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Interesting reading behind the Great Fire of Rome
on October 1, 2010
This book reflects on the how the Great Fire of Rome in 64 AD led to the fall of Emperor Nero four years later. Much of the book is filled with background material prior to the fire. However, from the author's point of view, it did appears that Nero initially tried to fight the fires although later on, he took advantages of what the end result of the fire provided him. Interestingly, the book didn't write much about the Christians being tormented as we see in some Hollywood movies. Perhaps the author realized (as many of us already knew) that there wasn't enough Christians in Rome during that time to create a scapegoat complex. So Nero went after the followers of Egyptian Goddess Iris who were more numerous in number. Nero seek a scapegoat because the growing rumours even back then, that he had a hand in the fire. Despite of Nero's best efforts, this wasn't going away so he needed a fall guy to take the blame. The book covered the fact that even afterward, many Roman historians still blame Nero for the fire. Whether this was a calculated effort at misinformation, it hard to tell. The book does say that most of Nero's contemporary historians does NOT blame Nero for the fire. But the negative press that Nero suffered from the fire during his life time, plus his frivolous lifestyle and his murderous tendencies, led to his downfall which was universally hailed in great rejoicing. The book does a very good job in describing all that in a very readable material. The author does take certain "liberties" with drama within the historical context but overall, I found the book highly entertaining and somewhat educational.