|At the beginning the Roman empire was a republic. That means that the Senate controls the dominion.
Later on the dominion was controlled by the emperors. The Senate had still a little dominion, but not very much.
Because the Romans hated kings, all the successors of August called themselves an emperor. The son of the emperor was not automatically his successor. The emperor chose a successor himself.
|Julius was a well-educated Roman of a good family, but without large wealth. He became famous with help of a rich friend, because he procured food and games to the poor.
In 59 b.C. arised a triumvirate in the Roman empire. In that triumvirate was Pompeius, Crassus and Caesar. Caesar immediately introduced 2 new laws. He became governor of Galia Cisalpina (the plain of the Po), Illyria (Dalmatic coast) and of Gallia Narbonensis (the Provence).
Caesar wanted to increase his political influence through militairy conquest. He did this in 58 b.C.. He defeated the people of Celtic, the Helvetii, and the people of German, called the Suevi. He suppressed the revolt of Vercingetorix (52-50 B.C.) in Gaul with difficulty. After this he put whole Gaul under Roman authority. In 57 b.C. the Romans also came to the Benelux(Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg), but in 54 b.C. came the people in this country under the leading of Ambiorix to a revolt. In 53 b.C. Caesar reqonquered the Benelux.
In 55 b.C. Caesar, Crassus and Pompeius decided that Pompeius governor of Syria, Crassus of Spain and Caesar of Gaul for each 5 years. Pompeius saw that Caesar was becoming his rival more and more so he stayed in Rome. Crassus was murdered in 53 b.C. and so there was no triumvirate anymore.
A civil war between Caesar and Pompeius was the result. Caesar won the war. Pompeius went to Egypt, where he was murdered. Cleopatra married Caesar, because of political reasons.
In 49 b.C. Caesar took control of the whole empire. He was chosen by the citizens as consul including all power. Caesar decreased the power of the Senate.
After the battles in Spain, Greece and in Little-Azia he sent this message to the Senate in Rome: "Veni, vidi, vici" "I came, I saw, I conquered". He wasn't an emperor.
In 45 b.C. Caesar was supremo. Some Senators thought that he wanted to call himself a king and on 15 March 44 b.C. Caesar was murdered by Cassius and Brutus. .
Also called: Augustus
|After Caesar's death, there came a civil war. Caesar's nephew Octavianus defeated the murderers of Caesar and he got the dominion for his own. He became the first emperor of the Roman empire.|
Octavianus maked a partition in the imperial provinces (Spain, Gaul, Illyria, Sardinia, Corsica and places in Little-Azia) which he ruled by way of ambassadors. The Senate get also area's to rule, but they didn't control the armies who stationed there.
At Januari the 13th 27 b.C. gave Octavianus his extraordinary power back to the Senate, so that the republic came in his own again. He got only next to the titel of honour Augustus, phenomenon, so much power from the Senate back, that he got actually all the power and he could rule as an emperor.
He became Commander in Chief in the three provinces in the border lands with the largest army's: Gaul, Spain and Syria and he took the militairic title imperator. From 23 b.C. got Augustus also the power of tribune of the people, so he could use the veto-claim. With this claim he could declaire every dessision of the Senate invalid.
Augustus introduced a standing army with a militairy service of sixteen to twenty years. He used his army to defend the borders.
Augustus wanted as much as possible natural borders, that's why his general Agrippa and his stepsons Tiberius and Drusus had to fight very hard, especially in the Donaucountry's. The natural borders were formed by rivers (Rhine, Donau and Eufraat), deserts(Sahara and the Arab desert) and sea's (Atlantic Ocean and the Black sea).
In 9 b.C. in Rome, an altar became inaugurate in the honour of the general peace, the Pax Romana.
After his death he became declared devine.
|Tiberius didn't have an easy life. The whole time he lived in the shadow of Augustus, his stepfather. His luck was already destroyed by a forced marriage with a woman, who he despised. When he took control he was already 55 years old and a detrustful man.|
Tiberius trusted a few people. However he did trust one man, Seianus, commander of the Preaetoric garde. This was a corps of elite soldiers who served as bodyguards to the emperor.
Tiberius used the lex maiestatis ('the Law on the magnitude') on large-scale. With this he could give the death penalty to anyone who slightly hurt him. This is what he did to Jesus of Nazareth He let Jesus of Nazareth crucify.
Seianus was getting an increasing influence on Tiberius and it was obvious that he was hidding for his succession. His reputation kept increasing. In 26 a.D. the old emperor withdraw himself on the island Capri and ruled from there the Roman Imperium. Seianus stayed in Rome and got more and more athorities from Tiberius. The Senate resisted themselves against this and Seianus disappeared from the stage. Seianus still tried to control by making a coupe, but this attempt failed and he was conficted to death.
Tiberius stayed on Capri where he died at the age of 78 years. In Rome people cheered because he was dead.
|Tiberius had two grown-up heirs, his nephew, was adopted by himself, and his grandson. The Senate acknowledged his nephew, Gaius, immediately as a successor.|
Because Gaius as a kid always walked in army equipment with boots, he got the nickname Caligula, what means 'boot'.
At the beginning Caligula gets a well reputation, but that changed very quickly. Caligula was speritual not very well. He strived to the absolute power and let deify himself during his life. Everywhere in the country he ordered to built altars for him.
The Judes refused to honour him. Caligula became very angry and started a hunting on Judes.
Caligula wasn't only hard to the Judes, but also to the Romans. For exapmle: one time he was in a stadium. He didn't like the public and ordered to stop the games. He ordered to close the doors and let them guard by soldiers. Then he ordered to remove the sunshades and behold with great pleasure a great public who sat in the burning sun without food and drinks.
Eventually Caligula became murdered and that was the end of the period Caligula.
|After the death of Caligula, his killers wanted to bring back the republic. Only Claudius came between it, and took control.|
At the beginning Claudius wasn't taken serious, because he was a little man, who stuttered. Later this changed. He became a good emperor. He restored the chaos that Caligula had left behind. He had a proper insight on the internal and external politics. His whole life he showed respect for the Senate.
Once Claudius found out that his wife had extramarital relations. He locked her up and gave the man with who she cheated the death penalty. Then he married Agrippina. She brought a son along, Domitus, better known as Nero.
Agrippina wanted Nero as emperor, so she first seduiced Claudius and when he admitted, she wanted to kill him. After two failed attempts, she succeeded the third time. She poisoned Claudius. And that was Claudius.
|Nero was only 16 years old when he took the control of the Roman empire. Because he was very young, he got help from Seneca and Burrus. Actually Nero did not want to rule the empire. He wanted to sing and act, because he thought he was a good singer and actor. Agrippina would then take control over the Roman Empire. She tried getting that by seducing Nero, her own son! It failed and she got murdered by Nero. Nero also murdered his wife. And when Burrus died Seneca lost his last influence on the emperor.|
In 64 after Christ, Rome burnt down. It was said that Nero would have had started the fire, because people saw Nero singing "the End of Troi". Nero had to find a scapegoat. The Christians became the scapegoats and Nero ordered to prosecute the Christians.
Nero rebuilt Rome bigger than ever. Of course he payed some extra attention to his own palace.
A conspiracy against Nero came, and Nero found out. He told everyone who was in this conspiracy to commit suicide or else he would let them be murdered. Everybody commited suicide.
Then a revolt began on Gaul and it threatend Rome. Nero flee and was declared outlawed by the senate. Nero commited suicide at the age of 31, after he was driven in to a corner.