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PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2005 1:28 am
by Q Valerius
most capable emporer would easily be Augustus, with Constantine running a close second. However, my favorite emporer would be Marcus Aurelius.

PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 2:05 am
by Tarquinius Dionysius
Most capable: Augustus. Quite simply one of the most brilliant and influential politicians in the history of the western world.

My favourite: Probably Tiberius. The man is a complete tragedy, and never ceases to fascinate me.

Most entertaining: Heliogabalus, without a doubt. :D

De Augustiis

PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 12:52 am
by Valerius Claudius Iohanes
Salvete, Quirites -

I agree - I think that Augustus was the most capable, the most all-round effective emperor, and the one who left the greatest achievement - the empire itself.

Others who were successful and are on my own "good emperors" list -
Tiberius (for the common-man attitude shown at times in his reign), Claudius (of course), Vespasianus (a down-to-earth, sensible, even self-mocking tyrant!), Traianus, Hadrianus, M. Aurelius, Claudius Gothicus, Diocletianus, Constantinus.

I also add these two, who were not as successful, but who were (as I see it) "right emperors": Nerva and Julian Apostate.

Valete, amici.

PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 1:07 pm
by Gnaeus Dionysius Draco
Salve mi Valeri,

It's hard to judge Nerva, of course, but reading up about him, it seems his reign was a financial disaster.

I would judge Augustus's only weakness as the one that eventually undid the Empire (or was, I think) his neglect for establishing a clear-cut system for succession. The five Boni briefly broke this cycle, but it didn't last because Marcus Aurelius also made the fatal error to make Commodus his successor.

Vale bene,

Les Empereurs

PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 7:08 pm
by Valerius Claudius Iohanes
Salve, Draco Clarissime -

[I know - my penchant for superlatives is absurd and probably irritating! But it's part of the general fun of language, I'm afraid.]

Yes, Nerva's reign was NOT a successful one, so he's not on my list of "Most Capable". His balanced budget notions were properly Cato-like, but impractical in social, PR and political terms. Moreover, as I recall (I have to go back to an authority and get my recollections straight) he took an oath never to execute members of the Senate, quite unlike most of the emperors, as it seems to me.

And it was he, as I recall, who first got the adoptive principle of succession going, which is the closest the imperials ever got to fixing Augustus's omission of a hard, dependable succession system. That may have been his greatest contribution, since that was used successfully by his immediate successors. It wasn't original, adoption being a norm in Roman politics, but it was a step away from Caligula and Nero and Domitian, and so on, and back toward good sense. I'm still amazed (I know that, given human nature, I shouldn't be) that for all the effort and dedication and civic-minded philosophy of the Roman elite, creating a binding, elective succession proved so hard to do.

So Nerva's efforts and ideas were impractical, but still seem to me to have been right ideas, and so I put him on my list along with Julian.

Tibique, ut bene valeas.

Re: Les Empereurs

PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2007 4:55 am
by Tarquinius Dionysius
Valerius Claudius Iohanes wrote:Moreover, as I recall (I have to go back to an authority and get my recollections straight) he took an oath never to execute members of the Senate, quite unlike most of the emperors, as it seems to me.

Indeed he did (Dio, 68.2.3), but this should not be a surprise considering he owed his accession to the Senate in the first place. But while I'm wondering about it, wasn't Nerva really the only man in Roman history to have been proclaimed emperor solely on the initiative of the Senate? I think you could very nearly call it a democratic election. :)

Nerva and the Senate

PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2007 1:50 am
by Valerius Claudius Iohanes
Salve, Tarquinii Dionysii -

I thought there were others, but apparently not. It seems Nerva was the only emperor the Senate itself elected. Every emperor else that I seemed to remember being elevated to his station by the Senate - the Gordians, Pupienus, Balbinus - was, in fact, merely confirmed by the Senate after he had already announced his claim.

Interesting that the Senate could never actually get a hold of any of the military power that the various contestant generals enjoyed. But they were a kind of figurehead pool, by that time, and I guess each emperor would have jealously avoided any initiatives of theirs that could have afforded the senators direct military power.

Vale bene.

PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2007 1:13 pm
by Tarquinius Dionysius
Btw, I finished my Wikipedia article on Nerva yesterday. Feel free to check it out: :)

De Nerva

PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 2:24 am
by Valerius Claudius Iohanes
Id certe faciam.

Gratias pro notitia. Vale maxime.

PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 3:59 pm
by Gaius Iulius Tabernarius
Augustus, for the first "emperor" of Rome he had a healthy respect for the senate and did much to preserve it.

plus he established peace and prosperity after decades of civil strife and war. I also have a personal attachment to him because he was from a minor family without much fame or political clout.

In all he was a well rounded politician administrator and a responsible head of state. Hard to believe that he was related to Nero and Caligula.