We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
As is the case with most ancient rulers, the truth about Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus will always remain cloaked in the mists of time. The primary sources on his life were written by Suetonius and Tacitus, two Roman senators. However, these works are dubious—not only because of who wrote them but because of Nero’s potential involvement in the writing of his own history. But from what we do know, it seems that young Nero was quite the brat. He rarely made his own decisions. He played favorites. But most of all, he got his freak on: Multiple sources claim that he was involved in a love triangle between Poppaea Sabina and best friend Marcus Otho. Sure, some of these stories may be embellished or, even better, made up, but it’s up to the professional historians to decipher what’s what. Enter Steven Rutledge, associate professor of classics at the University of Maryland, who will help separate the bona fide from the bullshit on one of the most infamous men in history. The program starts at 6:30 p.m. at the S. Dillon Ripley Center, 1100 Jefferson Drive SW. $20. (202) 252-0012. (Constantine Caloudas)