Wivenhoe Bookshop Magazine & Newsletter | Sunday 28 May 2023

Meet the Authors with Anthony Everitt and Roddy Ashworth

Event Details

One-off event
Date: 27/01/2023 | Venue: Wivenhoe Bookshop
Time: 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

‘NERO – Matricide, Music and Murder in Imperial Rome’ with Anthony Everitt and Roddy Ashworth

7pm Friday 27th January

Wivenhoe Bookshop

Admission is free and includes complimentary glass of wine. And if you would like to order a copy of ‘Nero’ now this is available at a specially discounted pre-launch price.

About Nero

Everitt and Ashworth’s book is a striking, nuanced biography of Nero—the controversial populist ruler and last of the Caesars—and a vivid portrait of ancient Rome.

There are many infamous stories about the Roman emperor Nero: He set fire to Rome and thrummed his lyre as it burned. Cruel, vain, and incompetent, he then cleared the charred ruins and built a vast palace. He committed incest with his mother, who had schemed and killed to place him on the throne, and later murdered her. Nero has long been the very image of a bad ruler, a legacy left behind by the historians of his day who despised him. But there is a mystery. For a long time after his death, anonymous hands laid flowers on his grave. The monster was loved. In this nuanced biography, Anthony Everitt, the celebrated biographer of classical Greece and Rome, and investigative journalist Roddy Ashworth reveal the contradictions inherent in Nero and offer a reappraisal of his life. Contrary to popular memory, the empire was well managed during his reign. He presided over diplomatic triumphs and Rome’s epic conquest of Britain and British queen Boudica’s doomed revolt against Nero’s legions. He was also a champion of arts and culture who loved music, and he won the loyalty of the lower classes with fantastic spectacles. He did not set fire to Rome. In Nero, ancient Rome comes to life: the crowded streets that made it prone to fires, deadly political intrigues, and building projects that continuously remade the city. In this teeming and politically unstable world, Nero was vulnerable to fierce reproach from the nobility and relatives who would gladly usurp him, and he was often too ready to murder rivals. He had a vision for Rome, but, racked by insecurity, perhaps he never really had the stomach to govern it. This is the bloodstained story of one of Rome’s most notorious emperors. Nero has become a byword for cruelty, decadence, and despotism, but in Anthony Everitt’s hands, Nero’s life is a cautionary tale about the mettle it takes to rule.

About the Authors

Anthony Everitt, a former visiting professor in the visual and performing arts at Nottingham Trent University, has written extensively on European and classical culture. He is the author of CiceroAugustusAlexander the GreatHadrian and the Triumph of RomeThe Rise of Rome, and The Rise of Athens. He has served as secretary general of the Arts Council of Great Britain and lives near Colchester, England’s first recorded town, founded by the Romans.

Roddy Ashworth is an award-winning investigative journalist, former national news editor, and visiting lecturer in media ethics at City University, London.

Praise for Nero

“This exciting and provocative book grabs the reader while supporting its arguments with careful classical scholarship.”—Barry Strauss, author of The War That Made the Roman Empire


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