a list of roman emperors

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list of roman emperors

A list of roman emperors follows. I add a few comments and notes here and there when I have time.

Year

Emperors

 

16th Jan 27B.C - 19th Aug 14 A.D.

 

Pax Romana Begins

Augustus.

Formerly known as

(fka) GAIUS OCTAVIANUS

(aka) IMPERATOR CAESAR DIVI FILIVS AVGVSTVS

Octavian, later known as Augustus.

The month of August is named after him.

The first and perhaps greatest of all the emperors. A worthy heir and successor of his uncle JC. Lacked the military genius but made up for it with Political genius. The godfather of modern europe.

14A.D

Tiberius

TIBERIUS CAESAR AUGUSTUS

Loved to spend time at his villa on the island of Capri. His fear of getting done in turned him wacky and got him done in.

37

Gaius(Caligula)

GAIUS CAESAR AUGUSTUS GERMANICUS

 

Went wacko. Named Caligula because of the common soldiers' shoes he used to wear as a boy (Caligae).

41

Claudius

TIBERIUS CLAUDIUS CAESAR AUGUSTUS GERMANICUS

Stuttered and initially thought to be a fool. Proved to be good at his job. Liked women. Took Britannia. Poisoned with a plate of mushrooms by his wife - Nero's mother.

54

Nero

NERO CLAUDIUS CAESAR AUGUSTUS GERMANICUS

 

Julio-Claudian Dynasty ends.

His fame precedes him. Wanted to be an artist and a chariot racer. It appears his first years as Emperor were amongst the most illuminated thanks to his tutor Seneca. Got manipulated by his mother and wives. Eventually married a eunuch and killed himself.

68-69

Galba

Year of the four Caesars

69

Otho and Vitellius

Year of the four Caesars

69

Vespasian

IMPERATOR VESPASIANUS CAESAR AUGUSTUS

Flavian Dynasty begins.

A soldier. Practical, pragmatic and tight with his money. Inventor of taxes on public latrines (Vespasians) and builder of the Colosseum. "Pecus non olet" (money doesn't smell).

Good, dry, sense of humour. His dying words were "I think I'm about to become a god"

79

Titus

Good emperor according to the Romans. Took Jerusalem with great bloodshed. Died young whilst helping his citizens diseased of plague.

81

Domitian

Flavian Dynasty ends.

Envious of his brother Emperor Titus. Persecuted the Christians.

96

Nerva

First of the "Five Good Emperors"

A Senator. Didn't last long but set a very good trend going. Builder of a new forum.

97

Trajan

See his column for his deeds. It stands in his forum, just where his great Latin & Greek public library was.

Pushes the empire to its greatest extension.

117

Hadrian

Travelled the empire and consolidated Trajan's wins (see Hadrian's wall). Great architect & philosopher.

Re-built the Pantheon as we know it.

138

Antoninus Pius

Temple stands in the Forum with him and wify ascending to the heavens on an eagle. See his column - similar to Trajan's yet different: art was changing register from Classical Greece to Christian Symbolism.

161-180

 

Pax Romana Ends

Marcus Aurelius

(co-ruled with brother Lucius Verus 161-169) 

Last of the "Five Good Emperors"

Groovy statue stands in the middle of the Capitoline Hill. Beard symbolises him to be a philosopher and thinker. Probably hides a nasty scar under his cheek too (bad shavers in those days).

176-192

Commodus

Bit of a good for nothing who had illusions of being Hercules reincarnate. Enjoyed the Gladiatorial shows no end.

193

Pertinax

Things start to get a little rocky from here on. The economy starts to rattle: As conquests stop the influx of wealth and cheap labour come to a halt, the military get wrestless and involved in politics…..

193 Diadumenian Didn't last long did he?

193-211

Septimius Severus

 

198-217

Caracalla

Good thermal baths to be visited on the south side of ancient Rome.

217

Macrinus

 

218

Elagabalus

The pits. Debauched lover of excess and orgies. Lover of peace with a wacky idea of assembling all deities under a single sun god. Got murdered by his Praetorian guards in a toilet and thrown into the sewers (which got blocked). Got pulled out again and hung rotting in public display. His meddling mother got a similar treatment.

I don't think they liked him.

222

Alexander Severus

 

235

Maximinus Thrax

 

238

Gordian I, II, III

 

244

Philip and others

 

249

Decius and others

 

253

Gallienus and others

 

268

Claudius II

 

269

Aurelian and others

Extended and fortified the walls around Rome. They still stand even if the barbarians inevitably got in (it took them a couple hundred years though). Bravo Aurelian.

275

Tacitus

 
276 Florianus  

276

Probus

 

282

Carus

 

283

Carinus and Numerian

 

*

*

 

284-305

Diocletian

Pretty good at his job and very pragmatic (although he too had a good bash at the Christians).

Realised the Empire was too big and too expensive to run. Also saw the need to put an end to the continuous military coups.

Split the empire into West and East, each with its own Emperor and vice emperor (Caesar). Set a fixed mandate and stuck to it. He retired to tend to his vegetable garden.

286-305

Maximian

 

293-296

Constantius Chlorus

Called Chlorus because of his white skin. Married a humble concubine who converted to Christianity. Fathered Constantine aka Constantine the Great.

293-311

Galerius

 

305-307

Flavius Severus

 

308-324

Licinus

 

306-337

Constantine I

A "dude" worth learning about. Named Augustus at York, marched on Rome, beat his co-regent Maxentius and took absolute power.

Took some severely good and forward looking decisions which ensured the survival of at least part of the empire through to the renaissance (the Eastern half). Created a new capital for the Eastern part of the Empire on the Bosphorus (now Istanbul). Authorised the Christian religion as equal to all others. Baptised a Christian on his death bed.

See Constantine's triumphal arch by the Colosseum.

337-340

Constantine II

 

337-350

Constans

 

337-361

Constantius II

 

361-363

Julian

 

363-364

Jovian

 

364-375

Valentinian

 

364-375

Valens

 

367-383

Gratian

 

375-393

Valentinian II

 

379-395

Theodosius I

 

385-388

Maximus

 

392-394

Eugenius

 

395-423

Honorius

His inferiority complex got the better of him so he killed his best general Stilico. Wonderful strategy which ensured that Alaric's barbarians finally managed to sack Rome.

425-455

Valentinian III

 

457-474

Leo I

 

475-476

Romulus Augustulus

Regarded last Emperor of Rome. Actually last Emperor of the Roman Empire of the West

A boy. Got deposed.

 

Emperors of the Roman Empire actually reside in Constantinople - New Rome - Capital of the Roman Empire of the East.

Last Emperor of the Roman Empire of the East is deposed in the 15th Century - The Renaissance.

 To see what what happened around their times and what they were involved in have a look at our Rome Timeline.

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Leaders and Caesars of Ancient Rome in chronological order: | ancient roman kings | tarquin | marius | sulla | rome julius caesar | augustus |The 12 Caesars | Emperor Tiberiuscaligula | Emperor Claudius | Emperor Nero | Emperor Vespasian | Hadrian | Roman Emperor Trajan | Rome's Five Good Emperors | Emperor Constantine | Emperor Justinian | Other emperors of Ancient Rome |

You might also have a look at what it was to be emperor or "imperator". A list of roman emperors.  A general look at famous romans such as scaevola "the left handed".

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"roman emperors" was written by Giovanni Milani-Santarpia for www.mariamilani.com - Rome apartments