Ancient Roman

Ancient Roman Empire, located along the Mediterranean Sea, was one of the largest empires in the ancient world. A region where art and culture thrived, Ancient Rome was home to numerous scholars, philosophers, warriors, artists and painters of repute. Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius was not just a brave warrior, but also one of the most important Stoic philosophers of his era. His personal writings compiled as ‘Meditations’ is considered to be a seminal work of stoic philosophy. Gaius Julius Caesar is another well-known political figure who was instrumental in shaping the history of Ancient Rome. He played a vital role in bringing about the decline of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire. Ancient Romans were pioneers in several fields, including medicine. Agathinus, an eminent physician was the founder of a new medical sect, to which he gave the name of Episynthetici, while Antonius Musa became famous for curing Emperor Augustus’ serious malady. Also famous as the land of intellectuals, Ancient Rome produced philosophers such as Amelius Gentilianus, Fabianus Papirius, and Gaius Musonius Rufus. This section provides you information about the life and works of famous Ancient Romans.

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 Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ.
Famous As: Founder of Christianity
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Judea
First-century Jewish preacher Jesus, known as the Son of God, led to the formation of Christianity, the world’s largest religion. He was born to Joseph and the Virgin Mary. His miracles irked the Roman government, who then tried him and crucified him. Jesus later rose from the dead.

 2 Julius Caesar

Julius Caesar.
Famous As: Former Roman dictator
Birthdate: July 13, 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.

 3 Augustus

Famous As: Roman roman emperor
Birthdate: September 23, 0063
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Ancient Rome
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.

 4 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.

 5 St. Augustine

St. Augustine.
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: November 13, 0354
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Thagaste, Numidia (now Souk Ahras, Algeria)
Died: August 28, 0430

Saint Augustine was a philosopher, theologian, and the bishop of Hippo Regius in Roman North Africa. His writings are often credited with influencing the growth of Western Christianity and Western philosophy. He is also regarded as one of the Latin Church's most important Church Fathers in the Patristic Period. Among his many important works are Confessions and On Christian Doctrine.

 6 Saint Peter

Saint Peter.
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Famous As: Saint
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Bethsaida

One of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus, Saint Peter played a key role in the formation of Christianity as one of the earliest leaders of the early Church. Considered to be the first Pope by Catholics, Saint Peter appears frequently in influential texts, such as the New Testament. Over the years, Saint Peter has been an important subject of paintings.

 7 Claudius Ptolemy

Claudius Ptolemy.
Famous As: Astronomer, Cartographer & Mathematician
Birthdate: 0090 AD
Birthplace: Egypt
Died: 0168 AD
Claudius Ptolemy was a 2nd-century mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, and geographer, who had written a number of scientific treatises, such as The Great Treatise, Geography, and the Tetrábiblos. He lived in Alexandria under the Roman rule in Egypt. He had also authored Harmonics, a book on music theory.
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 8 Claudius

Famous As: Roman emperor
Birthdate: August 1, 0010
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lyon
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.

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 9 Attila

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

 10 Caligula

Famous As: Roman Emperor
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.

 11 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.

 12 Hypatia

Famous As: Mathematician, Philosopher, Astronomer, Writer
Birthdate: 0360 AD
Birthplace: Alexandria, Egypt
Died: 0415 AD
Hypatia was a Hellenistic Neoplatonist philosopher, mathematician, and astronomer who lived during the 4th and 5th centuries. She also taught and served as a counselor. She is remembered for her commentary on Diophantus's Arithmetica. She was later murdered and became a symbol of feminism and of opposition to Catholic ideals.

 13 Tiberius

Famous As: Roman Emperor
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.

 14 Marc Antony

Marc Antony.
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Roman General
Birthdate: January 14, 0083
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Rome
Died: August 1, 0030

Mark Antony was a Roman politician who played a key role in transforming the Roman Republic into the autocratic Roman Empire. Marc Antony is best remembered as one of Julius Caesar's generals during Caesar's Civil War. One of the most important figures in the history of Rome, Mark Antony has been the subject of several artistic portrayals since his death.

 15 Cicero

Listed In: Lawyers & Judges
Famous As: Philosopher, Political Theorist
Birthdate: January 3, 0106
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Arpinum, Roman Republic, modern Arpino, Lazio, Italy
Died: December 7, 0043
Roman statesman, lawyer, and scholar Cicero was one of the greatest 1st-century BC prose writers and orators. He influenced Latin literature immensely and introduced Greek philosophy to the Romans. He was declared an enemy of the state, following his opposition to Mark Antony after Julius Caesar’s death, and was executed.

 16 Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Lucius Annaeus Seneca.
Famous As: Roman Philosopher & Statesman
Birthdate: 0004 BC
Birthplace: Córdoba, Spain
Died: 0065 AD
Roman Stoic philosopher and dramatist Seneca the Younger is remembered for his tragic plays such as Medea and Phaedra. He was exiled to Corsica by emperor Claudius but later returned as a tutor to Nero. He became Nero’s advisor later but committed suicide for being part of the Pisonian conspiracy.

 17 Pontius Pilate

Pontius Pilate.
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Famous As: Roman official
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Roman Italy, Italy
Died: 0037 AD
Pontius Pilate was a Roman governor of Judaea, who served under Emperor Tiberius. The Bible mentions him as the one who presided over Jesus’s trial and ordered his crucifixion. The Gospels describe him as someone who was reluctant to kill Jesus, and the Ethiopian Church venerates him as a saint.

 18 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.

 19 Virgil

Listed In: Writers
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: October 15, 0070
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Virgilio, Lombardy
Died: September 21, 0019
1st-century B.C. Roman poet Virgil is best remembered for his epic The Aeneid, which was based on Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey. He has also written the Latin poems the Eclogues/Bucolics and the Georgics. His Aeneid, considered ancient Rome’s national epic, inspired other influential works, such as Dante’s Divine Comedy.

 20 Plutarch

Famous As: Philosopher, Historian, Biographer, Essayist, & Middle Platonist
Birthdate: 0045 AD
Birthplace: Chaeronea, Greece
Died: 0120 AD

Plutarch was a Greek philosopher, essayist, biographer, and historian. He also served as the priest at the Temple of Apollo. He is best remembered for his work Parallel Lives, a series of 48 biographies of noteworthy men. His writings had a huge influence on French and English literature. Writers like Shakespeare were influenced by his works.

 21 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.

 22 Saint Christopher

Saint Christopher.
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Patron Saint of Travellers
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Canaan
Died: 0251 AD

Saint Christopher is often regarded by the Christians as the patron saint of travelers. He is venerated as a martyr killed during the reign of the Roman Emperor Decius. Over the years, the legend associated with Saint Christopher has been mentioned in several works of art, including literature, music, paintings, and films.

 23 Marcus Licinius Crassus

Marcus Licinius Crassus.
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Roman General
Birthdate: 0115 BC
Birthplace: Roman Republic
Died: 0053 BC

Roman general and politician Marcus Licinius Crassus played a key role in the transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire. A patron of Julius Caesar, he became involved in the unofficial political alliance known as the First Triumvirate. An excellent military commander and a wealthy man, he died at the battle of Carrhae.

 24 Pliny the Elder

Pliny the Elder.
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: 0023 AD
Died: 0079 AD

Pliny the Elder was a Roman natural philosopher, author, and army and naval commander of the Roman Empire. His work Naturalis Historia became an editorial model for the present-day encyclopedias. Today, his statue greets the visitors of Cathedral of S. Maria Maggiore in his hometown, Como.

 25 Jude the Apostle

Jude the Apostle
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Apostle
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Galilee, Israel

 26 John the Apostle

John the Apostle.
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Famous As: One of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus
Birthdate: 0006 AD
Birthplace: Bethsaida, Galilee, Roman Empire
Died: 0100 AD
John the Evangelist is known to have authored the Gospel of John. Christians also believe he was the same as John the Apostle, John the Presbyter, and John of Patmos. He is also known as Saint John, and his feast day is celebrated on December 27.

 27 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.

 28 Vespasian

Famous As: Roman Emperor
Birthdate: November 17, 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.

 29 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.

 30 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.

 31 Elagabalus

Famous As: Emperor of Rome
Birthdate: 0204 AD
Birthplace: Emesa, Syria
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. 

 32 Vitruvius

Listed In: Writers
Famous As: Roman Architect
Birthdate: 0080 BC
Birthplace: Italy, Roman Empire
Died: 0015 BC

Roman architect Vitruvius, believed to have served as a military engineer for Caesar’s army, is best remembered for his iconic work On Architecture, which consists of 10 parts, each detailing topics such as construction of temples, public buildings, and others. His book remains a vital treatise on ancient classical architecture.

 33 Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa

Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa.
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Roman Consul
Birthdate: 0064 BC
Birthplace: Arpino, Istria or Asisium
Died: 0012 BC
Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa is chiefly remembered in history for crushing Mark Antony and his forces at the Battle of Actium. A close friend of Octavian, who later took over as Emperor Augustus Caesar, he is credited with completing the Pantheon and building scores of baths, gardens, and sewers in Rome.

 34 Nicodemus

Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Religious Leader
Birthdate: 0000 BC

Nicodemus was a member of the Sanhedrin who finds mention in the Gospel of John. According to the gospel, Nicodemus provides the embalming spices required to prepare the body of Jesus for burial after the Crucifixion of Jesus. He is venerated as a saint in the Catholic Church and in the various Eastern Churches.

 35 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.

 36 Horace

Listed In: Writers
Famous As: Roman poet
Birthdate: December 8, 0065
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Venosa, Italy
Died: November 27, 0008

Horace was a Roman lyric poet who was influential during the time of Augustus. Renowned for his Odes, Horace's ode-writing style was imitated by a number of aspiring poets in England during the 17th and 18th centuries when ode-writing was considered highly fashionable.

 37 Gaius Marius

Gaius Marius.
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Roman General
Birthdate: 0157 BC
Birthplace: Arpinum
Died: January 13, 0086
Born to a plebeian farmer, near Arpinum, Gaius Marius was a skilled military leader but lacked the polish and sophistication required of a political leader. Known as "the third founder of Rome" for his win at the Cimbrian War, Marius had been made a consul for seven terms.

 38 Pertinax

Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Military Leader
Birthdate: August 1, 0126
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Alba Pompeia, Italy
Died: March 28, 0193

Born to a freed slave, Pertinax joined the Roman army early in life and soon rose to be a commander. He was declared the emperor after Commodus was murdered but was himself killed within three months of his rule. Septimius Severus later organized a state funeral and also deified him.

 39 Luke the Evangelist

Luke the Evangelist
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Famous As: Evangelist
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Antioch, Turkey
Died: February 29, 0084

 40 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.

 41 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.

 42 Constantine XI

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

 43 Agrippina the Younger

Agrippina the Younger.
Famous As: Roman Empress
Birthdate: November 6, 0015
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium
Died: March 23, 0059

Agrippina the Younger was a Roman empress who ruled from 49 to 54 AD. She is regarded as one of the most prominent women in the Julio-Claudian dynasty. She was the younger sister of emperor Caligula and was married to emperor Claudius. A beautiful and ambitious woman, she has been described as ruthless, violent, and domineering. 

 44 Livy

Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: 0059 BC
Birthplace: Patavium, Adriatic Veneti (modern Padua, Italy)
Died: 0017 AD

Livy was a Roman historian. His seminal work, Ab Urbe Condita, covers the history of Rome through several centuries. A respected figure in society, he was on friendly terms with members of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. He wrote during the reign of Emperor Augustus, who was reportedly his friend. Livy was married and had at least two children. 

 45 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.

 46 Plotinus

Famous As: Founder of Neo-Platonism
Birthdate: 0204 AD
Birthplace: Lycopolis
Died: 0270 AD

Plotinus was a Hellenistic philosopher whose writings on metaphysics have inspired centuries of Jewish, Christian, Pagan, and Gnostic mystics and metaphysicians. His philosophy also had a major influence on the evolution of Christian theology. Plotinus' ideas influenced medieval Islam as well as a group of philosophers and theologians at the University of Cambridge which was known as the Cambridge Platonists

 47 Pepin the Short

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

 48 Lucretius

Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: October 15, 0099
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Pompeii
Died: 0055 BC

Lucretius was a Roman philosopher and poet. He is credited with originating the three-age system, which was formalized by C. J. Thomsen in 1836. His only known work De rerum natura, a philosophical poem, influenced several Augustan poets, including Virgil. The poem also played a prominent role in the development of atomism.

 49 Cato the Younger

Cato the Younger
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Statesman
Birthdate: 0095 BC
Birthplace: Rome
Died: March 31, 0046

 50 Julian

Famous As: Emperor
Birthdate: 0331 AD
Birthplace: Constantinople, Roman Empire
Died: June 26, 0363