Special Report

25 Longest Reigning Roman Emperors

5. Valentinian III (July 2, 419-March 16, 455)
> Reign: 425-455 (30 years)

Valentinian never played a significant role in his own government, and spent most of his life pursuing personal pleasure. He witnessed the Vandals rampaging across the Empire and annexing North Africa, but couldn’t do anything to stop them.

4. Honorius (Sept. 9, 384-August 15, 423)
> Reign: 393-423 (30 years)

Becoming emperor at age 10, Honorius oversaw a terrible period in Roman history as northern tribes plundered the empire and occupied Rome. He is widely considered one of Rome’s worst emperors.

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3. Constantine I (Feb. 28, 280-May 22, 337)
> Reign: 306-337 (31 years)

Constantine’s reunification of the empire and conversion to Christianity had significant effects on the future of Europe and Asia. He organized the Council of Nicaea in 325 and completed the transfer of political power from Rome to Byzantium.

2. Theodosius II (April 10, 401-July 28, 450)
> Reign: 408-450 (42 years)

Theodosius was a quiet and passive emperor who allowed his government to be controlled by others. He established the University of Constantinople, and made significant reforms to the law.

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1. Augustus (Sept. 23, 63 B.C.-August 19, 14)
> Reign: 31 B.C.-14 (45 years)

Adopted by Julius Caesar, Augustus ascended to the throne at the age of 18 and was the longest reigning emperor in Rome’s history. Began border expansion and established the backbone of Roman rule.

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