List of Roman emperors

The Roman emperors were the rulers of the Roman Empire dating from the granting of the title of Augustus to Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus by the Roman Senate in 27 BC, after major roles played by the populist dictator and military leader Julius Caesar. Augustus maintained a facade of Republican rule, rejecting monarchical titles but calling himself princeps senatus (first man of the council)[1] and princeps civitatis (first citizen of the state). The title of Augustus was conferred on his successors to the imperial position. The style of government instituted by Augustus is called the Principate and continued until reforms by Diocletian. The modern word 'emperor' derives from the title imperator, which was granted by an army to a successful general; during the initial phase of the empire, the title was generally used only by the princeps. For example, Augustus' official name was Imperator Caesar Divi Filius Augustus.

The territory under command of the emperor had developed under the period of the Roman Republic as it invaded and occupied most of Europe and portions of northern Africa and western Asia. Under the republic, regions of the empire were ruled by provincial governors answerable to and authorised by the Senate and People of Rome. During the republic, the chief magistrates of Rome were two consuls elected each year; consuls continued to be elected in the imperial period, but their authority was subservient to that of the emperor, and the election was controlled by the emperor.

In the late 3rd century, after the Crisis of the Third Century, Diocletian formalised and embellished the recent manner of imperial rule, establishing the so-called Dominate period of the Roman Empire. This was characterised by the explicit increase of authority in the person of the emperor, and the use of the style dominus noster 'our lord'. The rise of powerful Barbarian tribes along the borders of the empire and the challenge they posed to defense of far-flung borders and unstable imperial succession led Diocletian to divide the administration geographically of the Empire in 286 with a co-Augustus.

In 313, Constantine the Great, the first Christian emperor, issued the Edict of Milan along with Licinius that granted freedom in the worship of Christianity. In 330, he established a second capital in Byzantium, which he renamed Constantinople. For most of the period from 286 to 480, there was more than one recognised senior emperor, with the division usually based in geographic terms. This division was consistently in place after the death of Theodosius I in 395, which historians have dated as the division between the Western Roman Empire and the Eastern Roman Empire.[2] However, formally the Empire remained a single polity, with separate co-emperors in the separate courts. The fall of the Western Roman Empire, and so the end of a separate list of emperors below, is dated either from the de facto date of 476 when Romulus Augustulus was deposed by the Germanic Herulians led by Odoacer or the de jure date of 480, on the death of Julius Nepos, when Eastern emperor Zeno ended recognition of a separate Western court. In the period that followed, the Empire is usually treated by historians as the Byzantine Empire governed by the Byzantine emperors, although this designation is not used universally, and continues to be a subject of specialist debate today.[3]

In the 7th century reign of Heraclius, the Byzantine–Sasanian War of 602–628 saw much of Rome's eastern territory lost to the Sasanian Empire, recovered by Heraclius, and then lost permanently to Arab Muslim conquests after the death of Muhammad and establishment of Islam. The Sasanian Empire was conquered by the Rashidun Caliphate, ending the Byzantine-Sasanian Wars.

The line of emperors continued until the death of Constantine XI Palaiologos during the Fall of Constantinople in 1453, when the remaining territories were captured by the Ottoman Empire under Mehmed II.[4] The Ottoman dynasty carried on using the title of Caesar of Rome.

Counting all individuals to have possessed the full imperial title, including those who did not technically rule in their own right (e.g. co-emperors or minors during regencies), this list contains 194 emperors and 3 ruling empresses, for a total of 197 monarchs.

LegitimacyEdit

The emperors listed in this article are those generally agreed to have been 'legitimate' emperors, and who appear in published regnal lists.[5][6][7] The word 'legitimate' is used by most authors, but usually without clear definition, perhaps not surprisingly, since the emperorship was itself rather vaguely defined legally. In Augustus' original formulation, the princeps was selected by either the Senate or "the people" of Rome, but quite quickly the legions became an acknowledged stand-in for "the people." A person could be proclaimed as emperor by their troops or by "the mob" in the street, but in theory needed to be confirmed by the Senate. The coercion that frequently resulted was implied in this formulation. Furthermore, a sitting emperor was empowered to name a successor and take him on as apprentice in government and in that case the Senate had no role to play, although it sometimes did when a successor lacked the power to inhibit bids by rival claimants. By the medieval (or Byzantine) period, the very definition of the Senate became vague as well, adding to the complication.[8]

Lists of legitimate emperors are therefore partly influenced by the subjective views of those compiling them, and also partly by historical convention. Many of the 'legitimate' emperors listed here acceded to the position by usurpation, and many 'illegitimate' claimants had a legitimate claim to the position. Historically[by whom?], the following criteria have been used to derive emperor lists:

  • Any individual who undisputedly ruled the whole Empire, at some point, is a 'legitimate emperor'(1).
  • Any individual who was nominated as heir or co-emperor by a legitimate emperor (1), and who succeeded to rule in his own right, is a legitimate emperor (2).
  • Where there were multiple claimants, and none were legitimate heirs, the claimant accepted by the Roman Senate as emperor is the legitimate emperor (3), at least during the Principate.

So for instance, Aurelian, though acceding to the throne by usurpation, was the sole and undisputed monarch between 270 and 275, and thus was a legitimate emperor. Gallienus, though not in control of the whole Empire, and plagued by other claimants, was the legitimate heir of (the legitimate emperor) Valerian. Claudius Gothicus, though acceding illegally, and not in control of the whole Empire, was the only claimant accepted by the Senate, and thus, for his reign, was the legitimate emperor. Equally, during the Year of the Four Emperors, all claimants, though not undisputed, were at some point accepted by the Senate and are thus included; conversely, during the Year of the Five Emperors neither Pescennius Niger nor Clodius Albinus were accepted by the Senate, and are thus not included. There are a few examples where individuals were made co-emperor, but never wielded power in their own right (typically the child of an emperor); these emperors are legitimate, but are not included in regnal lists, and in this article are listed together with the senior emperor.

Emperors after 395Edit

After 395, the list of emperors in the East is based on the same general criteria, with the exception that the emperor only had to be in undisputed control of the Eastern part of the empire, or be the legitimate heir of the Eastern emperor.

The situation in the West is more complex. Throughout the final years of the Western Empire (395–480) the Eastern emperor was considered the senior emperor, and a Western emperor was only legitimate if recognized as such by the Eastern emperor. Furthermore, after 455 the Western emperor ceased to be a relevant figure and there was sometimes no claimant at all. For the sake of historical completeness, all Western Emperors after 455 are included in this list, even if they were not recognized by the Eastern Empire;[9] some of these technically illegitimate emperors are included in regnal lists, while others are not. For instance, Romulus Augustulus was technically a usurper who ruled only the Italian peninsula and was never legally recognized. However, he was traditionally considered the "last Roman Emperor" by 18th and 19th century western scholars and his overthrow by Odoacer used as the marking point between historical epochs, and as such he is usually included in regnal lists. However, modern scholarship has confirmed that Romulus Augustulus' predecessor, Julius Nepos continued to rule as emperor in the other Western holdings and as a figurehead for Odoacer's rule in Italy until Nepos' death in 480. Since the question of what constitutes an emperor can be ambiguous, and dating the "fall of the Western Empire" arbitrary, this list includes details of both figures.

The PrincipateEdit

27 BC–68 AD: Julio-Claudian dynastyEdit

Portrait Name Reign Succession Life details
  Augustus
Imperator Caesar Augustus
16 January 27 BC – 19 August AD 14 (40 years, 7 months and 3 days) Grandnephew and adopted son of Julius Caesar, became emperor as a result of settlement with the Roman Senate 23 September 63 BC – 19 August AD 14 (aged 75)[10]
Died of natural causes
  Tiberius
Tiberius Caesar Augustus
18 September 14 – 16 March 37 (22 years, 5 months and 26 days) Stepson, former son-in-law and adopted son of Augustus 16 November 42 BC – 16 March AD 37 (aged 77)[11]
Died probably of natural causes, possibly murdered at the instigation of Caligula
  Caligula
(formally Gaius)
Gaius Caesar Augustus Germanicus
18 March 37 – 24 January 41 (3 years, 10 months and 6 days) Grandnephew and adoptive grandson of Tiberius, great-grandson of Augustus 31 August 12 – 24 January 41 (aged 28)[12]
Murdered in a conspiracy involving the Praetorian Guard, senators and freedmen
  Claudius
Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus
24 January 41 – 13 October 54 (13 years, 8 months and 19 days) Uncle of Caligula, grandnephew of Augustus, proclaimed emperor by the Praetorian Guard and accepted by the Senate 1 August 10 BC – 13 October AD 54 (aged 63)[13]
Probably poisoned by his wife Agrippina, in favor of her son Nero
  Nero
Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus
13 October 54 – 9 June 68 (13 years, 7 months and 27 days) Grandnephew, stepson, son-in-law and adopted son of Claudius, great-great-grandson of Augustus 15 December 37 – 9 June 68 (aged 30)[14]
Committed suicide after being declared a public enemy by the Senate

68–96: Year of the Four Emperors and Flavian dynastyEdit

Portrait Name Reign Succession Life details
  Galba
Servius Galba Caesar Augustus[15]
8 June 68 – 15 January 69 (7 months and 7 days) Revolted against Nero and seized power after his suicide 24 December 3 BC – 15 January AD 69 (aged 72)[16]
Murdered by the Praetorian Guard in coup led by Otho
  Otho
Marcus Otho Caesar Augustus[15]
15 January – 16 April 69 (3 months and 1 day) Seized the purple in a coup against Galba 28 April 32 – 16 April 69 (aged 36)
Committed suicide after losing the Battle of Bedriacum to Vitellius[17]
  Vitellius
Aulus Vitellius Germanicus Augustus
18 April – 20 December 69 (8 months and 2 days) Seized power with support of Rhine legions, in opposition to Galba and Otho 24 September 15 – 20 December 69 (aged 54)[18]
Tortured and murdered by Vespasian's troops
  Vespasian
Caesar Vespasianus Augustus[15]
21 December 69 – 24 June 79 (9 years, 6 months and 3 days) Seized power with the support of the eastern legions 17 November 9 – 23/24 June 79 (aged 69)
Died of natural causes[19]
  Titus
Titus Caesar Vespasianus Augustus[15]
24 June 79 – 13 September 81 (2 years, 2 months and 20 days) Son of Vespasian 30 December 39 – 13 September 81 (aged 41)
Died of natural causes[20]
  Domitian
Caesar Domitianus Augustus[15]
14 September 81 – 18 September 96 (15 years and 4 days) Brother of Titus and son of Vespasian, was accepted as emperor by the Praetorian Guard and the Senate 24 October 51 – 18 September 96 (aged 44)
Assassinated in a palace conspiracy[21]

96–192: Nerva–Antonine dynastyEdit

Portrait Name Reign Succession Life details
  Nerva
Nerva Caesar Augustus[15]
18 September 96 – 27 January 98 (1 year, 4 months and 9 days) Proclaimed emperor after the murder of Domitian. First of the "Five Good Emperors". 8 November 30 – 27 January 98 (aged 67)
Died after suffering a stroke[22]
  Trajan
Caesar Nerva Traianus Augustus[15]
28 January 98 – 8 August 117 (19 years, 6 months and 11 days) Adopted son and heir of Nerva. His reign marked the geographical peak of the empire. 18 September 53 – 8 August 117 (aged 63)
Died of natural causes[23]
  Hadrian
Caesar Traianus Hadrianus Augustus[15]
11 August 117 – 10 July 138 (20 years, 10 months and 29 days) Supposedly adopted by Trajan 24 January 76 – 10 July 138 (aged 62)
Died of natural causes[24]
  Antoninus Pius
Titus Aelius Hadrianus Antoninus Augustus Pius
10 July 138 – 7 March 161 (22 years, 7 months and 25 days) Adopted son and heir of Hadrian 19 September 86 – 7 March 161 (aged 74)
Died of natural causes[25]
  Marcus Aurelius
Marcus Aurelius Antoninus[26]
7 March 161 – 17 March 180 (19 years and 10 days) Adopted son and son-in-law of Antoninus Pius. Adoptive brother and co-emperor of Lucius Verus. Last of the "Five Good Emperors". 26 April 121 – 17 March 180 (aged 58)
Died of natural causes[27]
  Lucius Verus
Lucius Aurelius Verus
7 March 161 – 23 January 169 (7 years, 10 months and 15 days) Adopted son and heir of Antoninus Pius and son-in-law of Marcus Aurelius; Co-emperor with Marcus Aurelius until his death 15 December 130 – 23 January 169 (aged 38)
Died of natural causes (Antonine Plague)[28]
  Commodus
Lucius Aelius Aurelius Commodus
17 March 180 – 31 December 192 (12 years, 9 months and 14 days) Son of Marcus Aurelius 31 August 161 – 31 December 192 (aged 31)
Strangled to death in his bath[29]

193–235: Year of the Five Emperors and Severan dynastyEdit

Portrait Name Reign Succession Life details
  Pertinax
Publius Helvius Pertinax
31 December 192 – 28 March 193 (2 months and 28 days) Proclaimed emperor after the murder of Commodus 1 August 126 – 28 March 193 (aged 66)
Murdered by the Praetorian Guard[30]
Didius Julianus
Marcus Didius Severus Julianus
28 March – 1 June 193 (2 months and 4 days) Won auction held by the Praetorian Guard for the position of emperor 29 January 137 – 1 June 193 (aged 56)
Executed on orders of the Senate[31]
  Septimius Severus
Lucius Septimius Severus Pertinax
9 April 193 – 4 February 211 (17 years, 9 months and 26 days) Proclaimed emperor by the Pannonian legions 11 April 145 – 4 February 211 (aged 65)
Died of natural causes[32]
  Caracalla
(formally Antoninus)
Marcus Aurelius Antoninus
4 February 211 – 8 April 217 (6 years, 2 months and 4 days) Son and heir of Septimius Severus, ruled jointly with his brother, Geta 4 April 188 – 8 April 217 (aged 29)
Murdered by a soldier in a conspiracy possibly involving Macrinus[33]
  Geta
Publius Septimius Geta
4 February 211 – 2 February 212 (11 months and 29 days) Son and heir of Septimius Severus, ruled jointly with his brother, Caracalla 7 March 189 – 2 February 212 (aged 22)
Murdered on the orders of Caracalla
  Macrinus
Marcus Opellius Severus Macrinus
11 April 217 – 8 June 218 (1 year, 1 month and 28 days) Praetorian prefect to Caracalla, whom he possibly conspired to have murdered, and afterwards became himself emperor with consent of the army 164 or 166 – mid-218 (aged c. 53)
Executed in favor of Elagabalus[34]
  Diadumenian
Marcus Opellius Antoninus Diadumenianus
Late May – June 218 Son of Macrinus, named emperor by his father after the eruption of a rebellion in favor of Elagabalus 14 September 208 – June 218 (aged 9)
Caught in flight and executed in favor of Elagabalus[35]
  Elagabalus
(formally Antoninus)
Marcus Aurelius Antoninus
16 May 218 – 11 March 222 (3 years, 9 months and 23 days) Cousin and alleged illegitimate son of Caracalla, grandnephew of Septimius Severus, proclaimed emperor by the army, in opposition to Macrinus 203 or 204 – 11 March 222 (aged around 18)
Murdered, thrown into the Tiber[36]
  Severus Alexander
Marcus Aurelius Severus Alexander
13 March 222 – 19 March 235 (13 years and 6 days) Cousin and adopted heir of Elagabalus, grandnephew of Septimius Severus, proclaimed emperor by the troops 1 October 208 – 19 March 235 (aged 26)
Lynched by mutinous troops alongside his mother[37]

235–285: Crisis of the Third CenturyEdit

Portrait Name Reign Succession Life details
  Maximinus Thrax
Gaius Julius Verus Maximinus
20 March 235 – 24 June 238 (3 years, 3 months and 4 days) Proclaimed emperor by Germanic legions after the murder of Severus Alexander c. 173 – 24 June 238 (aged c. 65)
Murdered by his men during the siege of Aquileia[38]
  Gordian I
Marcus Antonius Gordianus Sempronianus Romanus Africanus
22 March – 12 April 238
(21 days)
Proclaimed emperor alongside his son, Gordian II, while serving as governor of Africa, in a revolt against Maximinus, and recognized by the Senate Committed suicide upon hearing of the death of his son, Gordian II[39]
Gordian II
Marcus Antonius Gordianus Sempronianus Romanus Africanus
22 March – 12 April 238
(21 days)
Proclaimed emperor alongside father Gordian I, during revolt in Africa against Maximinus Killed outside Carthage in battle against an army loyal to Maximinus[39]
  Pupienus
Marcus Clodius Pupienus Maximus
22 April – 29 July 238 (3 months and 7 days) Proclaimed emperor jointly with Balbinus by the Senate after death of Gordian I and II, in opposition to Maximinus Tortured and murdered by the Praetorian Guard[40]
  Balbinus
Decimus Caelius Calvinus Balbinus
22 April – 29 July 238 (3 months and 7 days) Proclaimed emperor jointly with Pupienus by the Senate after death of Gordian I and II, in opposition to Maximinus Tortured and murdered by the Praetorian Guard[40]
  Gordian III
Marcus Antonius Gordianus
29 July 238 – c. February 244
(5​12 years)
Grandson of Gordian I, appointed as heir by Pupienus and Balbinus, upon whose deaths he succeeded as emperor 20 January 225 – c. February 244 (aged 19)
Died during campaign against Persia, possibly in a murder plot instigated by his successor, Philip the Arab[41]
  Philip the Arab
Marcus Julius Philippus
c. February 244 – c. September 249 (5 years and 7 months) Praetorian prefect to Gordian III, took power after his death Killed at the Battle of Verona against Decius
  Philip II
Marcus Julius Severus Philippus
Summer 247 – c. September 249 (2 years) Son of Philip the Arab, named co-emperor in 247 Murdered by the Praetorian Guard[42]
  Decius
Gaius Messius Quintus Traianus Decius
c. September 249 – June 251
(1 year and c. 9 months)
Proclaimed emperor by the troops in Moesia, then defeated Philip the Arab in battle c. 201 – June 251 (aged c. 50)
Killed at the Battle of Abrittus against the Goths[43]
  Herennius Etruscus
Quintus Herennius Etruscus Messius Decius
c. June 251 Son of Decius, appointed joint emperor Killed in battle against the Goths alongside his father, Decius[44]
Hostilian
Gaius Valens Hostilianus Messius Quintus
June – c. November 251
(c. 5 months)
Son and heir of Decius, accepted as emperor by Trebonianus Gallus Probably died of the plague, possibly killed by Trebonianus Gallus[45]
Trebonianus Gallus
Gaius Vibius Trebonianus Gallus
June 251 – c. August 253 (2 years and 2 months) Proclaimed emperor by the army after Decius's death c. 206 – c. August 253
Murdered by his own troops, in favour of Aemilian[46]
  Volusianus
Gaius Vibius Afinius Gallus Veldumnianus Volusianus
c. August 251 – c. August 253 (2 years) Son of Trebonianus Gallus, appointed joint emperor c. 230 – c. August 253
Murdered by the soldiers, alongside his father[47]
  Aemilian
Marcus Aemilius Aemilianus
c. July – September 253
(2–3 months)
Commander of the army in Moesia, proclaimed emperor by the soldiers after defeating barbarians, and in opposition to Gallus Murdered by his own troops, in favor of Valerian[48]
Valerian
Publius Licinius Valerianus
September 253 – c. June 260
(6 years and c. 9 months)
Army commander in Raetia and Noricum, proclaimed emperor by the legions in opposition to Aemilian Captured at Edessa by the Persian king Shapur I, died in captivity[49]
  Gallienus
Publius Licinius Egnatius Gallienus
September 253 – c. September 268 (15 years) Son of Valerian, appointed joint emperor c. 218 – c. September 268 (aged 50)
Murdered in a conspiracy of army officers, involving his successors Claudius and Aurelian[50]
  Saloninus
(Publius Licinius Cornelius) Saloninus Valerianus
January 260 – fall 260 Son of Gallienus, briefly co-emperor Murdered in 260 by the soldiers of Postumus[51]
Claudius Gothicus
Marcus Aurelius Claudius
September 268 – c. April 270[52]
(1 year and c. 7 months)
Victorious general at Battle of Naissus, seized power after Gallienus's death 10 May 214 – 270 (aged 55)
Died of disease, possibly the plague of Cyprian
Quintillus
Marcus Aurelius Claudius Quintillus
c. April–May 270
(17 days or more)
Brother of Claudius Gothicus, proclaimed emperor after his death Committed suicide or killed at the behest of Aurelian[53]
Aurelian
Lucius Domitius Aurelianus
c. May 270 – c. October 275
(5 years and c. 5 months)[54]
Supreme commander of the Roman cavalry, proclaimed emperor by Danube legions after Claudius's death, in opposition to Quintillus 9 September 214 – c. October 275 (aged 61)
Murdered by the troops[55]
  Tacitus
Marcus Claudius Tacitus
c. December 275 – c. June 276 (6–7 months) Elected by the Senate to replace Aurelian Died of an illness or killed by his own troops[56]
Florianus
Marcus Annius Florianus
c. June–September 276
(2–3 months)
Likely half-brother of Tacitus, proclaimed emperor by the troops after Tacitus's death Murdered by his own troops, in favour of Probus[57]
  Probus
Marcus Aurelius Probus
c. June 276 – c. September 282
(6 years and c. 3 months)[58]
Proclaimed emperor by eastern legions, in opposition to Florianus 19 August 232 – c. September 282 (aged 50)
Murdered by his troops, in favour of Carus[59]
  Carus
Marcus Aurelius Carus
c. September 282 – c. July 283
(10 months)[60]
Praetorian prefect to Probus, seized power before or after Probus's murder Died during a campaign against Persia, likely of illness, or possibly killed by lightning[61]
Carinus
Marcus Aurelius Carinus
283–285
(2 years)
Eldest son of Carus, who appointed him joint emperor Probably died in battle against Diocletian, likely betrayed by his men[62]
Numerian
Marcus Aurelius Numerianus
c. July 283 – November 284
(1 year and 4 months)
Younger son and heir of Carus, reigned jointly with his older brother, Carinus Died during army march to Europe, probably of disease, possibly assassinated[63]

The DominateEdit

284–364: Tetrarchy and Constantinian dynastyEdit

Note: To maintain control and improve administration, various schemes to divide the work of the Roman Emperor by sharing it between individuals were tried after 285. The "Tetrarchy" proclaimed by Diocletian in 293 split the empire into two halves each to be ruled separately by two emperors, a senior "Augustus", and a junior "Caesar".

Portrait Name Reign Succession Life details
  Diocletian
Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus
20 November 284 – 1 May 305 (20 years, 5 months and 11 days) Proclaimed emperor by army after death of Numerian, and in opposition to Carinus[64] 22 December 244 – 3 December 311 (aged 66)
Abdicated, died of natural causes in Aspalatos
  Maximian
Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maximianus
1 April 286 – 1 May 305; Late 306 - 11 November 308 (19 years and 1 month) Appointed Caesar in 285 by Diocletian, and raised to rank of Augustus in 286 6 March 250 – 17 July 310 (aged 60)
Abdicated with Diocletian, later tried to regain the purple with, and then from, Maxentius, twice, before being finally killed (possibly by suicide) on orders of Constantine I[65]
  Galerius
Galerius Valerius Maximianus
1 May 305 – May 311
(6 years)
Appointed Caesar in 293 by Diocletian, upon whose abdication he succeeded as Augustus Died in May 311, of natural causes[66]
  Constantius I
Flavius Valerius Constantius
1 May 305 – 25 July 306 (1 year, 2 months and 24 days) Appointed Caesar to Maximian in 293, upon whose abdication he succeeded as Augustus 31 March c. 250 – 25 July 306
Died of natural causes[67]
  Constantine I
Flavius Valerius Constantinus
25 July 306 – 22 May 337 (30 years, 9 months and 27 days) Son of Constantius I, proclaimed emperor by his father's troops. Accepted as Caesar by Galerius in 306, promoted to Augustus in 307 by Maximian, refused demotion to Caesar in 309. 27 February 272 – 22 May 337 (aged 65)
Died of natural causes
Severus
Flavius Valerius Severus
August 306 – c. April 307 Appointed Caesar in 305, raised to rank of Augustus by Galerius upon Constantius I's death Murdered or forced to commit suicide on 16 September 307 after surrendering to Maximian and Maxentius[68]
  Maxentius
Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maxentius
28 October 306 – 28 October 312 (6 years) Son of Maximian, seized power after being initially passed over in the succession Died on 28 October 312 at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge, against Constantine I[69]
  Licinius
Valerius Licinianus Licinius
11 November 308 – 19 September 324 (15 years, 10 months and 8 days) Appointed emperor by Galerius as replacement to Severus, in opposition to Maxentius. Defeated Maximinus Daia in a civil war to become sole emperor of the East in 313. c. 265 – 325 (aged around 60)
Defeated, deposed and put to death by Constantine I[70]
  Maximinus Daia
Galerius Valerius Maximinus
1 May 310 – July/August 313 (3 years) Nephew of Galerius, adopted as Caesar and his heir in 305; succeeded as Augustus (shared with Licinius I) in 311 20 November c. 270 – July/August 313
Defeated in civil war against Licinius; probably committed suicide thereafter
  Valerius Valens
Aurelius Valerius Valens
Late 316 – 1 March 317 Appointed western Augustus, in opposition to Constantine, being executed within weeks Died 1 March 317
  Martinian
Sextus Marcius Martinianus
July – 19 September 324 (2 months) Appointed Augustus by Licinius in 324, in opposition to Constantine Executed by Constantine in 325
  Constantine II
Flavius Claudius Constantinus
9 September 337 – April 340 (2 years and 7 months) Son and heir of Constantine I, whom he succeeded jointly with his brothers Constantius II and Constans 7 August 316 – April 340 (aged 23)
Died in battle against his brother, Constans[71]
  Constantius II
Flavius Julius Constantius
9 September 337 – 3 November 361 (24 years, 1 month and 25 days) Son and heir of Constantine I, whom he succeeded jointly with his brothers Constantine II and Constans 7 August 317 – 3 November 361 (aged 44)
Died of natural causes[71]
  Constans
Flavius Julius Constans
9 September 337 – 18 January 350 (12 years, 4 months and 9 days) Son and heir of Constantine I, whom he succeeded jointly with his brothers Constantine II and Constantius II c. 323 – 350 (aged 27)
Killed by the usurper Magnentius[71]
Vetranio 1 March – 25 December 350 (9 months and 24 days) General of Constans, proclaimed emperor against Magnentius and temporarily recognized by Constantius II Compelled by Constantius II to abdicate and retire, and died 6 years later
Julian
("the Apostate")
Flavius Claudius Julianus
3 November 361 – 26 June 363 (1 year, 7 months and 23 days) Appointed Caesar in 355 by his cousin Constantius II. Proclaimed Augustus by his troops in early 360. Sole emperor after the death of Constantius. 331 – 26 June 363 (aged 31)
Last non-Christian emperor of Rome. Mortally wounded in battle against Persia.[72]
  Jovian
Flavius Jovianus
27 June 363 – 17 February 364 (7 months and 21 days) General in Julian's army, proclaimed emperor by the troops upon Julian's death 331 – 17 February 364
Died of natural causes[73]

364–395: Valentinianic dynastyEdit

Portrait Name Reign Succession Life details
  Valentinian I
Flavius Valentinianus
26 February 364 – 17 November 375 (11 years, 8 months and 22 days) Elected by the army to replace Jovian 321 – 17 November 375 (aged 54)
Died of natural causes
  Valens
Flavius Valens
28 March 364 – 9 August 378 (14 years, 4 months and 12 days) Brother of Valentinian I, appointed emperor over the eastern provinces c. 328 – 9 August 378
Killed at the Battle of Adrianople against the Goths
  Gratian
Flavius Gratianus
24 August 367 – 25 August 383 (16 years and 1 day) Son of Valentinian I, appointed junior Augustus by him in 367, became senior Augustus (for the west) after Valentinian's death. 18 April or 23 May 359 – 25 August 383 (aged 24)
Murdered by rebellious army faction
  Valentinian II
Flavius Valentinianus
22 November 375 – 15 May 392 (16 years, 5 months and 23 days) Son of Valentinian I, proclaimed emperor by Pannonian army, accepted as co-emperor for the west by Gratian 371 – 15 May 392
Found hanged, probably committed suicide at the instigation of Arbogast
Theodosius I
Flavius Theodosius
19 January 379 – 17 January 395 (15 years, 11 months and 29 days) Son-in-law of Valentinian I, appointed as Augustus for the east by Gratian to replace Valens 11 January 347 – 17 January 395 (aged 48)
Died of natural causes
  Magnus Maximus 383/384 – 28 August 388 Usurper in the West; legitimized by Theodosius I as emperor of Britain and Gaul Died on 28 August 388 (aged 53)
Executed by Theodosius I in Aquileia after the Battle of the Save
  Victor
Flavius Victor
384 or 387 – August 388 Son of Magnus Maximus, recognized as emperor by Theodosius I Executed by Arbogast at the behest of Theodosius I
Eugenius 22 August 392 – 6 September 394 (2 years and 15 days) Raised to the purple by the magister militum Arbogast to replace Valentinian II, against the wish of Theodosius I Executed (6 September 394) as a criminal by Theodosius I after the Battle of the Frigidus

Western emperorsEdit

395–455: Theodosian dynastyEdit

Note: Theodosius I was the last person to rule both halves of the Roman Empire, dividing the administration between his sons Arcadius and Honorius on his death.

Portrait Name Reign Succession Life details
  Honorius 17 January 395 – 15 August 423 (28 years, 6 months and 29 days) Son of Theodosius I; appointed as junior Augustus for the west by Theodosius on January 23, 393 (after the death of Valentinian II); became senior Augustus for the west after his father's death 9 September 384 – 15 August 423 (aged 38)
Died of edema
Constantine III
Flavius Claudius Constantinus
407/409 - August or September 411
2 years
Usurper who declared himself emperor in the west in 407, recognized as co-emperor by Honorius in 409. Not recognized by the Eastern Empire. Died August or September 411
Executed by Constantius III
  Constans II 409–411 Elevated by his father, Constantine III, to rank of co-emperor in 409. Not recognized by Honorius nor the Eastern Empire. Killed in 411
Constantius III 8 February – 2 September 421 (6 months and 25 days) Married to Theodosius I's daughter Galla Placidia, elevated to co-Augustus for the west by Honorius; not recognized by the Eastern Empire Died on 2 September 421, of natural causes
Joannes 27 August 423 – May 425 (1 year and 9 months) A senior civil servant under Honorius, proclaimed emperor by Castinus; not recognized by the Eastern Empire Died in June or July 425
Defeated in battle by Theodosius II and Valentinian III, captured and executed
Valentinian III
Placidus Valentinianus
23 October 425 – 16 March 455 (29 years, 4 months and 21 days) Son of Constantius III, appointed Caesar for the west by Theodosius II after the death of Honorius, in opposition to the regime of Joannes; became Augustus for the west after the defeat of Joannes 2 July 419 – 16 March 455 (aged 35)
Assassinated, possibly at the behest of Petronius Maximus

455–476: Last western emperorsEdit

Portrait Name Reign Succession Life details
Petronius Maximus 17 March – 31 May 455 (2 months and 14 days) Son-in-law of Theodosius II, proclaimed himself emperor with the support of the army, after the death of Valentinian III. Not recognized by the Eastern Empire. He appointed his son Palladius as caesar. c. 397 – 31 May 455
Murdered, probably stoned to death by the Roman mob
Avitus
Eparchius Avitus
9 July 455 – 17 October 456 (1 year, 3 months and 8 days) Magister militum under Petronius Maximus, proclaimed emperor by the Visigoth king Theoderic II after Petronius's death. Not recognized by the Eastern Empire. Died after 17 October 456
Deposed by his Magister militum, Ricimer; became bishop of Placentia; murdered at some point afterwards
Majorian
Julius Valerius Maiorianus
1 April 457 – 2 August 461 (4 years, 4 months and 1 day) Proclaimed emperor by his troops. Recognized by the Eastern Empire at the behest of Ricimer. November 420 – 7 August 461 (aged 40)
Deposed and beheaded on the orders of Ricimer.
Libius Severus November 461 – August 465
4 years
Appointed emperor by Ricimer. Not recognized by the Eastern Empire. Died in August 465 (aged 45)
Probably poisoned by Ricimer
  Anthemius
Procopius Anthemius
12 April 467 – 11 July 472 (5 years, 2 months and 29 days) Son-in-law of Marcian, appointed emperor by Leo I, with the consent of Ricimer. c. 420 – 11 July 472 (aged 52)
Executed by Ricimer or Gundobad (Ricimer's nephew).
Olybrius
Anicius Olybrius
July 11, 472 – November 2, 472
3 months and 22 days
Son-in-law of Valentinian III; appointed emperor by Ricimer. Not recognized by the Eastern Empire. c. 420 – November 2, 472 (aged 41)
Died of natural causes
Glycerius 3/5 March 473 – 24 June 474 (1 year and 3 months) Appointed emperor by Gundobad (Ricimer's successor). Not recognized by the Eastern Empire. Deposed by Julius Nepos, who appointed him Bishop of Salona
  Julius Nepos June 474 – 28 August 475 (in Italy); – spring 480 (in Gaul and Dalmatia) Nephew-in-law of the eastern emperor Leo I (and nephew of Marcellinus) appointed emperor in opposition to Glycerius c. 430 – 480 (aged 50)
Deposed in Italy by Orestes, ruled in balance of Western Empire until assassination in 480. Maintained as figurehead in Italy by Odoacer to his death in 480.
  Romulus Augustus
("Augustulus")
31 October 475 – 4 September 476 (10 months and 4 days) Appointed by his father, Orestes. Listed as an emperor by historical convention. His rule never extended beyond portions of the Italian peninsula. Not recognized by Eastern Emperor Zeno. Deposed by Odoacer, who then ruled in the name of Julius Nepos until the latter's death in 480, which formally ended the separate Western Empire; most likely lived out his life in obscurity on a private villa.

Note: The classical Roman Empire is usually said to have ended with the deposition of Romulus Augustulus, with its continuation in the East referred to by modern scholars as the Byzantine Empire.

Eastern emperorsEdit

395–457: Theodosian dynastyEdit

Note: Theodosius I was the last person to rule both halves of the Roman Empire, dividing the administration between his sons Arcadius and Honorius on his death.

Portrait Name Reign Succession Death
Arcadius 17 January 395 – 1 May 408 (13 years, 3 months and 14 days) Son of Theodosius I; appointed as junior Augustus for the east by Theodosius in January 383; became senior Augustus for the east after his father's death 1 January 377 – 1 May 408 (aged 31)
Died of natural causes
Theodosius II 1 May 408 – 28 July 450 (42 years, 2 months and 27 days) Son of Arcadius; appointed as junior Augustus by Arcadius in 402; became senior Augustus for the east after his father's death 10 April 401 – 28 July 450 (aged 49)
Died of injuries suffered during a hunting accident
Marcian
Marcianus
25 August 450 – 26 January 457 (6 years, 5 months and 1 day) Nominated as successor (and husband) by Pulcheria, ruled alongside her 450-453 and later alone c. 392 – 26 January 457
Died of gout

457–518: Leonid dynastyEdit

Portrait Name Reign Succession Death
Leo I
"the Thracian"
7 February 457 – 18 January 474 (16 years, 11 months and 11 days) Chosen by the army c. 401 – 18 January 474 (aged 73)
Died of dysentery
Leo II 18 January – 10 November 474 (9 months and 23 days) Grandson of Leo I c. 467 – 10 November 474 (aged 7)
Cause unknown, possibly poisoned
Zeno 17 November 474 – 9 April 491
(17 years)
Named co-emperor by his son Leo II on 9 February 474. c. 425 – 9 April 491 (aged 66)
Died of dysentery or epilepsy
Basiliscus 9 January 475 – August 476
(1 year, 7 months)
Seized throne from Zeno Starved to death in Limnae (in Cappadocia) by Zeno
Marcus 475 – August 476 Son of Basiliscus, appointed co-emperor at some point in 475 Starved to death alongside his father, Basiliscus
Anastasius I
"Dicorus"
11 April 491 – 9 July 518 (27 years, 2 months and 28 days) Son-in-law of Leo I c. 430 – 9 July 518 (aged 87)
Died of natural causes

518–602: Justinian dynastyEdit

Portrait Name Succession Reign Life details
Justin I
Iustinus
Elected by army 10 July 518 – 1 August 527 (9 years and 22 days) c. 450 – 1 August 527 (aged 77)
Natural causes
Justinian I
Flavius Petrus Sabbatius Iustinianus
Nephew of Justin I 1 April 527 – 14 November 565 (38 years, 7 months and 13 days) c. 482 – 13/14 November 565 (aged 83)
Natural causes
Justin II
Iustinus
Nephew of Justinian I 14 November 565 – 5 October 578
13 years
c. 520 – 5 October 578 (aged 58)
Natural causes, after insanity
Tiberius II Constantine
Tiberius Constantinus
Adopted son of Justin II, regent from 574 5 October 578 – 14 August 582
3 years, 10 months
c. 535 – 14 August 582 (aged 62)
Natural causes
Maurice
Mauricius Tiberius
Son-in-law of Tiberius II 14 August 582 – 22 November 602
20 years
539 – 27 November 602 (aged 63)
Executed by Phocas
Theodosius Son of Maurice 590 – late 602 born 4 August 583–585, died 602
Executed by supporters of Phocas
Portrait Name Birth Succession Reign Time in office Death
  Phocas
IMPERATOR CAESAR FLAVIVS FOCAS AVGVSTVS
547 Seized throne 23 November 602 –
4 October 610
8 years 5 October 610
Executed

610–695: Heraclian dynastyEdit

Portrait Name Birth Succession Reign Time in office Death
  Heraclius
(Φλάβιος Ἡράκλειος Αὔγουστος)
IMPERATOR CAESAR FLAVIVS HERACLIVS AVGVSTVS
c. 575, Cappadocia Revolt 5 October 610 – 11 February 641 30 years 11 February, 641 (aged 65 or 66)
Natural causes
  Constantine III
(Ἡράκλειος νέος Κωνσταντῖνος Αὔγουστος)
IMPERATOR CAESAR HERACLIVS NOVVS CONSTANTINVS AVGVSTVS
3 May 612, Constantinople Son of Heraclius 11 February – 24/26 May 641 3 months 24/26 May 641 (aged 28)
Tuberculosis
  Heraklonas
(Φλάβιος Κωνσταντῖνος Ἡράκλειος Αὔγουστος)
IMPERATOR CAESAR FLAVIVS CONSTANTINVS HERACLIVS AVGVSTVS

with

Tiberius
(Φλάβιος Τιβέριος Αὔγουστος)
FLAVIVS TIBERIVS AVGVSTVS

and

Martinus
(Φλάβιος Μαρτίνος Αὔγουστος)
FLAVIVS MARTINVS AVGVSTVS

3 May 626, Constantinople Son of Heraclius; his brothers Tiberius and Martinus briefly served as co-emperors. 11 February 641 – September 641 7 months unknown, but probably before 642
  Constans II
(Φλάβιος Κωνσταντῖνος Αὔγουστος)
IMPERATOR CAESAR FLAVIVS CONSTANTINVS AVGVSTVS
7 November 630 Son of Constantine III. succeeded his uncle Heraklonas after he was deposed as emperor. September 641 – 15 September 668 27 years 15 September 668 (aged 37)
Assassinated
  Constantine IV
(Φλάβιος Κωνσταντῖνος Αὔγουστος)
IMPERATOR CAESAR FLAVIVS CONSTANTINVS AVGVSTVS

with

Heraclius
(Φλάβιος Ἡράκλειος Αὔγουστος)
FLAVIVS HERACLIVS AVGVSTVS

and

Tiberius
(Φλάβιος Τιβέριος Αὔγουστος)
FLAVIVS TIBERIVS AVGVSTVS

652, Constantinople Oldest son of Constans II, co-emperor since 654. His brothers Heraclius and Tiberius, co-emperors since 659, served as co-emperors until they were mutilated and deposed by Constantine in 681. 15 September 668 – 14 September 685

659 – 681 (Heraclius & Tiberius)

17 years

22 years (Heraclius & Tiberius)

14 September 685 (aged 33)
Dysentery
  Justinian II
(Φλάβιος Ἰουστινιανὸς Αὔγουστος)
FLAVIVS IVSTINIANVS AVGVSTVS
668 or 669, Constantinople Son of Constantine IV, co-emperor since 681 14 September 685–695 10 years (1st reign) 11 December 711 (aged 42)
Killed by the army

695–717: Twenty Years' AnarchyEdit

Portrait Name Birth Succession Reign Time in office Death
  Leontios
(Λεόντιος Αὔγουστος)
LEONTIVS AVGVSTVS[74]
Isauria Revolt 695–698 3 years Executed in February 706
  Tiberios III Apsimaros
(Τιβέριος Αὔγουστος)
TIBERIVS AVGVSTVS
Pamphylia Revolt 698–705 7 years Executed in February 706
  Justinian II
(Φλάβιος Ἰουστινιανὸς Αὔγουστος)
FLAVIVS IVSTINIANVS AVGVSTVS

(second reign)

with

Tiberius
(Τιβέριος Αὔγουστος)
TIBERIVS AVGVSTVS[75]

668 or 669, Constantinople Returned on the throne with Bulgar support. Named son Tiberius as co-emperor in 706. August 705 – December 711 6 years (2nd reign) 11 December 711 (aged 42)
Both killed by the army
  Philippikos Bardanes
(Φιλιππικὸς Αὔγουστος)
FILEPICVS AVGVSTVS[76]
Pergamon Revolt December 711 – 3 June 713 1 year, 6 months 713
  Anastasios II
(Αρτέμιος Ἀναστάσιος Αὔγουστος)
ARTEMIVS ANASTASIVS AVGVSTVS[77]
? Bureaucrat and secretary under Philippikos, he was raised to the purple by the soldiers June 713 – November 715 2 years, 5 months 718, during attempt to regain the throne
  Theodosius III
(Θεοδόσιος Αὔγουστος)
THEODOSIVS AVGVSTVS[78]
? Chosen by troops May 715 – 25 March 717 2 years Unknown. Became a monk

717–802: Isaurian dynastyEdit

Portrait Name Birth Succession Reign Time in office Death
  Leo III the Isaurian
(Λέων)
c. 685, Germanikeia, Commagene Rebellion 25 March 717 – 18 June 741 24 years June 741 (age 56)
Edema
  Constantine V
(Κωνσταντῖνος)
July 718, Constantinople Son of Leo III 18 June 741 – 14 September 775 34 years 14 September 775 (aged 57)
Carbuncle
  Artabasdos
(Ἀρτάβασδος)

with

Nikephoros
(Νικηφόρος)

? Son-in-law of Leo III. Usurped throne. Proclaimed his son Nikephoros as co-emperor in 741/742 June 741/742 – 2 November 743 1 year, 4 months Unknown
  Leo IV the Khazar
(Λέων)
750, Constantinople Son of Constantine V 14 September 775 – 8 September 780 5 years 780 (age 30)
Tuberculosis
  Constantine VI
(Κωνσταντῖνος)
771, Constantinople Son of Leo IV 8 September 780 – August 797 17 years 797 (age 26)
After blinding by Irene
  Irene of Athens
(Εἰρήνη)
c. 752, Athens Regent during minority of Constantine VI. Seized throne from son in 797. First Byzantine empress regnant. August 797 – 31 October 802 5 years 9 August 803 (aged 51)

802–813: Nikephorian dynastyEdit

Portrait Name Birth Succession Reign Time in office Death
  Nikephoros I
(Νικηφόρος)
? Rebellion 31 October 802 –
26 July 811
9 years 26 July 811
After the Battle of Pliska
  Staurakios
(Σταυράκιος)
After 778 Son of Nikephoros I 26 July 811 –
2 October 811
4 months January 11 812 (age ~30)

Gangrene

  Michael I Rangabe
(Μιχαὴλ Ῥαγγαβέ)


with

Theophylact

(Θεοφύλακτος)

c. 770 Son-in-law of Nikephoros I, appointed his son Theophylact (born c. 793) as co-emperor on 25 December 811 2 October 811 –
22 June 813
1 year, 8 months January 11 844 (age ~74)

In a monastery on Prote Island, Theophylact died in a monastery on Plate Island on January 15 849

Portrait Name Birth Succession Reign Time in office Death
  Leo V the Armenian
(Λέων)


with

Constantine

(Κωνσταντῖνος)

c. 775 Rebellion, appointed his son Symbatios as co-emperor under the name Constantine on Christmas 813 11 July 813 –
25 December 820
7 years 25 December 820 (age ~45)
Murdered by successor's conspirators, Constantine died in exile in monastery on Prote Island at a later date

820–867: Amorian dynastyEdit

Portrait Name Birth Succession Reign Time in office Death
Michael II
(Μιχαὴλ)
c. 775 Chosen after murder of predecessor 25 December 820 –
2 October 829
9 years 2 October 829 (age ~54)
Theophilos
(Θεόφιλος)
805 Only son of Michael II and co-emperor since 821 2 October 829 –
20 January 842
13 years 20 January 842 (age 37)

Unknown disease

Michael III
(Μιχαὴλ)
19 January 840, Constantinople Son of Theophilos 20 January 842 –
23 September 867
25 years 23 September 867

Assassinated by successor

867–1056: Macedonian dynastyEdit

Portrait Name Birth Succession Reign Time in office Death
  Basil I the Macedonian
(Βασίλειος)
811, Macedonia Previous co-emperor, full emperor upon death of predecessor. 867 –
29 August 886
19 years 29 August 886 (age 75)
  Leo VI the Wise
(Λέων
19 September 866, Constantinople Son of Basil I (potentially in reality the son of Michael III), co-emperor since 870. 886 –
11 May 912
26 years 11 May 912 (age 45)
  Alexander
(Ἀλέξανδρος)
23 November 870 Son of Basil I, co-emperor since 879. 11 May 912 –
6 June 913
1 year, 1 month 6 June 913 (age 42)

Exhaustion after a game of tzykanion

  Constantine VII
(Κωνσταντῖνος)
17/18 May 905 Son of Leo VI, co-emperor since 908. 6 June 913 –
9 November 959
46 years 9 November 959 (age 54), Constantinople

Possibly poisoned by his son Romanos II

  Romanos I Lekapenos
(Ῥωμανὸς Λεκαπηνός)


with

Christopher Lekapenos

(Χριστόφορος Λακαπηνός)

and

Stephen Lekapenos

(Στέφανος Λακαπηνός)

and

Constantine Lekapenos

(Κωνσταντίνος Λακαπηνός)

c. 870, Lakape Regent for the young Constantine VII, crowned himself senior emperor during Constantine VII's minority. Proclaimed his three sons Christopher, Stephen and Constantine as co-emperors. Was overthrown by Stephen in 944, who briefly ruled as senior emperor (for a few weeks) until he himself was overthrown by Constantine VII. 17 December 920 –
16 December 944

20 May 921 – August 931 (Christopher)
924–945 (Stephen & Constantine)

24 years

10 years (Christopher)
21 years (Stephen & Constantine)

15 June 948 (age 77-78)

In a monastery as a monk after having been overthrown. Christopher died in August of 931. Both Stephen and Constantine died in exile as monks; Stephen on Easter 963 on Lesbos and Constantine in 946-948 on Samothrace trying to escape exile and reclaim imperial power

  Romanos II
(Ῥωμανὸς ὁ Πορφυρογέννητος)
c. 938 Son of Constantine VII 9 November 959 –
15 March 963
4 years 15 March 963 (age 24-25)

Possibly poisoned

  Nikephoros II Phokas
(Νικηφόρος Φωκᾶς)
c. 912 Chosen by the army, acted as senior emperor during the regency of young emperors Basil II and Constantine VIII 16 August 963 –
11 December 969
6 years 11 December 969 (age 56-57), Constantinople

Assassinated by successor John I Tzimiskes

  John I Tzimiskes
(Ἰωάννης Τζιμισκής)
c. 925 Nephew of Nikephoros II Phokas, succeeded as senior emperor and regent for the young emperors Basil II and Constantine VIII 11 December 969 –
10 January 976
7 years 10 January 976 (age 50-51), Constantinople

Poisoned by Imperial chamberlain Basil Lekapenos

  Basil II
(Βασίλειος)
958, Constantinople Eldest son of Romanos II 10 January 976 –
15 December 1025
49 years 15 December 1025 (age 67-68), Constantinople
  Constantine VIII
(Κωνσταντῖνος ὁ Πορφυρογέννητος)
960, Constantinople Second son of Romanos II, co-emperor since 962. 15 December 1025 –
15 November 1028
3 years 15 November 1028 (age 68), Constantinople
  Zoe Porphyrogenita
(Ζωὴ ἡ Πορφυρογέννητη)
c. 978, Constantinople Daughter of Constantine VIII, succeeded on her father's death along with her sister Theodora. Her three husbands, Romanos III (1028–1034), Michael IV (1034–1041) and Constantine IX (1042–1050) ruled alongside her. 15 November 1028 –
June 1050
22 years June 1050 (age 72), Constantinople
  Romanos III Argyros
(Ῥωμανὸς Ἀργυρός)
968 Chosen by Constantine VIII to marry his daughter Zoe and succeed him as emperor. 15 November 1028 –
11 April 1034
6 years 11 April 1034 (age 65-66), Constantinople

Allegedly murdered

  Michael IV the Paphlagonian
(Μιχαὴλ ὁ Παφλαγών)
1010 Succeeded Romanos III as Zoe's husband and emperor. 11 April 1034 –
10 December 1041
7 years 10 December 1041 (age 31), Constantinople

Died after a long illness.

  Michael V Kalaphates
(Μιχαὴλ ὁ Καλαφάτης)
1015 Nephew and adopted son of Michael IV. 10 December 1041 –
20 April 1042
5 months 24 August, 1042 (age 27), Constantinople

Deposed, blinded, castrated and tonsured after attempting to sideline Zoe and her sister Theodora.

  Theodora Porphyrogenita
(Θεοδώρα ἡ Πορφυρογέννητος)
c. 980 Younger sister of Zoe, raised to co-empress in 1042. 19 April 1042 – 31 August 1056 14 years 31 August 1056 (age 75-76), Constantinople

Died after sudden illness.

  Constantine IX Monomachos
(Κωνσταντῖνος Μονομάχος)
c. 1000 Zoe's third husband 11 June 1042 – 11 January 1055 13 years 11 January 1055 (age ~55), Constantinople

Died after illness.

Portrait Name Birth Succession Reign Time in office Death
  Michael VI Bringas
(Μιχαὴλ Βρίγγας)
? Chosen as successor by Empress Theodora September 1056 –
31 August 1057
1 year 1059, confined to a monastery after having been deposed by successor.
Portrait Name Birth Succession Reign Time in office Death
  Isaac I Komnenos
(Ἰσαάκιος Κομνηνός)
c. 1005 Rebellion 5 June 1057 –
22 November 1059
2 years c. 1061 after having voluntarily abdicated.

1059–1081: Doukid dynastyEdit

Portrait Name Birth Succession Reign Time in office Death
Constantine X Doukas
(Κωνσταντῖνος Δούκας)
1006 Chosen successor of Isaac I Komnenos 24 November 1059 –
22 May 1067
8 years 22 May 1067 (aged 61)
Michael VII Doukas
(Μιχαὴλ Δούκας)


with

Andronikos Doukas

(Ἀνδρόνικος Δούκας)

and

Konstantios Doukas

(Κωνστάντιος Δούκας)

and

Constantine Doukas

(Κωνσταντίνος Δούκας)

1050 Son of Constantine X Doukas and co-emperor since 1059, resigned the throne in 1078. Reigned alongside his brothers Andronikos and Konstantios as co-emperors. Andronikos died in the 1070s while Konstantios briefly succeeded Michael as senior emperor before being handed over to the usurper Nikephoros III and exiled. Michael's son Constantine was also raised to co-emperor in 1074. 22 May 1067 –
31 March 1078

1068 – 1070s (Andronikos)
1060–1078 (Konstantios)

1074–1078 (Constantine)

11 years

18 years (Konstantios)
4 years (Constantine)

1090 (aged ~40), Constantinople, Konstantios died in the Battle of Dyrrhachium on 18 October 1081, having been recalled as a general by Alexios I. Constantine was later raised to co-emperor again under Alexios I and died in 1095
Romanos IV Diogenes
(Ῥωμανὸς Διογένης)
1032 Married to Constantine X's widow and senior emperor as guardian of her sons by Constantine X 1 January 1068 –
24 October 1071
3 years 1072 (age 42), after having been deposed, blinded and exiled
Nikephoros III Botaneiates
(Νικηφόρος Βοτανειάτης)
1001 Rebellion 31 March 1078 –
4 April 1081
3 years 10 December 1081 (age 80), after having been deposed and exiled to a monastery

1081–1185: Komnenid dynastyEdit

Portrait Name Birth Succession Reign Time in office Death
Alexios I Komnenos
(Ἀλέξιος Κομνηνός)


with

Constantine Doukas

(Κωνσταντίνος Δούκας)

(second co-emperorship)

1056 Rebellion, nephew of Isaac I Komnenos, appointed Constantine Doukas (a previous co-emperor under Michael VII) as co-emperor in 1081. Replaced Constantine with his own son John II in 1087. 4 April 1081 –
15 August 1118

1081 – 1087 (Constantine)

37 years

6 years (Constantine, 2nd co-emperorship)

15 August 1118 (age 70)
John II Komnenos
(Ἰωάννης Κομνηνός)


with

Alexios Komnenos

(Ἀλέξιος Κομνηνός)

13 September 1087, Constantinople Son of Alexios I, co-emperor since 1087, appointed his son Alexios co-emperor in 1122 15 August 1118 –
8 April 1143

1122 – 1142 (Alexios)

25 years

20 years (Alexios)

8 April 1143 (age 55), Cilicia

Accidentally cut himself on a poisoned arrow. Alexios died in Attaleia on 2 August 1142 of a fever

Manuel I Komnenos
(Μανουὴλ Κομνηνός)
28 November, 1118, Constantinople Son of John II 1143 –
24 September 1180
37 years 24 September 1180 (age 61)
Alexios II Komnenos
(Ἀλέξιος Κομνηνός)
14 September 1169, Constantinople Son of Manuel I 24 September 1180 –
October 1183
3 years October 1183 (age 14), Constantinople

Deposed and killed by successor

Andronikos I Komnenos
(Ἀνδρόνικος Κομνηνός)


with

John Komnenos

(Ἰωάννης Κομνηνός)

c. 1118 Nephew of John II (son of his brother Isaac), uncle of Alexios II, appointed his son John as co-emperor in November 1183 October 1183 –
12 September 1185
2 years 12 September 1185 (age 66-67), Constantinople

Overthrown and lynched in a popular uprising, John also seized and probably killed

1185–1204: Angelid dynastyEdit

Portrait Name Birth Succession Reign Time in office Death
  Isaac II Angelos
(Ἰσαάκιος Ἄγγελος)
September 1156 Rebellion 1185–1195 10 years 25 January 1204 (age 47), Constantinople

Possibly shock or poison

Alexios III Angelos
(Ἀλέξιος Ἄγγελος)
c. 1153 Rebellion, elder brother of Isaac II 1195 –
17/18 July 1203
8 years 1211 (age 58), in captivity in the Empire of Nicaea
  Isaac II Angelos
(Ἰσαάκιος Ἄγγελος)

(second reign)

September 1156 Restored to the throne by the Fourth Crusade alongside his son Alexios IV 18 July 1203 –
27/28 January 1204
6 months 25 January 1204 (age 47), Constantinople

Possibly shock or poison

Alexios IV Angelos
(Ἀλέξιος Ἄγγελος)
c. 1182 Raised to the throne by the Fourth Crusade alongside his father Isaac II 1 August 1203 –
27/28 January 1204
6 months 8 February 1204 (age 21-22), Constantinople

Strangled by successor

Alexios V Doukas
(Ἀλέξιος Δούκας ὁ Μούρτζουφλος)
c. 1140 Coup in the Imperial Palace, son-in-law of Alexios III 5 February 1204 –
13 April 1204
5 months December 1204 (age 64), Constantinople

Captured by crusaders of the newly founded Latin Empire and publicly executed

1204–1261: Laskarid dynastyEdit

Note: Between 1204 and 1261 there was an interregnum when Constantinople was occupied by the crusaders of the Fourth Crusade and the Empire was divided into the Empire of Nicaea, the Empire of Trebizond and the Despotate of Epirus, which were all contenders for rule of the Empire. The Laskarid dynasty of the Empire of Nicaea is considered the legitimate continuation of the Roman Empire because they had the support of the (Orthodox) Patriarch of Constantinople and managed to re-take Constantinople.

Portrait Name Birth Succession Reign Time in office Death
  Theodore I Laskaris
(Θεόδωρος Λάσκαρις)
c. 1174, Constantinople His brother Constantine Laskaris was elected emperor by the citizens of Constantinople on the day the city fell to the Crusaders; he later fled to Nicaea, where Theodore organized the Greek resistance to the Latins. Proclaimed emperor after Constantine's death in 1205, Theodore was crowned only in 1208. 1205–
November 1221
21 years November 1221 (age 48)
  John III Doukas Vatatzes
(Ἰωάννης Δούκας Βατάτζης)
c. 1192, Didymoteicho Son-in-law of Theodore I 15 December 1221 –
3 November 1254
33 years 3 November 1254 (age 62), Nymphaion
  Theodore II Laskaris
(Θεόδωρος Λάσκαρις)
c. 1222, Nicaea Son of John III 3 November 1254–
18 August 1258
4 years 18 August 1258 (age 36), Magnesia

Epilepsy

  John IV Laskaris
(Ἰωάννης Λάσκαρις)
25 December 1250 Son of Theodore II 18 August 1258–
25 December 1261
3 years c. 1305 (age 55), Constantinople

Blinded and imprisoned by successor in 1261, died in captivity

1261–1453: Palaiologan dynastyEdit

Portrait Name Birth Succession Reign Time in office Death
Michael VIII Palaiologos
(Μιχαὴλ Παλαιολόγος)
1223 Senior emperor and regent of John IV Laskaris, grandnephew of John III by marriage and great-grandson of Alexios III January 1, 1259–
December 11, 1282
23 years, 11 months December 11, 1282 (age 58), Pachomion, near Lysimachia
Andronikos II Palaiologos
(Ἀνδρόνικος Παλαιολόγος)
25 March 1259, Nicaea Son of Michael VIII 11 December 1282–
24 May 1328
45 years, 5 months 13 February 1332 (age 72), Constantinople
Michael IX Palaiologos
(Μιχαήλ Παλαιολόγος)
17 April 1277, Constantinople Son of Andronikos II, reigned alongside him as co-emperor with full imperial style 1295–
12 October 1320
25 years 12 October 1320 (age 43), Thessaloniki
Andronikos III Palaiologos
(Ἀνδρόνικος Παλαιολόγος)
25 March 1297, Constantinople Son of Michael IX, named co-emperor in 1316 and rival emperor since 1321. Deposed his grandfather Andronikos II in 1328 and reigned as sole emperor 24 May 1328–
15 June 1341
13 years 15 June 1341 (age 44), Constantinople

Possibly chronic malaria

John V Palaiologos
(Ἰωάννης Παλαιολόγος)
18 June 1332, Didymoteicho Son of Andronikos III 15 June 1341–
12 August 1376
38 years (1st reign) 16 February 1391 (aged 58), Constantinople
John VI Kantakouzenos
(Ἰωάννης Καντακουζηνός)

with

Matthew Kantakouzenos
(Ματθαίος Ασάνης Καντακουζηνός)

1292, Constantinople Maternal relative of the Palaiologi, declared co-emperor by John V in 1341 and recognized as senior emperor in 1347 following a civil war. Appointed his son Matthew as co-emperor in 1353 8 February 1347–
4 December 1354

1353 – 1357 (Matthew)

7 years

4 years (Matthew)

15 June 1383 (aged 90 or 91), deposed and in exile as a monk in the Peloponnese, Matthew was defeated in 1357 and later served as the governor of the Morea until his death on the same day as his father
Andronikos IV Palaiologos
(Ἀνδρόνικος Παλαιολόγος)
11 April 1348, Constantinople Son of John V, co-emperor since 1352, deposed his father John V in 1376 12 August 1376–
1 July 1379
3 years 28 June 1385 (age 37), Selymbria
John V Palaiologos
(Ἰωάννης Παλαιολόγος)

(second reign)

18 June 1332, Didymoteicho Restored to the throne after overthrowing his son Andronikos IV 1 July 1379–
14 April 1390
11 years (2nd reign) 16 February 1391 (aged 58), Constantinople
John VII Palaiologos
(Ἰωάννης Παλαιολόγος)
1370 Rebellion, son and co-emperor of Andronikos IV, deposed his grandfather John V 14 April 1390–
17 September 1390
5 months 22 September 1408 (aged 38), Thessaloniki
John V Palaiologos
(Ἰωάννης Παλαιολόγος)

(third reign)

18 June 1332, Didymoteicho Restored to the throne after overthrowing his grandson John VII 17 September 1390–
16 February 1391
5 months (3rd reign) 16 February 1391 (aged 58), Constantinople
Manuel II Palaiologos
(Μανουὴλ Παλαιολόγος)

with

John VII Palaiologos
(Ἰωάννης Παλαιολόγος)

and

Andronikos V Palaiologos
(Ἀνδρόνικος Παλαιολόγος)

27 June 1350, Constantinople Son of John V, co-emperor since 1373. John VII Palaiologos, who previously usurped the throne in 1390, was proclaimed co-emperor in 1403, keeping the title until his death in 1408. John VII also proclaimed his son, Andronikos V, co-emperor but Andronikos died before his father, in 1407. The imperial status of John and Andronikos was purely honorary. 16 February 1391–
21 July 1425
1403 – 1408 (John VII)
1403 – 1407 (Andronikos V)
34 years
5 years (John VII)
4 years (Andronikos V)
21 July 1425 (age 75), Constantinople

John died 22 September 1408 at Thessaloniki, Andronikos died aged 7 on September 24th, 1407.

John VIII Palaiologos
(Ἰωάννης Παλαιολόγος)
18 December 1392 Son of Manuel II, co-emperor since 1416 21 July 1425–
31 October 1448
23 years 31 October 1448 (age 55), Constantinople
Constantine XI Palaiologos
(Κωνσταντῖνος Δραγάσης Παλαιολόγος)
February 8, 1405, Constantinople Son of Manuel II January 6, 1449–
May 29, 1453
4 years, 4 months, 23 days May 29, 1453 (age 48), Constantinople

Refused to surrender Constantinople to the Ottoman sultan Mehmed II and died fighting during the final Ottoman attack

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Rubicon. Holland, T. Abacus, 978-0349115634
  2. ^ Chester G. Starr, A History of the Ancient World, Second Edition. Oxford University Press, 1974. pp. 670–678.
  3. ^ Herrin, Judith (2011-03-12). "The Glories of Byzantium". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2017-12-10.
  4. ^ Asimov, [title?], p. 198.
  5. ^ Lee, pp. 163–164.
  6. ^ Goldsworthy, pp. 425–440
  7. ^ Breeze & Dobson, pp. 251–255
  8. ^ Moss, Henry, The Birth of the Middle Ages Clarendon Press (London) 1935; Folio Society reprint (London) 1998; pp. 24-28, 281-284.
  9. ^ "Roman Emperors After Theodosius I". Retrieved 30 September 2014.
  10. ^ DIR, "Augustus"; Kienast, pp. 61, 63.
  11. ^ Kienast, p. 76; DIR, "Tiberius".
  12. ^ Kienast, p. 85; DIR, "Gaius (Caligula)".
  13. ^ Kienast, p. 90; DIR, "Claudius".
  14. ^ Kienast, pp. 96–97.
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h Encyclopædia Britannica
  16. ^ Hammond, p. 24; Kienast, p. 102; DIR, "Galba".
  17. ^ Hammond, pp. 24–25; Kienast, p. 105; DIR, "Otho".
  18. ^ Kienast, p. 106; DIR, "Vitellius".
  19. ^ Cooley, p. 490; Kienast, p. 108; DIR, "Vespasian", "Titus".
  20. ^ Hammond, p. 27; Kienast, p. 111; DIR, "Titus".
  21. ^ Hammond, p. 27; Kienast, p. 115; DIR, "Domitian".
  22. ^ Hammond, p. 27; Kienast, p. 120; DIR, "Nerva".
  23. ^ Kienast, p. 122; Hammond, pp. 28, 39; DIR, "Hadrian".
  24. ^ DIR, "Hadrian"; Kienast, p. 28; Hammond, p. 29.
  25. ^ Kienast, p. 134; Hammond, pp. 30–31.
  26. ^ With Lucius Aelius and Marcus Aurelius, Caesar stopped being an inheritable name and became a title to identify the heir apparent of the empire. Hammond, pp. 29–31. The suffix Augustus becomes a device to denote the holder of the imperial office.
  27. ^ Kienast, pp. 137–138; Hammond, p. 32.
  28. ^ Hammond, p. 32.
  29. ^ Hammond, pp. 32–33; Kienast, pp. 147–148; DIR, "Commodus".
  30. ^ Hammond, p. 33; DIR, "Pertinax".
  31. ^ Hammond, p. 33; DIR, "Didius Julianus".
  32. ^ Hammond, p. 34; DIR, "Septimius Severus".
  33. ^ Hammond, pp. 35, 36; DIR, "Caracalla"; Cooley, p. 475.
  34. ^ Kienast, p. 169; DIR, "Macrinus"; Cooley, p. 476.
  35. ^ Hammond, pp. 36–37; Kienast, pp. 170–171; DIR, "Macrinus".
  36. ^ DIR, "Elagabalus"; Kienast, p. 172; Cooley, p. 476.
  37. ^ Cooley, p. 476; DIR, "Alexander Severus".
  38. ^ DIR, "Pupienus and Balbinus".
  39. ^ a b DIR, 'Gordian I', 'Pupienus and Balbinus'.
  40. ^ a b DIR, 'Pupienus and Balbinus', 'Gordian III'.
  41. ^ DIR, 'Gordian III'; Kienast, p. 195.
  42. ^ DIR, "Philip the Arab".
  43. ^ DIR, 'Decius'; Kienast, p. 204.
  44. ^ Kienast, p. 206; Peachin, p. 33.
  45. ^ Kienast, p. 207; Peachin, p. 34.
  46. ^ DIR, 'Trebonianus Gallus and Gaius Vibius Volusianus'; Kienast, p. 209.
  47. ^ Kienast, p. 210; Peachin, p. 36.
  48. ^ DIR, 'Aemilius Aemilianus'; Peachin, pp. 36–37.
  49. ^ DIR, 'Valerian and Gallienus'; Peachin, pp. 37–38.
  50. ^ DIR, 'Valerian and Gallienus'; Peachin, pp. 39–40.
  51. ^ Kienast, p. 221.
  52. ^ Stein, pp. 45, 50. Claudius's death has also been dated to c. August, based on evidence from Egyptian coin issues. Weigel in DIR, 'Claudius II Gothicus', wrote that "this view was raised over a century ago and has not generally prevailed". DIR, 'Aurelian', says that literary sources all favor a death date early in the year, but nonetheless dates Claudius's death to September without any explanation.
  53. ^ DIR, 'Quintillus'; Stein, pp. 46, 50.
  54. ^ For the dates, Stein, pp. 46, 50; PLRE I, p. 130. The date of Aurelian's acclamation, variably said to have been May or September 270, presents the same problem as the date of Claudius's death. The literary sources of antiquity say that Aurelian's reign lasted 5​12 years, matching with the earlier date. Some modern sources (e.g. Peachin, pp. 43–44) argue in favor of September based on Egyptian documents, but, according to Weigel in DIR, "Claudius II Gothicus", these are unreliable. According to Stein, p. 46, the earliest document attesting Aurelian as emperor is dated 25 May.
  55. ^ DIR, 'Aurelian'; Stein, pp. 46, 50; Kienast, p. 234; Peachin, pp. 43–44.
  56. ^ DIR, 'Tacitus', 'Probus'; Watson, pp. 110, 225, 250 (n. 46).
  57. ^ DIR, 'Florian'; Peachin, pp. 46–47.
  58. ^ Chronograph of 354; Eutropius, Breviarium Historiae Romanae 9.17.
  59. ^ DIR, 'Probus'; Peachin, p. 47.
  60. ^ Chronograph of 354
  61. ^ DIR, 'Carus'; Peachin, p. 49; Kienast, p. 258.
  62. ^ DIR, 'Carinus'; Kienast, p. 161.
  63. ^ DIR, 'Numerian'; Peachin, pp. 49–50; Kienast, p. 260.
  64. ^ Cooley, p. 501; DIR, "Diocletian".
  65. ^ Cooley, p. 501; DIR, "Maximianus Herculius".
  66. ^ PLRE I, pp. 574–575; Cooley, p. 502.
  67. ^ Barnes, p. 4; Kienast, p. 280.
  68. ^ Kienast, p. 290; DIR, "Severus II".
  69. ^ Kienast, p. 291; DIR, "Maxentius".
  70. ^ PLRE I, p. 509; DIR, "Licinius".
  71. ^ a b c Kienast, pp. 310, 312, 314; Barnes, p. 8.
  72. ^ DIR, Julian the Apostate.
  73. ^ DIR, Jovian; PLRE I, p. 461.
  74. ^ "(138) Leontius". www2.lawrence.edu. Retrieved 2019-04-17.
  75. ^ "Justinian II - Byzantine Coinage - WildWinds.com". www.wildwinds.com. Retrieved 2019-04-17.
  76. ^ "Philippicus - Byzantine Coinage - WildWinds.com". www.wildwinds.com. Retrieved 2019-04-17.
  77. ^ "Anastasius II - Byzantine Coinage - WildWinds.com". www.wildwinds.com. Retrieved 2019-04-17.
  78. ^ "Theodosius III - Byzantine Coinage - WildWinds.com". www.wildwinds.com. Retrieved 2019-04-17.

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit