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Roman Empire

RomanRomansEmpire
The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the imperial period (starting in 27 BC).
It had a government headed by emperors and large territorial holdings around the Mediterranean Sea in Europe, North Africa, and West Asia.

Caesar (title)

CaesarKayser-i RûmCaesars
Often when a given Roman is described as becoming "emperor" in English, it reflects his taking of the title Augustus or Caesar.
The change from being a familial name to a title adopted by the Roman Emperors can be dated to about AD 68/69, the so-called "Year of the Four Emperors".

Imperator

Roman imperatorBerengariaImp.
Another title often used was imperator, originally a military honorific.
Later it became a part of the titulature of the Roman Emperors as part of their cognomen.

Augustus

OctavianAugustanCaesar Augustus
The first emperor, Augustus, resolutely refused recognition as a monarch. Modern historians conventionally regard Augustus as the first Emperor whereas Julius Caesar is considered the last dictator of the Roman Republic, a view having its origins in the Roman writers Plutarch, Tacitus and Cassius Dio.
Augustus (Imperator Caesar Divi filius Augustus; 23 September 63 BC – 19 August AD 14) was a Roman statesman and military leader who was the first Emperor of the Roman Empire, controlling Imperial Rome from 27 BC until his death in AD 14. His status as the founder of the Roman Principate has consolidated an enduring legacy as one of the most effective and controversial leaders in human history.

Tiberius

Tiberius Claudius NeroEmperor TiberiusTiberian
Although Augustus could claim that his power was authentically republican, his successor, Tiberius, could not convincingly make the same claim.
Tiberius (Tiberius Caesar Divi Augusti filius Augustus; 16 November 42 BC – 16 March 37 AD) was Roman emperor from 14 AD to 37 AD, succeeding the first emperor, Augustus.

Diocletian

Emperor DiocletianDiocletian Reformsreforms
Nonetheless, for the first three hundred years of Roman emperors, from Augustus until Diocletian, efforts were made to portray the emperors as leaders of a republic.
Diocletian (Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus Augustus), born Diocles (22 December 244 – 3 December 311), was a Roman emperor from 284 to 305.

Tetrarchy

tetrarchtetrarchicTetrarchs
From Diocletian, whose tetrarchic reforms also divided the position into one emperor in the West and one in the East, until the end of the Empire, emperors ruled in an openly monarchic style and did not preserve the nominal principle of a republic, but the contrast with "kings" was maintained: although the imperial succession was generally hereditary, it was only hereditary if there was a suitable candidate acceptable to the army and the bureaucracy, so the principle of automatic inheritance was not adopted.
The term "tetrarchy" (from the τετραρχία, tetrarchia, "leadership of four [people]") describes any form of government where power is divided among four individuals, but in modern usage usually refers to the system instituted by Roman Emperor Diocletian in 293, marking the end of the Crisis of the Third Century and the recovery of the Roman Empire.

Roman consul

consulsuffect consulconsulship
Emperors frequently amassed republican titles, notably princeps senatus, consul and pontifex maximus.
However, after the establishment of the Empire (27 BC), the consuls became mere symbolic representatives of Rome's republican heritage and held very little power and authority, with the Emperor acting as the supreme authority.

Romulus Augustulus

Romulus AugustusRomulusAugustulus
Romulus Augustulus is often considered to be the last emperor of the West after his forced abdication in 476, although Julius Nepos maintained a claim recognized by the Eastern Empire to the title until his death in 480.
Flavius Romulus Augustus (c. AD 460 – after AD 476; possibly still alive as late as AD 507), known derisively and historiographically as Romulus Augustulus, was the Roman emperor who ruled the Western Roman Empire from 31 October 475 until 4 September 476.

Julius Nepos

Nepos
Romulus Augustulus is often considered to be the last emperor of the West after his forced abdication in 476, although Julius Nepos maintained a claim recognized by the Eastern Empire to the title until his death in 480.
undefined 430480) was Western Roman Emperor de facto from 474 to 475 and de jure until his death in 480.

List of Byzantine emperors

Byzantine EmperorEmperorEmperor and Autocrat of the Romans
The Eastern imperial lineage continued to rule from Constantinople ("New Rome"); they continued to style themselves as Emperor of the Romans (later βασιλεύς Ῥωμαίων in Greek), but are often referred to in modern scholarship as Byzantine emperors. The "Byzantine" emperors from Heraclius in 629 and onwards adopted the title of basileus, which had originally meant king in Greek but became a title reserved solely for the Roman emperor and the ruler of the Sasanian Empire.
Traditionally, the line of Byzantine emperors is held to begin with the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great, the first Christian emperor, who rebuilt the city of Byzantium as an imperial capital, Constantinople, and who was regarded by the later emperors as the model ruler.

Roman army

armyRomanRomans
The legitimacy of an emperor's rule depended on his control of the army and recognition by the Senate; an emperor would normally be proclaimed by his troops, or invested with imperial titles by the Senate, or both.
During this period the Republican system of citizen-conscription was replaced by a standing professional army of mainly volunteers serving standard 20-year terms (plus 5 as reservists), although many in the service of the empire would serve as many as 30 to 40 years on active duty, as established by the first Roman emperor, Augustus (sole ruler 30 BC – AD 14).Regular annual conscription of citizens was abandoned and only decreed in emergencies (e.g. during the Illyrian revolt 6–9 AD).

Constantinople

ConstantinopolitanIstanbulcapital
The Eastern imperial lineage continued to rule from Constantinople ("New Rome"); they continued to style themselves as Emperor of the Romans (later βασιλεύς Ῥωμαίων in Greek), but are often referred to in modern scholarship as Byzantine emperors.
Constantinople was founded by the Roman Emperor Constantine I (272–337) in 324 on the site of an already-existing city, Byzantium, which was settled in the early days of Greek colonial expansion, in around 657 BC, by colonists of the city-state of Megara.

Sasanian Empire

SasanianSassanidPersian
The "Byzantine" emperors from Heraclius in 629 and onwards adopted the title of basileus, which had originally meant king in Greek but became a title reserved solely for the Roman emperor and the ruler of the Sasanian Empire.
In 230, Ardashir raided deep into Roman territory, and a Roman counter-offensive two years later ended inconclusively, although the Roman emperor, Alexander Severus, celebrated a triumph in Rome.

Tacitus

Publius Cornelius TacitusCornelius TacitusGaius Cornelius Tacitus
Modern historians conventionally regard Augustus as the first Emperor whereas Julius Caesar is considered the last dictator of the Roman Republic, a view having its origins in the Roman writers Plutarch, Tacitus and Cassius Dio.
The surviving portions of his two major works—the Annals and the Histories—examine the reigns of the emperors Tiberius, Claudius, Nero, and those who reigned in the Year of the Four Emperors (69 AD).

Roman Republic

RomanRepublicRomans
Modern historians conventionally regard Augustus as the first Emperor whereas Julius Caesar is considered the last dictator of the Roman Republic, a view having its origins in the Roman writers Plutarch, Tacitus and Cassius Dio.
The final defeat of Mark Antony and his ally Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, and the Senate's grant of extraordinary powers to Octavian as Augustus in 27 BC – which effectively made him the first Roman emperor – thus ended the Republic.

Constantine VI

ConstantineConstantinus Augustus
Eastern emperors in Constantinople had been recognized and accepted as Roman emperors both in the East, which they ruled, and by the Papacy and Germanic kingdoms of the West until the deposition of Constantine VI and accession of Irene of Athens as Empress regnant in 797.
Constantine VI was the final ruler to be universally recognized as Roman Emperor, being recognized as such by both the Empire which he ruled in the east, the papacy and the Western European powers over which the pope held suzerainty.

Gratian

Christianity became a state religionFlavius GratianusFlavius Gratianus Augustus
Every emperor held the latter office and title until Gratian surrendered it in AD 382 to Pope Siricius; it eventually became an auxiliary honor of the Bishop of Rome.
Gratian (Flavius Gratianus Augustus; ; 18 April/23 May 359 – 25 August 383) was Roman emperor from 367 to 383.

Mark Antony

Marcus AntoniusAntonyMark Anthony
A decade after Caesar's death, Octavian's victory over his erstwhile ally Mark Antony at Actium put an end to any effective opposition and confirmed Octavian's supremacy.
In 27 BC, Octavian was granted the title of Augustus, marking the final stage in the transformation of the Roman Republic into an empire, with himself as the first Roman emperor.

Josephus

Flavius JosephusTitus Flavius JosephusJosephus’s
However, the majority of Roman writers, including Josephus, Pliny the Younger, Suetonius and Appian, as well as most of the ordinary people of the Empire, thought of Julius Caesar as the first Emperor.
Josephus claimed the Jewish Messianic prophecies that initiated the First Roman-Jewish War made reference to Vespasian becoming Emperor of Rome.

Holy Roman Emperor

EmperorImperialEmperor of the Romans
Objecting to a woman ruling the Roman Empire in her own right and issues with the eastern clergy, the Papacy would then create a rival lineage of Roman emperors in western Europe, the Holy Roman Emperors, which ruled the Holy Roman Empire for most of the period between 800 and 1806.
From the time of Constantine I (r. 306–337), the Roman emperors had, with very few exceptions, taken on a role as promoters and defenders of Christianity.

Princeps

princeps iuventutisfirst citizenprinceps civitatis
Early Emperors also used the title princeps (first citizen).
Various official titles were associated with the Roman Emperor.

Appian

Appian of AlexandriaAppianus Alexandrinus (Appian)Roman History
However, the majority of Roman writers, including Josephus, Pliny the Younger, Suetonius and Appian, as well as most of the ordinary people of the Empire, thought of Julius Caesar as the first Emperor.
95 – c. AD 165) was a Greek historian with Roman citizenship who flourished during the reigns of Emperors of Rome Trajan, Hadrian, and Antoninus Pius.

Autokrator

strategos autokratorautocratautocrator
In Greek, these three titles were rendered as autokratōr, kaisar, and augoustos or sebastos respectively.
In a historical context, it has been applied to military commanders-in-chief, and to Roman and Byzantine emperors as the translation of the Latin title imperator.

Augustus (title)

AugustusAugustiAugusta
Often when a given Roman is described as becoming "emperor" in English, it reflects his taking of the title Augustus or Caesar.
Augustus (plural augusti; ;, Latin for "majestic", "the increaser" or "venerable") was an ancient Roman title given as both name and title to Gaius Octavius (often referred to simply as Augustus), Rome's first Emperor.