Nero is best known for his mad self-indulgence and whimsical cruelty while emperor of Rome. He was the adopted son of the emperor Claudius
. While still in his teens, Nero succeeded Claudius; it is generally believed that Nero's mother, Agrippina, poisoned Claudius so that her son could take over the throne. (Nero later had Agrippina killed to consolidate his own power.) In 64 A.D. a great fire swept through Rome, destroying much of the city. The historian Suetonius states that Nero himself ordered the fires set, and that Nero watched the flames from a tower while singing a song about the destruction of Troy. (Other historians call these merely rumors.) True or not, this image of Nero "fiddling while Rome burned" has endured. Nero's high living angered citizens and senators alike, and in 68 A.D. he was forced to commit suicide. He was replaced by the emperor Galba.