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View Poll Results: Best Roman Emperor
Augustus 96 63.16%
Trajan 24 15.79%
Hadrian 7 4.61%
Marcus Aurelius 25 16.45%
Voters: 152. You may not vote on this poll

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Old July 18th, 2012, 06:46 AM   #1

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Greatest Emperor Of Rome


I don't know if this has been asked before, however I regard it as a very interesting topic to discuss.
I mean Greatness, in the sense of overall so a combination of the sum of the characters achievements : Military, Administerial, Social etc.
The ways in which he contributed to the empire, eg: was the empire more or less prospereous. Finally how he tackled succession.
Personally I regard the epitome of a Roman Emperor to be Augustus, I say this becouse of a variety of reasons. First and foremost he brought an end to decades of political turmoil and to the civil wars, initiating a system which brought peace to the west for two hundred years.
Second his regard for both the provinces and Rome, the original prospering incredibly under efficient governors appointed by him and the latter by being embelished incredibly, "I found a city of bricks and left a city of marble". Finally for limiting the military and managing efficiently meaning it was used for the empires defense and not to coerce as had been done before, also limiting its cost as the number of legions was greatly reduced.
In short a most great emperor which tackled all aspects of the roman world well and with success.
The most worthy comparisons are for me the characters of Trajan,Hadrian, and Marcus Aurelius, however I shall let others advocate their cases.



"Augustus's own experience, his patience, his tact, and his great political acumen also played their part. All of these factors allowed him to put an end to the chaos of the Late Republic and re-establish the Roman state on a firm footing. He directed the future of the empire down many lasting paths, from the existence of a standing professional army stationed at or near the frontiers, to the dynastic principle so often employed in the imperial succession, to the embellishment of the capital at the emperor's expense. Augustus's ultimate legacy, however, was the peace and prosperity the empire was to enjoy for the next two centuries under the system he initiated. His memory was enshrined in the political ethos of the Imperial age as a paradigm of the good emperor; although every emperor adopted his name, Caesar Augustus, only a handful earned genuine comparison with him. Augustus's own experience, his patience, his tact, and his great political acumen also played their part. All of these factors allowed him to put an end to the chaos of the Late Republic and re-establish the Roman state on a firm footing. He directed the future of the empire down many lasting paths, from the existence of a standing professional army stationed at or near the frontiers, to the dynastic principle so often employed in the imperial succession, to the embellishment of the capital at the emperor's expense. Augustus's ultimate legacy, however, was the peace and prosperity the empire was to enjoy for the next two centuries under the system he initiated. His memory was enshrined in the political ethos of the Imperial age as a paradigm of the good emperor; although every emperor adopted his name, Caesar Augustus, only a handful earned genuine comparison with him. Augustus's own experience, his patience, his tact, and his great political acumen also played their part. All of these factors allowed him to put an end to the chaos of the Late Republic and re-establish the Roman state on a firm footing. He directed the future of the empire down many lasting paths, from the existence of a standing professional army stationed at or near the frontiers, to the dynastic principle so often employed in the imperial succession, to the embellishment of the capital at the emperor's expense. Augustus's ultimate legacy, however, was the peace and prosperity the empire was to enjoy for the next two centuries under the system he initiated. His memory was enshrined in the political ethos of the Imperial age as a paradigm of the good emperor; although every emperor adopted his name, Caesar Augustus, only a handful earned genuine comparison with him."

From De Imperatoribus Romanis
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Old July 18th, 2012, 06:52 AM   #2

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Of thoes listed on the poll, I would rank them as such, from the very best down:

Augustus
Marcus Aurelius
Trajan
Hadrian
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Old July 18th, 2012, 06:53 AM   #3

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorenzo View Post
I don't know if this has been asked before
Click the image to open in full size.

But for whatever it's worth, 'greatest' is an arbitrary term that doesn't really mean anything when referring to a group of people spanning who lived hundreds of years apart from one another who held the same position, but a position that was in constant flux. There is no objective ground for comparing men in vastly different situations in different time periods. How do you compare Augustus, Diocletian, and Aurelian, for example? They were each in completely different situations, and they each performed admirably given their own circumstances. But was one 'greater' than the other? No.

EDIT: And as for the poll, my subjective ranking would be:
Augustus
Hadrian
Marcus Aurelius
Trajan
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Old July 18th, 2012, 06:56 AM   #4

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Thats the point by constructing both positive and negative critiscisms depending on age and climate in which the candidates lived and therefire construct an approximate opinion, if you suggest any additions to the pole feel free to le me know
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Old July 18th, 2012, 07:01 AM   #5

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorenzo View Post
Thats the point by constructing both positive and negative critiscisms depending on age and climate in which the candidates lived and therefire construct an approximate opinion, if you suggest any additions to the pole feel free to le me know
Well, like most, you have chosen the best emperors from the time of the Principate, a time of peace and stability, factors brought on not by the emperors, but by wider socio-economic forces. You ignore the men who admirably actually combated these forces when the forces turned against them, men who did what was necessary. Septimius Severus, the Barracks emperors, particularly Aurelian, and Majorian spring to mind. But again, I'm hesitant to include them on a poll where you have to decide who was 'better' than the others.
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Old July 18th, 2012, 10:39 AM   #6

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Augustus, Trajan, Hadrian, Vespasian and Aurelian for me. I would stick with the first emperor as the best though.

I would also add that for the two years Titus was emperor before dying of Plague, he was a very good emperor from records. He changed completely after becoming emperor, and even helped out money and labour during the plague and the eruption of Pompeii.
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Old July 18th, 2012, 10:53 AM   #7

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Augustus by far. Trajan wasn't even that good. He conquered a bunch of savages and a foreign empire locked into total civil war.
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Old July 18th, 2012, 10:54 AM   #8

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Quote:
Originally Posted by emperor of seleucid View Post
Trajan wasn't even that good. He conquered a bunch of savages and a foreign empire locked into total civil war.
You seem to be about as familiar with the Dacians as you are with the Vikings and - well, everybody else
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Old July 18th, 2012, 11:08 AM   #9

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Quote:
Originally Posted by emperor of seleucid View Post
Augustus by far. Trajan wasn't even that good. He conquered a bunch of savages and a foreign empire locked into total civil war.
The Dacians were a sophisticated civilization, and the Parthians were no pushovers. I agree that Trajan is over-rated, as his foreign wars were costly and unnecessary, but that doesn't mean he had no military skill.
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Old July 18th, 2012, 01:39 PM   #10

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1. Augustus
2. Trajan
3. Hadrian
4. Aurelian
5. Marcus Aurelius
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