chapter  2
12 Pages

The new Augustus

Nero came to power in AD 54 amid general hopes and expectations; in the short term-outwardly, at least-he was not to disappoint. To distinguish this promising start from the evident deterioration of later years, many modern writers have applied to the first five years of Nero’s reign (AD 54-58) the term quinquennium Neronis: according to the fourthcentury historian, Aurelius Victor, this term had been used of Nero by Trajan (AD 98-117), although it seems likely that by it Trajan was alluding with approval to the building activities of Nero’s final five years.