Julius caesar

Roman Empire Timeline

By egrogs
  • Period: 50 BCE to 180

    The Roman Empire

    Augustus to Marcus Aurelius
  • 44 BCE

    Ides of March

    Ides of March
    Julius Caesar was stabbed to death by the Senate.
  • 43 BCE

    Formation of 2nd Triumvirate

    Octavian, Mark Antony, and Lepidus start a triple alliance that ends in a major power play.
  • 32 BCE

    Battle of Actium

    Battle of Actium
    Octavian defeats Antony and Cleopatra and becomes head Roman authority figure.
  • 27 BCE

    Octavian is crowned Roman Emperor.

    He is given the official title Caesar Augustus.
  • 27 BCE

    Augustus creates the Praetorian Guard.

    For better or for worse, this group would serve as bodyguards for the Roman emperors and sometimes for their rivals for many years to come.
  • Period: 27 BCE to 14

    Reign of Caesar Augustus

  • Period: 27 BCE to 68

    Julio-Claudian Dynasty

    From Augustus to Nero...these emperors all came, sometimes indirectly, from the family of Julius Caesar, Julia Caesar, or Tiberius Claudius Nero, the husband of Augustus's first wife.
  • 19 BCE

    Aeneid is published.

    Aeneid is published.
    The Aeneid, a foundational story of Rome that combines historical and mythological elements, is widely regarded as one of the greatest pieces of Roman literature. It was unfinished when its author Vergil died, and it was published post mortem against his will.
  • 6 BCE

    Birth of Jesus Christ (historical estimate)

    Birth of Jesus Christ (historical estimate)
  • 2 BCE

    Augustus dedicates a new forum in Rome, the Forum of Augustus.

  • 14

    Augustus dies.

    Augustus dies presumably of natural causes at the age of 76. His last words to his subjects are traditionally thought to be "I found Rome of clay; I leave it to you of marble."
  • 14

    Tiberius becomes emperor.

    Tiberius ascends to the throne as the adopted son and heir of Augustus.
  • Period: 14 to 37

    Reign of Tiberius

  • 19

    Tiberius exiles the Jews from Rome.

  • 27

    Tiberius's visit to Capri.

    Tiberius's visit to Capri.
    The emperor went to visit the island of Capri but started to lose his mind on the journey there. He stayed on Capri for a much longer time then planned and imposed a "reign of terror" on the island where people were executed for the slightest misdemeanor.
  • 33

    Crucifixion of Jesus Christ (estimated year)

    Crucifixion of Jesus Christ (estimated year)
    ...which would make Jesus' Crucifixion under the reign of Tiberius
  • 37

    Tiberius dies/Caligula comes to power.

    He throws a javelin in a game and tears his shoulder. After this injury, Tiberius contracts the illness that leads to his death. Caligula then becomes emperor and executes his rival Gemellus.
  • Period: 37 to 41

    Reign of Caligula

  • 39

    Excessive projects

    Caligula initiates many superfluous building projects which drain the money of the empire, including a two mile floating bridge across the Bay of Bauli.
  • 40

    The (Almost) Invasion of Britain

    Caligula leads an army into Gaul and almost invades Britain but decides against it.
  • 41

    Assassination of Caligula/Ascent of Claudius

    Assassination of Caligula/Ascent of Claudius
    The Romans grow fearful and angry at Caligula's excessive spending. The Praetorian Guard and the Senate conspire to kill him, and Caligula, his wife, and his daughter are stabbed to death. As an uncle of Caligula and someone the Praetorian Guard thinks they can control, Claudius becomes emperor.
  • Period: 41 to 54

    Reign of Claudius

  • 42

    Annexation of Mauretania

    Annexation of Mauretania
    Claudius makes some land gains and adds Mauretania to the empire. He splits it into two provinces.
  • 43

    Invasion of Britain

    Claudius actually takes the leap and commands his troops to invade Britain. He mainly made this move out of hope of gaining popularity.
  • 54

    Poison of Claudius/Ascent of Nero

    Claudius's power-hungry wife, Agrippina, poisons him. Her son, Nero, becomes emperor.
  • Period: 54 to 68

    Reign of Nero

  • 64

    Monetary Changes

    Nero faced financial struggles in the empire and decided to decrease the weight and percent of precious metal in Roman coins.
  • 64

    The Great Fire of Rome

    The Great Fire of Rome
    This awful inferno burned down about two-thirds of the city. History is conflicted on its cause. Legend has it that Nero played his lyre as Rome burned because he started the fire as an excuse for rebuilding the city as he wanted it. Yet, Nero was actually away in Antium when the fire started. He blamed the fire on the Christians (presumably without evidence) and terrible persecution of this new faith followed.
  • 65

    Construction is completed on the Baths of Nero in Rome.

  • 68

    1. Suicide of Nero/Ascent of Galba

    Chaos and financial degradation continue in Rome after the fire. Nero loses his control, and the Senate turns against him. He commits suicide, and also effectively ends the Julio-Claudian dynasty because he did not have a clear heir. Galba, as governor-general of Spain and with the support of the Roman Army, becomes emperor.
  • 68

    2. Pay Withholding

    Galba decides to withhold pay from his troops, possibly not a good idea.
  • Period: 68 to 69

    Reign of Galba

  • 69

    3. Heir Selection

    Galba selects Lucius Calpurnius Piso as his heir, instead of Otho, a governor who had long hoped to be heir.
  • 69

    4. Death of Galba/Rise of Otho

    Otho gains enough supporters and influence in the Praetorian Guard to have himself declared emperor and Galba killed.
  • 69

    5. Otho starts the gladiatorial games again.

    5. Otho starts the gladiatorial games again.
  • 69

    6. Otho finishes construction on the Golden Palace of Nero.

    6. Otho finishes construction on the Golden Palace of Nero.
  • 69

    7. Suicide of Otho/Rise of Vitellius

    Otho's power is questioned by the governor general of Germany, Vitellius. Vitellius moves his army into Rome. Otho loses the ensuing battle and commits suicide. Vitellius becomes emperor.
  • 69

    8. Vitellius Plays Favorites

    Vitellius gave his own German legions positions that the Praetorian Guard normally would have filled.
  • 69

    9. Vitellius visits the Battlefield of Cremona with reported disrespect, decreases his popularity.

  • 69

    10. Trouble in the East

    The eastern provinces reject Vitellius as emperor. They crown an opposing emperor, Vespasian, who defeats Vitellius in the Second Battle of Cremona.
  • 69

    11. Death of Vitellius/Rise of Vespasian

    Vitellius was tortured and killed by his enemy's supporters before Vespasian becomes the fourth emperor to rule in the year 69 AD.
  • 69

    *The Year of the Four Emperors*

    Due to financial and political instability, four different emperors (Galba, Otho, Vitellius, and Vespasian) all ruled in the year 69 AD.
  • Period: 69 to 69

    Reign of Otho

  • Period: 69 to 69

    Reign of Vitellius

  • Period: 69 to 79

    Reign of Vespasian

  • Period: 69 to 96

    The Flavian Dynasty

    The Flavian Dynasty consisted of the reigns of Vespasian and his two sons, Titus and Domitian. After the Year of Four Emperors, the Flavian Dynasty created a sense of greater permanency about the position of emperor.
  • 70

    Vespasian makes financial changes.

    Vespasian realized that the empire was in great debt from Nero's spending and from in-fighting, so he increased taxes throughout the empire. Sometimes these taxes reached twice their original value.
  • 78

    Vespasian commissions General Agricola as governor of the modern day United Kingdom.

  • 79

    Death of Vespasian/Rise of Titus

    When Vespasian died of natural causes, his son Titus ascended to power with no bloodshed.
  • 79

    Mount Vesuvius Erupts

    Mount Vesuvius Erupts
    When the eruption of the volcano Vesuvius kills an estimated 13,000 people in Campania, Titus sent aid to the region.
  • Period: 79 to 81

    Reign of Titus

  • 80

    Titus finishes work on the Colosseum

    Titus finishes work on the Colosseum
  • 81

    Death of Titus/Rise of Domitian

    Titus supposedly died of a fever in this year, but there is a legend that he was poisoned by his brother Domitian, the next in line to be emperor.
  • Period: 81 to 96

    Reign of Domitian

  • 83

    Domitian conquers the Agri Decumates, the lands above the upper Rhine and Danube rivers.

  • 85

    Strange orders from Domitian for Agricola

    Domitian mysteriously calls General Agricola back from Britain, allegedly right before he would have conquered the island.
  • 96

    Assassination of Domitian/Rise of Nerva

    Domitian was very paranoid and made mass accusations of treason. A plot was hatched by the Praetorian Guard to assassinate him. Domitian was killed by a freedman known as Stephanus. After Domitian died, the Senate chose Nerva, a wise lawyer, to take over.
  • Period: 96 to 98

    Reign of Nerva

  • Period: 96 to 180

    The Five Good Emperors

    The reign of the Five Good Emperors is not a dynasty because they were not directly related, but it includes the ruling periods of Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, and Marcus Aurelius. This time period was characterized by general peace and prosperity throughout the empire, although corruption simmered beneath the surface as more and more power was concentrated into the hands of the emperor.
  • 97

    Revolt of the Praetorian Guard

    Within the Praetorian Guard, some men were still loyal to Domitian, and they revolted and killed the two men who plotted his death. Although Nerva was not hurt in the incident, it shook his power.
  • 97

    Finding an Heir for Nerva

    Nerva publicly adopted Marcus Ulpius Trocianus as his heir.
  • 98

    Death of Nerva/Rise of Trajan

    With Nerva's death from natural causes, his heir, Trajan, comes into power peacefully.
  • Period: 98 to 117

    Reign of Trajan

  • 105

    Trajan starts waging the Parthian Wars.

    Trajan has some success in these wars and is able to annex the Nabataean Kingdom and upper Mesopotamia.
  • 107

    Trajan's building projects.

    Trajan's building projects.
    Trajan extensively supports Roman infrastructure with additions such as Trajan's Market, Trajan's Forum, and Trajan's Baths.
  • 117

    Death of Trajan/Rise of Hadrian

    Trajan appoints Hadrian as his heir shortly before dying of natural causes.
  • Period: 117 to 138

    Reign of Hadrian

  • 132

    Arch of Hadrian Constructed.

    Arch of Hadrian Constructed.
    The Arch of Hadrian was built in Athens, as Hadrian was praised as an honorary founder of the city for all the support that he gave to that area.
  • 132

    Construction starts on Hadrian's Wall in northern Britain, which marks the northern boundary of the Roman Empire.

    Construction starts on Hadrian's Wall in northern Britain, which marks the northern boundary of the Roman Empire.
  • 138

    Death of Hadrian/Rise of Antoninus Pius

    Hadrian dies, possibly of a heart attack. Antoninus Pius becomes emperor as the designated heir of Hadrian.
  • Period: 138 to 161

    Reign of Antoninus Pius

  • 141

    Antoninus Pius starts a charitable organization.

    Antoninus Pius started the Puellae Faustinianae as an organization that gave aid to the daughters of the poor in memory of his wife Faustina.
  • 142

    Construction of the Antonine Wall

    Antoninus Pius built the Antonine Wall in Britain to extend the northern barrier to the Roman Empire first created by Hadrian's Wall.
  • 161

    Death of Antoninus Pius/Rise of Marcus Aurelius

    Antoninus Pius died of natural causes, and Marcus Aurelius peacefully became emperor.
  • Period: 161 to 180

    Reign of Marcus Aurelius

    Marcus Aurelius made his brother Lucius Verus co-ruler until Verus's death in 169.
  • 167

    Marcus Aurelius's Italy is invaded.

    Marcus Aurelius suffers an invasion of Italy by German tribes while off fighting across the Danube.
  • 167

    Marcus Aurelius writes Meditations.

    Marcus Aurelius writes Meditations.
    In his Meditations, Marcus Aurelius recorded his daily thoughts and philosophies about life and ruling.
  • 180

    Death of Marcus Aurelius

    Marcus Aurelius dies of natural causes and ends the reign of the Five Good Emperors.