NERO CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVGVSTVS GERMANICVS
Born: December 15, 37 AD, Antium, Italia
Reigned: October 13, 54 AD - June 11, 68 AD
Grandson of Germanicus, step-, and adopted son of Claudius.
Died: June 11, 68 AD Committed suicide after being declared a public enemy by the Senate.
Nero became emperor in 54 at seventeen, the youngest Emperor yet. Like his uncle Caligula before him, Nero was also a direct descendant of Augustus Caesar, a fact which made his ascension to the throne much easier and more smooth than it had been for Tiberius or Claudius. Ancient historians describe Nero's early reign as being strongly influenced by his mother Agrippina, his tutor Seneca, and the Praetorian Prefect Burrus, especially in the first year. In 55, Nero began taking on a more active role as an administrator. He was consul four times between 55 and 60. Nero consolidated power over time through the execution and banishment of his rivals and slowly usurped authority from the Senate.
In 64 Rome burned. Nero enacted a public relief effort as well as large reconstruction projects. To fund this, the provinces were heavily taxed following the fire.
By 65, senators complained that they had no power left and this led to the Pisonian conspiracy. The conspiracy failed and its members were executed. Vacancies after the conspiracy allowed Nymphidius Sabinus to rise in the praetorian guard.
In late 67 or early 68, Vindex, the governor of Gallia Lugdunensis in Gaul, rebelled against the tax policies of Nero. Lucius Virginius Rufus, the governor of superior Germany was sent to put down the rebellion. To gain support, Vindex called on Galba, the governor of Hispania Citerior in Hispania (the Iberian Peninsula, comprising modern Spain and Portugal), to become emperor. Virginius Rufus defeated Vindex's forces and Vindex committed suicide. Galba was declared a public enemy and his legion was confined in the city of Clunia.
Nero had regained the control of the empire militarily, but this opportunity was used by his enemies in Rome. By June of 68 the senate voted Galba the emperor and declared Nero a public enemy. The praetorian guard was bribed to betray Nero by Nymphidius Sabinus, who desired to become emperor himself.
Nero reportedly committed suicide with the help of his scribe Epaphroditos. With his death, the Julio-Claudian dynasty came to an end. Chaos ensued in the Year of the Four Emperors.
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