Nero Key Personality Traits Nero’s reign started off with compassion for his subjects. As insecurities and burdens controlled him, he made drastic new decisions. Nero has the Introverted, Sensing, Feeling, Perceptive (ISFP) personality type. Those with this personality type are often referred to as the “artisan” or the “adventurer. ” Nero is an ambitious but rather weak and restless character during his youth. Nero regrets signing his first death warrant and banned bloodshed in arenas – signs of sensitivity.
ISFPs typically dismiss and refuse to take criticism. Nero is prone to fits of rage and tantrums when circumstances are not in his favour. To handle his deep fear of judgement and refusal; Nero exploits his authority in order to gain control i. e. ordering executions. Diagnosis: Histrionic Personality Disorder Cluster A (odd) – Paranoia, Schizoid Despite Nero’s wise advisors Burrus and Seneca, he grew more unpopular as his terrorising reign continued, assassination and conspiracy attempts increased.
During the unsuccessful AD 65 senator plot, Nero responded unforgivingly. To keep his paranoia at bay, he executed all threats. Mistrust forever cloaked Nero. Cluster B (dramatic) – Antisocial, Borderline, Narcissistic Nero is a confirmed narcissist. He believes himself to be a living deity. Nero was passionate about the arts and had festivals name after himself. As he was deprived of love and attention during his childhood, Nero desired to gain applause and admiration by holding his own compulsory performances.
No one could leave until he had finished performing, which could have been days. Some feigned death to be removed. Nero held contests for all to enter, but no one dared to anger him consequently, he won every contest. Cluster C (Anxious) – Avoidant, Dependent, Obsessive-compulsive Nero has always yearned for affection from his mother, thus leading him to be easily influenced and sometimes dependent on his mother’s decision. His mother’s neglecting behaviour led Nero to despise and unable to tolerant her.
His overbearing mother and senators also easily control him. Unspecified – Depressive, passive-aggressive, sadistic, self defeating, psychopathic According to Tacitus, Nero allegedly played the lyre and sang whilst Rome burnt for six days in AD 64. He blamed Christians for this disaster. Nero’s unwarranted persecution of Christians highlights his sadistic tendencies. Nero’s response was sickening and merciless. He would crucify them or cover them with wax and burn them alive, as if they were candles.
Significant Events Which May Affect Motivations: Agrippina’s lack of affection and care for her son Nero has been the significant contribution to the onset of his disorders. Nero grew up in a torn family: his mother was exiled when he was two, his father died when he was three and was left in the care of his aunt. Shown through Nero’s unstable childhood combined with his disregarding mother, a negative impact on Nero psychologically mindset has resonated, proving to be explosive bringing out his feared persona. Nero’s resentment of his mother, led him to commit matricide.
During his reign, The Great Fire of Rome secured the downfall of Nero’s reign. Despite, rebuilding Rome and caring for his people, Nero also took the fire as an opportunity to build himself a golden palace. His motives questioned, therefore he used Christians as his scapegoat to distract everyone. This event sparked the cruel loss of many innocent lives, the exact number is unsure as ancient writer Tacitus was not specific. Other Historical Perspectives: Suetonius has a mixed depiction of Nero. At the beginning, he praises Nero’s good intentions then later harshly judges his wrongdoings.
Suetonius is one of the most reliable historians as he rarely voices his opinions. Being Emperor Hadrian’s secretary, Suetonius had access to sources. In The Lives of the Twelve Caesars, Suetonius says that Nero is one who “cannot control himself in every aspect of his personality,” detailing his ill conducts (gambling, unnecessary money laundering etc. ) that would eventually lead to Nero’s demise. “He thought there was no other use of riches and money than to squander them away profusely,” strongly emphasises Suetonius’ distaste of Nero’s behaviour.
Suetonius makes reference to Nero’s emotional state as he speaks of his inability to control his volatile temper. Tacitus was the only main historical source to be born in Nero’s reign. He incorporated rumours into his perception of his emperor. Tacitus’ outlook on Nero is heavily biased. Tacitus’ belief that emperors are corrupt is factual, validated by Nero’s actions to remove political opponents to maintain power. Tacitus scorned Nero and almost no mention of his good deeds. In Annals Book XV, Tacitus mentions Nero’s excessive vanity, naivete and laughs and mocks his cowardly demeanour.
Tacitus also believes that Nero persecuted the Christians for his own selfish desires and that execution methods were brutal and appalling. “Or perhaps he was always frightened, remembering his crimes,” suggests his spinelessness as he refused to confess to burning Christians. It is fair to say that Nero is certainly an interesting character. Though his actions have rooted from his complex childhood, it still does not justify his atrocities; however, we can sympathise for his lack of a healthy childhood. Hubris was a fatal flaw of Nero, clouding his judgment and leading to a death he called upon himself.