Facts That Contradict the Perception of Famous Historic Figures & Events
Facts That Contradict the Perception of Famous Historic Figures and Events

Facts That Contradict the Perception of Famous Historic Figures and Events

Khalid Elhassan - March 3, 2021

Facts That Contradict the Perception of Famous Historic Figures and Events
Nero strumming a lyre and singing as Rome burns. The Daily Mirror

1. “Oh, What an Artist Dies In Me!

Nero spent extravagantly in pursuit of his hobbies and to satisfy his whims, until the treasury was emptied. In the meantime, he left the business of running the government to incompetent and corrupt cronies who wrecked it. By 68 AD, the Roman Empire had had enough, and numerous rebellions broke out. In Rome, the Senate officially declared Nero a public enemy, and his Praetorian Guard abandoned him. Nero toyed with impractical ideas, such as throwing himself upon the mercy of the public and begging their forgiveness. He thought that if he sang for them while playing the lyre, it would “soften their hearts”, and he would be allowed to retire to an out-of-the-way province as its governor.

Facts That Contradict the Perception of Famous Historic Figures and Events
‘Nero’s Death’, by Vasily Smirnov. Times Literary Supplement

He composed a speech and wrote a song. However, he changed his mind after it was pointed out that he would probably be torn apart by a mob as soon as he was sighted in public, before he got the chance to orate or sing. While mulling alternatives, news came that he had been declared a public enemy by the Senate, had been sentenced to be publicly beaten to death, and that soldiers were on the way to arrest him. All hope gone, Nero decided to end his life. Unable to do it himself, he had a freedman stab him, crying out before the fatal blow: “Oh, what an artist dies in me!” The perception of him molded by time.

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Where Did We Find This Stuff? Some Sources and Further Reading

British Library, The – Magna Carta, an Introduction

Burgan, Michael – Empire of the Mongols (2005)

Bushkin, Henry – Johnny Carson (2013)

Cracked – 5 Famous People Whose Entire Personality Was an Act

Daily Beast, May 23rd, 2011 – Grover Cleveland’s Sex Scandal: The Most Despicable in American Political History

Encyclopedia Britannica – Magna Carta: History, Summary, & Importance

Guardian, The, March 31st, 2011 – Dictator Lit: Saddam Hussein Tortured Metaphors, Too

Hildinger, Erik – Warriors of the Steppe: Military History of Central Asia, 500 BC to 1700 AD (1997)

Jones, Dan – The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England (2014)

Kanfer, Stefan – Tough Without a Gun: The Life and Extraordinary Afterlife of Humphrey Bogart (2012)

Las Vegas Sun, January 24th, 2005 – Carson Had Long Vegas History

Schickel, Richard – Bogie: A Celebration of the Life and Films of Humphrey Bogart (2006)

Suetonius – The Twelve Caesars

Tacitus – The Annals

Washington Post, July 3rd, 2014 – The First Celebrity First Lady: Frances Cleveland

Wikipedia – John, King of England

Wikipedia – Mongol Military Tactics and Organization

Wikipedia – Poetry of Mao Zedong

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