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Encyclopedia > Emperor of Rome

This is a list of Roman Emperors with the dates they controlled the Roman Empire.


(Note that, contrary to popular belief, Julius Caesar was never Emperor (princeps), although he was named dictator for life in 45 BC (but was not the first Roman to hold that title) and was regarded as such by Roman historians. On the other hand, the name Caesar became the family name of the first dynasty and was effectively treated as a title, a practice which continued throughout the Empire. Similarly, Suetonius wrote of The Twelve Caesars (including the Flavians) so some sense of continuity was evidently felt.)


For the worship of the Roman Emperor as a god, see imperial cult.


For a simplified list see: Concise List of Roman Emperors


italics: claimant who cannot be considered to have ruled or held power over part of the empire only
bold italics: nickname by which the individual is commonly known

Contents

The Principate/Julio-Claudian dynasty

Reign Common name Personal name & Title
at birth/
on eve of accession
Imperial name Notes
16 January 27 BC to 19 August AD 14 Augustus GAIVS OCTAVIANVS
IMPERATOR CAESAR DIVI FILIVS
IMPERATOR CAESAR DIVI FILIVS AVGVSTVS 12BC: Pontifex Maximus
19 August 14 to 16 March 37 Tiberius TIBERIVS CLAVDIVS NERO
TIBERIVS IVLIVS CAESAR
TIBERIVS CAESAR AVGVSTVS AD15: Pontifex Maximus
18 March 37 to 24 January 41 Caligula GAIVS IVLIVS CAESAR GERMANICVS
GAIVS CAESAR AVGVSTVS GERMANICVS CALIGVLA
GAIVS CAESAR AVGVSTVS GERMANICVS Nickname Caligula, (Little-boots); AD37: Pontifex Maximus, Pater Patriae;
Assassinated
24 January 41 to 13 October 54 Claudius TIBERIVS CLAVDIVS DRVSVS
TIBERIVS CLAVDIVS DRVSVS NERO GERMANICVS
TIBERIVS CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVGVSTVS GERMANICVS PONTIFEX MAXIMVS AD42: Pater Patriae;
Assassinated by poisoning
October 54 to 11 June 68 Nero LVCIVS DOMITIVS AHENOBARBVS NERO CLAVDIVS CAESAR DRVSVS GERMANICVS
NERO CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVGVSTVS GERMANICVS
AD55: Pontifex Maximus; later Pater Patriae;
Committed suicide

Year of the four emperors

Reign Common name Personal name & Title
at birth/
on eve of accession
Imperial name Notes
8 June 68 to 15 January 69 Galba SERVIVS SVLPICIVS GALBA SERVIVS GALBA IMPERATOR CAESAR AVGVSTVS Murdered by Otho;
see: Year of the four emperors
15 January 69 to 16 April 69 Otho MARCVS SALVIVS OTHO IMPERATOR MARCVS OTHO CAESAR AVGVSTVS Committed suicide;
see: Year of the four emperors
2 January 69 to 20 December 69 Vitellius AVLVS VITELLIVS AVLVS VITELLIVS GERMANICVS IMPERATOR AVGVSTVS Co-emperor; murdered in the Forum;
see: Year of the four emperors

Flavian Dynasty

Reign Common name Personal name & Title
at birth/
on eve of accession
Imperial name Notes
1 July 69 to 24 June 79 Vespasian TITVS FLAVIVS VESPASIANVS IMPERATOR VESPASIANVS CAESAR AVGVSTVS AD70: Pontifex Maximus Pater Patriae
co-emperor;
see: Year of the four emperors
24 June 79 to 13 September 81 Titus Flavius TITVS FLAVIVS VESPASIANVS
TITVS CAESAR VESPASIANVS
IMPERATOR TITVS CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVGVSTVS AD70: Pontifex Maximus Pater Patriae
from August 69
IMPERATOR TITVS CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVGVSTVS
14 September 81 to 18 September 96 Domitian TITVS FLAVIVS DOMITIANVS
CAESAR DOMITIANVS
IMPERATOR CAESAR DOMITIANVS AVGVSTVS, PONTIFEX MAXIMVS PATER PATRIAE lateAD83: Germanicus;
assassinated

Nervan-Antonian dynasty

Reign Common name Personal name & Title
at birth/
on eve of accession
Imperial name Notes
18 September 96 to 27 January 98 Nerva MARCVS COCCEIVS NERVA IMPERATOR NERVA CAESAR AVGVSTVS, PATER PATRIAE  
28 January 98 to 7 August 117 Trajan MARCVS VLPIVS NERVA TRAIANVS
MARCVS VLPIVS NERVA TRAIANVS GERMANICVS
IMPERATOR CAESAR DIVI NERVAE FILIVS NERVA TRAIANVS GERMANICVS AVGVSTVS AD98: Pater Patriae; 102: Dacicus; 114: Parthicus; Aug/Sep 114: Optimus
11 August 117 to 10 July 138 Hadrian PVBLIVS AELIVS HADRIANVS
PVBLIVS AELIVS TRAIANVS HADRIANVS
IMPERATOR CAESAR TRAIANVS HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS PONTIFEX MAXVMVS  
10 July 138 to 7 March 161 Antoninus Pius TITVS AVRELIVS FVLVIVS BOINONIVS ARRIVS ANTONINVS
IMPERATOR TIRVS AELIVS CAESAR ANTONINVS
IMPERATOR CAESAR TITVS AELIVS HADRIANVS ANTONINVS AVGVSTVS PONTIFEX MAXIMVS post7 March 161: Pius; 139: Pater Patriae
143 Acclaimed emperor a second time
7 March 161 to 17 March 180 Marcus Aurelius MARCVS ANNIVS VERVS
AVRELIVS CAESAR AVGVSTI PII FILIVS
IMPERATOR CAESAR MARCVS AVRELIVS ANTONINVS AVGVSTVS PONTIFEX MAXIMVS co-emperor with Lucius Verus to March 169; 164: Armeniacus Medicus Parthicus Maximus; 166: Pater Patriae; 172: Germanicus; 175: Sarmaticus
7 March 161 to March 169 Lucius Verus LVCIVS CEIONIVS COMMODVS
LVCIVS AELIVS AVRELIVS COMMODVS
IMPERATOR CAESAR LVCIVS AVRELIVS VERVS AVGVSTVS Co-emperor with Marcus Aurelius164: Armeniacus; 165: Parthicus Maximus; 166: Medicus, Pater Patriae
175 to 175 Avidius Cassius GAIVS AVIDIVS CASSIVS   Usurper; proclaimed emperor: ruled in Egypt and Syria; murdered by a centurion
177 to 31 December 192 Commodus LVCIVS AVRELIVS COMMODVS ANTONINVS
LVCIVS AVRELIVS COMMODVS CAESAR ANTONINVS
IMPERATOR CAESAR LVCIVS AVRELIVS COMMODVS AVGVSTVS PATER PATRIAE Co-emperor with Marcus Aurelius to 17 March 180;
Murdered: strangled by a wrestler
from 180 IMPERATOR CAESAR LVCIVS AVRELIVS COMMODVS ANTONINVS AVGVSTVS PONTIFEX MAXIMVS PATER PATRIAE Sole emperor

Severan Dynasty, African, Asian and Syrian Emperors

Reign Common name Personal name & Title
at birth/
on eve of accession
Imperial name Notes
1 January 193 to 28 March 193 Pertinax PVBLIVS HELVIVS PERTINAX IMPERATOR CAESAR PVBLIVS HELVIVS PERTINAX AVGVSTVS recognized as emperor by Septimius Severus; murdered by soldiers on the Palatine
28 March 193 to 1 June 193 Didius Julianus MARCVS DIDIVS SEVERVS IVLIANVS IMPERATOR CAESAR MARCVS DIDIVS SEVERVS IVLIANVS AVGVSTVS Sentenced to death by the Senate; murdered on the Palatine
9 April 193 to 4 February 211 Septimius Severus LVCIVS SEPTIMVS SEVERVS IMPERATOR CAESAR LVCIVS SEPTIMVS SEVERVS PERTINAX AVGVSTVS PROCONSVL 9 June 193: Pontifex Maximus; late193: Pater Patriae; 195: Divi Marci Pii filius Divi Commodi Frater; Pius; Arabicus, Adiabenicus; 198: Parthicus Maximus; 209/210: Britannicus Maximus
193 to 194/195 Pescennius Niger GAIVS PESCENNIVS NIGER   Claimant: emperor in Syria
193/195 to 197 Clodius Albinus DECIMVS CLODIVS SEPTIMIVS ALBINVS   Claimant: emperor in Britain
198 to 4 February 211 Caracalla LVCIVS SEPTIMIVS BASSIANVS
CARACALLA
IMPERATOR CAESAR MARCVS AVRELIVS SEVERVS ANTONINVS PIVS AVGVSTVS 199: Pater Patriae; 200: Pius Felix; 209/210: Britannicus Maximus
4 February 211 to 8 February 217 IMPERATOR CAESAR MARCVS AVRELIVS ANTONINVS AVGVSTVS PATER PATRIAE BRITANNICVS MAXIMVS PROCONSVL 213: Germanicus Maximus;
Murdered by Macrinus
209 to 4 February 211 Geta PVBLIVS SEPTIMVS GETA   Murdered by Caracalla
4 February 211 to December 211 IMPERATOR CAESAR PVBLIVS SEPTIMIVS GETA AVGVSTVS
11 April 217 to June 218 Macrinus MARCVS OPELLIVS MACRINVS IMPERATOR MARCVS OPELLIVS SEVERVS MACRINVS AVGVSTVS PIVS FELIX PROCONSVL ?June 217: Pater Patriae; Pontifex Maximus;
Executed
May 217 to June 218 Diadumenian MARCVS OPELLIVS DIADVMENIANVS IMPERATOR MARCVS OPELLIVS ANTONINVS DIADVMENIANVS CAESAR SEVERVS Executed
June 218 to 222 Heliogabalus VARIVS AVITVS BASSIANVS
MARCVS AVRELIVS ANTONINVS
ELAGABALVS
IMPERATOR MARCVS AVRELIVS ANTONINVS PIVS FELIX AVGVSTVS PROCONSVL July 218: Pater Patriae, Pontifex Maximus; 220: Sacerdos Amplissimus Dei Invicti Solis Elagabali
Assassinated
13 March 222 to ?March 235 Alexander Severus BASSIANVS ALEXIANVS IMPERATOR CAESAR MARCVS AVRELIVS SEVERVS ALEXANDER PIVS FELIX AVGVSTVS Pontifex Maximus
Assassinated

Rulers during the Crisis of the Third Century

Reign Common name Personal name & Title
at birth/
on eve of accession
Imperial name Notes
February/March 235 to March/April 238 Maximinus Thrax GAIVS IVLIVS VERVS MAXIMINVS THRAX IMPERATOR CAESAR GAIVS JVLIVS VERVS MAXIMINVS PIVS FELIX INVICTVS AVGVSTVS Murdered by troops
earlyJanuary/March 238 to lateJanuary/April 238 Gordian I MARCVS ANTONIVS GORDIANVS IMPERATOR CAESAR MARCVS ANTONIVS GORDIANVS SEMPRONIANVS AFRICANVS Committed suicide
earlyJanuary March 238 to lateJanuary/April 238 Gordian II NARCYS ANTONIVS GORDIANVS IMPERATOR CAESAR MARCVS ANTONIVS GORDIANVS SEMPRONIANVS AFRICANVS Killed in battle
earlyFebruary 238 to earlyMay 238 Pupienus Maximus MARCVS CLODIVS PVPIENVS MAXIMVS IMPERATOR CAESAR MARCVS CLODIVS PVPIENVS MAXIMVS AVGVSTVS Murdered by the Praetorians
earlyFebruary 238 to earlyMay 238 Balbinus DECIMVS CAELIVS ANTONIVS BALBINVS
DECIMVS CAELIVS CALVINVS BALBINVS
  Murdered by the Praetorians
May 238 to February 244 Gordian III MARCVS ANTONIVS GORDIANVS
MARCVS ANTONIVS GORDIANVS PIVS
IMPERATOR CAESAR MARCVS ANTONIVS GORDIANVS PIVS FELIX AVGVSTVS Murdered
240 to 240 Sabinianus     Proclaimed himself emperor; defeated in battle
February 244 to September/October 249 Philip the Arab MARCVS IVLIVS PHILLIPVS IMPERATOR CAESAR MARCVS IVLIVS PHILLIPVS PIVS FELIX INVICTVS AVGVSTVS Killed in battle by Decius
248 to 248 Pacantius TIBERIVS CLAVDIVS MARINVS PACATIANVS   Proclaimed himself emperor; murdered by his own soldiers
248 to 248 Jotapian MARCVS FVLVIVS RVFVS IOTAPIANVS   Claimant
248 to 248 Silbannacus     Usurper
249 to June 251 Decius GAIVS MESSIVS QVINTVS TRAIANVS DECIVS IMPERATOR CAESAR GAIVS MESSIVS QVINTVS TRAIANVS DECIVS PIVS FELIX INVICTVS AVGVSTVS Killed in battle
249 to 252 Priscus GAIVS JVLIVS PRISCVS   Proclaimed himself emperor in the Eastern provinces
250 to 250 Licinianus IVLIVS VALENS LICINIANVS   Claimant
early251 to 1 July 251 Herennius Etruscus QVINTVS HERENNIVS ETRVSCVS MESSIVS DECIVS   Killed in battle
251 to 251 Hostilian HOSTILIANVS HOSTILIANVS  
June 251 to August 253 Gallus GAIVS VIBIVS TREBONIANVS GALLVS IMPERATOR CAESAR GAIVS VIBIVS TREBONIANVS GALLVS PIVS FELIX INVICTVS AVGVSTVS Murdered by his own soldiers
July 251 to August 253 Volusianus GAIVS VIBIVS VOLVSIANVS IMPERATOR CAESAR GAIVS VIBIVS AFINIVS GALLVS VELDVMNIANVS VOLVSIANVS AVGVSTVS Son and co-ruler of Trebonianus Gallus. Murdered by his own soldiers
August 253 to October 253 Aemilian MARCVS AEMILIVS AEMILIANVS IMPERATOR CAESAR MARCVS AEMILIVS AEMILIANVS PIVS FELIX INVICTVS AVGVSTVS Murdered by his own soldiers
253 to June 260 Valerian PVBLIVS LICINIVS VALERIANVS IMPERATOR CAESAR PVBLIVS LICINIVS VALERIANVS PIVS FELIX INVICTVS AVGVSTVS Co-emperor with Gallienus; captured by Persians: died in captivity
253 to September 268 Gallienus PVBLIVS LICINIVS EGNATIVS GALLIENVS IMPERATOR CAESAR PVBLIVS LICINIVS EGNATIVS GALLIENVS PIVS FELIX INVICTVS AVGVSTVS Co-emperor with Valerian 253 to 260; murdered
258 or June 260 Ingenuus     Proclaimed himself emperor
260 Regalianus     Proclaimed emperor
260 to 261 Macrianus Major FVLVIVS MACRIANVS   Proclaimed emperor; defeated and killed in battle
260 to 261 Macrianus Minor TITVS FVLVIVS IVNIVS MACRIANVS   Proclaimed emperor; defeated and killed in battle
260 to 261 Quietus TITVS FVLVIVS IVNIVS QVIETVS   Claimant
261 to 261 or 262 Mussius Aemilianus LVCIVS MVSSIVS AEMILIANVS   Proclaimed emperor
268 to 268 Aureolus     Proclaimed himself emperor; surrendered to Claudius II Gothicus

Illyrian Emperors

Reign Common name Personal name & Title
at birth/
on eve of accession
Imperial name Notes
268 to August 270 Claudius II Gothicus MARCVS AVRELIVS VALERIVS CLAVDIVS IMPERATOR CAESAR MARCVS AVRELIVS CLAVDIVS PIVS FELIX INVICTVS AVGVSTVS Died of plague
August 270 to September 270 Quintillus MARCVS AVRELIVS QVINTILLVS IMPERATOR CAESAR MARCVS AVRELIVS CLAVDIVS QVINTILLVS INVICTVS PIVS FELIX AVGVSTVS Co-emperor with Aurelian; committed suicide
August 270 to 275 Aurelian LVCIVS DOMITIVS AVRELIANVS IMPERATOR CAESAR LVCIVS DOMITIVS AVRELIANVS PIVS FELIX INVICTVS AVGVSTVS Co-emperor with Quintillus; murdered by the Praetorian Guard
271 to 271 Septimius     Proclaimed emperor in Dalmatia; killed by his own soldiers
November/December 275 to July 276 Tacitus MARCVS CLAVDIVS TACITVS IMPERATOR CAESAR MARCVS CLAVDIVS TACITVS PIVS FELIX AVGVSTVS Murdered
July 276 to September 276 Florianus MARCVS ANNIVS FLORIANVS PIVS IMPERATOR CAESAR MARCVS ANNIVS FLORIANVS PIVS FELIX AVGVSTVS Murdered
July 276 to lateSeptember 282 Probus MARCVS AVRELIVS EQVITIVS PROBVS IMPERATOR CAESAR MARCVS AVRELIVS PROBVS PIVS FELIX INVICTVS AVGVSTVS Murdered by his own soldiers
280 Saturninus IVLIVS SATVRNINVS   Claimant: forced by his soldiers; proclaimed himself emperor; killed by his soldiers
280 Proculus     Claimant: acceding to the request of the people of Lugdunum; killed by Probus
280 Bonosus GALLVS QVINTVS BONOSVS   Proclaimed himself emperor; defeated by Probus and committed suicide
September 282 to July/August 283 Carus MARCVS AVRELIVS NVMERIVS CARVS IMPERATOR CAESAR MARCVS AVRELIVS CARVS PIVS FELIX INVICTVS AVGVSTVS Uncertain cause of death; disease, lightning injury, a wound received in battle against the Huns and murder by the Praetorian Guard have all been suggested
spring 283 to summer 285 Carinus MARCVS AVRELIVS CARINVS IMPERATOR CAESAR MARCVS AVRELIVS CARINVS PIVS FELIX INVICTVS AVGVSTVS Co-emperor with Numerian; Murdered
July/August 283 to November 284 Numerian MARCVS AVRELIVS NVMERIVS NVMERIANVS IMPERATOR CAESAR MARCVS AVRELIVS NVMERIANVS PIVS FELIX AVGVSTVS Co-emperor with Carinus

Tetrarchy

'Collegiate Emperors' of the Constantine Dynasty

Reign Common name Personal name & Title
at birth/
on eve of accession
Imperial name Notes
20 November 284 to 1 May 305 Diocletian DIOCLES
(full name not known)
GAIVS AVRELIVS VALERIVS DIOCLETIANVS IOVIVS
IMPERATOR CAESAR GAIVS AVRELIVS VALERIVS DIOCLETIANVS PIVS FELIX INVICTVS AVGVSTVS PONTIFEX MAXIMVS PATER PATRIAE PROCONSVL Co-emperor with Maximian; 285: Germanicus Maximus, Sarmaticus Maximus; 286: Iovius; 287: Germanicus Maximus; 295: Persicus Maximus; 297: Britannicus Maximus, Carpicus Maximus; 298: Armenicus Maximus, Medicus Maximus, Adiabenicus Maximus
Abdicated
1 April 286 to 1 May 305 Maximian MAXIMIANVS
(full name not known)
MARCVS AVRELIVS VALERIVS MAXIMIANVS HERCVLIVS
IMPERATOR CAESAR GAIVS AVRELIVS VALERIVS MAXIMIANVS PIVS FELIX INVICTVS AVGVSTVS co-emperor with Diocletian; 286: Germanicus Maximus, Sarmaticus Maximus; 287: Iovius; 288: Germanicus Maximus; 294: Persicus Maximus; 298: Britannicus Maximus, Carpicus Maximus; 299: Armenicus Maximus, Medicus Maximus, Adiabenicus Maximus;
Forced to abdicate
1 May 305 to 25 July 306 Constantius I Chlorus FLAVIVS VALERIVS CONSTANTIVS
CHLORVS
IMPERATOR CAESAR GAIVS FLAVIVS VALERIVS CONSTANTIVS AVGVSTVS  
1 May 305 to May 311 Galerius CAIVS GALERIVS VALERIVS MAXIMIANVS IMPERATOR CAESAR GALERIVS VALERIVS MAXIMIANVS PIVS FELIX INVICTVS AVGVSTVS co-emperor with Severus II
August 306 to 16 September 307 Severus II FLAVIVS VALERIVS SEVERVS IMPERATOR SEVERVS PIVS FELIX AVGVSTVS co-emperor with Galerius
28 October 306 to 28 October 312 Maxentius MARCVS AVRELIVS VALERIVS MAXENTIVS MARCVS AVRELIVS VALERIVS MAXENTIVS PIVS FELIX INVICTVS AVGVSTVS Drowned on order of Constantine I The Great
307 to 308 Maximian

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