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(1887) [MARC] Author: Viktor Rydberg Translator: Alfred Corning Clark With: Hans Anton Westesson Lindehn
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Full resolution (JPEG) - On this page / på denna sida - The Roman Emperors in Marble - 5. Nero

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farce would have been unbearable to those around him.
and would probably have been at last seen through even by
himself. More likely his artistship was enough developed
to enable the judges with a moderately clear conscience
to bribe themselves with his imperial dignity and make
terms with their fear of his disfavor.
After the emperor had for many years appeared as
singer and driver before large though select circles, the
whole public had in the year 64 an opportunity for the
first time to see the lord of the world on a public stage,
bowing the knee before the spectators and pleading for a
kindly judgment from men of cultivated taste. This was
in Naples, a Greek city. Naturally, all thronged to hear
him. Applause and shouts of approval reminded him of
his triumph as a boy in the Circus Maximus. To the
grumbling of the old Romans about the prostitution of
the diadem, he replied by causing a coin to be struck off
on which Nero Caesar Augustus was to be seen, in the
dress of a cithern-player.
Two years after, he undertook his art journey to Greece
—a giddy Corybantic march, and at the same time a pil-
laging expedition, reeling from triumph to triumph,
through sumptuous feasts and shameful excesses, over
roads that were strewn with gold and lifeless bodies. The
whole was planned by the plundering and murderous
Tigellinus, as one immense bacchanal, dazzling and ter-
rible. Of the insane magnificence displayed, one may get
an idea, from knowlege of the fact that Nero in every-day
life, on his customary excursions to any of the neighbor-
ing cities of Rome, took with him a small army of out-
riders, coachmen and runners, in golden embroidery, and
baggage in a thousand wagons, with scarlet-clad drivers
and horses shod with silver. The cities of Hellas were

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