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Ancient History – ACE 2012 – Day 1 Notes – Ancient Egypt & Middle East
David Madden, [email protected] (201) 661 3524
Egypt: Rise of Egypt due in part to climate change in the Sahara, pushed more people into the Nile Valley
- Old Kingdom (2686-2181 BC) Middle Kingdom (2055-1650 BC) New Kingdom (1550 BC-1069 BC)
-Pyramids include an early step pyramid built for king Djoser at Saqqara designed by the architect Imhotep and those for
Khufu (his is the Great Pyramid, the one that is the only Wonder of the World left standing) Khafre, and Menkaure at Giza
- Middle Kingdom ends with the Hyksos (Asiatic Shepherds) dominating the Second Intermediate Period
- Hatshepsut is a successful female pharaoh, reigned early 15th c. BC, depicted wearing a beard in art.
-Capital at Thebes, until monotheistic pharaoh Akhenaten changes it to Amarna (aka Akhetaten). Akhenaten’s wife was
Nefertiti, a famous bust of her is in Berlin. Akhenaten replaces worship of Amun with Aton (sun disk)
-Tutankhamun, boy pharaoh whose tomb was discovered by Howard Carter and George Herbert (Lord Carnarvon). Son of
Akhenaten, who reverses his father’s religious reforms. Amun is once again chief god.
-Ramses II (aka Ozymandias – name of poem by Percy Shelley) reigns 1279-1213. Son of Seti I, he builds city of PiRamesses as his new capital. Celebrated 14 sed festivals, campaigned in Syria, fought Hittites under Muwatali II at Kadesh,
which led to world’s first known treaty
-Late New Kingdom Egypt disrupted by mysterious “sea peoples” who raided from the Mediterranean
Egyptian capitals include Memphis, later Thebes (modern day Luxor) farther to the South, also Amarna & Pi-Ramesses
Sumerians: Built ziggurats (temples), Cities of Eridu, Uruk (led by Gilgamesh), Ur (led by Shulgi in the Third Dynasty of Ur
during “Sumerian Renaissance” c. 2100 BC), epic of Gilgamesh is the first major work of world literature > prefigures
aspects of the story of the flood in the Bible. Developed cuneiform as the world’s first written script. Cuneiform means
wedge-shaped, due to the stylus used for clay tablets, cf. Lat. cuneus > wedge.
-First major Mesopotamian Civilization > meso-pota-mia (Greek for land between the rivers, i.e. the Tigris and Euphrates)
Elamites: Lived to the east of Sumer in present day Iran, defeated by Hammurabi, supplanted by Medes and Persians.
Akkad (2334-2154 BC): Sargon the Great reigns for over 50 years, conquers Sumer in the Battle of Uruk
-Their language becomes diplomatic lingua franca of the Middle East, displacing Sumerian
Babylonians: Most famous for Hammurabi, their leader who developed a code of laws, defeated Elamites and Eshnunna
en route to founding a short-lived empire that stretched throughout Mesopotamia
(Neo) Assyrians (934-609 BC): Spoke Aramaic, Semitic language of Jesus. Had capital first at Assur, later & more famously
at Nineveh. Reforms of Tiglath-Pileser II led to prominence. Sennacherib campaigns throughout fertile crescent. “The
Destruction of Sennacherib” is a poem by Byron. Ashurbanipal (669-627), dominates Persia, but his death led to decline
Neo-Babylonians (626 -539): led most famously by Nebuchadnezzar II, constructed the Hanging Gardens, destroyed first
temple at Jerusalem, brought Jews to Babylon in the Babylonian Captivity until Cyrus the Great let them go back.
Hittites (flourished 2nd Millenium BC): Bronze/Iron Age people of Anatolia, worshipped Teshub, capital at Hattusas. Other
Anatolian people include the Lydians (first civilization to use coins) c. 7th century BC and the Celtic-speaking Galatians.
Phoenicians : Lived in present day Lebanon; source of the alphabet
-Traders who ranged throughout the Mediterranean, famous for purple dye derived from snails & cedars
-Founded the city of Carthage, later antagonist of Rome and home of Dido
-Noted for cities of Sidon, Tyre (conquered by Alexander), & Byblos (famous for writing, source of “bibliography,” “Bible”)
Canaan > Phillistines, Israel and Judah Canaan originally refers to the entirety of the area of Israel, Palestine, and S.
Lebanon in the Bronze Age. Philistines are one of the Sea Peoples, after their defeat by Ramses III, Canaan splits into
Philistine and Phoenician spheres of influence
The most famous kings of Israel are in order Saul, David, and Solomon. Saul is anointed king by Samuel, David establishes
capital at Jerusalem and establishes kingdom from Mediterranean to Euphrates. First temple is constructed under
Solomon. Solomon is succeeded by Rehoboam, under whom United Israel splits into kingdoms of Israel and Judah.
Assyrians later dominate region, then neo-Babylonians force Jews to leave to Babylon, finally Persia under Cyrus the Great
conquers Babylon and lets Jews return. During Hellenistic era, Jews revolt under Judas Maccabeus.
Medes and Zoroastrianism
-First major civilization in modern-day Iran. Capital at Ecbatana, ally with the Babylonians to capture Nineveh in 612 BC,
conquered in turn by Cyrus in 550, kings included Cyaxares (625-585) and Astyages (589-549).
-Follow Zoroastrian religion (Zoroaster is the Greek name for the Persian prophet Zarathustra, cf. Thus Spake Zarathustra
by Nietzsche, which is also the name of a work of music by Richard Strauss). Holy book is the Zend Avesta, most important
portions are the Gathas (hymns). Ahura Mazda (good force) v. Angra Mainyu (bad force, also known as Ahriman). Priests
are known as Magi. Zoroastrians now live mostly in and near Mumbai, in India where they are known as Parsis.
Achaemenid Persian Rulers (named after Achaemenes – first ruler of the dynasty from 705-675 BC)
-Cyrus the Great (Cyrus II): First Achaemenid ruler of a united Persia, lets Jews go back from Babylon, ending Babylonian
Captivity, vast territorial expansion, reigned 559-530 BC, popular ruler who respected customs, capital first at Pasargadae,
later at Persepolis (also the name of a recent Persian animated film)
-Cambyses II: Son of Cyrus the Great, adds Egypt, Nubia and Cyrenaica (E. Libya) to empire. Empire features Royal Road
from Sardis (in Western Anatolia) to Susa (in Persia) and a very effective postal service.
-Darius I (the Great): reigned 522-486 BC, authors Behistun Inscription (autobiographical), conquers Ionian Greeks by 510,
who revolt with Athens’ support, leads to the invasion of Greece (490 BC), defeat at Marathon by Greeks under Miltiades
-Xerxes I (the Great): reigned 485-465 BC, invades Greece via the Hellespont (whips the water according to Herodotus
when bridge collapses), leads the 10,000 Immortals (so called because they are always replaced), wins tough victory
against Leonidas and the 300 Spartans at Thermopylae (name means Gates of Heat), but lose within a few weeks to the
Greek fleet led by Themistocles at Salamis. In 479, Greeks under Pausanias win Battle of Plataea, defeating Mardonius
(general of Xerxes). Xerxes was murdered in 465 by Artabanus.
-Darius III – Opposed Alexander the Great, lost the Battles of Issus and Gaugamela, killed by Bessus in 330 BC.
Parthians (aka Arsacids) and Sassanids
-Parthians established native Persian control of present-day Iran after several generations of rule by the successors of
Alexander in 247 BC. They would reign until 224 AD and were also known as the Arsacids.
-Crassus in the first Roman Triumvirate would die fighting Parthians in 53 BC at the Battle of Carrhae
-During the Roman Empire, the cult of Mithras (a Persian deity) would become popular among Roman soldiers
-Sassanids would succeed Parthians and would be last pre-Islamic dynasty, ruling until 7th c. AD.
Seven Wonders of the World – Organized in a list by Antipater of Sidon and Philon of Byzantium
-Statue of Zeus at Olympia. Created by Phidias c. 432; he also sculpted a statue of Athena for the Parthenon
-Lighthouse at Alexandria. Also known as the Pharos; stood from 3rd c. BC to roughly 14th c. AD
-Colossus of Rhodes. Erected by Chares of Lindos but toppled within a century by an earthquake
-Hanging Gardens of Babylon (see above)
-Great Pyramid at Giza (see above)
-Temple of Artemis at Ephesus. Located on the present day Aegean coast of Turkey.
-Mausoleum of Halicarnassus. Also on the present-day Aegean coast, farther south. Was the tomb of King Mausolus.
Indo European Languages -Relationships deduced by William Jones who founded the Asiatic Society in the 18th c.
-PIE* = Proto Indo-European, language likely spoken in Ukraine/S. Russia c. 4000 BC, from which other branches evolved
-Includes Slavic, Germanic, Celtic, Greek, Armenian, Anatolian, Indo-Iranian, Baltic, Italic, Tocharian, & Illyrian branches
ACE Camp 2012 – Ancient History, Day 2 Notes: Ancient Greece
1. Minoan Civilization on Crete (named for mythical King Minos, 1st European civilization, lasted c. 2700-1400 BC)
-Declines precipitously, due to volcanic eruption of Thera (aka Santorini), and especially a Mycenaean invasion
-Palace at Knossos, excavated by Arthur Evans, contains labyrinth (tunnel maze) home to the Minotaur in myth
-Minoan civilization depicted in Mary Renault’s historical fiction classic book The King Must Die
-Used Linear A script (undeciphered) and eventually Linear B (early form of Greek) deciphered by Michael Ventris
2. Mycenae Civilization on Mainland Greece
-Mycenae was a citadel on the Peloponnesus (the peninsula of S. mainland Greece) famous for its lion gate
-Mythically led by Agamemnon in the Trojan War; Mycenae flourished c. 1600-1100 BC during Bronze Age
3. Greek Dark Ages and Archaic Greece
-Mycenaean Greece declines due to foreign invasion, breakdown of political order c. 1100, around the dawn of the
Iron Age. About 800 BC, Greece enters “Archaic Age” with gradual economic and cultural development. Sculpture
of this time features the idealized kouros (i.e. youth) with “archaic smile” but rigid features.
-During Archaic Greece, Greek colonists found Masilia (modern Marseilles) and Nikopolis (modern Nice)
4. Sparta (Peloponnesian city-state in Southern Greece)
-Constitution laid down by Lycurgus, led by kings and officials known as “Ephors,” youths are educated in barracks
known as “Agoge” (pr. uh-GO-gay). Once a year, Spartans declare war on slaves known as “helots” who
outnumber Spartan citizens; Sparta’s militaristic character is a function of citizens needing to control helots.
5. Athens (chief city of Attica, a region in the central part of mainland Greece)
-Lawgiver was Solon, who lived in the Archaic age (early 6th c. BC), his reforms laid the foundation for democracy
-Had 10 elected generals (known as “strategoi”), an assembly, also a council known as the “Boule,” marketplace
known as the “agora,” its port is Piraeus, connected to it by the “long walls” which allows Athens to have access to
the sea while still being difficult to attack by land. Foreigners in Athens and other cities are known as “metics”
-Athens had the most powerful fleet and became the leading state of an alliance known as the Delian League
-Under Pericles, leader of Athens during the “Golden Age” (c. 480-430 BC), the treasury of the Delian League is
moved from the island of Delos to Athens. Athens’ ambitions begin to arouse suspicion, ultimately leading to
Peloponnesian War. Aspasia of Miletus is a hetara (i.e. a cultured prostitute, like a geisha) & mistress of Pericles
6. Greek Philosophers and Scientists
-Thales of Miletus – 6th c. BC, early pre-Socratic philosopher, thought everything originated from water
-Anaximenes – pre-Socratic philosopher, thought everything originated from air
-Pythagoras – pre-Socratic philosopher famous for emphasis on math incl. Pythagorean Theorem, born on Samos
-Heraclitus – thought that everything originated from fire and that everything is in constant flux
-Democritus – speculated that everything could be reduced to atoms, progenitor of atomic theory
-Socrates, taught Plato, wife was Xanthippe, opposed to Sophists, accused of corrupting the youth of Athens, died
after drinking poison hemlock in 399 BC. Death of Socrates is a famous work by the French artist Jaques-Louis
-Plato – wrote dialogues, including Phaedo, Crito, Apology, Symposium; wrote The Republic (groundbreaking work
of political theory), famous for its “Allegory of the Cave.” Taught Aristotle, founded the Academy (1st institute of
higher learning), believed in ideal (aka Platonic) forms, and that we are unable to fully grasp reality as it truly is
-Aristotle – wrote Nicomachean Ethics, Physics, Politics, Metaphysics, Rhetoric, Poetics, On the Soul, Organon,
taught Alexander the Great, founded the Peripatetic School of philosophy which met at a school called the Lyceum
-Zeno of Citium – founder of the Stoic school of philosophy
-Diogenes of Sinope – cynic philosopher, wandered around Athens with a lantern searching for an honest man
-Eratosthenes – calculated circumference of earth
-Archimedes – designed siege machines to defend Syracuse, killed by a Roman soldier, discovered specific gravity
-Euclid – wrote Elements, father of geometry, flourished in Alexandria c. 300 BC
-Ptolemy - wrote Almagest, also Geography, lived in Egypt during Roman Empire, advocated geocentric theory
7. Greek Sculpture & Architecture: Three orders (i.e. styles) of columns are Doric (plain), Ionic (w/rounded scroll at
the top called a volute) and Corinthian (ornate, with “fluting” at the top)
-Parthenon is a temple to Athena on the Acropolis (lit. high citadel) in Athens, contained frieze on the outside
known as the Elgin Marbles (now controversially in British Museum, not in Greece). Erechtheion is a smaller
temple also on the Acropolis. Phidias is the greatest Greek sculptor; sculpted statue of Athena inside Parthenon.
-Myron sculptured Discobolos (Discus Thrower). Other Greek sculptures include Winged Victory of Samothrace,
Venus de Milo (both in the Louvre), Laocoon and His Sons and Doryphoros (Spear Bearer) by Polykleitos. Praxiteles
sculpted Knidian Aphrodite (1st female nude).
Greek Literature
-Historians are Herodotus (Wrote The Histories about the Persian Wars), Thucydides (History of the Peloponnesian
War ), Xenophon (Anabasis) about a civil war in the Persian Empire (used as a guide by Alexander)
-Tragedians are Sophocles (Oedipus Rex, Oedipus at Colonus, Antigone, Electra), Aeschylus (The Persians, Seven
Against Thebes, The Oresteia, Prometheus Bound), and Euripides (Medea, The Trojan Women, Bacchae, also, the
play known as Cyclops, the only example from the genre known as a “satyr play”)
-Most famous comedy writer is Aristophanes (The Birds, The Frogs, The Wasps, The Clouds, Lysistrata)
-Epic poets are Homer (Iliad and Odyssey) and Hesiod (Theogony, a work about the history of the gods)
Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC)
-Alcibiades is a successful commander first for Athens, then for Sparta, then once again for Athens
-Athens decimated by a plague early on during the war; Pericles dies in the plague
-Peace of Nicias ends first phase of war (known as Archidamian War) in 421 BC
-In 415 Athens leads the expedition to Sicily, to subdue the city of Syracuse. Expedition fails utterly in 413 BC.
-Sparta destroys Athens’ fleet in Battle of Aegispotami in 405 BC. Athens then surrenders in 404. In the aftermath
of the war, the Thirty Tyrants rule Athens. Democracy is eventually restored, but Athens never fully recovers.
Rise of Macedon (state in Northern Greece)
-Philip II transforms Macedon into preeminent power in Greece through shrewd diplomacy and superior military
training, which employs a battle formation known as the phalanx (soldiers use long spear called the sarissa)
-Sparta is defeated by Thebes (including the elite gay troops of the Sacred Band of Thebes) at the Battle of Leuctra
in 371 BC. Thebes & Athens are then defeated by Macedon under Philip at Battle of Chaeronea (338 BC)
Alexander the Great (356-323 BC)
-Son of Philip II and Olympias (famous for worshipping snakes). Takes over after Philip’s assassination in 336 BC.
Leaves Antipater in charge in Macedon while off campaigning. Horse is Bucephalus (city named for it); lover is
Hephaiston. Employs elite brigade known as Companion Cavalry.
-Battle of the Granicus River (334) – first major victory, fought in Northwestern Anatolia near site of Troy
-Battle of Issus (333) - fought in Southeastern Anatolia, near Mediterranean Coast. Alexander defeats Darius III
whose retreat is depicted in the mosaic found at the House of the Faun from Pompeii
-Siege of Tyre (332) – troops build a causeway to Tyre (Phoenician city on an island) and succeed in besieging it
-Battle of Gaugamela (331) – Darius III is defeated for good; he flees and is killed by a satrap. Persian Empire falls.
-Campaigns into Bactria & Sogdia (Turkmenistan/Tajikistan) Battles of Jaxartes & Sogdian Rock – defeats steppe
armies – unprecedented. Founding of “Alexandria Eschatea”, also Kandahar in Afghanistan.
-Battle of Hydaspes River (326) – fought in Pakistan at a tributary of the Indus against King Porus and elephants.
Soon afterwards, troops revolt, Alexander agrees not to march farther into India, but to turn back. Alexander dies
in Babylon of a fever in 323 BC; at the time of his death, he was planning the conquest of Arabia.
-Legends include his “untying” of the Gordion Knot by slicing through it, and his visit to the oracle at the Siwa Oasis
Hellenistic Age (323 BC -1st century BC)
-Alexander’s empire is split up among his generals. Ptolemy gains Egypt, Antigonus gains Anatolia, Seleucus gains
most of Persia and the Middle East. Successors are collectively called the “diadochoi” who fight among each other.
-Pergamon (in Anatolia), Antioch (in Syria), and especially Alexandria (founded by Alexander in Egypt) become
primary centers of Greek civilization, known as "Hellenistic." Alexandria famous for Great Library.
-Development of New Comedy (whose most famous author is Menander whose only complete surviving work is
The Grouch) & dynamic sculpture (examples include the “Laocoon” and “Winged Victory of Samothrace”)
-Hellenistic Age ultimately supplanted by Romans in the West, rise of Parthia in the East.
Ancient History – ACE Camp 2012
Day 3 Notes – Ancient Rome
Roman Monarchy (c. 753-509 BC) Roman Republic (511-27 BC) and Roman Empire (27BC-476 AD, in the West)
7 Hills - Capitoline, Palatine, Caelian, Viminal, Quirinal, Aventine, Equiline (Charlie, please come very quickly and eat)
7 Kings of Rome - Romulus, Numa Pompilius,Tullus Hostilius, Ancus Marcius, Tarquinius Priscus, Servius Tullius, Tarquinius
Superbus – the last is an Etruscan king, driven out due to rape of Lucretia by his son. Earlier kings semi-legendary.
Etruscans are non-Indo European speaking people of North Central Italy, city of Veii, famous for tomb paintings.
Roman Republic
-Established largely by Lucius Brutus, soon after comes the story of Horatio at the Bridge (c 508 BC) against Etruscans
-Expansionist state, campaigns successfully against Italic tribes (e.g. Faliscans, Oscans, Umbrians), also over the course of
the early Republic, Rome takes over from the Etruscans (based in Tuscany, non-Indo-Europeans)
-Legend of Cincinnatus, elected dictator, sees off revolt of the Sabines and other tribes, then goes back to his farm
-Twelve Tables are the law code, the fasces (bundle of rods with an axe) are the symbol of the Republic, they are carried
by bodyguards known as lictors, the Senate is the legislature
-Patricians (Roman nobility who trace their ancestry to the earliest families) and plebeians (commoners) will vie for power
back and forth; plebeians can only be elected to the office of tribune, they have the right of veto
-Roman politicians eventually come to ascend power in the cursus honorum (course of honors), culminating in consul
(there were two). Other offices included aedile, quaestor (treasurer), praetor (judge), censor (morals police who counted
the population in the census) and provincial governors.
-Rome fights King Pyrrhus of Epirus, Macedonian Greek who wins costly (i.e. Pyrrhic victory) at Battle of Asculum in 279 BC
Punic Wars Against Carthage
-First Punic War (264 to 241 BC) – Rome and Carthage are both expanding, matters come to a head over control of Sicily
Rome sees early naval setback at Battle of Lipari Islands, then nearly unbroken victories, Rome takes Sardinia and Corsica
-Second Punic War (218 to 201 BC) – Hannibal invades Italy with elephants over the Alps, wins great victories over Rome
at Lake Trasimene and Cannae, but doesn’t march on Rome. Rome wears him down through Fabian tactics of Q. Fabius
Maximus. After 16 years, Hannibal retreats to Italy, loses Battle of Zama in Africa to Scipio Africanus.
-Third Punic War (149 to 146 BC) Cato the Elder is alarmed by rising Carthagian militarism, ends all his speeches by adding
“Carthage must be destroyed” Scipio Aemilianus burns Carthage to the ground in 146 BC
Macedonian Wars concurrent with Punic Wars, Rome defeats Corinth in same year as end of Third Punic War, also, Rome
defeats Antiochus III in the Roman-Syrian war (end 188 BC)
Late Republic
-Gracchus Brothers (Tiberius and Gaius) organize reforms relating to land and grain distribution in 100’s BC (both killed)
-Sulla and Marius are generals and enemies, establish pattern of army commanders overruling the Republic’s institutions
-Cicero is an orator, politician, and lawyer who prosecutes Catiline (conspirator), writes many letters to his friend Atticus,
defends traditional structure of the Republic, famous as a prose stylist, murdered on the orders of Marc Antony in 43 BC.
-Crassus is a fantastically wealthy Roman, who suppresses slave revolt led by Spartacus (gladiator from Thrace) in 71 BC,
later forms first triumvirate with Julius Caesar and Pompey, who was successful in defeating pirates and Mithridates king
of Pontus, thus adding territory to Rome in Eastern Anatolia, and in modern-day Lebanon and Israel.
-Julius Caesar invades Gaul, loses Battle of Gergovia to Vercingetorix in 52 BC, but victorious at Alesia (same year), invades
Britain, but doesn’t conquer it. Writes The Gallic Wars, then invades Italy, declaring war on Pompey by crossing the
Rubicon River with his army. Later defeats Pompey at Pharsalus in 48 BC. Pompey then sails to Egypt and is killed on
arrival. Caesar famous for quote “veni, vidi, vici” (I came, I saw, I conquered) after winning the Battle of Zela in 47 BC.
Caesar has a son with Cleopatra, also has wife Calpurnia. Murdered on Ides of March 44 BC by conspirators led by Brutus
and Cassius. Conspirators lose Battle of Philippi to Second Triumvirate forces of Lepidus, Octavian, and Antony. Antony
then becomes lover of Cleopatra & loses Battle of Actium in 31 BC. Octavian (aka Augustus) becomes 1st emperor in 27 BC
Roman Emperors (based in part on notes on ACE site, see study guide there for more info)
Julio Claudian Dynasty
27 BC-14AD, Augustus (41 year rule is the longest), began Pax Romana, reign features Maecenas’ patronage of Vergil,
who writes the Aeneid, Georgics, and Eclogues; and of Horace, who writes Odes, Ars Poetica and the maxim “Carpe diem”
14-37, Tiberius –married Augustus' daughter Julia the elder and spawned Julio-Claudian dynasty; great general, as seen in
brilliant campaigns in Pannonia, Illyria,Germania, and Rhaetia; Christ was crucified during his reign
37-41, Caligula –called "little boots" because of his early travels with his father Germanicus in military campaigns where
he wore a miniature army uniform, including boots; was basically nuts, wanted to make his horse Incitatus a consul.
41-54, Claudius – born in Lugdunum (presently Lyon); first Roman emperor born outside Italy; unknown disability, perhaps
cerebral palsy or polio; England conquered during his reign; Thrace, and Judea were also annexed, was deified after death
54-68, Nero –last of Julio-Claudian dynasty; killed his mother; considered insane; early persecutor of Christians and
blamed them for great fire; ruled during revolt led by Queen Boudicca in Britain; didn’t really play fiddle while Rome
burned (but this is a famous anecdote); made Seneca commit suicide after the failed Pisonian conspiracy against his life
69, Year of the Four Emperors – includes (in order) Galba, Otho, Vitellius, and Vespasian
Flavian Dynasty
69-79, Vespasian –construction of the Colosseum (aka Flavian Amphiteatre) ruled during tumultuous Judean revolt where
the fortress known as the Masada fell (stronghold of the Sicari sect) and temple destroyed, father of Titus and Domitian
79-81, Titus – Rome; first son of Vespasian; good general, crushed Judean revolt; showed skill in dealing with eruption of
Vesuvius during his reign; supposedly, Domitian was involved in his death.
81-96, Domitian – Rome; bad for economy; devalued Denarius (roman money); bad general; was stabbed eight times
The Five Good Emperors
1) 96-98, Nerva – Chose successor based on capabilities, this led to period of 5 good emperors; elected by senate to office
2) 98-117, Trajan – born in Spain; empire reached greatest extent under him; exceptional general; took Dacia (modern
Romania), made famous column because of it; managed to squeeze out more land around Sinai, then took Mesopotamia
3) 117-138, Hadrian – retreated from Mesopotamia, built a wall in Scotland; his wife was Pompeia Plotina; was popular
4) 138-161, Antoninus Pius – longest reign since Augustus. Also built a wall in Scotland slightly north of Hadrian’s Wall.
5) 161-177, Marcus Aurelius – last of the five good emperors; shared power with Co-ruled with Lucius Verus 161-169
Called the "philosopher emperor" or the "stoic emperor" for his stoicism and writing the work Meditations; fought many
campaigns along the Rhine against Germanic tribes including the long Marcomanni Wars
Later Emperors
Commodus – son of Aurelius, (definitely NOT a Good emperor)said to have competed in gladiator games
because he enjoyed killing (as depicted in the movie Gladiator); he was strangled to death by the wrestler Narcissus.
193-211, Septimius Severus – born in Africa, was a good general, has a large namesake arch in Roman Forum
198-217, Caracalla – granted citizenship to all roman citizens all over the empire who were not slaves; built large baths
284-305, Diocletian – born to a Dalmatian (modern Croatia) family of no distinction; secured throne after the battle of
Margus; created the tetrarchy, whereby four emperors would co-rule; led a namesake persecution of Christians, the
empires largest and last. Retired (only emperor to retire) to his villa at Split in moder-day Croatia
324-337, Constantine – his rule began after he defeated Maxentius at Battle of Milvian Bridge in 312, he “converted” to
Christianity after he saw a cross in the sky at the battle. Issued the Edict of Milan, declaring religious toleration
364-375, Valentinian I – “last great western emperor”; was the brother of Valens, who ruled in the East; was born in
Pannonia and was the son of Gratian; successfully defended the borders against Allemani and Saxon invasions
364-378, Valens – son of Gratian, brother of Valentinian; died at the battle of Adrianople against the Goths
423-455, Valentinian III – last Western emperor to reign > 2 years; defeated Huns at Battle of Chalons (451 AD)
461-476, Romulus Augustulus – the last western roman emperor; he was deposed by King Odoacer of the Ostrogoths