The Roman Emperors

The Roman Emperors

THE ROMAN EMPERORS The good, the bad and the crazy CAESAR AUGUSTUS

Julius Caesars 18 year old nephew named Octavian Formed a second triumvirate with Mark Antony and Marcus Lepidus They defeated Brutus and Cassius Alliance broke apart and Octavian would become Romes first emperor He will be given the title Augustus or highest one AUGUSTUS REIGN (31 BCE- 14 CE)

Absolute power in Roman emperor Always tried to avoid appearing like he had too much power Did not flaunt his authority Preferred to be called princeps or first citizen AUGUSTUS ACHIEVEMENTS

Defense: established the Praetorian Guard (nine cohorts of 500 men who acted bodyguards for the emperor and his family) New administrative system for the large expanding

empire (Senate controlled settled provinces, Emperor new frontier provinces) Continued granting citizenship to people in the provinces Introduced a more uniform tax system to promote equal and fair treatment of the provinces Established a civil service to enhance the workings of government Encouraged religion, using to encourage the simple life and to strengthen morality which he felt was slipping Beautified Rome found it in brick and left it in marble TIBERIUS (14 CE 37 CE)

Stepson of Augustus Designated Augustus successor when others died

Morose and suspicious Unpopular because he spent little money on public games Good administrator and economist Became old and senile Smothered to death GAIUS CALIGULA (little boots)

Unbalanced nephew of Tiberius Also unpopular Megalomaniac Tried to make his horse a senator Murdered by a member of the Praetorian Guard CLAUDIUS (41 CE 54 CE)

Uncle of Caligula Ungainly, doltish appearance An excellent organizer Expanded the bureaucracy Served poisoned mushrooms by his fourth wife NERO (54 CE 68 CE)

Son of Claudius Killed his own mother (tried to poison, drowning, then just had her executed) Considered a tyrant

Ordered assassination of real and imagined enemies Artist and poet (mostly self-proclaimed) Supposedly fiddled as Rome burnt Blamed the fire on the Christians and persecuted them Committed suicide, had a companion stab him CIVIL WAR (68 CE -69 CE) Four men: Galba, Otho, Vitellius and Vespasian all struggle for power

VESPASIAN (69 AD 79 AD) Eventually won control in the civil war and consolidated the Empire which had begun to fragment

Granted citizenship to non-Italian Stabilized government spending Replenished the treasury Built roads Most famous for sacking Jerusalem, destroying the Temple, and dispersing the Jews in 70 CE TITUS (79 CE 81 CE

Son of Vespasian Known as the light of the world Very popular Ruled during the destruction of Pompeii Finished the construction of the Colosseum DOMITIAN (81 CE 96 CE)

Brother of Titus Holy Terror Murdered after 15 years by people in his own household Persecuted Jews and Christians Otherwise governed well

THE FIVE GOOD EMPERORS After Neros death, the Senate and the army played a more active role in the selection of the emperor Between 96 CE and 180 CE, the Romans

handled the problem of succession by having each emperor select a younger colleague to train as a successor. Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antonius Pius, and Marcus Aurelius Resulted in almost a century of stability NERVA (96 CE 98 CE) Older, gentler senator

Elected emperor by the Senate Began tradition of the present ruler finding and adopting the best man and making him successor TRAJAN (98 CE 117 CE)

First Roman emperor of non-Italian origin (Spanish) Great ruler Extended the Empire to its greatest extent Kept the Senate informed about his campaigns, and waited for their approval before signing treaties Popular with the public because he greatly increased Romes wealth through military conquest Also popular because spent large sums on building aqueducts, temples and public baths Also very popular with the army Buried under his column in the Roman Forum

HADRIAN (117 CE 138 CE) Brilliant and versatile Excellent administator and brave soldier He consolidated the Empire and built

walls in Scotland and along the Rhine River to contain the Barbarians Gifted architect Built the Pantheon Constructed the Castel Saint Angelo, a beautiful fortress tomb which still stands in Rome. THE PANTHEON CASTLE SAINT ANGELO ANTONIUS (138 CE 161 CE)

Just and honest Empire reached its peak under his guidance Ruled during years of tranquility His death is associate by many with the end of the Pax Romana

MARCUS AURELIUS (161CE180 CE) Ruled during times of trouble during which barbarians rose in many areas Plague also killed of the people in the Republic during his reign Stoic

COMMODUS (180 CE 192 CE) Son of Marcus Aurelius Unfit, broke the tradition of best man Fought in the gladitorial contests

Poor ruler Strangled to death in his bath LATE EMPIRE For the next 300 years, we will witness the decline of the Empire After Commodus, the throne was up

for auction 192 193 several men tried to gain power by buying loyalty of different armies SEPTIMUS SEVERUS (193 211) Had best army, so seized power

Catered to the army to hold power Let the men go soft, allowed families to travel with them (slowed them down) Admitted barbarians to army CARCALLA (211 -217)

Son of Septimius Severus Brutal, unpleasant man who murdered his brother to gain the throne Raised the army wages Bribed barbarians to stay away from Rome Taxes increased dramatically and currency lost its value (inflation) SEVERUS ALEXANDER (222 235)

Continued practice of bribing the Barbarians Murdered by his own troops who still had some pride MILITARY ANARCHY (265 284)

1OO claimants to the throne 26 took the title for an average of 2 years All of them violent end Valerian captured by the Persians and stuffed as a trophy Plagues and constant wars

Taxes skyrocketed Citizens tried to give up citizenship Back to barter economy because of inflation DIOCLETIAN ( 284 305) Restored some semblance of order Only emperor to retire (Yugoslavia) CONSTANTINE

Ruled with 4 others from 305 324 Ruled alone from 324 337 312 had a religious vision, seeing a cross and so became a Christian Passed the Edict of Milan in 313

which granted religious toleration As Western Empire collapsed, moved to Constantinople and made it the capital city EMPIRE SPLITS The Empire permanently is divided

into East and West. One emperor ruling in Ravenna and the other in Constantinople in 395. Christianity becomes the state religion. Other pagan and religious festivals are banned. END OF THE WESTERN EMPIRE

410 Huns sack Rome 455 Vandals sack Rome 476 Romulus Augustus the last Western Roman Emperor is replaced by a German barbarian chieftain This event marks the Fall of the Roman Empire

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