studies of the period I found it was very useful
to start with a timeline of the events. However,
I found that no such timeline existed, or those
that did exist either did not cover my period of
choice or concentrated on other affairs. So I
decided to make my own.
The Timeline is
cut into 4 parts for the sake of convenience:
I've left out the
religious events, which surely had their
influences on the political events, but the pages
would be too long if I had included them. I did
however add a few natural disasters.
notice: everyone who wants to use this
document, please do so. The only thing I want in
return is that you give me credit for my hard
work! (The map below is from Wikipedia)
Roman Empire from 510 BC to 480 AD
The period of this timeline is arbitrarely, it
represents what I personally consider to be
roughly the Late Roman period. The sharp break of
250 AD as the start of that period, as well as
the break at 550 as the start of the Byzantine
period, is made purely for the sake of
convenience. I could have chosen the first
soldier-Emperor, or the death of Justinian, but I
consider those (though more pleasing as they
might be) no less artificial than the dates
The Emperors in
this timeline are not distinguished from the
usurpers, all are shown in the left column. Some
usurpers were recognised but still died as
usurpers (Magnus Maximus is one), some were
recognised and are now accepted as legitimate (such
as in the case of Constantine the Great). I
therefore chose not to make any distinction
between those emperors elevated by the Senate,
their father or by a bunch of soldiers, all are
I did not include
Caesars or Empresses. I did however, especially
towards the end of the 4th century and after,
include the power brokers behind the throne, but
between brackets and without any regnal years.
||The regnal years of each
ruler may differ in sources and are open to
discussion. I based them in a number of sources
and used the dates most agreed upon.
The events covered in this timeline are mainly
military and political.
Emperors (and unsuccessful usurpers
alike) are given with years in the left columns,
making no difference between legitimity nor the
Eastern or Western halves of the Empire.
The right-hand columns show the year and the
major political and military events, if possible
with the actual date. Some dates may be disputed
because they cannot be known with complete
certainty. About some dates the available sources
differ of opinion. Ancient place names are given
in italics with (if possible) the modern
versions between brackets.
I have included a
table of consuls because in Antiquity, consular
years were used in historical sources as a means
of reference. Years did not have numbers but
referred either to the regnal year of the emperor
or to the annual magistrates -- "the year
when x and y were consul", the basis of
marking time in the Fasti Capitolini. Under the Empire, two
consuls were appointed for a year, and the
emperor or his family were often consuls for
several years in succession. During the
Tetrarchy and the Dominate the position of consul
became honorary and temporary, and consuls
sometimes did not bother to take up office, some
leaving office after only a few weeks. Their
office was then taken by suffecti, with the year
being referred to as "the first year after
so-and-so was consul". During some years
there was just one consul, or none at all.
first introduced a specific consul for the West
and the two consuls were gradually split anyway
between Rome and Constantinople.
The names are
mostly from the fith century list by Victorius of Aquitaine. Victorinus published this
Easter Table in 457 AD, but it was later extended
to the year 559 AD (or Anno Passio 532, hence the
name, Cursus Paschalis annorum DXXXII). I
have used the names from this list as Mommsen
edited them, including those after 457 until 541,
when the emended Victorian list continues but
after which the consulate in the East was merged
with imperial titles. I have emended the entries
between the years AD 276 and AD 345, because the
consuls named by Victorius are one year off with
the consuls named in the 'Chronochraphy of 354' (also named 'Calendar of
354'), a 4th century illuminated manuscript,
which was produced in 354 AD for a wealthy Roman
Christian named Valentius. This MS contains (part
VIII) a list of Roman consuls up to 354 AD.
All names are
given in the ablative case: e.g. "Sergius"
is given as "Sergio". This is
because the formula is the ablative absolute
"Limenio et Catulino (consulibus)" =
"when Limenius and Catulinus were consuls".
For a full list of names and annotations looke here.