Roman and Byzantine Emperors

The English word emperor derives from Latin imperator meaning "commander".

Augustus was the first Roman Emperor, emerging from the civil wars that followed the death of his adoptive father Julius Caesar in 44 BC to become the ruler of a realm that stretched from Spain to Syria, Northern Africa to France. The two centuries that followed saw the expansion and cultural flowering of the Roman Empire and also the beginnings of its slow demise. By the end of the 4th century the empire was split into eastern and western halves, the capital of the west being Ravenna and the capital of the east being Constantinople. The Western Empire lasted for another century before being overrun by Germanic peoples and the Huns. The Eastern Empire however survived for over 1000 years.

The Byzantine Empire, as the Eastern Roman Empire was known, was one of the important cultural centers of the Middle Ages. The language spoken was Greek and most of the names of the emperors were Greek, or else Greek forms of Christian biblical names, and the title Basileus (meaning "king" in Greek) was used for the emperor. The Byzantine Empire was finally destroyed by the Turks in 1453.

NameHistorical NameYears
Gaius Julius CaesarAugustus27 BC-14
Tiberius Julius CaesarTiberius14-37
Gaius Julius Caesar GermanicusCaligula37-41
Tiberius Claudius Caesar GermanicusClaudius41-54
Nero Claudius Caesar Drusus GermanicusNero54-68
Servius Sulpicius GalbaGalba68-69
Marcus Salvius OthoOtho69
Aulus Vitellius GermanicusVitellius69
Titus Flavius VespasianusVespasian69-79
Titus Flavius VespasianusTitus79-81
Titus Flavius DomitianusDomitian81-96
Marcus Cocceius NervaNerva96-98
Marcus Ulpius Nerva TrajanusTrajan98-117
Publius Aelius HadrianusHadrian117-138
Titus Aurelius Fulvus Boionius Arrius AntoninusAntoninus Pius138-161
Lucius Aurelius VerusLucius Verus161-169
Marcus Marcus Aurelius AntoninusMarcus Aurelius161-180
Lucius Aurelius Commodus AntoninusCommodus177-192
Publius Helvius PertinaxPertinax193
Marcus Didius Severus JulianusDidius Julianus193
Lucius Septimius SeverusSeptimius Severus193-211
Lucius Septimius BassianusCaracalla198-217
Publius Septimius GetaGeta209-211
Marcus Opellius MacrinusMacrinus217-218
Sextus Varius Avitus BassianusElagabalus218-222
Marcus Aurelius Severus AlexanderAlexander Severus222-235
Gaius Julius Verus MaximinusMaximinus Thrax235-238
Marcus Antonius Gordianus Sempronianus Romanus AfricanusGordian I238
Marcus Antonius Gordianus Sempronianus Romanus AfricanusGordian II238
Decimus Caelius Calvinus BalbinusBalbinus238
Marcus Clodius Pupienus MaximusPupienus238
Marcus Antonius Gordianus PiusGordian III238-244
Marcus Julius PhilippusPhilip the Arab244-249
Gaius Messius Quintus DeciusDecius249-251
Gaius Valens Hostilianus Messius QuintusHostilian251
Gaius Vibius Trebonianus GallusTrebonianus Gallus251-253
Marcus Aemilius AemilianusAemilian253
Publius Licinius ValerianusValerian the Elder253-260
Publius Licinius Egnatius GallienusGallienus253-268
Marcus Aurelius ClaudiusClaudius II Gothicus268-270
Marcus Aurelius Claudius QuintillusQuintillus270
Lucius Domitius AurelianusAurelian270-275
Marcus Claudius TacitusTacitus275-276
Marcus Annius FlorianusFlorian276
Marcus Aurelius ProbusProbus276-282
Marcus Aurelius CarusCarus282-283
Marcus Aurelius Numerius NumerianusNumerian283-284
Marcus Aurelius CarinusCarinus283-285
Gaius Aurelius Valerius DiocletianusDiocletian284-305
Marcus Aurelius Valerius MaximianusMaximian286-305
Marcus Flavius Valerius ConstantiusConstantius I Chlorus305-306
Gaius Galerius Valerius MaximianusGalerius305-311
Flavius Valerius SeverusSeverus II306-307
Marcus Aurelius Valerius MaxentiusMaxentius306-312
Flavius Valerius Aurelius ConstantinusConstantine the Great306-337
Gaius Valerius Galerius MaximinusMaximinus II Daia311-313
Valerius Licinianus LiciniusLicinius311-324
Flavius Claudius ConstantinusConstantine II337-340
Flavius Julius ConstansConstans337-350
Flavius Julius ConstantiusConstantius II337-361
Flavius Claudius JulianusJulian the Apostate360-363
Flavius JovianusJovian363-364
Flavius ValentinianusValentinian I364-375
Flavius Julius ValensValens364-378
Flavius Flavius GratianusGratian375-383
Flavius ValentinianusValentinian II375-392
Flavius TheodosiusTheodosius the Great379-395
Flavius ArcadiusArcadius395-408
Flavius HonoriusHonorius395-423
Flavius TheodosiusTheodosius II408-450
Flavius ConstantiusConstantius III421
Flavius Placidius ValentinianusValentinian III425-455
Flavius MarcianusMarcian450-457
Flavius Petronius MaximusPetronius Maximus455
Eparchius AvitusAvitus455-456
Julius Valerius MajorianusMajorian457-461
Flavius Valerius LeoLeo I457-474
Flavius Libius Severus SerpentiusLibius Severus461-465
Procopius AnthemiusAnthemius467-472
Anicius OlybriusOlybrius472
Flavius Leo JuniorLeo II474
Julius NeposJulius Nepos474-480
Flavius ZenoZeno474-475; 476-491
Flavius BasiliscusBasiliscus475-476
Romulus AugustusRomulus Augustus475-476
Flavius AnastasiusAnastasius I491-518
Flavius JustinusJustin I518-527
Flavius Petrus Sabbatius JustinianusJustinian the Great527-565
Flavius Justinus JuniorJustin II565-578
Flavius Tiberius ConstantinusTiberius II Constantine574-582
Flavius Mauricius TiberiusMaurice582-602
Flavius PhocasPhocas602-610
Flavius HeracliusHeraclius610-641
Constantinus HeracliusHeraclonas641
Heraclius Novus ConstantinusConstantine III641
Heraclius ConstantinusConstans II641-668
ConstantinusConstantine IV668-685
Justinianus; Justinian IIJustinian II685-695; 705-711
TiberiusTiberius III698-705
Philippicus BardanesPhilippikos711-713
Artemius AnastasiusAnastasius II713-716
TheodosiusTheodosius III716-717
LeoLeo III the Isaurian717-741
ConstantinusConstantine V741-775
LeoLeo IV the Khazar775-780
ConstantinusConstantine VI780-797
Irene SarantapechainaIrene797-802
Nicephorus LogothetesNicephorus I802-811
Michael RangabeMichael I811-813
LeoLeo V the Armenian813-820
MichaelMichael II the Stammerer820-829
MichaelMichael III842-867
BasilBasil I the Macedonian867-886
LeoLeo VI the Wise886-912
Constantinus PorphyrogenitusConstantine VII913-959
Romanus LecapenusRomanus I920-944
RomanusRomanus II959-963
Nicephorus PhocasNicephorus II Phocas963-969
Johannes TzimiscesJohn I Tzimisces969-976
BasilBasil II976-1025
ConstantinusConstantine VIII1025-1028
Romanus ArgyrusRomanus III Argyrus1028-1034
MichaelMichael IV the Paphlagonian1034-1041
Michael KalaphatesMichael V1041-1042
Constantinus MonomachusConstantine IX Monomachus1042-1055
Zoe PorphyrogenitaZoe1042
Michael BringasMichael VI Stratioticus1056-1057
Isaac ComnenusIsaac I Comnenus1057-1059
Constantinus DucasConstantine X Ducas1059-1067
Romanus DiogenesRomanus IV Diogenes1067-1071
Michael DucasMichael VII Ducas1071-1078
Nicephorus BotaniatesNicephorus III Botaniates1078-1081
Alexius ComnenusAlexius I Comnenus1081-1118
Johannes ComnenusJohn II Comnenus1118-1143
Manuel ComnenusManuel I Comnenus1143-1180
Alexius ComnenusAlexius II Comnenus1180-1183
Andronicus ComnenusAndronicus I Comnenus1183-1185
Isaac Angelus; Isaac II AngelusIsaac II Angelus1185-1195; 1203-1204
Alexius AngelusAlexius III Angelus1195-1203
Alexius AngelusAlexius IV Angelus1203-1204
Alexius Ducas MurtzuphiusAlexius V Ducas1204
Theodorus Comnenus LascarisTheodore I Lascaris1205-1222
Johannes Ducas VatatzesJohn III Ducas Vatatzes1221-1254
Theodorus Ducas LascarisTheodore II Lascaris1254-1258
Johannes Ducas LascarisJohn IV Lascaris1258-1261
Michael PalaeologusMichael VIII Palaeologus1259-1282
Andronicus PalaeologusAndronicus II Palaeologus1282-1328
Michael PalaeologusMichael IX Palaeologus1293-1320
Andronicus PalaeologusAndronicus III Palaeologus1328-1341
Johannes CantacuzenusJohn VI Cantacuzenus1341-1354
Johannes Palaeologus; John V PalaeologusJohn V Palaeologus1341-1376; 1379-1390; 1390-1391
Andronicus PalaeologusAndronicus IV Palaeologus1376-1379
Johannes PalaeologusJohn VII Palaeologus1390
Manuel PalaeologusManuel II Palaeologus1391-1425
Johannes PalaeologusJohn VIII Palaeologus1425-1448
Constantinus Palaeologus DragasesConstantine XI Palaeologus1449-1453