A big day in history: the Great Fire of Rome
Dominic Sandbrook explores what happened in Rome on 19 July AD 64
Nobody knew how the Great Fire of Rome started. Some blamed arsonists, others the strange new religious sect from the Levant. Some even pointed the finger at the emperor himself. But decades later, the historian Tacitus thought that the blaze broke out in the gigantic Circus Maximus, beneath the Palatine Hill.