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The “madness” of the emperors: Nero III Posted by on Jul 3, 2012 in Roman culture

As seen before, with such ancestry thing good could happen, and Nero seemed to merge all the imbalances of his ancestors and relatives. As a result, he began acting out of himself, he ordered the killing of Britannicus, son of Claudius and successor to the throne, who had witnessed the death of his father when he was 12 years old, with the poison made by Locusta.

You must make a consideration about this: Nero, as a reward for the preparation of  the poisons, rewarded Locusta with impunity, large tracts of land and permission to have disciples in the art of the lethal liquid preparation. The poisoner failed the first time, when with her potion intended to kill the young son of Claudius. But then she achieved her goal and the ruthless death of Britannicus was compounded by the presence of the young Nero pleased and smiling, while his rival suffered a slow. Nero himself had supplied the deadly potion to his hated enemy, which his mother used continuously as an example of good-natured young man who studied as well as being unrelated to any desire for power. Nero took umbrage with the people closest to his environment, the victims were three women: first, his own mother, Julia Agrippina, after his two successive wives, Octavia and Poppaea.

The need for revenge and rebellion were present in the figure of Nero from the start: a first attempt of rebellion came to the hatred of Agrippina for Actea  (liberta), Nero never accepted this opposition given the passion he felt for the former prostitute. In this sense, gradually was germinating in his mind the idea of getting rid of Agrippina, it became an obsession when he had his second wife, Poppaea. The first attempt on the life of her mother failed after a technical failure: it was the mother’s bed, where workmen had transformed the bedroom ceiling by placing lead plates to be dropped, by operating a lever and crushing her. But the victim escaped and slightly wounded she enclosed herself in one of her villas. The failure of this attempted assassination plunged Nero in a continuous nightmare in which he had a terrifying fear, thinking that given the nature of his mother, she could kill him in revenge for his failed attempt.

However, nothing stopped the spiteful Nero. So after a few days, he returned to the idea of ​​trying to eliminate his mother. He thought about a boat rigged for his crime, in which would travel his mother, who previously had gone to festival of Minerva near Naples. Again, the device failed and although the boat broke in two, his mother, who was a great swimmer, could gain the shore of the Gulf of Baiae. Even more terrified than before this new disappointment, he ordered immediately the killing of the woman who seemed to laugh at him from an apparent immortality. It was a stalwart of the Emperor, Anicetus, who sinked his sword into the belly of Agrippina. Nero visited the naked corpse of his mother and, according to Suetonius, examined it and stroked it for a long time. Then, overcome by an apparent repentance, he hid from the eyes of all.

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