Roman Emperors in Order

The Roman Empire spanned over centuries and encompassed vast territories across Europe, Africa, and Asia. The emperors of Rome held significant power and shaped the destiny of the empire.

From Augustus, who established the principate and ushered in the Pax Romana, to Constantine the Great, who transformed the empire and shifted its capital to Constantinople, these emperors left an indelible mark on history.

Their reigns witnessed conquests, political intrigue, cultural advancements, and significant changes in governance.

Exploring the timeline of Roman emperors provides a glimpse into the rise and fall of one of the most influential and enduring civilizations in human history.


Also Read: Roman Empire Timeline

Roman Emperor Timeline

EmperorReignNotable Events
Augustus27 BC – 14 ADEstablished the Roman Empire
Tiberius14 AD – 37 ADConsolidated the empire
Caligula37 AD – 41 ADKnown for his extravagant and erratic behavior
Claudius41 AD – 54 ADConquered Britain and expanded the empire
Nero54 AD – 68 ADPersecuted Christians and blamed for the Great Fire of Rome
Galba68 AD – 69 ADFirst emperor of the Year of the Four Emperors
Otho69 ADRuled for a short time after the death of Galba
Vitellius69 ADRuled for a short time after the death of Otho
Vespasian69 AD – 79 ADInitiated the Flavian dynasty and restored stability
Titus79 AD – 81 ADKnown for his military victories and the eruption of Mount Vesuvius
Domitian81 AD – 96 ADIncreased the power of the imperial court
Nerva96 AD – 98 ADAdopted Trajan as his successor
Trajan98 AD – 117 ADExpanded the empire to its greatest extent
Hadrian117 AD – 138 ADConstructed Hadrian’s Wall and focused on cultural achievements
Antoninus Pius138 AD – 161 ADKnown for his peaceful reign and legal reforms
Marcus Aurelius161 AD – 180 ADPhilosopher emperor and author of “Meditations”
Commodus180 AD – 192 ADKnown for his megalomania and gladiatorial activities
Pertinax193 ADRuled for a short time after the assassination of Commodus
Didius Julianus193 ADRuled for a short time after buying the throne
Septimius Severus193 AD – 211 ADEstablished the Severan dynasty and strengthened the military
Caracalla211 AD – 217 ADGranted Roman citizenship to all free inhabitants
Macrinus217 AD – 218 ADFirst non-senatorial emperor and faced military defeats
Elagabalus218 AD – 222 ADIntroduced the worship of the Syrian sun god Elagabal
Severus Alexander222 AD – 235 ADYoungest emperor in Roman history and faced Germanic invasions
Maximinus Thrax235 AD – 238 ADFirst emperor from the lower class (plebeian)
Gordian I and Gordian II238 ADJoint emperors during the Gordian dynasty
Pupienus and Balbinus238 ADJoint emperors during the Year of the Six Emperors
Gordian III238 AD – 244 ADYoungest sole Roman emperor at the age of 13
Philip the Arab244 AD – 249 ADFirst emperor of Arab origin
Decius249 AD – 251 ADInstituted the first empire-wide persecution of Christians
Trebonianus Gallus251 AD – 253 ADMade peace with the Goths and the Sassanid Empire
Aemilianus253 ADRuled for a short time before being assassinated
Valerian253 AD – 260 ADCaptured and held captive by the Sassanid Empire
Gallienus253 AD – 268 ADReorganized the Roman army and defended against invasions
Claudius Gothicus268 AD – 270 ADSuccessfully repelled Gothic invasions
Aurelian270 AD – 275 ADRestored unity to the Roman Empire and built Aurelian Walls
Tacitus275 AD – 276 ADRestored stability after a period of crisis
Florianus276 ADRuled for a short time before being killed
Probus276 AD – 282 ADKnown for his military campaigns and public works
Carus282 AD – 283 ADLaunched a successful campaign against the Sassanids
Numerian283 AD – 284 ADRuled for a short time and died under mysterious circumstances
Diocletian284 AD – 305 ADIntroduced the Tetrarchy and implemented administrative reforms
Maximian286 AD – 305 ADRuled as co-emperor with Diocletian
Constantius Chlorus305 AD – 306 ADFather of Constantine the Great and ruled in the West
Galerius305 AD – 311 ADRuled in the East as part of the Tetrarchy
Severus306 AD – 307 ADRuled briefly before being overthrown
Maxentius306 AD – 312 ADRival emperor in the West and fought against Constantine
Constantine the Great306 AD – 337 ADEstablished Constantinople as the new capital
Licinius308 AD – 324 ADRival emperor in the East, defeated by Constantine
Constantine II337 AD – 340 ADRuled in the West after the death of Constantine
Constans337 AD – 350 ADRuled in the West as part of the Constantine dynasty
Constantius II337 AD – 361 ADLast ruler of the united Roman Empire
Julian the Apostate361 AD – 363 ADAttempted to restore pagan religion and culture
Jovian363 AD – 364 ADNegotiated a peace treaty with the Sassanid Empire
Valentinian I364 AD – 375 ADDivided the Roman Empire into East and West
Valens364 AD – 378 ADFaced the Visigothic invasion and died at the Battle of Adrianople
Gratian375 AD – 383 ADFavored Christianity and opposed pagan practices
Valentinian II375 AD – 392 ADBecame emperor at the age of four and ruled under the influence of others
Theodosius I379 AD – 395 ADMade Christianity the official state religion
Arcadius395 AD – 408 ADRuled over the Eastern Roman Empire
Honorius395 AD – 423 ADRuled over the Western Roman Empire
Theodosius II408 AD – 450 ADReformed the legal system and sponsored Christian learning
Valentinian III425 AD – 455 ADPuppet emperor controlled by powerful generals
Petronius Maximus455 ADAssassinated after a short and tumultuous reign
Avitus455 AD – 456 ADDeposed by Ricimer and exiled
Majorian457 AD – 461 ADAttempted to restore the Western Roman Empire
Libius Severus461 AD – 465 ADPuppet emperor controlled by Ricimer
Anthemius467 AD – 472 ADConstructed the walls of Constantinople
Olybrius472 ADAppointed emperor with the help of the Ostrogoths
Glycerius473 AD – 474 ADDeposed by Julius Nepos
Julius Nepos474 AD – 475 ADLast recognized Western Roman Emperor
Romulus Augustus31 Oct 475 – 4 Sep 476 ADDeposed by Odoacer, marking the fall of the Western Roman Empire
Julius Caesar

The Roman Empire had many emperors throughout its history. Here are some of the most notable ones:

  1. Julius Caesar (100 BC – 44 BC): While technically not an emperor, his rule marked the transition from the traditional Roman Republic to the Roman Empire. He was a military general who played a critical role in the events that led to the demise of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire.
  2. Augustus (63 BC – 14 AD): The first true Roman Emperor, also known as Octavian. He was the adopted son of Julius Caesar and came to power after a long period of civil war. His rule established the Pax Romana, a period of peace and stability.
  3. Tiberius (42 BC – 37 AD): The second Roman Emperor. He was the stepson of Augustus and his rule was marked by a number of significant military victories.
  4. Caligula (12 AD – 41 AD): Known for his erratic behavior and extravagant lifestyle. His reign was characterized by cruelty, sadism, extravagance, and sexual perversion.
  5. Claudius (10 BC – 54 AD): The fourth Roman Emperor, known for his administrative reforms and construction projects.
  6. Nero (37 AD – 68 AD): Known for his artistic endeavors and extravagance. He is infamously associated with stories of him playing the fiddle while Rome burned in a great fire.
  7. Vespasian (9 AD – 79 AD): He initiated construction of the Colosseum and dealt with the financial strains of the empire following Nero’s rule.
  8. Titus (39 AD – 81 AD): Completed the construction of the Colosseum. His rule was marked by a series of natural disasters, including the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.
  9. Trajan (53 AD – 117 AD): One of the most celebrated Roman Emperors, known for his public building programs, which reshaped the city of Rome, and for his military conquests.
  10. Hadrian (76 AD – 138 AD): Best known for building Hadrian’s Wall, which marked the northern limit of Britannia.
  11. Marcus Aurelius (121 AD – 180 AD): The last of the so-called Five Good Emperors. He is also considered one of the most important Stoic philosophers.

These are just a few examples. The history of Roman emperors is filled with intrigue, warfare, politics, and fluctuating fortunes. The role and function of the emperor evolved significantly from the early days of Augustus to the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD.