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HISTORIC ARTICLE

HISTORIC ARTICLE

Jul 18, 64 CE: Great Fire of Rome

Jul 18, 64 CE: Great Fire of Rome

On July 18, 64 CE, a fire started in Rome. When the fire was extinguished six days later, more than 70% of the city was in ruins.

Grades

3 - 12

Subjects

Social Studies, World History

On July 18, 64 CE, a fire started in the enormous Circus Maximus stadium in Rome, now the capital of Italy. When the fire was finally extinguished six days later, 10 of Rome’s 14 districts had burned. Ancient historians blamed Rome’s infamous emperor, Nero, for the fire. One historian said Nero was playing the fiddle while his city went up in flames. Other historians say Nero wanted to raze the city so he could build a new palace. Nero himself blamed a rebellious new cult—the Christians. Most modern historians don’t blame Nero for the Great Fire of Rome. Ancient Rome was a city of one million people. A fire in one home could quickly engulf the entire block.

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Writer
National Geographic Society
Producer
National Geographic Society
other
Last Updated

May 20, 2022

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