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Here's an ambitious little project of mine. A list of all the Roman Emperors from the beginning of the empire to its "fall". The empire stood from 28 bc to 476 ad, a period of almost 450 years. Should take me about that long to finish.
Julius Caesar wasn't an Emperor but he started it all by becoming dictator of Rome. In 44 bc he was assassinated and his "heir" Augustus became the first real Emperor.
Augustus, or "Octavian" as he was known before he became Emperor, claimed to be Caesar's heir. After defeating Mark Antony he became the sole ruler of Rome in 27 bc.
Augustus died in 14 bc and Tiberius, his adopted son and natural son of Augustus' wife Livia, became Emperor. He was too old, though, and had waited too long. He was to rule for 22 years, most of them in self-imposed exile on the island of Capri.
Tiberius died at Misenum in 37 ad (probably with a little help from the future Emperor) and Caligula, "little boots" as he was called by the soldiers of his father Germanicus' legions, took over at Rome. It was the worst time for all Romans as Caligula was quite mad. He thought he was a living God, he married his sister, he murdered without restraint -- you know, the usual psycho stuff.
Caligula was to last only four years, at the end of which he was assassinated in a plot hatched by the praetorian guard Cassius Charrea. The rest of the Praetorians went looking for the murderer and found poor crippled uncle Claudius hiding behind a curtain in the palace. What would you do if you found a lame old coward trembling and drooling behind a hanging bolt of fabric? Right! You'd make the gimp an Emperor. And that's what they did to Claudius in 41 ad.
It wasn't so bad, though. He turned out to be one of the best. He was deified after his death.
Claudius ruled for 13 years. In 54 ad he was murdered by his wife Agrippina the younger who fed him a poison mushroom. She did it to get her own son, Domitius Ahenobarbus or "Nero" on the throne. Now Rome went back to being governed by a madman. A young one, too. He was 16 when he took over.
Let's see... he murdered his mother and probably slept with her, too. It was kind of an all in one Oedipal adventure since he couldn't kill his father: both of them were already dead. He poisoned his brother, Claudius' natural son Britannicus, at dinner one evening. He alienated the entire senate with his Greek artisitic tastes and his overt loathing of them. He was blamed for the big fire that wiped out most of the area around the forum. He blamed it on the Christians, though, and used them as human torches to light up his parties.
He was to be the last of the Julio-Claudians to be Emperor. It was just as well. They didn't have such a good track record.