Fiddling While Rome Burns

Updated: Mar 2



A popular legend during the ancient era that has become a tragic reality in our modern times.


Before the Prince of Clown has taken over popular culture and yes I am talking about the Joker, may it be Heath Ledger’s anarchic version or Jack Nicholson’s creakingly spine-chilling clown, an ancient Omni-being wreak havoc in olden Rome. Nero, the emperor king who malevolently destroyed Rome but if you really investigate the history, he did it ignorantly and stupidly. He’s infamous and laughable. He once joined a chariot race in the Olympics, he was thrown off by his horse (scandalously) and still “won” based from the illogical merit that he could’ve won if he was able to finish the race, it’s the birth of “participation medal”.


Rome was the crown jewel of all empires and pioneered engineering methods that are still being utilized until today. Most of all, they were truly an empire wherein they established a political system that works even with the most corrupt politician. These feats are magnanimous and they influenced the entire renaissance world at its time.


In July 64 A.D., a tremendous fire devastated Rome for almost a week. According to a well-known metaphor, Nero — Rome’s unpopular emperor at that time, “Fiddled while Rome Burned.” The expression has a dual meaning, not only did he played music while the city is being ravaged but that he is also an incompetent leader at a time the empire needs it the most. However, there’s one huge error with this expression, the fiddle did not exist during Nero’s time. There are parallels from that great, ancient incident to our modern times. History tends to always repeat itself and for as much as we preach learning from past mistakes, humanity almost never does.


There are particular de javu as an example. The Titanic, which was dubbed as “practically unsinkable”, it inspired a motion movie blockbuster and Academy-awards. You’ll think that with all of its attention it was the most tragic maritime disaster of all time, it’s not even close. Decades later, A ferry with 4,000 people in the Philippines, designed to carry 1,400 people collided with oil tanker causing huge explosions that sank both ships, 4,375 died. No one fiddles at these certain tragedy but someone is responsible.


The world does not burn on its own, it’s either an act of god or humanly driven madness.

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