Roman Emperors Who Helped Mold the Ancient World

By: April Carson


Though Rome's legacy is felt throughout the world, there are few periods that have had a greater impact on humankind than this one. With its influence spanning more than 1,000 years and leaving an indelible mark in so many aspects of life—from politics to literature- it’s no wonder we still think about ancient Roman times often enough for them never really go away entirely.


Through the years, the journey of the Roman Empire had more than its fair share of highs and lows. Yet some periods are etched in history just a little bit more than others, with moments that stand out as being truly special or having tremendous impact on what came after them.


There were at least 11 Roman emperors who helped mold the ancient world using both military might and political smarts. This blog will only discuss a few of the most memorable ones.

Ancient Rome had three eras over its existence from 753 to 476 A.D: Regal Rome, (753–509 B.C.), when monarchs ruled; Republican Rome (509–27 B.C.), when Roman elected its governors; and Imperial Rome (27 B.C.–476 A.D.), when a supreme ruler oversaw the empire's vast expanse.


The ancient period was one filled with politics, war and intrigue, with its leaders often battling to maintain power while keeping other factions out of the picture. Those who ran the Empire during this time had their stability tested in an array of ways that could end up with them either assassinated or forced into exile by their own people.


Even when emperors were not in conflict with each other, they often faced problems in their own governments that would shake up the empire and leave longstanding scars on history.


The following emperors had a major impact on the Empire during their tenure and many of them were assassinated or met an otherwise grisly fate.

Gaius Julius Caesar


He was one of the most well-known emperors of the Roman Empire. He came into power after being named co-consul with Marcus Antonius in February of 37 AD. He had a quick rise to power, becoming dictator for life by 40 AD and sole consul by 41 AD. Caesar died on March 15, 44 BC, at the age of 56. The cause of death was believed to be assassination. Caesar was stabbed to death by about 20 conspirators, led by Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus.


Tiberius Caesar Augustus


Tiberius, who ruled from 14 AD to 37 AD, is the second Roman emperor on this list because of his military conquests. Tiberius was a very political and powerful emperor as well as a successful general. Augustus died from natural causes on August 19, 14 AD.

Marcus Ulpius Traianus


Trajan was the second Roman emperor in the Nerva-Antonine dynasty, often known as Rome's "Golden Age." Trajan was a reformer and his reign is considered to be a peak in Roman power, being one of the most successful Roman emperors.

Marcus Aurelius


In Rome's golden age, Marcus Aurelius is considered one of the most influential figures in the history of Western civilization. He has been called the "last of the five good emperors" of Rome.

Vespasian


Vespasian was Rome's 11th emperor during 69 AD to 79 AD. Vespasian is known for his public works projects and economic success. Vespasian died during his ninth year as emperor. His son Titus succeeded him.

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