The legend of Nero playing the fiddle during the burning of Rome is refuted historically, given the fiddle did not exist in his era. However, this remains as a great metaphor for many Romans believe that Nero caused the “Great Fire of Rome” that brought the city to its knees in order to clear land for his planned palace, the Domus Aurea.

As the adopted son of Claudius, he is known for his unmatched cruelty, often having Christians dipped in oil and having them burned alive in his garden for light in the dark hours of the night. He began the First Jewish-Roman War that ultimately destroyed the Second Temple of Jerusalem. His suicide in 68 A.D. plunged the Empire into a dark period known as the “Year of the Four Emperors.”

Nero was extremely narcissistic and had his coinage struck widely throughout the Roman Empire, making copper, silver and gold coins of his reign among the most available of the “Twelve Caesars.” Even so, they are in high demand due to his infamy.