On the night of July 18, 64 AD, 1949 years ago, a great fire broke out in Rome, starting form the area of the Circus Maximus. The great fire of Rome destroyed most part of the city. It was the A.D. 64 and the great fire of Nero, one of the most catastrophic fires occurred in Rome, blazed for 9 days. Rome at that time had about one million inhabitants, the victims were thousands and about 200,000 were the homeless.
Tacitus tells us about it in these words: "Sequitur clades, strong an intent principis incertum (nam utrumque auctores prodidere)" "There was a disaster, it is unknown whether due to chance or to the intent of the Prince (as the historians have interpreted the in thing 'one and the other way) "(Annales XV, 38-1).
The most of the population held Nero responsible. We don't know, what really happened that night. Nero was, in fact, miles away in the coastal villa of Antium. He had been rumored that while Rome burned, Nero sang a song from his palace on the "Fall of Troy". The Domus Aurea, Nero's majestic villa, was built in the wake of the fire.
The recent historiography tends to re-evaluate the figure of Nero. The emperor took a series of measures to stop the blaze of flames and he opened his palaces to provide shelter for the homeless. According to Tacitus, Nero targeted Christians as those responsible for the fire, in this way he tried to deflect suspicion from his person. He started a cruel and systematic persecution against Christians. In the same year (or according to other sources in AD 67) Peter was arrested and martyred in Nero's circus, in the same place where the Saint Peter's Basilica stands today.