Instead of working I spent the past couple hours tallying up the number of times a Roman emperor is mentioned in the lyrics or title to a Metal song, according to what's available in the Encyclopedia Metallum. Here's the results. In include here only those mentioned more than 2x.
Here's some initial observations and explanations.

Augustus: mainly songs about either Cleopatra or the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest (popular battle for themes of nationalism & anti-imperialism)

Tiberius: mostly mentioned in songs about Caligula
Caligula: icon of cruelty, lust, power, and madness, so tailor made for heavy metal.

Claudius: mostly in songs focused on Boudicca's rebellion

Nero: same as Caligula but more. Great Fire a symbol of destruction for its own sake. Icon of anti-Christian themes prevalent in Metal.
Titus: unfortunately, nearly all his mentions are in songs by Nazi/antisemitic bands that glorify him for the sack of Jerusalem.

Trajan: seen as a glorious conqueror in the vein of Caesar/Alexander
Hadrian: all his songs mention Hadrian's Wall, a symbol of imperial oppression that begs to be trangressed

Marcus Aurelius: a mix, some for philosopher status, others for his relation to Commodus

Commodus: surprising lack of songs despite the popularity of gladiators in Metal.
Caracalla: a latter day Caligula mainly

Decius: an infamous persecutor of Christians (see Nero)

Diocletian: an even more infamous persecutor
Constantine: largely cast as a villain of everything Metal stands for - enemy of the old ways, responsible for Christianity gaining power in the world.

Julian: enemy of Christianity, but not nearly as well known as Nero or even Diocletian
Justinian: mostly songs about the Justinianic Plague, or the Gothic Wars.

Constantine XI: a hero to a few Greek bands as an icon of resistance to Islam/Turkey.
BY THE WAY, I published an article that discusses anti-Christian persecutions in metal music, which includes plenty on Nero and other emperors.…
Also, I have a blog post on Constantine.…
Here is the full list, including those not on the chart:

Augustus: 24
Tiberius: 13
Caligula: 110
Claudius: 9
Nero: 139
Vespasian: 1
Titus: 8
Domitian: 4
Trajan: 8
Hadrian: 9
Marcus: 6
Commodus: 3
Septimius: 2
Caracalla: 3
Elagabalus: 2
Maximinus: 2
Decius: 4
Valerian: 1
Aurelian: 1
Probus: 1
Diocletian: 10
Maximian: 2
Galerius: 2
Constantius I: 1
Maxentius: 1
Licinius: 1
Constantine I: 34
Constantius II: 1
Julian: 6
Valens: 1
Gratian: 1
Justinian: 7
Heraclius: 1
Basil II: 2
Constantine XI: 3

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Dr. Jeremy J. Swist🤘🏛️🐈

Dr. Jeremy J. Swist🤘🏛️🐈 Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @MetalClassicist

5 Apr
Let’s talk about living in academia while beset by the four horsemen of ADHD, depression, anxiety, and impostor syndrome. My thoughts aren’t totally coherent now so caveat lector. 1/13
I was diagnosed at a very young age with ADHD, w/ an emphasis on hyperactivity. I was impulsive, abrasive, & at times violent. I got kicked out of various schools, sports programs, & other groups. They also alienated my peers, with the result that I had very few friends. 2/13
By high school I began to get my behaviors under control, and began expanding socially, but I never felt accepted into any one group of friends. I sat with them at lunch, but always felt like I was on the outside looking in. 3/13
Read 13 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!