Nero, b. 37 CE, d. 68 CE. Emperor of Rome and last of the Julian Caesars. Nero succeeded Claudius (the club-footed) as Emperor after his uncle’s suspicious death in 54 CE. Guided at first by his mother, Agrippina, Nero later had her assassinated. Nero’s government quelled the first of the Judaic uprisings – The Great Revolt – in 66 CE, when, according to Josephus, tensions between the Romans and Hellenic Jews boiled over into a riot over taxation. Nero dispatched Vespasian to handle the situation, which eventually led to a full-on siege of Jerusalem in the year 70 CE. Nero’s death – an almost farcical suicide that very nearly did not succeed – plunged the Roman Empire into turmoil.
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