When your mom is willing to murder for you, one would think that their reign as the Roman Emperor was fairly secure. Unfortunately for Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, or just Nero, HIS mother was willing to kill her one-and-only son to ensure she was given equal power. How does one survive such a fatal family member? Stay one step ahead and murder mom before she can murder you. It’s super fucked up I know, but that’s how Nero had to live life.
Margaret George perfectly sums up what life was like for a Roman Emperor. Big-ass houses. Raunchy-ass friends. And the constant threat of murder from you family. She portrayed Nero unlike anyone I’ve read before. Mostly I’ve heard that Nero was an incestuous asshole. Stories say he was vindictive, he lusted after his mom, and, at the end, didn’t seem to care that Rome was burning around him. But George finally makes Nero the victim. And after reading this version of Nero, I would have to agree.
First, he was nearly drowned by his lunatic uncle Caligula. Then, he learned that his mother poisoned the only father figure he had ever known. Finally, the cherry on top, that same mother drugged and seduced her son into a seriously gross night. Nero was screwed from the start. There was no hope.
If you think you have some family drama, I urge you to read about Nero. It will make you feel a lot better about your messed up family.