The Roman Empire was at the height of its glory in 117 CE. Its territory stretched as far west as the Atlantic Ocean and as far north as what is now England. It extended as far east as places that are now part of Iraq.
A series of leaders known as the Five Good Emperors ruled from 96 to 180 CE. But the glory days were not to last. In the 200s CE, there were problems both inside and outside the empire. Enemies from outside attacked the borders. Clashes among leaders led to political disorder, corruption, and civil war inside the empire. The trouble began under the rule of the last of the Five Good Emperors, Marcus Aurelius, and continued under his son, Commodus. Then came a period of civil wars in which leaders fought one another for power, with the winner becoming emperor. In the 49 years between 235 and 284 CE, more than 60 leaders held the title of emperor.