Top 10 Worst Ancient Roman Emperors !

The Roman Empire has a long history that has seen many ups and downs throughout its existence and has seen many social, economic, and financial changes. More than 500 years ago, the Roman Republic survived when Augustus Caesar, in 27 BC, declared himself the first Roman emperor. The fall of Constantinople came to an end in 1453. In such an enormous political and geographical region, the Roman Empire had an enduring effect on literature, theatre, language, and religion throughout Europe.

The Empire was notorious for its autocratic Roman rulers; many were megalomaniacs who were more concerned than their subjects with their influence and welfare. They became notorious for building their monuments rather than solving national challenges and misusing Rome’s financial capital. Below is a list of the ten wickedest Roman emperors of all time:

10) Caracalla

Reign:January 28, 198 – April 8, 217
Born:April 4, 188 AD, Lugdunum
DiedApril 8 217 (aged 29) On the road between Edessa and Carrhae

Caracalla was born in France on April 4, 188 AD, and ruled with his younger brother Geta from 211 AD to 217 AD. The siblings disagreed with several problems relating to their common heritage after their father’s death. Caracalla was executing his brother’s followers, vandalizing, burning, or destroying Geta’s puppets and paintings. He offended that he would even publicly utter the name of Geta.

Its rule was well known for the Edict of Caracalla, which declared Roman citizenship and the same rights as native Romans to all free men and women in the Roman Empire. He also redirected enormous public funds to the military and raised its salaries to gain their loyalty. But, because of its avenging and sadistic aspect, Caracalla remained unpopular.


9) Septimius Severus

Reign:January 28, 198 – April 8, 217
Successor:Caracalla and Geta
Born:April 11, 145 AD, Leptis Magna, Libya
DiedFebruary 4, 211 AD, Eboracum

Septimius Severus was born in Libya on April 11, 145 AD. In 194 AD, he killed Emperor Julian and other opponents to win power. The Kingdom of Osroene as a new entity, later in that year Severus conducted a campaign along the eastern frontier. A couple of years later, Albinus defeated another throne competitor.

During his rule, he persecuted everyone, particularly Christians and Jews, whose faith varied from the standard Roman one. It implemented a draconian reading of Roman law that did not encourage the practice of any other faith. While his rule was brutal, he couldn’t subdue the people and lost power due to his acts.

Septimius Severus

8) Domitian

Reign:September 14 81 – September 18 96
Born:October 24, 51 AD, Rome, Italy
DiedSeptember 18 96 (aged 44) Rome, Italy

On September 4 AD, Domitian came to power and finished his kingdom on his murder: September 18 AD 96. The Flavian dynasty was the last. He demanded that all people obey his pagan religion and serve the roman gods, and Christians and Jews suffered under his rule.

Rumor had his brother assassinated and plotted to usurp him. He invested the capital on reconstruction and personal entertainment, such as gyms, theatre, and music, in many of Rome’s critical outlets. His nomination was a civic censor, and he was intolerant to any one of various moral characteristics. He is usually considered a ruthless and paranoid dictator.


7) Elagabalus

Reign:June 8 218 – March 11 222
Successor:Severus Alexander
Born:Roman Syria
DiedMarch 11 222 (aged 18) Rome, Italy

In 218 AD, Elagabalus arrived at the throne and was murdered in 222 AD. He was the second son of his parents in the Syrian Severan dynasty. Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus, who, before his accession, was the hereditary high priest in Emesa and generally named after the god Elagabalus, introduced the cults or baetyl to Rome.

On the east face of the hill Palatine, the holy stone of the Emesan Temple, a black conical meteorite, was installed in the temple of the Elagabalus. He was back on Roman customs and taboos throughout his reign. He humiliated and killed children and was also renowned for his sexual scandals. For just four years, he had governed, and his ruling was inefficient and brutal.

6) Honorius

Reign:January 23 393 – August 15 423
Born:September 9, 384 AD, Constantinople
DiedAugust 15, 423 AD, Ravenna, Italy

Honorius’ rule was messy and unsystematic. The Papes of Rome, whose popularity grew over his lifetime, had considerable influence on Honorius. He was very Extravagant and envious. Honorius’s rule was precarious and unpredictable, even according to the expectations of the fast collapsing western empire. His early reign was approved by his principal general, Stilicho, successively Honorius’s protector (during his childhood) and father-in-law (after the emperor became an adult).

Because of his jealousy, he alienated his most faithful subjects, and even Stilicho, one of Rome’s most qualified and skillful commanders, was hanged. His military weakness and Harnack led to the rise of the Goths, who were a major threat to the Roman Empire.


5) Diocletian

Reign:November 20 284 – April 1 286
Successor:Galerius (East), Maximian (West)
Born:Diocles December 22 243–245 Salona (Solin, Croatia)
Died:December 3 311 Aspalathos (Split, Croatia)

In 244 AD, Diocletian was born, and he died in 311 AD. Most of the plans failed as he was futile and largely overlooked that he introduced the highest price scheme to combat inflation. Diocletian divided and expanded the civil and military service of the empire and restructured the regional branches of the empire, creating the highest and most bureaucratic administration in the empire’s history.

He was ruthless in his rule. He revoked all Christians’ citizenship except when they became a heathen religion, which resulted in many being hanged. Churches have been sabotaged; sacred scripts have been openly inflamed; Christian evangelists have been imprisoned, persecuted, and put to death. Christianity posed a threat to Diocletian’s moral beliefs, which he could not accept.


4) Maximinus Thrax

Reign:March 20 235– early May 238
Successor:Gordian I and II
Born:C. 173 Thracia
Died:May 238 (aged 65) Aquileia, Italy

Maximinus Thrax was the first soldier to become an emperor and was famous for the destruction and fire of public property everywhere he went. Many of his relatives have also been assassinated, resulting in social unrest in Rome. Several historical sources characterize Maximinus, but none are modern except for the Roman History of Herodians. He was a so-called third-century barracks dictator.

His law is sometimes regarded as the start of the Third Century Crisis. Maximinus was the first emperor not to be hailed by the Senate or by the Equestrian elite. He hurt the finances of the Roman Empire on conquest into German territory.

Maximinus Thrax

3) Caligula

Reign:March 16 37 – January 24 41
Born:August 31, 12 AD, Anzio, Italy
Died:January 24 AD 41 (aged 28) Palatine Hill, Rome, Italy

After Julius Caesar, Caligula was a germanic extractor and was called Gaius Caesar. He was the Roman Empire’s third emperor. Initially, Caligula was a benevolent and prudent leader, but soon Rome’s valuable capital was wasted, and his bloodlust and potential for aggression became more and more well recognized.

He was a sadist who was pleased with the torture of others, including senators. Random executions were ordered, and many of his family members were murdered. The death of emperor Tiberius is also believed to be done by him.


2) Nero

Reign:October 13 54 – June 9 68 AD
Born:December 15 37 AD Antium, Italy
Died:June 9, 68 AD (aged 30) Outside Rome, Italy

On December 15, 37 AD, Nero was born in Italy, and his parents were named Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus. At the age of 16, AD 54, he took the throne. A large amount of capital and other valuable resources were wasted by Nero, and during his rule, several empire provinces were lost. Nero concentrated plenty of his efforts on diplomacy and commerce and the intellectual life of the empire.

As an author, guitarist and charioteer, he made public appearances. This undermined the prestige and the legitimacy of his person, position, and office in the eyes of traditionalists. His wild and empire-wide public and private works policy was financed by a revenue surge that the upper classes had greatly disgusted with. Having plotted the assassination of his mother, he put a fire on Rome to restore the city and destroy his first and second wives. He was one of the most disreputable Roman emperors.

1) Commodus

Reign:176 – December 31 192 (16 years)
Born:August 31, 161 AD, Lanuvium, Italy
Died:June 9, December 31 192 (aged 31) Rome, Italy

Commodus was born near Rome on August 31, 161 AD, and ruled with his father, Marcus Aurelius, in the early days of his reign. He was an arrogant, self-obsessed character who did little attention to Rome’s political and military affairs, other than to hunt for state affairs.

He ruled for 15 years from 177 AD and was cruel and indifferent during his reign. He had become a victim to powerless people, war veterans, and livestock. He was so consumed with himself that he renamed himself as a living Deity. He was obsessed and spent his national wealth on monuments in the empire, causing the Roman currency to become depreciated and an economic recession. He saw a civil war in his rule, and on December 31, 192 AD, he lost his life.



These Roman emperors are reminders of the worst leaders ever seen by the Roman Empire. Many of them did not demonstrate this disgusting feature when they went on to the throne for the first time. They were both known for inefficiency, mismanagement, and poor decision-making. During the reigns of the Roman emperors, several civil wars broke out, which led to the nation’s administrative and financial stability. The Empire saw the bloodshed, brutality, and intolerance of different faiths and cultures under its leadership. Their bad decision-making served as lessons on how not to rule, and the Roman Empire has grown, leaving an unforgettable legacy behind this training phase.

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