Roman Emperors
Julio-Claudian Emperors (27 BC-AD 68)

All were members of the family of Julius Caesar. Augustus and Claudius had a record of achievement, administrative reforms, public works, and territorial expansion. Tiberius was able, but disliked. Caligula and Nero were brutal tyrants. Caligula may have been insane. Dynasty ended with Nero's suicide and rebellion by the army.

27 BC AugustusAD 41 Claudius I
AD 14 Tiberius IAD 54 Nero
AD 37 Gaius Caesar (Caligula)

Year of the Four Emperors (AD 69)

AD 69 Galba (ruled AD 68-69); Otho, Vitellius, Vespasianus

The Flavians (AD 69-96)
Ended the rebellion begun in Nero's day. Tried to return to reduce size of imperial court and strengthen the Senate. Domitian was a tyrant who killed his political enemies and, in turn, was murdered by them.
AD 69 VespasianusAD 81 Domitianus
AD 79 Titus

The Antonines (AD 96-192)
Sometimes called the period of the "Five Good Emperors," or the "Adoptive Emperors." Rome had five able emperors in a row as emperors abandoned the practice of choosing members of their family to succeed them. Instead, new emperors were chosen for their ability and competence and adopted as sons by the previous emperor. Rome reached the peak of its power and prosperity during this period (the Pax Romana). The period came to an end when Marcus Aurelius broke with the pattern of adoption and chose his own incompetent son, Commodus, to succeed him.
AD 96 NervaAD 161 Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus
AD 98 TrajanusAD 169 Marcus Aurelius (alone)
AD 117 HadrianusAD 180 Commodus
AD 138 Antoninus Pius

AD 193 Pertinax; Julianus I

The Severi (AD 193-235)
After a brief period of civil war, the African general Septimius Severus established his control. He established a family dynasty. The Severi varied in quality, some good, some bad. Increasingly the Severi lost control of the army and each was assassinated by mutinous army troops.
AD 193 Septimius SeverusAD 217 Macrinus
AD 211 Caracalla and GetaAD 218 Elagabalus (Heliogabalus)
AD 212 Caracalla (alone)AD 222 Alexander Severus

The Barracks Emperors (AD 235-284)
A time of almost constant civil war and constant upheaval in politics. Most of the emperors were generals who seized power by force and violence. The period is part of the "Crisis of the Third Century."
AD 235 Maximinus I (the Thracian)AD 268 Claudius Gothicus
AD 238 Gordianus I and Gordianus II; Pupienus and Balbinus AD 270 Quintillus
AD 238 Gordianus IIIAD 270 Aurelianus
AD 244 Philippus (the Arabian)AD 275 Tacitus
AD 249 DeciusAD 276 Florianus
AD 251 Gallus and VolusianusAD 276 Probus
AD 253 AemilianusAD 282 Carus
AD 253 Valerianus and GallienusAD 283 Carinus and Numerianus
AD 258 Gallienus (alone)

The Tetrarchy (AD 284-364)
A time of reform when Emperors were able to stop the general decline of Roman government. Effective control was reestablished by Diocletian, who divided the Empire into four administrative districts ruled by himself, a co-emperor, and two "caesars." Ended with the permanent division of the Empire.
AD 284 DiocletianusAD 314 Constantinus I and Licinius
AD 286 Diocletianus and MaximianusAD 324 Constantinus I (the Great)
AD 305 Galerius and Constantius IAD 337 Constantinus II, Constans I, Constantius II
AD 306 Galerius, Maximinus II, Severus IAD 340 Constantius II and Constans I
AD 307 Galerius, MaximinusII, Constantinus I, Licinius,Maxentius AD 350 Constantius II
AD 311 Maximinus II, Constantinus I, Licinius, Maxentius AD 361 Julianus II (the Apostate)
AD 314 Maximinus II, Constantinus I, Licinius AD 363 Jovianus

The Divided Empire
The Western Roman Empire
The Eastern Roman Empire
AD 364 Valentinianus I AD 364 Valens
AD 367 Valentinianus I with Gratianus
AD 375 Gratianus with Valentinianus II AD 378 Theodosius I
AD 383 Valentinianus II )
AD 394 Theodosius I Ruled both halves Empires AD 394 Theodosius I Ruled both Empires
AD 395 Honorius AD 395 Arcadius
AD 423 Valentinianus III AD 408 Theodosius II
AD 455 Maximus , Avitus AD 450 Marcianus
AD 456 Avitus
AD 457 Majorianus AD 457 Leo I
AD 461 Severus II
AD 467 Anthemius
AD 472 Olybrius
AD 473 Glycerius
AD 474 Julius Nepos AD 474 Leo II
AD 475 Romulus Augustulus AD 475 Zeno.
AD 476 End of the Western Roman Empire. The Eastern Roman Empire continued to exist as the Byzantine Empire until AD 1453.


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Dr. Harold D. Tallant, Department of History, Georgetown College
400 East College Street, Georgetown, KY 40324, (502) 863-8075
E-mail: htallant@georgetowncollege.edu.