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This list of Roman civil wars and revolts includes civil wars and organized civil disorder, revolts, and rebellions in ancient Rome (Roman Kingdom, Roman Republic, and Roman Empire) until the fall of the Western Roman Empire (753 BC – AD 476). For the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantine Empire after the division of the Empire in West and East, see List of Byzantine revolts and civil wars (AD 330–1453). For external conflicts, see List of Roman external wars and battles.

From the establishment of the Roman Republic in 509 BC until the 1st century BC, there were a sparse number of civil wars. But with the Crisis of the Roman Republic (134–44 BC), a period of considerable political instability began. The cause of the late Roman Republican civil wars is contested, as is whether the wars were the cause of, or caused by, the end of the Roman Republic.[1]: 2–3  Regardless, a nearly constant stream of civil wars marked the end of the Roman Republic and heralded the rise of the Roman Empire in 27 BC. The first century of Empire was marked by widespread revolt through territory Rome had captured in the preceding centuries. The second century CE was relatively peaceful, with a limited number of revolts. Political instability returned to the Empire with the Crisis of the Third Century (235–284 AD), which saw at least 26 civil wars in just 50 years as usurpers sought the imperial throne. The fourth and fifth centuries AD were characterized by a regular rising of usurpers. The overthrow of the last Roman emperor in AD 476 by the Germanic King Odoacer marked the final civil war or revolt, as well as the end of the Roman Empire.

Because the study of Roman civil war has been deeply influenced by historic Roman views on civil war, not all entries on this list may be considered civil wars by modern historians. Implicit in most Roman power struggles was a propaganda battle, which impacted how the struggle would be chronicled and referred to. For example, historians Lange & Vervaet suggest that the crisis after Caesar's assassination might be better understood as an internal emergency. Conversely, some revolts on this list may be properly considered to be civil wars, but were not referred to as such by Roman chroniclers. As Lange & Vervaet note, "civil war often refuses to speak its name."[1]: 3–5 

3rd century BC

2nd century BC

1st century BC

1st century

2nd century

3rd century

Crisis of the Third Century


4th century

The Roman Empire under the Tetrarchy, with the territory of Constantius (yellow), Maximian (green), Galerius (pink), and Diocletian (purple)

The 4th century begins with civil war resulting in the ascendancy of Constantine I, then, after his death, the progressive Christianization of the empire, and wars with Sassanid Persia and Germanic tribes, punctuated frequently with more civil wars.

5th century

Further information: List of Byzantine revolts and civil wars


  1. ^ a b The historiography of Late Republican Civil War. Carsten Hjort Lange, Frederik Vervaet. Leiden. 2019. ISBN 978-90-04-40952-1. OCLC 1111650610.((cite book)): CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link) CS1 maint: others (link)
  2. ^ Potter, David (2019-06-03). The Origin of Empire: Rome from the Republic to Hadrian. Harvard University Press. p. 32. ISBN 978-0-674-65967-4.
  3. ^ Boldt, Andreas (2017-03-16). Historical Mechanisms: An Experimental Approach to Applying Scientific Theories to the Study of History. Taylor & Francis. p. 180. ISBN 978-1-351-81648-9.
  4. ^ Chrystal, Paul (2015-11-30). Roman Military Disasters: Dark Days & Lost Legions. Pen and Sword. ISBN 978-1-4738-7395-7.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Jones 2013, p. 2.
  6. ^ Conole, P. (1981). "Allied Disaffection and the Revolt of Fregellae1". Antichthon. 15: 129–140. doi:10.1017/S0066477400004615. ISSN 0066-4774. S2CID 151724816.
  7. ^ Flower, Harriet I. (2014-06-23). The Cambridge Companion to the Roman Republic. Cambridge University Press. p. 200. ISBN 978-1-107-03224-8.
  8. ^ Julius Caesar— The Civil Wars, Chapter 42
  9. ^ a b Jones 2013, p. 3.
  10. ^ Eutropius, 10:9
  11. ^ Victor, 41:21