Roman Empire

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  • 44 BCE

    Julius Caesar is stabbed to death

    He is stabbed by the Senators at Pompey's theater. Caesar had become too power hungry within the Roman Empire. The Senate does not appreciate the power that he is taking away from them.
  • 31 BCE

    Battle of Actium

    Augustus defeats Cleopatra and Mark Antony, who both kill themselves. This battle marks the end of the Roman republic and the beginning of the empire.
  • 30 BCE

    The Annexation of Egypt

    Augustus annexes Egypt after the death of Cleopatra and Marc Antony. Rome then receives all of Cleopatra’s resources.
  • 27 BCE

    Augustus becomes Emperor

    Julius’s Caesar’s adopted son, he became the leader of the empire when he was named Augustus. He is the first Roman Emperor after the fall of the Republic, even though he was never called emperor.
  • 27 BCE

    Praetorian Guard

    Augustus created the Praetorian Guard, and it had lots of influence over the rise and fall of the later emperors.
  • Period: 27 BCE to 68

    Julio-Claudian Dynasty

    Augustus and his four successors.
  • Period: 27 BCE to 14

    Augustus' Rule

    Augustus used Cleopatra’s siezed wealth to pay his soldiers, making them loyal. He beautified Rome and nearly doubled the size of the empire. He expanded the road network, created the Praetorian Guard, and instituted a system of censuses and taxation.
  • 19 BCE

    Aeneid is Published

    Augustus publishes the Aeneid after Virgil's death even though he believed it to be unfinished and ordered it to be burned. The Aeneid is an epic poem consisting of 12 books that Vergil was asked to write by Emperor Augustus. Augustus ordered Vergil to write the Aeneid because he wanted the Romans to have a founding story that would unite them as a single people.
  • 12 BCE

    Agrippa dies

    Augustus' right-hand man and leading military general dies. He unofficially helped Augustus make decisions for the empire and for the military.
  • 12 BCE

    Augustus Named Pontifex Maximus

    Augustus is named pontifex maximus, a very important religious leader.
  • 4 BCE

    Jesus is born in Bethlehem

    Jesus of Nazareth is born in Bethlehem to parents Joseph and Mary. He is the Christian Messiah who will later be crucified under Pontius Pilate.
  • 4 BCE

    Augustus adopts

    Augustus adopts both Tiberius, son of Livia, and Agrippa Postumus, Agrippa's son, as his own, setting Tiberius up as his successor
  • 14

    Tiberius Succeeds Augustus Caesar

    Tiberius's adoptive brother, Agrippa Posthumus, is assassinated. Therefore, after Augustus Caesar's death, Tiberius is left as the sole heir.
  • 14

    Augustus Dies

    Augustus dies of natural causes, avoiding the assassination or suicide that future emperors will experience.
  • Period: 14 to 37

    Tiberius' Rule

    He enforced justice and became wildly unpopular in his later years because he turned into a cruel tyrant near the end of his rule.
  • 19

    Tiberius Exiles the Jews

    The whole Jewish community is exiled from Rome under the pretext that four Jews had conspired to steal a woman's property
  • 23

    Tiberius's son Drusus Dies

    After the death of his son Drusus, Tiberius becomes too distracted and saddened to deal with issues regarding the empire, He slowly shifted most of the decision making over to Praetorian guard named Sejanus.
  • 26

    Pontius Pilate Becomes Governor

    Pontius Pilate becomes governor of Judea. Pontius Pilate is the man who will eventually decide to crucify Jesus of Nazareth.
  • 33

    Jesus is crucified

    Jesus is crucified for suspected Blasphemy and disregard for the Jewish law.
  • 37

    Tiberius' Death

    Tiberius dies of natural causes as an unpopular emperor after his turn to tyranny.
  • 37

    Caligula Becomes Emperor

    He ascends to the throne with the support Praetorian Guard Naevius Sutorius Marco, a man whom he later executes.
  • 37

    Caligula Becomes Sick

    Caligula becomes seriously ill for months just after his rise to power. It is suspected that he that he had epilepsy.
  • Period: 37 to 41

    Caligula's Rule

    Not the most popular emperor, he was known for his uncontrolled passions and he greatly depleted the Roman reserves
  • 38

    Caligula Executes Naevius Sutorius

    He executed Naevius Sutorius, prefect of the praetorian guard, who helped him rise to power and Tiberius Gremellus who was the grandson of Tiberius, and who Caligula won power from.
  • 41

    Caligula Assassinated

    Caligula is assassinated by the soldiers and Praetorian Guards while at the Palatine Games. The Roman people had grown tired of his tyrannical ways and had been plotting his murder for several months. His wife and daughter were also put to death.
  • 41

    Claudius Rises to Power

    Claudius rises to power as the nephew of Tiberius and the uncle of Caligula.
  • Period: 41 to 54

    Claudius' Rule

    He continued the work of Augustus by expanding the empire in terms of conquered lands,
  • 42

    Piers at Ostia

    Claudius beings the 20-year project of building two long piers in the port of Ostia to protect Romes ' merchant ships.
  • 43

    Claudius adds Britain to the Empire

    Claudius expands the empire, along with colonization, urbanization, and new extensions for Roman citizenship.
  • 54

    Claudius Dies

    Claudius dies after being poisoned by his power-hungry fourth wife, Agrppina Minor. This brutal chain of family violence will continue with more murders that aim to gain power from another person.
  • 54

    Nero Ascends to power

    Nero rises to power after his mother poisons her husband Claudius
  • Period: 54 to 68

    Nero's Rule

    He defended the frontier and expanded it even more. He was a patron of the arts and rebuilt the city after the Great Fire of Rome. He confiscated lots of property from the upper class, put many important figures to death, and failed to hold the loyalty of the army
  • 55

    Nero named Pontifex Maximus

    Nero is named pontifex maximus, an important religious leader in Rome
  • 59

    Nero executes His Mother

    Agrippina the Younger started to promote her stepson Britannicus for ruler instead of her son Nero after the mother and son had turned against each other, so Nero took matters into his own hands and had her stabbed to death in her house.
  • 59

    Corinth Canal

    Nero begins working on a canal thorough Corinth , but the project was eventually abandoned.
  • 64

    The Great Fire of Rome

    The great fire of Rome broke out at night near the Circus Maximus, lasting for six days and reigniting for another three, destroying over two thirds of Rome. The true cause is unknown. Some think that Nero started it, because the senate had denied his proposal to build Neropolis. Nero blamed the Christians and mercilessly crucified them, fed them to lions, and burned their corpses. Others think that the Christians started it to make the prophecies of Rome burning come true.
  • 68

    Galba Rises to Power

    Julius Vindex, governor of Gallia Lugdunensis promotes Galba, age seventy, to lead the revolt against Nero. Galba then leads the revolt that leads to Nero’s suicide and Galba gaining the power.
  • 68

    Galba Executes Nymphidius Sabinus’ followers

    Galba orders the executions of Nymphidius Sabinus’ followers. Nymphidius’ followers had staged a coup against Galba, but they killed Nymphidius instead. Galba had angered the group after he refused to make Nymphidius Sabinus praetorian prefect for life.
  • 68

    Galba Makes Costly Political Decisions

    Galba makes the wrong decision to seize the property of select Roman citizens in order to recover from Nero’s expenses. He then disbanded a group of German bodyguards. The final straw occurs when Galba denies cash rewards for soldiers and praetorians who had previously fought against Vindex. These three decisions cost Galba his life.
  • 68

    Nero Commits Suicide

    Nero's inability to respond to a revolt in Gaul marks him as an enemy to the Roman people. Before the Roman plan to arrest Nero, Nero commits suicide so he can die on his own terms.
  • 69

    Galba Dies

    Praetorians became outraged at Galba’s refusal to reward them for their fighting and they publicly kill Galba by Camurius, a soldier from the Fifteenth Legion. After refusing to reward praetorians and troops for fighting against Vindex, Galba quickly names Lucius Calpurnius Piso Frugi Licinianus his adoptive son and successor. Galba was then decapitated and his head was paraded throughout the city.
  • 69

    Year of Four Emperors

  • 69

    Otho Becomes Emperor with Blood on His Hands

    Otho leads coup to assassinate Emperor Galba. He becomes the next emperor of Rome with the hope that he can restore Rome’s stability.
  • 69

    Otho Commits Suicide

    Otho makes poor military decisions that cost more Roman troops than he had anticipated. He takes his own life in on April 16, 69 because of this overwhelming guilt.
  • 69

    Otho Begins Conflict Against the Vitellian Army

    Otho sends Roman troops to confront the invading Vitellian army. He plans to use a diversionary tactic so that he can assemble his troops.
  • 69

    Battle of Bedriacum

    The Battle of Bedriacum occurs between the Othonian troops and Caecina and Valens. The battle will be the final blow that destroys the Othonian troops and leads to Otho’s suicide two days later.
  • 69

    Vitellius Rises to Power

    Several Roman provinces and senators support Vitellius’ rise to the emperorship after the suicide of Otho.
  • 69

    A Brutal Death for Vitellius

    In attempts to avoid being murdered, Vitellius disguises himself in dirty clothing and hides in the door keeper's quarters, barricading the door. Flavian forces drag him to the Forum where he is tortured, killed, and later thrown into the Tiber River.
  • 69

    The Flavian Revolt Occurs

    Titus Flavius Vespasianus and Mucianus lead campaigns into Italy against Vitellius. This rebellion is known as the Flavian revolt.
  • 69

    The Second Battle of Bedriacum Leads to the End of Vitellius' Reign

    Vitellius leaves his troops leaderless near the Po River as he commands from Rome. The Second Battle of Bedriacum occurs and the Romans are defeated.Cremona is overthrown by Vespasian’s rebels.
  • 69

    Vespasian Becomes Emperor

    Mid-July 69 AD Vespasian rises to power after his Flavian forces brutally execute Vitellius. His reign begins peacefully as he is accepted as emperor by most Romans.
  • 69

    Vespasian Switches the Imperial Line of Rome to the Flavian Line

    Vespasian switches the imperial line of Rome to being the Flavian line. The successor’s that follow him are intended to be only from his line, hence the Flavian dynasty.
  • Period: 69 to 96

    Flavian Dynasty

    Including Titus and Domitian make up the Flavian Dynasty that was left behind by Vespasian. Vespasian wanted to ensure that he would have control over who succeeded him, so he lined up these two men to continue many aspects of his own agenda.
  • 70

    Vespasian Attempts to Restore Rome with His Building Projects

    Vespasian begins several projects to restore Rome after the Capitol was burned in 69 AD. These projects include a temple dedicated to Claudius, and a Temple of Peace near the Forum.
  • 70

    Titus Conquers Jerusalem

    Titus is the head of a Roman campaign attacking Jerusalem. He and his troops conquer Jerusalem.
  • 72

    Vespasian Orders the Building of the Colosseum

    Vespasian orders the construction of the Colosseum. This giant amphitheater would be used to hold games, plays, and other social events of the Roman Empire.
  • 79

    Eruption of Mount Vesuvius

    Mount Vesuvius erupts, killing the people of Pompeii and several other surrounding cities. Pliny the Elder dies, but Pliny the younger carries on his writings, giving us the only actual account of the eruption. The ash covers the city and preserves the victims of the disaster.
  • 79

    Vespasian Dies of Illness

    Vespasian falls ill and later drinks polluted water. He then comes down with diarrhea and dies of multiple illnesses.
  • 79

    Titus Becomes Emperor

    Titus succeeds his father Vespasian as emperor of Rome.
  • 80

    Titus Completes the Colosseum

    Titus completes the construction of the Flavian Amphitheater, or Colosseum. He holds special games and ceremonies for the Colosseum’s opening for the next 100 days.
  • 81

    Titus Dies a Mysterious Death

    Titus travels to the Sabine country where he contracts Malaria and dies, his final words being, “I have made but one mistake”. Or he was poisoned by his brother Domitian, the truth is unclear.
  • 81

    Domitian's Questionable Rise to Power

    As soon as his brother Titus dies, Domitian hurries to the emperor guards and senate to be proclaimed the next emperor. It is unknown if Domitian had a role in Titus’s death.
  • 85

    Domitian Claims the Role of Censor

    Domitian names himself censor for life. He now has control over the members of the senate and their behavior, and he begins wearing elaborate clothing in the senate.
  • Period: 93 to 96

    Domitian's Period of Terror

    Domitian begins what is known as the period of terror after executing several Upper Germany rebels. The governor of Upper Germany, Antonius Saturninus, leads the revolt against the Roman Empire, and Domitian decides those people must die for their rebellion.
  • 96

    Nerva Chosen By Senate

    Nerva is given title pater patriae as he becomes the next emperor of Rome.
  • 96

    Domitian's Life Comes to a Sharp End

    Domitian is stabbed to death by head conspirators Stephanus and Parthenius. These two men feared they themselves would be executed by Domitian, and so they lured Domitian away for a conversation and murdered him. Other conspirators joined in on the murder.
  • Period: 96 to 180

    The Five Good Emperors

    A relatively stable and peaceful time period ruled by five of the more respected and productive Roman emperors.
  • Period: 96 to 98

    Nerva's Rule

    Nerva's rule is a short span of time mostly concerned with fixing the problems caused by Domitian. Nerva cares about the poor and buys land from the rich to give to the poor. He also establishes both a fund for poor families to have their children educated and the Athenaeum, a public school.
  • 97

    Mutiny of the Praetorian Guard

    The praetorian guard mutinies as revenge for Domitian’s death. This mutiny is led by commander Casperius Aelianus. They held Nerva in the palace and killed Petronius and Pathenius, who were partly responsible for the former emperor’s death. This revolt did not harm Nerva, but it made him think about a successor, and he adopted Trajan.
  • 97

    Nerva adopts Trajan

    Nerva officially adopts Trajan as his heir and successor, and Trajan is immediately named imperator
  • 98

    Trajan Rises to Power

    He comes into power after being adopted as Nerva’s heir. His reign as emperor is considered a Golden Age.
  • 98

    Nerva's Death

    Nerva suffers from a suspected stroke and dies three weeks later.
  • Period: 101 to 106

    Trajan vs the Kingdom of Dacia

    Trajan leads a campaign against the kingdom of Dacia and defeats them near Tapae. He then forces King Decebalus to surrender as he takes over Sarmizegethusa, (the capital of Dacia).
  • Period: 113 to 116

    Trajan's Final Campaign

    Trajan leads his last campaigns and aims to expand the Roman Empire to the East. Over the course of these three years, Trajan would conquer various countries and cities including Armenia, Babylon, Seleucia, Ctesiphon, Mesopotamia, and Susa. Trajan also found Parthia’s King Osroes unacceptable so he assigned Parthamaspates to govern the kingdom.
  • 117

    Trajan Dies of Edema

    He dies of edema on his sailing trip back to Italy while stopped in Selinus, Cilicia. Trajan has also adopted Hadrian as his successor.
  • 117

    Hadrian Assumes the Throne

    Hadrian assumes the throne after being adopted as Trajan’s heir.
  • 120

    Hadrian Begins Building the Pantheon

    He began designing and building the Pantheon, a temple dedicated to all of the gods that also became a place where emperors could make public appearances.
  • 122

    Hadrian Builds Hadrian’s Wall

    Hadrian visits the British province and begins the construction of Hadrian's wall. This wall in Northern Britain will take the Roman legions six years to complete and is a symbol of Roman power. The wall spans 80 miles long from and is used to separate the Barbarians from the Romans.
  • 138

    Hadrian Dies

    He dies of suspected heart failure in Baiae, Italy.
  • 138

    Antoninus Pius succeeds Hadrian

    Antoninus Pius is adopted by Hadrian as his successor to the throne. Antoninus Pius is ordered by Hadrian to adopt Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus to be his own heirs.
  • 142

    Antoninus Pius Squashes a Rebellion

    Antoninus Pius defuses a rebellion started by British Romans. Otherwise, his reign is quite peaceful.
  • 142

    Antoninus Pius Begins Constructing the Antonine Wall.

    In response to the uprising of the British Romans, Antoninus Pius begins the construction of the Antonine Wall. This wall is located 40 miles North of Hadrian’s wall and extended the Roman Empire while still acting as a barrier against barbarians and other enemies.
  • 161

    Antoninus Pius Dies of Natural Causes

    Antoninus Pius gives his attending soldier the code word ‘equanimity’ and goes to sleep, dying of natural causes. He is succeeded by Marcus Aurelius.
  • 161

    Marcus Aurelius is Named Emperor

    Marcus Aurelius is adopted by Antoninus Pius to be the next emperor of Rome. He shared the throne with his adopted brother Lucius Verus. Verus only reigned for 8 years before his death in 169 when Marcus Aurelius becomes the sole emperor of Rome.
  • Period: 161 to 166

    Marcus Aurelius vs. Vologases III

    Parthian monarch Vologases III begins the Parthian War against Emperor Marcus Aurelius. This war would continue until 166 AD and resulted in the destruction of several Parthian cities by Aurelius’s troops.
  • 166

    Marcus Aurelius Leads a Campaign Against Germanic Tribes

    Marcus Aurelius leads a campaign against the Marcomanni, Quadi, and other Germanic tribes for attacking Danubian limes, (Roman troops stationed on the River Danube). His goal is to drive the Germanic tribes out of the Roman Empire and back onto their territory past the Danube River.
  • 180

    The Death of Marcus Aurelius

    Marcus Aurelius dies of an unknown illness while fighting in the North.