Sold! An empire!

For 25,000 sesterces, Didius Julianus bought the throne of the Roman Empire in March 28, 193, AD, after the death of the emperor Pertinax. Alas, this brought on civil war and he was replaced by Lucius Septimius Severus.

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Never stood a chance. Oddly enough, both his predecessor and successor have very similar facial hair. Beards didn't seem to promise political stability in Rome.