Italian Curiosities: Was Emperor Nero Really Mad?

Oct 06, 2021 263

Nero, a  madman! Popular belief — and many a “sword-and-sandal” classics — convinced us all the red-haired son of Agrippina the Younger and last Emperor of the Julio-Claudian dynasty was far from sane,  but is this the historical truth?

Born Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus in 37 AD, he became Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus when adopted by Emperor Claudius, who had married Agrippina. The name we know him with, Nero, comes from the ancient Sabine language and means “courageous,” “valiant;” it was chosen for him by Emperor Claudius himself.

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