Nero's Orgies, Gluttony and Lust

Nero lavished himself in his own power, he used golden thread for his fishing nets, he never wore the same robe twice, he had his mules shod with silver. He was heavily into parties and practiced orgies and gluttony, and his dinners sometimes lasted twelve hours, from noon to midnight. He also murdered his 19-year-old wife so that he could marry his mistress, and then later he killed that mistress. Nero was always interested in the arts, and he was a huge admirer of all things Greek, and he deliberately wore a charioteer's hair style and wore Greek clothing which upset his people continually. Nero was far more interested in writing poetry, acting, dancing, and singing than he was in being emperor. He introduced Greek games and arts contests to the Romans, wrote poetry, played the lyre, and considered himself gifted in them all, including singing (Nero employed the famous lyre player Terpnus to give him lessons). In 64 A.D. at Neapolis Nero performed in a public theater for the first time. He liked to come there and sing for large crowds of people. The first time he appeared on a Roman stage was in 65 A.D. at the second performance of the Neronian Games. Nero was an avid performer but he also suffered from severe stage fright. He was fascinated by civil engineering and architecture. But his big mistakes were that he left his empire unattended, for example he never visited the legionary camps, and he scorned the Senate. When Nero learned of a senatorial conspiracy in 65 A.D. he had the organizers either killed or banished. Seneca, his own tutor, was among them. Whenever there was a hint of treason Nero ordered their execution or forced them to commit suicide. Nero apparently slept with beautiful young women and young boys including Britannicus, his brother. He supposedly also slept with his mother Agrippina and had many physical relationships with men older than himself, and with eunuchs. Nero, according to Dio Cassius, "fastened young boys and girls to stakes, and then, after putting on the hide of a wild beast, attacked them and satisfied his brutal lust under the appearance devouring parts of their bodies". Nero wanted to marry a freedwoman, Acte, but this would have been socially unacceptable for an emperor.

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