“Nero fiddled while Rome burned”
History shows that Nero was probably not in Rome when it burned and the saying was probably used more as a metaphor, but the fact remains that the city burned to the ground and he blamed the Christians for the fire. The rumor was that Nero started the fire in order to build his palace the Domus Aurea in place of the burned buildings. In order to clear his name, he blamed the Christians and had them confess under torture to the crime. The painting “The Torches of Nero” by Henryk Siemiradzki illustrates some of the punishments taken out on what was considered to be a new cult called Christianity. Nero used these Christians as human torches to illuminate his gardens. This false flag is included to illustrate that the practice of something being destroyed and blaming someone else is not a new idea.
Tacitus (c. AD 56-117), the Roman historian wrote this about Nero in Annals:
“And so, to get rid of this rumor, Nero set up [i.e., falsely accused] as the culprits and punished with the utmost refinement of cruelty a class hated for their abominations, who are commonly called Christians. Christus, from whom their name is derived, was executed at the hands of the procurator Pontius Pilate in the reign of Tiberius. Checked for a moment, this pernicious superstition again broke out, not only in Judea, the source of the evil, but even in Rome…. Accordingly, arrest was first made of those who confessed [to being Christians]; then, on their evidence, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much on the charge of arson as because of [their] hatred for the human race. Besides being put to death they were made to serve as objects of amusement; they were clothed in the hides of beasts and torn to death by dogs; others were crucified, others set on fire to serve to illuminate the night when daylight failed. Nero had thrown open his grounds for the display, and was putting on a show in the circus, where he mingled with the people in the dress of charioteer or drove about in his chariot. All this gave rise to a feeling of pity, even towards men whose guilt merited the most exemplary punishment; for it was felt that they were being destroyed not for the public good but to gratify the cruelty of an individual.”