The Julio-Claudian Dynasty

The Julio-Claudian dynasty (27 BC-68 AD) refers to the first five emperors—Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, and Nero—during the period of the Roman Principate. After the death of Augustus, whatever nobility and restraint that had characterized the Roman Republic was all but lost. Individual Julio-Claudians, men and women both, conspired and murdered their way to place themselves, their own immediate family members, or their lovers to positions of power. Once in power, these individuals gave themselves over to all sorts of depravity and licentiousness. The chief historian of this period, Suetonius (c. 71-c. 135), describes acts that are so wicked that they are at times even difficult to believe.