I’m pretty sure everyone knows who Nero was — he was the emperor who “fiddled while Rome burned” — although whether he actually fiddled or simply procrastinated while the great fire of Rome razed most of the city to the ground is open to dispute.
But everyone pretty much agrees that Nero was a fairly useless emperor, even though he had very good intentions.
The man that took over from Nero was Servius Sulpicius Galba Caesar Augustus – Galba, for short. He didn’t last very long at all, because he was even worse than Nero. Seven months after he became emperor, the Praetorian guard turned on him. He was assassinated in the Forum on this day in 69 A.D.
Nero and then Galba began a long string of ineffective emperors that helped the decline and fall of Rome. Eventually, when the barbarians invaded the city, the emperor of the day, Constantine, moved the centre of government to Byzantium and named it New Rome.
History has almost forgotten that the city was ever called New Rome, because it swiftly was dubbed “Constantinople” for the man who founded the eastern Roman empire, and held that name right up until the twentieth century.
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