Nero was often known as the “Madman of Rome” and was hands down the most notorious Roman of all time. He made the daily lives of Romans a grim affair during his reign which lasting from 54 AD to 68 AD. So what is an infamous near-dictator doing on this list? Well, when you make a list of famous people, you put in the good, the bad, and the ugly too! Nero was part ugly and all bad.
During his rule, two-thirds of Rome was burnt down, which led to a massive loss of life and property. And even though he could not stop the blitz, he did not even try to put out the fire. Instead, he saw Rome burn to the ground from his palace, singing through the entire catastrophe. Things get even uglier when the evidence points to Nero being the one who started the fire in the first place because the Roman Senate had refused to give him land to build a new palace. The first thing he did once the fire had died down was to build himself a brand new palace in the newly vacated space.