Empire of Ancient Rome (Great Empires of the Past) by Michael Burgan

By Michael Burgan

The impression of the Roman Empire has been common and profound, maybe extra so than that of the other empire or civilization. This identify opens with a short precis of the Roman Empire and offers an account of the realm and geographic quarter within the years top as much as the empire.

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Ile Septimius and Caracalla had. His mother had not given the soldiers the bonuses they had come to expect. Even worse, she and Alexander were ready to give money to Germanic tribes threatening the empire, instead of fighting them. In 235 the Roman troops in Germany revolted, killing both the emperor and his mother. The end of the Severan Dynasty marked a turning point in Roman history. The country went through 50 years of civil war, with soldiers proclaiming one general after another the emperor.

Tiberius also tried to weaken the Senate’s power and limit free speech in Rome. People accused of spreading rumors about the emperor faced trial. If convicted, they were executed for treason. In 26, Tiberius moved to the island of Capri, off the western coast of the Italian peninsula. He still made major decisions, but officials in Rome carried out day-to-day affairs. One of Tiberius’s most important aides in Rome was Sejanus (d. 31), the head of the Praetorian Guard, a special branch of the military that protected the emperor.

Like his father, Caracalla spent a lot of time on the battlefield, because Rome faced constant threats from the Germanic tribes and Parthia. The Severan Dynasty was briefly broken in 217, when Macrinus (c. 164–218), a Praetorian prefect (commander of the Praetorian Guards), assassinated Caracalla. The next year, Septimius’s sister-in-law, Julia Maesa (d. 226), maneuvered her grandson Elagabalus (203–222) onto the throne, restoring some link to the old dynasty. Spreading the rumor that the boy was the son of Caracalla helped Julia win the army’s support for the new emperor.

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