According to Tacitus, why was nothing done to stop the burning of Rome?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Tacitus says that there are a number of reasons why the great fire of Rome (in 64 AD) spread so much and did so much damage.  However, he says that the most common story (that Nero "fiddled" while watching the fire burn) was not true.

According to Tacitus, the fire spread because:

  • There was wind
  • There were no walls or obstructions to stop it from spreading
  • People were afraid to try to fight it
  • Gangs prevented people from trying to fight it -- he says they might have wanted to plunder things.
  • Nero was not in town when the fire started so he couldn't do anything to help.