It was the night of July 19, 64 A.D., when the Great Fire burst through the rooftops of shops near the mass entertainment and chariot racing venue called Circus Maximus. The flames, whipped by a strong wind, rapidly engulfed densely populated areas of the city.
After burning uncontrolled for five days, 4 of the 14 Roman districts were burned to the ground, and seven more were severely damaged.
Nero: Fiddling While Rome Burned?
Nero might have been playing a kithara while Rome burned, but he wasn’t playing a fiddle. That’s because violins weren’t invented until around 1550.
Nero, probably the most infamous Roman emperor, was a great-grandson of Caesar Augustus.
When his mother’s husband (also her uncle, and Nero’s adopted father…) was murdered with poisoned mushrooms, Nero succeeded to the throne.
Like many kids in those days, he wanted to be a famous singer and a poet. His talent was poor, but as emperor, the empire doubled as captive audience.
His mother tried to control Nero, to the point of having intercourse with him. He tried to murder her by booking her on a ship that was designed to fall apart at sea. Unfortunately, his mom was a good swimmer. After she survived, he had a soldier kill her. This shocked the public, a little bit, but they got over it.
It was no secret that Nero wanted to build a series of palaces that he planned to name Neropolis.
But, the planned location was in the city. In order to build Neropolis, a third of Rome would have to be torn down. The senate rejected the idea.
Then, coincidentally, the fire cleared the real estate Neropolis required.
Despite the obvious benefit, there’s still a good probability that Nero did NOT start the fire. Up to a hundred small fires regularly broke out in Rome each day. On top of that, the fire destroyed Nero’s own palace. It also appears that Nero did everything he could to stop the fire…
Nero’s Reaction to the Fire
Accounts of the day say that when Nero heard about the fire, he rushed back from Antium to organize a relief effort, using his own money. He opened his palaces to let in the homeless, and had food supplies delivered to the survivors.
Nero also devised a new urban development plan that would make Rome less vulnerable to fire. But, although he put in place rules to insure a safer reconstruction, he also gave himself a huge tract of city property with the intention of building his new palace there.
Fake Terror Gives Poll Numbers a Bump
People knew of Nero’s plans for Neropolis, and all his efforts to help the city could not counteract the rampant rumors that he’d help start the fire.
As his poll numbers dropped, Nero’s administration realized the need to employ False Flag 101: When something–anything–bad happens to you, even if it’s accidental, point the finger at your enemy.
Luckily, there was a strange new cult of religious nuts at hand. This cult was unpopular because they refused to worship the emperor, denounced possessions, held secret meetings, and they were always talking about the destruction of Rome and the end of the world.
Even more lucky for Nero, two of the cult’s biggest leaders–Peter and Paul–were currently in town.
So, Nero spread word that the Christians had started the Great Fire. The citizens of Rome bought his lie hook, line, and sinker. Peter was crucified (upside down, at his own request) and Paul was beheaded. Hundreds of others in the young cult were fed to the lions, or smeared with tar and set on fire to become human street lamps.
Such is the fate of those unwittingly caught in a false flag operation.