Emperor Nero Rome is said to have fiddled while Rome burned for six days in the year 64 AD, but most historians believe this is just a legend. This legend is thought to have originated from the fact that Nero was 35 miles (56.33 km) away playing music at his villa, even after hearing the news of the fire; however, the fiddle had not been invented at the time of the Great Fire. Some people accused Nero of setting the fire that destroyed most of Rome so he could build a bigger palace for himself, and his lack of immediate response could have been interpreted as “fiddling around” and not offering relief. It is not known conclusively what started the fire.
More about Nero:
- Emperor Nero is reported to have had both of his wives and his mother killed.
- Nero committed suicide with no heir to the throne after the Roman people revolted against him, and his death led to a civil war.
- Greece postponed the Olympic Games for a year so that Nero could compete in 66 AD. They also added musical competition in addition to the athletic events, because the emperor had a well-documented interest in singing and acting.