According to legend, the Roman emperor Nero set fire to his majestic imperial capital on the night of July 19, AD 64 and fiddled while the city burned. It’s a story that has been told for more than two millennia—and it’s likely that almost none of it is true. In Rome Is Burning, distinguished Roman historian Anthony Barrett sets the record straight, providing a comprehensive and authoritative account of the Great Fire of Rome, its immediate aftermath, and its damaging longterm consequences for the Roman world. Drawing on remarkable new archaeological discoveries and sifting through all the literary evidence, he tells what is known about what actually happened—and argues that the disaster was a turning point in Roman history, one that ultimately led to the fall of Nero and the end of the dynasty that began with Julius Caesar.
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About the Author
Anthony A. Barrett is Distinguished University Professor Emeritus at the University of British Columbia and visiting professor at the University of Heidelberg. His many books include Caligula: The Abuse of Power and Livia: First Lady of Imperial Rome. He is also the coeditor of The Emperor Nero: A Guide to the Ancient Sources (Princeton).