He began the first persecution for Christians where St. Peter and St. Paul got the crown of martyrdom and apostleship. This persecution began in 64 AD and in the 10th year of his reign. Nero was the Emperor to whom St. Paul sent his petition “So Paul said, I stand at Caesar’s judgment seat, where I ought to be judged” (Acts 25-11).
Nero, the last Roman emperor (reigned 54-68) of the Julian-Claudian line, was the son of Domitius Ahenobarbus and Julia Agrippina, niece of Emperor Claudius. After the violent death of his first wife, Valeria Messalina, Emperor Claudius married Julia, adopted her son Nero and gave him in marriage his own daughter, Octavia. Nero's mother had a mind to commit any crime to put him on the throne, and to prepare him for this station she had L. Annaeus Seneca appointed his tutor, and caused the freedman Afranius Burrus, a rough but experienced soldier, to be made commander of the Praetorian guard. These men were the advisers and chief supporters of Nero on his becoming emperor, after the sudden death of Claudius. Nero was born in Antium on 15 December, A.D. 37, and was seventeen years old when he became emperor. He believed himself to be a great singer and poet. All the better dispositions of his nature had been stifled by his sensuality and moral perversity. Agrippina had expected to be a partner of her son in the government, but owing to her autocratic character, this lasted only a short time. The first years of Nero's reign, under the direction of Burrus and Seneca, the real holders of power, were auspicious in every way. A series of regulations either abrogated or lessend the hardships of direct taxation, the arbitrariness of legislation and provincial administration, so that Rome and the empire were delighted, and the first five years of Nero's government were accounted the happiest of all time, regarded by Trajan as the best of the imperial era.
The first 5 years of his reign were the most glorious times of Roman Empire (54 AD- 59 AD), while the rest of his reign was horrible where Nero became a symbol of evil during that age as he killed his brother “Britannicus”, his mother “Agrippina”, his wives “Octavia” and “Poppaea”, his counselor “Seneca” and many Romans leaders and Generals. Nero with his mates rioted by night through the city, attacking men, assaulting women, and filled the vacant positions at the imperial Court from the dregs of the city. In the civic administration extravagance was unbounded, in the court luxury unbridled. Financial deficits grew over night; the fortunes of those who had been condemned at law, of freedmen, of all pretenders by birth filled the depleted exchequer, and the coin was deliberately debased. All efforts to stem these disasters were vain, and the general misery had reached its highest, when in A.D. 64 occurred the terrible conflagration which burnt entirely three, and partly seven, of the fourteen districts into which Rome was divided. The older authors, Tacitus and Suetonius, say clearly, and the testimony of all later Christian writers, that Nero himself gave the order to set the capital on fire, and that the people at large believed this report. Nero was in Antium when he heard that Rome was in flames, he hastened thither, and is said to have ascended the tower of Maecenas, and looking upon the sea of flame in which Rome lay engulfed, to have sung on his lyre the song of the ruin of Ilium. In place of the old city with its narrow and crooked streets, Nero planned a new residential city, to be called Neronia. For six days the fire ravaged the closely built quarters, and many thousands perished in the flames; countless great works of art were lost in the ruins. Informers, bribed for the purpose, declared that the Christians had set Rome on fire. Their doctrine of the nothingness of earthly joys in comparison with the delights of immortal souls in heaven was an enduring reproof to the dissolute emperor. There began a fierce persecution throughout the empire, and through robbery and confiscation the Christians were forced to pay in great part for the building of the new Rome. In this persecution Saints Peter and Paul were martyred in Rome in A.D. 67.
Finally the emperor started on a pleasure tour through lower Italy and Greece; as actor, singer, and harp player he gained the scorn of the world; he heaped upon his triumphal chariots the victorcrowns of the great Grecian games, and so dishonored the dignity of Rome that Tacitus through respect for the mighty ancestors of the Caesar would not once mention his name. Outbreaks in the provinces and in Rome itself now presaged the approaching overthrow of the Neronian tyranny. Julius Vindex, Proconsul of Gallia Lugdunensis, with the intent of giving Gaul an independent and worthy government, raised the banner of revolt, and sought an alliance with the Proconsuls of Spain and the Rhine Provinces. Sulpicius Galba, Proconsul of Hispania Tarraconensis, who was ready for the change, agreed to the plans presented to him, declared his fealty to Nero ended, and was proclaimed emperor by his own army. L. Verginius Rufus, Proconsul of Upper Germany, was offered the principate by his troops, and let them against the usurper Vindex. In a battle at Vesontio (Besancon) Vindex was defeated, and fell by his own sword. In Rome the praetorians dazzled by the exploits of Galba deserted Nero, the Senate declared him the enemy of his country, and sentenced him to the death of a common murderer. Outlawed and forsaken, he committed suicide in the house of one of his freedmen, June, A.D. 68. At once and everywhere Sulpicius Galba was accepted as emperor. The sudden disappearance of Nero, whose enemies had spread the report that he had fled to the East, gave rise to the later legend that he was still living, and would return to sit again upon the imperial throne.