Year 16th Jan 27B.C – 19th Aug 14 A.D.
Pax Romana Begins
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.
Emperor 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.
GAIUS CAESAR AUGUSTUS GERMANICUS
Went wacko. Named Caligula because of the common soldiers’ shoes he used to wear as a boy (Caligae).
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.
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.
Year of the four Caesars
Year 68 69 A.D
Emperor Otho and Vitellius
Year of the four Caesars
Year 69 A.D
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”
Year 79 A.D
Good emperor according to the Romans. Took Jerusalem with great bloodshed. Died young whilst helping his citizens diseased of plague.
Flavian Dynasty ends.
Envious of his brother Emperor Titus. Persecuted the Christians.
First of the “Five Good Emperors”
A Senator. Didn’t last long but set a very good trend going. Builder of a new forum.
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.
Travelled the empire and consolidated Trajan’s wins (see Hadrian’s wall). Great architect & philosopher.
Re-built the Pantheon as we know it.
Emperor 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.
Pax Romana Ends
Emperor 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).
Bit of a good for nothing who had illusions of being Hercules reincarnate. Enjoyed the Gladiatorial shows no end.
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?
Emperor Septimius Severus
Good thermal baths to be visited on the south side of ancient Rome.
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.
Emperor Alexander Severus
Emperor Maximinus Thrax
Emperor Gordian I, II, III
Emperor Philip and others
Emperor Decius and others
Emperor Gallienus and others
Emperor Claudius II
Emperor 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.
Emperor Carinus and Numerian
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.
Emperor Constantius Chlorus
Called Chlorus because of his white skin. Married a humble concubine who converted to Christianity. Fathered Constantine aka Constantine the Great.
Emperor Flavius Severus
Emperor 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.
Emperor Constantine II
Emperor Constantius II
Emperor Valentinian II
Emperor Theodosius I
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.
Emperor Valentinian III
Emperor Leo I
Emperor 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.