Nero, Tiberius and Caligula

Topics: Augustus, Roman Empire, Tiberius Pages: 6 (1589 words) Published: December 9, 2012
| |

Throughout history, leaders come and go. Some help out and change their civilization for the better, and some make it go backwards. Sometimes leaders get so much power, they can’t be stopped and they go too far. Nero, Tiberius and Caligula were all immoral and corrupt Roman Emperors, but one stands out greatly.

Nero took control as Emperor of Rome AD 54-68. As a kid, his mother, Agrippina talked to astrologers about his future. They said he would kill her and eventually become emperor. Agrippina responded, “Let him kill me, so long as he rules.”[1]Over the time of his reign, he both killed and slept with his mother, “married and executed one stepsister, executed his other stepsister, raped and murdered his stepbrother. In Fact, he executed or murdered most of his close relatives. He kicked his pregnant wife to death. He castrated and then married a freedman. He married another freedman, this time himself playing the bride. He raped a Vestal Virgin.” [2] These are all immoral and cruel things to do no matter what your social status is. People feared him and were scared to speak up because they didn’t want any harm done to them, so he couldn’t really be stopped.

The worst and most controversial thing Nero did, came in the year AD 64. In mid-July, a massive fire broke out in Rome. It “broke out in the shops at the southeastern end of the circus Maximus near the palatine and the Caelian hills.”[3] From there, it spread like wildfire and burned for nine days. In all, three of the city’s fourteen districts were completely destroyed and seven other ones were “in shambles”.[4] Nero blamed the Christians for the disaster. Many people think that Nero had started the fire. One rumor stated, “He set the city of Rome on fire in order that he might see the likeness of that spectacle which Troy once presented when it was captured and burned.”[5] After all the commotion of the fire, Nero built the famous Golden House in the middle of Rome. It’s a coincidence that he built it in the middle of Rome, which is another reason why people think he willingly and knowingly started the fire, to clear up space for his dream house. The house had “special pipes that sprinkled his guests with perfume, baths supplied with medicinal waters, and a pond “like a sea.” In addition, a spherical ceiling in the banquet hall revolved day and night like the heavens.”[6]

Tiberius, like Nero was a heartless, cruel human being. He was in power from AD 14-37. He abolished foreign cults, with emphasis on Egyptians and Jews. He forced them to burn there religious vestments and all other paraphernalia. If any Jews were of military age, he made them fight in war in places in worse climate then where normal soldiers of Rome fought. Those not of military age were banished from the city or were slaves if they didn’t obey his orders.[7] Tiberius had an island called Capri where he lived for a few years. Here, he had his “pleasure island”. He had a room of all girls and perverts, who he called “Spintriae”. He turned them into sex-craving people, and would defile them three at a time to satisfy his sexual appetite.[8] No one really had a say about anything he did, because he had too much power and would kill anyone who challenged him. One of the more well-known and infamous things he did, was take baths with little boys. He called them his “little fishes”, and had them swim between his legs and bite him while bathing. Not only was this immoral and cruel on so many levels, it’s really weird. Theres no question, that he was a hererosexual.[9]

Tiberius also was cheap and stingy with money. He never paid people a salary, only gave them their “keep”. He rarely gave veteran soldiers their discharge, making them fight till they die. After his son Drusus died, he took his daughter-in-law Agrippina’s hand and...

Bibliography: Barrett, Anthony A. Caligula. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1990.
Cavendish, Richard. "Birth of the Emperor Caligula." History Today, Aug2012, Vol. 62 Issue 8, p8-8, 1p, 2012: 8.
Champlin, Edward. Nero. Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2003.
Coffin, Judith et al. "Western Civilizations Volume 1, 17th Edition ." In The Civilization of Ancient Rome, 142-173. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2011.
Sahotsky, Brian. "Adventures in Architectural Symbolism: The Use and Misuse of Rebuilding Programs in Ancient Rome." Places: Forum of Design for the Public Realm; Spring2009, Vol. 21 Issue 1, p8-13, 6p, 2009: 8-10.
Suetonius. The Lives of the Twelve Caesars. The Modern Library, Inc, 1931.
[2] Edward Champlin. Nero The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press (2003): 36.
[3] Edward Champlin. Nero The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press (2003): 178.
[4] Brian Sahotsky. “Adventures in Architectural Symbolism: The Use and Misuse of Rebuilding Programs in Ancient Rome” Forum of Design for the Public Realm (2009): 8
[5] Edward Champlin
[6] Judith Coffin. In the Civilization of Ancient Rome “Western Civilizations Volume 1 17th Edition” (2011):168.
[7] Suetonius. The Lives of the Twelve Caesars The Modern Library, Inc (1937):142.
[8] Suetonius. The Lives of the Twelve Caesars The Modern Library, Inc (1937):145.
[9] Suetonius. The Lives of the Twelve Caesars The Modern Library, Inc (1937):146.
[10] Suetonius. The Lives of the Twelve Caesars The Modern Library, Inc (1937):151.
[11] Richard Cavendish. “Birth of the emperor Caligula” History Today(2012): 8.
[12] Suetonius. The Lives of the Twelve Caesars The Modern Library, Inc (1937):179.
[13] Brian Sahotsky. “Adventures in Architectural Symbolism: The Use and Misuse of Rebuilding Programs in Ancient Rome” Forum of Design for the Public Realm (2009): 181
[14] Suetonius
[15] Suetonius. The Lives of the Twelve Caesars The Modern Library, Inc (1937):184
[16] Anthony Barrett
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • The Best of the Worst: Caligula & Nero Essay
  • Nero Essay
  • Nero Essay
  • Caligula Essay
  • Impact of Nero Essay
  • Emperor Nero Essay
  • Nero the Emperor Essay
  • Caligula Notes Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free