A history-page opens. He was self-indulgent and tyrannical and came to power with the support of the Praetorian Guard and the Senate.

Initially, he was blessed with tutors for advice and guidance but soon he sought to rule the country independently, effectively ridding himself of retraining influences.

He would not care about anyone and anything that came in his way of ruling.

He married an aristocratic lady.

Far from governance, he was more interested in sports and entertainment.

Indeed, he was popular among lower-class citizens. Many of his countrymen offered negative assessments of his rule and personality, particularly his compulsive behaviour.

In his first speech as the ultimate ruler, he spoke about eliminating the ills of the previous regime and promised to follow an ancient model to do away with corruption.

His policies were ‘well-meant but with incompetent notions’. Nevertheless, he allowed slaves to file complaints about their treatment to the authorities.

He spent a lot of money on extravagant projects but ruined a province.

One dreadful night, he started the Great Fire, fanning to catastrophic proportions by the winds, destroying residences, mansions, public buildings and religious structures.

Amidst all this chaos, attired in stage costume, he started singing the ‘Sack of Ilium’. Historians believe that he was not motivated by a sense of justice, but by a penchant for ‘personal cruelty’.

Enormous amounts of money were spent on rebuilding the city.

As the state treasury could not afford the unexpected huge expenditure, the Government increased taxation while devaluing the currency.

He was NERO Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus and it was AD 68 when he committed suicide or as some say, he was poisoned to death.

He died at the age of sixty-eight.

His name was erased from some monuments.

He left behind a legacy of ‘ troubled times’ and the country took many years to stabilise its economy and image.

The above history-page has ‘absolutely’ nothing to do with what Pakistan’s political history has witnessed during 2018 -2022.

Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Najm us Saqib

The writer is a former Ambassador of Pakistan and author of seven books in three languages. He can be reached at najmussaqib