Tiberius

Tiberius (/taɪˈbɪəriəs/; Latin: Tiberius Caesar Divi Augusti filius Augustus;[1][2] 16 November 42 BC – 16 March 37 AD) was the second Roman emperor reigning from from 14 AD to 37 AD, succeeding Augustus.

Born to Tiberius Claudius Nero and Livia Drusilla in a Claudian family, he was given the personal name Tiberius Claudius Nero. His mother divorced Nero and married Octavian—later to ascend to Emperor as Augustus—who officially became his stepfather. Tiberius would later marry Augustus' daughter (from his marriage to Scribonia), Julia the Elder, and even later be adopted by Augustus. Through the adoption, he officially became a Julian, assuming the name Tiberius Julius Caesar. The emperors after Tiberius would continue this blended dynasty of both families for the following thirty years; historians have named it the Julio-Claudian dynasty. His relationship to the other emperors of this dynasty was as follows: Tiberius was the stepson of Augustus, grand-uncle of Caligula, paternal uncle of Claudius, and great-grand uncle of Nero. His 22-and-a-half-year reign would be the longest after Augustus's until Antoninus Pius, who surpassed his reign by a few months.

Tiberius was one of the greatest Roman generals; his conquest of Pannonia, Dalmatia, Raetia, and temporarily, parts of Germania, laid the foundations for the northern frontier. Even so, he came to be remembered as a dark, reclusive and sombre ruler who never really desired to be emperor; Pliny the Elder called him "the gloomiest of men."[3] After the death of his son Drusus Julius Caesar in 23 AD, Tiberius became more reclusive and aloof. In 26 AD he removed himself from Rome and left administration largely in the hands of his unscrupulous Praetorian prefects Lucius Aelius Sejanus and Quintus Naevius Sutorius Macro. When Tiberius died, he was succeeded by his grand-nephew and adopted grandson, Caligula.[4]

Tiberius
Augustus
Tiberius, Romisch-Germanisches Museum, Cologne (8115606671)
Bust of the Emperor Tiberius
Emperor of the Roman Empire
Reign18 September 14 AD –
16 March 37 AD
(22 years)
PredecessorAugustus
SuccessorCaligula
BornTiberius Claudius Nero
16 November 42 BC
Rome, Italy (Roman Empire)
Died16 March AD 37
(aged 77)
Misenum, Italy (Roman Empire)
Burial
Spouse
Issue
Regnal name
Tiberius Caesar Divi Augusti filius Augustus
HouseJulio-Claudian dynasty
Father
MotherLivia
Religionancient Roman religion

Early life (42BC-6BC)

Roman imperial dynasties
Julio-Claudian dynasty
Chronology
Augustus 27 BC – AD 14
Tiberius AD 14–37
Caligula AD 37–41
Claudius AD 41–54
Nero AD 54–68
Family
Gens Julia
Gens Claudia
Julio-Claudian family tree
Category:Julio-Claudian dynasty
Succession
Preceded by
Roman Republic
Followed by
Year of the Four Emperors
Livia y Tiberio M.A.N. 01
Tiberius and his mother Livia, AD 14-19, from Paestum, National Archaeological Museum of Spain, Madrid

Background

Tiberius was born in Rome on 16 November 42 BC to Tiberius Claudius Nero and Livia.[5][6] In 39 BC his mother divorced his biological father and remarried Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus shortly thereafter, while still pregnant with Tiberius Nero's son. In 38 BC his brother, Nero Claudius Drusus, was born.[7]

Little is recorded of Tiberius' early life. In 32 BC Tiberius, at the age of nine, delivered the eulogy for his biological father at the rostra.[8] In 29 BC, he rode in the triumphal chariot along with his adoptive father Octavian in celebration of the defeat of Antony and Cleopatra at Actium.[8]

In 23 BC Emperor Augustus became gravely ill and his possible death threatened to plunge the Roman world into chaos again. Historians generally agree that it is during this time that the question of Augustus' heir became most acute, and while Augustus had seemed to indicate that Agrippa and Marcellus would carry on his position in the event of his death, the ambiguity of succession became Augustus' chief problem.[9]

In response, a series of potential heirs seem to have been selected, among them Tiberius and his brother Drusus. In 24 BC, at the age of seventeen, Tiberius entered politics under Augustus' direction, receiving the position of quaestor,[10] and was granted the right to stand for election as praetor and consul five years in advance of the age required by law.[11] Similar provisions were made for Drusus.[12]

Civil and military career

Shortly thereafter Tiberius began appearing in court as an advocate,[13] and it is presumably here that his interest in Greek rhetoric began. In 20 BC, Tiberius was sent East under Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa.[14] The Parthian Empire had captured the standards of the legions under the command of Marcus Licinius Crassus (53 BC) (at the Battle of Carrhae), Decidius Saxa (40 BC), and Mark Antony (36 BC).[11]

After a year of negotiation, Tiberius led a sizable force into Armenia, presumably with the goal of establishing it as a Roman client state and ending the threat it posed on the Roman-Parthian border. Augustus was able to reach a compromise whereby the standards were returned, and Armenia remained a neutral territory between the two powers.[11]

Vipsania
A bust of Vipsania Agrippina, Tiberius' first wife, recovered from Leptis Magna.

Tiberius married Vipsania Agrippina, the daughter of Augustus’s close friend and greatest general, Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa.[15] He was appointed to the position of praetor, and was sent with his legions to assist his brother Drusus in campaigns in the west. While Drusus focused his forces in Gallia Narbonensis and along the German frontier, Tiberius combated the tribes in the Alps and within Transalpine Gaul, conquering Raetia. In 15 BC he discovered the sources of the Danube, and soon afterwards the bend of the middle course.[16] Returning to Rome in 13 BC, Tiberius was appointed as consul, and around this same time his son, Drusus Julius Caesar, was born.[17]

Agrippa's death in 12 BC elevated Tiberius and Drusus with respect to the succession. At Augustus’ request in 11 BC, Tiberius divorced Vipsania and married Julia the Elder, Augustus' daughter and Agrippa's widow.[18][15] Tiberius was very reluctant to do this, as Julia had made advances to him when she was married and Tiberius was happily married. His new marriage with Julia was happy at first, but turned sour.[15]

Reportedly, Tiberius once ran into Vipsania again, and proceeded to follow her home crying and begging forgiveness;[15] soon afterwards, Tiberius met with Augustus, and steps were taken to ensure that Tiberius and Vipsania would never meet again.[19] Tiberius continued to be elevated by Augustus, and after Agrippa's death and his brother Drusus' death in 9 BC, seemed the clear candidate for succession. As such, in 12 BC he received military commissions in Pannonia and Germania; both areas highly volatile and of key importance to Augustan policy.

Germania Enobarbo e Tiberio
The campaigns of Tiberius, Ahenobarbus, and Saturninus in Germania between 6 BC and 1 BC.

In 6 BC, Tiberius launched a pincer movement against the Marcomanni. Setting out northwest from Carnuntum on the Danube with four legions, Tiberius passed through Quadi territory in order to invade Marcomanni territory from the east. Meanwhile, general Gaius Sentius Saturninus would depart east from Moguntiacum on the Rhine with two or three legions, pass through newly annexed Hermunduri territory, and attack the Marcomanni from the west. The campaign was a resounding success, but Tiberius could not subjugate the Marcomanni because he was soon summoned to the Rhine frontier to protect Rome's new conquests in Germania.

He returned to Rome and was consul for a second time in 7 BC, and in 6 BC was granted tribunician power (tribunicia potestas) and control in the East,[20] all of which mirrored positions that Agrippa had previously held. However, despite these successes and despite his advancement, Tiberius was not happy.[21]

Midlife (6BC-14)

Retirement to Rhodes (6 BC)

SperlongaVillaTiberio
Remnants of Tiberius' villa at Sperlonga, on the coast midway between Rome and Naples

In 6 BC, on the verge of accepting command in the East and becoming the second most powerful man in Rome, Tiberius suddenly announced his withdrawal from politics and retired to Rhodes.[22] The precise motives for Tiberius's withdrawal are unclear.[23] Historians have speculated a connection with the fact that Augustus had adopted Julia's sons by Agrippa, Gaius and Lucius, and seemed to be moving them along the same political path that both Tiberius and Drusus had trodden.[24]

Tiberius' move thus seemed to be an interim solution: he would hold power only until his stepsons would come of age, and then be swept aside. The promiscuous, and very public, behavior of his unhappily married wife, Julia,[25] may have also played a part.[20] Indeed, Tacitus calls it Tiberius' intima causa, his innermost reason for departing for Rhodes, and seems to ascribe the entire move to a hatred of Julia and a longing for Vipsania.[26] Tiberius had found himself married to a woman he loathed, who publicly humiliated him with nighttime escapades in the Roman Forum, and forbidden to see the woman he had loved.[27]

Whatever Tiberius' motives, the withdrawal was almost disastrous for Augustus's succession plans. Gaius and Lucius were still in their early teens, and Augustus, now 57 years old, had no immediate successor. There was no longer a guarantee of a peaceful transfer of power after Augustus's death, nor a guarantee that his family, and therefore his family's allies, would continue to hold power should the position of princeps survive.[27]

Somewhat apocryphal stories tell of Augustus pleading with Tiberius to stay, even going so far as to stage a serious illness.[27] Tiberius' response was to anchor off the shore of Ostia until word came that Augustus had survived, then sailing straightway for Rhodes.[28] Tiberius reportedly regretted his departure and requested to return to Rome several times, but each time Augustus refused his requests.[29]

Heir to Augustus

With Tiberius' departure, succession rested solely on Augustus' two young grandsons, Lucius and Gaius Caesar. The situation became more precarious in AD 2 with the death of Lucius. Augustus, with perhaps some pressure from Livia, allowed Tiberius to return to Rome as a private citizen and nothing more.[30] In AD 4, Gaius was killed in Armenia, and Augustus had no other choice but to turn to Tiberius.[31][32]

The death of Gaius in AD 4 initiated a flurry of activity in the household of Augustus. Tiberius was adopted as full son and heir and in turn, he was required to adopt his nephew, Germanicus, the son of his brother Drusus and Augustus' niece Antonia Minor.[31][33] Along with his adoption, Tiberius received tribunician power as well as a share of Augustus's maius imperium, something that even Marcus Agrippa may never have had.[34]

In AD 7, Agrippa Postumus, a younger brother of Gaius and Lucius, was disowned by Augustus and banished to the island of Pianosa, to live in solitary confinement.[32][35] Thus, when in AD 13, the powers held by Tiberius were made equal, rather than second, to Augustus' own powers, he was for all intents and purposes a "co-princeps" with Augustus, and, in the event of the latter's passing, would simply continue to rule without an interregnum or possible upheaval.[36]

However, according to Suetonius, after a two-year stint in Germania, which lasted from 10−12 AD,[37] "Tiberius returned and celebrated the triumph which he had postponed, accompanied also by his generals, for whom he had obtained the triumphal regalia. And before turning to enter the Capitol, he dismounted from his chariot and fell at the knees of his father, who was presiding over the ceremonies.”[38] "Since the consuls caused a law to be passed soon after this that he should govern the provinces jointly with Augustus and hold the census with him, he set out for Illyricum on the conclusion of the lustral ceremonies."[39]

Thus, according to Suetonius, these ceremonies and the declaration of his "co-princeps" took place in the year 12 AD, after Tiberius' return from Germania.[37] "But he was at once recalled, and finding Augustus in his last illness but still alive, he spent an entire day with him in private."[39] Augustus died in AD 14, a month before his 76th birthday.[40] He was buried with all due ceremony and, as had been arranged beforehand, deified, his will read, and Tiberius, now a middle aged man at 55, was confirmed as his sole surviving heir.[41]

Emperor (14–37 AD)

Early reign

Aureus à l'effigie de Tibère
Aureus of Tiberius, c. 27-30 AD. Caption: TI. CAESAR DIVI AVG. F. AVGVSTVS / MAXIM. PONTIF.

The Senate convened on 18 September, to validate Tiberius's position as Princeps and, as it had done with Augustus before, extend the powers of the position to him.[42] These proceedings are fully accounted by Tacitus.[43] Tiberius already had the administrative and political powers of the Princeps, all he lacked were the titles—Augustus, Pater Patriae, and the Civic Crown (a crown made from laurel and oak, in honor of Augustus having saved the lives of Roman citizens).

Tiberius, however, attempted to play the same role as Augustus: that of the reluctant public servant who wants nothing more than to serve the state.[44][45] This ended up throwing the entire affair into confusion, and rather than humble, he came across as derisive; rather than seeming to want to serve the state, he seemed obstructive.[46] He cited his age as a reason why he could not act as Princeps, stated he did not wish the position, and then proceeded to ask for only a section of the state.[47] Tiberius finally relented and accepted the powers voted to him, though according to Tacitus and Suetonius he refused to bear the titles Pater Patriae, Imperator, and Augustus, and declined the most solid emblem of the Princeps, the Civic Crown and laurels.[48]

This meeting seems to have set the tone for Tiberius's entire rule. He seems to have wished for the Senate and the state to simply act without him and his direct orders were rather vague, inspiring debate more on what he actually meant than on passing his legislation.[49] In his first few years, Tiberius seemed to have wanted the Senate to act on its own,[50] rather than as a servant to his will as it had been under Augustus. According to Tacitus, Tiberius derided the Senate as "men fit to be slaves."[51]

Rise and fall of Germanicus

Germanicus
A bust of the adopted son of Tiberius, Germanicus, from the Louvre, Paris.

Problems arose quickly for the new Princeps. The Roman legions posted in Pannonia and in Germania had not been paid the bonuses promised them by Augustus, and after a short period of time mutinied when it was clear that a response from Tiberius was not forthcoming.[52] Germanicus and Tiberius's son, Drusus Julius Caesar, were dispatched with a small force to quell the uprising and bring the legions back in line.[53]

Rather than simply quell the mutiny, however, Germanicus rallied the mutineers and led them on a short campaign across the Rhine into Germanic territory, stating that whatever treasure they could grab would count as their bonus.[53] Germanicus's forces crossed the Rhine and quickly occupied all of the territory between the Rhine and the Elbe. Additionally, Tacitus records the capture of the Teutoburg forest and the reclaiming of Roman standards lost years before by Publius Quinctilius Varus,[54] when three Roman legions and its auxiliary cohorts had been ambushed by Germanic tribes.[55]

Germanicus had managed to deal a significant blow to Rome's enemies, quell an uprising of troops, and returned lost standards to Rome, actions that increased the fame and legend of the already very popular Germanicus with the Roman people.[56]

After being recalled from Germania,[57] Germanicus celebrated a triumph in Rome in AD 17,[54] the first full triumph that the city had seen since Augustus's own in 29 BC. As a result, in AD 18 Germanicus was granted control over the eastern part of the empire, just as both Agrippa and Tiberius had received before, and was clearly the successor to Tiberius.[58] Germanicus survived a little over a year before dying, accusing Gnaeus Calpurnius Piso, the governor of Syria, of poisoning him.[59]

The Pisones had been longtime supporters of the Claudians, and had allied themselves with the young Octavian after his marriage to Livia, the mother of Tiberius. Germanicus's death and accusations indicted the new Princeps. Piso was placed on trial and, according to Tacitus, threatened to implicate Tiberius.[60] Whether the governor actually could connect the Princeps to the death of Germanicus is unknown; rather than continuing to stand trial when it became evident that the Senate was against him, Piso committed suicide.[61][62]

Tiberius seems to have tired of politics at this point. In AD 22, he shared his tribunician authority with his son Drusus,[63] and began making yearly excursions to Campania that reportedly became longer and longer every year. In AD 23, Drusus mysteriously died,[64][65] and Tiberius seems to have made no effort to elevate a replacement. Finally, in AD 26, Tiberius retired from Rome to an Imperial villa-complex he had inherited from Augustus, on the island of Capri. It was just off the coast of Campania, which was a traditional holiday retreat for Rome's upper classes, particularly those who valued cultured leisure (otium) and a Hellenised lifestyle.[66][67]

Tiberius in Capri, with Sejanus in Rome

Left: marble portrait bust of Tiberius in the Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen
Right: bronze portrait bust of Tiberius in the Cabinet des Médailles, Paris

Tiberius NyCarlsberg01
Tiberius (bust) 2

Lucius Aelius Sejanus had served the imperial family for almost twenty years when he became Praetorian Prefect in AD 15. As Tiberius became more embittered with the position of Princeps, he began to depend more and more upon the limited secretariat left to him by Augustus, and specifically upon Sejanus and the Praetorians. In AD 17 or 18, Tiberius had trimmed the ranks of the Praetorian Guard responsible for the defense of the city, and had moved it from encampments outside of the city walls into the city itself,[68] giving Sejanus access to somewhere between 6000 and 9000 troops.

The death of Drusus elevated Sejanus, at least in Tiberius's eyes, who thereafter refers to him as his 'Socius Laborum' (Partner of my labours). Tiberius had statues of Sejanus erected throughout the city,[69][70] and Sejanus became more and more visible as Tiberius began to withdraw from Rome altogether. Finally, with Tiberius's withdrawal in AD 26, Sejanus was left in charge of the entire state mechanism and the city of Rome.[67]

Sejanus's position was not quite that of successor; he had requested marriage in AD 25 to Tiberius's niece, Livilla,[71] though under pressure quickly withdrew the request.[72] While Sejanus's Praetorians controlled the imperial post, and therefore the information that Tiberius received from Rome and the information Rome received from Tiberius,[73] the presence of Livia seems to have checked his overt power for a time. Her death in AD 29 changed all that.[74]

Sejanus began a series of purge trials of Senators and wealthy equestrians in the city of Rome, removing those capable of opposing his power as well as extending the imperial (and his own) treasury. Germanicus's widow Agrippina the Elder and two of her sons, Nero Julius Caesar and Drusus Caesar were arrested and exiled in AD 30 and later all died in suspicious circumstances. In Sejanus's purge of Agrippina the Elder and her family, Caligula, Agrippina the Younger, Julia Drusilla, and Julia Livilla were the only survivors.[75]

Villa Jovis (Restauriert)
Ruins from the Villa Jovis on the island of Capri, where Tiberius spent much of his final years, leaving control of the empire in the hands of the prefect Lucius Aelius Sejanus.

Plot by Sejanus against Tiberius

Glittica romana, tiberio, sardonice, I sec dc.
A sardonyx cameo relief of Tiberius, 1st century AD, now in the Hermitage Museum

In 31, Sejanus held the consulship with Tiberius in absentia,[76] and began his play for power in earnest. Precisely what happened is difficult to determine, but Sejanus seems to have covertly attempted to court those families who were tied to the Julians, and attempted to ingratiate himself with the Julian family line with an eye towards placing himself, as an adopted Julian, in the position of Princeps, or as a possible regent.[76] Livilla was later implicated in this plot, and was revealed to have been Sejanus's lover for a number of years.[77]

The plot seems to have involved the two of them overthrowing Tiberius, with the support of the Julians, and either assuming the Principate themselves, or serving as regent to the young Tiberius Gemellus or possibly even Caligula.[78] Those who stood in his way were tried for treason and swiftly dealt with.[78]

In AD 31 Sejanus was summoned to a meeting of the Senate, where a letter from Tiberius was read condemning Sejanus and ordering his immediate execution. Sejanus was tried, and he and several of his colleagues were executed within the week.[79] As commander of the Praetorian Guard, he was replaced by Naevius Sutorius Macro.[79]

Tacitus claims that more treason trials followed and that whereas Tiberius had been hesitant to act at the outset of his reign, now, towards the end of his life, he seemed to do so without compunction. Hardest hit were those families with political ties to the Julians. Even the imperial magistracy was hit, as any and all who had associated with Sejanus or could in some way be tied to his schemes were summarily tried and executed, their properties seized by the state. As Tacitus vividly describes,

Executions were now a stimulus to his fury, and he ordered the death of all who were lying in prison under accusation of complicity with Sejanus. There lay, singly or in heaps, the unnumbered dead, of every age and sex, the illustrious with the obscure. Kinsfolk and friends were not allowed to be near them, to weep over them, or even to gaze on them too long. Spies were set round them, who noted the sorrow of each mourner and followed the rotting corpses, till they were dragged to the Tiber, where, floating or driven on the bank, no one dared to burn or to touch them.[80]

However, Tacitus' portrayal of a tyrannical, vengeful emperor has been challenged by some historians: Edward Togo Salmon notes in A history of the Roman world from 30 BC to AD 138:

In the whole twenty two years of Tiberius' reign, not more than fifty-two persons were accused of treason, of whom almost half escaped conviction, while the four innocent people to be condemned fell victims to the excessive zeal of the Senate, not to the Emperor's tyranny.[81]

While Tiberius was in Capri, rumours abounded as to what exactly he was doing there. Suetonius records the rumours of lurid tales of sexual perversity, including graphic depictions of child molestation, and cruelty,[82] and most of all his paranoia.[83] While heavily sensationalized,[84] Suetonius' stories at least paint a picture of how Tiberius was perceived by the Roman senatorial class, and what his impact on the Principate was during his 23 years of rule.

Denarius of Tiberius (YORYM 2000 1953) obverse
A denarius of Tiberius. Caption: TI. CAESAR DIVI AVG. F. AVGVSTVS

Final years

The affair of Sejanus and the final years of treason trials permanently damaged Tiberius' image and reputation. After Sejanus's fall, Tiberius' withdrawal from Rome was complete; the empire continued to run under the inertia of the bureaucracy established by Augustus, rather than through the leadership of the Princeps. Suetonius records that he became paranoid,[83] and spent a great deal of time brooding over the death of his son. Meanwhile, during this period a short invasion by Parthia, incursions by tribes from Dacia and from across the Rhine by several Germanic tribes occurred.[85]

Little was done to either secure or indicate how his succession was to take place; the Julians and their supporters had fallen to the wrath of Sejanus, and his own sons and immediate family were dead. Two of the candidates were either Caligula, the sole surviving son of Germanicus, or Tiberius' own grandson, Tiberius Gemellus.[86] However, only a half-hearted attempt at the end of Tiberius' life was made to make Caligula a quaestor, and thus give him some credibility as a possible successor, while Gemellus himself was still only a teenager and thus completely unsuitable for some years to come.[87]

Death (37 AD)

Tiberius died in Misenum on 16 March AD 37, in his seventy eighth year.[88][89][90] Tacitus relates that the emperor appeared to have stopped breathing, and that Caligula, who was at Tiberius' villa, was being congratulated on his succession to the empire, when news arrived that the emperor had revived and was recovering his faculties. Those who had moments before recognized Caligula as Augustus fled in fear of the emperor's wrath, while Macro took advantage of the chaos to have Tiberius smothered with his own bedclothes.[91] Suetonius reports several rumours, including that the emperor had been poisoned by Caligula, starved, and smothered with a pillow; that recovering, and finding himself deserted by his attendants, he attempted to rise from his couch, but fell dead.[92] According to Cassius Dio, Caligula, fearing that the emperor would recover, refused Tiberius' requests for food, insisting that he needed warmth, not food; then assisted by Macro, he smothered the emperor in his bedclothes.[93]

After his death, the Senate refused to vote Tiberius the divine honors that had been paid to Augustus, and mobs filled the streets yelling "To the Tiber with Tiberius!"; the bodies of criminals were typically thrown into the river, instead of being buried or burnt.[94] However, the emperor was cremated, and his ashes were quietly laid in the Mausoleum of Augustus, later to be scattered in AD 410 during the Sack of Rome.[95]

In his will, Tiberius had left his powers jointly to Caligula and Tiberius Gemellus.[96][97] Caligula's first act on becoming Princeps was to void Tiberius' will.[97]

Tiberius' heir Caligula not only spent Tiberius' fortune of 2,700,000,000 sesterces but would also begin the chain of events which would bring about the downfall of the Julio-Claudian dynasty in AD 68.[98]

Legacy

Historiography

TiberiusLouvre
Bust of Tiberius, housed in the Louvre.
Statua di tiberio da priverno, post 37 dc.
Statue of Tiberius from Priverno, made shortly after 37 AD, now in the Museo Chiaramonti of the Vatican Museums

Had he died before AD 23, he might have been hailed as an exemplary ruler.[99] Despite the overwhelmingly negative characterization left by Roman historians, Tiberius left the imperial treasury with nearly 3 billion sesterces upon his death.[97][100] Rather than embark on costly campaigns of conquest, he chose to strengthen the existing empire by building additional bases, using diplomacy as well as military threats, and generally refraining from getting drawn into petty squabbles between competing frontier tyrants.[68]

The result was a stronger, more consolidated empire. Of the authors whose texts have survived, only four describe the reign of Tiberius in considerable detail: Tacitus, Suetonius, Cassius Dio and Marcus Velleius Paterculus. Fragmentary evidence also remains from Pliny the Elder, Strabo and Seneca the Elder. Tiberius himself wrote an autobiography which Suetonius describes as "brief and sketchy", but this book has been lost.[101]

Publius Cornelius Tacitus

The most detailed account of this period is handed down to us by Tacitus, whose Annals dedicate the first six books entirely to the reign of Tiberius. Tacitus was a Roman senator, born during the reign of Nero in AD 56, and consul suffect in AD 97. His text is largely based on the Acta Senatus (the minutes of the session of the Senate) and the Acta Diurna (a collection of the acts of the government and news of the court and capital), as well as speeches by Tiberius himself, and the histories of contemporaries such as Marcus Cluvius Rufus, Fabius Rusticus and Pliny the Elder (all of which are lost).[99]

Tacitus' narrative emphasizes both political and psychological motivation. His characterisation of Tiberius throughout the first six books is mostly negative, and gradually worsens as his rule declines, identifying a clear breaking point with the death of his son Drusus in AD 23.[99]

Tacitus describes Julio-Claudian rule as generally unjust and "criminal";[102] he attributes the apparent virtues of Tiberius during his early reign to hypocrisy.[88] Another major recurring theme concerns the balance of power between the Senate and the Emperors, corruption, and the growing tyranny among the governing classes of Rome. A substantial amount of his account on Tiberius is therefore devoted to the treason trials and persecutions following the revival of the maiestas law under Augustus.[103] Ultimately, Tacitus' opinion on Tiberius is best illustrated by his conclusion of the sixth book:

His character too had its distinct periods. It was a bright time in his life and reputation, while under Augustus he was a private citizen or held high offices; a time of reserve and crafty assumption of virtue, as long as Germanicus and Drusus were alive. Again, while his mother lived, he was a compound of good and evil; he was infamous for his cruelty, though he veiled his debaucheries, while he loved or feared Sejanus. Finally, he plunged into every wickedness and disgrace, when fear and shame being cast off, he simply indulged his own inclinations.[88]

Suetonius Tranquillus

Silver denarius of Tiberius 14CE 37CE found in India Indian copy of a the same 1st century CE Coin of Kushan king Kujula Kadphises copying a coin of Augustus
An example of Indo-Roman trade and relations during the period: silver denarius of Tiberius (14–37) found in India and Indian copy of the same, 1st-century coin of Kushan king Kujula Kadphises copying a coin of Augustus.

Suetonius was an equestrian who held administrative posts during the reigns of Trajan and Hadrian. The Twelve Caesars details a biographical history of the principate from the birth of Julius Caesar to the death of Domitian in AD 96. Like Tacitus, he drew upon the imperial archives, as well as histories by Aufidius Bassus, Marcus Cluvius Rufus, Fabius Rusticus and Augustus' own letters.[82]

His account is more sensationalist and anecdotal than that of his contemporary. The most famous sections of his biography delve into the numerous alleged debaucheries Tiberius remitted himself to while at Capri.[82] Nevertheless, Suetonius also reserves praise for Tiberius' actions during his early reign, emphasizing his modesty.[104]

Velleius Paterculus

One of the few surviving sources contemporary with the rule of Tiberius comes from Velleius Paterculus, who served under Tiberius for eight years (from AD 4) in Germany and Pannonia as praefect of cavalry and legatus. Paterculus' Compendium of Roman History spans a period from the fall of Troy to the death of Livia in AD 29. His text on Tiberius lavishes praise on both the emperor[10][105] and Sejanus.[106] How much of this is due to genuine admiration or prudence remains an open question, but it has been conjectured that he was put to death in AD 31 as a friend of Sejanus.[107]

Gospels, Jews, and Christians

Emperor Tiberius Denarius - Tribute Penny
The tribute penny mentioned in the Bible is commonly believed to be a Roman denarius depicting the Emperor Tiberius. Caption: TI. CAESAR DIVI AVG. F. AVGVSTVS / MAXIM. PONTIF.

The Gospels mention that during Tiberius' reign, Jesus of Nazareth preached and was executed under the authority of Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judaea province. In the Bible, Tiberius is mentioned by name in Luke 3:1,[108] which states that John the Baptist entered on his public ministry in the fifteenth year of his reign. The city of Tiberias (named after Tiberius) referenced in John 6:23 [109] is located on the Sea of Galilee, which was also known as the Sea of Tiberias and is referenced in John 6:1, [110]. Many other references to Caesar (or the emperor in some other translations), without further specification, would seem to refer to Tiberius. Similarly, the "tribute penny" referred to in Matthew[111] and Mark[112] is popularly thought to be a silver denarius coin of Tiberius.[113][114][115]

During Tiberius' reign Jews had become more prominent in Rome and Jewish and Gentile followers of Jesus began proselytizing Roman citizens, increasing long-simmering resentments.[116] Tiberius in 19 AD ordered Jews who were of military age to join the Roman Army.[116] Tiberius banished the rest of the Jews from Rome and threatened to enslave them for life if they did not leave the city.[116]

There is considerable debate among historians as to when Christianity was differentiated from Judaism.[116] Most scholars believe that Roman distinction between Jews and Christians took place around 70 AD.[116] Tiberius most likely viewed Christians as a Jewish sect rather than a separate, distinct faith.[116]

Archaeology

The palace of Tiberius at Rome was located on the Palatine Hill, the ruins of which can still be seen today. No major public works were undertaken in the city during his reign, except a temple dedicated to Augustus and the restoration of the theater of Pompey,[117][118] both of which were not finished until the reign of Caligula.[119] In addition, remnants of Tiberius' villa at Sperlonga, which includes a grotto where the important Sperlonga sculptures were found in fragments, and the Villa Jovis on top of Capri have been preserved. The estate at Capri is said by Tacitus to have included a total of twelve villas across the island,[67] of which Villa Jovis was the largest.

Tiberius refused to be worshipped as a living god, and allowed only one temple to be built in his honor, at Smyrna.[120] The town Tiberias, in modern Israel on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee, was named in Tiberius's honour by Herod Antipas.[121]

In fiction

The theft of the Gold Tiberius, an unintentionally unique commemorative coin commissioned by Tiberius which is stated to have achieved legendary status in the centuries hence, from a mysterious triad of occultists drives the plot of the framing story in Arthur Machen's 1895 novel The Three Impostors.

Tiberius has been represented in fiction, in literature, film and television, and in video games, often as a peripheral character in the central storyline. One such modern representation is in the novel I, Claudius by Robert Graves,[122] and the consequent BBC television series adaptation, where he is portrayed by George Baker.[123] George R. R. Martin, the author of The Song of Ice and Fire series, has stated that central character Stannis Baratheon is partially inspired by Tiberius Caesar, and particularly the portrayal by Baker.[124]

In the 1968 ITV historical drama The Caesars, Tiberius (by André Morell) is the central character for much of the series and is portrayed in a much more balanced way than in I, Claudius.

He also appears as a minor character in the 2006 film The Inquiry, in which he is played by Max von Sydow. In addition, Tiberius has prominent roles in Ben-Hur (played by George Relph in his last starring role),[125] and in A.D. (played by James Mason).

Played by Ernest Thesiger, he featured in The Robe (1953). He was featured in the 1979 film Caligula, portrayed by Peter O'Toole. He was an important character in Taylor Caldwell's 1958 novel, Dear and Glorious Physician, a biography of St Luke the Evangelist, author of the third canonical Gospel.

Children and family

Tiberius was married twice, with only his first union producing a child who would survive to adulthood:

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Classical Latin spelling and reconstructed Classical Latin pronunciation of the names of Tiberius:
    1. TIBERIVS CLAVDIVS NERO
      IPA: [tɪˈbɛ.ri.ʊs ˈklau̯.di.ʊs ˈnɛ.roː]
    2. TIBERIVS IVLIVS CAESAR
      IPA: [tɪˈbɛ.ri.ʊs ˈjuː.li.ʊs ˈkae̯.sar]
    3. TIBERIVS CAESAR DIVI AVGVSTI F[ILIVS] AVGVSTVS
      IPA: [tɪˈbɛ.ri.ʊs ˈkae̯.sar ˈdiː.wiː ˈfiː.li.ʊs au̯ˈgʊs.tʊs]
  2. ^ Tiberius' regal name has an equivalent English meaning of "Tiberius Caesar, Son of the Divine Augustus, the Emperor".
  3. ^ Pliny the Elder, Natural Histories XXVIII.5.23; Capes, p. 71
  4. ^ "Tiberius". 2006. Retrieved 2011-02-17.
  5. ^ "Tiberius | Roman emperor". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2018-03-08.
  6. ^ Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 5
  7. ^ Levick pp. 15
  8. ^ a b Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 6
  9. ^ Southern, pp. 119–120.
  10. ^ a b Velleius Paterculus, Roman History II.94
  11. ^ a b c Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 9
  12. ^ Seager, p. xiv.
  13. ^ Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 8
  14. ^ Levick, p. 24.
  15. ^ a b c d Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 7
  16. ^ Strabo, 7. I. 5, p. 292
  17. ^ Levick, pp. 42.
  18. ^ "Tiberius". 2006. Retrieved 2011-02-17.
  19. ^ Seager 2005, pp. 20.
  20. ^ a b Cassius Dio, Roman History LV.9
  21. ^ Seager 2005, pp. 23.
  22. ^ Seager 2005, pp. 23—24.
  23. ^ Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 10
  24. ^ Levick, pp. 29.
  25. ^ Velleius Paterculus, Roman History II.100
  26. ^ Tacitus, Annals I.53
  27. ^ a b c Seager 2005, pp. 26.
  28. ^ Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 11
  29. ^ Seager 2005, pp. 28.
  30. ^ Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 13
  31. ^ a b Tacitus, Annals I.3
  32. ^ a b Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 15
  33. ^ Cassius Dio, Roman History LV.13
  34. ^ Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 21. For the debate over whether Agrippa's imperium after 13 BC was maius or aequum, see, e.g., E. Badian (December 1980 – January 1981). "Notes on the Laudatio of Agrippa". Classical Journal. 76 (2): 97–109, pp. 105–106.
  35. ^ Cassius Dio, Roman History LV.32
  36. ^ Seager p. xv
  37. ^ a b Speidel, Michael Riding for Caesar:The Roman Emperorors’ Horse guards19
  38. ^ Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 20
  39. ^ a b Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 21
  40. ^ Velleieus Paterculus, Roman History II.123
  41. ^ Tacitus, Annals I.8
  42. ^ Levick, pp. 68—81.
  43. ^ Tacitus, Annals I.9–11
  44. ^ Seager 2005, pp. 44—45.
  45. ^ "Tiberius | Roman emperor". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2018-03-08.
  46. ^ Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 24
  47. ^ Tacitus, Annals I.12, I.13
  48. ^ Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 26
  49. ^ Tacitus, Annals III.32, III.52
  50. ^ Tacitus, Annals III.35, III.53, III.54
  51. ^ Tacitus, Annals III.65
  52. ^ Tacitus, Annals I.16, I.17, I.31
  53. ^ a b Cassius Dio, Roman History LVII.6
  54. ^ a b Tacitus, Annals II.41
  55. ^ Tacitus, Annals II.46
  56. ^ Shotter, 35–37.
  57. ^ Tacitus, Annals II.26
  58. ^ Tacitus, Annals II.43
  59. ^ Tacitus, Annals II.71
  60. ^ Tacitus, Annals III.16
  61. ^ Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 52
  62. ^ Tacitus, Annals III.15
  63. ^ Tacitus, Annals III.56
  64. ^ Tacitus, Annals, IV.7, IV.8
  65. ^ Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 62
  66. ^ "We must imagine Tiberius not as brooding in isolation (though it is true enough he was a difficult man, not to say a grouchy one), but as entertaining visitors, discussing affairs, and taking up at least the more important of the obligations imposed upon him by state and family": see p. 185ff in Houston, George W., "Tiberius on Capri", Greece and Rome, Volume 32, No. 2 (Oct., 1985), pp. 179-196, Cambridge University Press on behalf of The Classical Association, available at JSTOR (subscription required) [1]
  67. ^ a b c Tacitus, Annals IV.67
  68. ^ a b Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 37
  69. ^ Tacitus, Annals IV.2
  70. ^ Cassius Dio, Roman History LVII.21
  71. ^ Tacitus, Annals IV.39
  72. ^ Tacitus, Annals IV.40, IV.41
  73. ^ Tacitus, Annals IV.41
  74. ^ Tacitus, Annals V.3
  75. ^ Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 53, 54
  76. ^ a b Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 65
  77. ^ Cassius Dio, Roman History LVII.22
  78. ^ a b Boddington, Ann (January 1963). "Sejanus. Whose Conspiracy?". The American Journal of Philology. 84 (1): 1–16. doi:10.2307/293155. JSTOR 293155.
  79. ^ a b Cassius Dio, Roman History LVIII.10
  80. ^ Tacitus, Annals VI.19
  81. ^ A history of the Roman world from 30 BC to AD 138, Page 183, Edward Togo Salmon
  82. ^ a b c Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 43, 44, 45
  83. ^ a b Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 60, 62, 63, 64
  84. ^ Wallace-Hadrill, Andrew (1984) Suetonius: The Scholar and His Caesars, Yale University Press, ISBN 0-300-03000-2
  85. ^ Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 41
  86. ^ Tacitus, Annals VI.46
  87. ^ Cassius Dio, Roman History LVII.23
  88. ^ a b c Tacitus, Annals VI.50, VI.51
  89. ^ Karen Cokayne, Experiencing Old Age In Ancient Rome, p.100
  90. ^ Flavius Josephus, Steve Mason, Translation and Commentary. Vol. 1B. Judean War 2, p.153
  91. ^ Tacitus, Annales, vi. 50.
  92. ^ Suetonius, "The Life of Tiberius", 73.
  93. ^ Cassius Dio, Roman History, lviii. 28.
  94. ^ Death of Tiberius: Tacitus Annals 6.50; Dio 58.28.1–4; Suetonius Tiberius 73, Gaius 12.2–3; Josephus AJ 18.225. Posthumous insults: Suetonius Tiberius 75.
  95. ^ Platner, Samuel Ball; Ashby, Thomas (1929). "Mausoleum Augusti". A Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome. London: Oxford University Press. pp. 332–336. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
  96. ^ Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 76
  97. ^ a b c Cassius Dio, Roman History LIX.1
  98. ^ Caligula would kill Tiberius Gemellus and Antonia Minor before being killed by his own personal guard. Tiberius' nephew Claudius succeeded Caligula and executed Caligula's sister Julia Livilla and in turn would be murdered by Livilla's sister Agrippina the Younger after they married and her son was of an age to become emperor. Agrippina would be executed by her son Nero, who would later commit suicide in 68 AD with no heirs to succeed him. Only Caligula's sister Julia Drusilla died of natural causes.
  99. ^ a b c Tacitus, Annals IV.6
  100. ^ Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Caligula 37
  101. ^ Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 61
  102. ^ Tacitus, Annals, I.6
  103. ^ Tacitus, Annals I.72, I.74, II.27–32, III.49–51, III.66–69
  104. ^ Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 26–32
  105. ^ Velleius Paterculus, Roman History, II.103–105, II.129–130
  106. ^ Velleius Paterculus, Roman History II.127–128
  107. ^ Syme, Ronald (1956). "Seianus on the Aventine". Hermes. Franz Steiner Verlag. 84 (3): 257–266. JSTOR 4474933.
  108. ^ Luke 3:1
  109. ^ John 6:23
  110. ^ John 6:1
  111. ^ Matthew 22:19
  112. ^ Mark 12:15
  113. ^ Sir William Smith (1896). The Old Testament History: From The Creation To The Return Of The Jews From Captivity (page 704). Kessinger Publishing, LLC (22 May 2010). ISBN 1-162-09864-3.
  114. ^ The Numismatist, Volume 29 (page 536). American Numismatic Association (3 April 2010). 2010. ISBN 978-1-148-52633-1.
  115. ^ Hobson, Burton (1972). Coins and coin collecting (page 28). Dover Publications (April 1972). ISBN 0-486-22763-4.
  116. ^ a b c d e f Jossa, Giorgio (2006). Jews or Christians. pp. 123–126. ISBN 3-16-149192-0.
  117. ^ Tacitus, Annals IV.45, III.72
  118. ^ Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 47
  119. ^ Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Caligula 21
  120. ^ Tacitus, Annals IV.37–38, IV.55–56
  121. ^ Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews XVIII.2.3
  122. ^ "I, Claudius: From the Autobiography of Tiberius Claudius – Robert Graves". Booktalk.org. Archived from the original on 18 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-20.
  123. ^ "BBC Four Drama – I, Claudius". BBC. Retrieved 2008-09-20.
  124. ^ "Not a Blog: It's the Pits". 2013-01-21. Retrieved 2016-12-27.
  125. ^ "Emperor Tiberius Caesar (Character)". Imdb.com. Retrieved 2008-09-20.
  126. ^ born Appius Claudius Pulcher

Bibliography

Primary sources

Secondary material

  • Ehrenberg, V.; Jones, A.H.M. (1955). Documents Illustrating the Reigns of Augustus and Tiberius. Oxford.
  • Capes, William Wolfe, Roman History, Longmans, Green, and Co., 1897
  • Levick, Barbara (1999). Tiberius the Politician. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-21753-9.
  • Mason, Ernst (1960). Tiberius. New York: Ballantine Books. (Ernst Mason was a pseudonym of science fiction author Frederik Pohl)
  • Seager, Robin (1972). Tiberius. London: Eyre Methuen. ISBN 978-0-413-27600-1.
  • Seager, Robin (2005). Tiberius. Blackwell Publishing. ISBN 1-4051-1529-7.
  • Shotter, David (1992). Tiberius Caesar. London: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-07654-4.
  • Salmon, Edward (1968). History of the Roman World, 30 B.C.-A.D.138, Part II: Tiberius. Methuen. ISBN 978-0-416-10710-4.
  • Southern, Pat (1998). Augustus. London: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-16631-4.
  • Syme, Ronald (1986). The Augustan Aristocracy. Oxford: Clarendon Press. ISBN 978-0-19-814859-3.

External links

Tiberius
Born: 16 November 42 BC Died: 16 March 37 AD
Roman Emperors
Preceded by
Marcus Claudius Marcellus
Caesar of the Roman Empire
6 BC – 1 AD
Succeeded by
Gaius Caesar
Preceded by
Gaius Caesar
Caesar of the Roman Empire
4 AD – 14 AD
Succeeded by
Germanicus
Preceded by
Augustus
Roman Emperor
14 AD – 37 AD
Succeeded by
Caligula
Political offices
Preceded by
Marcus Licinius Crassus Dives
Gnaeus Cornelius Lentulus Augur
Consul of the Roman Empire
13 BC
With: Publius Quinctilius Varus
Succeeded by
Marcus Valerius Messalla Appianus
Quirinius
Preceded by
Gaius Marcius Censorinus
Gaius Asinius Gallus
Consul of the Roman Empire
7 BC
With: Gnaeus Calpurnius Piso
Succeeded by
Decius Laelius Balbus
Gaius Antistius Vetus
Preceded by
Lucius Pomponius Flaccus
Gaius Caelius Rufus
Consul of the Roman Empire
18 AD
With: Germanicus
Succeeded by
Lucius Seius Tubero
Livineius Regulus
Preceded by
Marcus Valerius Messalla Barbatus
Marcus Aurelius Cotta Maximus Messalinus
Consul of the Roman Empire
21 AD
With: Drusus Julius Caesar
Succeeded by
Decimus Haterius Agrippa
Gaius Sulpicius Galba
Preceded by
Marcus Vinicius
Lucius Cassius Longinus
Consul of the Roman Empire
31 AD
With: Sejanus
Succeeded by
Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus
Lucius Arruntius Camillus Scribonianus
Agrippina the Elder

Agrippina the Elder (Latin:Vipsania Agrippina; Classical Latin: AGRIPPINA•GERMANICI, c. 14 BC – AD 33), commonly referred to as "Agrippina the Elder" (Latin: Agrippina Maior), was a prominent member of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. She was born in c. 14 BC the daughter of Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, a close supporter of Rome's first emperor Augustus, and Augustus' daughter Julia the Elder. At the time of her birth, her brothers Lucius and Gaius were the adoptive sons of Augustus and were his heirs until their deaths in AD 2 and 4, respectively. Following their deaths, her cousin Germanicus was made the adoptive son of Tiberius as part of Augustus' succession scheme in the adoptions of AD 4 in which Tiberius was adopted by Augustus. As a corollary to the adoption, Agrippina was wed to Germanicus in order to bring him closer to the Julian family.

She is known to have traveled with him throughout his career, taking her children everywhere they went. In AD 14, Germanicus was deployed in Gaul as governor and general. While there, the late Augustus sent her son Gaius to her unspecified location. She liked to dress him in a little soldiers' outfit complete with boots for which Gaius earned the nickname "Caligula" ("little soldier's boots"). After three years in Gaul they returned to Rome and her husband was awarded a triumph on 26 May AD 17 to commemorate his victories. The following year, Germanicus was sent to govern over the eastern provinces. While Germanicus was active in his administration, the governor of Syria Gnaeus Calpurnius Piso began feuding with him. During the feud, her husband died of illness on 10 October AD 19.

Germanicus was cremated in Antioch and she transported his ashes to Rome where they were interred at the Mausoleum of Augustus. Agrippina was vocal in claiming her husband was murdered to promote Tiberius' son Drusus Julius Caesar ("Drusus the Younger") as heir. Following the model of her grandmother Livia, she spent the time following Germanicus' death supporting the cause of her sons Nero and Drusus Caesar. This put her and her sons at odds with the powerful Praetorian prefect Lucius Aelius Sejanus who would begin eliminating their supporters with accusations of treason and sexual misconduct in AD 26. Her family's rivalry with Sejanus would culminate with her and Nero's exile in AD 29. Nero was exiled to Pontia and she was exiled to the island of Pandateria, where she would remain until her death by starvation in AD 33.

Augustus

Augustus (Latin: Imperator Caesar Divi filius Augustus; 23 September 63 BC – 19 August AD 14) was a Roman statesman and military leader who was the first emperor of the Roman Empire, reigning from 27 BC until his death in AD 14. His status as the founder of the Roman Principate has consolidated an enduring legacy as one of the most effective and controversial leaders in human history. The reign of Augustus initiated an era of relative peace known as the Pax Romana. The Roman world was largely free from large-scale conflict for more than two centuries, despite continuous wars of imperial expansion on the Empire's frontiers and the year-long civil war known as the "Year of the Four Emperors" over the imperial succession.

Augustus was born Gaius Octavius Thurinus into an old and wealthy equestrian branch of the plebeian gens Octavia. His maternal great-uncle Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC, and Octavius was named in Caesar's will as his adopted son and heir. Along with Mark Antony and Marcus Lepidus, he formed the Second Triumvirate to defeat the assassins of Caesar. Following their victory at the Battle of Philippi, the Triumvirate divided the Roman Republic among themselves and ruled as military dictators. The Triumvirate was eventually torn apart by the competing ambitions of its members. Lepidus was driven into exile and stripped of his position, and Antony committed suicide following his defeat at the Battle of Actium by Octavian in 31 BC.

After the demise of the Second Triumvirate, Augustus restored the outward façade of the free Republic, with governmental power vested in the Roman Senate, the executive magistrates, and the legislative assemblies. In reality, however, he retained his autocratic power over the Republic as a military dictator. By law, Augustus held a collection of powers granted to him for life by the Senate, including supreme military command, and those of tribune and censor. It took several years for Augustus to develop the framework within which a formally republican state could be led under his sole rule. He rejected monarchical titles, and instead called himself Princeps Civitatis ("First Citizen of the State"). The resulting constitutional framework became known as the Principate, the first phase of the Roman Empire.

Augustus dramatically enlarged the Empire, annexing Egypt, Dalmatia, Pannonia, Noricum, and Raetia, expanding possessions in Africa, and completing the conquest of Hispania, but suffered a major setback in Germania. Beyond the frontiers, he secured the Empire with a buffer region of client states and made peace with the Parthian Empire through diplomacy. He reformed the Roman system of taxation, developed networks of roads with an official courier system, established a standing army, established the Praetorian Guard, created official police and fire-fighting services for Rome, and rebuilt much of the city during his reign. Augustus died in AD 14 at the age of 75, probably from natural causes. However, there were unconfirmed rumors that his wife Livia poisoned him. He was succeeded as emperor by his adopted son (also stepson and former son-in-law) Tiberius.

Caligula

Caligula (; Latin: Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus; 31 August 12 – 24 January 41 AD) was Roman emperor from AD 37 to AD 41. The son of the popular Roman general Germanicus and Augustus' granddaughter Agrippina the Elder, Caligula was born into the first ruling family of the Roman Empire, conventionally known as the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Germanicus' uncle and adoptive father, Tiberius, succeeded Augustus as emperor of Rome in AD 14.

Although he was born Gaius Caesar, after Julius Caesar, he acquired the nickname "Caligula" (meaning "little soldier's boot", the diminutive form of caliga) from his father's soldiers during their campaign in Germania. When Germanicus died at Antioch in AD 19, Agrippina returned with her six children to Rome, where she became entangled in a bitter feud with Tiberius. The conflict eventually led to the destruction of her family, with Caligula as the sole male survivor. Untouched by the deadly intrigues, Caligula accepted an invitation in AD 31 to join the emperor on the island of Capri, where Tiberius had withdrawn five years earlier. Following the death of Tiberius, Caligula succeeded his adoptive grandfather as emperor in AD 37.

There are few surviving sources about the reign of Caligula, although he is described as a noble and moderate emperor during the first six months of his rule. After this, the sources focus upon his cruelty, sadism, extravagance, and sexual perversion, presenting him as an insane tyrant. While the reliability of these sources is questionable, it is known that during his brief reign, Caligula worked to increase the unconstrained personal power of the emperor, as opposed to countervailing powers within the principate. He directed much of his attention to ambitious construction projects and luxurious dwellings for himself, and initiated the construction of two aqueducts in Rome: the Aqua Claudia and the Anio Novus. During his reign, the empire annexed the client kingdom of Mauretania as a province.

In early AD 41, Caligula was assassinated as a result of a conspiracy by officers of the Praetorian Guard, senators, and courtiers. The conspirators' attempt to use the opportunity to restore the Roman Republic was thwarted, however. On the day of the assassination of Caligula, the Praetorians declared Caligula's uncle, Claudius, the next Roman emperor. Although the Julio-Claudian dynasty continued to rule the empire until the fall of his nephew Nero in AD 68, Caligula's death marked the official end of the Julii Caesares in the male line.

Claudius

Claudius (; Latin: Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus; 1 August 10 BC – 13 October AD 54) was Roman emperor from AD 41 to 54. A member of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, he was the son of Drusus and Antonia Minor. He was born at Lugdunum in Gaul, the first (and until Trajan, only) Roman Emperor to be born outside Italy. Because he was afflicted with a limp and slight deafness due to sickness at a young age, his family ostracized him and excluded him from public office until his consulship, shared with his nephew Caligula in 37.

Claudius' infirmity probably saved him from the fate of many other nobles during the purges of Tiberius's and Caligula's reigns; potential enemies did not see him as a serious threat. His survival led to his being declared Emperor by the Praetorian Guard after Caligula's assassination, at which point he was the last man of his family. Despite his lack of experience, Claudius proved to be an able and efficient administrator. He was also an ambitious builder, constructing many new roads, aqueducts, and canals across the Empire. During his reign the Empire began the conquest of Britain (if the earlier invasions of Britain by Caesar and Caligula's aborted attempts are not counted).

Having a personal interest in law, he presided at public trials, and issued up to twenty edicts a day. He was seen as vulnerable throughout his reign, particularly by elements of the nobility. Claudius was constantly forced to shore up his position; this resulted in the deaths of many senators. These events damaged his reputation among the ancient writers, though more recent historians have revised this opinion. Many authors contend that he was murdered by his own wife. After his death in 54 (at the age of 63), his grand-nephew, step-son, and adopted son Nero succeeded him as Emperor. His 13-year reign (slightly longer than Nero's) would not be surpassed by any successors until that of Domitian, who reigned for 15 years.

He was a descendant of the Octavii Rufi (through Gaius Octavius), Julii Caesares (through Julia Minor and Julia Antonia), and the Claudii Nerones (through Nero Claudius Drusus). He was a step-grandson (through his father Drusus) and great-nephew (through his mother Antonia Minor) of Augustus. He was a nephew of Tiberius through his father, Tiberius' brother. Through his brother Germanicus, Claudius was an uncle of Caligula and a great uncle of Nero. Through his mother Antonia Minor he was a grandson of Mark Antony.

Drusus Julius Caesar

Drusus Julius Caesar (14 BC – 14 September AD 23), was the son of Emperor Tiberius, and heir to the Roman Empire following the death of his adoptive brother Germanicus in AD 19.

He was born at Rome to a prominent branch of the gens Claudia, the son of Tiberius and his first wife, Vipsania Agrippina. His name at birth was Nero Claudius Drusus after his paternal uncle, Drusus the Elder. In AD 4, he assumed the name Julius Caesar following his father's adoption into the Julii by Augustus, and became Drusus Julius Caesar.

Drusus first entered politics with the office of quaestor in AD 10. His political career mirrored that of Germanicus, and he assumed all his offices at the same age as him. Following the model of Augustus, it was intended that the two would rule together. They were both popular, and many dedications have been found in their honor across Roman Italy. Cassius Dio calls him "Castor" in his Roman History, likening Drusus and Germanicus to the twins, Castor and Pollux, of Roman mythology.Drusus died suddenly 14 September 23, seemingly from natural causes. Ancient historians, such as Tacitus and Suetonius, claim he died amid a feud with the powerful Sejanus, Praetorian prefect of Rome. They allege that he had been murdered. In their account, Sejanus had seduced his wife Livilla, and with the help of a doctor she had poisoned Drusus. Despite the rumors, Tiberius did not suspect Sejanus and the two remained friends until Sejanus' fall from grace in 31.

Germanicus

Germanicus (Latin: Germanicus Julius Caesar; 24 May 15 BC – 10 October AD 19) was a member of the Julio-Claudian dynasty and a prominent general of the Roman Empire, who was known for his campaigns in Germania. The son of Nero Claudius Drusus and Antonia Minor, Germanicus was born into an influential branch of the patrician gens Claudia. The agnomen Germanicus was added to his full name in 9 BC when it was posthumously awarded to his father in honor of his victories in Germania. In AD 4, he was adopted by his paternal uncle, Tiberius, who succeeded Augustus as Roman emperor a decade later. As a result, Germanicus became an official member of the gens Julia, another prominent family which he was related to on his mother's side. His connection to the Julii was further consolidated through a marriage between himself and Agrippina the Elder, a granddaughter of Augustus. He was also the nephew of Tiberius, the father of Caligula, and the maternal grandfather of Nero.

During the reign of Augustus, Germanicus enjoyed an accelerated political career as the heir of the emperor's heir, entering the office of quaestor five years before the legal age in AD 7. He held that office until AD 11, and was elected consul for the first time in AD 12. The year after, he was made proconsul of Germania Inferior, Germania Superior, and all of Gaul. From there he commanded eight legions, about one-third of the entire Roman army, which he led against the Germanic tribes in his campaigns from AD 14 to 16. He avenged the Roman Empire's defeat in the Teutoberg Forest and retrieved two of the three legionary eagles that had been lost during the battle. In AD 17 he returned to Rome where he received a triumph before leaving to reorganize the provinces of Asia Minor, whereby he incorporated the provinces of Cappadocia and Commagene in AD 18.

While in the eastern provinces, he came into conflict with the governor of Syria, Gnaeus Calpurnius Piso. During their feud, Germanicus became ill in Antioch, where he died on 10 October AD 19. His death has been attributed to poison by ancient sources, but that was never proven. As a famous general, he was widely popular and regarded as the ideal Roman long after his death. To the Roman people, Germanicus was the Roman equivalent of Alexander the Great due to the nature of his death at a young age, his virtuous character, his dashing physique, and his military renown.

Gracchi

The Gracchi brothers, Tiberius and Gaius, were Romans who both served as tribunes in the late 2nd century BC. They attempted to pass land reform legislation that would redistribute the major aristocratic landholdings among the urban poor and veterans, in addition to other reform measures. After achieving some early success, both were assassinated by enemies of these reforms.

James T. Kirk

James Tiberius "Jim" Kirk is a fictional character in the Star Trek franchise. Kirk first appears in Star Trek: The Original Series and has been portrayed in numerous films, books, comics, webisodes, and video games. As the captain of the starship USS Enterprise, Kirk leads his crew as they explore new worlds, new civilizations, and "boldly go where no man has gone before". Often, the characters of Spock and Leonard McCoy act as his logical and emotional sounding boards, respectively.

Kirk, played by William Shatner, first appears in Star Trek's first episode, "The Man Trap", broadcast on September 8, 1966. Shatner continued in the role for the show's three seasons, and later provided the voice of the animated version of Kirk in Star Trek: The Animated Series (1973–74). Shatner returned to the role for Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) and in six subsequent films. Chris Pine portrays an alternative young version of the character in the 2009 Star Trek film. Pine reprised his role in Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) and in Star Trek Beyond (2016). Other actors have played the character in fan-created media, and the character has been the subject of multiple spoofs and satires. Kirk has been praised for his leadership traits and criticized for his relationships with women.

Julio-Claudian dynasty

The Julio-Claudian dynasty was the first Roman imperial dynasty, consisting of the first five emperors—Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, and Nero—or the family to which they belonged. They ruled the Roman Empire from its formation under Augustus in 27 BC until AD 68, when the last of the line, Nero, committed suicide. The name "Julio-Claudian dynasty" is a historiographical term derived from the two main branches of the imperial family: the gens Julia (Julii Caesares) and gens Claudia (Claudii Nerones).

Primogeniture is notably absent in the history of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Neither Augustus, Caligula, nor Nero fathered a natural and legitimate son. Tiberius' own son, Drusus predeceased him. Only Claudius was outlived by his son, Britannicus, although he opted to promote his adopted son Nero as his successor to the throne. Adoption ultimately became a tool that most Julio-Claudian emperors utilized in order to promote their chosen heir to the front of the succession. Augustus—himself an adopted son of his great-uncle, the Roman dictator Julius Caesar—adopted his stepson Tiberius as his son and heir. Tiberius was, in turn, required to adopt his nephew Germanicus, the father of Caligula and brother of Claudius. Caligula adopted his cousin Tiberius Gemellus (grandson of the emperor Tiberius) shortly before executing him. Claudius adopted his great-nephew and stepson Nero, who, lacking a natural or adopted son of his own, ended the reign of the Julio-Claudian dynasty with his fall from power and subsequent suicide.

The ancient historians who dealt with the Julio-Claudian period—chiefly Suetonius (c. 69 – after 122 AD) and Tacitus (c. 56 – after AD 117)—write in generally negative terms about their reign. In Tacitus's historiography of the Julio-Claudian emperors, he states:

But the successes and reverses of the old Roman people have been recorded by famous historians; and fine intellects were not wanting to describe the times of Augustus, till growing sycophancy scared them away. The histories of Tiberius, Gaius, Claudius, and Nero, while they were in power, were falsified through terror, and after their death were written under the irritation of a recent hatred.

List of manuscripts in the Cotton library

This is an incomplete list of some of the manuscripts from the Cotton library that today form the Cotton collection of the British Library. Some manuscripts were destroyed or damaged in a fire at Ashburnham House in 1731, and a few are kept in other libraries and collections.

Robert Bruce Cotton organized his library in a room 26 feet (7.9 m) long by six feet wide filled with bookpresses, each with the bust of a figure from classical antiquity on top. Counterclockwise, these were Julius Caesar, Augustus, Cleopatra, Faustina, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, Nero, Galba, Otho, Vitellius, Vespasian, Titus, and Domitian. (Domitian had only one shelf, perhaps because it was over the door). In each press, each shelf was assigned a letter; manuscripts were identified by the bust over the press, the shelf letter, and the position of the manuscript (in Roman numerals) counting from the left side of the shelf. Thus, the Lindisfarne Gospels, Nero B.iv, was the fourth manuscript from the left on the second shelf (shelf B) of the press under the bust of Nero. For Domitian and Augustus, which had only one shelf each, the shelf letter was left out of the press-mark. The British Museum retained Cotton's press-marks when the Cotton collection became one of the foundational collections of its library, so manuscripts are still designated by library, bookpress, shelf, and number (even though they are no longer stored in that fashion). For example, the manuscript of Beowulf is designated Cotton MS Vitellius A.xv, and the manuscript of Pearl is Cotton MS Nero A.x.

Livia

Livia Drusilla (Classical Latin: Livia•Drvsilla, Livia•Avgvsta; 30 January 58 BC – 28 September AD 29), also known as Julia Augusta after her formal adoption into the Julian family in AD 14, was the wife of the Roman emperor Augustus throughout his reign, as well as his adviser. She was the mother of the emperor Tiberius, paternal grandmother of the emperor Claudius, paternal great-grandmother of the emperor Caligula, and maternal great-great-grandmother of the emperor Nero. She was deified by Claudius who acknowledged her title of Augusta.

Maurice (emperor)

Maurice (Latin: Mauricius; Greek: Μαυρίκιος; 539 – 27 November 602) was Byzantine Emperor from 582 to 602. A prominent general, Maurice fought with success against the Sasanian Empire. After he became Emperor, he brought the war with Sasanian Persia to a victorious conclusion. Under him the Empire's eastern border in the South Caucasus was vastly expanded and, for the first time in nearly two centuries, the Romans were no longer obliged to pay the Persians thousands of pounds of gold annually for peace.

Maurice campaigned extensively in the Balkans against the Avars – pushing them back across the Danube by 599. He also conducted campaigns across the Danube, the first Roman Emperor to do so in over two centuries. In the west, he established two large semi-autonomous provinces called exarchates, ruled by exarchs, or viceroys of the emperor. In Italy Maurice established the Exarchate of Italy in 584, the first real effort by the Empire to halt the advance of the Lombards. With the creation of the Exarchate of Africa in 590 he further solidified the power of Constantinople in the western Mediterranean.

His reign was troubled by financial difficulties and almost constant warfare. In 602 a dissatisfied general named Phocas usurped the throne, having Maurice and his six sons executed. This event would prove a disaster for the Empire, sparking a twenty-six year war with Sassanid Persia which would leave both empires devastated prior to the Muslim conquests. His reign is a relatively well documented era of late antiquity, in particular by the historian Theophylact Simocatta. The Strategikon, a manual of war which influenced European and Middle Eastern military traditions for well over a millennium, is traditionally attributed to Maurice.

Sejanus

Lucius Aelius Sejanus - alternatively spelled Seianus - (June 3, 20 BC – October 18, AD 31), commonly known as Sejanus (), was an ambitious soldier, friend and confidant of the Roman Emperor Tiberius. An equestrian by birth, Sejanus rose to power as prefect of the Roman imperial bodyguard, known as the Praetorian Guard, of which he was commander from AD 14 until his death in AD 31.

While the Praetorian Guard was formally established under Emperor Augustus, Sejanus introduced a number of reforms which saw the unit evolve beyond a mere bodyguard, into a powerful and influential branch of the government involved in public security, civil administration and ultimately political intercession; these changes would have a lasting impact on the course of the Principate.

During the 20s, Sejanus gradually accumulated power by consolidating his influence over Tiberius and eliminating potential political opponents, including the emperor's son Drusus Julius Caesar. When Tiberius withdrew to Capri in AD 26, Sejanus was left in control of the administration of the empire. For a time the most influential and feared citizen of Rome, Sejanus suddenly fell from power in AD 31, the year his career culminated with the consulship. Amidst suspicions of conspiracy against Tiberius, Sejanus was arrested and executed, along with his followers.

Tiberius (son of Constans II)

Tiberius (Greek: Τιβέριος, Tiberios) was Byzantine co-emperor from 659 to 681. He was the son of Constans II and Fausta, who was elevated in 659, before his father departed for Italy. After the death of Constans, Tiberius' brother Constantine IV, ascended the throne as senior emperor. Constantine attempted to have both Tiberius and Heraclius removed as co-emperors, which sparked a popular revolt, in 681. Constantine ended the revolt by promising to accede to the demands of the rebels, sending them home, but bringing their leaders into Constantinople. Once there, Constantine had them executed, then imprisoned Tiberius and Heraclius and had them mutilated, after which point they disappear from history.

Tiberius (son of Justinian II)

Tiberius (Greek: Τιβέριος, Tiberios; 705–711) was the son of Emperor Justinian II and Theodora of Khazaria. He served as Co-emperor of the Byzantine Empire with his father Justinian II, from 706–711. He was killed in 711, when Bardanes led a rebellion, which marched on Constantinople, killing Justinian as well as Tiberius. After his death, two different individuals impersonated him, with one, named Bashir, going on to be hosted by Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik, the Umayyad Caliph, before his lie was discovered and he was crucified.

Tiberius Gracchus

Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus (Latin: TI·SEMPRONIVS·TI·F·P·N·GRACCVS; born c. 169–164 – 133 BC) was a politician of the Roman Republic, and the first prominent member of the Populares, a reformist faction. He belonged to the highest aristocracy, as his father was consul and his mother, Cornelia Africana, was the daughter of Scipio Africanus. As a plebeian tribune, Tiberius Gracchus caused political turmoil in the Republic with his reforms of agrarian legislation that sought to transfer land from wealthy, predominantly nobile landowners to poorer citizens. He was murdered, along with many of his supporters, by members of the Roman Senate and supporters of the conservative Optimates faction. A decade later, his younger brother, Gaius Gracchus, attempted similar legislation, and suffered a similar fate.

Tiberius III

Tiberius III (Greek: Τιβέριος, Tiberios) was Byzantine emperor from 698 to 21 August 705. Although his rule was considered generally successful, especially in containing the Arab threat to the east, he was overthrown by the former emperor Justinian II and subsequently executed.

Tiberius II Constantine

Tiberius II Constantine (Latin: Tiberius Constantinus; Greek: Τιβέριος Κωνσταντῖνος; 520 – 14 August 582) was Eastern Roman Emperor from 574 to 582.

Tiberius Julius Aspurgus

Tiberius Julius Aspurgus Philoromaios (Greek: Τιβέριος Ἰούλιος Ἀσποῦργoς Φιλορώμαιος, Philoromaios means lover of Rome, flourished second half of 1st century BC & first half of 1st century AD, died 38) was a Prince and Roman client king of the Bosporan Kingdom.

The name Aspurgus is of Iranian origin, derived from aspa (horse) and aspabara (horseman). Aspurgus was of Greek and Iranian ancestry.

Ancestors of Tiberius
4. Drusus Claudius Nero I
2. Tiberius Claudius Nero
5. Claudia
1. Tiberius
6. Marcus Livius Drusus Claudianus[126]
3. Livia Drusilla
7. Aufidia
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Preceded by
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Head of the Julio-Claudian Dynasty
14 AD – 37 AD
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1204–1261
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1261–1453
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