Pax Romana Timeline Timeline
Timeline Description: Pax Romana, Latin for “Roman Peace,” was a period of peace and minimal military expansion in the Roman Empire during the 1st and 2nd centuries CE. The period spanned approximately 206 years, from 27 BCE to 180 AD. It is largely considered the “golden age” in Rome.

Date Event
September 23, 63 BC Octavian born.

Octavian is born to Atia, the niece of Julius Caesar.
September 2, 31 BC Pax Romana begins.

Octavian defeats Mark Antony in the Battle of Actium. Octavian becomes “princips,” or “First Captain.” The age of peace and prosperity in Rome begins.
29 BC Gates of Janus are closed(29 and 25 BC).

The Temple of Janus contained two sets of doors, one in the front and one in the back. During times of war, the doors remained open. During times of peace, however, the doors were closed. Octavian closed the doors twice during his reign to symbolize world peace.
13 BC Ara Pacis ceremony.

In another display of peace, an altar in Rome is dedicated to Peace, the Roman Goddess. It is Octavian’s third public display of peace.
27 BC Octavian receives holy title.

The Roman Senate bestowed the holy title of Augustus upon Octavian. From there on, Octavian is known simply as Augustus as he ruled for 41 years. Augustus is largely responsible for laying the groundwork for the subsequent peace enjoyed in Rome for many years.
14 AD Augustus dies.

Augustus dies and is succeeded by his stepson, Tiberius. This marks the beginning of the Julio-Claudian dynasty age, which lasted from 14 – 69 AD. Tiberius rules with an iron fist and persecutes many he believes to be traitors.
37 AD Tiberius dies.

Tiberius dies and is succeeded by his grandnephew, Gaius (also known as Caligula). Caligula was likely insane, as evidenced by the many absurd actions he ordered.
41 AD Caligula dies.

Caligula is assassinated, and is succeeded by Claudius. Roma prospered under Claudius, who improved the country’s bureaucracy and relationships between the government and the people.
54 AD Claudius dies.

Claudius dies and is replaced by Nero, the son of Claudius’ wife Agrippina. Nero was a mere 16 years old when he took power. Although Nero was a strong patron of the arts and improved the country’s art scene; he was also very antagonistic with the wealthy, which led to a great deal of civil opposition.
68 AD Nero dies.

Nero commits suicide and a year of civil war begins. This period of time is also known as the Year of the Four Emperors, as Rome saw four different men rise to power, the last of which was Vespasian.
69 AD Vespasian becomes ruler.

Vespasian rises to power and the Flavian dynasty (which lasts until 96 CE) begins. Vespasian is responsible for commissioning the Roman Colosseum. He also liberated Rome from the financial burdens resulting from Nero’s rule.
79 AD Vespasian dies.

Vespasian dies and is succeeded by his son Titus. This period of time is marked by catastrophe: Mount Vesuvius’ eruption in Pompei in 79 and a fire the destroyed much of Rome in 80.
81 AD Titus dies.

Titus dies of an unknown illness and is succeeded by his brother Domitian, who was considered a disaster as an administrator.
96 AD Domitian dies.

Domitian is murdered and succeeded by Nerva. Despite Nerva’s reputation has being fiscally sound, he is murdered a short time after taking office. His death marks the beginning of the Five Good Emperors age (which lasted until 180).
96 AD Marcus Coccsius Nerva takes over command.

He is a popular ruler and governs during a period of prosperity in Rome.
98 AD Nerva dies.

Nerva dies and is succeeded by Trajan, who rules with military might.
117 AD Trajan dies.

Trajan dies of a stroke and is succeeded by Hadrian, whose focus is peace and defensive military action. Hadrian is known as a great administrator.
138 AD Hadrian dies.

Hadrian dies and is succeeded by Pius. His rule brings a sense of peace and prosperity to Roma. Pius is responsible for building many temples, theatres, and other cultural icons.
161 AD Pius dies.

Pius dies and is succeeded by Marcus Aurelius, Pius’ nephew and adopted son. Rome is constantly at war during Aurelius’ reign.
180 AD Aurelius dies.

Aurelius dies and Pax Romana ends. Aurelius is succeeded by Commodus. His extreme egotism and questionable decision making begins the decline of Rome.