Nero was Roman Emperor from 54 to 68, and the last in the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Nero was adopted by his great-uncle Claudius to become his heir and successor, during his reign, the redoubtable general Corbulo conducted a successful war and negotiated peace with the Parthian Empire. His general Suetonius Paulinus crushed a revolt in Britain, Nero annexed the Bosporan Kingdom to the empire and may have begun the First Jewish–Roman War. In 64 AD, most of Rome was destroyed in the Great Fire of Rome, writing a generation later, claims that many Romans believed Nero himself had started the fire, in order to clear land for his planned palatial complex, the Domus Aurea. In 68, the rebellion of Vindex in Gaul and the acclamation of Galba in Hispania drove Nero from the throne, facing a false report of being denounced as a public enemy who was to be executed, he committed suicide on 9 June 68. His death ended the Julio-Claudian dynasty, sparking a period of civil wars known as the Year of the Four Emperors.
Neros rule is often associated with tyranny and extravagance and he is known for many executions, including that of his mother, and the probable murder by poison of his stepbrother Britannicus. Nero was rumored to have had captured Christians dipped in oil and this view is based on the writings of Tacitus and Cassius Dio, the main surviving sources for Neros reign, but a few sources paint Nero in a more favourable light. Some sources, including some mentioned above, portray him as an emperor who was popular with the common Roman people, some modern historians question the reliability of ancient sources when reporting on Neros tyrannical acts. Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus, was born on 15 December 37 in Antium and he was the only son of Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus and Agrippina the Younger, sister of Emperor Caligula. Neros father, was the son of Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus, Gnaeus was thus the grandson of Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus and probably Aemilia Lepida on his fathers side, and the grandson of Mark Antony and Octavia Minor on his mothers side.
Thus, Nero had as his paternal grandmother Antonia Major, through Octavia, Nero was the great-nephew of Caesar Augustus. Neros father had employed as a praetor and was a member of Caligulas staff when the latter travelled to the East. Neros father was described by Suetonius as a murderer and a cheat who was charged by Emperor Tiberius with treason, Tiberius died, allowing him to escape these charges. Neros father died of edema in 39 when Nero was two, Neros mother was Agrippina the Younger, a great-granddaughter of Caesar Augustus and his wife Scribonia through their daughter Julia the Elder and her husband Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa. Agrippinas father, was a grandson of Augustuss wife, Livia, on one side and Mark Antony, Germanicus mother Antonia Minor was a daughter of Octavia Minor and Mark Antony. Germanicus was the son of Tiberius. Agrippina poisoned her second husband Passienus Crispus, so many ancient historians accuse her of murdering her third husband, the emperor Claudius
The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the imperial period. The emperors used a variety of different titles throughout history, often when a given Roman is described as becoming emperor in English, it reflects his taking of the title Augustus or Caesar. Another title often used was imperator, originally a military honorific, early Emperors used the title princeps. Emperors frequently amassed republican titles, notably Princeps Senatus, the first emperors reigned alone, emperors would sometimes rule with co-Emperors and divide administration of the Empire between them. The Romans considered the office of emperor to be distinct from that of a king, the first emperor, resolutely refused recognition as a monarch. Although Augustus could claim that his power was authentically republican, his successor, nonetheless, for the first three hundred years of Roman Emperors, from Augustus until Diocletian, a great effort was made to emphasize that the Emperors were the leaders of a Republic.
Elements of the Republican institutional framework were preserved until the end of the Western Empire. The Eastern emperors ultimately adopted the title of Basileus, which had meant king in Greek, but became a title reserved solely for the Roman emperor, other kings were referred to as rēgas. In addition to their office, some emperors were given divine status after death. The Western Roman Empire collapsed in the late 5th century, Romulus Augustulus is often considered to be the last emperor of the west after his forced abdication in 476, although Julius Nepos maintained a claim to the title until his death in 480. Constantine XI was the last Byzantine Roman emperor in Constantinople, dying in the Fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans in 1453, a Byzantine group of claimant Roman Emperors existed in the Empire of Trebizond until its conquest by the Ottomans in 1461. In western Europe the title of Roman Emperor was revived by Germanic rulers, the Holy Roman Emperors, in 800, at the end of the Roman Republic no new, and certainly no single, title indicated the individual who held supreme power.
Insofar as emperor could be seen as the English translation of imperator, Julius Caesar had been an emperor, Julius Caesar, unlike those after him, did so without the Senates vote and approval. Julius Caesar held the Republican offices of four times and dictator five times, was appointed dictator in perpetuity in 45 BC and had been pontifex maximus for a long period. He gained these positions by senatorial consent, by the time of his assassination, he was the most powerful man in the Roman world. In his will, Caesar appointed his adopted son Octavian as his heir, a decade after Caesars death, Octavians victory over his erstwhile ally Mark Antony at Actium put an end to any effective opposition and confirmed Octavians supremacy. His restoration of powers to the Senate and the people of Rome was a demonstration of his auctoritas, some historians such as Tacitus would say that even at Augustus death, the true restoration of the Republic might have been possible. Instead, Augustus actively prepared his adopted son Tiberius to be his successor, the Senate disputed the issue but eventually confirmed Tiberius as princeps
Carus was Roman Emperor from 282 to 283, and was 60 at ascension. During his short reign, Carus fought the Germanic tribes and Sarmatians along the Danube frontier with success and he brought stability in the empire and died in 283 aged 61. During his campaign against the Sassanid Empire, he sacked their capital Ctesiphon and he was succeeded by his sons Carinus and Numerian, creating a dynasty which, though short-lived, granted further stability to a resurgent empire. Carus, whose name before the accession may have been Marcus Numerius Carus, was born at Narbo in Gaul but was educated in Rome. He was a senator and filled various civil and military posts before being appointed prefect of the Praetorian Guard by the emperor Probus in 282, after the murder of Probus at Sirmium, Carus was proclaimed emperor by the soldiers. Although Carus severely avenged the death of Probus, he was suspected as an accessory to the deed and he does not seem to have returned to Rome after his accession, contenting himself with an announcement to the Senate.
The Sassanid King Bahram II, limited by internal opposition and his troops occupied with a campaign in modern-day Afghanistan, the victories of Carus avenged all the previous defeats suffered by the Romans against the Sassanids, and he received the title of Persicus Maximus. Carus hopes of further conquest were cut short by his death and his death was variously attributed to disease, the effects of lightning, or a wound received in the campaign against the Persians. The fact that he was leading a campaign, and his son Numerian succeeded him without opposition. The Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire, Vol. I, AD260-395, Cambridge University Press,1971 Southern, Pat. The Roman Empire from Severus to Constantine, Routledge,2001 Canduci, Triumph & Tragedy, The Rise and Fall of Romes Immortal Emperors, Pier 9, ISBN 978-1-74196-598-8 Gibbon. Edward Decline & Fall of the Roman Empire This article incorporates text from a now in the public domain, Hugh
Egypt (Roman province)
The province encompassed most of modern-day Egypt except for the Sinai Peninsula. Aegyptus was bordered by the provinces of Creta et Cyrenaica to the West, the province came to serve as a major producer of grain for the empire and had a highly developed urban economy. Aegyptus was by far the wealthiest Eastern Roman province, in Alexandria, its capital, it possessed the largest port, and the second largest city, of the Roman Empire. As a province, Egypt was ruled by a uniquely styled Augustal prefect, the prefect was a man of equestrian rank and was appointed by the Emperor. The second prefect, Aelius Gallus, made an expedition to conquer Arabia Petraea. The Red Sea coast of Aegyptus was not brought under Roman control until the reign of Claudius, the third prefect, Gaius Petronius, cleared the neglected canals for irrigation, stimulating a revival of agriculture. Petronius even led a campaign into present-day central Sudan against the Kingdom of Kush at Meroe, failing to acquire permanent gains, in 22 BC he razed the city of Napata to the ground and retreated to the north.
From the reign of Nero onward, Aegyptus enjoyed an era of prosperity which lasted a century, under Trajan a Jewish revolt occurred, resulting in the suppression of the Jews of Alexandria and the loss of all their privileges, although they soon returned. Hadrian, who twice visited Aegyptus, founded Antinoöpolis in memory of his drowned lover Antinous, from his reign onward buildings in the Greco-Roman style were erected throughout the country. Under Antoninus Pius oppressive taxation led to a revolt in 139, of the native Egyptians and this Bucolic War, led by one Isidorus, caused great damage to the economy and marked the beginning of Egypts economic decline. Avidius Cassius, who led the Roman forces in the war, declared emperor in 175. On the approach of Marcus Aurelius, Cassius was deposed and killed, a similar revolt broke out in 193, when Pescennius Niger was proclaimed emperor on the death of Pertinax. The Emperor Septimius Severus gave a constitution to Alexandria and the capitals in 202.
There was a series of revolts, both military and civilian, through the 3rd century, under Decius, in 250, the Christians again suffered from persecution, but their religion continued to spread. This warrior queen claimed that Egypt was a home of hers through a familial tie to Cleopatra VII. She was well educated and familiar with the culture of Egypt, its religion, two generals based in Aegyptus and Domitius Domitianus, led successful revolts and made themselves emperors. Diocletian captured Alexandria from Domitius in 298 and reorganised the whole province and his edict of 303 against the Christians began a new era of persecution. This was the last serious attempt to stem the growth of Christianity in Egypt
In antiquity, Cilicia was the south coastal region of Asia Minor and existed as a political entity from Hittite times into the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia during the late Byzantine Empire. Extending inland from the southeastern coast of modern Turkey, Cilicia is due north and northeast of the island of Cyprus, Cilicia extended along the Mediterranean coast east from Pamphylia, to the Nur Mountains, which separated it from Syria. North and east of Cilicia lie the rugged Taurus Mountains that separate it from the central plateau of Anatolia. Ancient Cilicia was naturally divided into Cilicia Trachaea and Cilicia Pedias by the Limonlu River, the city on the east coast of Cyprus, was included in its administrative jurisdiction. Homer mentions the people of Mopsus, identified as Cilices, as from the Troad in the northernwesternmost part of Anatolia, the English spelling Cilicia is the same as the Latin, as it was transliterated directly from the Greek form Κιλικία. The palatalization of c occurring in the west in Vulgar Latin accounts for its pronunciation in English.
The district is watered by the Calycadnus and was covered in ancient times by forests that supplied timber to Phoenicia, many of its high places were fortified. The plain is watered by the three rivers, the Cydnus, the Sarus and the Pyramus, each of which brings down much silt from the deforested interior. The Sarus now enters the sea almost due south of Tarsus, but there are indications that at one period it joined the Pyramus. Through the rich plain of Issus ran the great highway that linked east and west, on which stood the cities of Tarsus on the Cydnus, Adana on the Sarus, Cilicia was settled from the Neolithic period onwards. Dating of the ancient settlements of the region from Neolithic to Bronze Age is as follows, Aceramic/Neolithic, 8th and 7th millennia BC, Early Chalcolithic,5800 BC, Middle Chalcolithic, c. 3400 BC, and Early Bronze Age IA, 3400–3000 BC, EBA IB, 3000–2700 BC, EBA II, 2700–2400 BC, EBA III A-B, the area had been known as Kizzuwatna in the earlier Hittite era. The region was divided into two parts, Uru Adaniya, a plain, and rough Cilicia, in the mountainous west.
The Cilicians appear as Hilikku in Assyrian inscriptions, and in the part of the first millennium BC were one of the four chief powers of Western Asia. Homer mentions the plain as the Aleian plain in which Bellerophon wandered, the Cilician cities unknown to Homer already bore their pre-Greek names, Ingira, Danuna-Adana, which retains its ancient name, Pahri and Karatepe. After the death of Murshili around 1595 BC, Hurrians wrested control from the Hitties, the first king of free Cilicia, Išputahšu, son of Pariyawatri, was recorded as a great king in both cuneiform and Hittite hieroglyphs. Another record of Hittite origins, a treaty between Išputahšu and Telipinu, king of the Hittites, is recorded in both Hittite and Akkadian. Niqmepa, who succeeded Idrimi as king of Alalakh, went so far as to ask for help from a Hurrian rival, Shaushtatar of Mitanni, to try and reduce Cilicias power in the region
Tiberius was a Roman Emperor from 14 AD to 37 AD. Born Tiberius Claudius Nero, a Claudian, Tiberius was the son of Tiberius Claudius Nero and his mother divorced Nero and married Octavian, known as Augustus, in 39 BC, making him a step-son of Octavian. Tiberius would marry Augustus daughter, Julia the Elder, and even be adopted by Augustus, by which act he officially became a Julian, bearing the name Tiberius Julius Caesar. The subsequent emperors after Tiberius would continue this blended dynasty of both families for the thirty years, historians have named it the Julio-Claudian dynasty. In relations to the emperors of this dynasty, Tiberius was the stepson of Augustus, grand-uncle of Caligula, paternal uncle of Claudius. Tiberius was one of Romes greatest generals, his conquest of Pannonia, Dalmatia and temporarily, parts of Germania, laid the foundations for the northern frontier. But he came to be remembered as a dark and sombre ruler who never really desired to be emperor, Pliny the Elder called him tristissimus hominum, after the death of Tiberius’ son Drusus Julius Caesar in 23 AD, he became more reclusive and aloof.
In 26 AD Tiberius removed himself from Rome and left largely in the hands of his unscrupulous Praetorian Prefects Lucius Aelius Sejanus and Quintus Naevius Sutorius Macro. Caligula, Tiberius grand-nephew and adopted grandson, succeeded Tiberius upon his death, Tiberius was born in Rome on 16 November 42 BC to Tiberius Claudius Nero and Livia Drusilla. In 39 BC his mother divorced his father and remarried Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus shortly thereafter. In 38 BC his brother, Nero Claudius Drusus, was born, little is recorded of Tiberiuss early life. In 32 BC Tiberius at the age of nine, delivered the eulogy for his father at the rostra. In 29 BC, both he rode in the chariot along with their adoptive father Octavian in celebration of the defeat of Antony. In 23 BC Emperor Augustus became gravely ill and his possible death threatened to plunge the Roman world into chaos again, in response, a series of potential heirs seem to have been selected, among them Tiberius and his brother Drusus. Similar provisions were made for Drusus, shortly thereafter Tiberius began appearing in court as an advocate, and it is presumably here that his interest in Greek rhetoric began.
In 20 BC, Tiberius was sent East under Marcus Agrippa, the Parthians had captured the standards of the legions under the command of Marcus Licinius Crassus, Decidius Saxa, and Marc Antony. Augustus was able to reach a compromise whereby the standards were returned, Tiberius married Vipsania Agrippina, the daughter of Augustus’s close friend and greatest general, Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa. He was appointed to the position of praetor, and sent with his legions to assist his brother Drusus in campaigns in the west
Augustus was the founder of the Roman Principate and considered the first Roman emperor, controlling the Roman Empire from 27 BC until his death in AD14. He was born Gaius Octavius into an old and wealthy equestrian branch of the plebeian gens Octavia and his maternal great-uncle Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC, and Octavius was named in Caesars will as his adopted son and heir, known as Octavianus. He, Mark Antony, and Marcus Lepidus formed the Second Triumvirate to defeat the assassins of Caesar, following their victory at the Battle of Philippi, the Triumvirate divided the Roman Republic among themselves and ruled as military dictators. The Triumvate was eventually torn apart by the ambitions of its members. Lepidus was driven into exile and stripped of his position, in reality, however, he retained his autocratic power over the Republic as a military dictator. By law, Augustus held a collection of powers granted to him for life by the Senate, including supreme military command, and it took several years for Augustus to develop the framework within which a formally republican state could be led under his sole rule.
He rejected monarchical titles, and instead called himself Princeps Civitatis, the resulting constitutional framework became known as the Principate, the first phase of the Roman Empire. The reign of Augustus initiated an era of peace known as the Pax Romana. Augustus dramatically enlarged the Empire, annexing Egypt, Pannonia and Raetia, expanding possessions in Africa, expanding into Germania, beyond the frontiers, he secured the Empire with a buffer region of client states and made peace with the Parthian Empire through diplomacy. Augustus died in AD14 at the age of 75 and he probably died from natural causes, although there were unconfirmed rumors that his wife Livia poisoned him. He was succeeded as Emperor by his adopted son Tiberius, Augustus was known by many names throughout his life, At birth, he was named Gaius Octavius after his biological father. Historians typically refer to him simply as Octavius between his birth in 63 until his adoption by Julius Caesar in 44 BC, upon his adoption, he took Caesars name and became Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus in accordance with Roman adoption naming standards.
He quickly dropped Octavianus from his name, and his contemporaries referred to him as Caesar during this period, historians. In 27 BC, following his defeat of Mark Antony and Cleopatra and it is the events of 27 BC from which he obtained his traditional name of Augustus, which historians use in reference to him from 27 BC until his death in AD14. While his paternal family was from the town of Velletri, approximately 40 kilometres from Rome and he was born at Ox Head, a small property on the Palatine Hill, very close to the Roman Forum. He was given the name Gaius Octavius Thurinus, his cognomen possibly commemorating his fathers victory at Thurii over a band of slaves. Due to the nature of Rome at the time, Octavius was taken to his fathers home village at Velletri to be raised. Octavius only mentions his fathers equestrian family briefly in his memoirs and his paternal great-grandfather Gaius Octavius was a military tribune in Sicily during the Second Punic War
This reflects the principate emperors assertion that they were merely first among equals among the citizens of Rome. The title itself derived from the position of the princeps senatus, although dynastic pretences crept in from the start, formalizing this in a monarchic style remained politically unthinkable. Afterwards, Imperial rule in the Empire is designated as the dominate, the theory implied the first citizen had to earn his extraordinary position by merit in the style that Augustus himself had gained the position of auctoritas. Large distributions of food for the public and charitable institutions were means that served as popularity boosters while the construction of public works provided employment for the poor. With the fall of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, the principate was redefined in formal terms under the Emperor Vespasian, the position of princeps became a distinct entity within the broader – formally still republican – Roman constitution. Under the Antonine dynasty, it was the norm for the Emperor to appoint a successful, in modern historical analysis, this is treated by many authors as an ideal situation, the individual who was most capable was promoted to the position of princeps.
Of the Antonine dynasty, Edward Gibbon famously wrote that this was the happiest and most productive period in human history and this first phase was to be followed by, or rather evolved into, the so-called dominate. Richard Alston, Aspects of Roman History, henning Börm, Wolfgang Havener, Octavians Rechtsstellung im Januar 27 v. Chr. und das Problem der „Übertragung“ der res publica. Gedanken zur Periodisierung der römischen Kaiserzeit, kurt A. Raaflaub, Mark Toher, Between Republic and Empire, Interpretations of Augustus and his Principate. Berkeley / Los Angeles / Oxford 1990
Praetorian prefect was the title of a high office in the Roman Empire. Originating as the commander of the Praetorian Guard, the office gradually acquired extensive legal and administrative functions, the prefects again functioned as the chief ministers of the state, with many laws addressed to them by name. The last traces of the disappeared in the Byzantine Empire by the 840s. The term praefectus praetorio was often abbreviated in inscriptions as PR PR or PPO, under the empire the praetorians or imperial guards were commanded by one, two, or even three praefects, who were chosen by the emperor from among the equites and held office at his pleasure. From the time of Alexander Severus the post was open to senators also, in course of time the command seems to have been enlarged so as to include all the troops in Italy except the corps commanded by the city praefect. The special position of the praetorians made them a power in their own right in the Roman state, and their prefect, the emperors tried to flatter and control the praetorians, but they staged many coups détat and contributed to a rapid rate of turnover in the imperial succession.
The praetorians thus came to destabilize the Roman state, contrary to their purpose, Diocletian greatly reduced the power of these prefects as part of his sweeping reform of the empires administrative and military structures. In addition to his functions, the praetorian prefect came to acquire jurisdiction over criminal affairs. It was decreed by Constantine in 331 that from the sentence of the praetorian praefect there should be no appeal, a similar jurisdiction in civil cases was acquired by him not than the time of Septimius Severus. Each praetorian prefect oversaw one of the four created by Diocletian. Under Constantine I, the institution of the magister militum deprived the praetorian prefecture altogether of its military character but left it the highest civil office of the empire. The following is a list of all prefects of the Praetorian Guard. The list is presumed to be due to the lack of sources documenting the exact number of persons who held the post, what their names were. Overlapping terms on the list indicate dual command, the praetorian guard in the political and social life of Julio-Claudian Rome.
The Pretorian Prefect from Commodus to Diocletian, Illinois, University of Chicago Press. Miller, M. C. J. Abbreviations in Latin, Guard Prefects of Trajan and Hadrian. The Journal of Roman Studies, Vol.70
The Goths were an East Germanic people, two of whose branches, the Visigoths and the Ostrogoths, played an important role in the fall of the Western Roman Empire and the emergence of Medieval Europe. In the Gothic language they were called the Gut-þiuda, most commonly translated as Gothic people, gut-þiudai, or Gutans Inferred from gen. pl. gutani in Pietroassa inscription. In Old Norse they were known as the Gutar or Gotar, in Latin as the Gothi, the exact origin of the ancient Goths is unknown. Evidence of them before they interacted with the Romans is limited, Modern academics have generally abandoned this theory. Today, the Wielbark culture is thought to have developed from earlier cultures in the same area, archaeological finds show close contacts between southern Sweden and the Baltic coastal area on the continent, and further towards the south-east, evidenced by pottery, house types and graves. Rather than a migration, similarities in the material cultures may be products of long-term regular contacts.
However, the record could indicate that while his work is thought to be unreliable. Sometime around the 1st century AD, Germanic peoples may have migrated from Scandinavia to Gothiscandza, early archaeological evidence in the traditional Swedish province of Östergötland suggests a general depopulation during this period. However, there is no evidence for a substantial emigration from Scandinavia. Upon their arrival on the Pontic Steppe, the Germanic tribes adopted the ways of the Eurasian nomads, the first Greek references to the Goths call them Scythians, since this area along the Black Sea historically had been occupied by an unrelated people of that name. The earliest known material culture associated with the Goths on the southern coast of the Baltic Sea is the Wielbark culture, centered on the modern region of Pomerania in northern Poland. This culture replaced the local Oxhöft or Oksywie culture in the 1st century, the culture of this area was influenced by southern Scandinavian culture beginning as early as the late Nordic Bronze Age and early Pre-Roman Iron Age.
In Eastern Europe they formed part of the Chernyakhov culture and it has been suggested that the Goths maintained contact with southern Sweden during their migration. In the first attested incursion in Thrace, the Goths were mentioned as Boranoi by Zosimus, the first incursion of the Roman Empire that can be attributed to Goths is the sack of Histria in 238. Several such raids followed in subsequent decades, in particular the Battle of Abrittus in 251, led by Cniva, at the time, there were at least two groups of Goths, the Thervingi and the Greuthungs. Goths were subsequently recruited into the Roman Army to fight in the Roman-Persian Wars. The Moesogoths settled in Thrace and Moesia, the first seaborne raids took place in three subsequent years, probably 255-257. An unsuccessful attack on Pityus was followed in the year by another
The Antoninianus, or radiate, was a coin used during the Roman Empire thought to have been valued at 2 denarii. It was initially silver, but was slowly debased to bronze with a silver content. Antoniniani depicting females, usually the wife, featured the bust resting upon a crescent moon. Even at its introduction the silver content was only equal to 1.5 denarii and this helped to create inflation, people rapidly hoarded the denarii, while both buyers and sellers recognised the new coin had a lower intrinsic value and elevated their prices to compensate. Each new issue of the Antoninianus thus had less silver in it than the last, in 271 Aurelian increased the average weight of the Antoninianus. This was carried out for a short time and this period was when the enigmatic XXI was first marked on the reverse of the Antoninianus. The true meaning of this series of numbers is still a topic of debate, by the late 3rd century the coins were almost entirely made of bronze from melted down old issues like the sestertius.
Vast quantities were being minted, with a proportion of the stocks being contemporary forgeries, often with blundered legends. Individual coins were by practically worthless and were lost or discarded by the millions, today most of these coins are extremely common finds, with a few more scarce examples including Aemilianus, Marcus Aurelius Marius and Regalianus. The situation was not unlike the hyperinflation of the Weimar Republic in 1920s Germany, the coin ceased to be used by the end of the 3rd century when a series of coinage reforms attempted to arrest the decline by issuing new types. Modern numismatists use this name for the coin because it is not known what it was called in antiquity, an ancient Roman document called the Historia Augusta refers to silver coins named after an Antoninus on several occasions