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Nero and the Year of the Four Emperors

Nero who was 16 when he succeeded his adoptive father Claudius, who was the last of the Julio-Claudians. Able advisors guided him and this was shown by the first few years of his reign which were known as the golden age. Later on, there was growing conflicts as a wide ranging conspiracy was discovered in 65 AD and was brutally suppressed. He lost popularity with the wealthy because he confiscated property from them and he was also accused of starting the Great Fire in 64 AD. These rumors were untrue, but Nero did not help matters by buying up the land destroyed by the fire to make his Golden House, a lavish garden villa set in the heart of the capital.

The end for Nero came in 68 AD, when first Vindex in Gaul and than Galba in Spain broke out in open rebellion against him. Vindex was defeated quickly but because of this battle Nero lost support in Rome and eventually committed suicide. Galba than took over in autumn of 68 AD but was murdered in the Forum in January the following year. His murderer Otho seized power of Rome, but the Rhine legions had already declared favour for theer own commander Aulus Vitellius. In April, Otho, who had few troops, was defeated by Vitellius' forces at the First Battle of Cremona. Vitellius now took control of Rome but not for long. A rival emperor had been proclaimed in the east: Titus Flavius Vespasianus (Vespasian), commander in the Jewish War. The Danube forces fought on behalf of Vespasian and defeated Vitellius' forces at the Second Battle of Cremona in September 69 AD. In December, the Flavian forces made there way into Rome and captured Vitellius and killed him in the Forum. Vespasian now became the undisputed ruler of the Roman world, the fourth and final emperor of the eventful year 69 AD.