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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]
Tiberius, the adopted son of Roman Emperor Augustus, never aspired to follow in his stepfather’s footsteps -- that path was chosen by his domineering mother, Livia. His 23 year reign as emperor (14 CE to 37 CE) would see him estranged from his controlling mother and living in self-imposed exile from the duties of running an empire. In 42 BCE Tiberius... [continue reading]
After the death of Emperor Caligula and his family at the hands of the Praetorian Guard, the future Emperor Claudius (41-54 CE) was found quivering behind a set of curtains, fearing for his own life, and named emperor. Historian Cassius Dio wrote, “At first the soldiers, supposing that he was someone else or perhaps had something worth taking... [continue reading]