Ancient Roman Emperor Facts
The ancient Roman Empire was led by well over 150 emperors before the end of the Western Empire; the Eastern Empire went on for much longer. The first Roman Emperor
was Augustus Caesar in 27 BC and the last Roman Emperor was Romulus Augustulus who's reign ended in 476 AD. Many of these rulers took great strides in advancing Roman
civilization and in bringing prosperity to Rome; whereas other emperors like Caligula and Nero brought tyranny, fear, and chaos to Rome causing great hardships for the
people they ruled. Below you will find a list of interesting facts about Roman Emperors along with a list of some famous Roman Emperors with quick information about
each; as always written in a kid-friendly format.
Interesting Ancient Roman Emperor Facts
- The unofficial title "princeps" which is Latin for "leader" or "first one" was used by the earlier Roman Emperors from the reign of Augustus (beginning in 27 BC)
through the reign of Diocletian (284 - 305 AD). Therefore this period of the Roman Empire is referred to as the principate (principatus).
- Early Roman Emperors usually took on the title of Caesar (Julius Caesar's family name) or Augustus (translates to "the exalted").
- Before the establishment of the Roman Empire, during the Roman Republic, successful military commanders were given the title "Imperator". Later, during the empire, the
emperors would use this title.
- The year 69 AD is referred to as "The Year of the Four Emperors". That year saw a power struggle for control of the empire brought on by the suicide of Emperor Nero.
Four emperors ruled in that one year; they were Galba, Otho, Vitellius, and Vespasian. Vespasian would maintain control and he ushered in the Flavian dynasty which
ruled Rome from 69 AD through 96 AD.
List of Some Famous Roman Emperors
- Augustus (emperor from 27 BC - 14 AD) - He was the first and perhaps best emperor of Rome. He used his great power to improve Rome in such ways as building roads,
aqueducts, and other public works.
- Trajan (emperor from 98 AD - 117 AD) - One of Rome's wisest rulers. This emperor was responsible for numerous public works that improved the Roman Empire including the
building of roads. The Roman Empire reached its greatest size during his reign as emperor.
- Nero (emperor from 54 AD - 68 AD) - This insane ruler of Rome is famous for singing while much of Rome burned to the ground during the Great Fire of Rome.
- Constantine (emperor from 306 AD - 337 AD) - The first Christian emperor of the Roman Empire. He re-united the Roman Empire and setup a new capital which he named
- Caligula (emperor from 37 AD - 41 AD) - Caligula is believed to have been insane. He was cruel and unpredictable and would kill opponents and loyal followers with no
warning. He was eventually assassinated.
- Justinian (emperor from 527 AD - 565 AD) - Ruler of the Eastern Roman Empire. During his reign many parts of the Roman empire which had fallen to Barbarians were re-
conquered. He created the Justinian Code which was a unified code of laws.