The day the Great Fire of Rome started – level 2

19-07-64 AD

A big fire happened in Rome in 64 AD. The fire began in the shops, on the night of July 19. The fire spread very quickly between the wooden buildings in the dry and windy weather.

After six days, the fire was brought under control, but then it started again and continued for three more days. 70 percent of Rome was destroyed in the fire.

Nero was the emperor of Rome, and he was very unpopular at that time. People started to think that Nero started the fire on purpose because he needed space for his new palace.

Nero needed to find somebody to blame quickly so that people wouldn’t be angry at him. He blamed a new religious group, the Christians, for starting the fire.

Difficult words: spread (to cover more and more area), on purpose (because you wanted to do it), blame (to say who is responsible for something bad), religious (connected to religion), Christian (a person who believes in the ideas of Jesus Christ).

What was the general opinion of Nero before the fire broke out?


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