History UsefulNotes / TheRomanEmpire

17th Feb '18 9:47:23 PM CrimsonZephyr
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* HereditaryRepublic: He was the first emperor to directly pass the throne down to his biological son, and would be the last to do so until Marcus Aurelius, more than a century later. Since this was in the 1st Century, when Rome was still pretending the Republic was alive, this first instance of primogeniture foreshadows the gradual shedding of republican norms in favor of monarchical ones.
13th Feb '18 12:04:52 AM Jormungar
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In the West, the key successor organization of Rome until the Early Modern Era was the Roman Catholic Church, the world's oldest running institution, and the only one existing today to actually trace its origin to the Roman era. As important as the Empire was when it was alive, in its death it became valuable intellectual real estate, with many great families and other nobility claiming origins (real or imagined) from the Roman era. Titles such as "Emperor" (derived from the Latin word ''imperator'', a title given to victorious generals but eventually reserved solely for the ruler of the Empire) and later Kaiser and Tsar (both derived from the word Caesar) were adopted by later European rulers. One of the Pope's titles, ''Pontifex Maximus'' (chief priest) was originally held by the head of the college of priests in ancient Rome. A famous example is the Frankish King UsefulNotes/{{Charlemagne}} who was granted the title of Emperor by the Church and he likewise named his Kingdom the "UsefulNotes/HolyRomanEmpire" in 800 AD, despite the fact that his Empire (as Creator/{{Voltaire}} put it) was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire. The title of ''dominus'' ("master", instituted as an imperial title by Diocletian) led to the Portuguese honorific "Dom" and the Spanish and Italian "Don", and in a roundabout way also spawned the English honorific "Sir".

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In the West, the key successor organization of Rome until the Early Modern Era was the Roman Catholic Church, the world's oldest running institution, and the only one existing today to actually trace its origin to the Roman era. As important as the Empire was when it was alive, in its death it became valuable intellectual real estate, with many great families and other nobility claiming origins (real or imagined) from the Roman era. Around a quarter of Europe's capitals, and many other cities besides, claim to be built on seven hills as Rome was. Titles such as "Emperor" (derived from the Latin word ''imperator'', a title given to victorious generals but eventually reserved solely for the ruler of the Empire) and later Kaiser and Tsar (both derived from the word Caesar) were adopted by later European rulers. One of the Pope's titles, ''Pontifex Maximus'' (chief priest) was originally held by the head of the college of priests in ancient Rome. A famous example is the Frankish King UsefulNotes/{{Charlemagne}} who was granted the title of Emperor by the Church and he likewise named his Kingdom the "UsefulNotes/HolyRomanEmpire" in 800 AD, despite the fact that his Empire (as Creator/{{Voltaire}} put it) was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.AD. The title of ''dominus'' ("master", instituted as an imperial title by Diocletian) led to the Portuguese honorific "Dom" and the Spanish and Italian "Don", and in a roundabout way also spawned the English honorific "Sir".
8th Feb '18 3:37:49 PM sotnosen95
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He was elected emperor in very dicey circumstances, and almost entirely by accident after Julian's death. You see Julian was the Emperor and head of state, and [[DecapitatedArmy he died in battle at the head of his army]] and all of them were in enemy territory. Jovian was hastily elected and his first order was getting the army out intact. To do so he accepted a treaty with the Persians in exchange for safe passage. This made him supremely unpopular immediately because Romans don't quit, they don't surrender to barbarians and they don't back down. In this case, Jovian had no choice - or so he claimed. The Persians naturally extracted a treaty the Romans saw as humiliating.

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He was elected emperor in very dicey circumstances, and almost entirely by accident after Julian's death. You see see, Julian was the Emperor and head of state, and [[DecapitatedArmy he died in battle at the head of his army]] and when all of them were in enemy territory. Jovian was hastily elected and his first order was getting the army out intact. To do so so, he accepted a treaty with the Persians in exchange for safe passage. This made him supremely unpopular immediately because Romans don't quit, they don't surrender to barbarians and they don't back down. In this case, Jovian had no choice - or so he claimed. The Persians naturally extracted a treaty the Romans saw as humiliating.
7th Feb '18 1:02:25 PM sotnosen95
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A peacemaker who pulled back from several areas conquered by Trajan. Traveled around the empire, and built the eponymous wall in Britain. Known for vehemently supporting Greek culture, almost to a bizarre degree. He is also remembered by Jews for being the Emperor who brutally crushed the Bar Kochba revolt, renaming Jerusalem Aelia Capitolina and generally making things harder for them. His reign was obscure with relatively few historical depictions. One exception is Marguerite Yourcenar's classic ''Memoirs of Hadrian''. Had a male favorite deified after said favorite died young (sources disagree as to whether it was an accident, illness, murder, human sacrifice or some combination thereof). One of the emperors called gay most often by modern commentators

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A peacemaker who pulled back from several areas conquered by Trajan. Traveled around the empire, and built the eponymous wall in Britain. Known for vehemently supporting Greek culture, almost to a bizarre degree. He is also remembered by Jews for being the Emperor who brutally crushed the Bar Kochba revolt, renaming Jerusalem Aelia Capitolina and generally making things harder for them. His reign was obscure with relatively few historical depictions. One exception is Marguerite Yourcenar's classic ''Memoirs of Hadrian''. Had a male favorite deified after said favorite died young (sources disagree as to whether it was an accident, illness, murder, human sacrifice or some combination thereof). One of the emperors called gay most often by modern commentators
commentators.



Famous for doing nothing at all besides ruling competently for 22 years. In fact, unlike Trajan and the other warrior-emperors that would follow him, Antonius Pius probably never left Italy on campaign and fought his wars entirely through intermediaries in the field. Rumour has it that he also sent a delegation to the Han Dynasty in China during his reign (Well him or Hadrian). Also built a second wall in Britain (after some victories he managed) which was soon abandoned. He received the cognomen Pius because he deified Hadrian in exchange for pardoning some Senators which Hadrian had sentenced to death.

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Famous for doing nothing at all besides ruling competently for 22 years. In fact, unlike Trajan and the other warrior-emperors that would follow him, Antonius Pius probably never left Italy on campaign and fought his wars entirely through intermediaries in the field. Rumour has it that he also sent a delegation to the Han Dynasty in China during his reign (Well (well, him or Hadrian). Also built a second wall in Britain (after some victories he managed) which was soon abandoned. He received the cognomen Pius because he deified Hadrian in exchange for pardoning some Senators which Hadrian had sentenced to death.



An elderly man and accomplished general elected by the Senate. Was betrayed and murdered by the Praetorian Guard after he tried to impose some much needed discipline to their ranks. (are we [[SarcasmMode seeing a pattern here?]]).

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An elderly man and accomplished general elected by the Senate. Was betrayed and murdered by the Praetorian Guard after he tried to impose some much needed discipline to their ranks. (are Are we [[SarcasmMode seeing a pattern here?]]).
here]]?.



He died in battle (one of 9 emperors to do so) during a poorly conceived invasion of the Persian Empire, being wounded by a spear and dying shortly after. Almost all his plans were abandoned after his death. It's possible to compare him to the Egyptian Pharoah UsefulNotes/{{Akhenaten}} who also introduced a state sponsored religious cult, albeit Akhenaten was a monotheistic radical where Julian was a restorer of the Old Gods. He was [[LastOfHisKind the last non-Christian Emperor of Antiquity]], and his life and death is often invoked as the DeathOfTheOldGods, the point at which Hellenism and any attempts to prolong it became DeaderThanDisco. Indeed for a long time, it was rumoured that his FamousLastWords was "You have won, Galilean" (Julian referred to Christians as Galileans, as a way to remind them they were originally a minor Jewish sect) and this became much MemeticMutation during the romantic era, but this is mostly a literary and cultural fantasy, originating from an account by christian theologian Theodoret.

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He died in battle (one of 9 emperors to do so) during a poorly conceived invasion of the Persian Empire, being wounded by a spear and dying shortly after. Almost all his plans were abandoned after his death. It's possible to compare him to the Egyptian Pharoah UsefulNotes/{{Akhenaten}} who also introduced a state sponsored religious cult, albeit Akhenaten was a monotheistic radical where Julian was a restorer of the Old Gods. He was [[LastOfHisKind the last non-Christian Emperor of Antiquity]], and his life and death is often invoked as the DeathOfTheOldGods, the point at which Hellenism and any attempts to prolong it became DeaderThanDisco. Indeed for a long time, it was rumoured that his FamousLastWords was "You have won, Galilean" (Julian referred to Christians as Galileans, as a way to remind them they were originally a minor Jewish sect) and this became much MemeticMutation during the romantic era, but this is mostly a literary and cultural fantasy, originating from an account by christian Christian theologian Theodoret.
21st Nov '17 5:19:07 AM Jormungar
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The reasons for the crumbling of the Western half of the Empire[[note]]as mentioned above, the East stayed strong for roughly a millennium after the West fell[[/note]] are still hotly debated to this day, but a few common things are agreed upon. First and foremost, the Roman economy began to falter. The massive excesses of wealth did bring inflation, but the real killer of the Empire was a lack of land. In Antiquity, land was far more valuable than money, and it was more or less the primary good for exchanges between those in the upper class. Your wealth was not defined by how much gold you had stockpiled, but by how much land and how many resources you owned. If anything, currency was for the commoners to trade and peddle with on the streets. During the early days of the Roman Empire, land was quite abundant due to the massive conquests of the legions. Legionaries were granted land in exchange for service. However, many of those legionaries came from poor backgrounds[[note]]The reforms of Gaius Marius allowed all Romans to serve in the legions, not just nobles. Later reforms also introduced state-purchased equipment, meaning you no longer had to bring your own stuff to the field, and they also introduced the Auxilia, which were non-citizens from newly conquered Roman provinces or client states who wanted to gain land and citizenship through military service[[/note]], they could not afford to sustain their land during the economic crisis of the 3rd and 4th centuries. Meanwhile, as the empire stopped continuously conquering land after the reign of Trajan, the soldiers were paid actually, hard currency. Of course, this became a problem, as the Roman Legions were very numerous and more and more pay increases were needed to keep them staffed. Ultimately, this led to mass inflation.

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The reasons for the crumbling of the Western half of the Empire[[note]]as mentioned above, the East stayed strong for roughly a millennium after the West fell[[/note]] are still hotly debated to this day, but a few common things are agreed upon. First and foremost, the Roman economy began to falter. The massive excesses of wealth did bring inflation, but the real killer of the Empire was ironically a lack of land. In Antiquity, land was far more valuable than money, and it was more or less the primary good for exchanges of exchange between those in the upper class. Your wealth was not defined by how much gold you had stockpiled, but by how much land and how many resources you owned. If anything, the nobility considered even dealing with metal currency was to be beneath them, viewing it as something for the commoners to trade and peddle with on the streets. During the early days of the Roman Empire, land was quite abundant due to the massive conquests of the legions. Legionaries were granted land in exchange for service. However, many of those legionaries came from poor backgrounds[[note]]The reforms of Gaius Marius allowed all Romans to serve in the legions, not just nobles. Later reforms also introduced state-purchased equipment, meaning you no longer had to bring your own stuff to the field, and they also introduced the Auxilia, which were non-citizens from newly conquered Roman provinces or client states who wanted to gain land and citizenship through military service[[/note]], they could not afford to sustain their land during the economic crisis of the 3rd and 4th centuries. Meanwhile, as the empire stopped continuously conquering land after the reign of Trajan, the soldiers were paid actually, hard currency. Of course, this became a problem, as the Roman Legions were very numerous and more and more pay increases were needed to keep them staffed. Ultimately, this led to mass inflation.
14th Nov '17 8:33:21 PM Jake18
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Ruled in the west, with his brother Valens ruling the east. Valentinian restored the empire's flagging fortunes with military victories against various invaders. Died from a stroke brought on by yelling at enemy diplomats.

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Ruled in the west, with his brother Valens ruling the east. Valentinian restored the empire's flagging fortunes with military victories against various invaders. On the religious front, he continued the policies of his predecessor, showing preference for Christianity while tolerating paganism. Died from a stroke brought on by yelling at enemy Germanic diplomats.



Succeeded his father Valentinian. Ended the religious toleration of his predecessors, favoring Christianity and suppressing paganism.

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Succeeded his father Valentinian. Ended the religious toleration of his predecessors, favoring Christianity and suppressing paganism.
paganism. His hiring of Alan mercenaries earned the ire of the army, leading to his deposition and execution.



Last emperor to rule over east and west (for barely over a year). Banned all religions except Christianity. Fought the Goths to a stalemate but was unable to win a conclusive victory. His PyrrhicVictory in a civil war which won him control of both halves of the Empire may have devastated the Western military so far it couldn't recover. Split the Empire after his death for the final time, the west going to Honorius and the east going to Arcadius.

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Last emperor to rule over east and west (for barely over a year). Banned Made Christianity the ''de jure'' state religion and banned all religions except Christianity.other faiths. Fought the Goths to a stalemate but was unable to win a conclusive victory. His PyrrhicVictory in a civil war which won him control of both halves of the Empire may have devastated the Western military so far it couldn't recover. Split the Empire after his death for the final time, the west going to Honorius and the east going to Arcadius.



Emperor of the Western Empire. Another imperial idiot. Most notable moment of his reign was the Sack of Rome in 410, which he held some responsibility for, since he had his best general, Stilicho, put to death, along with the families of Gothic soldiers in Roman service. The Goths under Alaric revolted due to their mistreatment and sacked Rome for the first time since 390 BC. Honorius also reportedly [[BrotherSisterIncest lusted after his half-sister]].

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Emperor of the Western Empire. Another imperial idiot. Most notable moment of his reign was the Sack of Rome in 410, which he held some responsibility for, since he had his best general, Stilicho, put to death, along with the families of Gothic soldiers in Roman service. The Goths under Alaric revolted due to their mistreatment and sacked Rome for the first time since 390 BC. Honorius also reportedly [[BrotherSisterIncest lusted after his half-sister]].
half-sister Galla Placidia ]].

!!Valentinian III (423 - 455)
Nephew of Honorius. Ascended to the throne at the age of four. He was pretty much a puppet for his entire reign, first for his mother Galla Placidia, then for the general Flavius Aetius. Frequently described as a RoyalBrat, his reign saw the empire lose control of North Africa and most of Iberia and Gaul. Was assassinated on the orders of Aetius after he tried to turn on the general.
8th Nov '17 6:57:34 AM SoberIrishman
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First tolerated, then favored Christianity. The first Christian emperor of Rome, being baptized just before his death. Moved the empire's capital away from Rome, to what would be called Constantinople. A massively capable soldier, both in terms of leadership and in martial skill. Admonished by an advisor on at least one occasion for [[FrontlineGeneral leading a cavalry charge]]. He also ended the Praetorian Guard, and destroyed the barracks of Castra Praetoria (whose ruins still exist) [[AndThereWasMuchRejoicing to much public cheer]]. Had his eldest son executed under false pretenses, followed by his wife who may have had a part in the whole thing. This would have terrible reprecussions for his dynasty.

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First tolerated, then favored Christianity. The first Christian emperor of Rome, being baptized just before his death. Moved the empire's capital away from Rome, to what would be called Constantinople. A massively capable soldier, both in terms of leadership and in martial skill. Admonished by an advisor on at least one occasion for [[FrontlineGeneral leading a cavalry charge]]. He also ended disbanded the Praetorian Guard, replacing them with the Scholae Palatinae and destroyed the barracks of Castra Praetoria (whose ruins still exist) [[AndThereWasMuchRejoicing to much public cheer]]. Had his eldest son executed under false pretenses, followed by his wife who may have had a part in the whole thing. This would have terrible reprecussions for his dynasty.
7th Nov '17 12:00:53 AM JulianLapostat
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First tolerated, then favored Christianity. The first Christian emperor of Rome, being baptized just before his death. Moved the empire's capital away from Rome, to what would be called Constantinople. A massively capable soldier, both in terms of leadership and in martial skill. Admonished by an advisor on at least one occasion for [[FrontlineGeneral leading a cavalry charge]]. Had his eldest son executed under false pretenses, followed by his wife who may have had a part in the whole thing. This would have terrible reprecussions for his dynasty.

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First tolerated, then favored Christianity. The first Christian emperor of Rome, being baptized just before his death. Moved the empire's capital away from Rome, to what would be called Constantinople. A massively capable soldier, both in terms of leadership and in martial skill. Admonished by an advisor on at least one occasion for [[FrontlineGeneral leading a cavalry charge]]. He also ended the Praetorian Guard, and destroyed the barracks of Castra Praetoria (whose ruins still exist) [[AndThereWasMuchRejoicing to much public cheer]]. Had his eldest son executed under false pretenses, followed by his wife who may have had a part in the whole thing. This would have terrible reprecussions for his dynasty.
6th Nov '17 9:31:19 PM Darkfire545
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Vespasian's younger son. Was a very competent but authoritarian ruler, and deeply loathed by the Senate. One of the first emperors with a cult of personality. He was assassinated.


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Vespasian's younger son. Was a very competent but authoritarian ruler, and deeply loathed by the Senate. One of the first emperors with a cult of personality. Had the tendency to catch and torture flies. He was assassinated.

6th Nov '17 4:27:35 PM SonofAkatosh
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!!Valentian I (364-375)

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!!Valentian !!Valentinian I The Great (364-375)



!!Theodosius (379 - 395)

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!!Theodosius I The Great (379 - 395)
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