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The Roman empire being a long-lived empire and over a large area is likely to have had some dynasties/emperors that were not ethnically Latin/Italian, is that in fact the case? If so which dynasties/emperors?

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closed as too broad by Sardathrion, Kobunite, Pieter Geerkens, Louis Rhys, Yannis Sep 28 '13 at 20:16

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The question was probably not meaningful at the time: for example Maximian came from a family of shopkeepers in Pannonia or perhaps Illyricum (so modern Serbia/Bosnia/Croatia), neither of which were originally Latin but both were very Roman at the time. –  Henry Sep 25 '13 at 8:00
@Henry It is true that the races were well-mixed by the time of the late empire, however some emperors, those whose came from more uncouth frontier areas, were perceived as a somewhat different kettle of fish than the run-of-the-mill Roman. Two examples that spring to mind are Maximin the Thracian and Philip the Arab (these are their common historical appellations). –  Felix Goldberg Sep 25 '13 at 9:05
Most of the Emperor of Byzantium. If you include of Holy Roman Empire, then the list goes on and on... –  Sardathrion Sep 25 '13 at 10:15
most of them... –  Louis Rhys Sep 26 '13 at 12:18

1 Answer 1

There is a fine list here: http://historum.com/ancient-history/19034-national-ethnic-origins-roman-emperors.html

During the mid and late periods of the empire most emperors were born outside of Italy most famously of Illyrian origin.

The Byzantine empire(East roman empire) was more Greek than Latin so it is understandable that its emperors were not from Italy.

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+1. A wee bit more background: During the imperial period eventually most of the manpower for the legions came from Illyria. Anyone who rose through the ranks on merit was thus also quite likely to be Illyrian. Since the Roman armies had a habit of marching on Rome and installing their own generals as Emperor, this would naturally lead to a lot of Illyrian Emperors. –  T.E.D. Sep 26 '13 at 12:34

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