Of the first successors of Octavian Augustus, only Tiberius died a natural death. Caligula was stabbed to death, Claudius was poisoned, and Nero was forced to commit suicide. As it turns out, the emperor’s life was not easy and comfortable.
- Galba – murdered by the Praetorian Guard;
- Othon – committed suicide after defeating Bedriacum;
- Vitellius – was murdered by Vespasian’s soldiers.
The Antonine Dynasty (96-192 CE), whose reign is described as the “golden age of the empire”, stood out with particular peace and stability. At that time, out of eight rulers, only Commodus lived to see the murder.
Another ruler of Pertinax – despite his goodwill to try to reform the country – was murdered by the self-ruling Praetorian Guard. His successor Didius Julianus had a similar fate after less than three months of rule, also at the hands of the praetorian guard.
Septimius Severus is an exception to the new dynasty he founded – Severus and practically the entire 3rd century CE. Of the six members of the Severus dynasty, only he was to die a natural death while in office. His successors: Geta, Caracalla, Macrinus, Elagabalus and Alexander Severus were murdered under various circumstances.
With the death of the last member of the Severus dynasty, the so-called crisis of the 3rd century in the empire, where the rulers on the throne changed practically every now and then. As it is easy to guess then and later in the existence of the Empire, it was difficult to find emperors who died in office in a natural way.