Roman Emperors: Good, Bad, and Ugly

Once Augustus Caesar established the imperial form of government, Rome was led by four centuries of emperors. Some of those leaders were good, others were pretty awful. Some took power by force, others were the sons or family members of previous emperors, and still others were strong military generals that had the support of the army. All of the emperors in some way pretended that the republic still existed, even though they stacked the Senate with friends and allies, or bullied and threatened the Senators into doing what the emperor wanted.

Using one or several of the following sources, quickly research each Roman emperor on the list. Include their dates, and maybe 5 or 6 bullet points about each emperor's rule. Create a Quizlet about these Roman emperors. Pay attention to each leader's accomplishments, style, and how their reign began and ended.
Caracalla always looked grumpy

  1. Augustus Caesar
  2. Claudius
  3. Nero
  4. Vespasian
  5. Titus
  6. Trajan
  7. Hadrian
  8. Marcus Aurelius
  9. Commodus
  10. Caracalla
  11. Diocletian
  12. Constantine
  13. Romulus Augustulus

Here are some great, reliable resources from which you can find the information you're looking for:

High Rock Media Center:

De Imperatoribus Romanis:


Julius Caesar
100 B.C. - 44 B.C.

  • Roman general and dictator
  • Conquered the province of Gaul for the Romans
  • Reformed the Roman government to benefit the poor
  • Had a romance with Queen Cleopatra of Egypt
  • Assassinated by senators for becoming too powerful
  • Adopted father of Octavian Caesar