paul_junbearFor those that know their history, an initial impression upon seeing my arm is bafflement--why, oh why, would I tattoo an extravagant tyrant on my arm who supposedly started the Great Fire of Rome and executed his own mother?
Nero became a Roman emperor at the age of 17 and lead the empire for 13 years. He was considered corrupt, compulsive, and arrogant. But other writings and records show him in a favorable light--he cared about diplomacy, trade, and enriching cultural life. But Nero wasn't always considered evil or unjust; during his younger ears under the tutelage of the philosopher Seneca, he showed promising potential to be a great leader.
As he got older he stopped listening to his mentors and advisors; instead, he listened to his ego and fears. There is a sculpture in Barcelona (Museo Nacional de Prado) with Nero sitting like this, and Seneca on the opposite side, leaning in, surrounded by scriptures and texts, offering what looks like guidance and life wisdom. I'm getting that part tattooed on my inner arm.
It made me reflect on the times that I acted like Nero--entitled, arrogant, close-minded. What if Nero sat up and leaned in, too? What if he opened up to his teachers, conquered his grief, and sought to gain wisdom? How different would his life and legacy have been?
#stoicism #blackandgrey #tattoo #seneca #nero #romanempire #history #tbt @juncha @monarcstudios
- stevenseftonThis is awesome!
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