Nero, Emperor of Roma

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Ancient Olympic Games
Full nameNero Claudius Caeser Augustis Germanicus
Used name•Nero, Emperor of Roma
Other namesTiberius Claudius Nero Caesar
Born15 December 37 in Roma, Roma (ITA)
Died9 June 68 in Roma, Roma (ITA)
NOC Roma
Medals AG
Gold 7
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 7


Nero was an Emperor of Roma whose reign was rather notorious. Athletically he wished to become an Olympic champion, and as he was the Emperor, the Olympic rulers wished not to anger him. He also wanted to become periodonikes by winning at the four major Greek athletic festivals – Olympia, Isthmia, Pythia, and Nemea, and he wanted to do it all in one year. Thus, the 65 CE Olympics were postponed until 67 CE so he could “compete” at all four festivals in the same year.

At the 67 CE Olympics Nero was awarded seven crowns, in the chariot race; chariot race for 10 horses; chariot race for foals; competition for heralds; competition for tragedy; competition for lyre-playing; and in an unknown event. Several of the events were made expressly for him and were never held again. In one chariot race, he drove the chariot, fell out of it, and did not finish the race, but was still declared the victor.

As Emperor, Nero ruled from 54 to 68 CE. Early in his reign he was mostly guided by his mother, Agrippina; his tutor, Seneca; and his Praetorian prefect, Afranius Burrus. The Roman military had several successful campaigns under Nero, led by general Suetonius Paulinus, but Nero focused mostly on diplomacy and trade. He also made appearances as an actor, poet, musician, and charioteer, which undermined the dignity of his office in the eyes of traditional Romans.

During his time as Emperor the Great Fire of Roma occurred, during which it is rumored that Nero fiddled “while Rome burned.” In 68 CE governor of the Gaulish territory Gallia Lugdunensis, with support from Galba, governor of Hispania Tarraconensis, began a coup to overtake Nero. This failed but the civilian and military authorities chose Galba to take over as Emperor and Nero fled Roma. He was tried in absentia and condemned to death as a public enemy, after which Nero took his own life on 9 June 68.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
67 CE Ancient Olympics Ancient Combative Sports (Ancient Sports) ROM Nero, Emperor of Roma
Ancient Equestrianism (Ancient Sports) ROM Nero, Emperor of Roma
Unknown Event, Men (Ancient Olympics) 1 Gold
Chariot Race, Men (Ancient Olympics) 1 Gold
Chariot Race for 10 Horses, Men (Ancient Olympics) 1 Gold
Chariot Race for Foals, Men (Ancient Olympics) 1 Gold
Ancient Art Competitions (Ancient Sports) ROM Nero, Emperor of Roma
Competition for Heralds, Men (Ancient Olympics) 1 Gold
Competition for Tragedy, Men (Ancient Olympics) 1 Gold
Competition for Lyre-Playing, Men (Ancient Olympics) 1 Gold

Special Notes