The time period after the death of Augustus was very colorful and interesting. Rome saw great development and immense entertainment. After Augustus, the next 12 emperors finished their careers the following way:

4 died peacefully
2 died by suicide
6 died by assassination

Type of Death
27 BC- 14 AD
14 AD- 37 AD
37 AD- 41 AD
41 AD- 54 AD
54- 68 AD
68- 69 AD
Jan. 69- Apr 69 AD
Apr 69- Dec 69 AD
69- 79 AD
79-81 AD
81- 96 AD
This was not a position that had a great retirement plan; there were a total of 92 Emperors from Augustus (27 BC) to Justinian II (578 AD). Out of the 92 Emperors, 41 died peacefully (one by lightning), 37 were assassinated or executed, 7 by suicide, and another 7 died in battle.

All of the assassinations did not come from the outside world. The praetorian guards were in charge of their protection. However, the guards could not protect the emperors from their own families.

Emperor Tiberious was the next ruler. He did not want to be the emperor. He knew what happened to Julius Caesar, and he knew of all the plots against Augustus. For his unwillingness to be emperor, he was able to serve 23 years as emperor.

The next emperor was a true nut. Caligula was truly insane. He was Tiberious' nephew. He also suffered from insomnia and epilepsy. To his credit he had his own mother and brother executed. On top of the numerous other crimes he committed, the last straw came when he tried to make his own horse a senator and make himself a god. For this suggestion, the senate plotted and assassinated Caligula.

Emperor Claudious was next. He was fearful of being emperor. He witnessed firsthand the anger of the senate and enemies of the emperor with the recent dead of Caligula. As a matter of fact, the senators found Claudious hiding behind curtains when they told him that he was going to be emperor. Claudious was a very looking human being. He had a constant runny nose; he foamed at the mouth, and was verbally abused as a child.

The one positive trait Claudious had been his paranoia. During his career as emperor he was able to avoid 6 assassinations and executed 35 senators. In the end he was murdered by his own wife. Agropina wished to make her son from another marriage the emperor, the boy was Nero.

Nero did not want to be emperor; he would rather be an artist, party and do his impulsive things. On his record, Nero killed 2 wives, a step brother, his mother, numerous innocent citizens, and had his male lovers castrated. In 64 AD Rome burned and the people were upset because they thought Nero had the fire set so he could build his palace. For his response, Nero blamed a new religious group, Christians. This openly started the hunting and killing of Christians in the Roman Empire.

Nero committed suicide before they could kill him. He was considered an enemy of the state. The death penalty for this was to be whipped to death. His famous last words were, "What an artist the world is losing." Nero was so bad; guards were posted outside the theaters so the people wouldn't leave. The other emperors were nowhere near as interesting as these emperors.

The last colorful emperor was Hadrian. Hadrian ruled in the early part of the 2nd century, namely around 117 AD. Hadrian was called, "The People's Emperor." When he became emperor, he had all debt burned. Slaves were usually castrated or executed, Hadrian pushed for the proper treatment. Hadrian is most famous for a wall he had built in England to push back the Celts.

Through the history of the Roman Empire, the key part was to get the support of the Praetorian Guard. If they followed you, your rule could be long. The problem was that in the later years of Rome, the man with the most money typically became the leader. Rome suffered from many poor leaders and average leaders.