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Mario Bartolini

Mario J.A. Bartolini is a retired political analyst and officer in the Canadian army reserve, with a long-held interest in Roman military history. He has a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in political history from the Université de Sherbrooke, Canada, and a second master’s degree in war studies, obtained at the Royal Military College of Canada. He lives in Ottawa. He is the author of Roman Emperors: A Guide to the Men Who Ruled the Empire


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Emperor Theodosius II welcomes the relics of St. John Chrysostom. Holy Apostles Church (Early 11th century) (Public Domain)

The Byzantine Emperors 395 – 491 AD

The Byzantine Emperors witnessed the disintegration of the western Roman Empire which did not survive past the fifth century. Contrary to the latter, the Byzantine Empire would subsist the successive...
Battle of the Milvian Bridge between the Roman Emperors Constantine I and Maxentius on 28 October 312 AD by Giulio Romano ( 1520-24). Vatican City (Public Domain)

The Constantinian Dynasty - Five Successors, One Victorious Emperor

The Tetrarchy, inaugurated in 285 AD by Emperor Diocletian, had been instituted mainly with the intent of mitigating successions tribulations such as those that had plagued the third century. But the...
Vespasian, Founder of the Flavian dynasty built the Colosseum in Rome (  rpbmedia/ Adobe Stock)

Legacy Of Vespasian Founder Of The Roman Flavian Dynasty

The death of Emperor Nero in 68 AD ended the Julio-Claudian dynasty of Roman Emperors. It also initiated a succession crisis which degenerated into a short but deadly civil war. This was the first...
Pope Leo the Great attempts to persuade Gaiseric, prince of Vandals, to abstain from sacking Rome, by Maïtre François (c. 1475) (Public Domain)

Desperate Lesser-Known Emperors Facing A Disintegrating Western Roman Empire: 455-476 AD

The assassination of Emperor Valentinian III in March 455 AD, heralded the last phase of the Western Roman Empire’s political existence. By then, large parts of its territory were either occupied by...
The Favorites of the Emperor Honorius, by John William Waterhouse (1883) (Public Domain)

The Fall Of The Western Roman Empire - A Military Perspective (405-455 AD)

In 376 AD, an alarming number of Visigoths erupted on the Danube frontier and overflowed into the northern Roman provinces of the Balkans. The recent arrival of a new invader in Eastern Europe,...
Battle Scene with a Roman Army Besieging a Large City by Juan de la Corta (17th century) (Public Domain)

Diocletian’s Utopia: The Tetrarchy Of The Roman Empire (285 – 325 AD)

When Roman General Diocletian was designated Emperor by his army in 284, he followed suit of many General-Emperors before him and engaged in war against the legitimate Emperor in place in order to...
Roman soldiers on the march and their general (vukkostic /Adobe Stock)

Third-Century Roman Empire: Revival From Chaos 270 – 285 BC

During the period designated by modern historians as the era of Roman military anarchy which lasted from 235 to 285 AD, 20 generals unconventionally elected as emperors fought and succeeded each...
Roman soldiers treachery and mutiny ( Cridmax / Adobe Stock)

A Crumbling Roman Empire: Treachery, Mutiny And Plague 250 – 270 AD

The Roman Empire during the first half of the third century AD experienced a rapid succession of no less than eight Emperors, battling the Persians in the east and the invading Goths on the northern...
Roman Emperor (CEVmemories/ Adobe Stock)

Military Anarchy Period Of The Roman Empire: Descent Into Hades 235-250 AD

Most experts today recognize that the period of the Antonine Imperial Dynasty, which lasted from 96 to 192 AD, corresponded to the zenith of the Roman Empire . Yet, just over 40 years later, the...
Hooded Roman soldier on a horse ( Ramy / Adobe Stock)

Procopius, Fourth Century AD Spy Who Became a Roman Emperor

Although its golden age had long passed, the Roman Empire was still a prosperous and militarily formidable state at the turn of the fourth century. The famed Pax Romana – the century between the...
Roma emperor walking along a colonnade (Giordano Aita/ Adobe Stock)

The Men Who Ruled The World From Rome

The history of the classical Roman State spanned more than 12 centuries. It extended from the foundation of Rome in 753 BC to the fall of the western part of the Empire in 476 AD. The rich legacy...