Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire (2006): S01E02 – Nero


Introduction

Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire is a 2006 BBC One docudrama series, with each episode looking at a different key turning point in the history of the Roman Empire.

This docudrama focuses on the Latin western half of the Roman Empire.

Not to be confused with Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire (2008).

Outline

Nero witnesses the Great Fire of Rome from his villa in Antium and hurries back to the capital to try to control the fire and save lives. Seneca tells him to “rule like the gods” and he vows to build an inspirational city of marble and stone on the ruins. The expense threatens to bankrupt the empire and Tigellinus is sent to rob the temples, turning many in the senate against the emperor. The Pisonian conspiracy to assassinate Nero and have Gaius Calpurnius Piso proclaimed as emperor is revealed, and the conspirators, including the trusted Seneca, are executed.

Nero inaugurates the biggest arts festival in Roman history with himself at the top of the bill. In the furious throes of increasing megalomania he kicks his wife Poppea to death. A now isolated Nero leaves Rome in the hands of the Senate as he sets out on a debauched tour of the empire. With his reconstruction still incomplete as the money runs out, Tigellinus is ordered to initiate a campaign of forced suicide to dispossess the richest men in the empire. A rebellion rises up and the Senate sentences the fleeing Nero to death, his suicide bringing the Julio-Claudian dynasty to an end.

Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire Series

You can find a full index and overview of Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire here.

Production & Filming Details

  • Release Date: 28 September 2006.
  • Rating: 12.
  • Running Time: 60 minutes.
  • Country: UK.
  • Language: English.

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