The Worst Roman Emperors in History

TLDR From Tiberius to Caracalla, the Roman Empire saw a succession of incompetent rulers who engaged in tyranny, insanity, and corruption, leading to their infamy as the worst emperors in Roman history.

Timestamped Summary

00:00 Between the Ascension of Augustus to the fall of the Western Empire, there were 70 to 100 Roman emperors, some of whom were incompetent rulers, leading to a list of the worst emperors in Roman history.
02:41 The first worst Roman emperor is Tiberius, who reluctantly took the throne after the death of his male relatives, ruled well initially, but then retired to a pleasure palace on the island of Capri, leaving his right-hand man to run a reign of terror in Rome.
04:34 Caligula, who succeeded Tiberius as emperor, displayed his own brand of insanity by abusing his power, engaging in incest, attempting to attack Britain, appointing his horse as consul, and being ultimately murdered by his own guards, while his successor, Nero, is accused of killing his mother, brother, and pregnant wife, and forcing senators to attend his performances as a singer and actor.
06:20 Nero, known for persecuting Christians, building a massive palace, and engaging in scandalous relationships, was succeeded by Vitilius, who was known for his gluttony, and then by Domitian, who became consumed with paranoia and executed many people.
08:07 Commodus, who saw himself as a Gladiator and declared himself a living god, left the affairs of running the empire to his freedmen, leading to extreme corruption, and was eventually strangled by his wrestling partner.
09:56 Caracalla, who became emperor at the age of ten, murdered his brother and anyone who supported him, ordered the destruction of all images and the name of his brother, massacred thousands of Alexandrians, and was eventually murdered himself while urinating on the side of the road.
11:39 Granting a teenager absolute control over one of the most powerful empires on earth is probably a bad idea, as seen from the worst Roman emperors.
Categories: History Education

Browse more History