Roman Emperors 284 B.C. Through A.D. 491

The 7 emperors who reigned between 270 and 284 AD - also known as the "barracks emperors" - (Aurelian, Tacitus, Florianus, Probus, Carus, Carinus jointly with Numerianus and Carinus alone) were all chosen by the army.  Only Numerianus who died during a march and Carus who was killed in battle died in an "ordinary" way.  The other 5 emperors were killed by their own soldiers and generals.  In an attempt to end the chaos of the "barracks emperors", emperor Diocletian (284-305 AD) established an orderly succession process and divided the power and succession into two separate empires, the East and the West halves.  The East  being the senior emperor.  As of 286 AD, Diocletian as the Eastern emperor was joined by Maximian (286-305) in the West.  Both emperors abdicated in 305 AD. Maximian was recalled in 306 AD by Galerius.  In Subsequent years, that succession rule was bitterly disputed both in the East and the West.  There were a total of 39 claimants to the imperial title between 305 AD and 474 AD and only 5 emperors (Constantine I [312-337], Constantius II [350-361], Julian [361-363], Jovian [363-364] and Theodosius I [392-395]) ruled both the East and the West.  

EAST WEST
Period Emperor Period Emperor
284-305 Diocletian 286-308 Maximian 
305-311 Galerius 305-306 Constantius I
306-307 Severus
311-324 Licinius 307-313 Maximin
312-337  Constantine I 
337-361 Constantius II 337-340 Constantine II
    340-350 Constans
350-361  Constantius II 
361-363  Julian
363-364  Jovian
364-378 Valens 364-375 Valentinian
378-392 Theodosius I 375-383 Gratian
375-392 Valentinian II
392-395  Theodosius I
395-408 Arcadius 395-423 Honorius
408-450 Theodosius 425-455 Valentinian III
450-457 Marcian 455 Petronius Maximus
455-456 Avitus
457-474 Leo I 457-461 Marjorian
461-465 Libius
467-472 Anthemius
472-473 Olybrius
473-474 Glycerius
474 Leo II 474-475 Julius Nepus
474-491 Zeno 475-476 Romulus Augustus

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Created: May, 2000
Updated: 04/07/01