In July AD 64 a fire, which lasts for six days, destroys almost all of Rome. Many of the senators think it would be impossible to rebuild the city, and suggest that the capital should be ... See full summary »

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Senator Natalis
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Senator Scaevinus
David de Keyser ...
Cluvius
Hugh Dickinson ...
Alex Lowe ...
Milichus
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Stewart Permutt ...
Fop
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Rufus
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In July AD 64 a fire, which lasts for six days, destroys almost all of Rome. Many of the senators think it would be impossible to rebuild the city, and suggest that the capital should be moved to Naples or Capua. Nero is irresolute and asks his mentor, the philosopher Seneca, about his advice. Seneca says that in a crisis great emperors rule as gods rule, and if Nero does that he can become a god himself. Nero decides to rebuild Rome and at the same time make the city more magnificent than ever before. He has a great vision of a city characterized by art and beauty, but the costs of such a project are enormous. Tigellinus, head of Rome's security force, advises Nero to robe the temples. For most Romans this is a shocking sacrilege, and when Nero starts it he gets into a collision course with the senate. In April AD 65 a group of senators plan to murder Nero, but a slave reveals the conspiracy, and all of them are killed. In one move all political opposition are wiped out, and Nero ... Written by Maths Jesperson {maths.jesperson1@comhem.se}

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Drama | History

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21 September 2006 (UK)  »

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Quotes

[after killing Poppea]
Nero: What have I done?
Ofonius Tigelinus: Nothing.
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User Reviews

 
Realistic, almost a documentary, and so sad.
21 October 2015 | by (whakamaru) – See all my reviews

In the common view, all we know of Nero is that he fiddled while Rome burned. This stunning episode in the series tells a different story, that it was Nero that rebuilt Rome after a horrendous fire.

There is a voice-over that fills in some of the details, but we can follow what is happening as Michael Sheen portrays Nero, at first in full control and so imaginative and far-seeing. Then later, the descent into "madder than a meat-axe". James Wilby is Tigellinus, the chief of security, and does a fine job.

Catherine McCormack is the unfortunate wife, Poppaea. Wonderfully costumed and groomed and almost unrecognisable.

The story is told clearly as the rebuilding bankrupts the Emperor and he goes to extraordinary lengths to get more money and so upsets the Senators that they eventually decide to change their Emperor. There are gruesome events.

Superbly produced, directed and acted, so it's almost a 10.


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