Nero is back. 2000 years after he was the delight of the Roman plebs, but reviled as the Beast 666 by the Christians and as a mere performer by the Roman nobility, the singing emperor has been rehabilitated thanks to a 2021 exhibition in the British Museum “Nero The Man behind the Myth” which has been debated at length in publications ranging from the Times of London, the New York Times, the New Yorker and the Wall Street Journal. The consensus view is best expressed in the title of the Forbes magazine article: “Was Nero a Hero?” Humphry Knipe serves up the Nero saga in novel format with the period’s obsession with astrology as its theme.
Nero and his contemporaries used horoscopes not as entertainment but as a serious guide to the future. When the exact date and time of Nero’s death was leaked by his enemies it demoralized his friends to the extent that even his own bodyguards were convinced he was doomed. All this told to us by the ex-slave destined to help his master finish his last performance on cue. “Fans of astrology will delight in this compelling narrative, as will the lover of historical novels” – James Herschel Holden A History of Horoscopic Astrology