The Roman Emperor Nero: Background information when reading The Golden House

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The Golden House

A Novel

by Salman Rushdie

The Golden House by Salman Rushdie X
The Golden House by Salman Rushdie
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  • Published:
    Sep 2017, 400 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Matt Grant

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About this Book

Beyond the Book:
The Roman Emperor Nero

In The Golden House, readers are introduced to Nero Golden, a larger-than-life figure who claims the name of Rome's most infamous emperor for his own. As it turns out, Nero Golden's tragic life closely mirrors that of Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, who ruled the Roman Empire for just over a decade, from AD 54-68. Nero became emperor when he was just 17, and quickly dispatched all those who opposed his rise, including his own mother. After beheading his first wife for adultery, he killed his second wife by kicking her in the stomach while she was pregnant in what the Roman historian Tacitus described as a "casual outburst of rage."

A bust of Emperor Nero On June 19, A.D. 64, a fire spread across the city for nine full days. Ten of Rome's 14 districts were either fully or partially damaged in the blaze, and rumors began spreading that the emperor had intentionally started the fire to make room for his 100-acre palace, the "Domus Aurea," or "Golden House." Stories that Nero "fiddled while Rome ...

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