It’s an iconic image, symbolising madness, decadence and a corrupt lust for power. But did it actually happen?
In all probability, it didn’t. For a start, the fiddle would not be invented for another thousand years – Nero played the lyre. And according to Tacitus, Nero not only wasn’t in Rome when the fire occurred, but raced back to organise the relief efforts and funded a large portion of the reconstruction of the city from his own purse. Hardly a picture of a depraved monster, is it?
The fire is believed to have started near the Circus Maximus. It burned for seven days and five nights – on the fifth day, it was nearly quelled before flaring up with renewed strength. Of the city’s 14 districts, seven were damaged and three destroyed outright.
By Hubert Robert – http://www.kunst-fuer-alle.de/index.php?mid=77&lid=1&blink=76&stext=caesar&cmstitle=Bilder,-Kunstdrucke,-Poster:-Caesar&start=80, Public Domain, Link
As mentioned in:
Downfall — Exodus
No More Heroes — The Stranglers
Procession Commence — This Is Hell
The Ballad of the Little Man — World Party
Ain’t That Just Like A Woman — Louis Jordan