Nero Wasn't Nice
For those of you who may have read my piece on the dangers of revising American history, or any history for that matter, I wanted to offer you a real, tangible example of this at work. Smithsonian magazine, which used to be a reputable magazine (I remember eagerly waiting for the coming issue when I was a kid) recently ran a front-page story on the Roman Emperor, Nero.
In the article, the author praised Nero for his aesthetic work in Rome while conveying his atrocities, which are documented clearly and consistently by any historian worth their weight, as mere hearsay and fiction.
This is patently false. As I read it I knew right away the author’s goal was to blur the lines of history and promote Nero as a good guy, even though centuries of first-hand, second-hand, Christian, secular, and every other type of honest historical review say otherwise. Here’s what the most respected and original accounts say about Nero.
Eusebius (3rd,4th century historian) - “… a man might see cities lie full of men’s bodies [Christians], the old there lying together with the young, and the dead bodies of women cast out naked, without all reverence of that sex, in the open streets.”
Orosius (4th century historian) – “he [Nero] was the first which in Rome did raise up persecution against the Christians; and not only in Rome, but also through all the provinces thereof; thinking to abolish and to destroy the whole name of Christians in all places.”
Hierom (personal testimony of the persecutions under Nero – 1st century AD) “many there were of the Christians in those days, which, seeing the filthy abominations and intolerable cruelty of Nero, thought that he should be the antichrist.”
Abdias & Hegesippus (2nd & 3rd century historians who confirm the details of Hierom’s testimony in their writings)
Medieval Martyrologist John Foxe (author of the Acts & Monuments of the Christian Church (more commonly known as ‘Foxes’ Book of the Martyrs’) Foxe details the death of both the Apostle Paul (beheaded) and Peter (crucified upside down) under Nero in Rome, among many other saints.
18th Century British Historian, Edward Gibbon – author of the most valuable resource on the decline and fall of the Roman Empire, ‘The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.’ Gibbon echoes all of the above in his book, adding that Nero was among the fiercest and most violent rivals to Christians and Jews that Rome ever saw.
This particular story is a shadow of the larger problem of post-modern revisionist history. It cannot be ignored or labeled a "conspiracy theory" any longer. All one has to do is open their eyes, find the facts, and then compare those facts with what's being trumpeted by the media, taught in schools, and strong-armed by our universities. I, for one, don't accept the "new Nero" or any other "new" thing, especially when it's false and misleading.
- Joe D'Orsie