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Emperors Behaving Badly

Emperors Behaving Badly

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Emperors Behaving Badly

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  1. Emperors Behaving Badly

  2. The Julio-Claudians

  3. Augustus 1st Roman Imperator (emperor) Reign started period known as “PaxRomana” (Roman Peace) – Period of social stability, economic revival, and Efficient administration to Rome His own chosen successors died, so he selected his stepson, Tiberius as his heir. Where the Trouble Started…

  4. Augustus Continued….. • Augustus unable to produce heir • Died in 14 CE • "Alas for the Roman people, to be ground by jaws that crunch so slowly!"

  5. Reigned from 14 to 37 CE A Successful general in Germany – won 2 Campaigns w/out fighting a single battle (used diplomacy and effective deployment of troops to bring the barbarians to terms) Tiberius Claudius Nero

  6. Tiberius Claudius Nero Ctd… • Augustus’ adopted (step) son and married to Augustus’ daughter Julia • Lacked the charisma of Augustus & Alienated senators with his moodiness. (Failed at “playing Augustus”) • Never wanted to be emperor • Withdrew to vila on Island of Capri and left the running of the government to a Prefect • Destroyed the Roman Republic forever • Was emperor when Jesus was crucified

  7. Treason trials Rarely left Rome Poorly managed provinces, Spain in particular Heavy Drinker- Biberius Caldius Mero Miser Neglected Public Works, Augustus’ Temple, Pompey’s Theatre Theodorus- ‘mud, kneaded with blood’ Maiestas Daily executions Nearly every crime became punishable by death Hated the games, cut back funding Established Praetorian Guard, treated them better than border soldiers Bad Behavior in Public

  8. Private “playhouse” Pans and nymphs His ‘minnows’ Few immune from his desires Had trouble trusting people, despised his mother Afraid of thunder and fish Private Problems

  9. Tiberius withdrawn in later years Sejanus No heir named, immediate family dead Two possible heirs, Gaius Caesar and Tiberius Gemellus Died March 16, 37 CE More Succession Problems

  10. Great-nephew of Tiberius and his chosen successor Grew up on German frontier w/ Fathers army, who nicknamed him Caligula – The Nickname stuck- “little soldiers’ boots” Very popular with the masses and soldiers Reigned from 37 to 41 CE “I am nursing a viper in Rome’s bosom.”- Tiberius Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (Caligula)

  11. No Problems at First • Caligula appeals to Roman people • Recalled exiles • Held banquets and gave many gifts • Revived Public Works • However, later in the same year he was appointed, suffered a “brain fever”

  12. Ships at Baiae Replaced heads of statues of gods with his own (demanded to be worshipped as Jupiter) Wore a wig and commoners’ clothes for ‘nightly activities’ Declared himself a living god Cancelled some holidays honoring Augustus Incest- Drusilla (made her a goddess when she died) Killed several relatives, painfully …Possibly Drove Him Insane

  13. Hoped for natural disasters Hated the handsome Unfair taxes ‘Gather seashells!’ Stole from Alexander the Great’s tomb Created poisons in spare time Tried to make Incitatus (his horse) a Consul), leader of cult in his honor Palace on the water Emptied treasury Altered the games unexpectedly Secretly killed people for fun Foul language Had people tortured while he was eating Hypocrite Orgies More Exploits

  14. 41 CE, Caligula violently stabbed to death Issue of succession comes up again… Augustus took special measures to ensure that Tiberius Claudius would not become emperor Only one ‘capable’ left alive Caligula Assassinated…

  15. Reigned from 41 to 54 CE Generally agreed that he had some forms of physical disabilities (polio as a child had left him with a limp and a stammer) Was Caligula’s Uncle Historians have differing opinions on his character Tiberius Claudius

  16. Tiberius Claudius Ctd… • Ruled well and added Britain to the Roman Empire • Granted citizenship to provinces, admitted Gauls into the Senate, and passed legislation to improve treatment of slaves • Was Poisoned by his 4th wife (agrippina) who killed him to ensure succession of her son, Nero.

  17. Erratic court behavior Paranoid Easily swayed by others Killed thirty-five senators and 300 equites Gluttony Sex addict Bribery Adopted Nero Better than the Last Two..

  18. Claudius died in 54 CE Senate was naturally concerned with safety Claudius named his adoptive son Nero as heir (Agrippina had a strong hand in this) Not many options… Succession Once Again Disputed

  19. Became emperor at age sixteen Influenced by Agrippina and Seneca early in reign. Ruled from 54 to 68 CE Promised to rule as Augustus had Difficult to discern fact from fiction. Nero 54-68 C.E.

  20. Killed his half-brother, 1st wife, mother and 2nd wife Forced senators to do battle in the gladiatorial games Shows he put on were dangerous at times Would ignore pleas to return to Rome Would don a disguise and attack men at night Petty crimes Forced his friends to throw him parties Opened numerous temporary brothels Raped numerous people, even a Vestal Virgin Attacked private parts of men and women bound to stakes Emptied treasury Seized assets of those ‘disloyal’ to him Matricide Fratricide Gruesomely killed aunt Killed nobility to save himself Gave Vocal concerts for Attention Nero’s Offenses

  21. 64 CE Devastated much of Rome Strongly suspected Nero caused fire (he blamed Christians) “fiddled while Rome burned” Lasted six days, seven nights Great Fire of Rome

  22. First emperor to do so Would throw parties lit by Christians on burning crosses Blamed fire on them Suspicious due to their strange rituals and monotheism Persecution of Christians

  23. Nero committed suicide in 68 CE No living male relatives Civil war returned for a year as four men claimed the title of emperor End of Julio-Claudians

  24. End of Julio-Claudiansctd… • Start of Flavian dynasty soon to follow • Rome may never have truly recovered • Start of Flavian dynasty under Vespasian

  25. Legacy of Julio-Claudians

  26. The End “Bear in mind that I can do anything I want to anyone I want!” - Caligula

  27. Other notable Emperors • Trajan (98-117 A.D.) • One of the most Beloved of all the emperors, great Humanitarian • Hadrian (117-138 A.D.) • Built a Wall stretching across Northern England to keep out the Scots (still exists today)

  28. Other notable Emperors Ctd… • Marcus Aurelius – (161-180 A.D.) • Conquered the Germanic Tribes – Known as the philosopher emperor • Diocletian (284-305 A.D.) • Divided Roman Empire into two halves and ruled jointly with another emperor – Retired • Constantine (306-337 A.D.) • Reunited the empire for the last time – Converted to Christianity

  29. Other notable Emperors Ctd… • Theodosius the Great (379-395 A.D.) • Made Christianity the official religion of the empire • Romulus Augustus (475-476 A.D.) • Last Roman Emperor