Which Roman emperor was the greatest?

Early and high imperial times

The Roman Empire went through several phases during its existence. After the royal period, the republic followed, then Rome became an empire in the year 27 BC.

Before that, there was a crisis that lasted for several decades. Three men came to power and formed a triumvirate. Caesar broke away from this and became sole ruler. There was another triumvirate of three men after his murder. This time Octavian won the rule. He was Caesar's adopted son. In 31 BC he became the sole ruler of Rome. A few years later, 27 BC, he made himself the first citizen of Rome, the Princeps, and was given the honorary name of Augustus the Blessed.

The republic finally ended and Rome became an empire. At last there was peace in the empire. The Romans penetrated as far as Germania before they were stopped. The Teutons inflicted a serious defeat on the Romans in the year 9. Arminius triumphed over the Roman commander Varus.

Many emperors followed Augustus: Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius and Nero were the first of these emperors. The Roman Empire continued to expand and Britain was conquered. Inside there was always a dispute about rule, with murder and manslaughter not infrequently occurring. One began to build a border wall, the Limes, which should protect the outer borders of the empire.

The persecution of Christians began under Nero in 64. After the death of Jesus Christ in the year 30, Christianity had spread. Their religion forbade them to worship the emperor, that is, a person, as god. But this was prescribed by the Roman religion. In addition, Christians believed in only one god, which was also very different from the Roman religion. So pursued the Christians were thrown into jail or killed.

The high imperial era began with Vespasian. After the last Flavian emperor Domitian, a time began with Emperor Nerva in which the previous emperor determined his successor through adoption. Under his successor Trajan, the Roman Empire came into being in 117 biggest expansion. The Dacian Empire in Eastern Europe, Armenia and Mesopotamia were conquered. The heyday of the Roman Empire followed culturally.

From the year 235 the Roman Empire found itself in a crisis again. It is also called the Imperial Crisis of the 3rd century. Many emperors now took turns and the empire was also threatened externally. The Alemanni invaded on the Rhine, the Goths on the Danube. In the east the New Persian Empire of the Sassanids formed against Rome.

In 284 Diocletian became emperor. The late imperial era began, which is also called late antiquity. It heralded the end of the Roman Empire.