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These tables are best used in conjunction with the Evolution of the Tetrarchy page which explains the succession or rulers in more detail. In the first table, each emperor's name is given the year he came to power.
In 324 Constantine became the ruler of the whole empire by defeating Licinius, and named his own sons as Caesars. The appointment of Crispus and Constantius in 317 does not indicate a loss of power by Constantine, but rather his victory and subsequent privilege of naming the rulers. Prior to 317, each Caesar seems to have had a certain amount of autonomy in his prefecture. Constantine's sons are a slightly different story, deriving their power from their father, who conquered the eastern half of the empire. This chart does not include the usurper Maxentius, who ruled (occasionally with the help of his retired father Maximian) in Italy from 306-312.
The second table gives each emperor his own color. The asterisk is used to indicate the year in which a given emperor was named Augustus. This table shows Constantine's rise to power especially clearly, noting the ever growing amount of red from left to right. Crispus' and Constantius' cells have been left red, because there is no doubt that Constantine continued to rule those prefectures. Maxentius and the return of Maximian have been omitted.
Based on T.D. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius.
Created by JRZ.