The Roman Empire was a spectacular polity of unprecedented scale which stretched from Scotland to Sudan and from Portugal to Persia. It survived for over 500 years in the west and 1,480 years in the east. Ruling it was a task of frightening complexity; few emperors made a good fist of it, yet thanks to dynastic connections, an efficient bureaucracy and a governing class eager to attain the kudos of holding the highest offices, it survived the mad, bad and incompetent emperors remarkably well. Although not always apparent, it was the interplay of emperors kin and family connections which also made a major contribution to controlling the empire. This book aims to put on record the known ancestry, relations and descendants of all emperors, including ephemeral ones and show connections from one dynasty to another as completely as possible, accompanied by concise biographical notes about each ruler and known facts about family members, which include Romans both famous and obscure. It also attempts to distinguish between certainty and possibility and to eliminate obvious fiction. The introduction provides a narrative lead-in to the creation of the empire, attempts to clarify the complexities of Roman genealogy and assess the sources.
List of Genealogical Tables; A Note on the Tables and Text Conventions; Acknowledgements; Preface; Introduction: From Republic to Empire; Institutions & Elites; Roman Names and Conventions; The Main Sources; Imperial Families: Prologue: Julius Caesar; I Augustus & His Dynasty I(a) The Julians; I(b) The Claudians 1; II The Flavians; II(a) The Year of the Four Emperors; II(b) The Flavian Dynasty; III The Silver Age; III(a) Nerva to Hadrian; III(b) The Antonines; IV The Severans to the Gordians; IV(a) The Year of the Five Emperors & the Severans; IV(b) Maximinus I to Gordianus III; V The Military Anarchy; V(a) The Senatorial Emperors; V(b) The First Gallic Empire; V(c) The Palmyrene Empire; V(d) The Soldier Emperors; VI The Tetrarchy and the Fourth Century; VI(a) The Tetrarchy...; VI(b) The House of Constantine; VI(c) The Valentinians and the First Theodosius; VII The Western Empire; VII(a) The House of Theodosius; VII(b) The Last Emperors of the West; VIII The Eastern Empire to 602; VIII(a) The House of Theodosius and Successors; VIII(b) The Leonine Dynasty and Anastasius; VIII(c) The House of Justinian to 602; Appendix I: Dynastic continuity: Caesar to Alexander Severus; Appendix II: Magnus Maximus in British Legend; Appendix III: A Fifteen Hundred Year Bloodline; Abbreviations; Bibliography.