Famous Ancient Roman Emperors & Kings

When in Rome, do as the Romans do – follow their customs, imbibe their culture, and live their king-sized life. History would be half as interesting as it is today had it not been for the Roman Empire. Traditionally lasting from 27 BC to 476 AD, Roman Empire was one of the largest empires of the ancient world. It covered most of the area along the Mediterranean Sea and became a seat for budding talent. The region was blessed with some of the most prolific and outstandingly talented scholars, philosophers, artists and painters who contributed immensely to the world knowledge. Before the establishment of the Roman Empire, Roman republic ruled the region. The death of the notorious dictator Julius Caesar marked the end of the Roman Republic and the beginning of the Roman Empire. Augustus Ceasar was the first Roman Emperor of the Roman Empire. Over time, several ancient emperors and kings ruled the region - from Nero the mad tyrant to Vespasian who built the historic Roman Colosseum, Titus who destroyed the temple in Jerusalem to Marcus Aurelius, the philosopher. Check this segment and find out in detail about the famous ancient Roman emperors.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Julius Caesar

Julius Caesar
Famous As: Roman dictator
Birthdate: June 30, 0100
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: March 15, 0044

Julius Caesar is considered one of the greatest military commanders in history and played an important role in the events that led to the downfall of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire. He assumed control of the government after a civil war. He was assassinated by rebel senators on the Ides of March, 44 BC.

 2 Augustus

Famous As: Roman Emperor
Birthdate: September 23, 0063
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: August 19, 0014

Augustus, the first Emperor of the Roman Empire, ruled from 27 BC to 14 AD. He transformed Rome from a republic to an empire after Julius Caesar’s assassination. He annexed new territories, brought about peace and prosperity and laid the foundation of an empire that lasted for nearly 1500 years. Historians regard him as an effective but controversial leader.

 3 Constantine the Great

Constantine the Great
Famous As: Roman Emperor
Birthdate: February 27, 0272
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Naissus, Moesia, Roman Empire
Died: May 22, 0337

Constantine the Great served as the Roman emperor between 306 and 337. During his reign, he enacted financial, administrative, military, and social reforms to strengthen the empire. Constantine the Great is also credited with introducing the solidus, a gold coin which became the standard for European and Byzantine currencies for over a thousand years.

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 4 Claudius

Famous As: Roman Emperor (41-54)
Birthdate: August 1, 0010
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lugdunum
Died: October 13, 0054

Claudius was made the Roman emperor by the Praetorian Guard after the assassination of Caligula, his nephew and predecessor, and ruled from 41 to 54 A.D. He was slightly limp and deaf since childhood, but his reign was marked by financial stability. He was succeeded by his grand-nephew, tyrant Nero.

 5 Caligula

Famous As: Roman Emperor (37-41 AD)
Birthdate: August 31, 0012
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Anzio, Italy
Died: January 24, 0041

Caligula, the third Roman emperor, is often described as a cruel man who forced his subjects to worship him as their god. Considered an insane tyrant, Caligula is accused of incest and forcing the audience to enter a sporting arena to be eaten alive by wild beasts during the intermission. His stories are famous in popular culture.

 6 Trajan

Famous As: Roman Emperor
Birthdate: September 18, 0053
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Hispania Baetica
Died: August 8, 0117

Trajan was the Roman emperor from 98 to 117 CE. Remembered as a successful soldier-emperor, he presided over a great military expansion, leading the Roman Empire to attain its maximum territorial extent by the time of his death. He was the second of the Five Good Emperors and focused on implementing social welfare policies for the benefit of his citizens.

 7 Tiberius

Famous As: Roman Emperor (14-37)
Birthdate: November 16, 0042
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: March 16, 0037
Tiberius, the second Roman emperor, ruled from AD 14 to 37. Though his conquests strengthened the Roman empire, he lacked the will to rule. Following his son Drusus Julius Caesar’s death, Tiberius became aloof. He later gave away his administrative powers to his prefects Sejanus and Naevius Sutorius Macro.
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 8 Septimius Severus

Septimius Severus
Famous As: Roman Emperor (193-211)
Birthdate: April 11, 0145
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Leptis Magna, Libya
Died: February 4, 0211
Roman emperor Septimius Severus reigned from 193 to 211. He worked in the senate under Marcus Aurelius and gained strength following the death of Pertinax. He killed incumbent emperor Didius Julianus and annexed many kingdoms, such as Osroene. While on an invasion of Scotland, he died of an infectious disease.

 9 Herod the Great

Herod the Great
Famous As: King of Judea
Birthdate: November 30, 0072
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Edom
Died: 0004 BC

Herod the Great was a client king of Judea. According to the Gospel of Matthew, Herod ordered the execution of all male toddlers in the vicinity of Bethlehem, the incident which came to be known as Massacre of the Innocents. Thus, he is believed to have played a major role in the events leading up to the birth of Jesus.

 10 Titus

Famous As: Roman Emperor
Birthdate: December 30, 0039
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Rome
Died: September 13, 0081

Titus was the ruler of the Roman Empire from 79 to 81 CE. Before ascending the throne, he played a crucial role as a military commander, working alongside his father Vespasian during the First Jewish-Roman War. After becoming the emperor, Titus oversaw the completion of the Colosseum. His life and work are depicted in literature, paintings, and visual arts.

 11 Vespasian

Famous As: Roman Emperor (69-79)
Birthdate: November 18, 0009
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Falacrine
Died: June 23, 0079
Vespasian, the Roman emperor from 69 to 79 AD, established the Flavian dynasty. He was the first emperor from an equestrian family and a great military leader who was the legate of Legio II Augusta. Nero committed suicide when Vespasian besieged Jerusalem, leading to the Year of the Four Emperors.

 12 Domitian

Famous As: Roman Emperor
Birthdate: October 24, 0051
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Rome
Died: September 18, 0096
Domitian, son of Vespasian, reigned as the Roman emperor from 81 to 96. He was the last ruler of the Flavian dynasty and was assassinated by his own court officials. His authoritarian regime witnessed the reduction of the Senate’s powers and the strengthening of the defenses and the Roman economy.

 13 Diocletian

Famous As: Roman Emperor
Birthdate: December 22, 0244
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Salona (now Solin, Croatia)
Died: December 3, 0311
Diocletian was the Roman emperor from 284 to 305. Some of the significant policies introduced by him were the Edict on Maximum Prices and the Diocletianic Persecution of Christianity. He also established a tetrarchy, including Maximian, Galerius, and Constantius as co-emperors. He also expanded the empire’s civil and military services.

 14 Antoninus Pius

Antoninus Pius
Famous As: Roman Emperor
Birthdate: September 19, 0086
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Lanuvium, Italy
Died: March 7, 0161
Antoninus Pius was the Roman emperor from 138 to 161 and is regarded as one of the Five Good Emperors of the Nerva–Antonine dynasty. He was adopted by emperor Hadrian. His reign was marked by peace and the construction of the Antonine Wall. He was largely an efficient ruler.

 15 Theodosius I

Theodosius I
Famous As: Emperor
Birthdate: January 11, 0347
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Coca, Segovia, Spain
Died: January 17, 0395

Theodosius I, or Theodosius the Great, ruled as the Roman emperor from 379 to 395. He made Christianity the state religion of his empire and constructed architectural marvels, such as the Column of Theodosius, the Golden Gate, and the Theodosian Walls, in Constantinople. He ended conflicts with the Goths and barred pagan rituals in the Olympics.

 16 Constantine XI Palaiologos

Constantine XI Palaiologos
Famous As: Emperor
Birthdate: February 8, 1405
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Constantinople, Turkey
Died: May 29, 1453

 17 Commodus

Famous As: Roman Emperor
Birthdate: August 31, 0161
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Lanuvium
Died: December 31, 0192
Commodus ruled Rome as an emperor, with his father Marcus Aurelius, from 176 till 180, and then as a sole ruler till 192. His rule ended the 200-year peaceful era of Pax Romana. His dictatorial rule was portrayed in films such as Gladiator. He was assassinated by his wrestling partner.

 18 Attila

Famous As: Ruler
Birthdate: 0406 AD
Died: February 29, 0453

 19 Nerva

Famous As: Roman Emperor
Birthdate: November 8, 0030
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Narni, Italy
Died: January 27, 0098

Nerva was the Roman emperor from 96 to 98. He was aged 66 when he ascended the throne, after serving other emperors for several decades. Even though he ruled for just 15 months, historians consider him a wise and moderate emperor. He selected Trajan as his heir, thus ensuring a peaceful transition of power after his death.

 20 Flavius Odoacer

Flavius Odoacer
Famous As: Soldier
Birthdate: 0435 AD
Birthplace: Pannonia
Died: March 15, 0493

Flavius Odoacer was a statesman and soldier best remembered for becoming the king of Italy after deposing the then-Roman Emperor Romulus Augustulus. He then ruled over Italy from 476 until his death in 493. Odoacer's deposition of Augustulus inspired the 2013 film, 476 A.D. Chapter One: The Last Light of Aries.

 21 Galba

Famous As: Roman Emperor
Birthdate: December 24, 0003
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Terracina, Italy
Died: January 15, 0069
Galba reigned as the Roman emperor from 68 to 69 and was the Year of the Four Emperors’ first emperor. He was the governor of Hispania when the rebellion of Gaius Julius Vindex broke out in Gaul, and he took over the throne after the tyrannical Nero's suicide.

 22 Elagabalus

Famous As: Emperor of Rome
Birthdate: March 20, 0203
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: March 11, 0222
Elagabalus, or Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, was the Roman emperor from 218 to 222. Related to the Severan dynasty, he was a head priest of the sun god Elagabal in his youth. He was rumored to be a transgender, had married four women, and reportedly had male lovers, too. 

 23 Otho

Famous As: Emperor
Birthdate: April 28, 0032
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Ferentium, Italy
Died: April 16, 0069

Though Otho lost his wife, Poppaea, to Nero, who later married her, he governed Lusitania for 10 years diligently, before he joined a revolt against Nero. He reigned as the Roman emperor for merely 3 months, before committing suicide while fighting the Battle of Bedriacum against Vitellius.

 24 Didius Julianus

Didius Julianus
Famous As: Roman Emperor (193)
Birthdate: January 29, 0133
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Mediolanum
Died: June 1, 0193
Born into an influential Roman family, Didius Julianus was raised by Marcus Aurelius’s mother, Domitia. As the man who bid the highest in an auction for the throne, he became the Roman emperor, following Pertinax’s murder. However, just after 66 days of rule, he was murdered in his palace.

 25 Alexander Severus

Alexander Severus
Famous As: Roman Emperor (222-235)
Birthdate: October 1, 0208
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Arqa, Lebanon
Died: March 22, 0235

Alexander Severus reigned as the Roman emperor from 222 until his death in 235. He was the last emperor of the famous Severan dynasty. Alexander Severus’ death not only brought an end to the Severan dynasty, but also marked the beginning of the Crisis of the Third Century, a period of hardship during which the great Roman Empire almost collapsed.

 26 Maximinus Thrax

Maximinus Thrax
Famous As: Roman Emperor (235-238)
Birthdate: 0173 AD
Birthplace: Thracia
Died: May 10, 0238

Maximinus Thrax reigned as Roman emperor from 235 until his death in 238. The accession of Maximinus is generally viewed as the beginning of the Imperial Crisis. Hence, he is often called a barracks emperor of the 3rd century. He died during the Siege of Aquileia when he was assassinated by soldiers of the Legio II Parthica.

 27 Lucius Verus

Lucius Verus
Famous As: Roman Emperor
Birthdate: December 15, 0130
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: January 23, 0169

Lucius Verus was the Roman emperor from 161 to 169, alongside his adoptive brother Marcus Aurelius. Their succession together marked the first time that the Roman Empire was ruled by multiple emperors. The eldest son of Lucius Aelius Caesar, Verus hailed from the Nerva-Antonine dynasty. He ruled for only a few years before he died of an illness in 169.

 28 Valerian

Famous As: Emperor
Birthdate: 0200 AD
Died: 0264 AD

 29 Valentinian I

Valentinian I
Famous As: Roman emperor from 364 to 375
Birthdate: July 3, 0321
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Vinkovci, Croatia
Died: November 17, 0375

 30 Pepin the Short

Pepin the Short
Famous As: King of the Franks
Birthdate: 0714 AD
Birthplace: Roman Empire
Died: September 24, 0768

 31 Macrinus

Famous As: Roman emperor
Birthdate: 0164 AD
Birthplace: Caesarea of Mauretania
Died: May 31, 0218

 32 Gallienus

Famous As: Roman emperor
Birthdate: 0218 AD
Birthplace: Roman Empire
Died: August 31, 0268

 33 Mithridates VI of Pontus

Mithridates VI of Pontus
Famous As: King of Pontus (120-63)
Birthdate: 0135 BC
Birthplace: Sinop, Turkey
Died: 0063 BC

Mithridates VI of Pontus, also known as Mithridates the Great, came to power as a young boy after his father, Mithridates V, was assassinated by poisoning. However, since Mithridates VI’s mother acted as a regent and favored his brother, Mithridates got them both imprisoned and took over the throne.

 34 Claudius Gothicus

Claudius Gothicus
Famous As: Emperor
Birthdate: May 10, 0214
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia
Died: December 31, 0270

 35 Constantius Chlorus

Constantius Chlorus
Famous As: Roman Emperor
Birthdate: March 31, 0250
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Dardania
Died: July 25, 0306

 36 Annia Galeria Faustina

Annia Galeria Faustina
Famous As: Roman patrician
Birthdate: September 21, 0130
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Rome, Roman Empire
Died: 0175 AD

 37 Manuel I Komnenos

Manuel I Komnenos
Famous As: Emperor
Birthdate: November 28, 1118
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Constantinople, Roman Empire
Died: September 24, 1180

 38 Florianus

Famous As: Roman emperor
Birthdate: August 19, 0232
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Terni, Italy
Died: July 31, 0276

 39 Constantine V

Constantine V
Famous As: Byzantine emperor
Birthdate: June 30, 0718
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Constantinople, Ancient Rome
Died: September 14, 0775

 40 Trebonianus Gallus

Trebonianus Gallus
Famous As: Roman Emperor
Birthdate: 0206 AD
Birthplace: Perugia, Italy
Died: July 31, 0253

 41 Drusus Julius Caesar

Drusus Julius Caesar
Famous As: Political figure
Birthdate: 0014 AD
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: September 14, 0023

 42 Petronius Maximus

Petronius Maximus
Famous As: Roman emperor of the West for two and a half months in 455
Birthdate: 0397 AD
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: May 31, 0455

 43 Ptolemy Philadelphus

Ptolemy Philadelphus
Famous As: Prince
Birthdate: 0036 AD
Birthplace: Antioch, Turkey
Died: 0029 AD

 44 Tiberius II Constantine

Tiberius II Constantine
Famous As: Was Eastern Roman emperor from 574 to 582
Birthdate: 0520 AD
Birthplace: Thrace
Died: August 14, 0582

 45 Juba II

Juba II
Famous As: King of Numidia
Birthdate: 0048 AD
Birthplace: Numidia
Died: 0023 AD

 46 Tarquinius Priscus

Tarquinius Priscus
Famous As: Fifth king of Rome
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Roman
Died: 0578 AD

 47 Nikephoros I

Nikephoros I
Famous As: Emperor
Birthdate: 0760 AD
Birthplace: Byzantine Empire
Died: July 26, 0811

 48 Servius Tullius

Servius Tullius
Famous As: king
Birthdate: 0000 BC
Died: 0535 BC

 49 John I Tzimisces

John I Tzimisces
Famous As: Emperor
Birthdate: 0925 AD
Birthplace: Constantinople
Died: January 10, 0976

 50 Constans

Famous As: Emperor
Birthdate: 0320 AD
Birthplace: Constantinople
Died: January 18, 0350