Emperors and their eccentricities!

Many rulers attained fame for their chivalry, empire and shrewd tactics. And there were others who became popular for their weird habits, odd choices and strange reactions to situations.

Emperor Nero playing the lyre
llustration: © Rama Ramesh

Wildly artistic

It is not known for sure if Emperor Nero was actually playing the lyre when Rome burnt, but several instances show that the Roman ruler had more than his fair share of peculiarities. He was proud of his artistic talents, which is perfectly fine except that he made his Senators sit for hours together listening to his dramatic performances and poetry recitations. Old men pretended to die so that they would be carried out of the theatre during his lengthy poetry recitals! Pregnant women had it worse — they had to give birth in the aisles itself! It is said that Nero once did not stop singing even when an earthquake shook the theatre… such dedication. His last words, not surprisingly, were, “What an artist dies in me!”

Check out some more eccentric emperors by subscribing to the print magazine or the digital edition.

Rama Ramesh
Latest posts by Rama Ramesh (see all)

Rama Ramesh

Rama Ramesh is a creative writer who has written stories and features for children’s magazines and has co-authored a series of nanotechnology books for kids.