When Lion Feuchtwanger began work on Der falsche Nero [The Pretender] in mid-1935 his aim was to write a historical novel which would throw light on current circumstances in Germany and offer hope and reassurance to Hitler's opponents despite their despairing realisation that the “Third Reich” was not after all going to be an overnight affair. The subject matter of the novel had been suggested to Feuchtwanger by the legend of Nero redivivus – the alleged reappearance of the Roman Emperor Nero after his death in AD 68, as recounted in a variety of sources including Tacitus, Suetonius, the Apocalypse of John, and the Fourth Book of the Sibyl. According to this legend a man claiming to b…

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Wallace, Ian. "Der falsche Nero". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 23 July 2007
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=21662, accessed 04 October 2015.]