Nero sets fire to Rome during his reign as emperor. He is said to have danced on Palatine Hill, as he played the lyre, as he watched Rome burn. He killed his wife, Octavia, and his Mother Agrippa. He will commit suicide in 64 CE, after being declared an enemy of the state by the Roman Senate.
Prasutagus, king of the Iceni (modern East Anglia), dies leaving a will which passes his kingdom to his two daughters and the Roman Empire. The Roman army, however, annexes the kingdom as if conquered, depriving the nobles of their herary lands and plundering the land. The king's widow, Boudica, is flogged and forced to watch their daughters publicly raped. Roman financiers, including Seneca the Younger, call in their loans.
Prasutagus, king of the Iceni (modern East Anglia), dies leaving a will which passes his kingdom to his two daughters and the Roman Empire. The Roman army however annexes the kingdom as if conquered, depriving the nobles of their herary lands and plundering the land. The king's widow, Boudica, is flogged and forced to watch their daughters publicly raped. Roman financiers, including Seneca the Younger, call in their loans.
After the death of Burrus and the disgrace of Seneca, Nero is free from their influence and becomes a megalomaniacal artist fascinated by Hellenism and the Orient. Tigellinus becomes Nero's counselor. His rule is highly abusive.
The Parthians invade Armenia and lay siege to Tigranocerta. The city is well-fortified and garrisoned by the Romans. The assault fails and king Vologases I retreats. Instead, he makes preparations to invade Syria.
Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo strengthens the fortifications on the Euphrates frontier. He builds a strong flotilla of ships equipped with catapults and a wooden bridge across the river, which allows him to establish a foothold on the Parthian shore.
Lucius Caesennius Paetus advances towards Tigranocerta, but due to lack of supplies he makes camp for the winter in the fortress at Rhandeia in northwestern Armenia.
July 19 – Great Fire of Rome: A fire begins in the merchant area of Rome and soon burns completely out of control, while Emperor Nero allegedly plays his lyre and sings, as he watches the blaze from a safe distance. There is no hard evidence to support this claim: fires were very common in Rome at the time. The fire destroys close to one-half of the city and is officially blamed on the Christians, a small but growing religious movement; Nero is accused of being the arsonist by popular rumour.
Nero proposes a new urban planning program based on the creation of buildings decorated with ornate porticos, the widening of the streets and the use of open spaces. This plan will not be applied until after his death in AD 68.
Lyon sends a large sum of money to Rome to aid in the reconstruction. However, during the winter of AD 64–65, Lyon suffers a catastrophic fire itself, and Nero reciprocates by sending money to Lyon.
After a stage performance in which he appears and shocks the senatorial class considerably, Nero engages in a series of reprisals against Seneca the Younger and Tigellinus, pro-republican senators, and anyone else he distrusts.
Nero's pregnant wife, Poppea Sabina, dies from Nero kicking her stomach or while having a miscarriage.
Gallus leads his main force down the coast from Caesarea via Antipatris to Lydda, detaching other units, by land and sea, to neutralize the rebel strongholds at Joppa, Narbata and the Tower of Aphek. With Galilee and the entire Judean coast in his hands, Gallus assumes his campaign before the winter rains render the roads impassable. He turns inland and marches on Jerusalem, taking the road via the plain at Emmaus. Gallus succeeds in conquering Beit She'arim (the "New City") on the Bezetha Hill.
November – Battle of Beth-Horon: Gallus abandons the siege of Jerusalem and chooses, for uncertain reasons, to withdraw west to winter quarters, where he is ambushed and defeated by Judean rebels. Some 5,300 Roman troops are killed, as well as all their pack animals, their artillery (which is to serve the Jews of Jerusalem during Titus's siege operations four years later), and the greatest disgrace of all, the eagle standard of Legio XII Fulminata. Gallus abandons his troops in disarray, fleeing to Syria.
Jewish leaders at Jerusalem are divided through a power struggle, and a brutal civil war erupts. The Zealots and the Sicarii execute anyone who tries to leave the city.
Siege of Jotapata: Its 40,000 Jewish inhabitants are massacred. The historian Josephus, leader of the rebels in Galilee, is captured by the Romans. Vespasian is wounded in the foot by an arrow fired from the city wall.
The Jewish fortress of Gamla in the Golan falls to the Romans, and its inhabitants are massacred.
October 13 — Peter the Apostle (Margherita Guarducci, who led the research leading to the rediscovery of Peter's reputed tomb in 1963, concluded that Peter died on that date, shortly after the Great Fire of Rome and during the festivities to mark "dies imperii" of Emperor Nero, and that Peter and other Christians were crucified in honor of the decennial of Nero's October 13, AD 54 ascension to the imperial throne.) (b. 1 BC)