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Under rated emperors

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Among  Roman Emperors  Marcus Aurelius and Alexander Severus are under rated

by Historians al though they have done fairly a  good job of ruling their State.  I narrate further.

 

1.  Alexander Severus (222-235 AD) reign lasted for 13 years and Rome with its empire was largely

peaceful.  Among many contributions Alexander managed to check threat of Sassanid empire, campaigned

against Germanic tribes, did much to improve the morals and condition of people and dignity of the

State. Excessive luxury and extravagance were diminished at the imperial court and taxes reduced.  Arts,

literature and Science were encouraged.  On religion  he had an open mind. He made reforms. To sum up

his reign marks not the revival but end end of senatorial government.   For all these deeds Historians have

not rated him fairly.  

 

2.  Marcus Aurelius (121-180 AD) came from a noble family.  He was a scholar, emperor and military leader

rolled into one person.. His greatest intellectual interest was stoicism.  He went a little too far in spreading

the gospel of Stoicism. His popularity even in his young  age was unbearable to his cousin Elgabalus

who even conspired  to assassinate him but could not succeed. Most of the period of his

reign  Marcus spent on wars which he could not prevent.   Yet he was able to rule the State peacefully,

kept his subjects happy.  On law and justice  he concentrated much and even heard disputes personally. Probably Marcus may be the only emperor who faced threat of his life even before ascending the throne.

 

    Marcus collection of thoughts has been published in a book called The Meditations which is still referred

in Higher education courses.   Marcus made two blunders.  He did not check the infidelities of his wife

Faustina and making Commodus  as his successor knowing pretty well that the character of  Commodus 

is questionable and had vices.  To sum of I would say Marcus Aurelius a philosopher king a unique emperor

had a blameless character and temperate way of life but not rated highly. Whether he is aware of Christians persecution which increased in his reign or he himself directed it is debatable in my view. Had he not spent

much of his time in wars he could have become one of the greatest Roman emperor say like Augustus.

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I'm going to add Tiberius, yes it all sort of fell apart in the end. But he was the first to succeed to being emperor and it could have all gone tits up at that point but it didn't. He held it together and left the treasury very healthy. Course he'd bumped off most of his family, but hey he was good with money :)

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Hi Abhimanyu837 (are you a fan of Manchester United, by the way?) and welcome to UNRV.

 

I really hate to disagree with your very first sentence of your very first post, but it has been my experience that both Marcus Aurelius and Alexander Severus are (on balance) well regarded as emperors.  Have a listen to the History of Rome podcast (available on http://thehistoryofrome.typepad.com/, but better via iTunes).  It will take up a great deal of your spare time, but he provides a balanced view based on many sources.

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I may be a bit influenced by Robert Graves' famous novels about him, but I've always rather admired Claudius Caesar - simply staying alive through the reign of mad Caligula was an accomplishment, and despite coming to the throne in an unorthodox fashion, he managed to restore some measure of order and dignity to public life.  I'm still not sure what possessed him to make Nero his heir, though.

 

I am currently writing a book that is set during his reign and the early years of Nero.  It's challenging trying to bring ancient Rome back to life in a way that is (hopefully) true to reality but still relevant to a modern audience.

 

My second novel was set during the reigns of Tiberius and Augustus, but it centers around the character of Pontius Pilate.  It's due out May 19.

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Indianasmith I write historical fiction on Nero too, though his later years.

Could we not say Nero is underrated he did successfully negotiate a peace treaty with Parthia over the Armenia situation, undertook many great building projects (what is worse than Nero, what is better than Nero's baths), was wildly popular with the people of Rome and right across the Empire, personally helped with the relief effort after the great fire....

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From what I have seen, the primary sources on Nero are mixed on his contributions and popularity.

I'll admit, for the purpose of my storyline, the traditional version of Nero works better - but I want to give him

some more humane characteristics as well. I'm still during the reign of Claudius right now.

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I'm going to add Tiberius, yes it all sort of fell apart in the end. But he was the first to succeed to being emperor and it could have all gone tits up at that point but it didn't. He held it together and left the treasury very healthy. Course he'd bumped off most of his family, but hey he was good with mone

Interesting choice. He wasn.t particularly happy about his role as Caesar and being such a gruff no-nonsense type, soon got tired of the petty squablling of the Senate. I've always seen him as something of a misanthrope with a considerable chip on his shoulder. In any case he preferred to let Sejabus run the Imperial Houselhold and avoid having to deal with the Senate. Which was a problem because SEjanus was plotting to replace him. Once caught, Tiberius left the state in the hands of the Senate and retired to Capri. He was not well liked, and unusually for the celebrity laden Julio-Caludians, was not well liked by the lower classes because he didn't invest in games the same way that Augustus had. Tiberius didn't like such things.

 

Whilst his reign was otherwise stable, it included a period of brutal tyranny by Sejanus, the state was being left to the Senate to run, the Praetorians were amalgamated in one barracks  (which Augustus had avoided doing for obvious reasons), and as far as I can see, SPQR simply muddled on without him.

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I'm going to add Tiberius, yes it all sort of fell apart in the end. But he was the first to succeed to being emperor and it could have all gone tits up at that point but it didn't. He held it together and left the treasury very healthy. Course he'd bumped off most of his family, but hey he was good with mone

Interesting choice. He wasn.t particularly happy about his role as Caesar and being such a gruff no-nonsense type, soon got tired of the petty squablling of the Senate. I've always seen him as something of a misanthrope with a considerable chip on his shoulder. In any case he preferred to let Sejabus run the Imperial Houselhold and avoid having to deal with the Senate. Which was a problem because SEjanus was plotting to replace him. Once caught, Tiberius left the state in the hands of the Senate and retired to Capri. He was not well liked, and unusually for the celebrity laden Julio-Caludians, was not well liked by the lower classes because he didn't invest in games the same way that Augustus had. Tiberius didn't like such things.

 

Whilst his reign was otherwise stable, it included a period of brutal tyranny by Sejanus, the state was being left to the Senate to run, the Praetorians were amalgamated in one barracks  (which Augustus had avoided doing for obvious reasons), and as far as I can see, SPQR simply muddled on without him.

It was the first test for passing the power on. And it succeeded and the system held, that has to be down to the man in charge in some capacity. Hence why he's underrated.

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But the system was basically the continuation of republican politics and Tiberius opted out because he couldn't stand the pettiness of it. His retirement to Capi was a good sized portion of his reign. To be blunt, he was only too happy to let someone else run Rome - hence his mistake over assuming Sejanus as "the partner of his labours", and the consequent 'police state' Sejanus instituted to bolster his own attempt to reach the top.

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My upcoming novel, THE REDEMPTION OF PONTIUS PILATE, focuses heavily on Tiberius.  I did a fair amount of research and tried to do some justice to this complex and decidedly gloomy Emperor of Rome.  The book will be out on May 19.

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