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Roman Empire

  • July 18Great fire of Rome: A fire begins in the merchant area of Rome and soon burns completely out of control, while Emperor Nero allegedly plays his lyre and sings as he watches the blaze from a safe distance. There is no hard evidence to support this claim: fires were very common in Rome at the time. The fire destroys close to one-half of the city and it is officially blamed on the Christians, a small but growing religious movement. Nero is accused of being the arsonist by popular rumour.
  • In Rome, persecution of early Christians begins under Roman Emperor Nero. Saint Peter is among those executed.
  • Nero proposes a new urban planning program based the creation of buildings decorated with ornate porticos, the widening of the streets and the use of open spaces. This plan will not be applied until after his death.
  • Lyon sends a large sum of money to Rome to aid in the reconstruction. However, during the winter of 64–65, Lyon suffers a catastrophic fire itself, and Nero reciprocates by sending money to Lyon.
  • Phoenicia becomes part of Syria.


By topic


Arts and Science

  • Seneca proclaims the equality of all men, including slaves.



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