Nero, Emperor of Rome [ Claudius Caesar Drusus Germanicus ]
- Warren Anderson
- and Thomas J. Mathiesen
( b Dec 15, 37 ce; ruled 54–68 ce; d June 9, 68 ce). Roman ruler and musician . Our knowledge of his passionate concern with music comes from Tacitus (Annals, xiii–xvi), Suetonius (Nero) and Dio Cassius (lxi–lxiii). While still a boy he showed a dilettante's interest in musical performance, which had reached remarkable heights of technical perfection during this period. Immediately upon his accession, and encouraged by his tutor Seneca, he began studies with the famed kitharode Terpnus and undertook a severe regimen of dieting and purges, even wearing lead plates to strengthen his chest. So great was his commitment that six years passed before he would take part in a public musical competition. There is much testimony, moreover, to his elaborate and unfailing observance of every tiny detail of professional etiquette, carried out with the greatest apparent diffidence....