Herodian's Roman History is a collection of eight books covering the period from the death of Marcus Aurelius in 180 A.D. to the beginning of Gordian III's reign in 238. It provides a first person account of one of the most politically diverse times of the Roman Empire. The first book describes the reign of Commodus from 180 to 192, and the second discusses the Year of the Five Emperors in 193. Book Three encompasses the reign of Septimius Severus from 193 to 211, while the fourth discusses the reign of Caracalla from 211 to 217. Book five is about the reign of Elagabalus from 218 through 222, and book six deals with the reign of Severus Alexander from 222 to 235. The seventh book recounts the reign of Maximinus Thrax from 235 to 238, and the final one describes the Year of the Six Emperors in 238. Most likely, Herodian is writing for an eastern audience, for he often explains different Roman customs and beliefs that would have seemed foreign to Easterners.
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