Essay on Nero

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"Let Nero be ever before your eyes, swollen with the pride of a long line of Caesars… an Emperor condemned by his own people… Nero will always be regretted"
(Tacitus: The Principle of Adoption)

Throughout the ages, Nero has been viewed as a rogue and a disgrace to the Roman Empire, thanks to unreliable primary sources. Because of this, Nero is now renowned world wide as the man who hated Christians, the man who killed Jesus and the man who wanted nothing but to satisfy his own desire of personal gain. This, though was not the case. Ever since birth, Nero has been slandered, shunned and looked down upon; but now (thanks to more reliable secondary sources) we know that these allegations are untrue, and are
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Fire fighting platforms etc).

Tacitus, Suetonius and Plutarch, although major historians of their time, were not completely reliable and (now we realise) their works contained bias, mainly a result of upon the writers personal opinion and beliefs. Another cause of bias within primary text was the influence of the Roman elite hierarchy upon the contemporary writers of the time. Plutarch himself admitted this in many statements and claimed to not be a historian but a biographer. Plutarch regarded biography as a different class of writing, and his primary goal was to entertain the audience, as opposed to informing them. He did this by writing only what the reader wanted to read rather than the actual event that had taken place. This is the number one reason why much of ancient Roman sources are unreliable, and biased.
Plutarch's popularity rested upon his ability to avoid raising situations which people may find disquieting. Plutarch wrote freely and superficially, using a combination of anecdote and his own morals and ethics, to please the general audience.
Another immediate reason why bias and misinterpretation is rampant throughout the Primary Sources, is the renounment of writers not cross checking quotes and/or evidence obtained by eyewitnesses or political documentation.

Nero, even today, is renowned for allegedly setting fire to his own kingdom (for his

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