68 - 69 AD:
The Year of the Four Emperors - Galba, Otho and Vitellius and then Vespasian who became the first ruler of the Flavian Dynasty
69AD - 96AD:
The Flavian Dynasty - Vespasian and his sons Titus and Domitian. Famous events of this period included the Destruction of Jerusalem, the Eruption of Vesuvius and the Building of the Colosseum
The Five Good Emperors and the Nervan / Antonine Dynasty - Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius. Commodus the son of Marcus Aurelius also reigned during this era. Famous events of this period included Hadrian's Wall, the Pantheon was built in Rome and plague in Rome
192 - 193 AD:
The Year of the Five Emperors, turmoil and chaos in Rome. The emperors were Pertinax, Didius Julianus, Pescennius Niger, Septimius Severus, Claudius Albinus Septimius Severus begins the Severan Dynasty. Famous events of this period included the Massacre at Alexandria
193 - 235 AD:
The Severan dynasty - Septimius Severus, Caracalla, Geta, Macrinus, Diadumenian (son of Macrinus), Elagabalus and Alexander Severus. The Severan Dynasty marked the end of Pax Romana (Roman peace)
235 - 284 AD:
The Crisis of the Third Century was the period in Roman history of Military Anarchy which lasted over 50 years. Not one single Emperor died of natural causes during this time. Famous events of this period included revolts, civil wars, street fights, fierce foreign enemies, plagues, famines, fire and earthquakes.
238 - 268 AD:
The "Barracks Emperors" were all military generals who seized power by force. Famous events of this period included many internal problems including high taxation, failing economy and Roman territories were being captured by barbarians and the Roman government was unstable. During this terrible period there were 19 usurpers, or pretenders, to the throne but this period is usually known as that of the 'Thirty Tyrants'. During this uncertain era and violent environment people started to turn towards a new religion of Christianity.
268 - 285 AD:
The Illyrian Emperors came from Illyria which was a region in the western part of today's Balkan Peninsula. During this period of the Roman Empire was the worst persecutions of the Christians
The Roman Empire was split in half by Diocletian - The Western Roman Empire and the Eastern Roman Empire aka the Byzantine Empire
285 - 364 AD:
The Constantinian dynasty - named after its most famous Emperor, Constantine the Great who instigates a policy of toleration towards the Christians. Constantinople is named the new capital of the Romans and the Roman Empire.
364 - 394 AD:
The Valentinian dynasty derives its name from the first of the dynasty's Emperors - Valentinian I. The Empire is invaded by the fierce Barbarians the Visigoths ( Western Goths) and the Vandals.
394 - 476 AD:
Theodosius I was the last emperor of both the Eastern and Western Roman Empire. After his death in 395 AD the two parts of the Roman Empire were split permanently. The Western Empire and the period of 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
4 September 476:
The Western Roman Empire ended officially with the abdication of Romulus Augustus on 4 September 476 - The Fall of the Roman Empire.