Rulers of the Roman Empire Quiz

Estimated Completion Time
2 min
Rulers of the Roman Empire Quiz
Image: TMDB

About This Quiz

Dozens of men took the helm of this great empire. How much do you remember about the rulers of the Roman Empire? Test your knowledge by taking this quiz!
Domitian was emperor during which Roman Dynasty?
Flavian Dynasty
Domitian's reign in the Flavian Dynasty was marked by religious intolerance and a penchant for executions.
Severan Dynasty
Valentinian Dynasty

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Justinian I was also known as what?
Justinian II
Justinian the Great
Justinian the Great oversaw a renewed expansion of the empire and a dedication to civil law.
Justinian the Bloody

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Justinian the Great came from which type of family?
peasants
He ascended from the lowest ranks of society to become head of the empire.
royalty
lawyers

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How was Domitian assassinated?
hung
poisoned
stabbed
A man named Stephanus concealed a dagger and then stabbed Domitian to death; it was revenge for one execution too many.

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How old was Elagabalus when he rose to power?
9
14
As a 14-year-old, Elagabalus was too immature (and too evil) to be in power, and he used the throne to wreak mayhem.
64

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The rule of Elagabalus was mostly known for what?
murder
sex scandals
Sex scandals of every kind roiled his short four years in power; the people grew weary of his awful behavior and rose up to kill him.
sickness

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Which emperor is often blamed for starting the Crisis of the Third Century?
Domitian
Septimus Severus
Maximinus Thrax
Maximinus Thrax was notoriously distrustful and prone to violence, plunging his country into chaos and perhaps triggering the 50-year Crisis.

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Marcus Aurelius has what sort of legacy?
He was a great philosopher.
Aurelius was known for being a thoughtful and philosophical ruler who spent much of his time learning.
He was a vicious warrior.
He was a cruel king.

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Which emperor really did not want to be emperor?
Nerva
Tiberius
He is considered a fine military man who won many victories, but he was sullen and withdrawn as emperor, wanting nothing to do with ruling.
Claudius

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How did the reign of Diocletian end?
He was run over by a chariot.
He retired.
After two decades of successful rule, he called it a career and retired to his hobbies.
He was assassinated.

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Which emperor renamed the months of the year after himself?
Commodus
Commodus had a God complex, such as naming the months of the year after himself, and he paid for it when he was assassinated .
Trajan
Nerva

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Diocletian is known for taking away the rights of which group?
women
homosexuals
Christians
He issued hundreds of edicts against Christians and thousands were executed simply for their religious beliefs.

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The Roman Empire reached its largest territorial area under which emperor?
Constantine the Great
Trajan
Trajan not only made the empire as big as it would ever be, but he also created social support systems to improve the lives of citizens.
Vespasian

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Why did Nero supposedly set Rome on fire?
to remove slums
to rid it of plague
to make room for a palace
He supposedly wanted a massive palace compound and to make space, he simply set the city on fire.

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How long did Constantine the Great rule the empire?
3 years
13 years
30 years
Constantine was the second-longest serving emperor in the empire's history; he won many major battles and had a stable reign.

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Which emperor was assassinated?
Vespasian
Caligula
There isn't much concrete information about Caligula (in spite of his unsavory reputation) but he was indeed murdered by soldiers of the empire.
Augustus

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How many Roman emperors were assassinated?
at least 13
at least 23
With more than 23 murdered, there were probably more emperors that died from assassination than from natural causes.
at least 33

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Caligula was reportedly responsible for which heinous act?
He murdered a crowd of people for fun.
He supposedly fed live people to vicious animals out of boredom; his reputation for cruelty may be undeserved but it has become his legacy.
He purposely sickened an entire village with plague.
He set the wives of his enemies on fire.

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Which emperor may have died from carbon monoxide poisoning?
Tiberius
Jovian
Although the details are lost to history, Jovian may have died from carbon monoxide poisoning from a charcoal fire.
Augustus

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How long did Vespasian rule?
10 days
10 months
10 years
Although he ruled for a decade, very little is really known about him; he was emperor from 69 C.E. to 79 C.E.

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How did Trajan die?
a fall
cancer
stroke
The Senate pronounced him "the best ruler" for his intelligent and courageous manner; he died of a stroke in 117 C.E.

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Which emperor greatly expanded the Roman Empire in terms of geographic size?
Vitellius
Augustus
Augustus kept the peace at home and fought many imperial wars that added country after country to Rome's list of conquests.
Nero

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Why did emperor Julian die in battle against the Persians?
He forgot his armor.
In his rush to battle, he opted to leave behind his armor, a decision that proved fatal.
He taunted an enemy soldier.
He ran into a sword on accident.

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After Egyptians used a play to make fun of his criminal acts, how many people did Caracalla kill in revenge?
20000
He had at least 20,000 people killed for mocking his murderous rage; he also burned the entre city of Alexandria.
80000
100000

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For how long did Pupienus rule as emperor?
3 weeks
3 months
His brief 3-month reign left little of note other than he was chopped to pieces at the end.
3 years

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Who was the first Roman emperor to commit suicide?
Nero
Forced to confront false accusations about his rule, he chose to commit suicide instead of facing public scorn.
Titus
Hadrian

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Which emperor favored Christianity over traditional Roman beliefs?
Theodosius I
Valens
Gratian
Unlike many emperors who persecuted Christians, Gratian actually preferred the teachings of Christ.

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What affliction slowed the rise of Claudius?
He was nearly blind.
He was hard of hearing.
His hearing impairment (and limp) earned him scorn from other nobility, but he eventually ascended to the status of emperor.
He had a lisp.

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Which emperor completed the Colosseum?
Hadrian
Commodus
Titus
Titus had his two-year reign ended by a fever, but before his death he was known for finishing the still grand Colosseum.

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Licinius was executed by which other emperor?
Constantine I
Licinius was always at odds with Constantine I, who fueled a civil war against him and eventually killed him.
Vetranio
Maxentius

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