// Archives

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 4 Augustus organised the imperial succession

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

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 192, the Roman emperor Commodus was murdered.

The emperor was strangled in his bath by Narcissus, a wrestler who was tasked with the deed by a small group of conspirators.

On this day in 3BC the Roman emperor Galba was born

Galba was born into an ancient and noble family, the Sulpicii, at a country villa near the town of Tarracina (around 50 miles southeast of Rome).

On this day in AD284 Diocletian became emperor

Before becoming emperor, Diocles (for this seems to have been his birth name) had been a successful leader in the military field.

On this day in AD 30, the Roman emperor Nerva was born in Narnia.

That’s the the Italian town of Narnia, in Umbria, of course.