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Emperor Nero was the last of the Julio-Claudians to rule the Roman Empire (54 AD to 68 AD). His fourteen year reign represents everything decadent about that period in Roman history. He was self-indulgent, cruel and violent as well as a cross-dressing exhibitionist. His lavish parties combined with the burning of Rome continued the economic chaos that had plagued... [continue reading]
According to legend, Ancient Rome was founded by the two brothers, and demi-gods, Romulus and Remus, on 21 April 753. The legend claims that, in an argument over who would rule the city (or, in another version, where the city would be located) Romulus killed Remus and named the city after himself. This story of the founding of Rome is the best known but it... [continue reading]
Gaius Julius Caesar was born 12 July 100 BCE (though some cite 102 as his birth year). His father, also Gaius Julius Caesar, was a Praetor who governed the province of Asia and his mother, Aurelia Cotta, was of noble birth. Both held to the Populare ideology of Rome which favored democratization of government and more rights for the lower class as opposed... [continue reading]
Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121 - 180 CE), known as the last of the good emperors (reigned 161 – 169 with Lucius Verus; 169 – 177 alone; 177 - 180 with Commodus), was born in Rome (or, according to other sources, Spain) to an aristocratic family. His birth name was Marcus Annius Verus which he held until adopted by his uncle (and Emperor Hadrian’s successor... [continue reading]