Rulers of the Roman Empire Quiz


By: Nathan Chandler

4 Min 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?

Domitian's reign in the Flavian Dynasty was marked by religious intolerance and a penchant for executions.


Justinian I was also known as what?

Justinian the Great oversaw a renewed expansion of the empire and a dedication to civil law.


Justinian the Great came from which type of family?

He ascended from the lowest ranks of society to become head of the empire.


How was Domitian assassinated?

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


How old was Elagabalus when he rose to power?

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


The rule of Elagabalus was mostly known for what?

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.


Which emperor is often blamed for starting the Crisis of the Third Century?

Maximinus Thrax was notoriously distrustful and prone to violence, plunging his country into chaos and perhaps triggering the 50-year Crisis.


Marcus Aurelius has what sort of legacy?

Aurelius was known for being a thoughtful and philosophical ruler who spent much of his time learning.


Which emperor really did not want to be emperor?

He is considered a fine military man who won many victories, but he was sullen and withdrawn as emperor, wanting nothing to do with ruling.


How did the reign of Diocletian end?

After two decades of successful rule, he called it a career and retired to his hobbies.


Which emperor renamed the months of the year after himself?

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


Diocletian is known for taking away the rights of which group?

He issued hundreds of edicts against Christians and thousands were executed simply for their religious beliefs.


The Roman Empire reached its largest territorial area under which emperor?

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.


Why did Nero supposedly set Rome on fire?

He supposedly wanted a massive palace compound and to make space, he simply set the city on fire.


How long did Constantine the Great rule the empire?

Constantine was the second-longest serving emperor in the empire's history; he won many major battles and had a stable reign.


Which emperor was assassinated?

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


How many Roman emperors were assassinated?

With more than 23 murdered, there were probably more emperors that died from assassination than from natural causes.


Caligula was reportedly responsible for which heinous act?

He supposedly fed live people to vicious animals out of boredom; his reputation for cruelty may be undeserved but it has become his legacy.


Which emperor may have died from carbon monoxide poisoning?

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


How long did Vespasian rule?

Although he ruled for a decade, very little is really known about him; he was emperor from 69 C.E. to 79 C.E.


How did Trajan die?

The Senate pronounced him "the best ruler" for his intelligent and courageous manner; he died of a stroke in 117 C.E.


Which emperor greatly expanded the Roman Empire in terms of geographic size?

Augustus kept the peace at home and fought many imperial wars that added country after country to Rome's list of conquests.


Why did emperor Julian die in battle against the Persians?

In his rush to battle, he opted to leave behind his armor, a decision that proved fatal.


After Egyptians used a play to make fun of his criminal acts, how many people did Caracalla kill in revenge?

He had at least 20,000 people killed for mocking his murderous rage; he also burned the entre city of Alexandria.


For how long did Pupienus rule as emperor?

His brief 3-month reign left little of note other than he was chopped to pieces at the end.


Who was the first Roman emperor to commit suicide?

Forced to confront false accusations about his rule, he chose to commit suicide instead of facing public scorn.


Which emperor favored Christianity over traditional Roman beliefs?

Unlike many emperors who persecuted Christians, Gratian actually preferred the teachings of Christ.


What affliction slowed the rise of Claudius?

His hearing impairment (and limp) earned him scorn from other nobility, but he eventually ascended to the status of emperor.


Which emperor completed the Colosseum?

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


Licinius was executed by which other emperor?

Licinius was always at odds with Constantine I, who fueled a civil war against him and eventually killed him.


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