Roman Empire Timeline

  • 39 BCE

    Augustus Marries Livia.

    Augustus Marries Livia.
    Through this marriage comes two sons, one named Tiberius who will rule as the next emperor.
  • 31 BCE

    Augustus Wins the Battle of Actium.

    Augustus Wins the Battle of Actium.
    With the help of Agrippa, Augustus wins the Battle of Actium against Marc Antony and Cleopatra, thus beginning his reign as emperor and starting the Pax Romana.
  • Period: 27 BCE to 14

    The Emperor's in the Julio-Claudian Dynasty: Augustus

    Augustus (63 BC- 14 AD) rose to power after the death of his great uncle, Julius Caesar. With the help of Agrippa, Augustus became the first Roman emperor, working to unite his empire. He died naturally.
  • Period: 19 BCE to 19 BCE

    The Publication of the Aeneid

    The great poet Vergil passes on and asks, before death, that his story not be published. Augustus Caesar, however, demands it be published anyway. The purpose of writing this epic was to unite Roman citizens under Augustus's rule with the tale of the founding of Rome.
  • 12 BCE

    Tiberius Marries Julia

    Tiberius Marries Julia
    Augustus forces Tiberius to marry Julia, causing Tiberius to divorce his true love Vipsania for the sake of Julia's reputation and well-being.
  • Period: 4 BCE to 4 BCE

    The Birth of Jesus Christ

    Jesus Christ is born in Bethlehem as his stepfather, Joseph, was called there because of the Roman census being taken.
  • Period: 14 to 37

    The Emperor's in the Julio-Claudian Dynasty: Tiberius

    Tiberius (42 BC- 37 AD) was adopted by Augustus, who married his mother Livia. He was trained alongside Drusus and Marcellus and rose to power as emperor due to age. He did not drastically change the empire, but when he died, he left it more prosperous than it had been previously. He was smothered to death to avoid confrontation.
  • 23

    Tiberius's Son Dies

    Tiberius's Son Dies
    The death of Tiberius's son Drusus led to a decline in his personal attention to responsibilities of emperor. He would give most responsibilities to a man named Sejanus and lost a lot of respect because of it.
  • Period: 30 to 33

    The Crucifixion of Jesus Christ

    The crucifixion of Jesus Christ is estimated to be anytime between 30 AD- 33 AD. Jesus was crucified under Pontius Pilate, the fifth Roman prefect.
  • 37

    Caligula Becomes Sole Ruler

    Caligula Becomes Sole Ruler
    Although he was supposed to co-rule with his cousin, Gemellus, Caligula gets a friend named Marco to help him succeed as the sole ruler. He then executes both Gemellus and Marco.
  • Period: 37 to 41

    The Emperor's in the Julio-Claudian Dynasty: Caligula

    Caligula (12-41 AD) was adopted by Tiberius, along with his cousin Gemellus. He became a co-ruler with Gemellus before a friend, Marco, forced Gemellus out. He was stabbed to death in 41 AD.
  • 39

    Caligula's Military Campaigns

    Caligula's Military Campaigns
    Despite mental illness and crazed killing sprees, Caligula leads a military campaign across the Rhine River and English Channel in 39-40 AD. However, he highly dramatized these campaigns simply for the fun of it.
  • Period: 41 to 54

    The Emperor's in the Julio-Claudian Dynasty: Claudius

    Cladius (10 BC- 54 AD) was the uncle of Caligula who was made emperor power when he was found cowering in the palace after Caligula's death. He was poisoned and killed in 54 AD.
  • 48

    Vitellius's Political Success

    Vitellius's Political Success
    Vitellius first serves in a position of political power as consul of Rome and then pro-consul to Africa in 61 AD. He ends up as commander of troops in Southern Germany in 68 AD under Galba.
  • 49

    Claudius Expands Religion

    Claudius Expands Religion
    Claudius also expanded the boundaries of religion by reviving old religious festivals, establishing himself as a head in the religion and also, in 49, broadening the pomerium which allowed for worship further.
  • 51

    Claudius Expands the Empire into Germany

    Claudius Expands the Empire into Germany
    Claudius is infamous for his expansion of the empire as he began colonies within many new areas such as Austria and specifically Germany in 51.
  • Period: 54 to 68

    The Emperor's in the Julio-Claudian Dynasty: Nero

    Nero (37-68 AD) rose to power as the adopted son of Claudius, biological son of Claudius's wife Agrippina the Younger who was next in line after Claudius's timely death. He ultimately committed suicide to avoid execution.
  • 58

    Otho's Wife is Stolen and He's Sent Away

    Otho's Wife is Stolen and He's Sent Away
    During Nero's reign, Otho's wife Poppaea becomes the mistress to Nero. Otho is then sent to be the governor of Lusitania.
  • 64

    Nero Watches the Great Fire Destroy Rome

    Nero Watches the Great Fire Destroy Rome
    Nero was said to have observed the destruction of Rome by the Great Fire from his palace, playing music and dancing while the flames raged on. Many claimed he was the source of the fire. He later blamed Christians and massacred many in horrific ways.
  • Period: 64 to 64

    The Great Fire of Rome

    The fire lasted for six days, finally ceasing on July 23, 64 AD. There are many conflicting viewpoints as to how the fire was started, many suggesting the cause was Nero himself starting it. The main source of that supposition is a writer named Tacitus. Nero, however, claimed the source of the fire was the Christians.
  • 68

    Nero's Downfall from the Uprising in Gaul

    Nero's Downfall from the Uprising in Gaul
    Several events occurred causing disruption throughout the city. Reconstruction costs due to the fire skyrocketed while Nero ordered a temple be built with a statue of him in the center. Officials began to notice his lack of care and craziness, as an uprising began in Gaul that he disregarded.
  • 68

    Galba, with Otho, Leads the Rebellion

    Galba, with Otho, Leads the Rebellion
    Galba decides to accept a position as leader in the rebellion against Nero to avoid the possibility of getting assassinated by Nero as he's a big threat to the position of emperor. He leads the march on Rome.
  • Period: 68 to 69

    The Year of Four Emperors: Galba

    Galba (3 BC- 69 AD) succeeded Nero as emperor by being a leader in the uprising against Nero. He became emperor soon after. He was killed in 69 by Otho, his successor.
  • 69

    Galba's Loss of Power

    Galba's Loss of Power
    Galba's financial plans and the turmoil in the ranks of those who led Nero's uprising causes some followers to follow Vitellius as emperor, causing a major loss of power for Galba and his ultimate decision to step down.
  • 69

    Otho Arranges the Death of Galba

    Otho Arranges the Death of Galba
    Otho seizes the title of emperor after Galba doesn't name him emperor, and Otho arranges for guards to betray Galba and kill him
  • 69

    Vitellius Challenges Authority

    Vitellius Challenges Authority
    Troops in southern Germany praised the leadership of Vitellius and soon pledged allegiance to him as emperor. He invaded Rome and was established emperor before tribes soon invaded and murdered him.
  • Period: 69 to 69

    The Year of Four Emperors: Otho

    Otho (32-69 AD) rose to power after Galba stepped down as emperor by overtaking the chosen replacement. He died from suicide in 69 AD.
  • Period: 69 to 69

    The Year of Four Emperors: Vitellius

    Vitellius (15-69 AD) rose to power after gaining popularity during the reign of Galba and defeating the forces of Otho (causing Otho's suicide). He is murdered in 69 AD.
  • Period: 69 to 79

    The Year of Four Emperors and The Emperors in the Flavian Dynasty: Vespasian

    Vespasian (9-79 AD) was established as emperor of Rome as the tribes that invaded Rome pledged their allegiance to him before they invaded and killed Vitellius. He died of illness.
  • 70

    Vespasian's Capture of Israel

    Vespasian's Capture of Israel
    After a war with Israel ensued for some time, Vespasian was able to end the war and capture Israel successfully, expanding the territory further.
  • 70

    Vespasian Works to Fix Nero's Problems

    Vespasian Works to Fix Nero's Problems
    Vespasian announces a financial plan that will rid the government of the deficit Nero created and conquers and taxes more territories.
  • 70

    Titus Leads Forces in the Israeli War

    Titus Leads Forces in the Israeli War
    Titus was appointed as a leader in the war against Israel in 70. He was a key figure in the capture of Israel in September.
  • 71

    Nerva's Political History

    Nerva's Political History
    Nerva had served as consul in 71 and 90, giving him validity as the new emperor and encouraging government officials to come out of retirement to restore peace.
  • Period: 79 to 81

    The Emperors in the Flavian Dynasty: Titus

    Titus, (39-89 AD) is the heir to Vespasian and becomes the emperor as he was the oldest son. He died unexpectedly.
  • Period: 79 to 79

    Mount Vesuvius Erupts

    Mt. Vesuvius erupts on August 24, covering the towns nestled on its mountainside in lava and thick ash and showering pumice rocks upon houses. Herculaneum and Pompeii are destroyed and inhabitants who did not flee long before perish after being overtaken by the lava or suffocating in the air..
  • 80

    Titus Completes the Colosseum

    Titus Completes the Colosseum
    Titus completes projects in his time as emperor, including the amphitheater known as the Colosseum, and aids Pompeii and surrounding towns after the volcanic eruption
  • Period: 81 to 96

    The Emperors of the Flavian Dynasty: Domitian

    Domitian ( 51-96 AD) rose to power after the sudden death of his brother, Titus, with which he is said to have a part in. He dies in 96 from a conspiracy, after a long struggle with Nerva.
  • 84

    Domitian Recieves Support from Troops

    Domitian Recieves Support from Troops
    Domitian raises the pay of soldiers by one-third in order to win allegiance and favor in spite a difficult conflict over the Danube.
  • 89

    Domitian Executes Many

    Domitian Executes Many
    An uprising by a governor in Germany leads to a series of brutal executions ordered by Domitian in fear of uprising and betrayal. He executed many and supposedly no one was safe.
  • Period: 96 to 98

    The Five Good Emperors: Nerva

    Nerva (30-98 AD) rose to power after the death of Domitian. He died of natural causes.
  • 97

    Nerva Passes on the Legacy

    Nerva Passes on the Legacy
    Nerva wished to secure the government he had helped foster, thus appointing Trajan as his successor before his death.
  • Period: 98 to 117

    The Five Good Emperors: Trajan

    Trajan (53-117 AD) was passed on the title of emperor by Nerva upon Nerva's death, He died in 117 of illness, and supposedly adopted Hadrian before his death.
  • 99

    Trajan's Civil Work

    Trajan's Civil Work
    Trajan worked tirelessly to improve the lives of citizens by implementing new road systems, libraries, and basilicas. He tried his best to give unbiased officials cities and to remain withdrawn from corruption.
  • 115

    Trajan's Constant Movement

    Trajan's Constant Movement
    Trajan did not start by conquering many lands, but gradually began to shift around territories and ownership. He conquered several cities and fought two wars before conquering Ctesiphon.
  • 117

    Hadrian's Facial Hair Revolution

    Hadrian's Facial Hair Revolution
    Prior to Hadrian, most Roman men were clean-shaven, as beards appeared to be barbaric. However, Hadrian embraced his beard in a revolutionary way that led to more acceptance of facial hair.
  • Period: 117 to 138

    The Five Good Emperors: Hadrian

    Hadrian (76-138 AD) succeeded Trajan and died naturally, naming Antoninus as his successor as long as Antoninus adopted Verus.
  • 138

    Hadrian's Wall

    Hadrian's Wall
    Hadrian constructed a massive wall in northern Britain.
  • Period: 138 to 161

    The Five Good Emperors: Antoninus Pius

    Antoninus (86-161 AD) rose to power peacefully as appointed by Hadrian. He died naturally.
  • 140

    Antoninus Starts a Charity

    Antoninus Starts a Charity
    Daughters of the less fortunate were given comfort and sustince with the start of the Puellae Faustinianae charity dedicated to his wife Faustina upon her passing.
  • 142

    Antoninus Continues Hadrian's Legacy

    Antoninus Continues Hadrian's Legacy
    Pius extended Hadrian's wall even further by a whole 36 miles.
  • Period: 161 to 180

    The Five Good Emperors: Marcus Aurelius

    Marcus Aurelius (121-180 AD) was passed on the title of emperor from Antoninus, his adoptive father. He co-ruled with his brother Verus. He died naturally in 180 AD.
  • 169

    Marcus Defends Rome

    Marcus Defends Rome
    Verus and Marcus were called to defend Rome after German tribes invaded. After raising the proper number of troops and money necessary, Marcus ended up defending Rome alone as Verus passed away.
  • 175

    Marcus Almost Confronts Cassius

    Marcus Almost Confronts Cassius
    Cassius heard Marcus was falling ill and decided he wanted the position of emperor. However, as Marcus made the journey to confront him, Cassius was slaughtered by his troops, thus making Marcus's trip into more of a power tour.