The ancient Roman empire spanned the time period from about 145 B.C. to 476 A.D. At its peak, centered on Rome, and connected by a vast system of Roman Roads, it was one of the most extensive and powerful in all human history. Roman Legions conquered and ruled a vast region throughout northern Africa, the Middle East, and Europe.
Jesus Christ lived His entire human life under the Roman empire, the first half under Caesar Augustus (Luke 2:1), who reigned when He was born in Bethlehem, the second half under Tiberius (Luke 3:1) (a statue of Tiberius is seen in the photograph below), when He still lived at Nazareth in Galilee, before moving to Capernaum on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, until His Crucifixion at Calvary in Jerusalem.
1. Augustus (Imperator Caesar Divi Filius Augustus)
New Testament Roman Emperors
- born at Rome on September 23 63 B.C.
- died at Nola in Campania on August 19 14 A.D. at age 77 from an illness
- reigned 41 years, from 27 B.C. to 14 A.D.
- Augustus was the first Roman emperor, a grand-nephew of Julius Caesar. He reigned at the time of the birth of Jesus Christ (Luke 2:1).
2. Tiberius (Tiberius Caesar Augustus)
- born at Rome on November 16 42 B.C.
- died at Misenum on March 16 37 A.D. at age 79 from being smothered with a pillow while on his death bed from a terminal illness (he wasn't dying fast enough for his successor's liking)
- reigned 23 years, from 14 to 37 A.D.
- Tiberius was emperor at the time of the ministry and crucifixion of Jesus Christ (Luke 3:1)
3. Caligula (Gaius Caesar Augustus Germanicus)
- born at Antium (Anzio) on August 31 12 A.D.
- died at Rome on January 24 41 A.D. at age 19 from assassination
- reigned 4 years, from 37 to 41 A.D.
4. Claudius (Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus)
- born at Lugdunum on August 1 10 B.C.
- died at Rome on October 13 54 A.D. at age 64 from eating deliberately poisoned mushrooms given to him by his wife Agrippina (Nero's mother).
- reigned 13 years, from 41 to 54 A.D.
5. Nero (Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus)
- born at Antium (Anzio) on December 15 37 A.D.
- died at Rome on June 9 68 A.D. at age 31 from suicide
- reigned 14 years, from 54 to 68 A.D.
- An insane tyrant, he set the Great Fire of Rome in 64 A.D. and persecuted Christians terribly. Paul, Peter, and many thousands of others were martyred during his reign. See Nero
6. Galba (Servius Galba Imperator Caesar Augustus)
- born near Tarracina on December 24 3 B.C.
- died at Rome on January 15 69 A.D. at age 72 from assassination during a rebellion among his rivals
- reigned 1 year, from 68 to 69 A.D.
7. Otho (Imperator Marcus Otho Caesar Augustus)
- born at Ferentium on April 28 32 A.D.
- died at Brixellum on April 16 69 A.D. at age 37 from suicide
- reigned less than a year, during 69 A.D.
8. Vitellius (Aulus Vitellius Germanicus Imperator Augustus)
- born on September 7 12 A.D. (birthplace uncertain)
- died at Rome on December 20 69 A.D. at age 57 from assassination during the Flavian Revolt, his body was dumped into the Tiber River
- reigned less than a year, during 69 A.D.
9. Vespasian (Imperator Caesar Vespasianus Augustus)
- born at Falacrinae on November 17 9 A.D.
- died in Rome on June 23 79 A.D.at age 70 of illness
- reigned 10 years, from 69 to 79 A.D.
10. Titus (Imperator Titus Caesar Vespasianus Augustus)
- born at Rome on December 30 39 A.D.
- died at Aquae Cutiliae on September 13 81 A.D. at age 42 of illness, possibly malaria
- reigned 2 years, from 79 to 81 A.D.
- Before becoming emperor, he was the commander of the Roman forces that conquered Jerusalem and destroyed the Second Temple in 70 A.D. precisely as prophesied by Jesus Christ 40 years before (Matthew 24:1-2).
11. Domitian (Imperator Caesar Domitianus Augustus)
- born at Rome on October 24 51 A.D.
- died at Rome on September 18 96 A.D. at age 45 from assassination by his own household staff
- reigned 15 years, from 81 to 96 A.D.
- During Domitian's reign John was exiled on the island of Patmos where he wrote the Book of Revelation (Revelation 1:9)
Unlike the other empires (Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, Greek) that affected the course of events of The Holy Bible, the Roman empire isn't done yet. Although the ancient Roman empire "fell" long ago, it didn't die - it's going to make a big come-back. But then, so is Jesus Christ. See what The Rock Of Ages is prophesied to do with Daniel's Statue and its Feet Of Iron And Clay. Those and many other studies are available in the Prophecy section.
Fact Finder: What was the name of the Roman territorial king who tried to have Jesus Christ killed right after He was born?