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The fate of the Emperors

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  Quote Heraclius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: The fate of the Emperors
    Posted: 23-Aug-2005 at 10:30
 To demonstrate how bored I was last night, I decided to find out the fate of Roman/Byzantine Emperors (not entirely suitable for this forum but not unsuitable so should be ok). There is a signficant number of Emperors who died in mysterious circumstances or whos fate is not known, so its entirely possible this list is not complete or totally accurate. Anyway after abit of research ive found that;

Of natural causes/disease etc

Augustus AD14 Natural causes
Tiberius AD37 Natural causes
Vespasian AD79 Natural causes
Titus AD81 Died of a fever
Nerva AD98 Natural causes/old age
Trajan AD117 Died of dropsy
Hadrian AD138 Natural causes
Antoninus Pius AD161 Died of a fever
Lucius Verus AD169 Food poisoning
Marcus Aurelius AD180 Died whilst on campaign
Septimius Severus AD211 Natural causes
Claudius II Gothicus AD270 Killed by plague
Constantius I Chlorus AD Natural causes
Galerius AD311 Natural causes
Diocletian AD313 Natural causes in retirement
Constantine I the great AD337 Natural causes
Valentinian I AD375 Burst blood vessel
Theodosius I the great AD395 Natural causes
Arcadius AD408 Natural causes
Constantius III AD421 Natural causes
Honorius AD423 Natural causes
Marcian AD457 Possibly Gangrene
Anicius Olybrius AD472 Natural causes
Leo I AD474 Dysentery
Leo II AD474 Unknown disease
Zeno AD491 Natural causes
Anastasius AD518 Natural causes
Justin I AD527 Natural causes
Justinian I the great AD565 Natural causes
Justin II AD578 Natural causes
Tiberius II Constantinus AD582 Unknown illness
Heraclius AD641 Natural causes
Constantine III AD641 Tuberculosis
Constantine IV AD685 Dysentery
Leo III the Isaurian AD741 Natural causes
Constantine V AD775 Died on campaign
Leo IV AD780 Natural causes
Theophilus AD842 Natural causes
Leo VI AD912 Natural causes
Alexander III AD913 Natural causes
Constantine VII Porphyrogenitos "The Purple-born" AD959 Natural causes
John I Tzimisces AD976 Natural causes
Basil II Bulgaroktonus The Bulgar slayer AD1025 Natural causes
Constantine VIII AD1028 Natural causes
Michael IV AD1041 Natural causes
Constantine IX AD1055 Natural causes
Michael VI Stratioticus AD1057 Natural causes
Constantine X Ducas AD1067 Natural causes
Alexius I Comnenus AD1118 Natural causes
Manual I Comnenus Megas AD1180 Died of a fever
Michael VIII Palaeologus AD1282 Natural causes
Andronicus III AD1341 Natural causes
John V Palaeologus AD1391 Naturla causes
Manual II Palaeologus AD1425 Natural causes
John VIII Palaeologus AD1448 Natural causes

55 Roman/Byzantine Emperors died of Natural cause/Diseases
 
and that

Assassination/murdered/executed

Gaius Caligula AD41 Conspiracy led by Praetorian guard officers
Claudius AD54 By Poison probably by Agrippina
Galba AD69 Murdered by Otho
Vitellius AD69 Murdered by troops of Vespasians legions
Domitian AD96 Stabbed to death by a steward
Commodus AD192 Strangled by a wrestler
Pertinax AD193 Murdered by soldiers
Didius Julianus AD193 Decapitated on the orders of Septimius Severus
Geta AD211 Murdered by Caracalla
Caracalla AD217 Assassinated by an attendant
Macrinus AD218 Executed
Diadumenian AD218 Executed by decapitation
Elagbalus AD222 Assassinated
Alexander Severus AD235 Murdered in a legionary mutiny
Maximinus Thrax AD238 Murdered by the Praetorians
Pupienus Maximus AD238 Murdered by the Praetorians
Balbinus AD238 Murdered by the Praetorians
Phillip the Arab AD249 Murdered by Decius
Gallus AD253 Murdered in a legionary mutiny
Volusianus AD253 Murdered in a legionary mutiny
Aemilianus AD253 Murdered in a legionary Mutiny
Gallienus AD268 Murdered at some point during the battle of Naissus
Aurelian AD272 Murdered by the Praetorians
Tacitus AD276 Assassinated, probably by his own soldiers
Florianus AD276 Assassinated by his own soldiers
Probus AD282 Murdered by his own soldiers
Carinus AD285 Assassinated by a tribune
Constans I AD350 Murdered by Magnentius
Gratians AD383 Murdered by rebellious generals
Valentinian III AD455 Assassinated by followers of Flavius Aetius
Petronius Maximus AD455 Killed either by rioters or a roman soldier
Anthemius AD472 Executed by Ricimir
Julius Nepos AD480 Murdered by his own soldiers
Maurice I AD602 Murdered during a munity by mercenaries
Phocas the tyrant AD610 Executed by Hearclius personally and beheaded
Constans II AD668 Assassinated by his chamberlain
Leontius AD705 Executed by Justinian II
Tiberius III AD705 Executed by orders of Justinian II
Justinian II Rhinotmetus AD711 Executed during a rebellion
Leo V The Armenian AD820 Assassinated
Michael III AD867 Assassinated by Basil the Macedonian
Nicephorus II Phocas AD969 Assassinated by John Tzimisces
Romanus III AD1034 Assassinated, possibly by his wife via poison
Alexius II Comnenus AD1183 Murdered by strangulated with a bow string on the orders of Andronicus Comnenus


43 Emperors died from Assassination/murder/execution
 

 I was actually quite stunned that significantly less Emperors were murdered etc than died naturally, however if you add the number who were;

Deposed/blinded/abdication/exiled/mutilation/imprisoned/tort ured

Diocletian AD305 Voluntary abidication
Maximian AD305-308 Forced abdication-abdicated a 2nd time
Licinius AD324 Abdicated and later executed by orders of Constantine the great
Majorian AD461 Forced abdication by Ricimir
Glyerius AD474 Forced abdication by Julius Nepos
Julius Nepos AD475 Fled and Emperor in exile unilt AD480
Romulas Augustus AD476 Deposed by Odoacer
Heracleonas AD641 Deposed and mutilated
Justinian II Rhinotmetus AD695 Deposed, mutilated and went into exile
Leontius AD696 Deposed imprisoned and mutilated by Tiberius III
Tiberius III AD705 Deposed by Justinian II
Philippicus Bardanes AD713 Deposed and blinded by 2 of his generals
Anastasius II AD715 Deposed by Theodosius III
Theodosius III AD717 Abdicated
Constantine VI AD797 Deposed and blinded dying from his wounds
Stauracius AD811 Deposed by Michael  Rhangabes
Michael I Rhangabes AD813 Deposed
Romanus I AD944 Deposed by his sons
Michael V Calaphates AD1042 Deposed in a revolt and blinded
Michael VI Stratioticus AD1057 Deposed by rebels
Isaac I Comnenus AD1059 Abdicated through illness
Romanus IV Diogenes AD1071 Deposed and blinded
Michael VII Ducas AD1078 Abdicated during a revolt
Nicephorus III AD1081 Deposed by Alexius Comnenus
Andronicus I Comnenus AD1185 Deposed and tortured
Isaac II Angelus AD1195 Deposed blinded and imprisoned by Alexius Angelus
Alexius III AD1203 Deposed
Alexius IV Angelus AD1204 Deposed by Alexius Murtzouphlos
Alexius V Murtzouphlos AD1204 Fled (deposed) and later blinded
Andronicus II Palaeologus AD1328 Abdicated
John VI Cantacuzenus AD1354 Abdicated the throne
John V Palaeologus AD 1376-1390 Deposed by Andronicus Palaeologus and then John Palaeologus
Andronicus IV Palaeologus AD1379 Partially blinded by John V and later deposed and totally blinded


33 Roman/Byzantine Emperors

 I havent included claimants to the throne or wannabe Emperors and havent bothered doing one for accidental death and other less important fates as of yet.Again any Emperor who died under circumstances that arent entirely clear has been excluded. Also its gets very confusing on who to include in these lists when it comes to joint Emperorship and temporary Emperors etc.


 The area around 1204 was incredibly confusing more Alexius' than I care to see in a few sentences and the area around John V etc is also abit confusing so I may have missed someone or something daft like that.
 

 So 76 to 55. In the end not to suprising  gee I was really bored



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  Quote Nagyfejedelem Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Aug-2005 at 14:50

76 to 55. To be emperor was a dangerous position...

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  Quote Nagyfejedelem Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Aug-2005 at 14:55

Heraclius:

Heracleonas in on other name of Heraclius or maybe his relative?

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  Quote Heraclius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Aug-2005 at 16:41

 Heracleonas was Heraclius' son who ruled after Constantine III, but died in the same year as both Constantine and Heraclius, who all died within months of each other unfortunately.

 Yes to be Emperor was a very dangerous position at some points, what baffles is me is how they kept finding people willing to be Emperor

"Alexander Severus AD235 Murdered in a legionary mutiny>>
Maximinus Thrax AD238 Murdered by the Praetorians>>
Pupienus Maximus AD238 Murdered by the Praetorians>>
Balbinus AD238 Murdered by the Praetorians>>

Phillip the Arab AD249 Murdered by Decius>>
Gallus AD253 Murdered in a legionary mutiny>>
Volusianus AD253 Murdered in a legionary mutiny>>
Aemilianus AD253 Murdered in a legionary Mutiny>>"

 2 occasions when there were 3 emperors in 1 year all having been killed during mutinys or by their own guards  sucks to be the Emperor. Not to mention the already famous "year of 4 emperors".



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  Quote Komnenos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Aug-2005 at 17:58
Brilliant work!

If you got a minute you should make a list of East- Roman Emperors whose noses were slit, after they had been forced off their thrones by their successors. Another favourite custom of Byzantine politics.
Or one of Emperors' male offsprings been castrated after their fathers had been deposed.

Wasn't life exiting in those days? These days we have boring general elections to get rid of our rulers.

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  Quote Heraclius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Aug-2005 at 18:13

 Thanks Komnenos

 It shouldnt be hard to find out how many Eastern Emperors had their noses slit, however the offspring of Emperors whos noses were slit so they couldnt ascend to the throne one day would be very hard as the numbers involved there names etc isnt usually easy to find.

 One thing, the slitting of the nose was used as a way of preventing somebody ascending to the throne, yet Justinian II's nose was slit yet he retook the throne, does that mean from then on, it no longer excluded people whos noses had be slit, or was it just a one off?



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  Quote Komnenos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Aug-2005 at 18:45
I have read somewhere that after Justinian II's return to power the good old habit was abandoned and blinding was adopted as the safer option.
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  Quote Heraclius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Aug-2005 at 19:19

 Im sure the slitting of the nose was pretty damn painful, but im sure blinding was infinitely worse *shudders* wouldnt wish that on anybody.

 The list of Emperors who had their noses slit is quite small and is as follows;

Heracleonas AD641 had his nose slit during a rebellion>>>

Heraclius and Tiberius AD684 the brothers of Constantine IV had been crowned with him by popular demand, Constantine had them mutilated (almost certainly by slitting their noses) to ensure they could never rule outright. >>

Justinian II AD695 had his nose slit by Leontius>>

Leontius II AD698 Mutilated by Tiberius (again probably by slitting of the nose)>>

 After that as you pointed out Komnenos blinding became the usual way of dealing with Emperors so they could never again rule. Its possible 1 or 2 co-emperors or whatever had their noses slit after this period, but I think the vast majority were just blinded.

 



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  Quote Constantine XI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Aug-2005 at 22:46
A very nice list, and one which would have taken you a while to compile. But I notice a few Emperors missing and that you omitted the category of suicide. I don't see Otho or Nero in that list, both of whom committed suicide. I also notice some missing who are hard to categorise owing to the uncertainty about their actual death, such as Romanus II. Good job on such an extensive work though.
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  Quote ill_teknique Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Aug-2005 at 16:52
Thanks to your boredom you've accomplished to write a pretty intersting list. lol.
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  Quote Heraclius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Aug-2005 at 17:28

 Thanks guys  my hours of tedious and mind-numbing work seems to have been worthwhile

 Yeah I started a suicide list, but it was getting late so I decided the assassinations etc were more important to the list aswell as being more numerous. Hopefully of the catagories I have done, there is nobody missing.

 I intend to compile a list for all the lesser things like accidental death, there seems to be a few major names who died as a result of a hunting accident for example, Basil I and John II come to mind. Therefore I'll eventually have a reference to the deaths of every single Emperor.

 I decided to exclude any Emperor whos death is not entirely certain, so there will be a few missing who may generally be believed to have died one way when infact its open to debate. I'll get around to it in the end and ill update my posts as I update the lists.

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  Quote Spartakus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Aug-2005 at 17:33
You should get bored much often....
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--- Joseph Alexandrovitch Brodsky, 1991, Russian-American poet, b. St. Petersburg and exiled 1972 (1940-1996)
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  Quote Constantine XI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Aug-2005 at 01:13
Perhaps include a category "death uncertain/conflicting accounts of"for these rulers. Thee are quite a few whose death is not certain.John Tzimeces comes to mind also, Romanus III is likely to have been poisoned but we are not100% sure. The list might be quite extensive for this category.
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  Quote Constantine XI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Aug-2005 at 01:14
Oh, I know this is a list of Roman/Byzantine EMPERORS, but shall we make the single exception that can be justified and add Irene in also?
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  Quote Heraclius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Aug-2005 at 09:41
 I dont see why not, once the Emperor side of things has been done, I dont see why the Empresses shouldnt be included and not just ones who simply reigned as regent for a child Emperor etc. Probably be abit difficult to dtermine the cause of death of so many Empresses as the vast majority are obviously not as largely publicised as the Emperor.
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  Quote Constantine XI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Aug-2005 at 19:15

Yes for alot we won't know what happened to them. But Byzantium in particular has the most fascinating list of female rulers in history IMO. Who can compare to the likes of Theodora, Irene, Theophano ad Anna Comnena (who didn't become Empress though).

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  Quote Heraclius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Aug-2005 at 19:27

 Ive gotten myself preoccupied with another thing im putting together at the moment, an anaylsis of the Carthaginian mercenary army, i'm trying to illustrate that a mercenary army need not be a necessarily poor one when confronted by a non-mercenary army. I find Carthages mercenary army more interesting than Byzantiums for some reason.

 Anyway, yeah its interesting how many women became so prominent and influential in the empire, but then thats something Byzantium seems to have inherited from Rome, where strong women were common be it an Emperor's mother or wife or even daughter. Seldom a happy ending though.

 

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  Quote Constantine XI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Aug-2005 at 19:44

They have always been slighted as poisoners and schemers too. Thanks Tacitus for your Annals. The heritage goes right back to the first Empress: Livia.

I will agree a mercenary army can overcome a non-mercenary army, but when you have leaders like the Barcas in charge it will generally do well. Hannibal was really only able to overcome the inherent downsides of the mercenaries (disloyalty, fickleness, greed, indiscipline, treachery) by being cruel, having a powerful personality, and being able to deliver the loot-laden conquests which keep mercenary forces onside.

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  Quote Heraclius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Aug-2005 at 19:54

 Agrippina is another powerful woman, but again her fate wasnt particularly pleasant. Bah! didnt like her anyway

 Yes one underlining characteristic of a mercenary army is aslong as things are going well you can pretty much rely on them, once things get really bad if your the general run for your life .

 However it is worth mentioning though, how many times did the professional ranks of the legions revolt? I mean Roman history is littered with rebellions from the legions, non mercenaries. It seems to me loyalty is really not much worse in a mercenary army as in a professional one, as when things go bad loyalty dissolves whether its a mercenary one or not, unless theres inspired leadership like Hannibals.

 

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