Tiberius Caesar Divi Fīlius Augustus

© Copyright Peter Crawford 2016
(TIBERIUS CAESAR DIVI FILIUS AUGUSTUS)

Tiberius Caesar Dīvī Augustī Fīlius Augustus; 16 November 42 BC – 16 March 37 AD) was Roman Emperor and Princeps from 14 AD to 37 AD.
Born Tiberius Claudius Nero, a Claudian, Tiberius was the son of Tiberius Claudius Nero and Livia Drusilla.
His mother divorced Nero and married Octavian, later known as Augustus, in 39 BC, making him a step-son of Octavian.
Tiberius would later marry Augustus' daughter (from his marriage to Scribonia), Julia the Elder, and even later be adopted by Augustus, by which act he officially became a Julian, bearing the name Tiberius Julius Caesar.
The subsequent emperors after Tiberius would continue this blended dynasty of both families for the following thirty years; historians have named it the Julio-Claudian dynasty.
In relations to the other emperors of this dynasty, Tiberius was the stepson of Augustus, grand-uncle of Caligula, paternal uncle of Claudius, and great-grand uncle of Nero.
Tiberius was one of Rome's greatest generals; his conquest of Pannonia, Dalmatia, Raetia, and temporarily, parts of 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", and he was undoubtedly a life-long depressive. 
After the death of Tiberius’ son Drusus Julius Caesar in 23 AD, he became more reclusive and aloof.


Nero Claudius Drusus, later Drusus Julius Caesar (adoptive name; 13 BC – 14 September AD 23), was the only child of Roman Emperor Tiberius and his first wife, Vipsania Agrippina. He was also a maternal cousin of the Emperor Caligula, a paternal cousin of the Emperor Claudius and a first cousin once removed of the Emperor Nero. He was born on 7 October 13 BC with the name Nero Claudius Drusus, and is also known to historians as Drusus II, Drusus the Younger and Drusus Minor. Drusus was probably poisoned by Sejanus (see below) in the year 23.
In 26 AD Tiberius removed 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' grand-nephew and adopted grandson, succeeded Tiberius upon his death.

Early Life

Tiberius was born in Rome on 16 November 42 BC to Tiberius Claudius Nero and Livia Drusilla.
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.
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.
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.
Nero Claudius Drusus Germanicus
Nero Claudius Drusus Germanicus (January 14, 38 BC – Summer of 9 BC), born Decimus Claudius Drusus also called Drusus Claudius Nero, Drusus, Drusus I, Nero Drusus, or Drusus the Elder was a Roman politician and military commander. He was a patrician Claudian on his legal father's side but his maternal grandmother was from a plebeian family. He was the son of Livia Drusilla and the legal stepson of her second husband, the Emperor Augustus. He was also brother of the Emperor Tiberius, father to both the Emperor Claudius and general Germanicus, paternal grandfather of the Emperor Caligula, and maternal great-grandfather of the Emperor Nero. He launched the first major Roman campaigns across the Rhine and began the conquest of Germania, becoming the first Roman general to reach the Weser and Elbe rivers. In 12 BC, Drusus led a successful campaign into Germania, subjugating the Sicambri. Later that year he led a naval expedition against Germanic tribes along the North Sea coast, conquering the Batavi and the Frisii, and defeating the Chauci near the mouth of the Weser. In 11 BC, he conquered the Usipetes and the Marsi, extending Roman control to the Upper Weser. In 10 BC, he launched a campaign against the Chatti and the resurgent Sicambri, subjugating both. The following year he conquered the Mattiaci, while defeating the Marcomanni and the Cherusci, defeating the latter near the Elbe. However, Drusus died later that year, depriving Rome of one of its best generals.
In 23 BC Emperor Augustus became gravely ill, and his possible death threatened to plunge the Roman world into chaos again. 
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.
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, and was granted the right to stand for election as praetor and consul five years in advance of the age required by law.
Similar provisions were made for Drusus.
Shortly thereafter Tiberius began appearing in court as an advocate, 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).
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.
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.
He was appointed to the position of 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, conquering Raetia.
In 15 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, Drusus Julius Caesar, was born.
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,
This event seems to have been the breaking point for Tiberius; his new marriage with Julia was never a happy one, and produced only a single child who died in infancy.
Reportedly, Tiberius once ran into Vipsania again, and proceeded to follow her home crying and begging forgiveness; 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' 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.
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 the Marcomanni 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, all of which mirrored positions that Agrippa had previously held, however, despite these successes and despite his advancement, Tiberius was not happy.

Retirement to Rhodes

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.
It has been speculated that it was connected 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.
Tiberius's 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, may have also played a part.
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.
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 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.
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.
Tiberius reportedly regretted his departure, and requested to return to Rome several times, but each time Augustus refused his requests.

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 pressure from Livia, allowed Tiberius to return to Rome as a private citizen and nothing more.
In AD 4, Gaius was killed in Armenia, and Augustus had no other choice but to turn to Tiberius.
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.
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.
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.
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, however, according to Suetonius, after a two-year stint in Germania, which lasted from 10−12 AD,:
 "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. 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."
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.
"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."
Augustus died in AD 14, at the age of 75.
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.

Early reign of Tiberius

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.
These proceedings are fully accounted by Tacitus.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In his first few years, Tiberius seemed to have wanted the Senate to act on its own, 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."


Rise and Fall of Germanicus

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.
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.
Germanicus (24 May 15 BC – 10 October AD 19) was born in Rome, Italia, to Nero Claudius Drusus and his wife Antonia Minor. His original name at birth was either Nero Claudius Drusus after his father, or Tiberius Claudius Nero after his uncle, the second Roman emperor Tiberius. The agnomen Germanicus was added to his full name in 9 BC when it was posthumously awarded to his father in honour of his victories in Germania. By AD 4 he was adopted as Tiberius' son and heir. As a result, Germanicus was adopted out of the Claudii and into the Julii. In accordance with Roman naming conventions, he adopted the name Germanicus Julius Caesar. In addition to Germanicus' relation to Tiberius, he was also a close relative to the other four Julio-Claudian emperors. On his mother's side Germanicus was a great-nephew of Augustus, the first emperor of Rome. By marrying his maternal second cousin, Agrippina the Elder, he became Augustus' grandson-in-law. Gaius (also known as Caligula), the emperor who succeeded Tiberius, was the son of Germanicus. After Caligula the Principate passed to Claudius, Germanicus' younger brother. Nero, the last emperor of Augustus' dynasty, was a grandson of Germanicus on the side of his mother, Agrippina the Younger.
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.
Germanicus's forces crossed the Rhine, and quickly occupied all of the territory between the Rhine and the Elbe.


Battle in the Teutoburg Forest
Additionally, Tacitus records the capture of the Teutoburg forest and the reclaiming of Roman standards lost years before by Publius Quinctilius Varus, when three Roman legions and its auxiliary cohorts had been ambushed by Germanic tribes.
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.



Roman Triumph
After being recalled from Germania, Germanicus celebrated a triumph in Rome in AD 17, 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.
Germanicus survived a little over a year before dying, accusing Gnaeus Calpurnius Piso, the governor of Syria, of poisoning him. 
Gnaeus Calpurnius Piso (ca. 44 BC/43 BC – 20 AD), Roman statesman, was consul in 7 BC; subsequently, he was governor of Hispania and proconsul of Africa. He belonged to one of Rome's most distinguished Senatorial families, whose members included Calpurnia Pisonis, third wife of Julius Caesar. Piso was a man of violent temper, without an idea of obedience, and a natural arrogance. He saw himself as superior to the children of Tiberius. Piso was married to Plancina, a woman of noble rank and wealth. This, combined with Piso's natural character, inflamed his ambition. In AD 17 Tiberius appointed him governor of Syria (with an army of 4 legions). Some Roman sources of the period suggest that Tiberius gave Piso secret instructions to thwart and control Germanicus, who had been sent to supervise all Eastern provinces. Piso and Germanicus clashed on several occasions and, in AD 19, Piso had to leave the province.
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.
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.
Tiberius seems to have tired of politics at this point.
In AD 22, he shared his tribunician authority with his son Drusus and began making yearly excursions to Campania that reportedly became longer and longer every year.
In AD 23, Drusus mysteriously died, 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.


Tiberius in Capri - Sejanus in Rome

Lucius Aelius Sejanus had served the imperial family for almost twenty years when he became Praetorian Prefect in AD 15.
Lucius Aelius Seianus (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; changes which would have a lasting impact on the course of the Principate.
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, 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, 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, though under pressure quickly withdrew the request.
While Sejanus's Praetorians controlled the imperial post, and therefore the information that Tiberius received from Rome, and the information Rome received from Tiberius, the presence of Livia seems to have checked his overt power for a time.
Her death in AD 29 changed all that.
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 Caesar and Drusus Caesar were arrested and exiled in AD 30.
In Sejanus's purge of Agrippina the Elder and her family, Caligula, Agrippina the Younger, Julia Drusilla, and Julia Livilla were the only survivors.

Plot by Sejanus Against Tiberius

In 31, Sejanus held the consulship with Tiberius in absentia, 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.
Livilla was later implicated in this plot, and was revealed to have been Sejanus's lover for a number of years.
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.
Those who stood in his way were tried for treason and swiftly dealt with.
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.
As commander of the Praetorian Guard, he was replaced by Naevius Sutorius Macro.
Quintus Naevius Cordus Sutorius Macro (21 BC – 38 AD) was a prefect of the Praetorian Guard, from 31 until 38, serving under the Roman Emperors Tiberius and Caligula. Upon falling out of favour, he committed suicide. Macro was born in 21 BC at Alba Fucens, a Roman town at the foot of Monte Velino, situated on a hill just to the north of the Via Valeria. Inscriptional evidence from the ruins of this town reveal that, prior to becoming Praetorian prefect, Macro had served as prefect of the vigiles, the Roman fire brigade and night watch. The date of this appointment and the length of his tenure are unknown. Macro was appointed Praetorian prefect by Tiberius after the arrest of Sejanus. According to Tacitus, Macro was active in discrediting Sejanus, and in directing the subsequent purge against his family and followers. As prefect, Macro wielded considerable influence. He furthered his ambitions by befriending Tiberius' grand-nephew Caligula, one of the Emperor's prospective heirs.
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.

  
Tiberius - Final Years and Death

The affair with 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, and spent a great deal of time brooding over the death of his son.
Villa Jovis ("Villa of Jupiter"; also Villa Iovis) is a Roman palace on Capri, southern Italy, built by emperor Tiberius and completed in AD 27. Tiberius mainly ruled from there until his death in AD 37.
Villa Jovis is the largest of the twelve Tiberian villas on Capri mentioned by Tacitus. The entire complex, spanning several terraces, and a difference in elevation of about 40 m, covers some 7,000 m² (1.7 acres).. While the remaining eight levels of walls and staircases only hint at the grandeur the building must have had in its time, recent reconstructions have shown the villa to be a remarkable testament to 1st-century Roman architecture.
 
Villa Jovis is situated in the very northeast of the island atop Monte Tiberio; its 334 m elevation makes it the second-highest peak of Capri, after Monte Solaro (589 m elevation) in Anacapri.The north wing of the building contained the living quarters, while the south wing saw administrative use. The east wing was meant for receptions, whereas the west wing featured an open-walled hall (ambulatio) which offered a scenic view towards Anacapri.
© Copyright Vittori Carvelli 2016

 Apparently the main motivations for Tiberius's move from Rome to Capri were his wariness of the political maneuvering in Rome, and a lingering fear of assassination. The villa is situated at a very secluded spot on the island and Tiberius's quarters in the north and east of the palatial villa were particularly difficult to reach and heavily guarded. The Villa Jovis is also the place where Tiberius engaged in various lascivious practices. As recorded by Seutonius, these may appear shocking to the modern reader, they were no more than the normal diversion indulged in by affluent Roman men in their private villas. The only difference, of course, was that Tiberius was all powerful, and fabulously wealthy, and could therefore indulge his tastes with slave-boys and slave-girls far more extravagantly than most wealthy Romans. (see: Slavery in Ancient Rome and Sexuality in Ancient Rome) - 




for an explicit description of Tiberius' activities at Capri, based on the writings of Seutonius, with explicit images by Virrorio Carvelli - go to:for more 
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2016
TIBERIUS CAESAR DIVI FILIUS AUGUSTUS

Meanwhile, during this period a short invasion by Parthia, incursions by tribes from Dacia and from across the Rhine by several Germanic tribes occurred.
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 his own grandson, Tiberius Gemellus, 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.
Tiberius Julius Caesar Nero Gemellus, known as Tiberius Gemellus (10 October AD 19–AD 37 or 38) was the son of Drusus and Livilla, the grandson of the Emperor Tiberius, and the cousin of the Emperor Caligula. Gemellus is a nickname meaning "the twin". His twin brother, Tiberius Claudius Caesar Germanicus II Gemellus, died in early childhood in 23 AD. Gemellus' father Drusus died mysteriously when Gemellus was only four. It is believed that Drusus died at the hands of the Praetorian Prefect, Lucius Aelius Sejanus. His mother Livilla was either put to death or committed suicide because she had been plotting with Sejanus to overthrow Tiberius, and also because she may have worked with Sejanus to poison her husband. Little is known about Gemellus' life, as he was largely ignored by most of the Imperial family, so much so that one of the major landmarks of his youth, the toga virilis, wasn't celebrated until he was eighteen. The normal age to celebrate this was fourteen years. At the age of twelve Gemellus was summoned to the island of Capri, where Tiberius lived, along with his cousin Caligula. Tiberius made both Caligula and Gemellus joint-heirs, but it was clear that Tiberius favored Caligula over his own grandson. Livilla had been Sejanus' lover for a number of years before their deaths, and many including Tiberius believed that both Gemelli were really Sejanus' sons.
Tiberius died in Misenum on 15 March AD 37, at the age of 78.


Caligula
After his death, the Senate refused to vote him divine honors, and mobs filled the streets yelling "To the Tiber with Tiberius!" - in reference to a method of disposal reserved for the corpses of criminals.
Instead the body of the emperor was cremated, and his ashes were quietly laid in the Mausoleum of Augustus.
In his will, Tiberius had left his powers jointly to Caligula and Tiberius Gemellus.
Caligula's first act on becoming Princeps was to void Tiberius' will and have Gemellus executed.
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.




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© Copyright Peter Crawford 2016

© Copyright Peter Crawford 2016



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