Lust and crime. The myth in art

Volume to the exposition in the museum Stadtmuseum Simeonstift Trier

It is primarily thanks to Hollywood that Nero numbers among one of the most popular figures of the ancient world. Films like “Quo Vadis” with Peter Ustinov in the role of the Emperor have shaped the image of Nero for entire generations. The collective perception of an arsonist and murderer, of a crazy, bloodthirsty, cruel, incompetent, effete, hypersexual and vicious Emperor, is a centuries-old tradition. This cultural history of bad repute began as early as a few years after his death in 68 AD and continued until very recently. The foundations were laid by historians of the classical era who were unsympathetic towards him and a Christian-dominated demonization during Late Antiquity, the Middle Ages and the early modern era. Nero was stylised as an antichrist prototype. It is only in recent decades that historical sources regarding Nero have been critically examined and the biased sources and reports challenged. The tendentiously negative, obsequious journalism weakens a source-critical appraisal of the testimonials regarding his reign, his crimes but also those regarding his merits.

The exhibition follows the traditions of the Nero image from the Middle Ages to present day and shows, with the help of works of applied art, opera, literature, films and caricatures, his “career” in art and popular culture.

  • 71 pages, Hardback
  • numerous illustrations

Preis: 9,80 Euro