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  • Rome
    2043 BC

    Second Triumvirate

    Rome
    2043 BC

    Octavian, the grandnephew and adopted son of Julius Caesar, had made himself a central military figure during the chaotic period following Caesar's assassination. In 43 BC at the age of twenty, he became one of the three members of the Second Triumvirate, a political alliance with Marcus Lepidus and Mark Antony.




  • Philippi, Macedonia (Present-Day in Greece)
    Friday Oct 3, 2042 BC

    Battle of Philippi

    Philippi, Macedonia (Present-Day in Greece)
    Friday Oct 3, 2042 BC

    Octavian and Antony defeated the last of Caesar's assassins in 42 BC at the Battle of Philippi, although after this point, tensions began to rise between the two.




  • Rome
    2032 BC

    The triumvirate ended

    Rome
    2032 BC

    The triumvirate ended in 32 BC, torn apart by the competing ambitions of its members.




  • Ionian Sea
    Wednesday Sep 2, 1931 BC

    Battle of Actium

    Ionian Sea
    Wednesday Sep 2, 1931 BC

    Antony, who had allied himself with his lover Queen Cleopatra VII of Egypt, committed suicide in 30 BC following his defeat at the Battle of Actium (31 BC) by the fleet of Octavian. Octavian subsequently annexed Egypt to the empire.




  • Rome
    Sunday Jan 16, 1927 BC

    Augustus

    Rome
    Sunday Jan 16, 1927 BC

    On 16 January 27 BC the Senate gave Octavian the new titles of Augustus and Princeps. Augustus is from the Latin word Augere (meaning to increase) and can be translated as "the illustrious one". It was a title of religious authority rather than political authority. His new title of Augustus was also more favorable than Romulus, the previous one which he styled for himself in reference to the story of the legendary founder of Rome, which symbolized a second founding of Rome.




  • Rome
    1927 BC

    Praetorian Guard

    Rome
    1927 BC

    Augustus also created nine special cohorts to maintain peace in Italia, with three, the Praetorian Guard, kept in Rome. Control of the fiscus enabled Augustus to ensure the loyalty of the legions through their pay.




  • Rome
    1923 BC

    Augustus renounced his consulship

    Rome
    1923 BC

    Augustus renounced his consulship in 23 BC, but retained his consular imperium, leading to a second compromise between Augustus and the Senate known as the Second Settlement. Augustus was granted the authority of a tribune (tribunicia potestas), though not the title, which allowed him to call together the Senate and people at will and lay business before it, veto the actions of either the Assembly or the Senate, preside over elections, and it gave him the right to speak first at any meeting.


  • Spain
    1919 BC

    Augustus completed the conquest of Hispania

    Spain
    1919 BC

    Augustus annexed the whole of the peninsula to the Roman Empire in 19 BC.


  • Rome
    2001 BC

    Augustus granted some of his powers to his stepson

    Rome
    2001 BC

    In 6 BC, Augustus granted some of his powers to his stepson, and soon after he recognized Tiberius as his heir.


  • Osnabrück County, Lower Saxony (Present-Day in Germany)
    Sep, 2015

    Battle of the Teutoburg Forest

    Osnabrück County, Lower Saxony (Present-Day in Germany)
    Sep, 2015

    The Illyrian tribes revolted and had to be crushed, and three full legions under the command of Publius Quinctilius Varus were ambushed and destroyed at the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest in AD 9 by Germanic tribes led by Arminius.


  • Rome
    1913

    Law was passed which extended Augustus' powers over the provinces to Tiberius

    Rome
    1913

    In AD 13, a law was passed which extended Augustus' powers over the provinces to Tiberius, so that Tiberius' legal powers were equivalent to, and independent from, those of Augustus.


  • Nola (Present-Day in Naples, Italy)
    Wednesday Aug 19, 1914

    Augustus died

    Nola (Present-Day in Naples, Italy)
    Wednesday Aug 19, 1914

    In AD 14 Augustus died at the age of seventy-five, having ruled the empire for forty years, and was succeeded as emperor by Tiberius.


  • Rome
    Thursday Sep 17, 1914

    Tiberius's reign

    Rome
    Thursday Sep 17, 1914

    The early years of Tiberius's reign were relatively peaceful. Tiberius secured the overall power of Rome and enriched its treasury. However, his rule soon became characterized by paranoia. He began a series of treason trials and executions, which continued until his death in 37.


  • Capri, Italy
    1926

    Tiberius left power in the hands of Lucius Aelius Sejanus

    Capri, Italy
    1926

    He left power in the hands of the commander of the guard, Lucius Aelius Sejanus. Tiberius himself retired to live at his villa on the island of Capri in 26, leaving the administration in the hands of Sejanus, who carried on the persecutions with contentment.


  • Roman Empire
    1931

    Sejanus also began to consolidate his own power

    Roman Empire
    1931

    Sejanus also began to consolidate his own power; in 31 he was named co-consul with Tiberius and married Livilla, the emperor's niece.


  • Miseno, Italy, Roman Empire
    Monday Mar 16, 2037

    Tiberius died

    Miseno, Italy, Roman Empire
    Monday Mar 16, 2037

    Tiberius died in Misenum on 16 March AD 37, a few months before his 78th birthday.


  • Roman Empire
    Monday Mar 16, 2037

    Caligula

    Roman Empire
    Monday Mar 16, 2037

    At the time of Tiberius's death, most of the people who might have succeeded him had been killed. The logical successor (and Tiberius' own choice) was his 24-year-old grandnephew, Gaius, better known as "Caligula" ("little boots").


  • Roman Empire
    2037

    Caligula's Illness

    Roman Empire
    2037

    The Caligula that emerged in late 37 demonstrated features of mental instability that led modern commentators to diagnose him with such illnesses as encephalitis, which can cause mental derangement, hyperthyroidism, or even a nervous breakdown (perhaps brought on by the stress of his position).


  • Palatine Hill, Rome, Italy, Roman Empire
    Thursday Jan 24, 2041

    Caligula was assassinated

    Palatine Hill, Rome, Italy, Roman Empire
    Thursday Jan 24, 2041

    In 41, Caligula was assassinated by the commander of the guard Cassius Chaerea. Also killed were his fourth wife Caesonia and their daughter Julia Drusilla. For two days following his assassination, the senate debated the merits of restoring the Republic.


  • Rome
    Thursday Jan 24, 2041

    Claudius

    Rome
    Thursday Jan 24, 2041

    Claudius was a younger brother of Germanicus and had long been considered a weakling and a fool by the rest of his family. The Praetorian Guard, however, acclaimed him as emperor. Claudius was neither paranoid like his uncle Tiberius, nor insane like his nephew Caligula, and was, therefore, able to administer the Empire with reasonable ability.


  • United Kingdom
    2043

    Conquest of Britannia

    United Kingdom
    2043

    In 43, Claudius resumed the Roman conquest of Britannia that Julius Caesar had begun in the 50s BC, and incorporated more Eastern provinces into the empire.


  • Gardens of Lucullus, Rome, Italy, Roman Empire
    2048

    Claudius had his wife executed

    Gardens of Lucullus, Rome, Italy, Roman Empire
    2048

    In his own family life, Claudius was less successful. His wife Messalina cuckolded him; when he found out, he had her executed and married his niece, Agrippina the Younger.


  • Rome, Italy, Roman Empire
    Wednesday Oct 13, 1954

    Claudius died

    Rome, Italy, Roman Empire
    Wednesday Oct 13, 1954

    Claudius was deified later that year. The death of Claudius paved the way for Agrippina's own son, the 17-year-old Lucius Domitius Nero.


  • Rome
    Wednesday Oct 13, 1954

    Mad Nero

    Rome
    Wednesday Oct 13, 1954

    Nero ruled from 54 to 68. During his rule, Nero focused much of his attention on diplomacy, trade, and increasing the cultural capital of the empire.


  • Italy, Roman Empire (Probably in Misenum, Italy)
    1959

    Nero killing his mother

    Italy, Roman Empire (Probably in Misenum, Italy)
    1959

    However, he was egotistical and had severe troubles with his mother, who he felt was controlling and overbearing. After several attempts to kill her, he finally had her stabbed to death.


  • Rome
    Saturday Jul 18, 1964

    Great Fire of Rome

    Rome
    Saturday Jul 18, 1964

    He believed himself a god and decided to build an opulent palace for himself. The so-called Domus Aurea, meaning golden house in Latin, was constructed atop the burnt remains of Rome after the Great Fire of Rome (64). Nero was ultimately responsible for the fire. By this time Nero was hugely unpopular despite his attempts to blame the Christians for most of his regime's problems.


  • Rome
    Saturday Jun 8, 1968

    Servius Sulpicius Galba

    Rome
    Saturday Jun 8, 1968

    Servius Sulpicius Galba, born as Lucius Livius Ocella Sulpicius Galba, was a Roman emperor who ruled from AD 68 to 69. He was the first emperor in the Year of the Four Emperors and assumed the position following Emperor Nero's suicide. Galba's physical weakness and general apathy led to him being selected over by favorites. Unable to gain popularity with the people or maintain the support of the Praetorian Guard, Galba was murdered by Otho, who became emperor in his place.


  • Outside Rome
    Sunday Jun 9, 1968

    Nero committed suicide

    Outside Rome
    Sunday Jun 9, 1968

    A military coup drove Nero into hiding. Facing execution at the hands of the Roman Senate, he reportedly committed suicide in 68. According to Cassius Dio, Nero's last words were "Jupiter, what an artist perishes in me!".


  • Rome
    Wednesday Jan 15, 1969

    Marcus Otho

    Rome
    Wednesday Jan 15, 1969

    Marcus Otho was Roman emperor for three months, from 15 January to 16 April 69. He was the second emperor of the Year of the Four Emperors. Inheriting the problem of the rebellion of Vitellius, commander of the army in Germania Inferior, Otho led a sizeable force that met Vitellius' army at the Battle of Bedriacum. After initial fighting resulted in 40,000 casualties, and a retreat of his forces, Otho committed suicide rather than fight on, and Vitellius was proclaimed emperor.


  • Rome
    Saturday Apr 19, 1969

    Aulus Vitellius

    Rome
    Saturday Apr 19, 1969

    Aulus Vitellius was Roman Emperor for eight months, from 19 April to 20 December AD 69. Vitellius was proclaimed emperor following the quick succession of the previous emperors Galba and Otho, in a year of civil war known as the Year of the Four Emperors. His claim to the throne was soon challenged by legions stationed in the eastern provinces, who proclaimed their commander Vespasian emperor instead. War ensued, leading to a crushing defeat for Vitellius at the Second Battle of Bedriacum in northern Italy. Once he realized his support was wavering, Vitellius prepared to abdicate in favor of Vespasian. He was not allowed to do so by his supporters, resulting in a brutal battle for Rome between Vitellius' forces and the armies of Vespasian. He was executed in Rome by Vespasian's soldiers on 20 December 69.


  • Rome
    Tuesday Jul 1, 1969

    Vespasian

    Rome
    Tuesday Jul 1, 1969

    As a result of the Second Battle of Bedriacum, Vespasian became the fourth and last emperor who reigned in the Year of the Four Emperors, he founded the Flavian dynasty that ruled the Empire for 27 years.


  • Batavia (Present-Day in Netherlands)
    1969

    Revolt of the Batavi

    Batavia (Present-Day in Netherlands)
    1969

    The Revolt of the Batavi took place in the Roman province of Germania Inferior between AD 69 and 70. It was an uprising against the Roman Empire started by the Batavi, a small but militarily powerful Germanic tribe that inhabited Batavia, on the delta of the river Rhine. They were soon joined by the Celtic tribes from Gallia Belgica and some Germanic tribes.


  • Rome
    1969

    Colosseum

    Rome
    1969

    Vespasian began construction on the Colosseum.


  • Rome
    Sunday Jun 24, 1979

    Titus Caesar Vespasianus

    Rome
    Sunday Jun 24, 1979

    Titus, Vespasian's successor, quickly proved his merit, although his short reign was marked by disaster, including the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in Pompeii. He held the opening ceremonies in the still unfinished Colosseum but died in 81.


  • Pompeii, Italy, Roman Empire
    1979

    Mount Vesuvius erupted in Pompeii

    Pompeii, Italy, Roman Empire
    1979

    Mount Vesuvius erupted in Pompeii.


  • Rome
    Monday Sep 14, 1981

    Domitian

    Rome
    Monday Sep 14, 1981

    Titus' brother Domitian succeeded him. Having exceedingly poor relations with the Senate, Domitian was murdered in September 96.


  • Moesia, Dacia
    1986

    Domitian's Dacian War

    Moesia, Dacia
    1986

    Domitian repelled the Dacians in his Dacian War; the Dacians had sought to conquer Moesia, south of the Danube in the Roman Balkans.


  • Rome
    Wednesday Sep 18, 1996

    Nerva

    Rome
    Wednesday Sep 18, 1996

    On 18 September 96, Domitian was assassinated in a palace conspiracy involving members of the Praetorian Guard and several of his freedmen. On the same day, Nerva was declared emperor by the Roman Senate. As the new ruler of the Roman Empire, he vowed to restore liberties that had been curtailed during the autocratic government of Domitian.


  • Rome
    1997

    Nerva adopted Trajan

    Rome
    1997

    Nerva's brief reign was marred by financial difficulties and his inability to assert his authority over the Roman army. A revolt by the Praetorian Guard in October 97 essentially forced him to adopt an heir. After some deliberation, Nerva adopted Trajan, a young and popular general, as his successor.


  • Gardens of Sallust, Rome, Italy, Roman Empire
    Tuesday Jan 27, 1998

    Nerva died

    Gardens of Sallust, Rome, Italy, Roman Empire
    Tuesday Jan 27, 1998

    After barely fifteen months in office, Nerva died of natural causes on 27 January 98. Upon his death, he was succeeded and deified by Trajan.


  • Transylvania, Romania
    Sep, 101

    Second Battle of Tapae

    Transylvania, Romania
    Sep, 101

    Upon his accession to the throne, Trajan prepared and launched a carefully planned military invasion in Dacia, a region north of the lower Danube whose inhabitants the Dacians had long been an opponent to Rome. In 101, Trajan personally crossed the Danube and defeated the armies of the Dacian king Decebalus at the Battle of Tapae.


  • Sarmizegetusa Regia (Present-Day in Grădiștea de Munte, Hunedoara County, Romania)
    105

    Trajan invaded Sarmizegetusa Regia

    Sarmizegetusa Regia (Present-Day in Grădiștea de Munte, Hunedoara County, Romania)
    105

    Decebalus complied with the terms for a time, but before long he began inciting revolt. In 105 Trajan once again invaded and after a yearlong invasion ultimately defeated the Dacians by conquering their capital, Sarmizegetusa Regia. King Decebalus, cornered by the Roman cavalry, eventually committed suicide rather than being captured and humiliated in Rome.


  • Rome
    105

    Trajan's Column

    Rome
    105

    The conquest of Dacia was a major accomplishment for Trajan, who ordered 123 days of celebration throughout the empire. He also constructed Trajan's Column in the middle of Trajan's Forum in Rome to glorify the victory.


  • Artaxata, Kingdom of Armenia (Present-Day Artashat, Armenia)
    112

    Trajan was provoked by the decision of Osroes I

    Artaxata, Kingdom of Armenia (Present-Day Artashat, Armenia)
    112

    In 112, Trajan was provoked by the decision of Osroes I to put his own nephew Axidaris on the throne of the Kingdom of Armenia.


  • Armenia
    110s

    Trajan invaded Armenia

    Armenia
    110s

    Trajan first invaded Armenia. He deposed the king and annexed it to the Roman Empire.


  • Ctesiphon (Present-Day in Iraq)
    116

    Trajan took Ctesiphon

    Ctesiphon (Present-Day in Iraq)
    116

    Then Trajan turned south into Parthian territory in Mesopotamia, taking the cities of Babylon, Seleucia, and finally the capital of Ctesiphon in 116.


  • Susa (Present-Day Shush, Khuzestan Province, Iran)
    116

    Trajan captured the great city of Susa

    Susa (Present-Day Shush, Khuzestan Province, Iran)
    116

    In 116, Trajan captured the great city of Susa. He deposed the emperor Osroes I and put his own puppet ruler Parthamaspates on the throne.


  • Roman Empire
    117

    Trajan suppressed the Kitos War

    Roman Empire
    117

    Trajan suppressed the Kitos War, a Jewish uprising across the eastern provinces.


  • Roman Empire (most-probablyin Turkey)
    117

    Hadrian as heir

    Roman Empire (most-probablyin Turkey)
    117

    Failure to nominate an heir could invite chaotic, destructive wresting of power by a succession of competing claimants – a civil war. Too early a nomination could be seen as an abdication, and reduce the chance for an orderly transmission of power. As Trajan lay dying, nursed by his wife, Plotina, and closely watched by Perfect Attianus, he could have lawfully adopted Hadrian as heir, by means of a simple deathbed wish, expressed before witnesses; but when an adoption document was eventually presented, it was signed not by Trajan but by Plotina, and was dated the day after Trajan's death.


  • Selinus, Cilicia (Present-Day in Turkey)
    Wednesday Aug 11, 117

    Trajan died

    Selinus, Cilicia (Present-Day in Turkey)
    Wednesday Aug 11, 117

    Early in 117, Trajan grew ill and set out to sail back to Italy. His health declined throughout the spring and summer of 117, something publicly acknowledged by the fact that a bronze bust displayed at the time in the public baths of Ancyra showed him clearly aged and emaciated. After reaching Selinus (modern Gazipaşa) in Cilicia, which was afterward called Trajanopolis, he suddenly died from edema, probably on 11 August.


  • Roman Empire
    Wednesday Aug 11, 117

    Hadrian

    Roman Empire
    Wednesday Aug 11, 117

    Despite his own excellence as a military administrator, Hadrian's reign was marked more by the defense of the empire's vast territories, rather than major military conflicts.


  • Roman Empire
    117

    Four executions

    Roman Empire
    117

    Hadrian relieved Judea's governor, the outstanding Moorish general Lusius Quietus, of his personal guard of Moorish auxiliaries; then he moved on to quell disturbances along the Danube frontier. There was no public trial for the four – they were tried in absentia, hunted down, and killed. Hadrian claimed that Attianus had acted on his own initiative, and rewarded him with senatorial status and consular rank; then pensioned him off, no later than 120. Hadrian assured the senate that henceforth their ancient right to prosecute and judge their own would be respected. In Rome, Hadrian's former guardian and current Praetorian Prefect, Attianus, claimed to have uncovered a conspiracy involving Lusius Quietus and three other leading senators, Lucius Publilius Celsus, Aulus Cornelius Palma Frontonianus, and Gaius Avidius Nigrinus.


  • United Kingdom
    119

    Major rebellion in Britannia

    United Kingdom
    119

    Prior to Hadrian's arrival in Britannia, the province had suffered a major rebellion, from 119 to 121. Inscriptions tell of an expeditio Britannica that involved major troop movements, including the dispatch of a detachment (vexillatio), comprising some 3,000 soldiers. Fronto writes about military losses in Britannia at the time.


  • Roman Empire
    120

    Antoninus Pius obtained the consulship

    Roman Empire
    120

    Having filled the offices of quaestor and praetor with more than usual success, Antoninus Pius obtained the consulship in 120 having as his colleague Lucius Catilius Severus.


  • Parthian Empire
    121

    Hadrian succeeded in negotiating a peace

    Parthian Empire
    121

    Hadrian surrendered Trajan's conquests in Mesopotamia, considering them to be indefensible. There was almost a war with Vologases III of Parthia around 121, but the threat was averted when Hadrian succeeded in negotiating a peace.


  • United Kingdom
    122

    Hadrian had concluded his visit to Britannia

    United Kingdom
    122

    A shrine was erected in York to Britannia as the divine personification of Britain; coins were struck, bearing her image, identified as BRITANNIA. By the end of 122, Hadrian had concluded his visit to Britannia. He never saw the finished wall that bears his name.


  • United Kingdom
    122

    Hadrian's Wall

    United Kingdom
    122

    Coin legends of 119–120 attest that Quintus Pompeius Falco was sent to restore order. In 122 Hadrian initiated the construction of a wall, "to separate Romans from barbarians". The idea that the wall was built in order to deal with an actual threat or its resurgence, however, is probable but nevertheless conjectural.


  • Mauretania or "Ancient Maghreb"
    123

    Hadrian crossed the Mediterranean to Mauretania

    Mauretania or "Ancient Maghreb"
    123

    In 123, Hadrian crossed the Mediterranean to Mauretania, where he personally led a minor campaign against local rebels. The visit was cut short by reports of war preparations by Parthia; Hadrian quickly headed eastwards. At some point, he visited Cyrene, where he personally funded the training of young men from well-bred families for the Roman military. Cyrene had benefited earlier (in 119) from his restoration of public buildings destroyed during the earlier Jewish revolt.


  • Roman Empire
    125

    Hadrian appointed Quintus Marcius Turbo as his Praetorian Prefect

    Roman Empire
    125

    Soon after, in 125, Hadrian appointed Quintus Marcius Turbo as his Praetorian Prefect. Turbo was his close friend, a leading figure of the equestrian order, a senior court judge, and a procurator.


  • Western Asia
    134

    Antoninus Pius as proconsul of Asia

    Western Asia
    134

    Antoninus Pius was next appointed by Emperor Hadrian as one of the four proconsuls to administer Italia, his district including Etruria, where he had estates. He then greatly increased his reputation by his conduct as proconsul of Asia, probably during 134–135.


  • Judea Province
    136

    Hadrian's army crushed the Bar Kokhba revolt

    Judea Province
    136

    Hadrian's army crushed the Bar Kokhba revolt, a massive Jewish uprising in Judea (132–136).


  • Roman Empire
    Tuesday Feb 25, 138

    Antoninus Pius "adopted son"

    Roman Empire
    Tuesday Feb 25, 138

    Antoninus Pius acquired much favor with Hadrian, who adopted him as his son and successor on 25 February 138, after the death of his first adopted son Lucius Aelius, on the condition that Antoninus would, in turn, adopt Marcus Annius Verus, the son of his wife's brother, and Lucius, son of Lucius Aelius, who afterward became the emperors, Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus.


  • Baiae, Italy, Roman Empire (Present-Day Bacoli, Campania, Italy)
    Thursday Jul 10, 138

    Hadrian died

    Baiae, Italy, Roman Empire (Present-Day Bacoli, Campania, Italy)
    Thursday Jul 10, 138

    Hadrian died in the year 138 on 10 July, in his villa at Baiae at the age of 62.


  • Roman Empire
    Friday Jul 11, 138

    Antoninus Pius

    Roman Empire
    Friday Jul 11, 138

    Antoninus Pius's reign was comparatively peaceful; there were several military disturbances throughout the Empire in his time, in Mauretania, Judaea, and amongst the Brigantes in Britain, but none of them are considered serious.


  • Roman Empire
    140

    Marcus Aurelius had already been created consul with Antoninus

    Roman Empire
    140

    Marcus Aurelius had already been created consul with Antoninus in 140, receiving the title of Caesar, i.e., heir apparent. As Antoninus aged, Marcus took on more administrative duties.


  • United Kingdom
    142

    Construction began of Antonine Wall

    United Kingdom
    142

    It was however in Britain that Antoninus decided to follow a new, more aggressive path, with the appointment of a new governor in 139, Quintus Lollius Urbicus, a native of Numidia and previously governor of Germania Inferior as well as a new man. Under instructions from the emperor, Lollius undertook an invasion of southern Scotland, winning some significant victories, and constructing the Antonine Wall from the Firth of Forth to the Firth of Clyde. The wall, however, was soon gradually decommissioned during the mid-150s and eventually abandoned late during the reign (early 160s), for reasons that are still not quite clear.


  • Lorium, Etruria, Italy, Roman Empire
    Saturday Mar 7, 161

    Antoninus Pius died

    Lorium, Etruria, Italy, Roman Empire
    Saturday Mar 7, 161

    Antoninus was already ill; he died on 7 March.


  • Rome
    Saturday Mar 7, 161

    Marcus Aurelius

    Rome
    Saturday Mar 7, 161

    Marcus was effectively the sole ruler of the Empire. The formalities of the position would follow. The senate would soon grant him the name Augustus and the title imperator, and he would soon be formally elected as Pontifex Maximus, chief priest of the official cults. Marcus made some show of resistance: the biographer writes that he was 'compelled' to take imperial power.


  • Roman Empire
    161

    Lucius Verus was consul again with Marcus Aurelius

    Roman Empire
    161

    Verus started his political career as a quaestor in 153, became consul in 154, and in 161 was consul again with Marcus Aurelius as his senior partner.


  • Daqin (Present-Day in China)
    166

    Roman embassy from "Daqin"

    Daqin (Present-Day in China)
    166

    It is possible that an alleged Roman embassy from "Daqin" that arrived in Eastern Han China in 166 via a Roman maritime route into the South China Sea, landing at Jiaozhou (northern Vietnam) and bearing gifts for the Emperor Huan of Han (r. 146–168), was sent by Marcus Aurelius, or his predecessor Antoninus Pius (the confusion stems from the transliteration of their names as "Andun", Chinese: 安敦).


  • Altinum, Italy, Roman Empire
    169

    Lucius Verus died

    Altinum, Italy, Roman Empire
    169

    In the spring of 168 war broke out on the Danubian border when the Marcomanni invaded the Roman territory. This war would last until 180, but Verus did not see the end of it. In 168, as Verus and Marcus Aurelius returned to Rome from the field, Verus fell ill with symptoms attributed to food poisoning, dying after a few days (169).


  • Roman Empire
    179

    Meditations

    Roman Empire
    179

    In the last years of his life Marcus, a philosopher as well as an emperor, wrote his book of Stoic philosophy known as the Meditations. The book has since been hailed as Marcus' great contribution to philosophy.


  • Sirmium, Pannonia (Present-Day Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia)
    Friday Mar 17, 180

    Marcus died

    Sirmium, Pannonia (Present-Day Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia)
    Friday Mar 17, 180

    When Marcus died in 180 the throne passed to his son Commodus, who had been elevated to the rank of co-emperor in 177.


  • Rome, Roman Empire
    182

    Assassination attempt (Commodus)

    Rome, Roman Empire
    182

    The first crisis of the reign came in 182 when Lucilla engineered a conspiracy against her brother. Her motive is alleged to have been the envy of Empress Crispina. Her husband, Pompeianus, was not involved, but two men alleged to have been her lovers, Marcus Ummidius Quadratus Annianus (the consul of 167, who was also her first cousin) and Appius Claudius Quintianus, attempted to murder Commodus as he entered a theater. They bungled the job and were seized by the emperor's bodyguard.


  • Rome, Roman Empire
    Monday Dec 31, 192

    Commodus died

    Rome, Roman Empire
    Monday Dec 31, 192

    On 31 December, Marcia poisoned Commodus' food, but he vomited up the poison, so the conspirators sent his wrestling partner Narcissus to strangle him in his bath.


  • Rome, Roman Empire
    Thursday Mar 28, 193

    Pertinax died

    Rome, Roman Empire
    Thursday Mar 28, 193

    On 28 March 193, Pertinax was at his palace when a contingent of some three hundred soldiers of the Praetorian Guard rushed the gates (two hundred according to Cassius Dio). Sources suggest that they had received only half their promised pay. Neither the guards on duty nor the palace officials chose to resist them. Pertinax sent Laetus to meet them, but he chose to side with the insurgents instead and deserted the emperor.


  • Rome
    193

    Throne was to be sold

    Rome
    193

    After the murder of Pertinax on 28 March 193, the Praetorian guard announced that the throne was to be sold to the man who would pay the highest price. Titus Flavius Claudius Sulpicianus, prefect of Rome and Pertinax's father-in-law, who was in the Praetorian camp ostensibly to calm the troops, began making offers for the throne. Meanwhile, Julianus also arrived at the camp, and since his entrance was barred, shouted out offers to the guard. After hours of bidding, Sulpicianus promised 20,000 sesterces to every soldier; Julianus, fearing that Sulpicianus would gain the throne, then offered 25,000. The guards closed with the offer of Julianus, threw open the gates, and proclaimed him emperor. Threatened by the military, the senate also declared him emperor. His wife and his daughter both received the title Augusta.


  • Rome
    Thursday Mar 28, 193

    Didius Julianus

    Rome
    Thursday Mar 28, 193

    Because Julianus bought his position rather than acquiring it conventionally through succession or conquest, he was a deeply unpopular emperor. When Julianus appeared in public, he frequently was greeted with groans and shouts of "robber and parricide." Once, a mob even obstructed his progress to the Capitol by pelting him with large stones.


  • Pannonia
    Tuesday Apr 9, 193

    Septimius Severus proclaimed himself emperor

    Pannonia
    Tuesday Apr 9, 193

    Proclaimed emperor in 193 by his legionaries in Noricum during the political unrest that followed the death of Commodus, he secured sole rule over the empire in 197 after defeating his last rival, Clodius Albinus, at the Battle of Lugdunum. In securing his position as emperor, he founded the Severan dynasty.


  • Rome
    Sunday Jun 2, 193

    Julianus was sentenced to death

    Rome
    Sunday Jun 2, 193

    Julianus was sentenced to death.


  • Eboracum, Roman Empire (Present-Day in York, England, United Kingdom)
    Monday Feb 4, 211

    Septimius Severus died

    Eboracum, Roman Empire (Present-Day in York, England, United Kingdom)
    Monday Feb 4, 211

    Severus is famously said to have given the advice to his sons: "Be harmonious, enrich the soldiers, scorn all others" before he died on 4 February 211. On his death, Severus was deified by the Senate and succeeded by his sons, Caracalla and Geta, who were advised by his wife Julia Domna. Severus was buried in the Mausoleum of Hadrian in Rome. His remains are now lost.


  • Rome
    Tuesday Dec 17, 211

    Caracalla tried unsuccessfully to murder Geta

    Rome
    Tuesday Dec 17, 211

    The current stability of their joint government was only through the mediation and leadership of their mother, Julia Domna, accompanied by other senior courtiers and generals in the military. The historian Herodian asserted that the brothers decided to split the empire into two halves, but with the strong opposition of their mother, the idea was rejected, when, by the end of 211, the situation had become unbearable. Caracalla tried unsuccessfully to murder Geta during the festival of Saturnalia (17 December).


  • Rome
    Thursday Dec 26, 211

    Caracalla murdered Geta

    Rome
    Thursday Dec 26, 211

    Finally, the next week, Caracalla had his mother arrange a peace meeting with his brother in his mother's apartments, thus depriving Geta of his bodyguards, and then had him murdered in her arms by centurions.


  • between Edessa and Carrhae (Present-Day in Turkey)
    Tuesday Apr 8, 217

    Caracalla was assassinated

    between Edessa and Carrhae (Present-Day in Turkey)
    Tuesday Apr 8, 217

    Caracalla was assassinated while en route to a campaign against the Parthians by the Praetorian Guard.


  • Rome
    Friday Apr 11, 217

    Macrinus was declared augustus

    Rome
    Friday Apr 11, 217

    On April 8, 217, Caracalla was assassinated traveling to Carrhae. Three days later, Macrinus was declared Augustus. Diadumenian was the son of Macrinus, born in 208. He was given the title Caesar in 217, when his father became augustus, and raised to co-Augustus the following year.


  • Cappadocia (Present-Day in Turkey)
    Monday Jun 8, 218

    Macrinus died

    Cappadocia (Present-Day in Turkey)
    Monday Jun 8, 218

    However, his downfall was his refusal to award the pay and privileges promised to the eastern troops by Caracalla. He also kept those forces wintered in Syria, where they became attracted to the young Elagabalus. After months of mild rebellion by the bulk of the army in Syria, Macrinus took his loyal troops to meet the army of Elagabalus near Antioch. Despite a good fight by the Praetorian Guard, his soldiers were defeated. Macrinus managed to escape to Chalcedon but his authority was lost: he was betrayed and executed after a short reign of just 14 months. After his father's defeat outside Antioch, Diadumenian tried to escape east to Parthia, but was captured and killed.


  • Emesa (Present-Day Homs, Syria)
    Jun, 218

    Elagabalus was proclaimed emperor

    Emesa (Present-Day Homs, Syria)
    Jun, 218

    Elagabalus was proclaimed emperor by the troops of Emesa, his hometown, who were instigated to do so by Elagabalus's grandmother, Julia Maesa. She spread a rumor that Elagabalus was the secret son of Caracalla.


  • Rome
    Wednesday Mar 6, 222

    A romur

    Rome
    Wednesday Mar 6, 222

    Alexander Severus was adopted as son and caesar by his slightly older and very unpopular cousin, the emperor Elagabalus at the urging of the influential and powerful Julia Maesa — who was the grandmother of both cousins and who had arranged for the emperor's acclamation by the Third Legion. On March 6, 222, when Alexander was just fourteen, a rumor went around the city troops that Alexander had been killed, triggering a revolt of the guards that had sworn his safety from Elegabalus and his accession as emperor.


  • Rome
    Wednesday Mar 13, 222

    Severus Alexander

    Rome
    Wednesday Mar 13, 222

    The running of the Empire during this time was mainly left to his grandmother and mother (Julia Soaemias). Seeing that her grandson's outrageous behavior could mean the loss of power, Julia Maesa persuaded Elagabalus to accept his cousin Alexander Severus as caesar (and thus the nominal emperor-to-be). However, Alexander was popular with the troops, who viewed their new emperor with dislike: when Elagabalus, jealous of this popularity, removed the title of caesar from his nephew, the enraged Praetorian Guard swore to protect him. Elagabalus and his mother were murdered in a Praetorian Guard camp mutiny.


  • Moguntiacum, Germania Superior (Present-Day Mainz, Germany)
    Thursday Mar 19, 235

    Marcus Aurelius Severus Alexander died

    Moguntiacum, Germania Superior (Present-Day Mainz, Germany)
    Thursday Mar 19, 235

    His prosecution of the war against a German invasion of Gaul led to his overthrow by the troops he was leading, whose regard the twenty-seven-year-old had lost during the campaign. Alexander was forced to face his German enemies in the early months of 235. By the time he and his mother arrived, the situation had settled, and so his mother convinced him that to avoid violence, trying to bribe the German army to surrender was the more sensible course of action. According to historians, it was this tactic combined with insubordination from his own men that destroyed his reputation and popularity. Alexander was thus assassinated together with his mother in a mutiny of the Legio XXII Primigenia at Moguntiacum (Mainz) while at a meeting with his generals. These assassinations secured the throne for Maximinus. He died after a rule of 13 years.


  • Rome
    Sunday Mar 22, 235

    Maximinus Thrax

    Rome
    Sunday Mar 22, 235

    The emperor at the beginning of the year was Maximinus Thrax, who had ruled since 235. Later sources claim he was a cruel tyrant, and in January of 238, a revolt erupted in North Africa.


  • Rome
    Mar, 238

    Gordian I proclaim himself emperor

    Rome
    Mar, 238

    Some young aristocrats in Africa murdered the imperial tax-collector then approached the regional governor, Gordian, and insisted that he proclaim himself emperor. Gordian agreed reluctantly, but as he was almost 80 years old, he decided to make his son joint emperor, with equal power. The Senate recognized father and son as emperors Gordian I and Gordian II, respectively. Their reign, however, lasted for only 20 days. Capelianus, the governor of the neighboring province of Numidia, held a grudge against the Gordians. He led an army to fight them and defeated them decisively at Carthage. Gordian II was killed in the battle, and on hearing this news, Gordian I hanged himself. Gordian I and II were deified by the senate.


  • Carthage, Africa Proconsularis (Present-Day in Tunisia)
    Thursday Apr 12, 238

    Gordian I died

    Carthage, Africa Proconsularis (Present-Day in Tunisia)
    Thursday Apr 12, 238

    Gordian I died.


  • Rome
    Sunday Apr 22, 238

    Pupienus and Balbinus joint emperors

    Rome
    Sunday Apr 22, 238

    Meanwhile, Maximinus, now declared a public enemy, had already begun to march on Rome with another army. The senate's previous candidates, the Gordians, had failed to defeat him, and knowing that they stood to die if he succeeded, the senate needed a new emperor to defeat him. With no other candidates in view, on 22 April 238, they elected two elderly senators, Pupienus and Balbinus (who had both been part of a special senatorial commission to deal with Maximinus), as joint emperors. Therefore, Marcus Antonius Gordianus Pius, the thirteen-year-old grandson of Gordian I, was nominated as emperor Gordian III, holding power only nominally in order to appease the population of the capital, which was still loyal to the Gordian family.


  • Aquileia, Italy, Roman Empire
    Thursday May 10, 238

    Maximinus Thrax died

    Aquileia, Italy, Roman Empire
    Thursday May 10, 238

    In May 238, soldiers of the II Parthica in his camp assassinated him, his son, and his chief ministers. Their heads were cut off, placed on poles, and carried to Rome by cavalrymen.


  • Rome
    Sunday Jul 29, 238

    Gordian III was proclaimed sole emperor

    Rome
    Sunday Jul 29, 238

    The situation for Pupienus and Balbinus, despite Maximinus' death, was doomed from the start with popular riots, military discontent and enormous fire that consumed Rome in June 238. On July 29, Pupienus and Balbinus were killed by the Praetorian Guard and Gordian was proclaimed sole emperor.


  • Mesopotamia (Present-Day in Iraq)
    Sunday Feb 11, 244

    Gordian III died

    Mesopotamia (Present-Day in Iraq)
    Sunday Feb 11, 244

    Gaius Julius Priscus and, later on, his own brother Marcus Julius Philippus, also known as Philip the Arab, stepped in at this moment as the new Praetorian Prefects Gordian would then start a second campaign. Around February 244, the Sasanians fought back fiercely to halt the Roman advance to Ctesiphon. The eventual fate of Gordian after the battle is unclear. Sasanian sources claim that a battle occurred (Battle of Misiche) near modern Fallujah (Iraq) and resulted in a major Roman defeat and the death of Gordian III.


  • Rome
    Feb, 244

    Philip the Arab

    Rome
    Feb, 244

    In an attempt to shore up his regime, Philip put a great deal of effort into maintaining good relations with the Senate, and from the beginning of his reign, he reaffirmed the old Roman virtues and traditions.


  • Dacia
    246

    Carpicus Maximus

    Dacia
    246

    The Carpi moved through Dacia, crossed the Danube, and emerged in Moesia where they threatened the Balkans. Establishing his headquarters in Philippopolis in Thrace, he pushed the Carpi across the Danube and chased them back into Dacia, so that by the summer of 246, he claimed victory against them, along with the title "Carpicus Maximus".


  • Moesia
    Sep, 249

    Decius was proclaimed emperor

    Moesia
    Sep, 249

    Overwhelmed by the number of invasions and usurpers, Philip offered to resign, but the Senate decided to throw its support behind the emperor, with a certain Gaius Messius Quintus Decius most vocal of all the senators. Philip was so impressed by his support that he dispatched Decius to the region with a special command encompassing all of the Pannonian and Moesian provinces. This had a dual purpose of both quelling the rebellion of Pacatianus as well as dealing with the barbarian incursions. Although Decius managed to quell the revolt, discontent in the legions was growing. Decius was proclaimed emperor by the Danubian armies in the spring of 249 and immediately marched on Rome.


  • Verona, Italy, Roman Empire
    Sep, 249

    Philip was killed

    Verona, Italy, Roman Empire
    Sep, 249

    Although Decius tried to come to terms with Philip, Philip's army met the usurper near modern Verona that summer. Decius easily won the battle and Philip was killed sometime in September 249, either in the fighting or assassinated by his own soldiers who were eager to please the new ruler. Philip's eleven-year-old son and heir may have been killed with his father and Priscus disappeared without a trace.


  • Abritus, Moesia (Present-Day Razgrad, Bulgaria)
    251

    Decius was killed

    Abritus, Moesia (Present-Day Razgrad, Bulgaria)
    251

    Battle of Abritus was fought between the Romans and a federation of Gothic and Scythian tribesmen under the Gothic king Cniva. The Roman army of three legions was soundly defeated, and Roman emperors Decius and his son Herennius Etruscus were both killed in battle.


  • Rome
    Jun, 251

    Trebonianus Gallus

    Rome
    Jun, 251

    In June 251, Decius and his co-emperor and son Herennius Etruscus died in the Battle of Abrittus at the hands of the Goths they were supposed to punish for raids into the empire. According to rumors supported by Dexippus (a contemporary Greek historian) and the thirteenth Sibylline Oracle, Decius' failure was largely owing to Gallus, who had conspired with the invaders. In any case, when the army heard the news, the soldiers proclaimed Gallus emperor, despite Hostilian, Decius' surviving son, ascending the imperial throne in Rome. This action of the army, and the fact that Gallus seems to have been on good terms with Decius' family, makes Dexippus' allegation improbable. Gallus did not back down from his intention to become emperor, but accepted Hostilian as co-emperor, perhaps to avoid the damage of another civil war.


  • Barbalissos, Syria (Present-Day Qalʿat al-Bālis, Syria)
    252

    Battle of Barbalissos

    Barbalissos, Syria (Present-Day Qalʿat al-Bālis, Syria)
    252

    Gallus ordered his troops to attack the Persians, but Persian Emperor Shapur I invaded Armenia and destroyed a large Roman army, taking it by surprise at Barbalissos in 252.


  • Interamna (Present-Day Terni, Italy)
    Aug, 253

    Gallus was killed

    Interamna (Present-Day Terni, Italy)
    Aug, 253

    Since the army was no longer pleased with the Emperor, the soldiers proclaimed Aemilianus emperor. With a usurper, supported by Pauloctus, threatening the throne, Gallus prepared for a fight. He recalled several legions and ordered reinforcements to return to Rome from Gaul under the command of the future emperor Publius Licinius Valer