The Parthian Arch in Pergamum

The disastrous defeat of Rome’s legions by the Parthians at the Battle of Carrhae in 53 BC ranked among the greatest military catastrophes of the Republican period. Marcus Licinius Crassus’ failure to conquer Parthian territory, the capture of Roman hostages and the loss of legionary standards to the enemy were all a devastating blow, as…

The Afterlife of Imperial Pronouncements

Suetonius’ Life of Augustus ends with the reading of the emperor’s will, which records the division of his estate and his legacies to the people of Rome and the army. In addition to the will itself, the emperor had left three rolls: ‘…in one he included the instructions for his funeral, in the second a…

Commodus the Brigand-Chief

What would it have been like to be brought to trial before a Roman governor, or even the emperor himself? This seems to have been a question which occupied the minds of Roman citizens in the imperial period, judging by the surprising amount of trial scenes which feature in literary texts. Tacitus’ Annals, which covers…

Introducing the Project

Salvete omnes! Welcome to this new blog, where we will be discussing Roman emperors and examining how their personalities, policies and power were conceived, interpreted and transmitted throughout the Roman world, from Augustus through to Late Antiquity. The aim of the web site is to provide the general public with some insights into on-going research…