This exhibition has finished.
Nero is known as one of Rome's most infamous rulers, notorious for his cruelty, debauchery and madness.
This exhibition explores the true story of Rome's fifth emperor informed by new research and archaeological evidence from the time, challenging the biased historical accounts written after Nero’s death that have shaped his legacy.
The last male descendant of the emperor Augustus, Nero succeeded to the throne in AD 54 aged just 16 and died a violent death at 30. His turbulent reign saw momentous events including the Great Fire of Rome, Boudicca’s rebellion in Britain, the execution of his own mother and first wife, grand projects and extravagant excesses.
Drawing on the latest research, this major exhibition questions the traditional narrative of the ruthless tyrant and eccentric performer, revealing a different Nero, a populist leader at a time of great change in Roman society.
Through some 200 spectacular objects, from the imperial palace in Rome to the streets of Pompeii, you can follow the young emperor’s rise and fall and make up your own minds about Nero. Was he a young, inexperienced ruler trying his best in a divided society, or the merciless, matricidal megalomaniac history has painted him to be?
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