In 117 CE, the Roman Empire was at its peak. It stretched as far west as the Atlantic Ocean. It went as far north as what is now England. It spread as far east as places that are now in Iraq.
A group of leaders called the Five Good Emperors ruled from 96 to 180 CE. But the good times came to an end. In the 200s CE, the empire faced problems inside and out. Enemies attacked the borders. Inside, leaders fought, causing disorder, corruption, and civil war. The trouble began under Marcus Aurelius. He was the last of the Five Good Emperors. The problems continued under his son, Commodus. Civil wars followed. Leaders fought for power, with the winner becoming emperor. The empire had more than 60 emperors in the 49 years between 235 and 284 CE.