Anna Merlan

  • politics June 20, 2019

    Why Conspiracies Thrive

    In the dark of the night of July 19, AD 64, a fire broke out in the slums of Rome and, swept along by vicious winds, devastated the town, leveling several districts entirely. The fire burned for six days, died down, was reignited, and burned for three more. Hundreds of people were killed; many more were left destitute and homeless.

    In the midst of it all, the famously conniving Emperor Nero—who was away in his holiday home on a cool hillside when the fires began—was reported by the historian Tacitus to have placidly watched the city burn as he nonchalantly played his fiddle or plucked his