John the Baptist 27 AD "The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand." (Matthew 3:2) 27 AD "Who warned you to flee from the wrath about to come?" (Matthew 3:7) 27 AD "The axe is already laid at the root of the trees." (Matthew 3:10) 27 AD "His winnowing fork is in His hand." (Matthew 3:12) 27 AD "The kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Matthew 4:17) 27 AD "The kingdom of God is at hand." (Mark 1:15) 27 AD “Who warned you to flee from the wrath about to come?” (Luke 3:7) 27 AD “The axe is already laid at the root of the trees. " (Luke 3:9) 27 AD "His winnowing fork is in His hand…." (Luke 3:17) Jesus the Christ 28 AD "The kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Matthew 10:7) 28 AD "You shall not finish going through the cities of Israel, until the Son of Man comes." (Matthew 10:23) 28 AD "....the age about to come." (Matthew 12:32) 28 AD “The kingdom of God has come near to you.” (Luke 10:9) 28 AD “The kingdom of God has come near.” (Luke 10:11) 30 AD "The Son of Man is about to come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and will then recompense every man according to his deeds." (Matthew 16:27) 30 AD "There are some of those who are standing here who shall not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom." (Matthew 16:28; cf. Mark 9:1; Luke 9:27) 30 AD "'When the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those vine-growers?' '....He will bring those wretches to a wretched end, and will rent out the vineyard to other vine-growers, who will pay him the proceeds at the proper seasons.' '....Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you, and be given to a nation producing the fruit of it.' ....When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard His parables, they understood that He was speaking about them." (Matthew 21:40-41,43,45) 30 AD "This generation will not pass away until all these things take place." (Matthew 24:34) 30 AD "From now on, you [Caiaphas, the chief priests, the scribes, the elders, the whole Sanhedrin] shall be seeing the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven." (Matthew 26:64; Mark 14:62; Luke 22:69) 30 AD "What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the vine-growers, and will give the vineyard to others. ....They [the chief priests, scribes and elders] understood that He spoke the parable against them." (Mark 12:9,12) 30 AD "This generation will not pass away until all these things take place.” (Mark 13:30) 30 AD “What, therefore, will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and destroy these vine-growers and will give the vineyard to others." …The scribes and the chief priests …understood that He spoke this parable against them.” (Luke 20:15-16,19) 30 AD “These are days of vengeance, in order that all things which are written may be fulfilled.” (Luke 21:22) 30 AD "This generation will not pass away until all things take place.” (Luke 21:32) 30 AD "Daughters of Jerusalem, stop weeping for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when they will say, 'Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.' Then they will begin to say to the mountains, 'Fall on us,' and to the hills, 'Cover us.'” (Luke 23:28-30; Compare Revelation 6:14-17) 30 AD "I will come to you. …In that Day you shall know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.' …'Lord, what then has happened that You are about to disclose Yourself to us, and not to the world?'" (John 14:18,20,22) 30 AD "If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you?" (John 21:22) The Disciples 30 AD "We were hoping that He was the One who is about to redeem Israel.” (Luke 24:21) Paul the Apostle to the Gentiles 52 AD “…we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord… …We who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds… …You, brethren, are not in darkness, that the Day should overtake you like a thief.” (1 Thessalonians 4:15,17; 5:4) 52 AD “May your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:23) 52 AD “It is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire.” (2 Thessaloniams 1:6-7) 56 AD “The time has been shortened.” (1 Corinthians 7:29) 56 AD “The form of this world is passing away.” (1 Corinthians 7:31) 56 AD “Now these things …were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.” (1 Corinthians 10:11) 56 AD “We shall not all fall sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52) 56 AD "Maranatha!" [The Lord comes!] (1 Corinthians 16:22) 56 AD “Godliness …holds promise for the present life and that which is about to come.” (1 Timothy 4:8) 56 AD “I charge you …that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Timothy 6:14) 56 AD “…storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for that which is about to come, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.” (1 Timothy 6:19) 57 AD “He has fixed a day in which He is about to judge the world in righteousness…” (Acts 17:31) 58 AD “Not for [Abraham's] sake only was it written, that [faith] was reckoned to him [as righteousness], but for our sake also, to whom it is about to be reckoned.” (Romans 4:23-24) 58 AD “If you are living according to the flesh, you are about to die.” (Romans 8:13) 58 AD “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is about to be revealed to us.” (Romans 8:18) 58 AD "It is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. The night is almost gone, and the day is at hand." (Romans 13:11-12) 58 AD “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.” (Romans 16:20) 60 AD “There is about to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked.” (Acts 24:15) 60 AD “As he was discussing righteousness, self-control and the judgment about to come…" (Acts 24:25) 61 AD "...not only in this age, but also in the one about to come.” (Ephesians 1:21) 61 AD “In the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self… …Avoid these men. For of these are those who enter into households and captivate weak women… …These also oppose the truth… …But they will not make further progress; for their folly will be obvious to all…” (2 Timothy 3:1-2,5-6,8-9) 61 AD “I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is about to judge the living and the dead…” (2 Timothy 4:1) 62 AD “The Lord is near.” (Philippians 4:5) 62 AD "The gospel …was proclaimed in all creation under heaven." (Colossians 1:23; Compare Matthew 24:14; Romans 10:18; 16:26; Colossians 1:5-6; 2 Timothy 4:17; Revelation 14:6-7; cf. I Clement 5,7) 62 AD “…things which are a shadow of what is about to come.” (Colossians 2:16-17) 63 AD “God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son.” (Hebrews 1:1-2) 63 AD “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who are about to inherit salvation?” (Hebrews 1:14) 63 AD “He did not subject to angels the world about to come.” (Hebrews 2:5) 63 AD “…and have tasted …the powers of the age about to come.” (Hebrews 6:5) 63 AD "For ground that drinks the rain which often falls upon it and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is also tilled, receives a blessing from God; but if it yields thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near a curse, and it's end is for burning.” (Hebrews 6:7-8) 63 AD “When He said, 'A new covenant,' He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear.” (Hebrews 8:13) 63 AD “The Holy Spirit is signifying this, that the way of the [heavenly] Holy Places has not yet been revealed, while the outer tabernacle is still standing, which is a symbol for the present time. Accordingly both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make the worshiper perfect in conscience, since they relate only to food and drink and various washings, regulations for the body imposed until a time of reformation.” (Hebrews 9:8-10; Compare Galatians 4:19; Ephesians 2:21-22; 3:17; 4:13) 63 AD “But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things about to come…” (Hebrews 9:11) 63 AD “Now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin.” (Hebrews 9:26) 63 AD “For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things about to come…” (Hebrews 10:1) 63 AD “…as you see the Day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:25) 63 AD “…the fury of a fire which is about to consume the adversaries.” (Hebrews 10:27) 63 AD “For yet in a very little while, He who is coming will come, and will not delay.” (Hebrews 10:37) 63 AD “For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the one that is about to come.” (Hebrews 13:14) Peter the Apostle to the Circumcision 30 AD “This is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel: 'And it shall be in the last days…'” (Acts 2:16-17) 62 AD “…salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Peter 1:5) 62 AD “He …has appeared in these last times for the sake of you.” (1 Peter 1:20) 62 AD “In the last days mockers will come. …For this they willingly are ignorant of…” (1 Peter 3:3,5) 62 AD “They shall give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.” (1 Peter 4:5) 62 AD “The end of all things is at hand; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer.” (1 Peter 4:7) 62 AD "For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God.” (1 Peter 4:17) 62 AD “…as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is about to be revealed.” (1 Peter 5:1) 62 AD “We have the prophetic word …which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the Day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts.” (2 Peter 1:19) 62 AD “Their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.” (2 Peter 2:3) 62 AD “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God.” (2 Peter 3:10-12) James 62 AD "Speak and so act, as those who are about to be judged by the law of liberty." (James 2:12) 62 AD “Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries which are coming upon you. …It is in the last days that you have stored up your treasure!” (James 5:1,3) 62 AD “Be patient, therefore, brethren, until the coming of the Lord.” (James. 5:7) 62 AD “You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.” (James. 5:8) Jude the brother of James 62 AD “For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation. …About these also Enoch …prophesied, saying, 'Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly…'” (Jude 1:4,14-15) 62 AD “But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, that they were saying to you, 'In the last time there shall be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts.' These are the ones who cause divisions…” (Jude 1:17-19) John the Apostle whom Jesus loved 62 AD “The darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.” (1 John 2:8) 62 AD “The world is passing away, and its desires.” (1 John 2:17) 62 AD “It is the last hour.” (1 John 2:18) 62 AD “Even now many antichrists have arisen; from this we know that it is the last hour.” (1 John 2:18; Compare Matthew 24:23-34) 62 AD “This is that of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.” (1 John 4:3; Compare 2 Thessaloniams 2:7) 63 AD “…to show to His bond-servants, the things which must shortly take place.” (Revelation 1:1) 63 AD “The time is near.” (Revelation 1:3) 63 AD “Nevertheless what you have, hold fast until I come.” (Revelation 2:25) 63 AD “I also will keep you from the hour of testing which is about to come upon the whole world.” (Revelation 3:10) 63 AD “I am coming quickly.” (Revelation 3:11) 63 AD “And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is about to rule all the nations with a rod of iron.” (Revelation 12:5) 63 AD "And in her [the Great City Babylon] was found the blood of prophets and of saints and of all who have been slain on the earth." (Revelation 18:24; Compare Matthew 23:35-36; Luke 11:50-51) 63 AD “…to show to His bond-servants the things which must shortly take place.” (Revelation 22:6) 63 AD "Behold, I am coming quickly. " (Revelation 22:7) 63 AD "Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near." (Revelation 22:10; Compare Daniel 8:26) 63 AD "Behold, I am coming quickly.” (Revelation 22:12) 63 AD "Yes, I am coming quickly." (Revelation 22:20)

14-37AD Tiberius: 4TH ROMAN "KING" since Rome possessed Jerusalem



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Emperor of the Roman Empire

A bust of the Emperor Tiberius
Reign AD 14–37
Full name Tiberius Caesar Augustus
(born Tiberius Claudius Nero)
Born November 16, 42 BC
Died March 16, AD 37 (age 78)
Predecessor Augustus
Successor Caligula
Wife/wives 1) Vipsania Agrippina, 20 BC to 12 BC
2) Julia the Elder, 11 BC to 2 BC
Issue By 1) Julius Caesar Drusus
By 2) 1, died in infancy
Dynasty Julio-Claudian
Father Tiberius Nero
Mother Livia

Tiberius Caesar Augustus, born Tiberius Claudius Nero (November 16, 42 BCMarch 16, AD 37), was the second Roman Emperor, from the death of Augustus in AD 14 until his own death in 37. Tiberius was by birth a Claudian, son of Tiberius Claudius Nero and Livia Drusilla. His mother divorced his father and was remarried to Octavian Augustus in 39 BC. Tiberius would later marry Augustus' daughter Julia the Elder (from an earlier marriage) and even later be adopted by Augustus and by this act he became a Julian. The subsequent emperors after Tiberius would continue this blended dynasty of both families for the next forty years; historians have named it the Julio-Claudian dynasty.

Tiberius was one of Rome's greatest generals, whose campaigns in Pannonia, Illyricum, Rhaetia and Germania laid the foundations for the northern frontier. But he came to be remembered as a dark, reclusive, and sombre ruler who never really desired to be emperor; Pliny the Elder called him tristissimus hominum, "the gloomiest of men".[1] After the death of Tiberius’ son Julius Caesar Drusus in 23, the quality of his rule declined and ended in a terror. In 26, Tiberius exiled himself from Rome and left administration largely in the hands of his unscrupulous Praetorian Prefects Lucius Aelius Sejanus and Quintus Naevius Sutorius Macro. Caligula, Tiberius’ adopted grandson, succeeded the Emperor upon his death.



[edit] Early life

Roman imperial dynasties
Julio-Claudian dynasty
Natural - Julia the Elder
Adoptive - Gaius Caesar, Lucius Caesar, Agrippa Postumus, Tiberius
Natural - Julius Caesar Drusus
Adoptive - Germanicus
Natural - Julia Drusilla
Adoptive - Tiberius Gemellus
Natural - Claudia Antonia, Claudia Octavia, Britannicus
Adoptive - Nero
Natural - Claudia Augusta

[edit] Background

Tiberius Claudius Germanicus Augustus Nero was born on 16 November 42 BC to Tiberius Nero and Livia Drusilla, in Rome.[2] 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. Shortly thereafter in 38 BC his brother, Nero Claudius Drusus, was born.

Little is recorded of Tiberius's early life. In 32 BC, Tiberius made his first public appearance at the age of nine, delivering the eulogy for his biological father.[3] In 29 BC, both he and his brother Drusus rode in the triumphal chariot along with their adoptive father Octavian in celebration of the defeat of Antony and Cleopatra at Actium.[3] In 26 BC, 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's 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's chief problem.

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's direction, receiving the position of quaestor,[4] and was granted the right to stand for election as praetor and consul five years in advance of the age required by law.[5] Similar provisions were made for Drusus.

[edit] Civil and military career

Shortly thereafter Tiberius began appearing in court as an advocate,[6] and it is presumably here that his interest in Greek rhetoric began. In 20 BC, Tiberius was sent East under Marcus Agrippa. The Parthians 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 Marc Antony (36 BC).[5] After several years of negotiation, Tiberius lead a sizable force into Armenia, presumably with the goal of establishing Armenia as a Roman client-state and as a threat on the Roman-Parthian border, and Augustus was able to reach a compromise whereby these standards were returned, and Armenia remained a neutral territory between the two powers.[5]

Bust of Vipsania Agrippina, Tiberius' first wife. Recovered from Leptis Magna.
Bust of Vipsania Agrippina, Tiberius' first wife. Recovered from Leptis Magna.

After returning from the East in 19 BC, Tiberius was married to Vipsania Agrippina, the daughter of Augustus’s close friend and greatest general, Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa,[7] appointed praetor, and 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. In 16 BC he discovered the sources of the Danube, and soon afterwards the bend of the middle course. Returning to Rome in 13 BC, Tiberius was appointed as consul, and around this same time his son, Julius Caesar Drusus, was born.

Agrippa's death in 12 BC elevated both Tiberius and Drusus with respect to the succession. At Augustus’ request, Tiberius divorced Vipsania and married Julia the Elder, Augustus' daughter and Agrippa's widow.[7] This event seems to have been the breaking point for Tiberius; his marriage with Julia was never a happy one, and produced only a single child which died in infancy.[7] Reportedly, Tiberius once ran into Vipsania again, and proceeded to follow her home crying and begging forgiveness;[7] soon afterwards, Tiberius met with Augustus, and steps were taken to ensure that Tiberius and Vipsania would never meet again. Tiberius continued to be elevated by Augustus, and after Agrippa's death and his brother Drusus's 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 both areas key to Augustan policy. 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,[8] all of which mirrored positions that Agrippa had previously held. However, despite these successes and despite his advancement, Tiberius was not happy.

[edit] Retirement to Rhodes

Remnants of Tiberius' villa at Sperlonga, a Roman resort midway between Rome and Naples.
Remnants of Tiberius' villa at Sperlonga, a Roman resort 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. The precise motives for Tiberius's withdrawal are unclear.[9] Historians have speculated a connection with Augustus’s grandchildren Gaius and Lucius, whom Augustus had adopted, and were being elevated along the same political path that both Tiberius and Drusus had been. Tiberius thus was an interim solution; he would hold power only until Lucius and Gaius came of age, and then be swept aside. The promiscuous, and very public, behavior of his unhappily married wife, Julia,[10] may have also played a part;[8] 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.[11] Tiberius had found himself married to a woman he loathed, who publicly humiliated him with nighttime escapades in the Forum, and forbidden to see the woman he had loved.

Whatever Tiberius's motives, the withdrawal was almost disastrous for Augustus's succession plans. Gaius Caesar and Lucius Caesar 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.

Somewhat apocryphal stories tell of Augustus pleading with Tiberius to stay, even going so far as to stage a serious illness; Tiberius's response was to anchor off the shore of Ostia until word came that Augustus had survived, then sailing straightway for Rhodes.[12] Tiberius reportedly discovered the error of his ways and requested to return to Rome several times; each time Augustus refused the request.

[edit] Heir to Augustus

With Tiberius's 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 prompting from Livia, allowed Tiberius to return to Rome as a private citizen and nothing more.[13] In AD 4, Gaius was killed in Armenia and, to paraphrase Tacitus, Augustus had no other choice but to turn to Tiberius.[14][15]

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. In turn, Tiberius was required to adopt his nephew, Germanicus, the son of his brother Drusus and Augustus' niece Antonia Minor.[14][16] 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.[17] In AD 7, Postumus was disowned by Augustus and banned to the island of Planasia, to live in solitary confinment.[18][19] Thus, when in AD 13, the powers held by Tiberius were made equal, rather than second, to Augustus's 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.

Augustus died in AD 14, at the age of seventy-six.[20] He was buried with all due ceremony and, as had been arranged beforehand, deified, his will read, and Tiberius confirmed as his sole surviving heir.[21]

[edit] Emperor

[edit] Early reign

The younger Emperor Tiberius.  Bust from the Louvre, Paris.
The younger Emperor Tiberius. Bust from the Louvre, Paris.

While the reality of Tiberius's position as the new Princeps could not be denied, the ceremonial aspect of the transference of power was something that neither the Senate, nor indeed Tiberius, knew how to handle. The Senate convened on 18 September, ostensibly to validate Tiberius's position as Princeps and, as it had done with Augustus before, extend the powers of the position to him. Tacitus gives a full account of the proceedings. 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 role of Augustus, that is of the reluctant public servant who wants nothing more than to serve the state, and ended up throwing the entire affair into confusion. Rather than humble, he came across as derisive; rather than seeming to want to serve the state, he seemed obstructive.[22] 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. The Senate, thoroughly confused, asked which part of the state he would like. Finally, one senator cried, "Sire, for how long will you allow the State to be without a head?"[23] 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.[24]

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; his direct orders were vague, inspiring debate more on what he actually meant than on passing his legislation.[25] In his first few years, Tiberius seems to have wanted the Senate to act on its own,[26] 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".[27]

[edit] Rise and fall of Germanicus

Problems arose quickly for the new Princeps. The legions posted in Pannonia and in Germania had not been paid the bonuses promised them by Augustus, and after a short period of time, when it was clear that a response from Tiberius was not forthcoming, mutinied.[28] Germanicus and Tiberius's son, Drusus, were dispatched with a small force to quell the uprising and bring the legions back in line. 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 booty they could grab would count as their bonus.[29] Germanicus's forces smashed across 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 standards lost years before by Publius Quinctilius Varus,[30] when three Roman legions and its auxiliary cohorts had been ambushed by a band of Germans. In the face of inaction by Tiberius, Germanicus had managed to deal a significant blow to Rome's enemies, quell an uprising of troops, and once again return lost standards to Rome, actions that placed the young Germanicus in a clear "Augustan" light when compared with befuddled Tiberius.

After being recalled from Germania,[31] Germanicus celebrated a triumph in Rome in AD 17,[30] 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.[32] Germanicus survived a little over a year before dying, accusing Gnaeus Calpurnius Piso, the governor of Syria, of poisoning him.[33] 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.[34] Whether the governor actually could connect the Princeps to the death of Germanicus will never be known; rather than continuing to stand trial when it became evident that the Senate was against him, Piso committed suicide.[35][36]

Tiberius seems to have tired of politics at this point. In AD 22, he shared his tribunician authority with his son Drusus,[37] and began making yearly excursions to Campania that reportedly became longer and longer every year. In AD 23, Drusus mysteriously died,[38][39] and Tiberius seems to have made no effort to elevate a replacement. Finally, in AD 26, Tiberius retired from Rome altogether to the island of Capri.[40]

[edit] Tiberius in Capri, Sejanus in Rome

Roman aureus depicting Tiberius, with Livia as Pax shown on the reverse. Struck in AD 36.
Roman aureus depicting Tiberius, with Livia as Pax shown on the reverse. Struck in AD 36.

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,[41] 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 "my partner". Tiberius had statues of Sejanus erected throughout the city,[42][43] 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.

Sejanus's position was not quite that of successor; he had requested marriage in AD 25 to Tiberius's niece, Livilla,[44] though under pressure quickly withdrew the request.[45] While Sejanus's Praetorians controlled the imperial post, and therefore the information that Tiberius received from Rome and the information Rome received from Tiberius,[46] the presence of Livia seems to have checked his overt power for a time. Her death in AD 29 changed all that.[47] 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 and Drusus were arrested and exiled in AD 30 and later all died in suspicious circumstances.[48]

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

In 31, Sejanus held the consulship with Tiberius in absentia,[49] 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.[49] Livilla was later implicated in this plot, and was revealed to have been Sejanus's lover for a number of years.[50] 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 Gaius Caligula.[51] Those who stood in his way were tried for treason and swiftly dealt with.

However, what is clear from the record is that when Sejanus finally did fall, the purges that ensued under Tiberius were almost all aimed at supporters of the Julians. 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.[52] As commander of the Praetorian Guard, he was replaced by Naevius Sutorius Macro.[52]

Rome then erupted into even more extensive trials. 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. The Senatorial ranks were decimated. 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.[53] 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. The force of terror had utterly extinguished the sense of human fellowship, and, with the growth of cruelty, pity was thrust aside.[53]

Meanwhile, with Tiberius in Capri, rumors abounded as to what exactly he was doing there. Suetonius records lurid tales of sexual perversity and cruelty, of sado-masochism and pederasty,[54] and most of all his paranoia.[55] While perhaps sensationalized, the stories at least paint a picture of how Tiberius was perceived by the Roman people, and what his impact on the Principate was during his 23 years of rule.

[edit] Final years

The Death of Tiberius by Jean-Paul Laurens, depicting the Roman emperor about to be smothered under orders of Naevius Sutorius Macro.
The Death of Tiberius by Jean-Paul Laurens, depicting the Roman emperor about to be smothered under orders of Naevius Sutorius Macro.

The affair with Sejanus and the final years of treason trials permanently damaged Tiberius' image and reputation. After Sejanus's fall, Tiberius's 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. He became utterly paranoid,[55] and reportedly spent a great deal of time brooding over the death of his son. Meanwhile, Suetonius records a short invasion by Parthia and incursions by tribes from Dacia and from across the Rhine by several Germanic tribes.[56]

Nothing was done to either secure or indicate how his succession was to take place; the Julians and their supporters felt his full wrath, his own sons and immediate family were dead. There seemed to be a vague nod to Gaius "Caligula", the sole surviving son of Germanicus, as well as his own grandson Tiberius Gemellus,[57] but nothing certain, and there was only a half-hearted attempt at the end of his life to make Gaius an honorary quaestor.[58]

Tiberius died in Misenum on March 16, AD 37, at the age of 77.[59] Tacitus records that upon the news of his death the crowd rejoiced, only to become suddenly silent upon hearing that he had recovered, and rejoiced again at the news that Caligula and Macro had smothered him.[60] This is not recorded by other ancient historians and is most likely apocryphal, but it can be taken as an indication of how the senatorial class felt towards the Emperor at the time of his death. In his will, Tiberius had left his powers jointly to Caligula and Tiberius Gemellus[61][62]; Caligula's first act on becoming Princeps was to void Tiberius' will and have Gemellus executed.[62]

Tiberius’s downfall was not his abuse of power but his refusal to use it. His withdrawn nature, especially in comparison with Augustus's openness, immediately made him a disliked figure. The Senate had been functioning under the directorship of the Principate for almost 50 years; most Senators had gained their position and hoped to advance further by courting Imperial favor. Tiberius's attempt to restore some share of administration to the Senate thus met with failure; the Senate no longer knew how to rule independent of the Princeps. Tiberius seemed uninterested in the role set for him to play, and his rule and his reputation suffered. The administration of the Imperial sector of the government increased during this time, but how much this is due to direct action by Tiberius rather than his freedmen advisors cannot be determined. In the end, Tiberius perhaps is a model of how power can be abused by its lack of use.

[edit] Legacy

[edit] Historiography

Publius Cornelius Tacitus.
Publius Cornelius Tacitus.

Were he to have died prior to AD 23, he might have been hailed as an exemplary ruler.[63] Despite the overwhelmingly negative characterization left by Roman historians, Tiberius left the imperial treasury with nearly 3 billion sesterces upon his death.[64][62] 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.[41] The result was a stronger, more consolidated empire. Of the authors whose texts have survived until the present day, only four describe the reign of Tiberius in considerable detail: Tacitus, Suetonius, Cassius Dio and 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.[65]

[edit] Publius Cornelius Tacitus

The most detailed account of this period is handed down to us by Tacitus, whose Annals dedicates the first six books entirely to the reign of Tiberius. Tacitus was a Roman of the equestrian order, born during the reign of Nero in 56. His text is largely based on the acta senatus (the minutes of the session of the Senate) and the acta diurna populi Romani (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 Cluvius Rufus, Fabius Rusticus and Pliny the Elder (all of which are lost to us at present). Tacitus' narrative emphasizes both political and psychological motivation. The 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 Drusus in 23.[63] The rule of Julio-Claudians is generally described as unjust and 'criminal' by Tacitus.[66] Even at the outset of his reign, he seems to ascribe many of Tiberius' virtues merely to hypocrisy.[59] 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.[67] 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.[59]

[edit] Suetonius Tranquilius

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, Cluvius Rufus, Fabius Rusticus and Augustus' own letters, but 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.[54] Nevertheless, Suetonius also reserves praise for Tiberius' actions during his early reign, emphasizing his modesty.[68]

[edit] 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[4][69] and Sejanus.[70] How much of this is due to genuine admiration, prudence or fear remains an open question, but it has been conjectured that he was put to death in AD 31 as a friend of Sejanus.[71]

[edit] Gospels

The tribute penny mentioned in the Bible is commonly believed to be a Roman denarius depicting Tiberius.
The tribute penny mentioned in the Bible is commonly believed to be a Roman denarius depicting Tiberius.

The Gospels record that during Tiberius' reign, Jesus of Nazareth preached and was executed under the authority of Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea. In the Bible, Tiberius is mentioned by name only once, in Luke 3:1, stating that John the Baptist entered on his public ministry in the fifteenth year of his reign. Many references to Caesar (or the emperor in some other translations), without further specification, actually refer to Tiberius.

Similarly, the "Tribute Penny" referred to in Matthew 22:19 and Mark 12:15 is popularly thought to be a silver denarius coin of Tiberius.

[edit] Archeology

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,[72][73] both of which were not finished until the reign of Caligula.[74]

In addition, remnants of Tiberius' villa at Sperlonga, which includes a grotto where several Rhodean sculptures have been recovered, and the Villa Jovis on top of Capri have been preserved. The original complex at Capri is thought to have spanned a total of twelve villas across the island[40], of which Villa Jovis was the largest.

Tiberius refused to be worshipped as a living god, and allowed only one temple to built in his honor at Smyrna.[75]

The town Tiberias on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee was named in Tiberius's honour by Herod Antipas.[76]

[edit] Tiberius in fiction

Tiberius has been represented several times in fiction, both in literature and in film and television, though often as a peripheral character in the central storyline. The most widely known modern representation is in the novel I, Claudius by Robert Graves, and the consequent BBC television series adaptation, where he is portrayed by George Baker. In addition, Tiberius has prominent roles in Ben-Hur (played by George Relph in his last starring role), and Caligula (played by Peter O'Toole).

[edit] See also

[edit] Notes

  1. ^ Pliny the Elder, Natural Histories XXVIII.5.23.
  2. ^ Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 5
  3. ^ a b Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 6
  4. ^ a b Velleius Paterculus, Roman History II.94
  5. ^ a b c Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 9
  6. ^ Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 8
  7. ^ a b c d Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 7
  8. ^ a b Cassius Dio, Roman History LV.9
  9. ^ Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 10
  10. ^ Velleius Paterculus, Roman History II.100
  11. ^ Tacitus, Annals I.53
  12. ^ Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 11
  13. ^ Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 13
  14. ^ a b Tacitus, Annals I.3
  15. ^ Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 15
  16. ^ Cassius Dio, Roman History LV.13
  17. ^ 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–January 1980–1981). "Notes on the Laudatio of Agrippa". Classical Journal 76 (2): 97–109, pp. 105–106.
  18. ^ Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 15
  19. ^ Cassius Dio, Roman History LV.32
  20. ^ Velleieus Paterculus, Roman History II.123
  21. ^ Tacitus, Annals I.8
  22. ^ Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 24
  23. ^ Tacitus, Annals I.12, I.13
  24. ^ Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 26
  25. ^ Tacitus, Annals III.32, III.52
  26. ^ Tacitus, Annals III.35, III.53, III.54
  27. ^ Tacitus, Annals III.65
  28. ^ Tacitus, Annals I.16, I.17, I.31
  29. ^ Cassius Dio, Roman History LVII.6
  30. ^ a b Tacitus, Annals II.41
  31. ^ Tacitus, Annals II.26
  32. ^ Tacitus, Annals II.43
  33. ^ Tacitus, Annals II.71
  34. ^ Tacitus, Annals III.16
  35. ^ Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 52
  36. ^ Tacitus, Annals III.15
  37. ^ Tacitus, Annals III.56
  38. ^ Tacitus, Annals, IV.7, IV.8
  39. ^ Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 62
  40. ^ a b Tacitus, Annals IV.67
  41. ^ a b Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 37
  42. ^ Tacitus, Annals IV.2
  43. ^ Cassius Dio, Roman History LVII.21
  44. ^ Tacitus, Annals IV.39
  45. ^ Tacitus, Annals IV.40, IV.41
  46. ^ Tacitus, Annals IV.41
  47. ^ Tacitus, Annals V.3
  48. ^ Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 53, 54
  49. ^ a b Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 65
  50. ^ Cassius Dio, Roman History LVII.22
  51. ^ Boddington, Ann (January 1963). "Sejanus. Whose Conspiracy?". The American Journal of Philology 84 (1): 1–16. Retrieved on 2007-07-23.
  52. ^ a b Cassius Dio, Roman History LVIII.10
  53. ^ a b Tacitus, Annals VI.19
  54. ^ a b Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 43, 44, 45
  55. ^ a b Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 60, 62, 63, 64
  56. ^ Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 41
  57. ^ Tacitus, Annals VI.46
  58. ^ Cassius Dio, Roman History LVII.23
  59. ^ a b c Tacitus, Annals VI.50, VI.51
  60. ^ Tacitus, Annals VI.50
  61. ^ Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 76
  62. ^ a b c Cassius Dio, Roman History LIX.1
  63. ^ a b Tacitus, Annals IV.6
  64. ^ Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Caligula37
  65. ^ Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 61
  66. ^ Tacitus, Annals, I.6
  67. ^ Tacitus, Annals I.72, I.74, II.27-32, III.49-51, III.66-69
  68. ^ Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 26-32
  69. ^ Velleius Paterculus, Roman History, II.103-105, II.129-130
  70. ^ Velleius Paterculus, Roman History II.127-128
  71. ^ Cruttwell, C.T. (1877). A History of Roman Literature. Oxford, Book 3, chapter 1.
  72. ^ Tacitus, Annals IV.45, III.72
  73. ^ Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 47
  74. ^ Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Caligula 21
  75. ^ Tacitus, Annals IV.37-38, IV.55-56
  76. ^ Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews XVIII.2.3

[edit] Bibliography

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:

[edit] Primary sources

[edit] Secondary material

  • Syme, Ronald (1986), The Augustan Aristocracy, Oxford: Clarendon Press, ISBN 978-0198148593
  • Seager, Robin (1972), Tiberius, London: Eyre Methuen, ISBN 978-0413276001
  • Ehrenberg, V. & Jones, A.H.M. (1955), Documents Illustrating the Reigns of Augustus and Tiberius, Oxford
  • Shotter, David (1992), Tiberius Caesar, London: Routledge, ISBN 0-415-07654-4

[edit] Biographical sketches

[edit] Other material

Born: 16 November 42 BC Died: 16 March AD 37
Political offices
Preceded by
Marcus Licinius Crassus Dives and Gnaeus Cornelius Lentulus
Consul of the Roman Empire together with Publius Quinctilius Varus
13 BC
Succeeded by
Marcus Valerius Messalla Barbatus Appianus and Quirinius
Preceded by
Gaius Marcius Censorinus and Gaius Asinius Gallus
Consul of the Roman Empire together with Gnaeus Calpurnius Piso
7 BC
Succeeded by
D. Laelius Balbus and Gaius Antistius Vetus
Preceded by
Roman Emperor
Succeeded by
Julio-Claudian Dynasty
Preceded by
Lucius Pomponius Flaccus and Gaius Caelius Rufus
Consul of the Roman Empire together with Germanicus
Succeeded by
Marcus Junius Silanus Torquatus and Lucius Norbanus Balbus
Preceded by
Marcus Valerius Messalla Barbatus and Marcus Aurelius Cotta Maximus Messalinus
Consul of the Roman Empire together with Julius Caesar Drusus
Succeeded by
Decimus Haterius Agrippa and Gaius Sulpicius Galba
Preceded by
Marcus Vinicius and Lucius Cassius Longinus
Consul of the Roman Empire together with Sejanus
Succeeded by
Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus and Lucius Arruntius Camillus Scribonianus

NAME Tiberius
ALTERNATIVE NAMES Tiberius Caesar Augustus; Tiberius Claudius Nero
DATE OF BIRTH 16 November 42 BC
DATE OF DEATH 16 March AD 37
PLACE OF DEATH Misenum, Campania, Italy