“Et tu, Augustus, Caligula, Domitian, Galba…”
No, those emperors didn’t help assassinate Julius Caesar — they were assassinated just like him.
It’s common knowledge that Julius Caesar, the man who paved the way for Rome’s imperial transformation, was assassinated, thanks in no small part to William Shakespeare’s immortal rendition of Caesar’s dying words to a friend: “Et tu, Brute?”
But Caesar was far from the only Roman ruler to be assassinated by those close to him.
Reddit user Flibidi set out to graphically depict the death spread for every Roman emperor from Augustus Caesar to Theodosius I, posting the chart below on Monday and showing in one place just how many emperors got murdered.
“Not gonna lie, natural causes was actually much higher than I expected,” one Reddit user remarked.
As other users were quick to point out, “natural causes” does not mean the emperor died a peaceful death, as many Roman rulers succumbed to plague and other debilitating diseases.
Flibidi’s chart contains some ambiguity — the Wikipedia list from which Flibidi pulled data lists eight imperial suicides between 14 and 395, but several of those cases were suspected to be murders, and it seems Flibidi lumped the suspicious suicides into the “possibly assassinated” category.
Overall, Flibidi visually confirmed what historians already knew to be true: Leading the Roman Empire was, more often than not, a deadly job.