THE REMORSE OF NERO


Nero had his mother assassinated in 59 CE. Surviving accounts as to why Nero murdered his mother contradict themselves and border on the fantastic. Ancient and modern sources, however, agree that Julia Agrippina (aka Agrippina the Younger) was ambitious, violent, and domineering. No wonder years before she died, when she visited astrologers, they predicted that her son would become emperor and kill her. Her alleged reply confirms assessments that she was ambitious: “Let him kill me, provided he becomes emperor.”

Given Agrippina’s death the previous year, Miriam was startled when, in THE DEADLIEST FEVER, she thought she saw her: “A house slave answered the door. Looking so much like Agrippina the Younger that I had to suppress a gasp, she led us across the sleek onyx floor of a marbled atrium lightly redolent of lilies.”

During the remainder of Nero’s reign, his mother’s death burdened his conscience. He felt so guilty that he would have nightmares about her. He even saw his mother’s ghost and got Persian magicians to scare her away. Let that be a lesson to wrongdoers everywhere. In THE DEADLIEST FEVER, fate selects a rabid bat to reveal the identity of one of the thieves. To watch the book trailer, click here.

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