Thursday, October 14, 2010

Julio-Claudian Emperors-Worlds Most Famous Dysfunctional Family

Augustus-an excellent emperor, but bad luck to be his chosen successor or his child. Lucius Caesar, Gaius Caesar, Drusus Germanicus and Agrippa Postumus were all seen as possible successors and all died before Augustus, his only daughter was banished. Only his adopted son Tiberius (son of Livia,the last wife of Augustus) survived this honor.  Augustus died of old age (or did he?). Emperor 27 BCE-14 CE

Tiberius-executed multiple family members for suspected treason as well as several thousand Roman citizens, was murdered by his adopted son. Emperor 14-37 CE

Gaius (Caligula) the first Mad Emperor-killed his adopted father (Tiberius) and his own adopted successor,Gemellus. Caligula was a brutal ruler whose paranoia led him to kill indiscriminately. Thousands were killed at his whim. He spent treasury money lavishly on personal pleasures to the point of bankrupting the Empire. He was murdered by his own guards. Emperor 37-41 CE

Claudius enjoyed gladiator games to excess, the first massive bloodletting games were instituted by him. He executed one wife, Messalina, and was poisoned by his next wife, Agrippina.
Emperor 41-54 CE

Nero-the emperor who wanted to be an actor. Emptied the treasury with his lavish life style and his "Golden Palace." He posioned his brother Britanicus (son of Claudius), had his mother Agrippina killed, executed his wife Octavia (daughter of Claudius) and murdered his pregnant wife Poppaea.  After fourteen years of his bloody rulership, the Senate declared him an enemy of the state, Nero then committed suicide, he was only thirty years old. Emperor 54-68 CE

With Nero's death the Julio-Claudian dynasty died, there were no direct family members left they had exterminated themselves!

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