Nero, Swimming in the Shallow End of the Gene Pool

Nero, the fifth and final Roman Emperor of the Julian-Claudian dynasty, was born on this date in 37. He was Emperor from 54-68.

Nero was descended from Mark Antony and Octavia Minor on both sides of his family. And one of his great great grandfathers was Augustus (1st Emperor), Octavia’s brother. Nero killed his mother. She, Agrippina, probably had it coming. She was the sister of Caligula (3rd Emperor), wife of Claudius (4th Emperor and her uncle) and mother of Nero (5th Emperor). The mother probably poisoned Claudius, so that her son, Nero, could become Emperor at age 17. (Nero was the adopted son of Claudius, as well as his great nephew.) Agrippina herself was killed (beaten to death by an assasin) in 59. What goes around, comes around.

The verdict on whether Nero set fire to Rome as a large urban renewal project is unclear. He did organize vast relief efforts using his own funds. But he also blamed the Christians for the fire when the populace began to suspect him. Nero did not fiddle while Rome burned. There were no violins (although he did play the lyre).

Nero killed himself at age 30. His inattention to important political matters, his self-indulgence and his gene pool had caught up with him.

One thought on “Nero, Swimming in the Shallow End of the Gene Pool

Comments are closed.