Rome and Her Caesars In the First Century
Augustus – 27 BC-14 AD
Founder of the Roman Empire in 27 BC. Jesus is born during his reign; the month of “August” is named after him. Dies by means of assisted suicide in 14 AD.
Tiberius – 14-37 AD
Stepson of Augustus; known to be cruel and immoral; the ministry of Jesus and John the Baptist take place during his reign
Caligula – 37-41 AD
He is the nephew of Tiberius; also known as Gaius Caesar; kills men at his whim; murdered by his own bodyguards (The Praetorian Guard) in 41 AD
Claudius I – 41-54 AD
The uncle of Caligula; Paul’s early ministry ocurs during his reign (Acts 11:8). Begins the conquest of Britain in 43 AD. Poisoned by his niece (who is also his third wife) in 54 AD. This woman is Agrippina II, Caligula’s sister. She has a son by a previous marriage named Nero and wants this son to be Caesar. Claudius agrees, but later vacillates, so she kills Claudius by feeding him a dinner of poisoned mushrooms
Nero – 54-68 AD
His full name is LUCIUS DOMITIUS AHENOBARBUS; Nero becomes emperor after Claudius is murdered.. He begins to reign at age 16 and becomes cruel as he grows older. Early in his career, Nero lives with a woman named Statilia Messalina and later has her husband assassinated. He eventually marries her.
Nero has his wife killed in 59 AD. He has his own mother, Agrippina II, killed that same year in order to please another woman named Poppaea, who is a Roman official’s wife. Nero kills Poppaea by kicking her while she is pregnant. Nero later proposes to Antonia, his adopted sister, but she refuses him so he orders her execution.
When Paul appeals to Caesar in Acts 25:8, the Caesar is probably Nero (Acts 28:19).
During Nero’s reign, war breaks out between the Romans and the Jews. H started the great fire in Rome in 64 AD in hopes of designing and rebuilding the city. He blames the Christians for it.In 65 AD, Nero kills many Roman officials, either by execution or by driving them to commit suicide. Nero takes his own life on June 9, 68 AD.
Galba – 68-69 AD
Reigns 7 months; notoriously cruel; assassinated January 69.
Otho – 69 AD
Reigns January-April 69; Commits suicide at age 36
Vitellius – 69 AD
Reigns 8 monoths; executed in December
Vespasian – 69-79 AD
Reigns more than a decade; dies of natural causes.
During his reign, the Jews revolt, eventuating in the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD by Titus,his son, who becomes the next Caesar.
Titus – 79-81 AD
Son of Vespasian. He is most noted for completing The Flavian Ampitheatre (The Colosseum) in 80 AD, which his father had begun to construct a decade earlier when emperor.
Titus hated the Jews and was determined to end Judiasm as a religion and “kill their God.” During his father’s reign, TItus had sacked Jerusalem, burned the Temple, and killed over a million people, most of which were Jews. He was revered as a Roman Emperor and known for his generosity. In the Jewish world, however, he is remembered as “Titus the Wicked.”
Domitian – 81-96 AD
The younger brother of TItus. A great persecution of Christians takes place under the rule of Domitian, during which time John the Beloved is banished to the Island of Patmos and writes The Book of Revelation. He is assassinated in 96 AD
Dies of natural causes in 98 AD, after a reign of 15 months.
Adopted son of Nerva 98-117 AD
End of The Roman Empire 476 AD
A Few Key Dates Concerning Rome
753 BC – Rome founded by Romulus (ruled from 753-714)
700 BC – Etruscans seize Rome
566 BC – First census taken (84,700)
500 BC – Rome falls into obscurity
510 BC – Rome becomes a Republic
433 BC – Temple of Apollo dedicated
400 BC – First public banquet of the gods
390 BC – Rome burnt by the Gauls
265 BC – Rome controls peninsular Italy
350-27 BC – Age of expansion
27 BC-68 BC – Julio-Claudian dynasty
63 BC – Pompey added Palestine to Roman empire; Julius Caesar fought Pompey and made himself dictator.
55 BC – Rome invades Britain
44 BC – Julius Caesar is assassinated by Brutus and Cassius.
64 – Rome burnt by Nero
c65 – Paul beheaded in Rome
75 – Temple of Peace dedicated
131-135 – War with the Jews
274 – Temple of the Sun founded
312 – Constantine establishes Christianity as the official religion of Rome
360 – Julian rejects Christianity as the official religion
364 – Rome divided into Eastern and Western empires
410 – Rome sacked by the Goths
600 – Rome reaches its lowest point
728 – Rome comes under the sovereignty of the Pope
800 – Pope Leo III creates Holy Roman Empire under Charlemagne
1424 – Romans revolt against the Pope
1798 – Pope is deprived of his temporal powers
2000+ Rome stands in mute testimony to prove the Church Jesus founded is forever independent of dead rituals.