumed control he paid more to his advisors resulting in five years of exemplary government these would later come to be known as the queen quiney him the five good years of nero's rule. seneca and the petroleum prefect burruss were nero's most trusted aides. together they presided over a period of stability with peace abroad and prosperity at home on. seneca addressed his most famous moral treatise entitled on mercy in europe extolling the virtues of the emperor. this is we have to hope it's not to
11:38 am
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 with all the money and. dog stared out. it's clear that nero's early reign was very unlike that of his uncle emperor of the league ruler who went out of his way to antagonize the senate . he insulted a really hated 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. but all members of the senate were pre-christian those from the wealthy landowners class with huge financial assets.
11:39 am
the young emperor was keen to have them on his side never the less a conflict erupted. the latter funnier 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 gate. many senators raked in fortunes by controlling the terrorists and that gave them their competitor bitch. all affiliates here were discovered injustice and above all corruption in the practice of living customs
11:40 am
duties and rents and saw that landlords in particular were making huge profits. because it often wouldn't. nero reigned in the ambitions of many senators eyeing minister ariel portfolios like his predecessors he filled these positions with freed men former slaves and we trusted him and he had the backing of the military for nero was loved by his subjects so i. asked. 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 nero knew that and he correspondingly trying to win popular approval because he tried a little too hot and went further than other first century emperors. but there is a whole sequence of accounts that reflect how the kenyan nero sought to maintain the public's esteemed doesn't. undergo instance focus can eating hot
11:41 am
temper of political is quoted as wishing his subjects had just one throat to slash not 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. nero 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 paupers into wealthy property owners in the blink of an eye. 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
11:42 am
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 marked the end of such dreams. ixia. in some 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 fulfilled. 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. out.
11:43 am
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 geared to waging war unlike in ancient greece gymnasts. 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 neuro work to strengthen his muscles by having the lead plates laid on
11:44 am
his chest in the seclusion of the palace he practiced breathing exercises and wrote poems. very little material and when it comes to judging the quality of. poetry for example. the little we have indicates that nero was not on talented and that he must have achieved a certain level of achievement. talented an artist as his biographer is would have us believe. described. as a pleasant low bass though he noted it. was evidently aware of this weakness of the most famous. court to give him.
11:45 am
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. let's see a consultant 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 sphere and started a love affair. and complete the biggest obstacle in her hopes to marry nero was agrippina. a copy us dizzy i thought of us and i mean honest. neuro
11:46 am
and bill payer seemed to make for each other they shared 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 narrows wife. yet nero was still married to mike tapia and the subject of divorce sparked an open war with angra pina. 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. agra pinas death was to look like an accident can seem. he secretly commissioned a ship designed to collapse and sink with his mother and her entourage onboard. just below him to board doesn't explode off a constant yet to be the famous booby trapped by
11:47 am
a few minutes trusted to break up at sea voyage is a bit of an indigo. nation of how nero approached everything he did it for us he had a poem shelf a spectacle. planned the murder of his mother as a veritable showstopper. so i am cause i took. it is march fifty nine. nero invites his mother to his will in the resort town of by a on the pretext of a reconciliation visit. after dinner she's picked up by the death ship. the collapsing mechanism works but agra pino survives the shipwreck and swims to shore. she sends word to nero experienced an intriguer as she is she keeps her cool and avoids levelling blame. nero however is mad with fear of his domineering mother.
11:48 am
and i know one of the rows successor is emperor to meet you and while said we only believe in conspiracies after they've succeeded that's 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 the only way of preventing an attack on his life was to be proactive. and an active and then nero dispatches assassins to finish the job i grew up in or the ancient historians say asks the soldiers to stab her in the womb or narrow. narrow defended the day before the senate by labeling pina a traitor you have been plotting against him. on the whole the senate backed him but some senators didn't is 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
11:49 am
a murder went hand in hand with di. mastic rivalry. it was simply the order of the day in politics. some water tired. 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 the crowds and senators turned out to accompany him into the city so his return took on a triumphant quality as is done and. nero had always been fearful and now your weekend at night gripped by panic agra pino haunted his dreams. trance it is
11:50 am
a road he's pursued by fury's goddesses of vengeance and retribution. bonded so with a grown woman kozel 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 because 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 romans are just one path to glory triumph in war and then honorable death. the policy of conquest and expansion was crucial to the elite ranks of the
11:51 am
roman army because it fueled the wealth of the aristocratic classes. the conquest of provinces as costly as it was ensured military honors for the sons of the youngest ocracy 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 the vital expounds you know one of the roman elite continue to define expansion as the main goal of the empire. or rule of an emperor was frequently joshed by whether or not he managed to drive expansion for what it was and what i mean by the it was since this wasn't the case with nero he got promise from the outset to place. the temple of genesis in ancient rome.
11:52 am
if 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 rant and even though he was repeatedly blamed for not going on the offensive enough as i. thought he was fortunate in that he had appointed a capable team he had very experienced commanders who knew how to couple well weighted 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. so i have had no. up to one.
11:53 am
for. now says 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. his innocent wanted tapia was one of his victims. that's why it was this i just was tabio and the rose relationship through the years can really be called a non relationship lightness i.d.e.o. it was very reserved because it was a destitute 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 . she was very loyal to him and never pose a threat to his rule. because she was and remained a very demure woman like all these and keeping this. she may have been in conspicuous but oak tabio was loved and deeply pity by the people of rome. nero remained hell bent on marrying her pious sabina but then required
11:54 am
a divorce from tom you're going to mention not even an emperor could ignore. their own needed to rid themselves of octavia but he couldn't simply banish her especially in view of her popularity. nero appears to have lost his ability to gauge the mood of the masses. and maybe the reason he tried to exile look tapia to the provinces and he charged her with treason. but his efforts to convict her were thwarted by the anger of the plebeians. crowds demanded ottavi his return to proposed influence on nero was greater assassins were sent to slash time for years wrists and she bled to death. once again writing appeared on the walls of rome nero wife. yes. want to talk
11:55 am
august had an autopsy is 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 the 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 gave him singing lessons wrote poetry and ignored conventions and their view was met by ancient historians.
11:56 am
nero's daughter died three months after her birth. tacitus wrote the emperor was excessive in his grief as he had been in his joy. inside can also discovered 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 but was it but he also didn't fit the mold of the so-called bad emperor in the way that type bury a soul killing him when under the kaiser. he was something singular and new and the consternation of a how to judge such a figure echoes throughout the literary narratives of my heroes life and a few. because i'm tired and. i don't know your horse. nero may still have had a shot at remember moralizers are good emperor but then something happened didn't
11:57 am
she. heard he would be passed into legend as a monster great fire. so tony a 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 near as fault and that he's been wrongly accused of persecuting christians they believe it's time to rehabilitate emperor nero.
11:58 am
look. through. find various perspectives. the best way to experience most of the issues he has to conduct this document. he shows us how. your romex in thirty minutes on d w. your smart t.v. the smarter with the d w four smaller to. what you want when you want it up to date extraordinary. into decide what's on sunday morning double jochum smart t.v. . lehman brothers ten years on
11:59 am
a story of ambition. but media. control the rich lots what level of investment bankers who caught the curse sells will never stop of a system that spun out of control. over a good cause given the crash the investment bank lehman brothers start september thirteenth on g.w. . player. this is deja vu news coming to you live from berlin right wing protesters gather
12:00 pm
again in the eastern german city of kindness. the rally passes all peacefully with no repeat of the bombing seen earlier in the week but the situation remains tense with groups from both the right and left ready to take to the streets to morrow also in the program we meet an indian woman suffering from cancer who's pinning her hopes upon an ambitious new national health plan set .

32 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on