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Old June 9th, 2011, 03:17 PM   #1

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Greatest Roman Emperor


This question is probably easy. Which is was the greatest Roman Emperor and why?

Ancient history isn't really my area. I'm just curious who is considered the best. I'd take a running guess and say Augustus but I think there's probably a much better answer.
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Old June 9th, 2011, 03:23 PM   #2

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Right I'll go with Robert Graves and say Claudius -- if only because its a good story.

If not Augustus
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Old June 9th, 2011, 03:30 PM   #3

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Wasn't Claudius murderous as hell though? Again, this isn't my area really. But I've read that he was probably the must murderous of them all.
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Old June 9th, 2011, 03:33 PM   #4

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Originally Posted by Robespierre View Post
Wasn't Claudius murderous as hell though? Again, this isn't my area really. But I've read that he was probably the must murderous of them all.
Well it depends who you believe, not the most murderous at least, if you were Roman leader kind hearted was not a quality that would see you live long.

Depends if you accept Graves' view
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Old June 9th, 2011, 03:39 PM   #5

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The achievements of the Restitutor Orbis were certainly impressive.
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Old June 9th, 2011, 03:42 PM   #6

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My favorite, and hence my preference for best, would be Aurelian. The man practically ended Rome's Third Century Crisis by defeating the Alemanni, Vandals, Juthungi, Goths, Sarmatians, Carpi, and two rebellious Roman States that had sprung up in two corners of the Empire. These two rebellious states were the Gallic and Palmyrene Empires. In 260, the Palmyrene Empire was formed largely, it seems, due to the overhanging threat of the Sassanids. In 272, Aurelian, when his army was deemed ready to fight, marched in and conquered the area, which comprised of parts of Asia Minor, Palestine, Egypt, and Nabatea. After consolidating these reconquered territories, he marched his men on into Gaul, Britannia, and (the provinces of) Germania the following year. He conquered this empire, too, and then crushed another rebellion, this time of mint-workers in Rome, and thus reconsolidated the Empire. He also was able to reform Roman Religion and attempted to unite the many ethnic groups of the Empire through collective worship of the Sun God: Sol Invictus. He also improved the economic situation somewhat by introducing a revaluated antoninianus (at 5% silver content), twenty of which would equal a single denarius in silver content.

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Old June 9th, 2011, 03:44 PM   #7

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Kirialax and Mr. Rhombus beat me. I'm sorry to all the Augustus fanboys, but Aurelian outshines every other emperor. From a Roman perspective, this man literally saved the world, in just five short years.
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Old June 9th, 2011, 03:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robespierre View Post
This question is probably easy. Which is was the greatest Roman Emperor and why?

Ancient history isn't really my area. I'm just curious who is considered the best. I'd take a running guess and say Augustus but I think there's probably a much better answer.
According to the anonymous author of the Historia Augusta (aka "Julius Capitolinus") Maximinus Thrax
Quote:
... was six inches over eight feet in height;and his thumb was so huge that he used his wife's bracelet for a ring ...
(op. cit. VI:VIII)
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Old June 9th, 2011, 03:48 PM   #9

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Questionable as his source may be, Sylla has definitely provided, strictly speaking, the most accurate answer this thread will receive
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Old June 9th, 2011, 03:54 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Robespierre Click the image to open in full size.
Wasn't Claudius murderous as hell though? Again, this isn't my area really. But I've read that he was probably the must murderous of them all.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevinmeath View Post
Well it depends who you believe, not the most murderous at least, if you were Roman leader kind hearted was not a quality that would see you live long.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevinmeath View Post
Depends if you accept Graves' view
Graves' novels are fiction; more like C. Suetonius Tranquillus' view (actually one of the least hostile historians regarding the fourth emperor); Claudius I reportedly inflicted the death penalty on thirty-five senators and more than three hundred Roman knights, not a bad score even relative to his more famous imperial relatives (De Vita XII Caesarum, V:XXIX:II).
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