Rome’s Third Century Crisis and the Emperor Diocletian

The disastrous third-century crisis in Rome began with the erratic Emperor Septimius Severus, whose reign extended from 193 to 211 A.D. In Severus’ warped mind the army was the most important thing in his vast empire. As a result he raised taxes in order to favor the Roman army with more pay and comfort. On his deathbed he told his son and heir Caracalla: “Favor the army, nothing else matters.” Continue reading

The Five Good Emperors — Rome

The Five Good Emperors are so named because they ended the period of asperity under the reign of Diocletian. These five emperors were Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius. They were part of the Nerva – Antonine dynasty (96 – 192 A.D.), which consisted of seven monarchs. The last ruler of this dynasty was Commodus, the son of Marcus Aurelius. One of the traditions of these benevolent emperors was to adopt a man as their heir and son. This custom started with Nerva. Continue reading