The day the Great Fire of Rome started – level 3

19-07-64 AD

The Great Fire of Rome was a fire that occurred 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 before the damage could be assessed, the fire reignited and burned for another three days. Two-thirds of Rome was destroyed in the fire.

Nero, the emperor, took a significant part in helping people after the fire. However, he was very unpopular at that time, and rumors began to spread through the city that he had set the city on fire on purpose to get space for his new palace.

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

Difficult words: occur (to happen), assess (to calculate the damage), reignite (to start burning again), rumor (information passed from one person to another which may not be true), set on fire (to start a fire).

What kind of actions did Nero take to help the people of Rome after the Great Fire?


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