Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Nero and other Romans

I'm not going to go in-depth here in this topic or this post would be the longest ever written. It's just to explain a teensy bit of Italian history.

Roman Empire
Named Nero by the soldiers protecting him while young as it meant Little Boots Nero was born into the Caesar family on his mother's side. There had been many leaders from the Caesars, some better than others but most known for cruelty as well as their achievements. Nero came into power after one of the worst for cruelty, Caligula who did some horrible acts many to his own family, as did a lot of the others. But on the other hand they did manage to conquer much of what is now modern Europe. The Roman Empire took it efficiently and often quickly, their army was so good that some of the techniques used then are still being used now. Making changes to the governments, buildings and roads as they went. Lots of their legacy's are still here, many long straight roads now follow the same lines they made 2000 years ago.

Julius Caesar is the one everyone first thinks of when we think of Roman leaders. Apparently he was born through a cesarean, the word coming from his name. He ruled strongly and well, famously having a love affair with Cleopatra, she with the nose (sorry, had to add that bit, they say had her nose been slightly smaller the world would have been different). Actually on the subject of noses and Romans the Roman nose is slightly hooked or crooked, it's distinctive, something that you can often distinguish an Italian from a non Italian, I have it myself.

Other, non Caesar leaders were Hadrian who built the long wall in North England to keep out those pesky Picts from Scotland who painted themselves blue and put up a good fight against being taken over. Marcus Aurelius who was a Good Leader and also a Philosopher. Commodus, who was called cowardly and weak as a leader. And Nerva, a short lived but wise leader.

Back to Nero, he had a holiday home, or holiday palace, in Anzio, then named Antium. This is where he is said to have played the fiddle while Rome burned, the Great Fire of Rome destroyed much of the city and rumours put it that Nero started it so he could build a new palace on the land. There is no way to establish how or why the fire really started. Anzio has  new statue of Nero which is erected looking over the sea, his palace there is all in ruins and not much left much of it being under the sea where he now looks over. My Gandmother's home is built on top of it and  I have tried to establish exactly where it would be placed and think I know, now.


Bob Sanchez said...

Hi Day Dreamer, that area in red on your map made quite the estate, didn't it? Thanks for the history lesson.

loverofwords said...

I enjoyed the history lesson--oh there is so much I don't know, but Italy is a special place. Have you read, any books by Donna Leon?

DayDreamer said...

Bob, yes they did acquire rather a lot of places. All gone back to their correct owners now, though.

Loverofwords, I've not come across Donna Leon but having now googled those do look like my kind of book, Italy and crime, so thanks for the bringing them to my attention,I will look out for them, now.

David P. King said...

Roman history is fascinating. And Nero didn't exactly have all of his bread in the basket, so to speak. :)

Rhonda Parrish said...

Can you even imagine having a summer palace? Having statues made of you? I just... it breaks my brain a little bit ;)

DayDreamer said...

David, I think an awful lot of Romans were the same, something to do with eating off lead dishes, apparently.

Rhonda, I know! Forget the statues but a summer palace might be nice - but think of the cleaning:)