The one 'fact' that everyone knows about Emperor Nero is that he fiddled while Rome burned. But what elements of nature and nuture combined to make this notorious character? An entertaining view is presented by Titus Petronius, Nero's pleasure-loving Advisor on Taste, through whose eyes we see the tumultuous, and ultimately tragic, life of the emperor.But is it a view we can trust? As their relationship develops, Petronius finds to his dismay that his personal sympathies lie more with the mad emperor than with the forces that seek to keep him in check. Caught between his own beliefs and the political realities of his time, he finds himself walking a path which will lead him and others inevitably to disaster.