Rome saw significant changes during the less than twenty years when the notorious emperor Nero was in power. Nero, whose real name was Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus, was a great-grandson of Caesar Augustus. When he was a little kid, he and his mother, Agrippina, were banished to the insignificant Pontian Islands by Agrippina’s brother, the emperor Gaius Caligula. However, the exile ended two years later when Agrippina’s uncle Claudius became the ruler of the empire. Claudius was quickly persuaded to wed her and make Nero his heir by Nero’s mother. Claudius was assassinated in 54 A.D., allegedly as a result of poisoned mushrooms, Agrippina gave him. Nero ruled Rome as emperor at the age of 16.
A few years later, Nero supposedly ordered the transfer of his egotistical mother to a different home, where she was later murdered. Nero’s ambition had no bounds. One of his most ambitious schemes was to destroy a third of Rome so that he could construct an ornate network of palaces known as Neropolis. However, this idea was fiercely opposed by the senate. Since roughly 2,000 years ago, nobody is really sure what happened next.
The stores around the Circus Maximus, Rome’s enormous chariot stadium, caught fire on the night of July 19, 64 A.D. Such a fire in a metropolis of two million people was not exceptional; in fact, fires of this nature frequently broke out around Rome, especially among the slums that made up the majority of the city. Nero was aware of this and was hundreds of miles away in the more pleasant beach town of Antium. But this fire wasn’t just any fire. The fire lasted for six days before being put out, after which it flared up again and burnt for three more days. 10 of Rome’s 14 districts were in ruins when the smoke cleared. The Atrium Vestae, the home of the Vestal Virgins, and the 800-year-old Temple of Jupiter Stator were no longer there. Rome had been ruined to a degree of two-thirds.
The tragedy has been attributed to Nero by history, who is said to have set the fire so he could override the senate and rebuild Rome to his preferences. The aristocrat and historian Tacitus, who asserted that Nero watched Rome burn while joyfully playing his fiddle, is largely responsible for the knowledge we have about the great fire of Rome. Tacitus said that gangs of thugs used threats of torture to dissuade people from putting out the fire. The Domus Aurea, Nero’s magnificent collection of villas and pavilions situated amid a landscaped park and a man-made lake, was constructed in the wake of the fire, lending some credence to the theory that he deliberately devastated the city.
Is it possible, twenty centuries later, to determine what or who ignited one of antiquity’s most deadly firestorms? Is the implication made by Tacitus true? or Nero’s? It is the goal of historians, archaeologists, and modern fire investigators to determine what caused this enormous ancient fire disaster. There have been a lot of significant fires since then all across the world. It is past time to make a big and serious move in this regard, according to Fire Prevention and Consultancy Services. Our organization is attempting to prevent a repeat of the past by raising public awareness and aiding them in putting the necessary safety steps in place to prevent any fire tragedy in the future.