Virtual Library
Virtual Library Back To Virtual Library


Tacitus on the Great Fire

"Fire began in shops near the Circus. Fanned by the winds and fed by merchandise the flames engulfed the entire district. They surged up the hills consuming all in their path, gaining strength in the city's narrow, twisting roads. The cries of women, children, invalids, frantic people trying to help themselves or others, all added to the panic."
(Tacitus, Annales xv.38)

Tacitus on Nero's response to the fire:

"However well intended, his relief measures were in vain. Because a rumor had spread that while fire ravaged the city, Nero was on his private stage, singing."
(Tacitus, Annales xv.39)

Back   Next
  Close Window