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Thread: Who were the best and worst Roman emperors?

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    I think the best emperor is Augustus, since he founded the Roman empire.

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    there is no such a thing as ''best emperor''. No need to glorify killers. Conquered people suffered immensely, their wealth was stolen to build Rome and satisfy the lifestyle of wealthy Romans, people were forcefully drafted in Roman military and killed for no reason, other ethnicities disappeared from landscape. So take no pride of them, just hate them.

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    1 out of 2 members found this post helpful.
    Oh, give it up. Every civilization in the ancient world did the same thing.

    In the vast majority of cases, Romans never forced conquered people to join their forces. They knocked each other over volunteering, or trying to get taken on as mercenaries and later as auxiliary troops. To quote, "Money talks baby, and **** **** walks." You have a very uninformed view of how things worked in the classical world. They even went to war "with" Rome to "get" Roman citizenship.

    Do yourself and all of us a favor and pick up a history book, and particularly a book on the Romans.


    Non si fa il proprio dovere perchè qualcuno ci dica grazie, lo si fa per principio, per se stessi, per la propria dignità. Oriana Fallaci

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    I have summarised the list of emperors with pictures and descriptions here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    Oh, give it up. Every civilization in the ancient world did the same thing.

    In the vast majority of cases, Romans never forced conquered people to join their forces. They knocked each other over volunteering, or trying to get taken on as mercenaries and later as auxiliary troops. To quote, "Money talks baby, and **** **** walks." You have a very uninformed view of how things worked in the classical world. They even went to war "with" Rome to "get" Roman citizenship.

    Do yourself and all of us a favor and pick up a history book, and particularly a book on the Romans.
    True I have not read many history books! What I have seen on TV, Aleksander the Great for instance, was a cold blooded killer, equivalent of todays Sadam Husein. He would get drunk and kill his friend, round up Persian women and hand them over to his soldiers, all kind of crimes, and still people today glorify his behavior. Roman emperors were no any better. They worked for their personal well being, they never had in mind the common good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tutkun Arnaut View Post
    True I have not read many history books! What I have seen on TV, Aleksander the Great for instance, was a cold blooded killer, equivalent of todays Sadam Husein. He would get drunk and kill his friend, round up Persian women and hand them over to his soldiers, all kind of crimes, and still people today glorify his behavior. Roman emperors were no any better. They worked for their personal well being, they never had in mind the common good.
    That's another gross over generalization. Augustus cared about the good of the empire. Marcus Aurelius cared about the good of the empire. There are numerous other examples.

    Look, I don't want to be harsh in my responses to you, but you have to have some background in a subject, some actual knowledge of the facts, before you express such dogmatic opinions. It's a failing of your whole generation but it still doesn't make it any the less annoying.

    There's a book by Nigel Waters called "The Roman Empire". I picked it up for eight dollars. It's a fair summary, great photographs and illustrations, and will give you a broad overview.

    Or, if you don't want to read, there's a series of podcasts (available on Itunes) called "The History of Rome" by Mike Duncan, and they're pretty good. Listen while you're driving or laying outside in the sun.

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    the best roman emperor would be nero for burning down the city.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ailchu View Post
    the best roman emperor would be nero for burning down the city.
    That's such an asinine, sociopathic and psychopathic comment that it almost leaves me speechless. Too bad there isn't come blanket category to be used to get rid of insane idiots.

    I really have to see about getting one.

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    I’m afraid he thinks this is funny. This is not unlike those people who post videos that show cars running down people with opposing views, or chopping their heads off, and then act surprised that you take offense.

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    no i really don't think it's funny. i didn't say he was best because of the people he burned or did i? or maybe i kind of forgot what a burning city means for the people living inside it. just like when people measure an emperors value by the land he was able to conquer or "pacify" which is already sociopathic. if you don't like that then take in modern moral values. btw when someone says the people who were conquered and killed just chose the wrong side, that is way more sociopathic than my comment ever was.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ailchu View Post
    no i really don't think it's funny. i didn't say he was best because of the people he burned or did i? or maybe i kind of forgot what a burning city means for the people living inside it. just like when people measure an emperors value by the land he was able to conquer or "pacify" which is already sociopathic. if you don't like that then take in modern moral values. btw when someone says the people who were conquered and killed just chose the wrong side, that is way more sociopathic than my comment ever was.
    Oh, please. For people like you everything has to be my ethnic group against yours. Who was a better conqueror; who was worse? The answer has to depend on the group to which you happen to belong.

    Are you incapable of understanding that some people can actually remove their own ethnicity from the equation and just look at the situation logically and objectively? Do you think the dozens of books which have examined why the Roman Empire worked as well as it did, despite its problems, were all written by Italians? I have news for you: they weren't. Not one of my Classics or Roman History professors was Italian.

    Let's see, let's take Britain for example. Nothing left of their specific type of WHG. Then came the Neolithic farmers: almost wiped out, partly because of the arrival of the Beakers. Then came some more people from the Continent. Then the Romans. Were the British wiped out? It doesn't seem so. They seem to have survived, became "Romano-British", got some running water, some nice buildings, lots of better trade goods, their diet improved, and they could worship whatever Gods they wished. They could become Roman citizens and many did. Were British people killed in the conquest? Yes. Do I think that was great? No, I don't. However, as conquerors go, the Roman Empire wasn't as bad as most. Then the empire fell. Troops were withdrawn. Uh, oh. Another dark ages, no learning, no sanitation, barely any trade, roads dangerous and impassable, and, oh, you think it was violence free? You don't know anything about the Vikings or the Danes. Churches were burned and priests set alight. Towns were destroyed. Anything of value was destroyed. Oh, and the "locals"? They became serfs, second class citizens, those that didn't flee to the Welsh mountains or the Scottish highlands.

    Human behavior is distressingly predictable.

    Don't they teach history in schools anymore?

    Let me spell it out elementary school style: conquering other nations is wrong, but nations or tribes have been doing it since the dawn of history, certainly before recorded history. If you have a brain in your head, distinctions can still be made between them. Would you rather have been conquered by the Russians of the 19th century or the Huns? All I have to do is think of the mountains of skulls the Huns left behind, and how they permanently changed the demography of Central Asia and even parts of the Near East to know the answer to that question.

    The Roman Empire lasted for 400-500 years; the Nazi Reich (only about 80 years ago, so nation conquering has certainly not gony e out of style, and some young men who fought the Germans are still alive) didn't even last 10 years, and part of the reason is the brutality with which they treated the people they conquered. There was no gain from submitting. Get it?

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    Not an Emperor, but I like his Swagger: Mark Antony :)

    He wasn't very sophisticated, but he knew how to have a good time.
    I'd rather have a beer with Marc Anthony, than hang out with that Stiff of Augustus. lol

    That said:

    If Augustus is to be considered Emperor, my favorite Emperor is Augustus.
    He was boring, but he was smart.
    His Leadership skills transcended his personality shortcomings.

    imho
    Last edited by Salento; 10-06-19 at 14:00. Reason: don’t trust autocorrect

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    hi
    thes best of the emperors is august and tiberius and trajan and hadrian and mark antoniy and marcus auelius and septimius severus and constantine
    the worst emperors is caligula and nero and caracalla

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ailchu View Post
    the best roman emperor would be nero for burning down the city.
    You almost sound like a terrorist.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elaishousse View Post
    hi
    thes best of the emperors is august and tiberius and trajan and hadrian and mark antoniy and marcus auelius and septimius severus and constantine
    the worst emperors is caligula and nero and caracalla
    I think in evaluating the emperors we should consider the situation they inherited. While I particularly like Antoninus Pius, he inherited a stable empire from Hadrian and a clear inheritance. One of the reasons Augustus is rated so highly is that he came to power in the aftermath of a generations long period of turmoil (Sulla, etc) and created an Empire so well founded that it lasted through hundreds of years and through many incompetent successors.

    That being said, perhaps we should rate Nerva higher. It was he who began the so successful Adoptive Emperor period after the turmoil of Domitian. Perhaps it wasn't all his doing, or all on purpose, but it worked. That is why I downgrade Marcus Aurelius because he ended that period by the awful decision to break the adoptive precedent and give his son the throne.

    Vespasian and Septimus Severus also created prosperity out of turmoil, but both failed to create a long-lasting legacy because of the failures of their sons (to which I give them at least some responsibility).

    As to the worst emperors I'd apply a similar system, what did you inherit and what did you leave? Some, like Elagabulus, didn't have much of a chance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Salento View Post
    Not an Emperor, but I like his Swagger: Mark Antony :)

    He wasn't very sophisticated, but he knew how to have a good time.
    I'd rather have a beer with Marc Anthony, than hang out with that Stiff of Augustus. lol

    That said:

    If Augustus is to be considered Emperor, my favorite Emperor is Augustus.
    He was boring, but he was smart.
    His Leadership skills transcended his personality shortcomings.

    imho
    I would agree. I too have a soft spot for MA, but he was a man ruled by his passions; he was often described as a bull. He had no vision and could not have created a stable empire.

    Augustus is great, as you say, because he was the boring, logical, "long-head" who could handle the Senate and play at being only the first citizen while pulling all the levers. MA proved his unfitness by his later love of oriental pomp. That being said, I still think Augustus needed Agrippa for all of those characteristics he lacked.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    That's another gross over generalization. Augustus cared about the good of the empire. Marcus Aurelius cared about the good of the empire. There are numerous other examples.

    Look, I don't want to be harsh in my responses to you, but you have to have some background in a subject, some actual knowledge of the facts, before you express such dogmatic opinions. It's a failing of your whole generation but it still doesn't make it any the less annoying.

    There's a book by Nigel Waters called "The Roman Empire". I picked it up for eight dollars. It's a fair summary, great photographs and illustrations, and will give you a broad overview.

    Or, if you don't want to read, there's a series of podcasts (available on Itunes) called "The History of Rome" by Mike Duncan, and they're pretty good. Listen while you're driving or laying outside in the sun.
    -fvb


    romans were invaders! No invader comes to improve the life's of conquered people, unless you believe Romans invaded for humanitarian reasons.! Romans ruthlessly exploited their subjects, forcefully recruited young men to fight for them many of them lost their life, exploited the mines and resources. So for the conquered people they were horrible, but they were good for Rome. I refuse to name them as good.

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    @Tutkun-Arnaut
    More or less every Historical Era had its Superpowers.

    The Leaders were all very ambitious people, just like today's Leaders.

    We're just comparing Leadership abilities, accomplishments, personality traits, charisma, policies, ...

    Nobody's saying that these Emperors should be canonized like Saints.

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    Does Justinian count as a Roman Emperor? Thing is, by asking " who was the best? " You need to have requirements. As people said above, every emperors did things considered by some as " bad ".

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    Quote Originally Posted by halfalp View Post
    Does Justinian count as a Roman Emperor? Thing is, by asking " who was the best? " You need to have requirements. As people said above, every emperors did things considered by some as " bad ".
    The last Roman Emperor was Constantine XI Palaiologos.
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    NERO: THE CELEBRITY EMPEROR


    On June, 9th 68 AD, the most cruel of the Roman emperors died. Know your final moments:

    Cruel, insane, depraved? It's too little. Nero was a monster. He went to bed with his mother and had her killed. He poisoned his half-brother, slashed his first wife, and kicked the second, pregnant, until she died. The Roman emperor also castrated a freedman, dressed him as a woman, and married him at a stupendous party. But the problem was that he loved to sing and perform in public, something unforgivable for anyone who had the title of princeps (First in the Senate).


    In only 14 years of rule (between 54 and 68), Nero lost the support of the Senate, the magistrates, the third woman and even his preceptor, the philosopher Seneca. At the age of 30, faced with an imminent coup d'etat, he ended his life with a stab in the neck. Its the last words: Qualis artifex pereo! (Which artist dies with me!).

    That is what Suetonius, Tacitus and Cassius Dio, the main sources on Nero, say. Detail: they all represented the interests of the Senate, resented by the concentration of power made by the emperor and his approximationto the plebs. And none of them was an eyewitness of the mentioned episodes.


    He was capable of unimaginable cruelties and probably eliminated much of his family - which, incidentally, was a practice in the Julius-Claudian dynasty. But it was not the madman who painted us, but an emperor who dramatized his life to attract public attention. So much so that, after his suicide, there were rumors that he had not died - just like an Elvis Presley of ancient times.

    The Emperor's Decline

    In the year 67, Nero returned to Rome acclaimed by the crowd. He had spent a year and a half on "tour", not knowing the revolts that popped in their domains. "Nero's delay in facing the riots was seen by the Senate as a sign of weakness and loss of control," says archaeologist Darius Arya.

    In 68, the Senate declared Nero "public enemy" and supported the coronation of the roman, Galba. From there, Suetonius and Cassius Dio give on the princeps’s biography an increasingly dramatic tone: isolated, Nero fled from Rome and ordered his men to dig a pit. Shouted: Qualis artifex pereo! - translated as "that artist dies with me!" - and committed suicide with a dagger.

    "Modern readers often misinterpret this phrase of Nero." Artifex, in Dio's Greek, may mean 'artist' in the sense of interpreting. "But here the meaning is" craftsman, "says Princeton University professor Edward Champlin. He was coordinating the construction of his tomb - a simple pit with fragments of marble. And at that moment he pointed out the contrast between the great artist he had been and the wretched craftsman he had become. Nero did not say 'What artist dies with me!', But almost the opposite: 'What a craftsman I am in my agony!' "

    He believed himself to be a follower of the glory of the Greeks and used Rome and his empire as a great stage for their exhibitions. Of course, he was, indeed, a tyrant-possibly the cruellest of his dynasty. But his need to interact with the people turned him into a rockstar tyrant, someone the people liked to hear, to know what he was doing.

    Last edited by Duarte; 11-06-19 at 15:50.
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    Julian is worth mentioning, attended a lecture dedicated to his rule.

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    There is a lot of good in what Julian achieved, and in what he tried to achieve. I too believe he is one of the great emperors, but much of his acclaim today seems, to me, to relate to his anti-Christian beliefs (BTW, I'm an atheist so I'm not pushing an agenda); note the novel "Julian the Apostate."

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tutkun Arnaut View Post
    -fvb

    romans were invaders! No invader comes to improve the life's of conquered people, unless you believe Romans invaded for humanitarian reasons.! Romans ruthlessly exploited their subjects, forcefully recruited young men to fight for them many of them lost their life, exploited the mines and resources. So for the conquered people they were horrible, but they were good for Rome. I refuse to name them as good.

    When people say Alexander the great was a bad man, a congueror,
    I use to show them the bellow Video,
    When people say Greeks were war-scums,
    I use to show them the bellow video,
    even I my shelf, living few km from Pydna, where was the last Makedonian stand, with a possible victory against Romans,
    When paople speak about Romans, I use to see this video,

    it is Monty Python
    from the movie the life of Brian




    So as I agree with you when Rome, or Makedonia conguer the world, intruders, murderers etc, they were conguerors,
    I also agree, that moved ahead civiliztion, merchant, etc
    ΟΘΕΝ ΑΙΔΩΣ OY EINAI
    ΑΤΗ ΛΑΜΒΑΝΕΙΝ ΑΥΤΟΙΣ
    ΥΒΡΙΣ ΓΕΝΝΑΤΑΙ
    ΝΕΜΕΣΙΣ ΚΑΙ ΤΙΣΗ ΑΚΟΛΟΥΘΟΥΣΙ ΔΕ

    When there is no shame
    Divine blindness conquers them
    Hybris (abuse, opprombium) is born
    Nemesis and punishment follows.

    Εχε υπομονη Ηρωα
    Η τιμωρια δεν αργει.

  25. #50
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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    THE BEST:

    Emperor August

    Where: Rome
    WHEN 27 BC to 14 AD


    The sovereign liked to give good examples of virtue. Once he stayed at the home of Vedius Pollio, a senior government official. During the welcome party, one of the host's slaves stumbled and broke a glass. Vedius was angry and ordered him to be thrown into a pool full of lampreys. The emperor intervened: he saved the slave, freed him and sent his soldiers to break all the crystal cups of the cruel host.

    Emperor Trajan

    Where: Rome
    WHEN 98 to 117 AD


    Trajan made the joy of the Roman people distributing wheat to more than 200 thousand people, from the aristocracy to the plebs. Even though a lot of people were left out, Trajano started raffling a vacancy in the list of beneficiaries every time a citizen died. But the gift was not pure generosity of the emperor. The breads, financed by the Roman wars, were part of the bread and circus politics, which tried to distract the masses with food and fun.

    THE WORST:

    Emperor Caligula

    SEASON - 37 to 41 AD


    It was probably just a rumor, but for all intents and purposes the story was that Caligula had named his horse Incitatus as a consul, a senior public officer whose main function was to command armies.


    OTHER MADNESS - Caligula was famous for his cruelty and the promiscuitie. He would have determined that criminals were served alive as meal for wild animals and was accused of having sex with his three sisters.

    Emperor Nero

    SEASON - 54 to 68 AD


    MAJOR ABSURD - Nero would never be accused of nepotism, that is, of benefiting relatives. He was blamed for the death of his own mother, his first wife, and having a half-brother poisoned.


    OTHER MADNESSES - It was probably not Nero who set off a devastating fire in Rome. But this does not cleanse his "curriculum" from other bizarre facts, such as the supposed macabre habit of sending Christians to ferocious and starving dogs, who would tear them apart alive.

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