Template talk:Roman Emperors

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Include usurpers on list?[edit]

I see that Mezezius (a usurper) is included, but several 5th century usurpers (e.g. Constans II (usurper)) are not included in the template. What is the criterion for inclusion on the template?--FeanorStar7 07:24, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

I cleaned up/revised this template from a previously messy version without knowing much about many of the later "emperors"; I think any usurpers should be added, especially if they have coins, LOL. Seriously, the template is meant as a navigation tool, and usurpers have a place there too. TAnthony 08:42, 27 April 2007 (UTC)
No; consider the number of usurpers, most of whom have coins. This template is already enormous without the Thirty Tyrants (Roman) and the Emperors of Britain. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 17:10, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

Revert to recent edit[edit]

I reverted The President of Cool's 26 April edit, which he made citing that "during most of this time no one person ruled the entire empire". But the problems here are: 1. Dates aren't always precise when it comes to the Roman Emperors, so at least something in his edit will probably be wrong 2. There are overlapping reigns throughout all periods of the Empire, so by his logic all sections should be changed like this. This template has rulers sorted by the date they first became Emperor, which works! 3. Look what it does to the size of the template! - rst20xx (talk) 00:24, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Claudius I[edit]

I have restored the common names of some emperors. Claudius I is rare and unnecessary; if the use of Claudius II causes confusion, the right solution is to move him to Claudius Gothicus. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 17:10, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

Lucius Verus[edit]

He was never Emperor by himself, and is not usually included in the list of Emperors. Several sons of Emperors are in the same position, and we don't include them. Why him? Septentrionalis PMAnderson 21:28, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Latin Empire[edit]

What about adding emperors of the now so-called Latin Empire here as they called themselves Roman Emperors in fact?--Dojarca (talk) 10:56, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

Western Empire end date[edit]

I went ahead and changed the end of the Western Empire to 476 AD, whihc is the date given in history books and in Romulus Augustus' page. However, User:MinisterForBadTimes reverted it to 480 AD. I'd like to know his source for the 480 AD date, as according to RA's page, by 480 AD he was exiled and vanished from history.

Now, on Julius Nepos' page, it mentions him ruling Dalmatia until 480, but the article itself seems to brush it off: "In name at least, the Western Roman Empire continued to exist after 476, but only as a legal formality and as a sop to imperial tradition."

I think to comply with previous historical references, the end date for the Western Empire should be reverted to the accepted and recognized date of 476.

--- Dralwik|Have a Chat My Great Project 13:18, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

This is definitely a grey area. Part of the problem here is the difference between the Western Roman Empire and the Western Roman Emperors.
Technically speaking, Romulus Augustulus was never actually the Western Roman Emperor; he was a usurper, willing or not. Nepos continued to be recognised as the legitimate emperor until his death. Odoacer (who deposed Romulus) ruled Italy in Nepos's name until 480 AD, and Syagrius in Gaul continued to mint coins with Nepos's name on them. The Eastern Emperor Zeno also continued to recognise Nepos as emperor. Only his father Orestes seems to have believed that Romulus was emperor.
If we accept that Julius Nepos was a) legitimately appointed (by his cousin in the East), b) was the Western Roman Emperor and c) was not deposed until 480 BC, then the last Roman Emperor in the West reigned until 480 AD (even if only in fragment of the former territory). Thus, the span of reigns of the western emperors in this template should be 27 BC&ndash480 AD, at least by my reckoning.
A separate question is when the "Western Empire" ceased to exist. This is far more complicated, because it many ways, it only exists as a modern concept; it was not a seperate entity. Roman rule collapsed in the west after 455 AD, but the emperors in the east did not abandon their claim to this territory. The western empire didn't really meaningfully exist after 455 AD, but was still in theory part of the empire long after long after 476 AD. The choice of 476 AD as the 'end of the western empire' is therefore largely arbitrary. It relies on the fact that after 476 AD, no one was calling themselves the "western emperor" anymore - but as we have seen, that is not actually true. After 476 AD Odoacer ruled Italy as viceroy for the eastern emperor Zeno - so Italy was still part of the empire. Although Zeno had no real power in italy, the same is equally true for the last few Western emperors.
I would suggest, perhaps a little cheekily, that many authors simply accept the date of 476 BC, because it is one of those dates that is so very well known that no-one ever questions it. In reality, however, the issue is a little more blurred. I would also suggest that the reason that 476 AD became the accepted date is because the rather pathetic story of the last child emperor being deposed is such a fitting end to the decline of Rome. The story of Nepos doesn't make quite such a good ending!
It is our job to be as accurate as possible on Wikipedia - not just accept the "received version" of events. That is why I think the template should remain as it is. All that said - there is a strong need for references on the Julius Nepos article. MinisterForBadTimes (talk) 15:33, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
Ah, I see. I knew the West faded over time, but I didn't realize the final collapse was such a complex and drawn out process. (Especially compared to the quick conquest of Constantinople a thousand years later.) All right. --- Dralwik|Have a Chat 23:55, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
MinisterForBadTimes, you seem to be forgetting something, namely this: the Roman Emperorship was essentially a military office, and the Roman Empire was not a true hereditary monarchy but rather what we would now refer to as a military dictatorship. (The original word in Latin is Imperator, which means "Supreme Commander" or "Master General," not "King" or "Monarch," which would have been Rex, and the Romans did not use that term or have a true hereditary monarchy in that sense since Tarquinius Superbus was banished from the City of Rome in 510 BC.)
Yes, kings and emperors can both have absolute power, but the theory of the office is different. A king is in office based on heredity, either directly (most kingships) or indirectly (like Viking kings elected by lesser lords that were themselves hereditary), but nevertheless even in theory. An emperor, however, is theoretically in office by virtue of his command of the armed services (and by implication the support of lesser commanders), even if a dynasty exists in practice.
In other words, who was real and who was a usurper was defined only by who won and who lost (respectively) in the eyes of the armed services. Fair or not, the fact was that Romulus Augustus' dad (who installed him as a figurehead) won and Julius Nepos lost, and fair or not this makes Julius Nepos' deposition perfectly legal and Romulus Augustus a lawful emperor, not a usurper.
I therefore argue to use the end date that is actually taught in history courses, because as briefly explained above there's a reason why it's taught in class other than just being dogmatically "received." College, mind you; I realize there are no shortage of boldfaced lies in K12 history courses, but that's another topic entirely. That date is AD 476. The Mysterious El Willstro (talk) 06:34, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

Clarification of joint rule[edit]

This is probably only a few cases, but I've noticed some inconsistency between the template and the articles themselves about when joint rule occurred (such as the Tetrarchy under Diocletian) at various times, and when the office was held exclusively again after such various times. This should be rectified based on outside (by which I mean written by actual experts and not just anyone with a Wikipedia Account) sources. -The Mysterious El Willstro 209.183.187.29 (talk) 05:42, 6 February 2010 (UTC)