Podcast: Nero; Christian Slaying Madman or Misunderstood Genius?

NERO: Hollywood Technicolor History

Perhaps one of the most captivating portrayals of the emperor Nero is that of Peter Ustinov in the 1951 movie Quo Vadis.

Peter Ustinov, Quo Vadis 1951

He portrays Nero as a self-absorbed psychopath who collects his tears in little bottles for posterity to behold and who fiddles like a madman while Rome burns.

NERO: Pop Culture Icon

Ustinov’s portrayal is basically how modern pop culture understands Nero.

The question is; is that portrayal historically correct? – Or is there more to the story of the emperor who was the first to persecute Christians on a large scale?

Jean-Léon Gérôme, The Christian Martyrs’ Last Prayer, 1883

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Olaf Baumann

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