What event did emperor Nero add to the Olympics and why?

Hardly will you lay your hand on any History past questions without coming across this notorious question: what event did emperor Nero add to the Olympics?

But before hitting the nail on the head, it’s important we take a look at the historical antecedent of Nero.

Emperor Nero is one of the famous and most influential rulers to have ever ruled the Roman Empire.

In 66 A.D. Nero embarked on a journey to Greece. Upon Nero’s formal request, the Greeks postponed the much anticipated Olympics game that year.

This was done just to make sure the emperor could also participate.

Nero’s Murderous Path to the Throne

Nero was born Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus, but took his familiar name, Nero, when his great-uncle adopted him at the age of 13.

Emperor Nero of the Roman empire

The wise emperor Claudius (Nero’s father, Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus, gave up the ghost when his crown prince was only 2).

Agrippina the Younger (Nero’s mother) had married Claudius Domitius Ahenobarbus. But that after she made the arrangements for the death of her second husband.

In fact, she was the leading force behind her son’s adoption. She arranged for Nero to wed Octavia, Claudius’ daughter in 53 A.D., sidelining further the emperor’s son, Britannicus.

Upon the sudden death of Claudius in 54 A.D — of course classical sources opined that Agrippina fed him poisonous mushrooms. The 17-year-old Nero was announced the new emperor.

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Nero Early Years as Roman Emperor

In the early years of Nero as the Roman emperor, he gained beautiful reputation for being political generous.

He was also accorded for promoting power sharing with the Senate as well as ending closed-door trials. Even though he pursued his own personal dealings too, by leaving the ruling with three key advisers.

There is Stoic philosopher Seneca, there is prefect Burrus, and the ultimate Agrippina.

He is well known for his political murders, debaucheries, persecution, and a passion for arts. In fact, it was narrated that Nero “fiddled” while Rome was on fire in 64 A.D.

Such was the extent in which he shows his love and passion for music and arts. But nonetheless, his role as an emperor during the Greek Olympics will question one if he also like sports?

Despite all of his young ruling and commanding brutality, Nero had an artistic side of him that is often lost beneath his legacy as one hell of a brutal ruler.

According to history, the infamous Emperor Nero was not a match to any athletic activity. In fact, has was so poor in every sporting events.

But yet, he used his unquestionable political power to do anything he so desired.

With his power, Nero firstly introduced a Greek Games know as Neronia where the champions of the game had to dedicate their crowns to him being their powerful Emperor.

What event did emperor Nero add to the Olympics game?

Nero’s Legacy as Emperor

Nero ascended the throne as the Emperor of Rome in 54 A.D. after the demise of his father, Claudius. And at the time, he was just 17 years old.

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According to Historians, Nero is considered as the last Roman ruler of what is known as the Julio-Claudian ruling dynasty.

Being a young ruler with pride, he was largely known for many brutality act as a ruler. In fact, it was reported that Nero murdered his first wife, allegedly his third wife, and his own mother.

What’s more, many historians also claimed that Nero was behind the fire inferno that gutted the great Rome empire in 64 A.D.

All in an attempt to restructure part of the city to his own personal taste. And of course, this cost the Roman empire a lot of money thereby causing Roman elite to pay double of their initial taxes.

That alone contributed, greatly, to the fall of the empire. Nero eventually commit suicide in 68 A.D. Findings shows that he was turned on by his own guards and the Senate.

Despite being on the verge of death, Nero was so arrogant that his parting words were “What an artist dies in me.”

What event did emperor Nero add to the Olympics and why?

Obviously, Olympic game revolve around sports and sporting activities. But emperor Nero pomposity and tyrant rule made him include some other activities into the competition.

All in an attempt to accommodate himself into the competition.
And remember, the Greece dynasty was still under the control and management of the Roman empire at that time.

These events added by Emperor Nero are one that has nothing to do with the game of Olympics.

But his love for the Greek culture is fascinating and as such, he demanded that the magnificent him, too, must participate not matter what in the Olympic games.

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Now, let’s go back to the question: what event did emperor Nero add to the Olympics then?

Though Nero was never a good singer, he added singing, poetry, and drama into the Olympics game, because of his personal gain.

Surprisingly but expectedly, Nero would participate and win gold in every event he added and participated in all because of his status as the emperor of the kingdom.

In fact, Nero participated in a chariot race and won even though he didn’t finish the race.

Nero and the Olympic Games

One of the reasons why Emperor Nero added poetry, singing, and drama into the Olympics games was has a result of his love for arts.

He equally had a keen interest in Greek culture.

He contested and won many of these games despite his unappealing skill.
As if that’s not enough, the chariot race he participated in and won a gold medal, he fell down on several occasions before he left the scene unfinished.

After his death, the great people of the Roman empire made sure to removed his name from the list of the past Olympic winners.


From the foregoing, you should be able to know what event did emperor Nero add to the Olympics and the reason why he added them.

And perhaps, the power driving Nero Claudius Caesar went on to ruled the Roman empire from 54 A.D. until he died (by committing sucide) 14 years after.

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