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Roman emperors' infoboxEdit

Emperor of the Roman Empire
Regnal name
Imperator Caesar Flavius Claudius Julianus Augustus
Roman emperor
Regnal name
Imperator Caesar Flavius Claudius Julianus Augustus

Currently, against my attempts at changing it, the infoboxes of Roman emperors follow the example of the first one to the right, showing "Augustus" as title and "Emperor of the Roman Empire" in the succession section. "Augustus" is completely useless: it appears again in the "Regnal name" section, and the title is already implied by the fact that the man in question is a Roman emperor. "Emperor of the Roman Empire" is redundant and sounds horrible, and should be replaced with the more simple and concise "Roman emperor".

One persistent editor who has been undoing everything I do in the matter has argued that "Emperor of the Roman Empire" is useful since many rulers of other realms have called themselves "Roman emperors". These aren't usually referred to retroactively as "Roman emperors" to begin with, so this is questionable. The same editor refers to my undone edits elsewhere as unexplained, even when I give an edit summary.

In short, the format should follow the second example on the right, to the detriment of the first. Avis11 (talk) 01:37, 21 June 2020 (UTC)

Well, technically "Augustus" was the official style of the emperors, so it's not wrong, but I agree that "Emperor of the Roman Empire" is redundant and sounds ridiculous. And even if "Augustus" is used, it still needs to say "emperor" somewhere. Let's see if we can think of a logical way to resolve this. P Aculeius (talk) 02:12, 21 June 2020 (UTC)
Imperator Caesar was also an official style from Trajan onwards. The "regnal name" section already takes care of all the important titles at once. Not only that, the distinction between regnal and full name already gives away the titular nature of Imperator Caesar and Augustus, so it appearing again, on italics and below the name, is pointless. One could link to the Augustus (title) article in regnal name if such person must. Avis11 (talk) 02:32, 21 June 2020 (UTC)
Only here because three articles on my watchlist have been edit-warred over. I agree that "Emperor of the Roman Empire" is redundant, awkward, and unnecessarily long. I'm neutral on the 'Augustus' matter. Oh, and, Ichthyovenator, your talk page is not the place to discuss a mass change. Stop edit-warring and get consensus for your modifications. Mr rnddude (talk) 05:22, 21 June 2020 (UTC)
@Mr rnddude:: I don't think I can be held responsible for edit-warring (and even then it would take two to edit war, no?); on most of the articles I reverted the change only once. Yes, I am responsible for how the infoboxes currently look (I made the change to the current format in 2018), but they have now been like that for almost two years and it is now Avis11 who initially implemented a change without gaining consensus. There were some emperors they missed and in some they only changed one of the fields (title/succession) leading to a mess of inconcistency. I suggested my talk page as a place of discussion since I was not aware of a more appropriate place; discussing it here is good since we can now hopefully achieve consensus and stop this dispute from rising up again in the future. Ichthyovenator (talk) 09:52, 21 June 2020 (UTC)

I would prefer if the emperors that had the title augustus were labelled as such and those that had the title of caesar also labelled accordingly. Not all emperors were called augustus, and not all were called caesar. GPinkerton (talk) 05:52, 21 June 2020 (UTC)

Caesar (6 November 355 – 26 June 363) Augustus (February 360 – 26 June 363)
Roman emperor
Regnal name
Imperator Caesar Flavius Claudius Julianus Augustus
It could look like this:

I detect a certain tone of animosity here. I disagree that "Emperor of the Romans" is redundant and I what I meant with "unexplained reasoning" is that I don't feel "redundant" in of itself is a good enough explanation for changing how the Roman emperor infoboxes have looked since 2018 (Augustus in the title section) or much earlier (the use of "Emperor of the Roman Empire" rather than "Roman emperor"). I'll explain why I think the current format is superior, but I'm open to the idea of changing it if a better argument than "redundant" is brought forth:

  • The main idea with the infobox was consistency. "Emperor of the Roman Empire" matches well with infoboxes of other monarchs; i.e. Henry VIII of England ("King of England", not "English king"), Esarhaddon ("King of the Neo-Assyrian Empire", not "Neo-Assyrian king"), Emperor Taizong of Song ("Emperor of the Song dynasty", not "Song emperor"). Stefan Dušan ("Emperor of the Serbs and Greeks", not "Serbian emperor" and Catherine the Great ("Empress of Russia", not "Russian empress"). Granted, there are some exceptions to this, such as Selim I ("Ottoman Sultan", not "Sultan of the Ottoman Empire") and Wilhelm II, German Emperor ("German Emperor", not "Emperor of the German Empire"). These exceptions tend to be direct translations of their native titles (i.e Deutsches Kaiser -> "German Emperor"); for the Romans direct translation wouldn't really work.
  • The use of the current format also makes the transition from Roman to Byzantine emperors at the end of the 5th century very smooth; from Zeno (emperor), with "Emperor of the Roman Empire" in the succession field and "Augustus of the Eastern Roman Empire" in the title field, to Anastasius I, with just "Augustus" in the title field and "Emperor of the Byzantine Empire" in the succession field. Then with Heraclius, "Augustus" becomes "Emperor of the Romans", and with Michael I Rangabe it becomes "Emperor and Autocrat of the Romans". A change to the format of the Roman emperors has to be applied consistently for every emperor and it has to mesh with the later Byzantine emperors, who were Roman emperors as well. Personally of course I also think that "Roman emperor" looks worse than "Emperor of the Roman Empire", but that's a moot point.
  • My note that "Roman emperor" might be a bit ambiguous of course refers to the adoption of the title by many other empires. The early Holy Roman Emperors, such as Charlemagne, currently have "Emperor of the Romans", their actual title, in their infoboxes, so clearly designating the antique emperors as "Emperors of the Roman Empire" could be helpful. Neither "Emperor of the Roman Empire" nor "Roman emperor" is more correct of course, the emperors themselves would have used neither title, which is why I think using "Augustus", the actual imperial title, in the title field is also appropriate. Ichthyovenator (talk) 09:52, 21 June 2020 (UTC)
Following this, I reiterate my point that Roman emperors are not exactly monarchs in the mediaeval or modern sense, and there were very often multiple emperors recognized at once, some with different titles to one another, and many emperors that became augusti were caesares beforehand. Both augustus and caesar are equivalent to the English "emperor" and both were referred to as "imperator". As a result, their succession patterns are not the same as those European and other states where the ruler's reign begins on the day the previous incumbent dies. One already-reigning emperor often succeeded another, and the info-box should reflect this. GPinkerton (talk) 14:16, 21 June 2020 (UTC)
Ichthyovenator: I intend no animosity at all, but your reversion of, for example, Romulus Augustulus, without any supplementary explanation (presumably on the vague and questionable grounds of consistency), completely ignoring the edit summary right below yours and the consent of more than one editor for the previous version, was completely misplaced. Is consistency even a Wikipedia guideline? It seems much more practical to attribute titles on a case-to-case basis without having to worry about the numerous other articles who have nothing to do with the subject of Roman emperors. If "King of England" and "Empress of Russia" sound better than "English king" and "Russian empress", then let them be used, just as "Roman emperor" sounds better than "Emperor of the Roman Empire". There is nothing wrong with using these different forms for heads of different states.
On the topic of ambiguity, I doubt readers and editors alike will be confused at all. Though many after the empire fell have styled themselves Roman emperors, most people unequivocally associate the title "Roman emperor" with the original rulers of the authentic Roman Empire. The Byzantine emperors also considered themselves as rulers of a Roman Empire of sorts, so "Emperor of the Roman Empire" would, according to your line of thinking, also be ambiguous and necessitate over-detailed clarification. For them, however, the title "Byzantine emperor" or "eastern Roman emperor" is more than enough to outline who they are. Avis11 (talk) 14:51, 21 June 2020 (UTC)
On the issue of Augustus: again, the title already appears on the Regnal name section, as does Imperator and Caesar, but there isn't an Imperator Caesar in italics next to the emperor's name. "Augustus" doesn't need to appear below the commonly used name and the regnal name; you could link to Augustus (title) in regnal name if you must. Further, it's use doesn't make the transition smooth at all, but only more convoluted, pedantic and confusing for the average reader, and gives the impression that there is more than needs to be conveyed on the whole subject other than the simple distinction between "Roman emperor" and "Byzantine emperor". The only place where it might be even remotely useful is in the emperors of the Tetrarchy, but in their case the label "Western" or "Eastern Roman emperor", or a small clarification next to the "Reign" section of the succession box, might be applied just as well. Regarding your examples of "Emperor of the Romans" and "Emperor and Autocrat of all the Romans" these don't appear on the regnal name section and have a more honorific nature, so their place just after the monarch's name is, in this case, perfectly appropriate. Avis11 (talk) 14:51, 21 June 2020 (UTC)
Valentinian III
Caesar (23 October 424–23 October 425)
Augustus (23 October 425–16 March 455)
Roman emperor in the West
Co-emperorsTheodosius II (Augustus in the East, 23 October 424–28 July 450)
Pulcheria (Augusta regnant in the East, 28 July–25 November 450)
Marcian (Augustus in the East, 25 August 450–16 March 455)
Full name
Flavius Placidius Valentinianus
Regnal name
Imperator Caesar Flavius Placidius Valentinianus Augustus
@Avis11: Here's another example (not in the "Tetrarchy" per se) where I would advise adding a clarity on which imperial title they held when, seeing as English "emperor" means "imperator" and not Roman augustus. GPinkerton (talk) 16:55, 21 June 2020 (UTC)
@GPinkerton: Not a bad idea to put Caesar and Augustus beside the dates, if they're to be used solely for emperors who were Caesars and Augusti. There is however the problem of infoboxes becoming too cluttered. I myself prefer the model of Julian (emperor), which is to put Reign as Caesar on the succession box immediately below Successor (you'll have to check the article itself, as I removed them in the example I gave above), when such person was an Augustus. Caesars weren't technically emperors, in a sense, so in my opinion it should be displayed separately (if at all), in a secondary position Avis11 (talk) 17:07, 21 June 2020 (UTC)
@Avis11: What do you mean "Caesars weren't technically emperors, in a sense"? They used the title "imperator", were addressed as dominus noster, wore purple, had diadems, what more is required? GPinkerton (talk) 17:11, 21 June 2020 (UTC)
@GPinkerton: I merely used italics and "in a sense" in order to emphasize their secondary and subordinate nature. Wikipedia articles on Caesars don't usually label them as 'emperors'. Flavius Dalmatius Caesar isn't referred to (in the article) as emperor and is also not styled Imperator. Maximian is said to be emperor from 286 to 305, to the very clear exclusion of his reign as Caesar from 285 to 286. Galerius is called an emperor from 305 to 311, completely ignoring his previous tenure as deputy emperor. Now, some of the nomenclatures are not even sourced, so they could be completely wrong and myself totally ignorant on this specific topic. But this is all deviation from the main subject. I'm just trying to create a consensus for "Roman emperor" being displayed instead of "Emperor of the Roman Empire", and against the gratuitous use of the title Augustus in italics (it hardly needs to be used in Claudius, for example). It may be used on emperors who were both Caesars and Augusti, or just Caesars; my personal preference is that these be shown in the succession box, rather than in italics below the name, lest the infobox be too cluttered. Again, see here for an example. Avis11 (talk) 17:24, 21 June 2020 (UTC)
[Edit conflict] Wikipedia articles on Caesars don't usually label them as 'emperors' They should. There was never any such thing as a deputy emperor. The problem with your example of Julian is that it wholly ignores the fact that Julian was made emperor (caesar) by his uncle Constantius, and proclaimed emperor (augustus) at Paris, and then belatedly recognized as emperor (augustus) after Constantius died. The use of the title Augustus in italics is not "gratuitous". It's the title they held. Imperator was usually part of their actual name. As I have said, the Roman empire was not a monarchy and English word emperor covers both caesares and augusti and does not map exactly onto any one concept that existed in the Roman empire itself. GPinkerton (talk) 17:41, 21 June 2020 (UTC)
I find the term 'deputy emperor' more than once in academic sources, and it is used in the article of Constantine the Great. I also only usually see an emperor's reign defined by his tenure as Augustus; in Wikipedia particularly, this is universally adopted. Again, I acknowledge that Caesar and Augustus might be useful for emperors who held those two ranks, but for every emperor up to 235 the label Augustus in italics is gratuitous and pointless: the title already appears in the regnal name section, and all emperors except Vitellius were titled Caesar as well, which currently isn't shown in the title, only regnal name. Avis11 (talk) 17:52, 21 June 2020 (UTC)
Thanks for noticing that Constantine instance; I have now reworded the lead of that article. GPinkerton (talk) 18:01, 21 June 2020 (UTC)
  • Like Mr rnddude, i am ending up here because pages (way more than three) on my watchlist have been back and forth. I would say, before anything else, that needs to stop and allow the discussion to happen. Also i agree with the other part of what Mr rndude says, that the "Emperor..." is redundant and looks foolish. I prefer that "Augustus" be in the the infobx at the top, but that is less important. happy days, LindsayHello 17:33, 21 June 2020 (UTC)
Considering two arguments against the briefer form "Roman Emperor", I don't find them very strong. (a) There are others who have claimed the title, i.e. Holy Roman and Byzantine emperors: OK, but we don't use "Roman Emperor" in infoboxes for either of those, so there's no glaring ambiguity, and both of those were equally Emperors of a Roman Empire, so we don't avoid the potential ambiguity by using the longer title. (b) Other uses of the short pattern like "German Emperor" and "Ottoman Sultan" are said to "tend to be direct translations". "Ottoman Sultan" isn't, and anyway why would that be a reason for us not to use the form if it works? Andrew Dalby 17:35, 21 June 2020 (UTC)
@Andrew Dalby:As pointed out in my comments, "Emperor of the Romans" is currently used for pre-Otto I Holy Roman Emperors for who knows what reason; see Charlemagne. Simeon I of Bulgaria uses "Emperor of the Bulgarians and Romans" rather than "Emperor of Bulgaria" or "Bulgarian emperor". I'd argue those pages shouldn't use those titles but that's a whole other discussion. Ottoman Sultan is a close enough translation of Osmanlı padişahları (though this is "Ottoman Emperor" rather than "Ottoman Sultan"), what they are called in Turkish. I do agree on your point that "Emperor of the Roman Empire" might be just as ambiguous, though. Ichthyovenator (talk) 22:54, 21 June 2020 (UTC)
Roman emperor
Regnal name
Imperator Caesar Publius Helvius Pertinax Augustus
Roman emperor
Regnal name
Imperator Caesar Publius Helvius Pertinax Augustus
  • The sum of inputs offered here appears in favor of using "Roman emperor" over "Emperor of the Roman Empire"; with regards to the use of Augustus the consensus is less clear. I see no point in following the example on the right, giving Augustus below the name when it reappears in Regnal name. Either one or the other should be used, not both. Imperator Caesar also belongs to the imperial titulature yet it does not appear twice, unlike Augustus. The only objection against using Augustus in the form given on the right is with regards to emperors who were also Caesars (like Valentinian III above); but this would cover only a fraction of emperors anyway, and the editor who proposed it did not comment on the current example of Julian. Avis11 (talk) 20:16, 21 June 2020 (UTC)
@Avis11: If you're talking about me I very much did comment on the flaws of the Julian example: see above. Julian was caesar before he became augustus. Your suggestion that but this would cover only a fraction of emperors anyway is completely backwards: most emperors were made caesar before becoming augustus, at least for a stretch of at least many centuries. GPinkerton (talk) 21:29, 21 June 2020 (UTC)
I don't know where you're trying to get here, and I think you're straying far away from the point. Augustus is currently used (1) in the title slot and (2) in the regnal name slot (see the Pertinax example above). I'm simply saying (1) is redundant and pointless when (2) is also a thing; Augustus appearing twice is bad, that's the whole point. What I brought up in the beginning has nothing to do with the difference between Caesar and Augustus: that's a whole new can of worms. Avis11 (talk) 21:55, 21 June 2020 (UTC)
To put it in simpler terms, the second Pertinax box is better than the 1st. That's all. Avis11 (talk) 22:00, 21 June 2020 (UTC)
@Avis11: No, I am disagreeing with you. It's not better and Augustus appearing twice is not bad. GPinkerton (talk) 22:37, 21 June 2020 (UTC)
Just going to quickly stop by here again since I missed quite a lot of the discussion today; I'll accept any format agreed upon through consensus here, even if that is "Roman emperor" rather than "Emperor of the Roman Empire" as long as it is applied consistently in the articles, from Augustus to Romulus Augustulus and Zeno (which it wasn't before). As for my comment on "animosity" I wasn't referring to you, GPinkerton. I quite like the use of "Roman emperor in the West/East" for emperors where it is applicable and can see the value in having the tenures as Caesar/Augustus clearly displayed, though it might look, as others have said, a bit too cluttered. Ichthyovenator (talk) 22:54, 21 June 2020 (UTC)
GPinkerton Why, exactly? It's not adding anything new, it appears elsewhere, its place in "regnal name" already implies its titulary nature and, as another one said, you'll still have to point out somewhere else that he is emperor. Avis11 (talk) 22:59, 21 June 2020 (UTC)
Because the regnal name is down at the bottom of the box, but Augustus is important, and should be prominent; because it also tells you how the Romans referred to the emperors, as the italics indicate a native-language title; because the word near the name can carry the link to the article relevant to the title augustus and otherwise there is no link to it; because there is no real article for "Roman emperor" anyway; and because of consistency with those emperors that did hold multiple titles sequentially and concurrently. GPinkerton (talk) 23:18, 21 June 2020 (UTC)
(1) All but four emperors up to 476 also held the titles Imperator and Caesar, but these are not next to the name – an inconsistency – and would only clutter the space if they were, as the above editor kind of agreed. (2) Augustus, and other titles as well, can be linked in the regnal name too. (3) Styles and titles are a secondary interest for most readers, and them being at the bottom of the infobox (which isn't even that big to begin with) is perfectly reasonable: more important is his commonly referred-to name, likeness, and office (Roman emperor), all on the top. (4) "Roman emperor" not having a proper article is completely irrelevant to this discussion; you can link to List of Roman emperors or even Roman Empire for all I care. (5) Consistency with other emperors' titles doesn't matter: the imperial office itself is more important than titles. Avis11 (talk) 00:21, 22 June 2020 (UTC)
@Avis11: No, my point is that Augustus is the office. Therefore it should be at the top. GPinkerton (talk) 00:26, 22 June 2020 (UTC)
More so could be said of Imperator. Proclaiming a general as such meant declaring him emperor in rebellion to the incumbent one. All military victories which in the Republic would allow someone to be styled imperator belonged, in the Empire, to the emperor himself only. The term originated the word 'emperor', the very office in question. As for Augustus itself, it's a title like any other. It was consistently used by the holder of the imperial office, sure, but a title nonetheless. What matters really is that the man in question was a Roman emperor; what he was specifically called comes second. Avis11 (talk) 00:47, 22 June 2020 (UTC)
I feel inclined to agree with Avis11.★Trekker (talk) 00:49, 22 June 2020 (UTC)
@Avis11: "to the emperor himself only". This not accurate, unless by the emperor himself only you mean "the emperor(s), a category including both augusti and caesares", which then would be correct. More than one emperor could use the title imperator at once and the idea that "proclaiming a general as such [imperator] meant declaring him emperor in rebellion to the incumbent one is not accurate at all. When Constantine and Licinius jointly made their respective sons emperors, there were just two augusti, two caesares, four simultaneous imperatores, and no rebellion involved. Similarly Justinian was made emperor (augustus) by his uncle months before he became "emperor" in the unqualified and anachronistic sense of "sole monarch" of Rome. GPinkerton (talk) 03:03, 22 June 2020 (UTC)
I'm a little confused about what's being decided at this point, because it sounds to me as if both sides are saying the same thing. The title which, in theory, was bestowed upon an emperor by the senate, thereby signifying his authority (although he might claim it, or someone else hail him as such and hope the senate would agree, or that he would make good the claim by force of arms), was Augustus. Emperor is the usual word for the Augusti in English, and although derived from imperator, that wasn't the official title of the emperors. I have no qualms about providing both in an infobox, but the title of imperator gave no authority, nor did the surname Caesar prior to the time of Diocletian and the tetrarchy, from which time it was frequently assigned to the heirs designate, sometimes referred to as "junior emperors", at least when the Augusti saw fit to delegate them some sort of authority. But the question remains: what precisely does each side want to do with the titles in the infobox? P Aculeius (talk) 03:21, 22 June 2020 (UTC)
Of the Pertinax boxes above, he supports the 1st and I the 2nd. I simply want to remove the Augustus in italics which comes immediately below the emperor's name, b/c I find it redundant and pointless, especially since it reappears in Regnal name. The Imperator Caesar and Augustus would still appear in the Regnal name area. He wants Augustus to appear twice. It's the same argument on Augustus as when you first commented here, but he's now using arguments regarding the nature of the title itself to convince me otherwise, which I think is somewhat missing the point. Avis11 (talk) 04:23, 22 June 2020 (UTC)
I think I agree that the second version is preferable. It definitely needs to say "Roman emperor" (preferably not "Emperor of the Roman Empire"), and it's better if it does so prominently. Periods during which an heir or "junior emperor" (during the Tetrarchy) was given the title of Caesar could be mentioned later in the infobox, couldn't it? Since the infobox is about emperors, time spent as Caesar prior to becoming Augustus shouldn't go at the top. P Aculeius (talk) 06:04, 22 June 2020 (UTC)
Exactly, that's what I was arguing for all along: Name, image and office first, titles second. Avis11 (talk) 13:52, 22 June 2020 (UTC)
@P Aculeius: Since the infobox is about emperors and time spent as Caesar prior to becoming Augustus shouldn't go at the top seem to contradict each other. The conference of the office of caesar made one an emperor. This was not only the case during the Tetrarchy (narrowly defined) but also throughout the Constantinian, Theodosian, Leonid dynasties, and subsequently. As I say, a high proportion of Roman emperors were not augusti for some or all of their reigns. Time spent as caesar should certainly appear at the top, since this is the time at which they became Roman emperors. See the examples of Julian and Valentinian III for (non-tetrarchic) examples. GPinkerton (talk) 17:02, 22 June 2020 (UTC)
Sorry, but I believe you're mistaken. "Caesar" was not the title of an emperor, junior or otherwise, outside of the tetrarchy. If you look at any scholarly source, you'll see that the regnal dates of Roman emperors begin when they were named Augustus, not when they were named as heir. P Aculeius (talk) 17:26, 22 June 2020 (UTC)
Sorry, P Aculeius, it is you who is mistaken. See the examples of Valentinian and Julian. Neither was made caesar as an "heir", which is not in any case how succession worked in the Roman empire. Valentian III was made caesar, of the west by Theodosius II, augustus in the east in 23 October 424. Valentinian was then emperor of the west for a whole year before being acclaimed as augustus. Julian was made caesar by Constantius in November 355. Similarly, Constantius Gallus ruled as emperor between 351 and 354 and was never proclaimed as augustus, only as caesar. Constantius was acclaimed caesar in 324 but did not become augustus until 337. Constans ruled as caesar from 333 but did not become augustus until 337. Dalmatius was caesar 335-337. Crispus was caesar 317-326 and never became augustus. Constantine II was made caesar at the same time as Crispus and Licinius II. There are countless other examples. All were accorded the title praenomen Imperator and the style Dominus Noster, issued coins, wore purple, were recognized by the Senate etc. Consult the PLRE, where dates for the reigns as caesar are enumerated alongside accession as augustus, where applicable. GPinkerton (talk) 02:15, 23 June 2020 (UTC)
Neither Wikipedia nor any academic source I'm aware of consider Dalmatius, Gallus, Crispus or any sole Caesar whatsoever full-fledged emperors. Emperors are dated from their tenure as Augusti. Julian (Caes. 355–360, Aug. 360–3) is always listed as emperor in 360/1–363, Maximian (Caes. 285–6, Aug. 286–305) in 286–305, Galerius (Caes. 293–305, Aug. 305–311) 305–11... the pattern is very clear. A junior partner is not the man in command, which is what the emperor is. Avis11 (talk) 03:21, 23 June 2020 (UTC)
No, the "Caesars" in question did not rule and were not emperors; no reputable source calls them that, or includes these periods in their reigns. That's why no list of Roman emperors includes Crispus or Dalmatius. You may disagree, but we follow what reputable sources say—we don't reject them because we think they should say something else. Being named "Caesar" did not make anyone an emperor. P Aculeius (talk) 03:20, 23 June 2020 (UTC)
@Avis11:, @P Aculeius: Please don't speak so dismissively when your comments arise from ignorance. The reliable sources contradict your position and refute your statements about them. I have already mentioned the way the Prosopography of the Late Roman Empire uses the regnal dates of the emperors, including the caesares. Here's what the Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity says under the headword "emperor":

The emperor’s principal title was Augustus (plur. Augusti) with the term Caesar being used from time to time to designate a junior emperor. There were many cases of co-rule, including rule by two or more Augusti, as well as the periodic designation of Caesars. ... Co-rule remained usual until the disappearance of the Western Empire. The rank of Caesar, or even Augustus, was sometimes given to minors in the imperial family, and adult co-rule was also commonplace. It is somewhat misleading to think that the death of Theodosius I in 395, and the division of the Empire between his young sons Honorius (393–423) and Arcadius (395–408), marked a turning point. Theodosius had only been sole ruler very briefly in the 390s. Before that, one must turn back a generation to find rule from a single court, to the brief reigns of Julian (361–3) and Jovian (363–4). ... Some were desperately wayward, such as the Caesar Gallus (351–4), who had a penchant for gratuitous violence against officials and members of the civic aristocracy, displayed an excessive fondness for the circus, and liked to tour the taverns of Antioch in disguise asking drinkers their opinion of the Caesar Gallus (Ammianus, XIV, 1, 9).

This last example, Gallus, is sufficient to prove the lie of the claim the "Caesars" in question did not rule and were not emperors. Gallus, of course, ruled from Antioch.

Under the Tetrarchy, Caesar was reserved for the two junior emperors in the imperial college. Constantine I designated his successors Caesar, a practice that continued until the usurpation of Julian, Caesar of Constantius II. Thereafter successors usually were declared Augustus directly. Caesar remained in intermittent use throughout the 5th century. In the late 6th century, Tiberius II in 574 and Maurice in 582 successively were proclaimed Caesar before becoming Augustus.

As you can see from this entry in the ODLA, the imperial college was not somehow composed of emperors and non-emperors, but of emperors, some of them augusti, others that were caesares. Here's how the Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium lays out some of its emperors' entries, one a tetrarch, the other not:

Galerius, more fully Caius Galerius Valerius Maximianus, caesar under Diocletian (293–305) and augustus (from 1 May 305); born Romulianum in Illyricum ca.260, died Nikomedeia May 311.

Constans I (Κώνστας), caesar (from 25 Dec. 333) and augustus (from 9 Sept. 337); born ca.323, died fortress of Helena, Pyrenees, Jan. 350.

Please point out a source that disbars the caesares from the category "emperors" and which thoroughly explains its divergence from reliable and authoritative works like the PLRE, ODLA, PmBZ, and so on, such that we should throw all these away and use it instead. GPinkerton (talk) 04:10, 23 June 2020 (UTC)
I'm not being 'dismissive'; I patiently went through every one of your arguments here to make my case. "Rule" is not the same thing as "reign": the latter can at times mean tenure, while the former usually refers to more direct governance (a statesman can rule on behalf of a reigning emperor). The Encyclopaedia Britannica only lists Roman emperors by their terms as Augusti. This biography on Constantine I distinguishes (pp. 31, 33) Maximian's period as "deputy emperor" with his being "co-emperor" with Diocletian. Of your own sources, the PLRE's entry on Julian (vol. I. p. 477) immediately lists him only as Augustus, and mentions him being Caesar way down the text. "Imperial college" can be interpreted as favoring your case, but the term itself and the context kind of imply something broader than your usual use of 'emperor' anyway.
Regardless, the difference between Caesar and Augustus is an argument which belongs in its own discussion elsewhere, and has nothing to do whatsoever with the issue of why should Augustus appear twice in the infobox. Julian's infobox already has both his reigns as Augustus and Caesar, within the Roman emperor section in line with what you're arguing, so I still don't see your grounds for complaint. Avis11 (talk) 04:53, 23 June 2020 (UTC)
@Avis11: As you have yourself admitted, Maximian is described as "emperor" when caesar and when augustus. I have already addressed the rest of your points and shown them wrong or wanting. Britannica does not say "caesares were not emperors, which it would have to do to support your claim. "Imperial college" implies nothing other than the emperors who were colleagues (i.e., they were all emperors). Your interpretation that the term "kind of imply something broader than your usual use of 'emperor' anyway" is just your interpolation, like your insistence on "full-fledged emperors" (your neologism), and your odd assertion that an emperor styled as caesar somehow does not "reign" (even though of course they held quinquennalias, dated their regnal years from their accession as caesar if and when they became augustus, issued coins, inscribed milestones in their names, HELD IMPERIUM, etc, etc.) In the book you have cited (about Constantine, hardly a reference work on imperial government per se) the index lists, for example:
Maximinus (Roman Emperor, Caesar 305-311, Augustus 311-314)
Constantius I (Caesar 293-305, Augustus 305-206)
This indicates that the author understands the fact that Constantius and Maximinus were emperors before they became caesares. The word augustus should appear twice in the info box because in one instance it is a title and in the other it is lifted as part of the name. If you don't like the word appearing twice (for some reason), you can simply remove the 'regnal name' section. The imperial office(s) held by the emperor is important, and should be left where it is. Where appropriate, the imperial office of caesar should be included alongside it, as I have already argued. GPinkerton (talk) 13:00, 23 June 2020 (UTC)
The imperial office is already labeled: it's called "Roman emperor"; and in saying "Augustus" you still have to say immediately afterwards that he is a Roman emperor anyway. The office of Caesar (at no point I said they did not "reign") is already included alongside that of Augustus in Wikipedia – again, under the very label of Roman emperor. There was no real, hard distinction between the name and the title. Julian already has two regnal names indicating his periods as Caesar and Augustus, and two separate 'Reigns' in the infobox; he doesn't need a third indication of that right below his name. You proposed up there (with Julian and Valentinian) that both Caesar and Augustus should appear immediately below the name, with the emperor's reign beside each; but that's not how infoboxes are even supposed to work: they have separate succession, reign, predecessor and successor sections to take care of these things. You can distinguish Caesar and Augustus by creating a "Reign as Augustus" label in 'reign-type' and "Reign as Caesar in 'reign-type1' (as is already done with Julian). The title displayed in italics fits best with, say, Emperor and Autocrat of the Romans with Constantine XI, which doesn't apear elsewhere in Constantine's infobox. "Augustus" doesn't add anything new to the label of 'Roman emperor' as already displayed; and, as already said, you'll still need to call him "Roman emperor" immediately thereafter.
With regards to removing the regnal name all together, I suppose that is appropriate for men who were Caesares only, since both in title and in regnal name Caesar is also apparently displayed after the actual name. But in the case of Augustus it is best for it to be displayed elsewhere, with the full imperial titulature, which includes "Imperator Caesar". You are virtually the only one here supporting for 'Augustus' to appear yet another time, in gratuitous manner.
You might also want to open a separate conversation regarding the difference between Caesars and Augusti, since Wikipedia doesn't quite operate in line with what you argued in favor of. Avis11 (talk) 14:04, 23 June 2020 (UTC)
@Avis11: Some men that bore the title augustus were not "emperor" in the usual sense. Eugenius is one example. The dates of his "reign" overlap with those of Theodosius I and Honorius, but he was not a co-emperor of theirs, just a self-proclaimed augustus. Constantine III (Byzantine emperor) is another. An augustus equal to his brother Heraklonas, Constantine III never ruled as [monarchical] emperor alone, even though he was augustus four months. As you have correctly intimated, the title Caesar comes after the nomen in Roman titulature, so the inclusion of that title at the beginning of the "regnal name" only is misleading and wrong. You can see this example of Julian describes his regnal name as DOMINUS NOSTER IULIANUS NOBILISSIMUS CAESAR and this example where he is titled DOMINUS NOSTER CLAUDIUS IULIANUS NOBILISSIMUS CAESAR. But of course in this example of the same emperor the regnal name is given as FLAVIUS CLAUDIUS IULIANUS PIUS FELIX AUGUSTUS, while on this one it's given as DOMINUS NOSTER FLAVIUS CLAUDIUS IULIANUS PIUS FELIX AUGUSTUS. As you can surely see, the regnal name was different in different contexts and cannot be used to exclude the emperor from the (modern) title "emperor" during the time he was caesar. Note also that the word caesar does not always appear in the regnal names of every emperor, neither as a name nor as a title. GPinkerton (talk) 17:01, 23 June 2020 (UTC)
I'm just going to weigh in here on the topic of regnal names since it looks like it comes up a bit; the regnal names presented in most of the infoboxes of the Roman emperors are shortened. In his wikipedia article, Gratian's regnal name is given as Imperator Caesar Flavius Gratianus Augustus but his full style was Imperator Caesar Flavius Gratianus pius felix maximus victor ac triumphator semper Augustus, pontifex maximus, Germanicus maximus, Alamannicus maximus, Francicus maximus, Gothicus maximus, tribuniciae potestatis III, imperator II, consul primum, pater patriae, proconsul. You could argue that much of these are just titles, but at the very least "pius felix maximus victor ac triumphator semper..." is part of his regnal name before titles like pontifex maximus appear, i. e. his regnal name, at the very least, was Imperator Caesar Flavius Gratianus pius felix maximus victor ac triumphator semper Augustus. This is also interesting since "semper Augustus" is then used by both the HRE emperors and the Byzantine emperors (when using Latin titles) until the end of both empires. The difference between what should be regarded as someone's name and what should be seen as titles are not always clear with monarchs, especially not with Roman emperors (who did not imagine themselves as king-type monarchs). I'd argue that the regnal name part of the infobox itself isn't super necessary. Ichthyovenator (talk) 17:19, 23 June 2020 (UTC)
I would be careful in using coins as evidence. The (reduced) regnal names currently used are well attested in sources, as in Salmon and Potter. Trajan and Hadrian at times used, for example, the subsidiary styles divi Nervae filius and divi Nervae nepos respectively, but their primary, reduced name is consistent in modern works, as in those examples. The style "Imperator Caesar [name] Augustus" seems unchanging after Trajan, and all except Vitellius up to 476 were named Caesar. As to the examples cited above by Pinkerton... Constantine and Heraklonas seem to support my case, since none are titled Augustus in their info boxes (only the honorific Emperor of the Romans), except in the regnal name itself. Post 476 emperors (those who are not labeled "Roman emperor" in their succession boxes) are not really my concern here, and most of them already don't seem to follow your insisted rule that Augustus be displayed more than once anyway. How usurpers or emperors with disputed status like Eugenius should be displayed is another issue entirely. If one someone was somehow Augustus but not an emperor, then a special case might be considered; but those are exceptions, not applicable to a general rule of thumb. <Claudius, image, Roman emperor, 41–54, [regnal name] Augustus> doesn't need to be displayed as <Claudius, Augustus, image, Roman emperor, 41–54, [regnal name] Augustus>. Avis11 (talk) 18:52, 23 June 2020 (UTC)
Once again you are using the names of a handful of earlier emperors to try to make a point about nearly 1000 years of titulature. Neither source you have linked so much as reaches the middle of the 3rd century, and one of them ends with Hadrian, and both are utterly useless for dealing with the 4th century or after, so forgive me if I don't accept the anachronistic conclusions you've drawn from them. The failures of Wikipedia pages at present does not help support your argument against mine. Quite the opposite. If (the majority of) emperors after 476 (arbitrary date) are not your concern, why make spurious responses to arguments involving them, as any argument concerning the placement of titles in Roman emperors' infoboxes necessarily does? You still fail to understand that caesar was both a name and an imperial title. GPinkerton (talk) 19:32, 23 June 2020 (UTC)
That style was still used at the time of Constantine I at the very least. What I said is also hardly anachronistic since emperors usually had a fixed set of titles, whether it be Imp. Caesar or Dominus Noster. Most post-collapse emperors in Wikipedia stop using the style Augustus twice in their infoboxes, whence I "arbitrarily" dismiss them: they are not relevant to the current argument. If you feel the Wikipedia entries you mentioned are wrong, then perhaps you should be WP:BOLD and change them yourself; they are not the concern of this discussion. "Imperator Caesar [name] [whatever else] Augustus", "Dominus Noster [name] Augustus" or even "Roman emperor" (possibly with subsequent clarification in "Reign") convey all that is needed; an extra Augustus is useless. I suppose you could scrap regnal name altogether for particular emperors whose names start to include other styles, and have the distinction be explained elsewhere, perhaps in Roman emperor or List of Roman emperors. Avis11 (talk) 18:19, 24 June 2020 (UTC)
A couple of points. First, I don't know where Ichthyovenator found the style Imperator Caesar Flavius Gratianus Augustus, let alone the full style Imperator Caesar Flavius Gratianus pius felix maximus victor ac triumphator semper Augustus, pontifex maximus, Germanicus maximus, Alamannicus maximus, Francicus maximus, Gothicus maximus, tribuniciae potestatis III, imperator II, consul primum, pater patriae, proconsul. Gratianus reports the style Imperator Caesar Flavius Gratianus Augustus -- which is wrong in itself. (Never lightly use a Wikipedia article as a reliable source -- but we should all know that.)
The reliable sources for the style a Roman Emperor employs are any official publication: in our case, these would be inscriptions & laws issued in their name. (Yes, I'd rather draw on a reliable source for this, but my source of choice -- Alison E. Cooley, The Cambridge Manual of Latin Epigraphy (Cambridge: University Press, 2012), which has an appendix she compiled that lists every Emperor's style down to c. 500 -- is at home & I'm at work.) And Dessau's Inscriptiones latinae selectae, a standard reference, contains several examples showing Gratian's official style (items # 773 thru 778). Looking at the examples therein, I note several issues. One is that there is no separate example for Gratian: his name appears with those of his father Valentinian & his uncle Valens. Another is that there is no full style as given above; the names of these three men appear with a variety of honorifics. Victoriosissimus appears once; perennium Augustorum also once; principum maximorum once; victorr. ac triump. once; fortissimi principi again once; but semper Augustorum appears three times. (And it is favored by later Roman emperors.) But most important, there is no use of imperator in any form. The style that the emperors used from Diocletian (who early in his reign did use imperator) as late as Justinian is dominus noster -- "Our lord", with augustus added at the end of their name.
I would like to quote examples from the surviving law books (such as the Codex Theodosianus), but I could not access an online copy. However, from my reading of 4th & 5th century Roman history, I am certain dominus noster -- frequently abbreviated as D.N. -- was the style all emperors adopted. So properly Gratianus would be known as Dominus noster Gratianus Augustus. (I'm wary of the "Flavius" part for reasons I won't mention here.) -- llywrch (talk) 22:55, 24 June 2020 (UTC)
(Llywrch NB: Cooley 2012 has "Imp. Caesar D. N. Flavius Gratianus Augustus" for Gratian. The subsequent emperors are not listed with IMP. or CAES., just D.N.) GPinkerton (talk) 23:53, 25 June 2020 (UTC)
I won't get too involved in what's eventually decided here, but the style Imperator Caesar Flavius Gratianus Augustus has nothing to do with me; I was just pointing out what was in the infobox currently. I got the full style cited from Cameron (2010) - link - who gives it as the "last known inscription of the full Roman imperial style". The point I was making is that Roman emperors used a variety of different titles and honorifics and differentiating which of them constitute a regnal name and which of them should just be regarded as titles is a bit difficult. Arguably, "Imperator", "Caesar" and "Augustus" were titles and titles are not part of someone's regnal name ("Imperator" and "Augustus" were certainly used as titles, not names, by HRE and Byzantine emperors) etc. etc. I am well aware that there were often standard styles for the emperors - Dominus Noster being a prime example, but just putting Dominus noster Gratianus Augustus in Gratian's infobox (even if that is the shortened standard version), when many preceding emperors have "Imperator" and "Caesar" instead, might make it seem like these titles/names were completely dropped, which they weren't at this point. Because which titles/names used by an emperor seems to vary depending on time and context (and what's used often being a shortened version), I was just questioning whether a "regnal name" field has real utility at all. Ichthyovenator (talk) 23:53, 24 June 2020 (UTC)
I totally agree with the points Ichthyovenator raises here; (though see my comment above on Gratian and the use of Imp. Caes. thereafter) I also have questioned the purpose of the regnal names, especially since 1.) there is not a standard pattern, contrary to what has been claimed, 2.) the line between name and title is not absolute (the titles are honorific cognomens and "imperator" frequently, absurdly, a praenomen) and 3.) regnal names varied depending on what part of whose "reign" your're speaking about. The source Llywrch alludes to above lists Geta as P. Septimius Geta nobilissimus Caesar from 198 and as Imp. Caesar P. Septimius Geta Augustus from 209. Meanwhile Caracalla appears as M. Aurelius Antoninus Caesar from 195/6, as Imp. Caesar M. Aurelius Antoninus Augustus from 198, and as Imp. Caesar M. Aurelius Severus Antoninus Pius Augustus from 211. There were therefore two augusti and one caesar from 198, three imperatores augusti from 209, two augusti from 211, when Septimius Severus died, and one augustus again from 212. Does anyone object to using this Cooley source as authoritative for dates of reigns and titles were applicable? I think if regnal names/titles are included they should be listed fully and dated, with names as caesar and as augustus listed. GPinkerton (talk) 00:18, 26 June 2020 (UTC)
I won't claim I agree 100% with what Cooley sets out in that appendix, but there are some strong reasons to adopt what she wrote there, adjusted for published corrections by experts of course:
  • She is an expert on the subject;
  • Her findings are consistent;
  • She has provided reliable sources for what she states; &
  • If we agree to follow her -- at least until we find a better option, we avoid the revert wars that people like Smeat75 complains about below.
(PS -- Before anyone asks, I propose we leave all decisions on the style used by Byzantine emperors -- starting with Justinian's successor -- to WikiProject Byzantium. And it's not our fault if that WikiProject is inactive or does not exist yet.) -- llywrch (talk) 22:54, 26 June 2020 (UTC)
There is also another source, which gives yet more details but only goes up to Theodosius: the Römische Kaisertabelle by Dietmar Kienast and Werner Eck. GPinkerton (talk) 12:24, 27 June 2020 (UTC)
For God's sake can editors please stop ping ponging back and forth with Emperor's names on their articles. Sort it out here or on a notice board and STOP going through every Roman Emperor article and fussing around with their titles. It's been going on for weeks and fills up my watchlist, which they are on in case there's something important, not this trivial fussing about. Smeat75 (talk) 01:56, 25 June 2020 (UTC)
And the fussing around with every Emperor's article and its name kicks off again....for Zeus' sake give it a restSmeat75 (talk) 21:46, 4 July 2020 (UTC)
I'll admit, I gave up reading this lengthy discussion about half way through... was a consensus really made? It seems the pages are all being changed and reverted once again... Aza24 (talk) 21:54, 9 July 2020 (UTC)
I got confused early in, because it wasn't entirely clear to me what we were deciding—it seemed to be multiple things at once, and the point seemed to keep changing. We probably need to clarify that as briefly as possible. P Aculeius (talk) 23:11, 9 July 2020 (UTC)
I though this would have died by now. It was agreed unanimously here that "Roman emperor" > "Emperor of the Roman Empire". All except one here also agreed that "| title = Augustus" in italics should be used sparingly. That's it. If there's still someone flooding you with notifications by reverting everything for no reason then you should talk directly to those reverting the edits, for the discussion material here has been exhausted. Avis11 (talk) 02:20, 10 July 2020 (UTC)


My opinion is this - "Augustus" at the top of the infobox must be retained; it was their title and looks good. "Emperor of the Roman Empire" isn't important, but again, looks good. Btw, I have a question for Avis11 - did he have a consensus for those sweeping and unilateral edits across imperial pages or did he go on a one-man crusade? HalfdanRagnarsson (talk) 16:18, 31 July 2020 (UTC)
This again? Next time please – please – don't revert anything before discussing. Did you even read the comment immediately above yours, to which you ostensibly responded? I mostly got support for my position, with but one dissenting voice. I noticed you also baldly reverted to the previous "Emperor of the Roman Empire" form, despite also claiming to be impartial towards it; you're the one acting unilaterally here, whereas I already went through the trouble of a large discussion on this. On one of your reverts you even declared that in the discussion everyone disagreed, so it's questionable whether you're even acting in good faith here.
Augustus is already implied by "Roman emperor", it already appears under Full name or Regnal name, and it's but one of many titles held by them, especially for later emperors. Moreover, simply placing Augustus beneath a subject's name is not always correct: Caligula was never known as "Caligula Augustus", nor Caracalla "Caracalla Augustus". The forms "Galba Augustus", "Otho Augustus", "Galerius Augustus" and "Maximinus Daia Augustus", for example, are also wrong. For emperors who were both Caesar and Augustus, the fact is already specified in 'succession' ('reign-type'), below Roman emperor. Putting a repeated and redundant Augustus at the very top of the infobox, where the actually important stuff is, is uneconomical and dirty. Avis11 (talk) 18:31, 31 July 2020 (UTC)
I mostly got support for my position Er... who supported you on 'Augustus'? Actually, everybody either disagreed or took a nuanced position. You had some more support on 'Emperor...', but that is still not a consensus and nobody has agreed with your replacement either, so the previous one should stay till then. If you could call for a vote, matters would be much clearer to you. Also, this conflict is editorial, not personal, so calm down. HalfdanRagnarsson (talk) 08:49, 1 August 2020 (UTC)
Also, 'Augustus' is not "repeated and redundant" - it was their official title. HalfdanRagnarsson (talk) 08:52, 1 August 2020 (UTC)
Aculeius and Trekker agreed with my proposal on 'Augustus', Pinkerton disagreed, and the rest did not bother to give an opinion on this. Pinkerton however, brought a number of arguments which had little to do with the topic itself (whence the length of the conversation), only to give up in the end. So there you have it, 3 editors against 1 or 0. I kept the Augustus in some of those w/o a 'regnal name' as a sort of concession. Your reply suggests you either didn't read what I said or just decided to misrepresent it, not for the first time. And again, you still persist in forcing through your changes before finishing the argument. This isn't the first time you behave in disruptive fashion, apparently.
I'm going to repeat what I said previously. First, Augustus already appears elsewhere in the infobox (either in |full name=, |regnal name=, or |reign-type=), so putting another of the same below the name is unneeded. Second, the top region of the infobox should contain only the most important information (commonly used name, image, and office) and not be polluted with titles which appear elsewhere in the same infobox. Third, 'Augustus' occupies a specific place in an emperor's nomenclature, so it's wrong to simply give the emperor's common name followed by that title in particular, especially if said emperor is known by a nickname (eg Caligula or Caracalla). Fourth, Roman emperors had a load of titles, not just Augustus; how should these be displayed, if at all? Most of these titles are implied by the fact that the subject was a Roman emperor anyway. Next time preferably address these points rather than saying WP:IDONTLIKEIT and then simply reiterating your previous point w/o further elaboration. Avis11 (talk) 14:23, 1 August 2020 (UTC)
May I also add that I've been thanked by other editors for introducing to the infoboxes the style discussed here. I also received one thank you for undoing your disruptions, which goes to show that I do have consensus for my actions. Avis11 (talk) 15:48, 1 August 2020 (UTC)

Please ~ stop the reverting back and forth! As far as i can tell right now, it is Avis11 and HalfdanRagnarsson, you are basically edit warring across a whole range of articles, and it needs to stop. Discuss it here. Or on one of the talk pages. Or one of your talk pages. But don't edit war any more, please; happy days, LindsayHello 15:52, 1 August 2020 (UTC)

@LindsayH: I am already going through the painstaking trouble of a discussion, the other one is not. He just decided he doesn't like it and unilaterally changed everything w/o any consultation whatsoever – after I had asked him not to do so. I sent the other party a warning and force-reverted everything until the issue is settled. You should direct your complaints to he who is being uncooperative. I notice you agreed with me at least twice (Constantine II, Romulus); perhaps you'd like to actually provide an input in my favor to help end this discussion, rather than fence-sit and give an unhelpful 'solve it among yourselves'? Avis11 (talk) 16:13, 1 August 2020 (UTC)
  • I don't understand why the removal of the awkward "Emperor of the Roman Empire" triggers so much resistance. Roman Emperor is the title of the article linked. It is very sensible to cut the ambiguity.

    Regarding keeping Augustus as infobox title: as it has been pointed out before, "Augustus" and "Caesar" were also names, and "Emperor" is a modern reconstruction, coined to designate the ensemble of positions held by the emperors which collectively made up their power; it was necessary to use this modern word to avoid the numerous technicalities of the constitution of the Roman Empire, which moreover evolved a lot throughout its 500 years of existence, or even 1500 years when including the Byzantine Empire. The huge wall of text above, with editors pointing the peculiarities of the Roman titulature, reflects this. Imo, if you keep Augustus in the infobox, you would also have to detail: Pater Patriae, Pontifex maximus, Imperator, Caesar, tribunicia potestas, etc. An "Emperor" was most of these titles together. So, I think it is easier to use "emperor" when modern sources say this guy was emperor. T8612 (talk) 16:55, 1 August 2020 (UTC)

@LindsayH: Thank you for your civil attempt at peacemaking. It was with extreme reluctance that I went forth in doing this single series of restorations, as Ichthyovenator did before me and as others have done on individual pages. My apologies if that came across as edit-warring; however, I must point out that Avis11 has been really disruptive in his actions. He has raked up an old controversy of mine (long settled) publicly, has done three or four runs across Roman Imperial pages by now (stonewalling all the way), slandered me as a "disruptive editor" in his edit summaries and claims to have a (non-existent) consensus here. Pardon me for this accusatory tone; I wished to be civil all along, but his mudslinging forced me to detail this. Once again, thank you for your reminder of civility. HalfdanRagnarsson (talk) 18:06, 1 August 2020 (UTC)
I completely agree with this: I don't understand why the removal of the awkward "Emperor of the Roman Empire" triggers so much resistance. I think i said, somewhere way up this page, that we shouldn't be using that silly and awkward phrase. My current concern, however, is with the back and forth; at the moment i don't care which the articles say (well, i do, but only secondarily), so long as we come to an agreement and stop the swinging from one to the other; happy days, LindsayHello 18:10, 1 August 2020 (UTC)
That is indeed awkward - I removed it only because I thought it hadn't been discussed properly. So I presume we've come to a consensus - remove Emperor of the Roman Empire but retain Augustus at the top? I request comments from everybody involved - Avis11, P Aculeius, Mr rnddude, Ichthyovenator, GPinkerton, LindsayH, Andrew Dalby, *Treker, Llywrch, Smeat75 and T8612. If I missed out someone, ping them too. Let's hope for a happy settlement. Face-smile.svg HalfdanRagnarsson (talk) 18:33, 1 August 2020 (UTC)
I totally agree with Lindsay, far and away my main wish is that this incessant ping ponging back and forth about trivia should cease. We have been begging and imploring users' to stop reverting emperors' styles and titles in their infoboxes for months now and if just goes on and on. Please work out a consensus here or on a talk page instead.Smeat75 (talk) 19:10, 1 August 2020 (UTC)
I really don't care especially much either way but I do feel like the infoboxes should be consistent with each other. As it stands now, some have Augustus at the top (see Julian (emperor), Libius Severus and Romulus Augustulus) while others don't (i.e. Constantius II, Jovian). I think "Roman emperor" looks a bit ugly but that's an aesthetic preference and shouldn't weigh as an opinion. By the way, why is it Roman emperor and not Roman Emperor? The rulers of the German Empire (Wilhelm II, German Emperor for instance) have "Emperor" captialized in German Emperor, the Ottoman sultans (Bayezid II for instance) have "Sultan" capitalized in Ottoman Sultan. "Emperor" is also capitalized in the infoboxes of the Holy Roman Emperors (see Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor), which should be a rather apt comparison. Ichthyovenator (talk) 19:38, 1 August 2020 (UTC)
@Ichthyovenator: The one in Julian was Halfdan's recent doing. The rest I had left as a concession to GPinkerton since those emperors do not feature regnal names, and a central part of my argument was that Augustus shouldn't appear in 'Regnal name' and in the top... though my personal preference is that they all be removed anyway. The one in Romulus Augustulus is a bit of a special case, since it also says "Augustulus" beside the title, so that readers can immediately grasp the connection. As for capitalizing "Emperor", I'd prefer not to, since the page itself is titled Roman emperor, and I see nothing wrong with it being different than, say, "German Emperor": these are two unrelated topics. Avis11 (talk) 19:53, 1 August 2020 (UTC)
@Avis11: I actually just removed "Augustulus" from Rom Aug's infobox (maybe I shouldn't have). Is there a reason why those emperors don't have regnal names? As I said, I'm fine with removing "Augustus" from the top as long as it's done consistently. It feels weird if it suddenly pops up here and there. Yeah, the page is titled "Roman emperor", but I just wondered why, especially since it's "Holy Roman Emperor" and not "Holy Roman emperor". Looking at Britannica, it appears "Roman emperor" and not "Roman Emperor" is correct so I won't oppose the form "Roman emperor". Britannica doesn't capitalize "emperor" for the Holy Roman or German emperors either so perhaps those are at fault on Wikipedia and should be changed (though that's another discussion entirely). Ichthyovenator (talk) 20:31, 1 August 2020 (UTC)
@Ichthyovenator: It seemed appropriate to put the "Augustulus" in the |titletext parameter, which Template:Infobox royalty#Parameters says it's for explanatory notes on the title itself. Thus, "Augustulus" in parentheses beside Augustus would indicate that it's a corruption of the latter form. Romulus was in fact, the only article in which I think Augustus would fit well, in large part due to this arrangement. Though if you feel that "Augustulus" being already mentioned in the main text is enough I won't object much.
The issue with regnal names is that, despite the plethora of titles held by Roman emperors, until the Tetrarchy there seems to consistently be a reduced form consisting mostly of "Imperator Caesar [diacritic] Augustus", which comprises the emperor's actual, official name. Remember that Imperator was Augustus' praenomen, and not just a title. From the tetrarchy onwards, however, Imperator Caesar disappears and is substituted by the honorific 'dominus noster'; on this, see especially here, p. 137, and here, pp. 479, 501–502. There seems no reason to suppose 'dominus noster' should be considered an actual name any more than 'pius felix', 'pontifex maximus' or tribunicia potestas', and one is therefore left with "[diacritic] Augustus". Augustus at this point is also just one of many titles used to denote the imperial office, so a specific regnal name is essentially gone. Avis11 (talk) 21:49, 1 August 2020 (UTC)
@Avis11: I feel like "Augustulus" is unnecessary; it is a corruption of "Augustus", yes, but it's also a derisive nickname. On the regnal names; yeah, I actually agree with you here. By the same logic I feel like "Augustus" could definitely be removed from the top of the infoboxes (since the infoboxes don't use the other frequent titles, such as dominus noster). Ichthyovenator (talk) 22:05, 1 August 2020 (UTC)
@HalfdanRagnarsson: No; with T8612's comment just above yours we now have 4 editors who agree with removing Augustus from the top (myself, Aculeius, Treker and T8612), with only Pinkerton against it (not sure if I count him here; his lengthy set of arguments remained unfinished). You support keeping it too but haven't yet addressed any of my arguments in the last day, nor that of any other person here. This is hardly a 'non-existent consensus', as you put it, and I have also received private thanks from other editors for introducing those changes. Further, you were indeed being quite disruptive by reverting absolutely everything w/o a single reply here or in my talk page; you have also received similar warnings for your activities in Battle of Gaugamela, so this is not just baseless, uncalled-for slander on my part. Overall you seem totally unaware of what's being discussed here. I'd have tried to brief it up for you had you asked, but, again, you just recklessly rushed forward with your eyes closed. Finally, I have not been particularly uncivil (cf. the reversion of your edit in Macrinus); you're the one who sent a premature 'chill down' comment rather than any meaningful answer. Avis11 (talk) 19:46, 1 August 2020 (UTC)
"Emperor of the Roman empire" or "Roman Emperor", "Augustus" at the top or not" "Emperor" or "emperor" and go through the hundreds of articles changing them back to your preference. It is TRIV-I-A. Cut it out. Everybody participating in these lame edit ping pongs is being seriously disruptive.Smeat75 (talk) 21:20, 1 August 2020 (UTC)

OK, OK, we clearly have a problem here: there is clearly a number of edits wars over the infobox attached to some of the articles. To solve this, we need to reach some kind of consensus on the following (& maybe a couple of other items I'm not seeing in this thread):

  1. How should the infobox about emperors be structured?
  2. What style should we use in the infobox to label the emperors?
Nota bene: we don't need a consensus about civil behavior here. Argue about the subject under discussion, not about each others' motivations. If you have evidence that another person is not behaving here in Good Faith, the dramaz boardz are over there. -->
Now if we are willing to have a formal RfC on these points (& the ones everyone is in agreement I missed), I am willing to play the heavy & drop a block on anyone who edits the navbox from that moment until the RfC(s) are concluded. If not, I'll sit back & let everyone squabble & maybe earn a time out from an uninvolved admin for behaving badly.
And yes, I do have an opinion on this matter. (And it's the right one because I am always right, so there. ;-P) But I will set it aside because it is more important that we be consistent, avoid lame edit wars, & spend our time improving articles than argue whether we call these people Augustus, Emperor, or Two-bit lamers. So shall we close this thread & start a formal RfC? -- llywrch (talk) 21:25, 1 August 2020 (UTC)
Everyone here seems to at least passively consent to the label always being Roman emperor [of the West/East] and not Emperor of the Roman Empire. I prefer that Augustus never (for consistency) be displayed in the title parameter; a discussion on exact titles could be made on the Roman emperor page itself. The general pattern would be (from top to bottom) common name first, image second, and label third, with full name in full name and noteworthy honorific titles in regnal name. For emperors who were both caesar and augustus, this would be specified through the reign-type parameter. Avis11 (talk) 22:12, 1 August 2020 (UTC)
Not "everyone here" cares two hoots whether the Infoboxes say Roman emperor or Emperor of the Roman empire or Augustus is at the top or not. Me, for instance. We have asked politely for months that you and the others involved should drop this LAME, IDIOTIC, STUPID edit war and you won't do it. I am out of patience. I am either going to remove the Emperors' articles from my watchlist, but why should I? Or seek to have you topic banned if you don't drop this.Smeat75 (talk) 22:34, 1 August 2020 (UTC)
Interesting that Mister Fence-Sitter here has crawled out of his den to denounce me personally, but not the other editor who started this edit war to begin with, against the consensus which had already been established. Just shut up, man. I had gone through all the trouble of doing things correctly, until someone else decided to revive this and start another edit war w/o explanation. If you want a culprit go after him, not me. I'm tired of this as anyone else. Avis11 (talk) 02:21, 2 August 2020 (UTC)
I have to agree that this has become kind of tiresome.★Trekker (talk) 23:01, 1 August 2020 (UTC)
  • Sorry to add to the confusion of watchlists, but having participated in earlier phases of the discussion but not the edits wars, I thought it would be good to update the regnal names where not listed and/or not cited, following Cooley 2012 from the Severans up to Justinian (as far as Cooley goes). No-one earlier seemed to object to using Cooley for this purpose. GPinkerton (talk) 02:11, 2 August 2020 (UTC)
I already did this more or less, removing regnal names from the Tetrarchy onwards due to the increased appearance of 'dominus noster' at the expense of 'imperator caesar'. Avis11 (talk) 02:27, 2 August 2020 (UTC)
Well I've put them back, with citations. The increased appearance of Dominus Noster at the expense of Imperator is just the way it was. The problem now is that while Justinian I is D.N. ..., Justin II and thereafter goes back to Imperator Caesar .... We need another source for the later emperors' regnal names. GPinkerton (talk) 02:47, 2 August 2020 (UTC)
@LindsayH: @Llywrch: @Smeat75: Don't worry, I don't intend to do that again - I conducted only a single anti-vandalism run on most of those pages. HalfdanRagnarsson (talk) 04:04, 2 August 2020 (UTC)
Thank you for that, HalfdanRagnarsson.
Avis11, you seem to be insulting both myself and Smeat75 with your "Mister Fence-Sitter" comment ~ you are replying to Smeat but already accused me of fence-sitting earlier; may i suggest you don't focus on us (the editors) but on the matter at hand (the content/edit-warring)?
Personally, i don't think an RfC is fully necessary, though i wouldn't object; surely we can function as a community and work together to improve the articles. Or, don't worry about absolute consistency (was it Emerson who said a "foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds"?). Does it matter if they all look identical? Yes, it's nice, but not essential.
And if we continue arguing, i'm all for Llywrch being the heavy mentioned above; happy days, LindsayHello 06:15, 2 August 2020 (UTC)
I agree with the last speaker's last sentence (as a cautious senator might have said). Andrew Dalby 08:30, 2 August 2020 (UTC)
"work together to improve the articles." The article content is hardly affected by what parameters are included in the infobox. The entire discussion seems to be about what title or titles to include in the infobox, and whether to include one or more regnal names. As long as these are available in the main text, it may not matter at all. Dimadick (talk) 11:52, 2 August 2020 (UTC)
I agree with what Llywrch said, something like an RfC, and in the meantime whip anyone who touches the infoboxes. As I said, I don't intend to go all over that again; anyway, the whole thing is too heated up, and distracts me from my favourite grammar edits. My opinion remains the same. That's all, good luck. HalfdanRagnarsson (talk) 17:12, 2 August 2020 (UTC)
I'd like to note that I had thought about protecting the Roman emperor infobox template to stop this edit war, only to find it is only a redirect to the monarch infobox: the field for the imperial title is entered at each instance. (Creating a special infobox would only increase the strife because someone would nominate it for deletion because it duplicates an existing infobox. And I don't think many at WP:XfD would accept "reduce lame edit wars" as sufficient rationale to keep.) The point in any admin action is to reduce conflict, not increase it. -- llywrch (talk) 20:58, 2 August 2020 (UTC)

Antonia sistersEdit

Right now the elder sister is located at Antonia the Elder while the younger sister is at Antonia Minor. Wouldn't it make more sense if they had the same form? I have a hard time seeing sources switching between the Latin and English names.★Trekker (talk) 05:56, 10 July 2020 (UTC)

Agreed. They may be other examples of (unimaginatively named) Roman noblewomen. GPinkerton (talk) 14:45, 10 July 2020 (UTC)
Good point. HalfdanRagnarsson (talk) 16:10, 2 August 2020 (UTC)

Seuthes (general)Edit

Can anyone help with this article, which has been in CAT:NN, and unreferenced, for over 11 years? I couldn't find any sources for the right Seuthes, and I'm unsure if this is a duplicate of another one we have an article for? Thanks, Boleyn (talk) 06:56, 20 July 2020 (UTC)

@Boleyn: See page 391 in: Delev, P. (2000). "Lysimachus, the Getae, and Archaeology". The Classical Quarterly. New Series. 50 (2): 384–401. doi:10.1093/cq/50.2.384. JSTOR 1558897. The original reference is to the work of Polyaenus. GPinkerton (talk) 07:26, 20 July 2020 (UTC)
Thanks :) Boleyn (talk) 07:27, 20 July 2020 (UTC)
Are you sure the article isn't really about Seuthes No. 3 here? The stub is so vague and poorly worded that I have to wonder if it's a complete misunderstanding of the subject. P Aculeius (talk) 15:40, 20 July 2020 (UTC)

"The fragmentary remarks in the extant sources permit only a very imperfect reconstruction of the sequence of events during this large-scale military campaign. Although the number of 100,000 mentioned by Polyaenus seems an immoderate overestimate, Lysimachus must have invaded the lands of the Getae with significant forces. His Thracian adversaries probably evaded a direct encounter; Polyaenus has preserved the story about Seuthes, a general (strategos) of king Dromichaetes who presented himself as a deserter and deceived Lysimachus, led him into difficult terrain, and thus decided the outcome of the whole war. Tormented by hunger and thirst and attacked by Dromichaetes, the army of Lysimachus found itself locked in a desperate situation and the king had to surrender. The story of Polyaenus ends with the physical annihilation of Lysimachus and his whole army, which is clearly erroneous. Pausanias (1.9.6) mentions the captivity of Lysimachus only as an alternative version to his main story in which Lysimachus escaped from a position of extreme danger, but his son Agathocles was taken prisoner by the Getae; this might be a real event of the first war or a random interpolation of facts from the two Getic campaigns. According to the fragment of Diodorus, although advised to run away, Lysimachus refused to desert his soldiers and friends and was taken prisoner together with his train and the whole army (Diod. 21.12.1). The news of Lysimachus' captivity then tempted Demetrius Poliorcetes into a full-scale invasion of Thrace; he evidently counted on an easy victory in a country deprived of both army and government, but the uprising which broke out in Boeotia and the report about the expedient liberation of Lysimachus by Dromichaetes induced him to turn back."

GPinkerton (talk) 16:24, 20 July 2020 (UTC)

Everything that's said at Seuthes (general) is also said, better, at Dromichaetes. (I say "better" because the phrase "faking a traitor" doesn't mean anything to me, but maybe that's just me.) The existence of this Seuthes depends on a single non-contemporary source and his notability depends on a single incident which that source alone mentions. Not a good basis for a biographical article. I haven't seen any authority for joining him with another Seuthes, which would be synthesis for us unless someone reliable has already done it. The simplest thing would be to redirect Seuthes (general) to Dromichaetes. If there were a separate article about Dromichaetes' war with Lysimachus (the events outlined in the quote given above), it would be better to redirect him to that article, but I don't think there is. Andrew Dalby 08:14, 21 July 2020 (UTC)

@Andrew Dalby: I cautiously agree, though perhaps there's more out there in the literature about Lysimachus that deals with Seuthes or his identity with others or his role. Coverage of Lysimachus-related topics is weak here in any case. GPinkerton (talk) 00:53, 23 July 2020 (UTC)
I also agree with a merge; so little information is provided at Seuthes (general) to justify a separate article.
Along these lines -- I have found large number of forgotten stubs & other short articles which appear to have been imported years ago that duplicate other content. An example is a case I stumbled across yesterday: there are articles about 4 early Christians all named Abercius, at least 3 of which could be combined into one article. (Many poorly known saints have multiple feast days, due either to errors in transcription or divergent traditions.) Of course, to do so would require time & resources to determine if these Abercii are the same man, or there is reason to conclude they are different men -- which is, of course, not our problem. But we do have a large amount of stubs & unrated articles related to Classical Greece & Rome which might either be duplicate entries, or better merged into another article. Articles like these pose prime vandal bait. Now all we need is someone with the time & resources to review them all... -- llywrch (talk) 21:05, 24 July 2020 (UTC)
Thanks to those who replied. I have redirected Seuthes (general) to Dromichaetes#The war with Lysimachus. If there were currently anything else to say or to conjecture about this Seuthes, Delev in his CQ article of 2000 (already cited at Dromichaetes, and quoted verbatim above) would surely have said it ... if general Seuthes' tomb turns up next year, then the article can be resurrected. Andrew Dalby 08:47, 25 July 2020 (UTC)

Claudius MergeEdit

This merge request has been around for 4 months now, so if other editors wouldn't mind giving some feedback hopefully we can resolve it (one way or another) relatively soon. Aza24 (talk) 01:11, 21 July 2020 (UTC)

I assumed it got rejected since the marge tag was removed from the Drusus article.★Trekker (talk) 01:44, 21 July 2020 (UTC)
Closed - both articles still had tags just now, but I've removed them. Clearly wrong after a big expansion. Johnbod (talk) 03:19, 25 July 2020 (UTC)

Roman emperor short descriptionsEdit

I wonder if we can form a consensus to standardize the short descriptions for Roman emperors. At the moment they differ between articles, for example here are the Julio-Claudian ones:

  • Augustus: First Roman emperor
  • Tiberius: Second Roman emperor (AD 14–37)
  • Caligula: Third Roman emperor (AD 37–41)
  • Claudius: Roman emperor (r. AD 41–54)
  • Nero: Roman emperor from 54 to 68

(Some other variations after going through):

  • Vespasian: Roman emperor, 69–79
  • Marcus Aurelius: Roman emperor (161–180) and philosopher – While the inclusion of "Philosopher" might be an exception here the formatting before that is still different
  • Gordian I: Roman emperor in AD 238

I personally like simply "Roman emperor, year–year" as I think it's straightforward and to the point. (A lot of Roman emperors, including all of the Flavian dynasty and Nerva–Antonine dynasty already use this anyways) The use of numbering each emperor seems problematic, except for Augustus where something like "First Roman emperor, 27 AD – 14 BC" would make sense.

  • Should "AD" be used for every emperor or only to a point? Imo they should always be used since readers may not know that all Roman emperors (except Augustus) were AD.
  • Should "r." be used for the years to avoid confusion that the numbers refer to the lifespan of the individual? (eg. "Roman Emperor, r. 14–37" vs "Roman Emperor, 14–37")

Thoughts? - Aza24 (talk) 01:03, 27 July 2020 (UTC)

First impressions: there's value in knowing "first, second, third", but only to a point. I would consider limiting this to one of the following sets: (a) the first three; number becomes progressively less useful with each additional emperor; or (b) the Julio-Claudian dynasty, which is somewhat cohesive as the early set, all connected with one another, and disconnected with those who follow, and this limits us to five. There are various other possible cut-offs; Domitian ends the Flavian Dynasty, as well as completing the "twelve Caesars" referred to by Suetonius; and Commodus ends the Antonines, but then you have to decide how to number Lucius Verus and Geta. Is there any real benefit to knowing that someone is either the sixteenth, seventeenth, or eighteenth Roman emperor, depending on how you count them?
As for the formatting, I would go with "Roman emperor from AD 54 to 68". You're correct about readers not necessarily knowing whether we're discussing BC or AD in Roman topics, so I would include it. True, readers can figure out which era it has to be by seeing whether it's counting up or down, and there's generally no need to "dumb down" a well-written article, but this is a "short description", so it benefits from clarity. I don't think the same ambiguity results from omitting "r", since by definition the period that one was emperor was the span of the person's reign. It would only be ambiguous if we included both lifespan and reign in the short description, and there's no need to do that.
Also writing it out in English instead of using shorthand, abbreviations, parentheses, dashes, etc. make it clearer. "Roman emperor from AD 54 to 68" is absolutely clear, IMO. "Roman emperor and musician (54–68)" is less so. I would probably omit additional notability (philosopher, poet, gladiator) for this reason, except perhaps in the case of notable generals who became emperor—in which case "general" preceding "emperor" would reduce the chance of confusion: "Roman general and emperor from AD 69 to 79" doesn't seem very ambiguous. P Aculeius (talk) 04:06, 27 July 2020 (UTC)
Since Augustus is the only BC emperor, shouldn't we drop the AD for all the years after about the first century? The reader can tell what the numbers mean if they're increasing not decreasing. Some one-year-or-less emperors might benefit from the clarification, but I don't think it necessary. The article for Hadrian does not bother with labelling the era at all. If it must be there, I'd prefer it after the numbers, not before. I propose:
some examples
Note: There is overlap in the dates because the reign begins when the person is either acclaimed/appointed augustus, or appointed caesar for emperors beginning with Constantius and Galerius, (but not before) regardless of how young they were or how many other emperors there happened to be or whether their predecessor was still alive. Note also that Diocletian's dates give his date of retirement, not death. At some point they have to be called "Byzantine emperor, r. ..." but I suggest that should be with Heraclius and not before. GPinkerton (talk) 05:09, 27 July 2020 (UTC)
@P Aculeius: NB that though Domitian is Suetonius's twelfth Caesar, he was in fact the eleventh emperor. I suggest Nerva can be labelled with an ordinal as well. GPinkerton (talk)
We can't count on readers to know that all emperors were AD, and shouldn't require them to perform a mental calculation just because that would save us the trouble of writing it. That was the point I was trying to make above, and which Aza24 raised before me. Would be better to follow the normal convention and place it first in any event. As for "Caesar", it has no significance as to when someone was emperor. We're only concerned with the period that someone was Augustus, since that was the defining title of an emperor. Also there's absolutely no significance to the number twelve here. I was only pointing out that finishing out the list of Suetonius was another possible, but probably less useful cutoff for numbering them, one of several. It would make zero sense to include Nerva, but not Trajan, simply because he was the twelfth. It would be better to stop during or at the end of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, or even the Flavian dynasty; but if you insist on counting Nerva then you really would have to go to the end of the Antonines, which as I pointed out above is both problematic in terms of numbering, and not terribly useful to the reader. P Aculeius (talk) 12:34, 27 July 2020 (UTC)
Four emperors (not two): Two augusti and two caesares. Which is which?
@P Aculeius: I'm sorry but this claim of yours that As for "Caesar", it has no significance as to when someone was emperor. We're only concerned with the period that someone was Augustus, since that was the defining title of an emperor. I'm afraid this simply isn't true. If it were, you'd have to be arguing that the Tetrarchy was a system of two co-reigning emperors, which even the name demonstrates is not true at all, let alone their art, epigraphy, titulature, actual history, etc. GPinkerton (talk) 16:31, 27 July 2020 (UTC)
Just quickly jumping in to say that the format proposed by GPinkerton looks good to me. Some considerations: I question the need for having AD for anyone beyond Augustus at all. "We can't count on readers to know that all emperors were AD" seems like a strange argument to me and I wonder if there are any similar examples where AD is used (or not used).
I'd also argue that Zeno should be the last emperor with a short description calling them "Roman emperor in the East" since Wikipedia practice seems to be to refer to emperors after Zeno as Byzantine except in some places (Justinian I and Justin II are called "Eastern Roman" rather than "Byzantine" in their articles it seems and the List of Roman emperors goes all the way to Constantine XI, as it should). I agree that Heraclius is arguably a better cut-off points but it is nice if everything fits together. In any case, someone like Justinian I was arguably not just "Roman emperor in the East" since there was no longer a Roman emperor in the West and Justinian I controlled North Africa, Italy and parts of Spain. Ichthyovenator (talk) 13:11, 27 July 2020 (UTC)
If that's Wikipedia practice it ought to be changed and brought into line with common practice. "in the East" is still useful after Zeno because the emperors were after all "in the East", even if some of them ruled over the (remaining) West as well. GPinkerton (talk) 16:32, 27 July 2020 (UTC)
I agree with you on this point but that's another discussion entirely. Ichthyovenator (talk) 16:45, 27 July 2020 (UTC)
@Ichthyovenator: I've gone and changed the irregularities up to Phocas. Most were called "Eastern Roman emperor", except Leo I who was called "Byzantine", Leo II who was just "emperor", and Phocas who was merely "Augustus". Some had dates; they all have them now, without "r.". They're all "Roman emperor in the East" now, from Valens to Phocas. GPinkerton (talk) 18:37, 27 July 2020 (UTC)
@GPinkerton: Yeah that's good. They are however still Byzantine in the infobox and throughout their articles (one could argue that this makes the article inconsistent with itself, even though the terms are effectively synonymous). I agree with you that if one has to separate "Roman"/"Eastern Roman" and "Byzantine", the best cut-off point is probably the succession from Phocas to Heraclius for a multitude of reasons but this should probably be its own discussion, preferably in some place that both the Classical Greece and Rome people and the Byzantine people can read and participate. Sadly, there is no "WikiProject Byzantium" (closest thing is the Byzantine world task force. My attempt at referring to Anastasius I as "Roman" rather than "Byzantine" was reverted back in 2018 as POV, so evidently there is some controversy in regards to terminology here. Ichthyovenator (talk) 19:15, 27 July 2020 (UTC)
A short description should transmit the essential idea in the first glance w/o any ambiguity, and nothing more. With this in mind, I would drop the numbering (first, second etc.) entirely; the articles themselves usually already give the order anyways. The meaning of comma, parenthesis or 'r.' for reigned also might not be immediately clear to readers in a bat of an eye, so I would avoid them. I prefer the clear, unambiguous and not very long Roman emperor from [start] to [end] (as in Nero), or, if the subject only reigned for one year, Roman emperor in [year] (as in Gordian I). Exceptions like the case of Marcus Aurelius probably should remain as they are.
Does anyone have a suggestion regarding junior emperors, Caesares? Editors interested on the matter here disagree whether these fully constitute 'emperors'. Perhaps Roman emperor from [...] to [...] could be expanded to deputy/junior Roman emperor (Caesar) from [...] to [...], or alternatively the label "Roman emperor" could be dropped entirely. Avis11 (talk) 17:54, 27 July 2020 (UTC)
"Emperor" is translated from imperator, so I have difficulty understanding how that distinction could be made, since caesares were unquestionably imperatores and functioned as full-time heads of state from the Tetrarchy at latest. I think to keep it simple we should just give the dates when that emperor had imperial power and were afforded imperial honours (i.e. after they were acclaimed/appointed caesar or augustus, whichever came first). Many post-Diocletianic caesares became augusti after, sometimes very shortly after, they became caesares. To distinguish them would be awkward: Diadumenian would be:
  • "Roman emperor, caesar in 217, augustus in 218"
Crispus would be:
  • "Roman emperor, caesar 317–324"
Constantius II would be
  • "Roman emperor, caesar from 324, augustus 337–361"
Valentinian III would be:
  • "Roman emperor, caesar in 424, augustus 425–455"
Overall we should just list the year in which they assumed the purple and the year in which they relinquished it, by death or by other means. GPinkerton (talk) 18:20, 27 July 2020 (UTC)
Sorry, but on the question of "Caesar" making someone an emperor, it's simply wrong, and it has no place in anyone's short description. And it's not necessary to keep pinging me every time you reply to anything I say. I check discussions I'm involved with, in addition to pages on my watchlist. P Aculeius (talk) 19:09, 27 July 2020 (UTC)
I'm sure it's comforting to say it's simply wrong but I'm afraid you are simply wrong so to do. GPinkerton (talk) 19:35, 27 July 2020 (UTC)
I think it's simpler and safer to use in the short desc just the person's period as Augustus. Most non-Tetrarchic Caesares are closer to simply being imperial heirs. Regarding your claim that Caesares were "imperatores", none of those styled nobilissimus Caesar actually seem to have borne the style Imperator. When a general was acclaimed as imperator on the field it presumably meant raising him to Augustan rank directly. I'm not sure that, say, Clodius Albinus, who was Severus' Caesar, should be classified as an emperor on par with Severus himself. Avis11 (talk) 20:04, 27 July 2020 (UTC)
That's why I've said "appointed caesar for emperors beginning with Constantius and Galerius, (but not before)". As for your claim none of those styled nobilissimus Caesar actually seem to have borne the style Imperator that's just not the point. Imperator had mostly been dropped over the course of the tetrarchy and was replaced by Dominus Noster which was afforded to both caesares and augusti. You can see that in this example are two emperors, both titled Dominus Noster and titled as caesar and augustus. Imperator was dropped altogether after Gratian, and both cesares and augusti used this D.N. title from their elevation to imperial rank on. GPinkerton (talk) 20:32, 27 July 2020 (UTC)
Oh, apparently, when Constantine proclaimed himself emperor on 25th July 306, he assumed the rank of caesar and the rank of augustus the same day. The reason acclamation usually involved promotion to augustus was that the emperors so proclaimed were already emperors, with the rank of caesar (as with Julian). Constantine, the unrecognized usurper in 306, is an exception to a rule. GPinkerton (talk) 20:36, 27 July 2020 (UTC)
For an example, Constantius II was titled (while augustus from September 337) as D[OMINUS]N[OSTER] CONSTANTIVS P[IUS]F[ELIX] AVG[USTUS] while Constantius Gallus, his co-emperor, was entitled D[OMINUS]N[OSTER] CONSTANTIVS NOB[ILISSIMUS] CAES[AR]. How can one co-emperor be an emperor and the other not? GPinkerton (talk) 20:57, 27 July 2020 (UTC)
Just going to say that I agree that caesares were effectively emperors but that they should only be regarded as such on Wikipedia if reliable scholary sources outside of Wikipedia also refer to figures such as Constantius Gallus, Crispus and Licinius II as "emperors" rather than "junior emperors" or something to that effect. I have not checked if they do/don't but I feel like that would help settle this argument once and for all if you provide any examples of that.
Imperator being dropped altogether after Gratian is not true; it was no longer as important as other titles (and ceased appearing on coins for instance) but it was still a part of the "full" imperial titulature. Justin II's "full" title in 570 was Imperator Caesar Flavius Iustinus fidelis in Christo mansuetus maximus benefactor Alamannicus Gothicus Francicus Germanicus Anticus Vandalicus Africanus pius felix inclitus victor ac triumphator semper Augustus (cited in his article). Imperator was used sporadically in certain contexts by the Byzantines thereafter. Latin-language documents issued by Byzantine emperors as late as the 1400s call the emperors "imperator et moderator romeorum". Ichthyovenator (talk) 21:49, 27 July 2020 (UTC)
Here isn't quite the place to elaborate much on the status of Caesares on the imperial college, though I think we do have a preference here for applying the Roman emperor label only for Augusti. One could, once again, resort to the compromise of "Junior/Deputy Roman emperor from [year] to [year]" for emperors who weren't Augustus. I do somewhat doubt the authenticity of Justin's full nomenclature (even if it's sourced), as Imperator Caesar had probably been dropped officially (though it didn't disappear completely) by the time of Constantine. Avis11 (talk) 22:29, 27 July 2020 (UTC)
The citations attached to the titles in that article are misleading, at best. Sodini attributes the inscription to Tiberius II, not to Justin, whom he says was certainly not the honorand. Moreover, the surviving part of the inscription, which is very fragmentary and in Greek, begins: Βασ[ι]λεὺς followed by several lines of destroyed words followed by an Αῦ- for augustus. There isn't the slightest trace of the word imperator, or even any indication of a Greek equivalent, let alone the name of the emperor concerned. GPinkerton (talk) 22:55, 27 July 2020 (UTC)

My revised thoughts on initial formatting:

  • I would concur that it still seems unnecessary, any break would be arbitrary and the fact that no reason for when the numbering would stop stands out over another is telling it self. I still think strongly that Augustus would be the exception here and keep "First", since that is notable in itself.
  • I think AD is essential since the average reader will be more likely to be reading on a specific emperor than many of them at once, hence it would not be apparent to them to see the pattern of AD – some people may even think some of these emperors are BC as Ancient Rome as a whole may cause confusion. Many of the Emperor articles use AD already. I could agree to place the AD after the years though. This being said, to a point I believe the AD should perhaps stop, many of the articles already do this, but I would be unsure as to when
Formatting of years
  • With P Aculeius's comment, I would agree that "from year to year" is the clearest and least likely to cause confusion. Upon further recollection I think the first time I saw the "r." in an article it was unclear as to its meaning. Likewise, simply listing "year–year" could easily be confused as the individual's lifespan
Eastern and Western emperors
  • Here I have little to say other than "Western/Eastern Roman emperor from year to year" would fit best imo. I am admittedly not well versed in the technicalities here (especially when it comes to these "junior emperors").

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Aza24 (talkcontribs) 02:29, 28 July 2020 (UTC)

Draft-review of GermaniaEdit

I am writing a sort of solo-revision of Germania and I'll appreciate very much comments, questions etc. Draft: User:Sechinsic/sketch1; Discussion: Talk:Germania#A toponym —— Sechinsic (talk) 12:04, 29 July 2020 (UTC)

Did Augustus raise the Antistii to the patriciate?Edit

An IP editor has recently been tinkering with Antistia gens to indicate that Augustus made the Antistii patricians in 29 BC, and a few minor wording changes that seem to make individual Antistii sound more important than they previously did. I let this go a few days ago because I knew that Augustus had created new patricians, and I didn't have time to verify it, but I can't find anything that mentions the Antistii becoming patricians then or at any other time. I looked for passages referring to the creation of new patricians, but couldn't spot any that mentioned particular families (the references I got in Tacitus, Cassius Dio, and the Res Gestae of Augustus don't mention any names, although I could swear I've seen two or three named in some historian or other). I tried to look in PW, which says at the beginning that they were a plebeian family, but it's possible that I missed something under one of the individual Antistii. Does anyone know anything about this, or do we have an anonymous editor trying to make the Antistii sound impressive for personal reasons? P Aculeius (talk) 18:18, 29 July 2020 (UTC)

I've been fascinated by the existence of the Patrician class into Imperial times, when they were effectively an anachronism -- yet this class was still kept viable by emperors as late as Septimius Severus. So maybe I can help a little in this.
TL;DR version: Although there was a Patrician branch of the Antistii, that branch died out by the 3rd century BC. Any Antistii under the Empire had no direct connection with the Patrician branch -- they trace their origins to either North African or Spanish colonists -- & to my knowledge were never promoted to the Patricate.
In more detail: After the Civil Wars of the late Republic, the Patrician class was hollowed out. Practically all of the Patricians left were relatives of the Julio-Claudians -- who were composed of 2 of the remaining Patrician families. Augustus did promote some 60 men from about 20 families, but he also tried to restore some to the Senate, like the Quinctilii, who had long faded from importance. (About the only Patrician family that could trace some connection from Republican times that survived into the 2nd century were the shadowy Cornelii Scipiones Salvidieni Orfiti.) Claudius promoted 33 men of 14 families, but less than half of those 37 families were still around by Trajan's time. Vespasian promoted a further 26 men from 19 families, but they likewise failed to thrive. So if any imperial Antistii were promoted to Patricians by an emperor, I can assure you it was not Claudius or Vespasian -- I have access to lists of people experts have identified as promoted by either of these -- & while I doubt Augustus had promoted any Antistii to Patrician status, even if they had, it's doubtful that their descendants were alive past the second generation. So I would push back on this editing unless they provide a reliable source. -- llywrch (talk) 07:09, 30 July 2020 (UTC)
Syme mentions that the Antistii Veteres were promoted to the patriciate, possibly in 29 (Augustan Aristocracy, p. 52). He cites as indirect evidence ILS 948.

Several patrician families continued to thrive under the Julio-Claudians though, but disappear completely after Galba. In my knowledge, the only historically patrician family to survive into the 2nd century are the Cornelius Dolabellae (one consul in 113), but not for long. The Cornelii Scipiones Salvidieni Orfiti were very likely not direct descendants of the Cornelii Scipiones. One family, although of plebeian descent, did survive throughout the Empire: the Acilii Glabriones, one of them was consul in 438 AD (!), 629 years after the first consul of the family (in 191 BC). -- T8612 (talk) 01:18, 31 July 2020

Alright, help me out here. I'm able to look at Syme—and he says almost nothing about the Antistii, apparently taking for granted that ILS 948 demonstrates that the Antistii Veteres had probably been raised to patrician status, requiring no further explanation. But looking at this inscription from Gabii, I can't see the connection. Here it is in full:
L(ucio) Antistio C(ai) f(ilio) / veteri pont(ifici) p(opuli) R(omani) / Xvir(o) stl(itibus) iud(icandis) q(uaestori) / Ti(beri) Caesaris Augusti / decuriones et populus / municipes Gabini / praefectura / Sex(ti) Marci Teris et C(ai) Varini Canacis
As far as I know, none of these offices or honours required the bearer to be patrician. Our article on the college of pontifices says that membership was only restricted to the patricians in the early Republic. For what it's worth, I note that the very first Pontifex Maximus (according to tradition) was from a plebeian family (Cornell notes that none of the Roman kings bore patrician names, and if I read him correctly, he suggests that they were intentionally excluded from the patriciate; if this is the case, it would hardly be surprising to have a plebeian Pontifex Maximus, even if in the early Republic the patricians managed to prevent plebeians from holding the office). But in any case, while a few priesthoods continued to be reserved for patricians, the rest of the pontifices could be plebeians. So how does this inscription indicate that Antistius was likely a patrician? P Aculeius (talk) 04:29, 31 July 2020 (UTC)
Found other sources here and here. Apparently, the succession of magistracies in short time is what makes him a patrician, but I don't have access to the rest of Hoffman Lewis' book. T8612 (talk) 14:40, 31 July 2020 (UTC)
T8612 was kind to me: they could have pointed to this article & showed that I should have known at least some of the Antistii were patrician. (I must have confused the Antistii with the Papirii, another old Roman family with both a Patrician branch & a odd name for a Latin.)
As T8612, there are a number of clues that help indicate if a Senator was Patrician, the most certain of which was that Patricians could skip various regulations (such as they could skip the magistracy of aedile/plebeian tribune, go from quaestor to praetor, then accede to the consulate -- usually the Ordinary Consulate -- within two years after completing their service as praetor at the age of 32 -- all much quicker than non-Patricians, who could reach the office of consul no earlier than the age of 37, & usually later than age 45).
About the Cornelii Scipiones Salvidieni Orfiti: this family began when an otherwise unattested Ser. Cornelius Scipio adopted a Salvidienus Orfitus, who was either the son or the grandson of Vistilia, known for having 7 children by 6 husbands, so in Roman eyes they were legitimately descended from the Cornelii Scipiones. And the fact that the last known member of this house was a member of the Salii Palatinii -- a priesthood only open to the Patrician class -- provides the strongest proof this was a Patrician family.
In any case, determining if & when a family was Patrician under the Empire requires familiarity with the evidence & a lot of research. (And a good memory.) Best if we rely on experts to identify them. -- llywrch (talk) 22:52, 31 July 2020 (UTC)

Byzantine Empire moved without discussionEdit

Just to let the project know, a user called User:Selfoe has just moved Byzantine Empire to (Eastern) Roman Empire, without any discussion. I would suggest any admins reading summarily move it back and ban him. --Nicknack009 (talk) 12:41, 3 August 2020 (UTC)

At ANI: Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/Incidents#Byzantine_Empire_page_move GPinkerton (talk) 13:08, 3 August 2020 (UTC)

Byzantine emperors in the list of Roman emperorsEdit

To add to the recent series of Byzantine- and emperor-related shenanigans I've opened a discussion on Talk:List of Roman emperors which concerns whether that list of emperors should go all the way to Constantine XI. I'm impartial to the issue itself but I'm working on a new version of the list with proper references so it would be great if as many people as possible weighed in on the issue on that talk page (in order to establish consensus). Ichthyovenator (talk) 19:46, 3 August 2020 (UTC)

Vettius ScatoEdit

According to this article from Oxford Classical Dictionary Titus Vettius Scato is a Publius. Also in Pauly-Wissowa: Hanslik, R. (1958). «Vettius (16)». --Romulanus (talk) 11:23, 4 August 2020 (UTC)

If his Praenomen is disputed then maybe a move to Vettius Scato would be best.★Trekker (talk) 01:21, 5 August 2020 (UTC)
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