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On this day in AD 31 the Praetorian Prefect Sejanus was executed.

Sejanus rose to power and great influence as the prefect of the Praetorians, the imperial bodyguard, under the emperor Tiberius.

On this day in AD 54, the Roman emperor Claudius died at Rome

Tradition holds the Praetorian guard made him emperor when they found him quivering behind a curtain, reasoning that he wouldn’t be too ruthless in power.

On this day in AD79 Mount Vesuvius erupted, destroying the towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum

On the day that an earthquake rocks central Italy, two thousand years ago Vesuvius shattered countless ancient lives.

On this day in AD 117, the Roman emperor Trajan died

Trajan was proverbially so well-liked that in the later empire, new emperors would be enjoined to “be more fortunate than Augustus and better than Trajan”.

On this day in AD 4 Augustus organised the imperial succession

Tiberius was very much Augustus’ reserve choice for the succession…

On this day in 43 BC the battle of Mutina was fought between Mark Antony and Octavian.

Text by Harry Tanton Image by Sarah Jordan Following the assassination of Julius Caesar in March 44 BC, Antony had assumed the leadership of the Caesarean party due to his friendship with the dictator. But he was directly challenged for this position by Octavian, who had been adopted by Caesar in his will and became …

On this day in AD 69 the Roman emperor, Otho, died by his own hand in Rome

Text by Mike Welbourn He was born Marcus Salvius Otho at Ferentium (modern-day Ferento) in Etruria on 28 April, 32. His family was one of the leading clans of the town and were apparently descendents of Etruscan royalty. Otho’s father, Lucius, seems to have been a courtier and close ally of both Tiberius and Claudius. …

On this day in AD 193 the Roman emperor Pertinax was assassinated at Rome

Text by Benedict Segal Publius Helvius Pertinax was born at Alba Pompeia in Liguria on 1 August, 126 the son of Helvius Successus, a man of humble origins who may have been a freedman. His mother’s identity is unknown. Pertinax received a basic Roman education, which led him initially to become a teacher before joining …

On this day in AD 4, Gaius (Julius) Caesar died in the province of Lycia, aged 23 or 24.

Text by Harry Tanton Image by Mint Imperials Gaius was the eldest son of Augustus’ close friend and loyal ally, Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, and the emperor’s only daughter, Julia the Elder. He was born in Rome in 20 BC. Lacking a biological male heir, in 17 BC when Gaius was only three years old, Augustus …

On this day in AD133 the emperor Didius Julianus was born

Julianus is an intriguing individual, and his journey to becoming emperor was a controversial one.