By Anthony Everitt, Roddy Ashworth,

Book cover of Nero: Matricide, Music, and Murder in Imperial Rome

Book description

A striking, nuanced biography of Nero—the controversial populist ruler and last of the Caesars—and a vivid portrait of ancient Rome

“Exciting and provocative . . . Nero is a pleasure to read.”—Barry Strauss, author of The War That Made the Roman Empire: Antony, Cleopatra, and Octavian at Actium

The Roman…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked Nero as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

So, just how bad was Nero? After 2000 years, it’s a question that we’ll probably never be able to answer with any certainty.

This non-fiction book makes a fantastic effort at trying to dig through a lot of the biases against Nero to find a more balanced view. While there’s no question that Nero was a monster in his later reign (certainly by our modern standards), it’s often forgotten that he started off incredibly popular with the common people, while his disregard for established traditions made him a lot of enemies amongst the patricians.

And, of course, it’s those patricians…

From Jennifer's list on bringing Ancient Rome alive.

Nero always seems to pique the curiosities of every generation of modern readers, and I have likewise been drawn to his story. Was he one of history’s most corrupt monsters, or was he just a failed politician whose reputation was maligned by his enemies?

This book does a responsible job of looking at the ancient sources (quite lurid though their accounts often are) to compose a life of the emperor, so that the reader will (like I was) be entertained without being led astray by sensationalism. I especially appreciated the chapter-length study of the Great Fire of Rome in 64…

From Paul's list on for aspiring Roman history buffs.

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