Worst Roman Emperors


The Top Ten

1 Caligula Caligula Caligula, properly Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus was Roman emperor in AD 37–41. Born Gaius Julius Caesar Germanicus, Caligula was a member of the house of rulers conventionally known as the Julio-Claudian dynasty.

Crazy weirdo. - Misfire

Caligula had major brain damage.

The guy slept with his sisters! And I see no reason for Augustus to be on this list!

He killed his wife cut off people's hands and even took often saw his enemies an object

V 1 Comment
2 Nero Nero Nero was the last Roman emperor of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. He was adopted by his great-uncle Claudius and became Claudius' heir and successor. Like Claudius, Nero became emperor with the consent of the Praetorian Guard.

Was it true he fiddled while he watched the city burn? - Misfire

Not worst,but craziest.

Nero was a maniac. He massacred christians in great numbers, took huge funds to build himself monuments, and was all around a total nutcase.

The Beast in Revelation was Caligula, and the number was originally 616

V 4 Comments
3 Commodus

Just about as bad as they come. Focused too much on screwing around as a gladiator to even care about the health and safety of his empire. He’s a also a depraved, paranoid psychopath who killed anyone who stood in his way, purging the senate to the point that it became a bunch of incompetent yes-man goons. Quite the contrast from his cerebral, sober-minded father Marcus Aurelius.

4 Elagabalus

Should be in the top 5. Ya, of course a gender confused teenager would make a great emperor.

Drowned people in rose petals

Why is at number 10?

Executed many innocents, enforced a religion unfamiliar to all of Rome, prostituted himself. Augustus doesn't belong here at all, but Elagabulus does.

5 Tiberius

Reigned during the time Pontius Pilate did. - sharp10

6 Caracalla

Easily the worst Roman emperor of them all, judging both by damage done to Roman Empire during his reign and - even more importantly - by the lasting damage to it. A complete psychopath, he not only spread murder and corruption through Rome - like so many of his "worst colleagues" - but, in contrast to his contenders - also left a trail of destruction on his journeys throughout the entire empire. But his worst - and lasting - deed was his complete reliance on only the army. His unsustainable overpay of the soldiers and the extreme elevation of the army's power on the back of everybody else in the empire lay one of the seeds to Rome's destruction. The next hundred years of Roman history would see an army running rampage, which in turn would play an important part in Rome's end.

I can't believe that I had to add him. He wasn't as evil as Caligula or Nero, but he killed more than them. - pryan96

7 Domitian
8 Augustus

Why is he on this list, he brought a new golden age and peace

9 Julius Caesar Julius Caesar Gaius Julius Caesar, known by his cognomen Julius Caesar, was a Roman politician and military general who played a critical role in the events that led to the demise of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire.

He wasn't an emperor. :/ - Misfire

Julius Caesar was a great leader and was not an emperor - 2storm

Like what 2storm said, Julius wasn't even emperor. He only paved the way when he became Dictator for Life. - DieGedankenSindFrei

Also, he was very good with paying his men and he conquered Gaul. - DieGedankenSindFrei

10 Crassus

The Contenders

11 Constantine II
12 Constantine I

Handed over power to the enemy

Helped ruin the Roman Empire by converting to an evil religion. Without him the Jews might not control the world.

13 Claudius

He invaded Britain

14 Sulla
15 Maximian
16 Titus
17 Severus Alexander
18 Vespasian
19 Septimius Severus

Was actually a very strong and effective ruler.

20 Maximinus Thrax

Probably the edgiest name ever - Jackamalio

This guy killed and Slaughtered All! - TheCuriousGeorge

21 Theodosius I

This was the original fanatical Christian who got butt hurt over Christianity being criticized. Not only did he make Christianity the official religion of the Empire, but he literally BANNED EVERY OTHER RELIGION, even Hellenism, which was the Empire's main religion for centuries! If you're wondering why Christianity is the big religion today, look no further than this selfish arsehole. - RoleplayerR

22 Diocletian

People like to criticize Nero for his cruelty to the Christians. They are right for this. But under Diocletian persecution was the most severe and widespread.

23 Galba

His short-lived rule was a disaster. He alienated the legions and was tone-deaf when it came to politics. He took dissent for defiance, punished innocent family members of his enemies, and brought back decimation. He could have saved himself a lot of hassle by showing generosity to the Praetorians, but he was more miserly than Ebenezer Stooge. Maybe he wasn't as debauched as Nero or Caligula, but that alone didn't make him a good Emperor.

24 Decius
BAdd New Item

Related Lists

Top 10 Greatest Roman Emperors Top Ten Insane Roman Emperors Best Song on Mastodon's Emperor of Sand Best Emperor Songs Best Godspeed You! Black Emperor Songs

List Stats

200 votes
24 listings
9 years, 181 days old

Top Remixes (4)

1. Nero
2. Caligula
3. Constantine I
1. Nero
2. Elagabalus
3. Caligula
1. Caligula
2. Nero
3. Caracalla

View All 4

Error Reporting

See a factual error in these listings? Report it here.