After the death of Augustus in 14 ce, for the next 54 years Rome enjoyed (‘suffered’ in Tacitus’ view) the reigns of the Julio-Claudians. While some emperors of this period, and later in the century, tried to maintain that delicate balance of republican forms and imperial/military power, others could barely be bothered to keep up the pretence. These latter emperors displayed both their power and their contempt for the senatorial class. It may be that only Vespasian and Nerva died natural deaths during this century. The emperors who made a show of their power died violently. The middle of the century was disrupted by a civil war and a year in which four emperors ruled (69). This war ended the assumption that the senate chose the emperor in Rome; the armies on the frontiers, along with the praetorians in Rome, chose these emperors; and none was related to the Julio-Claudians in the slightest.