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.

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 1 
Julius Caesar
(Roman dictator)

Julius Caesar
46
Birthdate: 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
(Roman Emperor)

Augustus
10
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 

Saint Peter
18
Listed In: Miscellaneous
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.

 4 
Constantine the Great
(Roman Emperor)

Constantine the Great
12
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 
Jesus Christ
(Founder of Christianity)

Jesus Christ
36
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: 0004 BC
Birthplace: Judea, Roman Empire
Died: 0033 AD
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.

 6 
Claudius
(Roman Emperor (41-54))

Claudius
9
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.

 7 
Claudius Ptolemy
(Astronomer, Cartographer & Mathematician)

Claudius Ptolemy
8
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 
Caligula
(Roman Emperor (37-41 AD))

Caligula
19
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.

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 9 
Commodus
(Roman Emperor)

Commodus
8
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.

 10 
Cicero
(Statesman)

Cicero
17
Listed In: Lawyers & Judges
Birthdate: January 3, 0106
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Arpino, 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.

 11 
Tiberius
(Roman Emperor (14-37))

Tiberius
6
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.

 12 
Hypatia
(Philosopher)

Hypatia
7
Listed In: Scientists
Birthdate: 0350 AD
Birthplace: Alexandria, Egypt
Died: February 29, 0415
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 
Marc Antony
(Roman General)

Marc Antony
15
Listed In: Leaders
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.

 14 

Lucius Annaeus Seneca
7
Birthdate: 0004 BC
Birthplace: Córdoba, Spain
Died: April 12, 0065
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.

 15 
Pontius Pilate
(Roman official who ordered the crucifixion of Jesus)

Pontius Pilate
4
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Roman Empire
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.

 16 
Trajan
(Roman Emperor)

Trajan
8
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.

 17 
Pompey
(Roman General)

Pompey
2
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: September 29, 0106
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Picenum
Died: September 28, 0048

Considered ruthless by his opponents, Pompey was an ancient Roman general who was a veteran of many wars and played a key role in changing Rome from a republic to an empire. Pompey was first an ally of his more illustrious compatriot Julius Caesar whose daughter he married, and then became his enemy. He was assassinated in Egypt, an end not uncommon in history.

 18 
Virgil
(Poet)

Virgil
6
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: October 15, 0070
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Cisalpine Gaul
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.

 19 
Diocletian
(Roman Emperor)

Diocletian
2
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.

 20 
Josephus
(Historian)

Josephus
2
Birthdate: 0037 AD
Birthplace: Jerusalem, Israel
Died: 0100 AD

Josephus was a Romano-Jewish historian. He played a major role during the First Jewish–Roman War, where he fought against the Romans as head of Jewish forces. However, he surrendered to Roman forces in 67 CE. As a historian, Josephus' works provide the first-known source for stories considered Biblical history. These stories include the narration of the Siege of Masada

 21 
Plutarch
(Philosopher, Biographer)

Plutarch
2
Birthdate: 0046 AD
Birthplace: Chaeronea, Greece
Died: 0119 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.

 22 
Herod the Great
(King of Judea)

Herod the Great
5
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.

 23 
John the Apostle
(One of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus)

John the Apostle
12
Listed In: Miscellaneous
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.

 24 
Titus
(Roman Emperor)

Titus
5
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.

 25 

Marcus Licinius Crassus
0
Listed In: Leaders
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.

 26 
Pliny the Elder
(Philosopher, Writer)

Pliny the Elder
2
Birthdate: 0023 AD
Birthplace: Como, Italy
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.

 27 
Vespasian
(Roman Emperor (69-79))

Vespasian
4
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.

 28 
Scipio Africanus
(Roman General)

Scipio Africanus
6
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: 0236 BC
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: 0183 BC
Roman general and consul Scipio Africanus is remembered for his exploits during the Second Punic War. He gained the title Africanus by defeating Hannibal at the Battle of Zama. He was later dragged into a trial for accepting bribes and eventually left Rome to live in his villa in Liternum.

 29 
Domitian
(Roman Emperor)

Domitian
4
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 
Septimius Severus
(Roman Emperor (193-211))

Septimius Severus
5
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.

 31 
St Paul
(Religious Preacher)

St Paul
15
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: 0005 AD
Birthplace: Tarsus, Turkey
Died: 0065 AD
Paul the Apostle, or Saint Paul, was a Christian apostle who disseminated Christ’s teachings and established Christian communities in Asia and Europe. Of the 27 books in the New Testament, about 14 are said to be authored by Paul, though only seven are said to be genuinely written by him.

 32 
Antoninus Pius
(Roman Emperor)

Antoninus Pius
3
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.

 33 
Vitruvius
(Roman Architect)

Vitruvius
0
Listed In: Writers
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.

 34 
Elagabalus
(Emperor of Rome)

Elagabalus
2
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. 

 35 

Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa
0
Listed In: Leaders
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.

 36 
Theodosius I
(Emperor)

Theodosius I
8
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.

Constantine XI Palaiologos
2
Birthdate: February 8, 1405
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Constantinople, Turkey
Died: May 29, 1453

 38 
Horace
(Roman poet)

Horace
1
Listed In: Writers
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.

 39 
Nerva
(Roman Emperor)

Nerva
3
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.

 40 
Gaius Marius
(Roman General)

Gaius Marius
1
Listed In: Leaders
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.

 41 

Flavius Odoacer
0
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.

 42 
Pertinax
(Military Leader)

Pertinax
1
Listed In: Leaders
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.

 43 
Galba
(Roman Emperor)

Galba
2
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.

 44 
Livy
(Historian)

Livy
0
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: 0059 BC
Birthplace: 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 
Agrippina the Younger
(Roman Empress (49-54))

Agrippina the Younger
1
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. 

 46 
Sulla
(Dictator)

Sulla
2
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: 0138 BC
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: 0078 BC

A Roman general and statesman, Lucius Cornelius Sulla is remembered for carrying out significant constitutional reforms during the last phase of Roma Empire. Winner of the first civil war, he was appointed dictator under Valerian law and undertook number of reforms intending to strengthen the Roman republic; but actually paved the way for rise of future dictators like Julius Caesar.

 47 
Plotinus
(Philosopher)

Plotinus
0
Birthdate: 0204 BC
Birthplace: Lycopolis, Egypt
Died: 0270 BC

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

 48 
Attila
(Ruler)

Attila
5
Birthdate: 0406 AD
Died: February 29, 0453

 49 
Otho
(Emperor)

Otho
8
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.

 50 
Alexander Severus
(Roman Emperor (222-235))

Alexander Severus
0
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.