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Roman Emperors

The main focus of the Roman Emperor was to oversee governmental functions. He acted as the highest echelon of law known to the territory under the emperor's rule. The second objective of any good emperor was to expand the territory of the republic, making the empire as large as possible to increase wealth through taxation and distribution. Some of the Roman Emperors were successful at this expansion and were considered great men, while others who did the same were known as tyrants.

Roman Emperors

Famous Roman Emperors

Julius Caesar is perhaps the first name that comes to mind when you think of Roman emperors. He is also perhaps the most well-known ruler in the history of Rome. However, many people forget Caesar did not really hold the official title of "emperor." He was considered a dictator. He ruled Rome for over a decade and held different titles throughout this time. He was known as General of the Roman Army and he was a lawgiver or lawmaker. Caesar was officially given the title of dictator in the year 44 BC, only to be assassinated by his own senate counsel just one month later. His nephew, Octavian, would become Caesar's successor and rule the Roman Empire after him, becoming the first true emperor of Rome.

Augustus Caesar

After Octavian became the first emperor of Rome, he officially had his name changed to Augustus Caesar. Born in September of 63 BC, Octavian was adopted by his uncle and predecessor, Julius Caesar. Augustus was also the ruling emperor during the life of Jesus Christ and mandated the same census cited in the Christian bible which prompted the birth of Christ in Bethlehem.

One of the most loved of all of the Roman Emperors, Augustus Caesar was ordered by the Roman Senate to be considered one of the Gods of Rome after his death. His death was surrounded by conspiracy when it was discovered his death had been kept secret until the arrival of his third wife's son in Rome. This was during the same time his succession was announced and the rightful heir, Augustus' grandson, was ordered to be executed.

Caligula

One of the cruelest and perhaps most hated Roman Emperors in history is also one of the most recognized. Caligula was an emperor who proclaimed he himself was a god, even though the Roman Senate never made such a decree.

His reign started on a positive note as he won over the empire by abolishing a number of different taxes that had crippled much of the lower Roman economy. He also ended a number of exiles and showered his empire with different gifts. That all changed however, when Caligula fell severely ill only eight months into his reign.

During his recovery, many people believed Caligula's brain had suffered a serious injury because of the drastic changes in his mannerisms. He began to refer to himself as a god and often walked the streets of his empire dressed like Apollo. He was assassinated in 41 AD after exhausting much of the empire's wealth on different extravagances.

Christianity Enters the Roman Empire

Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus was perhaps the most productive of all of the Emperors of Rome. Not only was he one of the most famous, but Constantine was one of the most famous Romans of all time. He is referred to in a number of different Roman records as Constantine the Great and is documented as the first Christian to act as Emperor. He is credited with a number of different acts of bravery and honor and has been cited as the only Emperor who brought unity to the Roman Empire after years of Roman Emperors who had acted out of pure selfishness and excess.

Roman Leaders

These are a few examples of famous Roman Emperors. The men who ruled over Rome were varied in reputation, mannerisms, and methods of governing. All, however, contributed to the development of history.