March 7, AD321 The Colossus of Nero

Today in History

tumblr_ml8frcaVTI1so9sc2o1_400 The cithara or kithara (Greek: κιθάρα, kithāra, Latin: cithara) was an ancient Greek musical instrument in the lyra family of instruments

A story comes down to us from two thousand years.  A tale of Emperor Nero, playing the fiddle while Rome burned.

Far be it for me to leap to the defense of a man who ordered the murder of his own wife and mother, except in the name of historical accuracy. The viol class of musical instruments to which the fiddle belongs, didn’t come along until the 11th century. If Nero played anything it was probably a Cithara, a heavy wooden instrument with four to seven strings.

No fewer than five versions come down to us about the Great Fire of 64AD, and the Emperor’s role in it. The Roman historian Tacitus tells us that Nero sang about the fall of Troy while the city burned, but admits to…

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