|History, Facts and Information |
The list contains the names, dynasties and historic eras of all the Roman Emperors. The list is definitive and includes all of the usurpers. The following details outline important dates and events which help when searching the list of Roman Emperors:
- The period of the Roman Republic lasted 509 BC – 27 BC, ending with death of Julius Caesar, the Dictator
- The first Roman Emperor was Augustus Caesar and his marked the beginning of the Roman Empire from 27 BC - AD 476
- In 285 the Roman Empire was split in half by Diocletian - The Western Roman Empire and the other half became known as the Eastern Roman Empire or the Byzantine Empire
- The Western Roman Empire ended officially with the abdication of Romulus Augustus on 4 September 476. Historically, his reign has been used to mark the fall of Rome and the onset of the Dark Ages and this is where the List of Roman Emperors ends
Julian-Claudian Dynasty - 27 BC to AD 68
The Julian-Claudian Dynasty 27 BC to AD 68. This dynasty is known as the Julio-Claudians because its Emperors belonged to the patrician families called the Julii and the Claudii. Some of the most famous of all of the emperors belonged to this dynasty including the first Roman Emperor, Augustus Caesar who was followed by Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius and Nero.
The Year of the Four Emperors 68 - 69 AD
The Year of the Four Emperors 68 - 69 AD and the beginning of the Flavian Dynasty. Following the suicide of Nero there was a brief period of civil war in Rome which resulted in the Year of the Four Emperors which saw the successive rise and fall of Galba, Otho and Vitellius until the final accession of Vespasian who became the first ruler of the Flavian Dynasty.
Flavian Dynasty 69AD - 96AD
The Flavian Dynasty 69AD - 96AD. Vespasian who became the first ruler of the Flavian Dynasty followed by Titus and Domitian. Vespasian and his son Titus built the Roman Colosseum.
Five Good Emperors & Nervan / Antonine Dynasty (96–192)
The Five Good Emperors and the Nervan / Antonine Dynasty (96–192). The Five Good Emperors were Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius. The Five Good Emperors were so named by the political philosopher, Niccolo Machiavelli who gave them this name in 1503 due to their good government and the respect given to them by the people of Rome. The Nervan and Antonine dynasty consisted of the "Five Good Emperors" (Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, and Marcus Aurelius) together with Lucius Verus, who ruled jointly with Marcus Aurelius, and Commodus the son of Marcus Aurelius.
Year of the Five Emperors (192 - 193)
The Year of the Five Emperors (192 - 193). Following the murder of Commodus Rome saw a year of turmoil and chaos in Rome. Pertinax becomes emperor but is murdered by angry soldiers. The empire is then sold to Didius Julianus who is soon ousted and Pescennius Niger is proclaimed emperor in Syria. Septimius Severus then marches on Rome and disarms the Praetorian Guard which resulted in Claudius Albinus being recognized as Caesar. He loses the power struggle with Septimius Severus who is proclaimed Emperor and begins the Severan Dynasty.
Severan Dynasty - (193 - 235)
The Severan dynasty (193 - 235). Septimius Severus began the Severan Dynasty which included Septimius Severus, Caracalla, Geta, Macrinus, Diadumenian (son of Macrinus), Elagabalus and Alexander Severus. The Severan Dynasty marked the end of Pax Romana (Roman peace) and ended the practice of choosing heirs based on ability rather than lineage or civil war.
Crisis of the Third Century (235 - 284)
The Crisis of the Third Century was the period in Roman history following the death of Alexander Severus when Rome entered into the era of Military Anarchy commonly known as the Crisis of the Third Century. During the Crisis of the Third Century not one single Emperor died of natural causes. Revolts sprung up in virtually all of the provinces and ambitious men struggled for power. During the crisis there were civil wars, street fights between the citizens of Rome and soldiers of the imperial guard, fierce foreign enemies, plagues, famines, fire and earthquakes.
Year of the Six Emperors (238)
The Year of the Six Emperors (238) and the start of the Barracks Emperors. There were six emperors in 238 AD and each of them were officially recognized by the Roman Senate. Their names were Maximinus Thrax, Gordian I, Gordian II, Balbinus, Pupienus and Gordian III. By the end of the Year of the Six Emperors five had died a violent and bloody death leaving the 13 year old Gordian III as the sole Roman Emperor.
Barracks Emperors (238 - 268)
The "Barracks Emperors" (238 - 268) who were all military generals who seized power by force. Taxation was high, the economy was failing and Roman territories were being captured by barbarians and the Roman government was unstable. The people of Rome were in despair. The decline of Rome seemed almost inevitable. During this uncertain era and violent environment the promise of an afterlife seemed to be the only thing to hope for. And people started to turn towards a new religion, Christianity.
Gallic Emperors (260 - 273)
The Gallic Emperors (260 - 273). The Gallic Empire is the name given to the independent realm that existed for a brief period during the Crisis of the Third Century. The Gallic Empire consisted of the breakaway Roman provinces of Germany, Gaul, Britannia, Spain and Portugal. Finally the emperor Aurelian sought to reunite all the empire and marched against the Gallic empire. Aurelian fought against the last of the Gallic emperors. He was victorious and Tetricus and his son surrendered and the Gallic territories were restored to the empire.
Illyrian Emperors (268 - 285)
The Illyrian Emperors (268 - 285). The "Illyrian emperors" is the name given to the Roman emperors who governed the Roman Empire between 268 and 282. Illyria was a region in the western part of today's Balkan Peninsula. The people for Illyria were renown for their military prowess and they became an important source of manpower for the Roman army. Because of their military strength many of the emperors from this period came from Illyria.
Roman Empire split Western and Eastern Roman Empire in 285AD
In 285 the Roman Empire was split in half by Diocletian - The Western Roman Empire and the other half became known as the Eastern Roman Empire or the Byzantine Empire
Constantinian dynasty (285 - 364)
The Constantinian dynasty (285 - 364) is named after its most famous Emperor, Constantine I. The dynasty is also called Neo-Flavian because every Constantinian emperor bore the name Flavius, similarly to the rulers of the first Flavian dynasty in the 1st century. The Constantinian dynasty ruled from the rise of Diocletian in 285 to the death of Julian the Apostate in 364.
Valentinian dynasty (364 - 394)
The Valentinian dynasty (364 - 394) derives its name from the first of the dynasty's Emperors - Valentinian I. Orthodox Christianity became the officially tolerated variant of the faith and the Empire became irrevocably split into two halves.
Western Empire (394 - 476)
The Western Empire (394 - 476) The Western Roman Empire ended officially with the abdication of Romulus Augustus on 4 September 476. Historically, his reign has been used to mark the fall of Rome, the Decline or Fall of the Roman Empire and the onset of the Dark Ages. During this period the city of Rome was sacked by the Visigoths in 410 and by the Vandals in 455 signalling the disintegration of Roman authority and the Fall of the Roman Empire. This is where the List of Roman Emperors ends.
Eastern Empire (Byzantine)
The Empire was to live on in the east for many centuries although it was significantly reduced in size. It became an essentially regional power which was centered on Greece and Anatolia. This medieval stage of the Roman Empire is referred to as the Byzantine Empire.