Book: Tiberius the politician

Tiberius the politician

Tiberius the politician


Tiberius has always been one of the most enigmatic of the Roman emperors. At

the same time, his career is uniquely important for the understanding of the

Empire’s development on the foundations laid by Augustus.

Barbara Levick offers a comprehensive and engaging portrait of the life and

times of Tiberius, including an exploration of his ancestry and his education, an

analysis of his provincial and foreign policy and an examination of his notorious

final years and his posthumous reputation.

This new edition of Tiberius the Politician contains a new preface and a

supplementary bibliography.

Barbara Levick was until recently a Fellow and Tutor in Literae Humaniores

at St Hilda’s College, Oxford. She is the author of Claudius (1990) and

Vespasian (1999).

Also available from Routledge

Hadrian The Restless Emperor Anthony R.Birley

Augustus Pat Southern

Theodosius The Empire at Bay Stephen Williams and Gerard Friell

Domitian Tragic Tyrant Pat Southern

Trajan Optimus Princeps Julian Bennett

Agrippina Sex, Power and Politics in the Early Empire Anthony A.Barrett

Caligula The Corruption of Power Anthony A.Barrett

Claudius Barbara Levick

Nero The End of a Dynasty Miriam T.Griffin

Carausius and Allectus The British Usurpers P.J.Casey

Marcus Aurelius Anthony R.Birley

Boudica The Roman Conquest of Britain Graham Webster

Tiberius the politician



London and New York

First published 1976 by Thames and Hudson Ltd

Reprinted 1986 by Croom Helm Ltd

Revised edition published 1999

by Routledge

11 New Fetter Lane, London EC4P 4EE

Simultaneously published in the USA and Canada

by Routledge

29 West 35th Street, New York, NY 10001

Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group

This edition published in the Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2005.

“To purchase your own copy of this or any of Taylor & Francis or Routledge’s collection of thousands of eBooks please go to”

© 1976 Barbara Levick

Preface and supplementary bibliography © 1999 Barbara Levick

The right of Barbara Levick to be identified as the Author of this

Work has been asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright,

Designs and Patents Act 1988

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or

reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical,

or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including

photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or

retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers.

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

Library of Congress Cataloguing in Publication Data

A catalogue record for this book has been requested

ISBN 0-203-16513-6 Master e-book ISBN

ISBN 0-203-25952-1 (Adobe eReader Format)

ISBN 0-415-21753-9 (Print Edition)

To the Memory of my Father and Mother




















































































To my friends and colleagues, some of whom have lived with Tiberius for five

years, I owe great debts. Those that are specific can be acknowledged in the

notes; others are more general: patience in listening to what I had to say;

generosity in lending me books; active help in improving preliminary or final

drafts. Each person to whom I owe a debt of this kind will know what he has

done, and how grateful I am; here I can only give a list of names: Miss P.R.Ellis,

Mr and Mrs S.Gordon, Mr A.S.Hall, Mrs A.Howarth, Miss D.C.Innes, Miss D.

Nash, Mr J.Nicols, Miss E.M.Smith, Professor J.M.C.Toynbee, Mr M.Vickers, Dr

K.V.Wilkes, Mr and Mrs H.Wolfram.

I am conscious of working from a sketch of Tiberius that was drawn for me by

Mr C.E.Stevens when I was an undergraduate and which has been in my mind

since, although it has been a good deal altered in the course of time. Another

powerful influence on this book, as it must be on any study of Roman politics

written since 1939, has been Sir Ronald Syme’s The Roman Revolution. I make no attempt to reconcile the differences between Stevens’s outlook and that of

Syme; they represent a genuine conflict between two factors in Tiberius’

political life which he had to resolve.

When Stanley Baldwin said that what took him into politics was ‘the ideal of

service’, he was claiming a motive that a Roman audience would not have found

plausible. Roman politicians sought power, position, and prestige. Each man

worked ultimately for himself, and it is not surprising that the structure of Roman politics remains a matter of dispute. The ‘parties’ that were discerned in the

nineteenth century dissolved under scrutiny and less formal associations, based

on family groupings, were marked out in their place. The concept of the ‘family

faction’ has not escaped criticism, on the grounds that the structure it imposes is still too rigid: political alliances at Rome, far from lasting a generation or more, were ad hoc affairs surviving no more than a single election campaign. Telling in detail, these criticisms do not destroy the whole prosopographical method. The

ties posited are natural and durable ones, and they can be seen enduring.

Yet self- and even family interest are not all. What of the Roman constitution,

its customs and legal principles, the res publica, mos, and ius ever present in the mouth of Cicero and in the pages of historians and moralists? Was there no


respect for these in the scramble for the top? In the first century BC that issue

became the dominating one in Roman politics: was the Republic to survive in the

form which it had assumed in the Hannibalic War, government in the hands of the

senatorial oligarchy that Sulla restored to power in 81; or was one man, by

mobilizing counter-forces, the people and the army, to take control? Cato,

Brutus, and Cicero all fought for the old constitution and died for it.

Another thread that tied Republic to Principate was the form of the

constitution. Every politician still had to discover how to operate the machinery

of Republican politics, making his way through patronage and friendship,

forming groups of his own to reach high office and maintain his eminence. And

the more eminent he became the more acutely would press on him the dual

problem: the senator’s place under the Principate, the Princeps’ place in res


These are the themes that I have examined in this book. For the skill and

patient care of my publishers at all stages of its preparation I should like to

express my warmest thanks.


March 1976


Since this book was published, work relevant to its subject has continued in three

main forms (the Supplementary Bibliography is divided accordingly). First, there

have been additional books and articles directly on Tiberius and members of his

family. They include the studies of D.C.A.Shotter and N.Kokkinos, and

A.Massie’s fiction. R.Syme continued until the end writing illuminatingly on

Tiberian themes. Relevant work on the imperial family covers the domus and

Augustus’ plans for the succession; they have received their share of attention,

with opinions of all shades in evidence and little unanimity.

Most impact, however, has been made by epigraphic finds in Spain and

elsewhere. The Tabula Siarensis, constitutes the first part of the text of which the Tabula Hebana had already provided a version of the later sections: honour to the deceased Germanicus (the original publication has been followed by many

indispensable contributions in ZfPE from W.A.Lebek), including an account of his activities which gives a more serious picture of the threat to Roman power in the

North-West than was entertained previously: there were Germans in Gaul in 13

to be expelled by Germanicus, and order to be restored. This confirms the

implications of the stone commemorating Fabricius Tuscus ( EJ 2 368). Further revelations as to Germanicus’ position (he was formally subordinated to Tiberius

Caesar) are made in the even more sensational Senatus Consultum de Cn. Pisone

patre, a record of the senate’s findings, dated 10 December AD 20, in the case of Cn. Piso, with his wife, son, and aides as accessories, accused of murdering

Germanicus, diminishing the majesty of the Roman People, and extortion. The

document was splendidly published with German translation and commentary by

W.Eck and others in 1996; M.T.Griffin has provided an illuminating review,

including an English translation. The late date of the verdict appears to

contradict the chronology of the trial implied in Tacitus; not everyone is

convinced that it provides an immediate record of verdicts and sentences; it

could be a later summary. The SC seems to contradict Tacitus in another

important detail: the confiscation of Piso’s estate in Illyricum, given him by

Augustus, on the pretext that his servants were troubling local provincials,

antedates the confiscation of C.Silius’ property by four years, the first occasion, says Tacitus, Annals IV, 20, 2, on which such a thing happened. But it strikingly xi

confirms Tacitus’ picture of a bootlicking senate, which should never have been

doubted when we already had the language of Velleius Paterculus. His work (II,

130, 5) and the SC, separated by a decade, strike similar attitudes towards Livia’s position in the state; and her intervention in this trial looks as effective in the SC

as it does in Tacitus—though differently seen. Altogether the SC gives a

powerful presentation of the imperial domus and its public and quasi-religious status, backing up the work of R.A.Bauman on Impietas in Principem. The

language of the SC and of Velleius (II, 124, 1) coincide also in referring to the imperial position as a statio, post; the use of this word in an official document may seem to confirm the suggestion made in this book that it was included in the

senatorial relatio that welcomed the accession of Tiberius to sole power.

As to social history, considerable light has been thrown on the shadier

activities of the upper class and how they were discouraged by the SC from

Larinum of AD 19 which, like the contemporary documents from Spain, affects

interpretation of the literary evidence for the legislation. The existence of these documents (many comparable must have failed to survive) reveals concern

outside Rome to keep abreast of, and conform with, the thinking of the rulers.

(This topic and that of the domus is dealt with in forthcoming works of G.D.Rowe.) The third path on which advances have been made since the book was

completed is historiographical. There have been editions of Tacitus and valuable

‘conventional’ studies, but his work and, to a lesser extent, that of other

historians has been re-examined with the help of fresh techniques, and new

interpretations advanced, some convincing, others less so. This was to be

expected: the reduction of history to a fabric, almost a fabrication, created by

historians who are also great writers has particularly stimulated scholars in the

last quarter of this century. Such enquiries, stressing the rôle of the artist,

necessarily affect attempts to interpret the regime itself.

Influential and disturbing analyses have been performed by A.J. Woodman,

who has considered, among other matters, the aim that has generally been

ascribed to Tacitus in writing Annales, and, even more significantly, Tiberius’

accession: he claims that Tiberius was genuinely refusing to accept the place that

was being offered to him, and that on this occasion Tacitus does not accuse him

of hypocrisy. Discussion has also focused on the question of the characters of

secondary figures such as Germanicus, and on the alleged immutability of

character in ancient historians, and its application to interpretations of Tiberius’

life and reign.

One welcome development on the literary side has been the increasing interest

in writers who have received less than their share of attention, notably Velleius

Paterculus and Valerius Maximus. Syme despised Velleius, but his value, and

that of the equally conformist Maximus, lies precisely in their conscious echoing

of official lines taken in the documents, and the contrast that that provides with

later writers, especially Tacitus.



( indicates works with particularly useful bibliographies)


Tiberius’ life, reign, and contemporaries

Brunt, P.A., ‘The Role of the Senate in the Augustan Régime’, CQ, 34, 1984, 423–44.

‘Lex de Imperio Vespasiani’, JRS, 67, 1977, 95–116.

Corbier, M., ‘Male Power and Legitimacy through Women: the Domus Augusta under the

Julio-Claudians’, in R.Hawley and B.Levick, edd., Women in Antiquity, New

Assessments, London and New York, 1995, 178–93.

Kokkinos, N., Antonia Augusta: Portrait of a Great Roman Lady, London and New York, 1992.

Levick, B.M., ‘A Cry from the Heart from Tiberius Caesar?’, Hist., 22, 1978, 95–101.

Massie, A., Tiberius: the Memoirs of the Emperor, Sevenoaks, 1992.

Purcell, N., ‘Livia and the Womanhood of Rome’, PCPS, 32, 1986, 78–105.

Rodewald, C., Money in the Age of Tiberius, Manchester, 1976.

Sage, M.M., ‘Tacitus and the Accession of Tiberius’, Ancient Society, 13/14, 1982/3, 293–321.

Shotter, D.C.A., Tiberius Caesar; London and New York, 1992.

Solin, H., ‘Germanicus in Patrai’, ZfPE, 41, 1991, 207f.

Syme, R., ‘Diet on Capri’, Ath., 77, 1989, 261–72= Rom. Pap. , 6, Oxford, 1991, 409–20.

The Augustan Aristocracy, Oxford, 1986.



Cooley, A., ‘The Moralizing Message of the Senatus Consultum de Cn. Pisone patre’, G

and R, 45, 1998, 199–212.

Eck, W., Caballos, A., and Fernández, F., Das Senatus Consultum de Cn. Pisone patre, Vestigia, 48, Munich, 1996.

González, J., ‘ Tabula Siarensis, Fortunales et Municipia civium Romanorum’, ZfPE, 55, 1984, 55–100.

González, J. and Arce, J., Estudios sobre la Tabula Siarensis, Anejos de Arch. esp. de Arqueología, 9, Madrid, 1988.

Griffin, M.T., ‘The Senate’s Story’ (review of Eck et al. 1996), JRS, 87, 1997, 249–63.

Lebek, W., ‘Welttrauer um Germanicus: das neugefundene Originaldokument u. die

Darstellung des Tacitus’, Ant.u.Abendland, 36, 1990, 93–102. ‘Standeswürde u.

Berufverbot unter Tiberius: das SC der Tabula Larinas’, ZfPE, 81, 1990, 37–96.

Levick, B.M., ‘The Senatus Consultum from Larinum’, JRS, 73, 1983, 97–115.

McGinn, T., ‘The SC from Larinum and the Repression of Adultery at Rome’, ZfPE, 93, 1992, 273–95.


Millar, F.G.B., ‘Imperial Ideology in the Tabula Siarensis’, in González and Arce 1988, 11–19.

Richardson, J.S., ‘The Rogatio Valeria Aurelia: Form and Content’, in González and Arce 1988, 35–41.

‘The Senate, the Courts and the SC de Cn. Pisone patre’, CQ, 47 , 1997, 110–18.


Literary works

Baar, M., Das Bild des Kaisers Tiberius bei Tacitus, Sueton u. Cassius Dio, Beitr.

z.Altertumskunde, 7, Stuttgart, 1990.

Benario, H.W., ‘Six Years of Tacitean Studies: an Analytical Bibliography on the

“Annales” (1981–1986)’, Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt, 2, 33, 2, 1990, 1467–98.

Gill, C., ‘The Question of Character-Development: Plutarch and Tacitus’, CQ, 33, 1983, 469–87.

Ginsburg, J., Tradition and Theme in the Annals of Tacitus, Salem, 1981.

Goodyear, F.A., The Annals of Tacitus, 2 vols. (Books 1 and 2), Cambridge, 1972, 1981.

Griffin, M.T., ‘Tacitus, Tiberius and the Principate’, in L.Malkin and Z.W.Rubensohn, edd., Leaders and Masses in the Roman World, Leiden, 1995, 33–57.

Herbert-Brown, G., Ovid and the Fasti: an Historical Study, Oxford, 1994.

Keitel, E., ‘Tacitus on the Deaths of Tiberius and Claudius’, Herm., 109, 1981, 206–14.

Kuntze, C., Zur Darstellung des Kaisers Tiberius und seiner Zeit bei Velleius Paterculus, Europ. Hochschulschr., 3, 247, Frankfurt, 1985.

Luce, T.J., ‘Tacitus’ Conception of Historical Change’, in I.S.Moxon, J.D.Smart, and A.J.Woodman, edd., Past Perspectives: Studies in Greek and Roman Historical Writing, Cambridge, 1986, 143–58. ‘Tacitus on “History’s Highest Function”: praecipuum munus annalium (Ann. III, 65)’ , Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt, 2, 33, 4, 1991, 2904–27.

Luce, T.J. and Woodman, A.J., Tacitus and the Tacitean Tradition, Princeton, 1993.

Martin, R.H., Tacitus, London, 1981.

‘Structure and Interpretation in the “Annals” of Tacitus’, Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt, 2, 33, 2, 1990, 1500–81.

Martin, R.H. and Woodman, A.J., Tacitus Annals Book IV, Cambridge, 1989.

Mellor, R., Tacitus, New York and London, 1993.

Miller, N.P., ‘Tacitus’ Narrative Technique’, G and R, 25, 1978, 13–22.

Pelling, C.B.R., ‘Tacitus and Germanicus’, in Luce and Woodman 1993, 59–85.

Sage, M.M., ‘Tacitus’ Historical Works: a Survey and Appraisal’, Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt, 2 , 33, 2, 1990, 851–1030, 1629–47.

Shotter, D.C.A., ‘Tacitus and Tiberius’, Ancient Society, 19, 1988, 225–36. Annales Book IV. English and Latin, Warminster, 1989.

Sinclair, P., Tacitus the Sententious Historian, University Park, Pa, 1995.

Suerbaum, W., ‘Zweiundvierzig Jahre Tacitus-Forschung: systematische

Gesamtbibliographie zu Tacitus’ Annalen (1939–1980)’, Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt, 2 , 33, 2, 1990, 1032–76.

Syme, R., History in Ovid, Oxford, 1978.


‘Tacitus: Some Sources of his Information’, JRS, 72, 1982, 68–82= Rom. Pap., 4, Oxford, 1988, 199–222.

‘The Year 33 in Tacitus and Dio’, Ath., 61, 1983, 3–23= Rom. Pap., 4, Oxford, 1988, 223–44.

Vielberg, M., ‘Ingenium und Mores: Beobachtungen zur historischen Begriffsbildung in Tac. Ann. VI, 51, 3’, Mnem., 49, 1996, 452–6.

Wille, G., Der Aufbau der Werke des Tacitus, Amsterdam, 1983.

Woodman, A.J., Velleius Paterculus: the Tiberian Narrative, Cambridge, 1977. ‘Self-imitation and the Substance of History: Tacitus, Annals I, 61–5 and Histories 2.70, 5.

14–15’, in D.West and A.J.Woodman, edd., Creative Imitation and Latin Literature, Cambridge, 1979, 143–55, 231–5. ‘A death in the First Act ( Annals I, 6)’, Papers of the Leeds International Latin Seminar, 8, 1985, 257–74= Tacitus Reviewed, 23–39.

‘History and Alternative Histories: Tacitus’, in A.J.Woodman, Rhetoric in Classical Historiography: Four Studies, London and Sydney, 1988, 160–96= Tacitus Reviewed, 104–41. ‘Tacitus’ Obituary of Tiberius’, CQ, 39, 1989, 197–205= Tacitus Reviewed, 155–67. ‘Praecipuum munus annalium: the Construction, Convention, and Context of Tacitus, Annals III, 65, 1’ , MH, 52, 1995, 111–26= Tacitus Reviewed, 86–103.

Tacitus Reviewed, Oxford, 1998.

Woodman, A.J. and Martin, R.H., The Annals of Tacitus. Book III, Cambridge, 1996.

Wuilleumier, P., Tacite: Annales Livres I–III, ed. 2, Paris, 1978.



Tiberius Caesar publicly expressed the hope that he would be judged worthy of his

ancestors. Like his nephew Claudius, he was versed in the history of the

aristocracy, and of his own family in particular, and it would be interesting to

know if he had in mind a particular branch, or particular individuals.1 The

models they offered were diverse enough, although by blood he was a Claudian

on both sides. Tiberius’ parents were Ti. Claudius Nero and Livia Drusilla,

daughter of a Claudius Pulcher who, having been adopted by M.Livius Drusus,

the tribune of 91 BC, introduced a third line into Tiberius’ ancestry.2

The stemma of the patrician Claudii sprang from Appius or Attus Claudius

(Attius Clausus in Livy), an early immigrant from Regillum in the Sabine

country.3 It claimed its first consulship for 493 BC, and by the end of the

Republic boasted twenty-eight consulships, five dictatorships, seven censorships,

six triumphs, and two ovations (Suetonius’ count). The political outlook of a

family prominent for nearly half a millennium has not surprisingly been a matter

of controversy since ancient times: ultra-patrician on one view, the Claudii

emerge as champions of the people, the urban plebs, on the other.4 Annalists and publicists of the late Republic worked up the family traditions and information

provided by the Fasti, or lists of magistrates, into accounts that reflect their own preoccupations and prejudices.5 They offered Suetonius a rich harvest of

anecdotes illustrating eccentricity, ambition, and self-confidence (the notorious

Claudian adrogantia) and Tacitus a facile explanation of some aspects of the conduct and manner of Tiberius.6

The first outstanding figure in the family was Ap. Claudius the Decemvir, who

in 450 BC helped to draw up Rome’s first written code of law, the Twelve

Tables, and who was alleged to be bent on making his office a permanency. Even

more famous than the Decemvir was Ap. Claudius Caecus, the censor of c. 312

BC. It was to the two sons of the censor, Claudius ‘the Fair’ and Claudius ‘the

Brave’ (the name is Sabine), that the Pulchri and the Nerones traced their


The Pulchri were the senior line, and it continued to produce outstanding

individuals until it perished in the principate of Tiberius. By way of example,

men from three successive generations of the branch may be shown in the


forefront of politics acting in a variety of interests besides their own. Ap.

Claudius Pulcher, the consul of 143 BC, cemented a friendship with the

Sempronii by marrying his daughter to a member of that family—Ti. Gracchus.

Appius himself became a staunch supporter of Gracchus’ policy of settling the

landless on the public domains, and until his death he was a member of

Gracchus’ land commission. His son, after losing his army to Cinna in 87, was

outlawed and returned to hold the consulship in 79 as a pillar of the Sullan

restoration. He served the annalists as a model for his arrogant namesake, the

consul of 471.7 In the next generation P.Clodius showed himself a genuine

champion of the plebs, author in 58 BC of a proposal to distribute grain to the people free of charge, and of another to restore the political clubs that had been

dissolved. With their help he became the master of crushingly powerful gangs

which he used alike against his personal enemy Cicero and the dynast Pompey.8

To this family belonged by birth the father of Livia. The forwardness of its

female members was a theme to the taste of Suetonius, bringing to mind the

domineering character of the Princeps’ mother; but Cicero had tried to shame the

most famous (or rather notorious) of them all, Clodia, by adducing the distinction

of her female forbears,9 and this alone is proof of the survival of a favourable

tradition about the Claudii and their women. Claudius Pulcher’s adoption made

him M. Livius Drusus Claudianus, and through his daughter he was to transmit

the cognomen (surname) Drusus to the imperial family. Adoption was an

important feature of Roman political life. It gave a man the next best thing to a

son of his own body, who would take the name of his father and inherit not only

his property but his dependants.10 Pulcher might have been expected on his

adoption to take on a distinctive political colouring. M.Livius Drusus, tribune in

122 BC, had been one of the most effective opponents of C.Gracchus, bearing

the title ‘patronus senatus’. Thirty-one years later his son, another M.Livius Drusus, took the tribunate, again in the interests of senatorial government. His

object was, by satisfying the wants of each class and pressure group, to recover

control of the law courts for the Senate and to re-establish the crumbling position of the nobility, more especially of the Metellan group, of which he was a leading

member. Opposition was too strong, and Drusus was assassinated while still a

sacrosanct tribune. He died a martyr to his cause, asking characteristically when

Rome would see his like again.11 Not, it seemed at first, in the person of his adopted son. Claudianus had his way to make; by 70 BC Metellan ascendancy was a

thing of the past, and it was not as clear to everyone else as it was to Cicero that the Republic had died when the First Triumvirate came into being. In 59 BC

Claudianus was supporting Pompey, Caesar, and Crassus, and could hope that

they would grant him the embassy to Alexandria that they were unwilling to

allow P. Clodius. By the spring of the same year, at latest, he was married. The

bride, a daughter of M.Alfidius, a councillor of Fundi, was an aristocrat in her

home town, but of consequence at Rome only for her dowry. Claudianus was

praetor or iudex quaestionis (president of a court) in 50 BC, and we may well believe that his rise was financed partly from his father-in-law’s purse. To


Alfidia in return Claudianus gave the entrée to high society. It was a common arrangement, and hostile politicians were fond of reminding men of their

municipal mothers.

After the assassination of the Dictator, Julius Caesar, Claudianus re-turned to

the principles of his adoptive family. Proscribed at the end of 43 BC, he followed

the Liberators to the East and killed himself at Philippi, a fact which Tiberius’

panegyrist, Velleius Paterculus, is at pains to transmit.12

Claudianus’ son-in-law, Ti.Claudius Nero, did not share his glory. Nor could

he boast any distinction in his immediate ancestry. The Nerones had never

equalled their cousins the Pulchri. When the time came for Horace to celebrate

the achievements of Tiberius and his kin, all he could cite from the past was

C.Nero, great-grandson of the censor, who in 210 BC, after the defeat and death

of the Scipios in Spain, took over their armies and who three years later revenged

them and dealt a severe blow to Hannibal by destroying Hasdrubal on the

Metaurus.13 But C.Nero’s success was not enough to keep the family in the front

rank. The last consul it produced in the Republic was his cousin, in 202 BC,

whom Scipio Africanus blamed for a dilatoriness and greed that delayed the final

victory over Hannibal in Africa. Later members of the branch are too obscure to

reveal much of their political allegiances; we cannot even trace the stemma with certainty. Towards the end of the Republic it seems that hope of advancement

ranged them behind the dynasts. A Ti. Nero was serving in 67 BC as legate of

Pompey in the war against the pirates; his speech in the Senate four years later

against the summary execution of the associates of Catiline may have been made

with an eye on Pompey.14 His relationship to Ti. Nero, father of the future

Princeps, is uncertain; probably they were father and son.

Tiberius’ father made his first appearance in 54 BC, seeking a conventional

début on the political stage. He competed against C.Memmius and the brother of Mark Antony for the right to impeach A. Gabinius for extortion, with Cicero’s

approval.15 Four years later Nero was competing for something else: the hand of

Cicero’s daughter; but he and his suit, though well received by Cicero, then

absent from Rome in his Eastern governorship, came too late. Tullia had been

disposed of elsewhere by her mother. Would Cicero have been more chagrined if

he had thought that he was losing the chance of becoming the grandfather of

Rome’s second Princeps?16 But Nero did not remain on the straight course that

Cicero might have prophesied for him. In 48 BC we find him, on the same side

as many to whom the dominant oligarchy held out small hope of advancement,

acting as quaestor to the successful rebel Julius Caesar and in command of his

fleet at Alexandria. He was rewarded for his services by admission to a

priesthood, the pontificate, in 46, and by a chance of further work: the foundation of Caesarian colonies in Narbonese Gaul. Yet only two years later, after the

assassination of Caesar, he was proposing that the killers should be rewarded.17

Like many of his followers, Nero may have been disillusioned by the Dictator’s

failure to ‘restore the Republic’. But Republicanism in 43–42 showed itself a

losing cause. Nero attached himself to Mark Antony, who seemed to some to be


less of a menace than the young Octavian. He was elected to the praetorship in

43, and at the end of his year refused to lay down the rods of office. Octavian

was confiscating land in Italy for Caesarian veterans, the victors of Philippi, and Nero committed himself to the attempt made by Antony’s brother Lucius, his

wife Fulvia, dissident Republicans, and landowners to raise Italy against him.

Perusia, the insurgent stronghold, fell to Octavian and Nero made his way to

Praeneste and Campania, where he tried to provoke another rising. When that

failed he took his wife and infant son Tiberius to join Pompey’s son Sextus in

Sicily. There the cause of the Republic was still being maintained. But the

dynastic combinations of these years were not stable; Octavian, who had to

confront the returning Antony, moved closer to Sex. Pompeius; and Nero and his

family were sent on their travels again, to Antony in the East. It was only in the

spring of 39 BC, when the treaty struck at Puteoli by the Triumvirs and Sex.

Pompey guaranteed their impunity, that they could return to Italy.18

The marriage of Nero and Livia had taken place between 46 or 45 BC, when

the bride reached marriageable age, and the first months of 42 (Tiberius was born

on 16 November 4219). The engagement may have been of long standing but the

political thinking of the two Claudians had most in common in the years between

49 and 44; they may have come to differ in their attitude to Antony. If political

considerations cemented the marriage, it was Octavian’s passion for Livia alone

that brought it to an end. Some months after their return to Italy Nero divorced

his wife, so that she might marry the Triumvir. He even presided over the

wedding feast on 17 January 38 BC, when she was six months pregnant with his

second son Drusus. Wags quoted a verse on the luck of a couple whose children

were brought to birth after only three months’ gestation; to end the scandal

Octavian sent both children back to their father. Nero’s complaisance would be

incredible, if it had not had a political motive. To marry Livia, Octavian too had

to be divorced—from the formidable Scribonia, whose brother was the father-in-

law of Sex. Pompey. It had been a political match, made in 40 after the break

with L.Antonius and Fulvia. By destroying it Octavian’s passion for Livia would

help to loosen his alliance with Pompey. Nero, as an old ally of Antony, would

not be loth to make a sacrifice in that cause; he himself, after all, had been

repudiated by Pompey when an alliance with Octavian had been on the cards.20

The surrender of his wife brought Nero no advancement that we know of. The

consulship eluded him, generous though the Triumvirs were to their partisans;

nor did he follow Antony to the East. When he died he consigned his sons to the

tutorship of Octavian, and the elder, now nine years old, delivered the funeral

oration. The composition of that speech can have been no easy task for Tiberius’

mentors, in 33 or 32 BC, when war between Octavian and Antony was

imminent; the naval achievements of Nero and his forbears and his foundation of

colonies were safer topics than his political career.21 Indeed, this was one field in which the Nerones outshone the notoriously un-military Pulchri, whose creation

of the Roman navy had not been followed by much success in its use. Tiberius, his

brother, and his nephew all sought and won distinction as soldiers; and all made


free use of their fleets to achieve it. Here the heritage of the young Tiberius was ancient and unambiguous. In politics he would take in divergent traditions: on

his mother’s side, the brilliant Pulchri and their ruthless exploitation of patronage for the benefit of the house; from his father’s career, flexibility and ambition,

tempered by principle; and, by adoption of his maternal grandfather, the

unyielding conservatism of the Livii Drusi, priggish, ostentatious, and

magnificent, that had finally claimed the allegiance of Claudianus at Philippi.

Tiberius’ education may have begun, as that of all Roman children should, at

his mother’s knee.22 But in his case this stage must have ended earlier than usual, at the age of three, soon after the divorce of his parents. His primary education

(reading and writing in Greek and Latin, and numbers) had not lasted much more

than two years when he delivered his father’s funeral oration. Henceforward he

probably studied alongside M.Claudius Marcellus, Octavian’s nephew, who was

only six months older than himself, at home in private rather than in a school.23

When he reached the age of eleven or twelve, Tiberius passed into the care of the

grammatici (grammarians) to study the classics of literature—just too early to benefit from the reforms of Q.Caecilius Epirota, who introduced Virgil and other

contemporary Roman poets into the curriculum.24 His diet in Latin would have

been highly moral in tone and mainly poetic in form: Livius Andronicus, Ennius,

the comic poets, the moral distichs of Cato, and, even at this stage, probably

Cicero. From this part of his education Tiberius acquired a distinctive taste in

Latin literature that may be illustrated from his vocabulary and choice of

quotations25—and a liking for literary quizzes. Late in life he would invite

grammatici to dinner and (turning the tables on the schoolmasters) tease them with questions culled from his daily reading.26 Tiberius’ interest in literature was not simply that of a reader and critic. Even in verse he could compose (Latin and

Greek): he wrote an elegy on the death of L.Caesar, presumably in AD 2 or 3;

and his Greek models reveal a preference for the learned and elaborate; that is,

for the Alexandrian.27

The distinction between the provender offered by grammaticus and rhetor (teacher of oratory) was not sharp, but it was usually after taking the toga of

manhood at fourteen that a boy embarked on the last stage of his education, that

mastery of the art of oratory that was essential equipment for the lawyer or

politician. In Tiberius’ case that would have been in 27 BC: he took the toga on

24 April.28 Besides rhetoric, Tiberius studied philosophy, alongside his cousin

Marcellus, with the Academic Nestor, and perhaps with the Peripatetic

Athenaeus as well. To judge by his later expertise, law and history were also

included in his diet.29 That he should get the best was only to be expected. He

was a precocious boy; and Augustus had high hopes of Marcellus and a respect

for education that reminds us of the incompleteness of his own.30 But Tiberius’

civil education was interrupted by public duties; there was no time for leisurely

study at Athens or any of the other centres of learning favoured by Romans. But

when he went East in 20 BC he took with him a ‘studious company’ of literary men:

historians and poets. This literary retinue was the precursor of others, of which


the last, assembled on the island of Capri, consisted not of ambitious young

amateurs, Italian and perhaps Gallic, but of Greek professionals.31 On his return

from Armenia, Tiberius took time off for a course of study on Rhodes. Those few

weeks were not enough: fifteen years later it could be claimed that Tiberius was

retiring there to continue his studies; and in fact his interest in rhetoric and

philosophy was still passionate. The attraction of Rhodes in 20 lay in the

presence of Theodore of Gadara, one of the leading rhetoricians of the day;

Tiberius had already been his pupil at Rome, and became an avowed member of

his school. Theodore attached importance to the oratory of politics, but did not

consider clearness and brevity always advisable, a fact which may throw light on

a dominant feature of Tiberius’ own style.32 In Latin, Tiberius had as his teacher

M.Valerius Messalla Corvinus, consul in 31 BC and presumably Tiberius’

master during his apprenticeship as a public speaker after he took the toga of

manhood. Corvinus was an exponent of a plain, unadorned style. With plainness

and purism should go clarity. Not so with Tiberius; his utterances display a

conservative, even archaic vocabulary; many of his expressions have a common

history: the comic poets, colloquial speech, and late prose; and he became a

byword for obscurity. His intelligence was not at fault, nor his education; one

might point rather to his character, to the ingrained hesitancy of a man who has

grown up in a stepfather’s household; to his political situation, to the dilemma of a man who as Princeps must not say too much and who as a senator is bound to

speak; to his literary taste, a delight in understatement and irony (dissimulatio).

His enemies, however, invoked the calculated dishonesty of a crafty tyrant.33

However austere in his Latinity (as Princeps Tiberius excised intrusive Greek

expressions from official papers), he was a philhellene, ready when on Rhodes to

hobnob with Greek intellectuals and even, when he became a private individual,

to adopt their dress. Some of the leading men of the Principate, those closest to

Tiberius, L.Piso the pontifex, L.Seius Strabo, L.Aelius Sejanus, L.Seius Tubero,

are prominent as the patrons of Greek philosophers and literary men. Even on

Rhodes, however, Tiberius did not take up gymnastic exercises, though he was

ready to stroll in the gymnasium. That part of Greek education had never

achieved respectability at Rome. Instead, he indulged in the riding and target

practice that formed the chief physical exercises of noble Roman youths; and he

sent teams to compete in the chariot races at Olympia and Thespiae.34 These self-

imposed limits, and his invocation of his official powers (imperium) against a pert antagonist, show that Tiberius’ affability was a conscious act of

condescension, likely to be reversed if his superiority were threatened. He

remained a Roman throughout, but one who believed that he could

assimilate Greek culture without endangering those qualities of character that

were prized at Rome: a sense of duty, a sense of purpose, and a sense of one’s

own worth. Intellectual and aesthetic interests (Tiberius was a collector of

sculpture and painting35) were kept apart from moral principles, which were

antique, Roman, and thoroughly conventional.


How far Tiberius’ strong sense of duty was grounded in a theoretical basis of

Greek philosophy is not clear. The only master under whom he is known to have

studied was an Academic; but Roman amateurs picked out and made use of

whatever suited them from the systems that were on offer, Academic, Stoic, or

Epicurean. Throughout his life, Tiberius’ behaviour could be interpreted as that

of a man acting and reacting without conscious appeal to a philosophical system.

At moments of stress or grief his utterances were simple and couched in practical

terms that would have been familiar at Rome before she was touched by

philosophy. His behaviour after the deaths of his brother and sons could have

been modelled on patterns held up by the philosophers (his fortitude was such

that it roused criticism and even suspicion); but the philosophers themselves

were taking their examples from the early history of Rome, and that was

accessible to the humblest teacher and the most superficial student. Nevertheless,

Tiberius’ conduct and sentiments and in particular his marked sense of propriety

(everything had its place and its function) suggest the Stoic. When he went

abroad to study it was to Panaetius’ native island and the place in which

Posidonius had set up his school (if he did not inherit it from Panaetius).36

It was before the end of his second stay on Rhodes that Tiberius developed

another interest, and one which was entirely consistent with determinist Stoicism.

He became intimate with the celebrated savant Thrasyllus of Alexandria, to

whom by AD 4, perhaps by 1 BC, he had given the Roman citizenship.

Astrology was becoming all the rage, not least among those who moved in high

society and had the highest hopes of advancement. Tiberius became an adept. If

astrology was not part of his Stoic’s intellectual furniture, Tiberius’ interest may be explained in another way: by a failure to find adequate consolation in

philosophy at a time of humiliation and fear. At any rate he kept Thrasyllus with

him; after his experiences on Rhodes he could not do without the confidence that

he gained from knowledge of his destiny.37




We first meet Tiberius as a babe in arms—and as a political refugee; and

Tacitus’ portrait shows him a political personality to the end of his days.1 There

were early bids for his allegiance. After the family’s return to Italy Tiberius

became the heir of a man (evidently childless) called M.Gallius; along with the

property he was to accept the name of his benefactor, leaving his brother Drusus

to preserve that of the Nerones. The Gallii may be found serving both Caesar and

Antony; and Q. Gallius, praetor in 43 BC, was alleged to have plotted against the

life of Octavian, was deprived of his magistracy, and perished mysteriously at

sea.2 These men seem to have followed a political course similar to that of Ti.

Nero; and we may assume that they were his political associates as well as his

personal friends. Tiberius was allowed to accept Gallius’ property—but

neglected to assume his name.

Ti. Nero died in 33 or 32 BC without receiving further political advancement;

latterly his Antonian connexions could have done him no good. Octavian

brought his stepson closer to himself, and not only as his ward. His leading ally,

M.Vipsanius Agrippa, was married to the daughter of Cicero’s friend and

correspondent, the eques (‘knight’) Atticus. Their child was hardly a year old when she was betrothed to Tiberius. Both sides gained: the young Tiberius drew

nearer the centre of political power, and Agrippa could promise himself

grandchildren who would be members of the Claudian gens (‘clan’), no small

attraction for a novus homo (a man new to senatorial rank).3

The closeness of Tiberius’ connexion with the dynasty was demonstrated in 29

BC, not only when he led the troop of senior boys at the Lusus Troiae, but when Octavian celebrated his triumph for the victory of Actium. As one of Octavian’s

young male relatives, Tiberius accompanied the chariot, riding the trace-horse on

the left. The more honourable position naturally was reserved for the only son of

Octavian’s full sister, M.Claudius Marcellus; so it was to be for the rest of

Marcellus’ life.4 Nearly two years later, on 24 April, Tiberius was taken into the

Forum by his guardian (now known by the style of Caesar Augustus) to have his

names inscribed on the list of citizens and to lay down his childhood dress and

take up the garb of manhood, the toga virilis.5 Towards the middle of the year Augustus left Rome, first for Gaul, then for Spain, where he was to embark on


his two campaigns against the Cantabri, in 26–25. Marcellus and Tiberius

accompanied Augustus to Spain or followed him there; the campaigns became a

means of introducing them to military life and, what was more important, to the

soldiers; and games were held in the camp in their names as a means to that end.6

It was probably in the spring of 25 BC that Marcellus and Tiberius returned to

Rome, Marcellus to marry Augustus’ daughter Julia. It seemed that, failing a son

of his own, Augustus was going to bring forward Marcellus as the future head of

the dynasty.7 Sure enough, in 24 the former junior officer (Marcellus and Tiberius

would have held the rank of tribunus militum) received extraordinary privileges.

Although he had held no previous magistracy, the Senate gave him permission to

stand for the aedileship of 23, and for the consulship ten years before the legal

age; and he was to rank as an ex-praetor; for Tiberius Augustus asked only the

quaestorship and a five years’ remission when he stood for praetorship and


We hear nothing of Marcellus’ attainments; but Tiberius made the normal

début of a Roman politician at an exceptionally early age and already had

notable performances to his credit. He had spoken before Augustus, probably in

26 BC while they were still in Spain, in defence of a client king, Archelaus of

Cappadocia (this certainly with success), for the people of Tralles in Asia (25),

and perhaps for the Thessalians (25); and when he returned to Rome he

intervened in the Senate on behalf of two Asian towns and the island of Chios,

which had been devastated in the earthquake of 27 BC. It was not only his talent

that had attracted these clients, nor his position at court, which was inferior to his cousin’s; Tiberius’ father already had close relations with the people of Nysa,

near Tralles, that made it natural for the Trallians to look to Nero’s son for help: and it is possible that Archelaus too was bound to Nero by the ties of clientship.9

Normally a magistrate’s sphere of duty was assigned to him by lot. That was

not the case with Tiberius. His functions were allocated to him by special request

of Augustus: Tiberius was to be responsible for the movement of corn up the

Tiber to Rome, perhaps as quaestor Ostiensis, a magistrate whose duties were notoriously more exacting than honorific, perhaps with the much greater prestige

of a quaestor to the consul.10 There was already a corn shortage; that was the

occasion for the commission. But for all Tiberius’ efforts and the administrative

experience that he had gained as tribunus militum in Spain, the shortage persisted or recurred, and in the following year Augustus himself at public insistence had

to cope with it.11

But it was as a politician rather than as an administrator that Tiberius was to

be put to the test, in 23 BC. As prosecuting counsel in a trial for high treason he played his full part in mounting the counter-attack against opponents of the

Augustan principate and in ensuring its survival; and it is worth examining in

some detail the issues that were at stake in that year.

In 28–27 Augustus had handed the respublica over to Senate and people,

restoring its ancient form.12 No matter that he received in return ten-year control of a vast area, Gaul, Spain, and Syria—and the armies it contained; that only


guaranteed the free working of the constitution.13 What did matter was that

Augustus went beyond his constitutional rights in the period 27–24. He had no

title to decide questions of peace and war;14 but he ordered (his own word) an

expedition against Ethiopia, and another against Arabia (neither very

successful); and an invasion of Britain was mooted.15 Again, when Tralles had

been devastated by the earthquake of 27 and appealed to Augustus for help, so

massive was the aid he sent that it amounted to a virtual refounding of the city.

Augustus was in Spain at the time; there is no sign that he consulted the Senate

before he intervened in a province which was not under his direct control.16

Tiberius had defended Trallians and Thessalians in Augustus’ court; he went on

to speak on behalf of Laodicea, Thyatira, and Chios before the Senate; caution

had perhaps set in. If so, it was too late. Plans were in hand to expose

constitutional improprieties to the publicity of a trial in the courts, and so to end them. Ostensibly the defendant was Marcus Primus, just back from his

governorship of Macedonia (25–24).17 The unknown prosecutor charged him

with making war on a friendly tribe, the Thracian Odrysae. His only defence was

superior orders—from Augustus. So the prosecution displayed Augustus not

merely intervening in other men’s provinces which, as consul, he might do at a

pinch, but on his own initiative and unknown to the Senate ordering a proconsul

to make war. Primus, as might be expected, secured the services of a

distinguished advocate, Licinius Murena, elected consul for 23 BC and, as the

brother-in-law of Maecenas, a man close to the Princeps.18 Murena’s duty to his

client was clear: if Primus’ defence of superior orders was not to collapse,

Augustus would have to appear as witness and admit giving them; and he and his

supporters would have to weather the ensuing storm as best they could. Augustus

evidently refused to be called, or threatened that if he were he would deny having

issued any such orders; so Murena lost his witness and the prosecution had no

need to give Augustus the chance of lying in court: the public would draw the

correct conclusion from his absence. The trial proceeded without Augustus. But

not for long. Unsummoned, the Princeps made an appearance and swore he had

given no orders. Murena knew what the result would be for his client. He

challenged Augustus: what was he doing there? Who had called him? ‘The good

of the state’, was Augustus’ reply: a claim that the stability of the new regime

was worth more than the career of an individual. Augustus’ denial made

conviction inevitable; even so, there were not a few votes for acquittal.

Murena had chosen Primus against Augustus. Whether he followed one act of

disloyalty with another or whether Augustus considered the first too grievous for

Murena to survive it, we do not know. The Princeps was informed of a plot

against his life, its leaders the counsel for Primus and Fannius Caepio, a man

already known for his Republicanism.19

Rumour had it that Murena was warned of his danger by his sister, the wife of

Maecenas, and that this caused an estrangement between Maecenas and

Augustus.20 That may be so, but Murena’s flight gave weight to the charge

brought against him. For the conspirators did not stand their trial. They intended


to go into exile, and absented themselves from the nominis delatio (the formal lodging of the charge) so that the case went by default.21 They had not allowed

for Augustus’ vindictiveness: they were sought out and Fannius Caepio and

Murena were killed.22

The trial went on. Once again Augustus had looked for reliable counsel—and

this time chose his stepson. A bold prosecution often opened a young man’s

career; but Tiberius in 23 BC was not a beginner. He had several oratorical

successes to his credit and was unlikely to add to his reputation by prosecuting a

man who was dead before the trial opened. Not altogether honourably, Tiberius

put party loyalty first; whether he did so with conviction we do not know.23 Any

sympathy that he felt for the Republican Fannius might be destroyed in the

exhilaration of oratory successfully deployed for a kinsman and backer. But

Tiberius’ oratory did not quite overwhelm his audience. Once again there was a

considerable number of votes for acquittal, and the philosopher, Athenaeus of

Seleucia-on-Calycadnus, who had accompanied Murena on his flight, was found

not guilty and allowed to go home.24

The trial of Primus and the discovery of the conspiracy made Augustus’

constitutional position untenable. He had been set at logger-heads with the

Senate. In the high summer of 23, he resigned the consulship, taking instead the

powers of the office that had once been held by the Gracchi, Saturninus, and

Clodius: those of the tribunate. Not only did Augustus receive the tribunicia

potestas: he kept most of the provinces that had been assigned him in 27; and in addition his imperium (in this case authority in the provinces) was defined as maius (greater) than that of the other proconsuls.25 Agrippa too was accorded imperium in the East and a wide-ranging mission there.26 He went off in haste—

but travelled no farther than Lesbos, an island well situated for a commander

who might wish to take over the legions of Syria or the Balkans.27 If anything

happened to Augustus the dissidents would have Agrippa to reckon with.

Paradoxically, the ‘settlement’ of 23 BC was just as much a restoration of the

Republic as that of 28–27; not, it is true, of that harmonious Republic of the early and mid-second century, but of the Republic of the seventies, sixties, and fifties

BC, when generals bid for their great commands, but the Senate still had the

spirit to resist them. The rift that opened up in 23 BC gave the Republicans their

chance at Rome. Murena’s place was taken up by Cn. Calpurnius Piso, who had

steadfastly refused to stand for the office before (or who had known he could not

win it); that of Augustus was taken by L.Sestius, a man who cherished portraits

of Brutus in his house.28 Augustus soon left Rome, abandoning the capital to the

control of consuls and Senate. His absence lasted until 19 BC, broken only by a

short visit, when senatorial authority proved inadequate. The grain shortage grew

worse, and the people so discontented that they threatened to burn the Curia over

the Senate’s head and demanded the Dictatorship for Augustus. That was at the

beginning of 22.29 Two campaigns for the consulate (those for 21 and 19) ended

in chaos; the people insisted on offering the office to Augustus.30 By 19 the wave

of Republicanism had spent itself. The Senate gave way to those who preferred


order to freedom. All the powers that Augustus had lost with the consulship were

restored to him. He was not to take the office itself but to hold imperium

equivalent to that of the consuls, divorced from the magistracy. Nobody would

be kept out of office; for him there would be no retiring at the end of the year, no need for annual election.31

The part that Tiberius had played in the crisis of 23 BC had won him no

credit, except with the Princeps. By the end of that year it was his misfortune to

be one of the few members of the innermost circle still left in Rome; Marcellus had died in the autumn, it was said from the same malady that had nearly carried off

Augustus at the height of the political crisis;32 Augustus was in Campania,

eventually to leave for Sicily and the East, Agrippa on Lesbos; Maecenas

presumably was at Rome, but unlike Tiberius he did not have to sit in the Senate.

We can imagine that Tiberius’ duties as quaestor kept him fully occupied and

often detained him at the port. But Suetonius brackets Tiberius’ administration of

the corn supply with another task, that of inspecting the Italian ergastula in which agricultural slaves were kept. In them were detained, or lurked, free men

kidnapped on the public highway or deserters avoiding military service.

Tiberius’ job was to liberate the free men and to render deserters up to the army.

No doubt his duties extended into 22 and kept him away from city and Senate.33

The death of Marcellus had left a gap that was to be filled partly by Tiberius’

future father-in-law, Agrippa, and partly by Tiberius himself. The suspicion that

Augustus was planning in some way to make Marcellus his political heir had

contributed to his unpopularity in senatorial circles. But it was only between the

years 22 and 18 BC that Augustus developed his first serious plans for the

succession. In 21 Agrippa married Marcellus’ widow; in 18 he was associated

with the Princeps in the second grant of a five-year term of tribunicia potestas.34

With the reconciliation of Senate and Princeps and the grant of consular power,

the radical and demagogic connotations of the tribunicia potestas could be

allowed to recede and it could be exploited in a different way: held by the two

leading men in the state (Agrippa acquired an ever-widening competence and by

13 BC he was substantially equal in power to Augustus), and only by them, it

came to betoken their unique position: ‘summi fastigii vocabulum’.35 For

Tiberius there were tasks that were not only responsible but honourable, tasks

which his cousin might once have expected to fulfil. Some of the

embarrassments of 23–22 were wiped away in 20, when Tiberius was called to

the East to undertake his first military command.

In the early years of Augustus’ principate there had been uneasy peace

between Rome and Parthia.36 Neither the Parthian invasion of the eastern

provinces in 40 BC nor Antony’s answering expedition of four years later had

been successful or prestigious for its sponsors. Many old scores remained to be

settled, the most famous being the defeat of Crassus in 53. Roman standards lost

by Crassus, Decidius Saxa, and Antony, and a dwindling number of Roman

captives, remained in Parthian hands. By 30 BC Phraates IV was once more on

the throne of Parthia and the pretender he had defeated, Tiridates, was enjoying


political asylum in Syria. The Romans also held the brothers of Artaxes, who

occupied Armenia Major under Parthian protection. To the west, Augustus

established on the throne of Armenia Minor a bitter enemy of the Parthians, the

Mede Artavasdes, who could be relied upon to defend his kingdom (and so the

provinces of Asia Minor) to the death; in the south-west Rome’s interests were

secured by the client kings of Cappadocia and Commagene. These arrangements,

supported by the garrison of Syria (three or four legions), seemed to provide a

solution satisfactory for the moment. When Parthian ambassadors approached

Augustus in 30–29 they were not un-favourably received. But a permanent

solution had to be reached. Parthia posed no serious military threat to the Roman

Empire, but she had the unpopularity of Roman rule in the eastern provinces on

her side. It was particularly acute after Actium, when the Greeks realized that

they had backed their third losing horse (Pompey and the Liberators were

followed by Antony) in twenty years. Then there was Armenia Major, which

Antony had invaded in 34 BC and kept as a province for two years. When the

Romans were driven out, Artaxes massacred all the businessmen who had stayed

behind. Augustus inherited a claim to Armenia Major; geographically and

ethnically it was much closer to Parthia, but politically the Romans could count

on support from disaffected factions within the country. Roman public opinion

demanded action against Parthia to restore Roman prestige and perhaps

dominion over Armenia Major as well.

In 26–25 Tiridates made from Syria another attempt on the throne of Parthia.

He failed and once more took refuge with the Romans, this time bringing with

him Phraates, the son of the Parthian king, and so adding to Rome’s bargaining

counters. The date of the Parthian embassy that now approached Augustus is

uncertain: 24 or 23. Augustus’ reply was to refuse the surrender of Tiridates,

though he promised not to aid him in any further attempts on the throne; he also

gave up young Phraates, perhaps in return for a promise that the standards and

prisoners of war would be handed back. By the beginning of the winter of 21–20

Augustus in his tour of inspection had reached Samos. The Parthians showed no

sign of fulfilling their side of any bargain, and a request came from the Armenian

dissidents that Rome should replace Artaxes with his younger brother Tigranes,

who was a hostage at Rome. Augustus, not currently preoccupied by Spanish

unrest or the political crisis at Rome, decided to exert pressure on Parthia for the return of the standards and to depose Artaxes. That was Tiberius’ task.

Invested no doubt with the title legatus Augusti pro praetore (legate of

Augustus with praetorian rank), Tiberius would have crossed from Brundisium to

Dyrrachium; assembled an army of at least two legions, probably more, from the

Illyrian and Macedonian forces; and marched east along the Via Egnatia.37 From

the eastern end of that route Tiberius’ quickest way was through Bithynia to

Ancyra and Cappadocia, where he would be met by its client king, Archelaus, a

man probably bound to Tiberius by hereditary connexions, certainly by the

obligations of a client to his advocate: Archelaus’ reliability as a mentor was

assured. Augustus preceded or accompanied Tiberius in Anatolia; his journey of


inspection took him through Asia, Bithynia, and Syria, and he arrived on the

frontier in time to receive the standards on 12 May 20 BC.38 The weakness of

Parthia gave the pro-Roman party in Armenia courage and they themselves killed

Artaxes before Tiberius arrived with the new king. It was a walkover, and

Tiberius had only to crown the new monarch, establishing the doctrine that

Rome, without converting Armenia into a province, claimed to exercise effective

suzerainty over it.39

The doctrine proved to be an unsatisfactory compromise, and the success on

which Tiberius prided himself so much was (as a hostile source picked up by Dio

points out40) cheaply won. But the apparently successful solution of the Parthian

and Armenian problems was a theme to which Augustan propaganda returned

again and again.41 Important as this psychological victory was for the Roman

people, it was of equally great significance for Augustus himself: success abroad

won back ground lost in the domestic catastrophe of 23. It put Augustus in a

position to read his peers a lecture against expansionism; and when he returned

to Rome in 19 magistrates and Senate prepared to come out to greet him.42

Tiberius shared the glory. It was recognized by the award of a praetor’s

insignia (the office itself he was yet to hold), and sacrifices were offered.43 As he sailed into the mouth of the Tiber on his return he knew he was marked out as a

rising soldier and as one of the most important props of the regime. But it was on

the outward journey that there occurred the first supernatural manifestation to be

associated with Tiberius since his birth. As he approached the colony of Philippi

a noise was heard coming from the field on which Antony had defeated the

forces of the Liberators, and altars once consecrated by the victorious legions,

which had settled veterans in the colony, burst spontaneously into flame. It is not to be wondered at that fire sprang up on Antonian altars when the son of Ti.Nero

approached.44 There was more in this than nostalgia; men had their future needs

to consider, and Tiberius had already shown what his patronage could achieve.

Even if the scope of his mission was not as wide as Velleius would have us

believe, he was able to revive and create connexions with men important in the


The next few months are likely to have been happy ones. It was probably in 20

or 19 BC that Tiberius celebrated his marriage to Agrippa’s daughter, Vipsania,

she now being of marriageable age; and in 19 his younger brother was advanced

in the same way as he had been himself: Nero Drusus was to hold the

quaestorship in 18, at the age of nineteen, and to be eligible for praetorship and

consulship five years before the normal age.46

About the two years that followed nothing can be said with certainty.

Tiberius’ services as an advocate may have been in demand again, new contacts

imposing new claims on him. Some have thought that the governorship of Gallia

Comata mentioned by Suetonius belongs, not to 16–15, but to 19–18. That would

help to fill a puzzling gap, but there is no proof.47

The year 16 saw Tiberius praetor. He cannot have held any but the most

honourable post in this college, that of urban praetor; by now he had a sound


knowledge of the law, and his interest in it was life-long. But he was not to serve his term out peaceably in Rome. The Germans were infiltrating over the Rhine into

Gaul all through this decade. In 17 the governor, M.Lollius, lost an eagle in a

defeat at the hands of the Sugambri and their allies.48 In spite of the publicity it received, the defeat was a minor one, soon retrieved. But there was a

consequential decline in the morale of the province and the Gauls were not to be

trusted. Complicated perhaps by upheavals in Britain, the situation in Gaul

demanded the presence of Augustus himself, and he took Tiberius with him.

Young Nero Drusus was left to perform the praetor’s functions.49 Tiberius spent

about a year blocking raids from the German tribes and in the more difficult

diplomatic task of assuaging the quarrels of leading Gallic nobles. Probably he

had been intended for the province after his praetorship; but now his

predecessor, M.Lollius, was dismissed unexpectedly and prematurely. Lollius

became his enemy for life.50

The next two years, 15 and 14, gave Tiberius still more military experience,

gained alongside his brother. Together they conquered the Alpine tribes of Raetia

and Vindelicia. Rome was haunted by fear of invasion from beyond the Alps. At

the beginning of the fourth century BC Gauls had captured the city and destroyed

it; the Cimbri and Teutones had made their first appearance in 113 and Rome had

not been relieved of the menace until Marius finally defeated them in 100. There

could be no security until the Alps were Roman. One minor nuisance, caused by

the Salassi, was removed when they were crushed in 25 BC. In their valley the

colony of Augusta Praetoria was founded, flanking the much older colony of

Eporedia on the north-west, as Augusta Taurinorum (27 BC?) flanked it on the

south. With Parthian affairs settled and Spain temporarily pacified, Augustus

could carry out his plans in the north: he would win control of the Alpine passes,

then push the frontier away from Italy, completing the subjugation of the

Balkans and at least keeping the German tribes on the farther banks of the Rhine

and the Danube. The operations, first of Nero Drusus alone, then of both

brothers, following up those undertaken in 17–16 by P.Silius Nerva, secured the


But there was a corollary to the policy: the removal of the re-entrant angle

between the sources of the Rhine and the Danube and the shortening of the

frontier through the permanent occupation of Germany between the Rhine and the

Elbe.52 It was a fearsome task, but the rewards were great (and the momentous

consequences for Germany and the future of Europe easily imagined). In 12 BC

Augustus began operations. The incursions of the Germans were making the

Gallic tribes restive, the more so because of the census that Nero Drusus had

conducted among them in 13 and which had been sabotaged so effectively that it

had to be repeated. The Germans swept over the Rhine in 12 BC; Nero Drusus

repulsed them and opened the drive into Germany. In the same year began the

construction near Lugdunum of the great altar dedicated to Rome and Augustus;

it was to serve as a focus for the loyalty of the Gallic chiefs, providing a

substitute for Druidical ritual and a distraction from German intrigue.53 In that


year alone Nero Drusus tackled four of the most formidable tribes, Usipetes,

Frisii, Bructeri, and Chauci. His task, the wearing down of the Germans, was

hardly interrupted by his praetorship. That came in 11 BC, one year later than it

should have been; probably Nero Drusus had been kept in Gaul by the unrest.54

Augustus was fortunate in his stepsons. He might have been reluctant to

undertake the conquest of Germany, if not of the Alps, if these men, reliable as

well as competent, had not been available. Their roles were important, their

distinction increasing.55 But what was their place in the hierarchy of the ruling


The answer is likely to be that it was ambiguous, and that Tiberius and Nero

Drusus did not know how high they were likely to rise. We have seen Agrippa

reaching the position of near equality with Augustus: tribunician power at home,

maius imperium in the provinces; and by his marriage to Vipsania Tiberius had been brought very close to Agrippa. But Agrippa’s own marriage to Augustus’

daughter Julia was proving fertile. One son, Gaius, was born in 20 BC, a second,

Lucius, in 17. Augustus adopted both children simultaneously; they became his

sons, and took the names Gaius and Lucius (Iulius) Caesar, officially shedding

the plebeian and obscure ‘Vipsanius’, which M. Agrippa himself had quietly let

drop, in favour of a nomen and cognomen once borne by the Dictator, then by his son.56 Clearly they too were intended to wield the power held in one form or

another by their parent and grandparent by adoption. Transmission was the

problem. With the death of the Princeps there would expire the imperia and

potestates accorded to him. There could be a gap, in which anything might

happen: a quick military coup, a long-drawn-out struggle. By 18 BC Augustus

had his solution ready:57 a system of overlap, two men with powers identical, or

so nearly identical as to make no difference. If one died, the other would be left, unassailable. Below that a second pair, to be brought forward through the same

steps and stages to positions from which they too, when the time came and the

surviving senior partner died, could not be dislodged (proconsular imperium

maius was enough). If death took from both generations, once more creating the possibility of a hiatus in power, there was still another resource: the survivors

themselves would become partners, the younger receiving not only the imperium

but also the near equality implied by a grant of tribunicia potestas. Parity of esteem, of course, could never be achieved; that depended on family, age,

personality, and achievements; but it was never the aim of the scheme to achieve

perfect equality in prestige and influence as well as in official power; the object was rather to ensure that certain persons were brought to unassailable positions

of power into which others might be co-opted. The unity of such a group and its

immediate circle was assured, for they would all be members by blood or

marriage of the same family. It was the apotheosis of the family faction and it

was developed at a time when Augustus had regained the upper hand: in the

teens dynastic schemes were by no means out of place. The year 17 BC saw a

new age ushered in by celebration of the Secular Games. The Principate was

truly established, and the dynastic blueprint that it employed was to be followed


again and again in the Julio-Claudian era; by Augustus, by Tiberius, and by


In the dynastic plan of the teens it is clear that the leading pair were Augustus

and Agrippa, and that Gaius and Lucius were ultimately to take their place. But

there was doubt. Agrippa and Augustus were of an age (both born in 63 BC);58 was

either of them likely to survive long enough to see the boys invested with

proconsular imperium? One at least would have to survive into his sixties, and Augustus’ health was weak. It might become necessary, if one of the holders of

tribunician power died, to introduce a third pair from an intermediate generation

to secure the succession.59 But for the moment there was no need for additional

honours for Tiberius and Nero Drusus. When Tiberius came into office as consul

ordinarius on 1 January 13 BC it was with another patrician, P.Quinctilius Varus, who, like Tiberius, was son-in-law to Agrippa. Upon them devolved the duty of

introducing the legislation that made Agrippa virtually Augustus’ equal in

power.60 Again, young Gaius, now six or seven years old, attended the games

that Tiberius gave during his consulship. The public roared with delight to see

him in the theatre, and Tiberius dutifully brought him up to the front of the box,

giving him a place next to Augustus—to the disapproval of the circumspect


The year 13, then, saw Tiberius, at twenty-eight years of age, reach the

pinnacle of a normal career: he had gone higher than any of his ancestors for two

hundred years, winning glory to recall that of the victor of the Metaurus. There

were more victories to look forward to, perhaps a triumph and a second

consulship. The same year gave him a son, born on 7 October.62 To look for

more would be to count on the speedy death of his stepfather or father-in-law. No

honourable man would consciously be guilty of that.



Legislation and publicity in Agrippa’s favour proved in vain. He was in

Campania after a short autumn foray in the Balkans, when he died in mid-March

12 BC.1 From the military point of view alone the death of Augustus’ greatest

marshal was momentous. Who would fill that place? There was need of Nero

Drusus in Gaul, and indeed it was in the same year that the offensive on

Germany was launched. Tiberius was the obvious choice for Agrippa’s place in

the Balkans, and they were to be his field of operations as Augustus’ legate for

the whole or part of the next four seasons, beginning with a ‘bellum

Pannonicum’ against the Dalmatae and Breuci, between Sirmium and Siscia.2

Tiberius was assuming the mantle that had been worn by the greatest general of

his age.

There was more than that; and no wonder that on his way to the Balkans

Tiberius sought out the Gallic oracle of the three-headed Geryon near Patavium,

the oracle that had given advance notice of Caesar’s victory at Pharsalus—and

was given a most favourable sign: he was told to throw golden dice into the

fountain of Aponus and scored the highest possible number; the dice were still

being pointed out under the water in Suetonius’ day.3 When Agrippa died, his

wife was pregnant again, with the child who was to be known as Agrippa

Postumus. The law prescribed a period of ten months or a year before a widow

remarried, to avoid confusion of paternity in the offspring (besides, she had to

mourn). Tiberius divorced his wife and married Julia after the due interval.4 This

marriage was one of the first signs of Tiberius’ rise to supremacy, a part cause of his eclipse, and a source of misunderstanding of his position during the next

decade both in ancient and in modern times. The death of Agrippa, says Dio,

made Augustus, reluctant though he was, advance Tiberius. The view has been

developed by modern scholars.5 Tiberius was to be a kind of ‘regent’ for Gaius

and Lucius, evidently to retire gracefully from power as soon as they came of age

—or to do away with them like a wicked uncle. But it will not do to import

notions proper to established monarchies into the early years of the Principate.

Imperium was conferred for use, not show, and it could be used to secure an indefinite number of renewals; nor was there any global, monarchical power

which could temporarily be conferred on a ‘guardian’. If Tiberius was advanced


to a position of unassailable power, the step was virtually irrevocable and the

power would last, if he chose, for the rest of his life.

But it is for another reason that Dio’s conception will not do. It takes no

account of Nero Drusus. His career was running parallel with that of Tiberius:

they won the same military honours in the years after Agrippa’s death, and

Drusus duly came to his consulship five years before the normal age. In

Augustus’ will he was co-heir with Gaius and Lucius Caesar; he was one of the

two props and stays of Augustus; and he was going to be a great princeps. When he died in 9 BC his funeral was modelled on the same pattern as Agrippa’s; a

pattern which in turn was to be followed at Augustus’ own funeral in AD 14.6 In

the years 12–9 BC Augustus intended that on his death affairs were to come into

the hands of Tiberius and Nero Drusus and that they were to remain there for the

term of their natural lives.

Augustus did not take the step without serious reflection. He thought of

bestowing his daughter on at least one person of equestrian rank and so removing

her altogether from the political board.7 At a pinch he could continue with the

original plan of advancing his grandsons, and gambling on his own survival. He

had good political reasons for hesitating about the Claudian brothers. The

antecedents of Tiberius and Drusus did not make them natural supporters of a

disguised monarchy, and more than ten years had passed since Tiberius delivered

his youthful attack on Fannius Caepio, the would-be assassin of the people’s

champion. Clear evidence now emerges. Nero Drusus wrote Tiberius a letter in

which he proposed that they should force Augustus to restore the Republic.

Tiberius, in Suetonius’ language, ‘betrayed’ it to Augustus.8 The letter must

belong to the years between the deaths of Agrippa and Nero Drusus, when the

brothers commanded the armies of Germany and the Balkans, most probably to

10 BC. In that year Tiberius travelled to Gaul with Augustus, perhaps to attend

the dedication of the altar at Lugdunum to Rome and the Princeps, while Drusus

was campaigning in Germany; a revolt in Illyricum forced him to return to his

province, but at the end of the year the three men journeyed to Rome together,

Tiberius to ride into the city in the lesser triumph, the ovation, Nero Drusus to

take up his consulship. On that journey they may have thrashed out the problems

that the letter, perhaps shown to Augustus in Gaul, had raised.9

Suetonius regards the ‘betrayal’ of the letter as the first manifestation of

Tiberius’ hostility towards his kin. But Tiberius loved his brother. When he

heard that Nero Drusus was near death in Germany he made a record-breaking

ride of two hundred miles in twenty-four hours to reach his side, and he went

before the body on foot all the way to Rome.10 None the less, the two were very

unlike each other: Tiberius proud, slow to speak, often brief and ironical when he

did, disdaining to court popularity however much he might want it; Nero Drusus

affable, open and friendly, combining the display of impeccable principles with

intense personal ambition. Men thought that Augustus must be his father—yet

they also thought that Augustus might have been responsible for his death.11

What would Nero Drusus mean by the restoration of the Republic? Many had


been dissatisfied with the settlement of 28–27; even more with that of 19, to

judge by the disturbances and conspiracies that had followed it.12 The workings

of the free Republic were distorted by the powers and influence of Augustus. On

a simple view, the Republic would be restored only when those powers and that

influence were swept away. What was required was a total resignation of all

powers (they were due for renewal in 8 BC13) after the manner of Sulla, who had

set the Senate in the saddle and stepped aside. On the face of it a noble scheme:

if Augustus gave up his imperium, the commands of the legates would likewise lapse. Nero Drusus, however, was safely designated consul for 9 BC, and

proconsular command would follow—no inconsiderable command either, if the

Senate knew what gratitude was. But Tiberius, even in youth, probably was not

possessed of Nero Drusus’ unclouded idealism. Sulla’s Republic did not survive

ten years in its pristine form; and the Second Triumvirate came into being less

than two years after the death of Caesar the Dictator: Tiberius believed as

fervently as his brother in the Republic; without it, ambition and office were

meaningless. But in the conditions created in the post-Gracchan period it needed

to be defended; and that should be the function of the Princeps. He should keep

the armies that had been the downfall of the Republic, and which had now been

entrusted to him, out of unscrupulous hands, using them in the interests of the state and as directed by the Senate.14 To be sure, this tutor reipublicae (guardian of the state) would be a politician, but only one among many, a senator among

senators. Essentially the idea was Cicero’s. He had hoped to coax Pompey into

the role, even Caesar, and finally the young Octavian (cast for a short run).

Augustus’ original claim in 28–27 was that he was fulfilling it. It will be from

that period, perhaps from the autobiography that Augustus composed at the end

of his wars in Spain, that there comes the story of the dreams of Q.Catulus. That

true-blue optimate and supporter of senatorial policies had been warned by

Jupiter that Octavius was to be brought up ‘ad tutelam rei publicae’.15

Nero Drusus’ views were common knowledge, and a source of his popularity.

It was known that he intended to restore ‘pristinum rei publicae statum’ as soon as he could.16 By revealing Nero Drusus’ proposal for immediate action,

Tiberius might hope at once to modify the autocratic tendencies of the Princeps,

and to disarm a revolutionary move that might lead to civil war, chaos, and


Augustus may already have been forced to pay lip-service to the views of his

stepsons. In 11 BC the Senate and people, not for the first time, contributed sums

of money for statues of Augustus; he diverted it: Salus Publica, Concordia, and

Pax took Augustus’ place. The refusal itself was something that Dio found worth

mentioning; but all these personifications were dear to Cicero, two of them being

invoked in his attack, made in the Senate, on the radical bill of Rullus.17 Concordia in particular we shall meet again. In the year of Nero Drusus’ consulship, 9 BC,

Augustus brought new measures into force which were designed to strengthen

the Senate in its deliberations. Two regular meetings were to be held every

month, on days that were cleared of legal and other business. Attendance was


still compulsory and fines for non-attendance were increased. If the quorum now

fixed was not reached, decisions were to be recorded as informal rather than

formal decrees of the Senate— auctoritates senatus rather than as senatus consulta. The right of praetors to bring business before the Senate was reiterated.18

This was a gesture. So was Augustus’ reluctance (noted at this same time by

Dio) to appear in court without informing the Senate of his intentions. What

prompted this announcement we do not know, but it shows a renewed political


Nero Drusus was probably not convinced. Passion for glory combined with

scepticism to suggest another test. He intended to win the spolia opima (spoils of honour), a distinction accorded only to those generals who had killed the enemy

leader in single combat. M.Licinius Crassus, consul in 30 BC and grandson of

the Triumvir, had fulfilled that condition fighting against the Bastarnae in 29; but he had not been allowed the prize. Augustus had found documentary proof that

the last man to win the honour had been fighting as consul, and so under his own

auspices. That vitiated Crassus’ claim, preventing him from outshining the

triumphant Princeps. Now a consul was to put Augustus to the test.19 So far,

Tiberius and Nero Drusus had not been allowed even a triumph, and that

undervaluing of their achievements (in their own eyes, at least) may have been

an additional spur to Nero Drusus.

The refusal of triumphs and of the title imperator to Tiberius and Nero Drusus has been another obstacle in the way of historians who have sought to place them

in Augustus’ dynastic schemes. But theirs were not the first triumphs to be

refused in recent years. None of the three voted to Agrippa by the Senate had

been celebrated. Agrippa’s modesty (or disdain) made it difficult for lesser men

to make a claim; perhaps that was the intention. There had been triumphs in

plenty in the Triumviral era and in the first years of the Principate; but the last had taken place in 19 BC, a year in which Agrippa had refused; and that had

been awarded to L.Cornelius Balbus of Gades, a man who could not by any

stretch of the imagination be seen as a threat to the Princeps. Senators cannot

have been pleased. Now, when informed in dispatches that the soldiers had

acclaimed Tiberius and Nero Drusus in the field, they gladly took the hint, in

hopes of triumphs for their peers—but the Princeps forbade his stepsons to accept

salutation or triumph, perhaps on the grounds that, as his legates, they held no

independent imperium. It was to be clear who was master of the soldiers. In 12

BC Tiberius and in 11 Nero Drusus were allowed the insignia of a triumph; these

were to be the limit for the ordinary senator’s ambition, and it may be no

coincidence that in about 11 BC they were awarded to and accepted by Tiberius’

friend L.Piso the pontifex, consul of 15, for successes in Thrace. In 10 BC

Tiberius was deemed to have earned the right to the lesser triumph, the ovation,

in which the general rode into the city on horseback rather than in a chariot; and

in the following year Nero Drusus won the same prize.20 It was not until 7 BC

that Tiberius was finally allowed the highest honours, the principle now

established that only members of the imperial family were eligible for the award


of triumphs proper; and it was for services in Germany, not the Balkans.21 For

Nero Drusus had been less lucky. The nearest he came to his celebrating his

ovation was in his funeral procession. Still pursuing the spolia opima, he was fatally injured while riding, in the late summer or autumn of 9 BC.22

The political consequences were momentous. Within four years two men of

high importance had been removed from the scene. It was not only for

themselves and for their services that Augustus mourned them. They were links

in a dynastic chain, now broken, both Augustus and Tiberius lacking the partners

who gave the chain its strength. It had to be repaired by the forging of a new

partnership, that of Augustus and Tiberius; that is to say, by the advancement of

Tiberius to near equality with the Princeps.23 The next consular elections, those

of 8 BC, saw Tiberius returned for a second time. This consulship marks the

beginning of a new stage in his career; when he laid it down he was to take up

powers that were new to him: tribunicia potestas and proconsulare imperium maius over the eastern provinces.24 None could fail to see that such grants of power were intended to perpetuate the Principate to the advantage of Tiberius.

But it was never easy to refuse a request of the Princeps, especially on a matter

of supreme importance. The dynastic nature of the grants was never made

explicit enough to trouble cowardly consciences. The burden of office was

always invoked, and it was genuine enough. Augustus complained of it in private

correspondence; the Princeps was not shielded from his tasks by an army of

secretaries or a well-trained civil service.25 In this case reference would be made to Eastern affairs, as it must have been in 23 BC. Relations with Parthia were

deteriorating, and needed an experienced man on the spot; and Tiberius knew the


The narrative of Dio shows that these requests by Augustus were not actually

made until 6 BC; Tiberius’ first five-year period of tribunician power no doubt

began at the end of June, on the same day that Augustus entered upon his

eighteenth year of tenure.26 The consulship of 7 admittedly delayed Tiberius’

advancement to the all-important power; but it had another function besides that

of giving the new co-regent a flying start and conferring on him the auctoritas, the prestige and influence, of a man who has been twice consul. It gave belated

respectability to an action of Augustus that had been taken in haste and anger: in

7–6 the move from consulship to tribunician power was institutionalized, even

ritualized; and the development of formality and convention in the advancement

of members of the imperial house was something to be encouraged, giving as it did

an appearance of conservatism to the encroachments of the dynasty.

Tiberius entered his second consulship at Rome, as etiquette demanded, but

outside the Pomerium, for he was about to celebrate his triumph. He did not

spend the whole year at Rome; his presence was required on the northern

frontier, which a new commander would soon take over; but he stayed long

enough to make his political cast of thought perfectly clear. On the first day of

the year the consul summoned the Senate to the Curia Octavia, and announced

that he was taking upon himself the restoration of the temple of Concord; it


would be paid for in the conventional manner from the spoils of the German

wars and re-dedicated in the name of his brother Nero Drusus and himself.27

Some held that the temple had been founded in the fourth century by the

conservative politician and conqueror of Veii, M.Furius Camillus, in the

aftermath of the disturbances caused by the Licino-Sextian Laws; certainly a

temple had been erected on the site in 121 BC by L.Opimius, the man

responsible for the deaths of Gaius Gracchus and his supporters. The temple was

often used for meetings of the Senate, notably on the occasion on which Cicero

had exposed the designs of the Catilinarian conspirators. The building, like the

Bastille, had strong associations, and in undertaking to restore it Tiberius was

taking on himself the mantle of two famous champions of government by the

senatorial oligarchy.28

As Tiberius moved from one distinction to another in his public life, his

private life (if we can keep the two apart) grew wretched. At first his marriage

had been a success; and sentiment over his regret for Vipsania is out of place. He

was a free agent, acting as thousands of Romans had acted before him: for

political reasons. Julia went to northern Italy to be near her husband when he

campaigned in the Balkans, and it was at Aquileia that she gave birth to their

son, probably in 10 BC; but he died. In 9 Julia was still, publicly at least, on good terms with Tiberius. When he celebrated his ovation, she joined Livia in

entertaining the wives of senators to a banquet; but she is not mentioned as

playing any part in the triumphal festivities of 7.29 It is no coincidence that the decline in relations belongs to the very years of Tiberius’ rise to power. Julia was more than a witty woman of fashion. She sought political power as the daughter,

wife, and mother of principes; as she said herself, she never forgot that she was Caesar’s daughter.30 Vipsania had been a child when she married Tiberius: Julia

was twice a widow, and only two or three years his junior. But for a man of

Tiberius’ austere stamp there was no room for women in politics; that came to be

a sensitive point, as men said that he owed his position to his mother’s marriage.

Once Julia had established this disagreeable fact about her husband, she found

other cause for complaint: he was not her equal, for his ancestors, though blue-

blooded, were obscure and second-rate.31 Alarm as well as contempt took hold

of her. She and Tiberius had no living child, but Tiberius had a son of his own,

young Drusus. If Tiberius were left in control of affairs by Augustus, he might

give way to the temptation to advance his own son at the expense of hers. Julia

had friends who shared her fears and her distaste for the regime that Tiberius

seemed likely to introduce. Two efforts were made to prevent the consummation

of Augustus’ plans. In 6 BC the people (not unprompted, as we shall see) elected

Gaius Caesar to a consulship.32 He was nearly, if not quite, fourteen years old,

but had not yet taken the toga of manhood and in Roman eyes was still a child. No

request had been made by Augustus for his early advancement; and there is no

evidence that Augustus knew what was going on. Certainly Gaius was not an

‘official’ candidate at the election, but that in itself was no bar to his being

successfully elected.33 The election may have been preceded by a demonstration


in the theatre led by Lucius, Gaius’ eleven-year-old brother. We have already

noticed Gaius’ popularity with the urban plebs. It had been enhanced by

Augustus’ featuring of both boys on the coinage; and when he took Gaius to Gaul

with him in 8 BC, the event was given due prominence on coins struck for the

Rhine armies.34 The elevation of Tiberius to a position of co-regency met no

recognition of this kind at all, but that may have been at Tiberius’ wish rather

than at Augustus’: the first portrait of a living man to appear on the Roman

coinage had been that of Julius Caesar. It was an aspect of the Principate—the cult of the personality—for which Tiberius had little use.35

Augustus himself was a candidate for the consulship of 5 BC—it was the year

in which he was to conduct Gaius into the Forum and see him put on adult dress

—and he was probably present at the election, awaiting the results with

pretended anxiety. Now he found the people insisting on making the boy his

colleague. It was not only the consulship they had in mind; and they went on

insisting even after he remonstrated with them. He had prayed that it might never

be necessary for a man less than twenty years of age to become consul, as had

once happened in his own case. That was a reference to the dreadful year of 43

BC, in which Octavian had marched on Rome after the death of the consuls and

taken the office for himself; and the immediate sequel had been the Triumvirate

and proscriptions. One ought not to hold the office until one was able to avoid

error oneself (a knock at Gaius, if he had intrigued for his election) and resist

popular clamour (another knock, if he had not). The outcome was a compromise:

Gaius’ consulship was deferred until his twentieth year, and as soon as he

assumed the garb of manhood he was to join the Senate in its deliberations and in

social events; he was to take the title princeps iuventutis, becoming the leading member of the equestrian order.36

Tiberius was in Rome for investment with his new powers. The election made

him burn. It was not so much that Gaius was to hold the consulship in AD 1; that

was probably not far off what Augustus had intended in any case; Marcellus would

have been only twenty-two or twenty-three when he entered on his consulship;

but the attempted election of Gaius to a consulship of 5 BC constituted a massive

vote of no confidence in himself as a politician and as a stepfather. It may be that the episode of the election by itself was enough to put the idea of retirement into his head. But there was also a letter of complaint against Tiberius (we do not

know its date), sent by Julia to her father, though composed for her by one of her

friends.37 Moreover, Augustus had compromised, giving way to some extent to

the demonstrators. Gaius’ consulship had not been vetoed, merely postponed.

Did Augustus himself trust Tiberius’ integrity? The stepson might wonder. There

were other considerations. Tiberius would become sole Princeps because of the

accident of his brother’s death—and ultimately because of his mother’s second

marriage. Even if he were capable of realizing it without Nero Drusus’ support,

would his conception of the Principate, by perpetual work and diplomacy,

watching of himself and others, survive him? It seemed unlikely, if Gaius and

Lucius were to be brought up to rule as of right or by favour of the people.


It is improbable that Augustus began by taking Tiberius’ request to retire

seriously. The noisy irruption into politics of two boys was no cause for the eclipse of a man of proved achievement who had just been invested with powers that

took him far beyond any rival. Only after Tiberius had gone without food for

four days was Augustus convinced. He announced the proposed retirement in the

Senate, complaining bitterly about it as an act of desertion. A pretext had to be

offered. Tiberius was worn out and overwhelmed by the honours conferred on

him. He needed rest, and wished to resume his studies on the island of Rhodes.

But Dio also reports that before he left Tiberius opened and read his will in the

presence of Augustus and Livia. This was a way of demonstrating his integrity. A

will institutes heirs: that of Tiberius named Gaius and Lucius, primo gradu (in the first instance) alongside Tiberius’ son Drusus, or even taking the greater


Only a few friends saw Tiberius off. He gave them a hasty kiss and went on

board at Ostia. His retinue was not large: only one senator, a few equites, and the lictors and viators who attended holders of imperium and tribunes of the plebs.

Tiberius travelled quietly, like a private individual. He was still off Campania

when the ship was intercepted. Bad news of Augustus: the Princeps was

dangerously ill. It was his last throw. Tiberius hesitated awhile, but the winds

were favourable and he did not want to seem to be lingering.

The voyage gave time for second thoughts. Tiberius had allowed himself to be

manoeuvred into destroying his own political position. He too had made his last

throw, and lost. There was nothing now he could do, short of armed rebellion, to

force Augustus to withdraw the concession made to Gaius, and he had shown by

asking leave to retire that he did not intend to go to extremes. It was too late now to make that use of his powers. Once his greatest asset, they were now useless to

him, potentially even a source of danger. The two men were in a position that

allowed no movement: Tiberius could not return without recognizing the role the

people had in the creation of principes, and Augustus could not withdraw the consulship that was the cause of the dispute without damaging his own authority

and the future of Gaius. It was Tiberius’ fault. He had made a political blunder of the first magnitude, ruinous to himself, his plans, and his dependants, and in

committing it he had put himself in the wrong. No wonder that Livia too, as well

as Augustus, had tried to dissuade him from it.38 Righteous indignation was

going to have to spread a long way. Tiberius gave vent to it. He put in at Paros

and there saw a statue of Hestia, the Greek equivalent of Vesta, goddess of the

hearth. The Parians did not want to sell, but Tiberius uncharacteristically forced

them (he was not going to be thwarted in his gesture). The statue was despatched

to Rome, to stand in the temple of Concord. It was a token of his wife’s victory—

she as well as Livia could be associated with the goddess—and Vesta had another

connotation as well: she was the deity to whom Roman magistrates sacrificed

when they took up office—and when they laid it down.39

Pride and pique had ruined the dynastic scheme that Augustus had been

building up since 12 BC, even since 18. As the Princeps entered his fifty-eighth


year he found himself in exactly the same case over the succession as he had

been at the end of March six years before, except that a man with imperium maius and tribunicia potestas was sitting uselessly and resentfully in island seclusion, a man well known to the armies of the Balkans and the Rhine, and in whose favour

there might be a declaration when the Princeps died. There was one course open

to Augustus: to advance the careers of Gaius and Lucius as much as he could and

pray for his own survival until they had the power to look after themselves. He

did survive to see Gaius take up, in 1 BC, the imperium in the East that the expiry of Tiberius’ grant laid open to him.40 When Gaius became consul in AD 1

he was abroad, exercising that imperium (protocol went by the board). As he passed his sixtythird year Augustus wrote Gaius a letter in which he expressed

his overwhelming relief and thankfulness and looked forward to seeing the two

boys gradually taking over his own position.41 For Lucius was not to be passed

over. In 2 BC, after the three-year interval that their ages made appropriate, he

too was conducted into the Forum by Augustus, now consul for the thirteenth time,

and promised command of the armies of the Spanish provinces (to match the

command of Gaius in the East; Germany was too important to be entrusted to so

inexperienced a commander), and a consulship in five years’ time.42

Augustus did nothing about the group that had engineered Gaius’ election and

brought about the retirement of Tiberius. For the moment their interests were his

own. Retaliation on behalf of his stepson would not have brought him back—if

so unstable a character was worth recall. Then, the year before Gaius took up his

imperium, a scandal of high candlepower led to the disgrace and exile of Julia and the death or banishment of men alleged to have been her lovers.43

The ringleader was Iullus Antonius, the younger son of Mark Antony and

Fulvia, who had been educated at Rome by Augustus’ sister Octavia. He had

married her daughter, the elder Marcella, and held the consulship in 10 BC and

subsequently the proconsulship of Asia. Parentage and close association with the

imperial family made his intrigue with Julia evidence of ambition as much as

licentiousness; Iullus was allowed to commit suicide.44 There is nothing new in

the suggestion that the plan of Julia and her supporters was to replace her

husband Tiberius with a new consort—Antonius. They did not believe, or so they

claimed, that Gaius and Lucius could hold their own without the backing of an

older man who could command loyalty in his own right. If that is a correct

interpretation, time was running out for them in 2 BC. Soon there would be no

excuse for putting forward a replacement for Tiberius. Augustus would hold that

Gaius and Lucius could stand on their own feet. Increased pressure from Julia’s

friends was only to be expected in the year before Gaius’ admission to

proconsular imperium. One of them was tribune of the plebs in that year and could not be prosecuted until he had come to the end of his term. This unnamed

tribune may have been, but probably was not, that Sempronius Gracchus who

composed Julia’s letter to Augustus and who now was exiled to Cercina.45

Another sympathizer was the consul of 9 BC, Quinctius Crispinus Sulpicianus.46

Then there was an Appius Claudius, great-nephew of P.Clodius and Fulvia,


cousin to their child Claudia; and a Scipio, grandson of Octavian’s former wife

Scribonia, the mother of Julia.47 With her we come to the centre. Scribonia

accompanied her daughter into exile, guaranteeing that adultery was not the sole

cause of Julia’s downfall, and remained with her until her death. Nobody could

accuse Scribonia of lightness, in any sense of the word.48 Julia’s party was a

clique of aristocratic intellectuals;49 but it has too the air of a family faction, centred on Scribonia and recalling the rapprochement of 40 BC between the

parties of Antony and of Sex. Pompeius that was finally destroyed when

Octavian divorced Scribonia to marry Livia. Julia complained that Tiberius was

not her equal, and here is another clue. The ‘adulterers’ bear the names of

families that were not merely blue-blooded, but powerful in the late Republican

and Triumviral eras. Were these families, the kin of Octavian’s first betrothed,

Claudia, and of his first wife, to be outdone by obscure Nerones? There is a hint

too of demagogy. One of the offences of the group was to decorate with garlands

a statue of Marsyas that stood in the Roman Forum. It was not merely a symbol

of Bacchic license but, with the fig tree that overhung it, was regarded as the

symbol of a free city. One of the conspirators was a Sempronius Gracchus, one a

tribune; and it was precisely in the year 2 BC that tribunician agitation broke out in Rome.50 The details are missing, but the tribunes were sent to Augustus about

certain reforms and he came to consult with the people about their demands. In a

word: Julia and her friends stood for an alliance of palace and people. It makes a

contrast to the austere and oligarchic programme of Tiberius.

A man who stands for the rule of an élite and the reduction of the people to a

position of respectful docility cannot in the nature of things expect to command

mass support; but Tiberius had a following outside the ranks of his legions:

relatives, men who shared his views, those who enjoyed his patronage or hoped

to benefit from it in the future. It is time to look at men who may have regretted

his departure in 6 BC, and who may have tried to dissuade him from it, if they

were in Rome.

Tiberius’ influence on the consular Fasti of AD 5 onwards is generally

acknowledged. If the view taken here of his position before 6 BC is correct, one

might expect to find some trace of it soon after Agrippa’s death. Indeed, Tiberius

was not without influence before that, unless it was by coincidence that one of

the consuls he declared elected in 13 BC was the able upstart P.Sulpicius

Quirinius, always a friend to Tiberius.51 In 6 itself there was a hitch in the

conduct of the elections, when votes were cast for Gaius; if Augustus was not

already on the spot, the consul in charge stopped proceedings long enough for

him to hurry down and remonstrate. He was probably C.Antistius Vetus, son of a

Republican of the same name.52 His predecessor, Tiberius’ coeval and colleague

in 7 BC, was a loyal subject to the end of his days: he was Cn. Calpurnius Piso,

son of that Piso who had taken up the challenge presented by Augustus in 23.53

The consuls of 8 and 3 BC, C.Marcius Censorinus and M.Valerius Messalla

Messallinus, might also be classed as well disposed, at least to judge by the way

they are handled by Tiberius’ panegyrist Velleius Paterculus.54 Censorinus’


colleague, C.Asinius Gallus, is more difficult to assess. He had married Tiberius’

ex-wife, and relations were said to be bedevilled by that fact, but as the

stepfather of Tiberius’ son Drusus and the father of Drusus’ numerous half-

brothers, he would have an interest in the advancement of Tiberius and his son.55

One of the suffects of 5 BC, C.Sulpicius Galba, was a hunchback (there was

nothing wrong with his intelligence), and he was the subject of a jibe of

Tiberius’ deadly enemy, M.Lollius. Galba’s son rose high through the influence

of his patron, Livia.56 Galba was followed as Princeps in AD 69 by Otho,

grandson of another of Livia’s protégés. M.Salvius Otho entered the Senate with

her help and the coins he struck as monetalis (it was surprising that a new man should be honoured with the post of moneyer) display a Victory which probably

alludes to Tiberius’ triumph of 7. His son Lucius was a great favourite with

Tiberius; in fact there was a resemblance between them which caused some

gossip.57 In 2 BC the command of the Praetorian Guard was entrusted to two

men, perhaps to strengthen the Princeps’ hand against the pressure exerted on

him by Julia and her friends, or in the aftermath of the scandal.58 One of the new

prefects was Salvius Aper, but relationship with the Salvii Othones is not

established. The other was Ostorius Scapula, the owner of slaves who passed into

the hands of Livia and her son; he went on to the Prefecture of Egypt during the

second ascendancy of Tiberius.59 So much for domestic posts. Tiberius was to be

superseded in the north when he took up his eastern command. L.Domitius

Ahenobarbus and C.Sentius Saturninus are both written well of by Velleius.

Domitius served on the Danube during Tiberius’ absence; Saturninus, after his

governorship of Syria, probably moved to Germany and Gaul (6–1 BC). A

possible second term in the same office was not interrupted by Tiberius’ return to

power. Two of Saturninus’ sons held consulships in AD 4.60 In Syria Saturninus

was succeeded by P.Quinctilius Varus, a patrician of undistinguished antecedents

(though his father, like Tiberius’ grandfather, had committed suicide after

Philippi); Varus was Tiberius’ colleague in the consulship of 13 and likewise a

son-in-law of Agrippa. He was to hold another great command during the second

ascendancy of Tiberius, fatal to himself and damaging to the state; but there was

no mistaking the favour he enjoyed while he lived.61 Sulpicius Quirinius, consul

in 12, is found in the East as governor of Galatia soon after 6 BC. Had he been

destined to go as Tiberius’ comrade in arms, or was he sent as a partial

substitute?62 In Asia for the year 6–5 we find Asinius Gallus; in Egypt

C.Turranius, who was later to be put in charge of the corn supply and to remain

in post throughout Tiberius’ principate.63

Caution must be exercised. Many of these men were of noble birth or

outstanding merit; they would have won distinction without support from

Tiberius. But the one senator who accompanied Tiberius to Rhodes evidently had

nothing to keep him in Rome. His name, Lucilius Longus, is not a famous one. But

a Lucilius impersonated Brutus after the battle of Philippi and was taken prisoner

in his stead; nor did he desert Antony in 31 BC. If Tiberius’ friend was the son of EMINENCE AND ECLIPSE 29

this man, their choice of leaders and of causes is an interesting one: Brutus,

Antonius, Tiberius.64

The adherents of Tiberius, as far as we can make them out, display no

homogeneity. He was intimate with aristocrats and men who were the first in

their families to enter the Senate, as befitted any politician of sense. The

preponderance of military men, as of ‘Republican’ antecedents, is notable.

Tiberius may have found many friends amongst the military. He had spent years

on campaign and ‘Biberius Caldius Mero’ had learned young to drink with the

best.65 It was another contrast with Julia’s city clique.

When he retired, Tiberius’ powers had five years to run. He might return. Roman

governors and other officials travelling to and fro on business in the East thought it worth while to call and pay their respects. In 2 BC came news of his wife’s

disgrace. A moment of rejoicing, of belief that he would be vindicated (there was

a small crop of dedications that can be dated to the years 2–1), was followed by

misgivings.66 The charges brought against Julia had nothing to do with her

intrigues against Tiberius, and they left the arrangements made in 6–5 quite

undisturbed: the onward march of Gaius and Lucius was unaffected—and the tie

that bound Tiberius to the imperial family and strengthened his claim to the

succession was severed. Augustus sent Julia notice of divorce in her husband’s

name.67 Not surprisingly Tiberius wrote again and again begging for mercy to be

shown the errant wife; with her gone, his fate might soon rest in the hands of the

two boys. His pleas were disregarded, and in the following year, when his

powers had expired, Gaius appeared in the East, after introducing himself to the

armies in the Balkans that his stepfather knew so well,68 and took over the

imperium that Tiberius had lost and to which he was now, ironically, to be

subject. When Gaius arrived on Samos, or Chios according to one version,69

Tiberius paid him a visit; but he was frigidly received. Tiberius realized that he

was in danger. Time and again he asked permission to return, explaining that he

had withdrawn to avoid competing with Gaius and Lucius. It was a disingenuous

plea to come from a man who had been second in the state, but it could be

offered to the public as an explanation in 1 BC. Augustus refused. Tiberius was still too great to be allowed to come back into circulation; besides, there was much to

forgive: the anxiety of the last five years, and the scandal of 2, which would not

have blown up if Tiberius had stayed at his post. Hence the savage tone of the

reply: Tiberius had been eager enough to desert his family and friends; now he

had better forget them. Only Livia’s intervention secured him the title of legate, a cover for virtual exile. Even now, officials were still paying their respects when

they put in at Rhodes. To avoid their well-meant, dangerous homage, Tiberius

moved into the interior. A rumour became current that centurions who had

received their commission from Tiberius were returning from furlough bearing

treasonable messages (eloquent testimony to the following he was believed to

have in the armies, and far more convincing than the raptures of Velleius).

Tiberius repeatedly begged for an observer of any rank to be stationed with him.

At length he was driven to abandoning his riding and drill, in case they gave


substance to the idea that he was planning a coup; he even laid aside Roman

dress and took (it is hardly to be believed) to the Greek cloak and slippers. He

had ceased to be be Roman. To the ends of the Empire, it was clear that Tiberius

was finished. The people of Nemausus in Gaul had divided loyalties. Tiberius’

father had been active in the Rhône valley, settling Caesar’s veterans and

founding colonies. Tiberius himself may have paid special attention to the town

during his governorship; certainly it received its walls and gates from Augustus

in 16 BC. Nemausus had busts and statues of Tiberius. But Agrippa had also

been a benefactor, starting the building now known as the Maison Carrée, and

Gaius was a patron.70 Nemausus made its loyalties clear. Tiberius’ portraits were

thrown down. In the East, in the retinue of Gaius, detestation of the recluse reached greater heights. His head was offered to his stepson. Gaius did not accept. The

moment of extreme danger passed.

The leading member of the entourage, and an enemy of Tiberius, was

M.Lollius. In AD 2 the Parthians revealed that Lollius was in the pay of certain

client kings. Whether that was true or not, Gaius quarrelled with him. A few days

later Lollius died, by suicide or natural causes.71 He was replaced by Sulpicius

Quirinius, whose advice to Gaius on the subject of his stepfather was different

from Lollius’. In a few months, after two years of ceaseless anxiety, Tiberius

was allowed to return to Rome; Augustus made it clear that it was expressly by

permission of Gaius.

This return from Rhodes was quite unlike the first, twenty-two years before.

Then Tiberius stood at the beginning of a brilliant career, which had now been

brought to a humiliating end. He was a man retired into private life who was

unlikely to hold office ever again—even if he were lucky enough to survive

Augustus. His conduct was correspondingly meek, but we need not doubt that a

lesson had been learned. The occasion of Tiberius’ return was probably the

coming to manhood of his son Drusus. The ceremony over, he moved out of the

limelight again. He gave up his former house, which had once belonged to

Pompey and then to Mark Antony, and was unsuitable for him as much for its

associations as for its conspicuous siting in the Carinae, on the western slope of

the Esquiline Hill, and took up residence in a house in the Gardens of Maecenas,

farther away from the centre of the city, to the north-east.72 Tiberius had not long been back in Rome when news came from Massilia that Lucius Caesar had died

there on 20 August, on his way to Spain.73 Tiberius had no public part to play in

the funeral, but advertised his proper grief by composing a poem, ‘A Lament on

the Death of Lucius’. Augustus was shaken, but not shattered; it was said that he

bore his relatives’ deaths with greater fortitude than their errors. It was as well: in AD 4 news long feared came from the East: Gaius had succumbed on 21

February to a wound received at the siege of an Armenian town.74 Augustus was





Augustus had reacted with decision in 2 BC, but with relative mildness. Only

one man is known to have died, and the exile that the other culprits suffered

might be modified or cancelled. Nor were their relatives penalized. A Sempronius

Gracchus is found in the entourage of L. Caesar, and T.Quinctius Crispinus

Valerianus was not prevented by his brothers’ misdemeanours from reaching a

suffect consulship in AD 2. Only a few politicians can have committed

themselves to Iullus Antonius and the quick but uncertain profits that his

manoeuvres might win; more were content to build their hopes on future favours

from the rising principes inventutis. Augustus needed their support if Gaius and Lucius were to come peacefully into their political inheritance.

Experienced politicians and débutants alike followed the young men. We have

seen Quirinius serving Gaius even as he laid up credit with Tiberius. Velleius

Paterculus and L.Aelius Sejanus, officers at the beginning of their careers, would

have been pleased to go East.1 A fair prospect opened up before those who were

fortunate enough to be connected by marriage with the principes. Gaius married within the dynasty, the sister of Germanicus; Lucius was betrothed to Aemilia

Lepida, sister of the consul of AD 11. Their sister Julia the younger went to a

member of the same gens, L.Aemilius Paullus, whose father had been consul in 34 and censor in 22 BC. He duly reached the consulship ( ordinarius, holding office from 1 January) in 1 BC, as the colleague of his brother-in-law.2

When Lucius died in AD 2, a tremor of alarm must have passed through the

circle. The fortunes of the family and its supporters now depended on the life of

Gaius alone, unless Augustus chose to find him a new partner. That way lay

greater security and a possible danger. Tiberius’ elegy on the death of Lucius

showed him in conciliatory and disarming mood. Or was he angling for a renewal

of former powers? Velleius hints that an offer was made and declined, but in

language that is misleadingly ambiguous. Pride and principle would be against

acceptance; but it is not easy to believe that after his years of anxiety on Rhodes, Tiberius would have refused powers that might preserve his life after Augustus

was gone. The possibility of rehabilitation must have been canvassed at the time,

for it was countered by a move that bears the hall-mark of Tiberius’ opponents:

popular agitation for the recall of the elder Julia reached such intensity that


Augustus had to face the people in a contio (public meeting), and wished on them daughters and wives (a touch made for Tiberius’ benefit) of her sort; he would

bring her back when fire mixed with water. But the populace brought their

torches and threw them into the Tiber, and eventually in AD 3 Gaius’ mother

returned, not indeed to Rome but to Rhegium, where some of the restrictions on

her daily life were relaxed.3

Much more acceptable to Gaius and his followers than the rehabilitation of

Tiberius would have been the advancement of the youngest child of M.Agrippa.

Born probably in the second half of 12 BC, Agrippa Postumus would be fourteen

in AD 3 and might expect to take the toga of manhood towards the end of die

year or at die beginning of the next. He did not do so, nor was die delay due to

Gaius’ death and the mourning that followed: Gaius died on 21 February AD 4,

but the news did not become known at Pisae in Italy until 2 April, and by that

time Agrippa should have taken the toga.4 Moreover, when Gaius and Lucius

reached manhood they were brought into the Forum by Augustus, who took the

consulships of 5 and 2 BC for that purpose. Augustus was not elected to the

consulship of AD 4. Evidently by midway through 3 he had decided to advance

Gaius to partnership with himself rather than find a substitute for Lucius. In that case the anxieties of Julia, her husband Paullus, and Agrippa would be

intensified, and rightly so: the plan was to meet with no success.

In the autumn of 3 news reached Rome that Gaius had been wounded in the

siege of Artagira in Armenia on 9 September.5 Gaius’ own behaviour after that

mishap is hard to explain, so hard that two sources claim that his mind was

affected: he requested leave to retire into private life somewhere in Syria.

Augustus communicated his wish to the Senate but asked him at least to return to

Italy; after that he could do as he wished. The testimony of Velleius, who was in

the entourage, cannot be ignored, though it must be handled with care. And

Velleius says paradoxically enough that Gaius was brought to his despondent

frame of mind by intercourse with men whose ‘toadyism’ (assentatio) made his failings worse. Augustus, then, was trying to get Gaius to return to Rome after

the fall of Artagira; perhaps he saw the success as a suitable occasion for the

conferment of tribunician power, a ceremony that always took place at Rome. No

one was in a better position than the ‘toadies’ to see how serious Gaius’

condition was; they may well have preferred an alternative policy: that of

advancing Agrippa Postumus (it is clear from Velleius’ attitude that their

candidate was not Tiberius). But their plans seem to have succeeded too well:

Gains intended to resign his powers and remain in Syria as a private individual.

Eventually he agreed to return—but not to receive the tribunician power. At the

beginning of AD 4 he began the journey home, and the question of his future

was finally resolved with his death at the Lycian port of Limyra.

Augustus, now in his sixty-sixth year, had to find a new dynastic scheme. The

clamour of advice that had been growing ever since the previous autumn must

have reached its climax in the three months that followed the news of Gaius’

death. On the one hand the merits of Rome’s most distinguished (or at least most


experienced) living general, whose talents had gone to waste for a decade, would

be urged by his mother, his friends, and those who had no taste for the popular

dynasticism of the last few years; on the other, there was a youth rising fifteen

whose sister and brother-in-law would support his claim to the position that Gaius

and Lucius had vacated.

The pressure exerted on Augustus may be gauged from the dispositions he

made on 26 June. Augustus adopted both Tiberius and Agrippa Postumus.

Tiberius obtained a renewed grant of tribunician power and a command in

Germany, occasioned by trouble in that area. The extent of his imperium, the grant of tribunician power for ten rather than the hitherto normal five years, and

the fact that, according to Velleius, he spoke against the grant in private and in

the Senate, are eloquent testimony to the strength of Tiberius’ position in AD 4.6

Augustus and his peers had to argue their case—and in so doing they thoroughly

and publicly committed themselves to it. There was to be no second journey into

exile. Justifying his action, as he was legally required to do, at a public meeting, Augustus could claim that he was adopting the Claudian for the benefit of the

state: the adoption of a consular of forty-five, in addition to a grandson, was an

anomaly in family law. As children of Augustus, Tiberius and Agrippa Postumus

were to be equal, but the normal forms of advancement were violated; one of the

two adopted children was in the same position as Gaius and Lucius had been

between 17 and 6 BC; the other in a position much closer to that of their father

Agrippa between 18 and 13: as holder of the tribunicia potestas, Tiberius was co-regent as well as heir. Nobody could expect him to accept mere equality with the

younger brother of the boys who had secured his political downfall in 6 BC.

Worse, from the point of view of Agrippa’s friends, Tiberius had a son of his

own, whose future had already been a source of discord. This time his father

made sure that he was included in the dynastic scheme. On the adoption of

Tiberius, this boy became Augustus’ grandson and would expect to have his

share of imperial power when the time came. So too would the son of Tiberius’

brother Nero Drusus, whom Tiberius adopted just before his own adoption.7 That

gave Augustus a second grandson, a partner for young Drusus Caesar,

strengthening the Claudian element still further. There was little comfort for the

friends of the dead Gaius and Lucius Caesar in all this. Now only Agrippa

Postumus stood between the offspring of Livia and complete supremacy. But

Augustus tried to mitigate their fears. Germanicus Caesar was married, probably

in the following year, to Agrippina, the second daughter of Julia the elder and

M.Agrippa, and his young brother Claudius was betrothed to the daughter of

L.Paullus and the younger Julia, Aemilia Lepida.8 Not that that would be much

consolation to Julia. Her son, also L.Paullus, would be outside the innermost

circle of the dynasts, and her husband, recently colleague in the consulship with

his young brother-in-law, the senior of Augustus’ heirs, now found himself

politically dependent on a boy whose whole future, if Augustus should die, lay in



Whether the alliance of Germanicus and Agrippina did anything to cement the

two sides of the family together may be doubted. Tacitus’ comments on the

relations between Tiberius and his adopted son, and the incontestably bad

relations that developed after Germanicus’ death between the Princeps and

Agrippina, should not mislead us. The earliest date at which any rivalry is hinted

at is AD 14, when soldiers on the Rhine, perhaps not with very serious intent, or

only to embarrass their commander, mooted a declaration for Germanicus; and

Tacitus stresses his perfect loyalty on that occasion. He lost no time in swearing

in provincials and legionaries to his father. To be sure his dynastic claim to

power rested partly on his relationship to Augustus, partly on his marriage to

Augustus’ granddaughter. By blood he was not close: as Octavia’s grandson (no

connexion, be it noted, of Scribonia) he was Augustus’ great-nephew; but he was

also a grandson by adoption—and by the same token a son of Tiberius. His

father and uncle had been devoted to each other and to some extent at least had

shared political opinions which Germanicus too was thought to hold.

Germanicus’ relations with Drusus Caesar, his brother by adoption, remained

untroubled to the end of his life. And during the crisis of the Pannonian revolt, in AD 6–8, when Agrippa’s disgrace made it impossible to send him to Pannonia

with reinforcements, Germanicus went instead. A distinction was being drawn

between the two young men, not necessarily because Germanicus was three or

four years older than Agrippa, or more able, but because he could be trusted.

Blood, political views, and self-interest should have kept Germanicus by the side

of his adopted father.9

The position of Agrippina was more ambiguous. The suspicion that grew up

between her and Tiberius in later years may have had its roots in Tiberius’

adoption and the disgrace of her brother and sister and so, ultimately, in the

downfall of her mother, the elder Julia. On the other hand it may have arisen only

after Germanicus’ death, when she thought that her own children’s prospects

were in danger; it might have been only then that she began to see the fate of her

kinsfolk as the result of Tiberius’ scheming. Certainly her ambition for herself,

her husband, and her children would not in the years 4–8 have seen its easiest

fulfilment in improving the position of Agrippa Postumus, still less that of

L.Paullus; it was through the line of Tiberius, whether by blood or by adoption,

that the power was to pass; and it is not hard to believe that the marriages of Julia the younger and Agrippina may have destroyed rather than enhanced their natural

sisterly affection.10

If the settlement made in AD 4 was a compromise, it was one heavily

weighted in favour of Tiberius, and the fears of his opponents were soon

justified. At best they would have to make room for his supporters in the senior

magistracies; at the worst they might lose their own positions of influence, even

their seats in the Senate. A purge came in 4, only months after the adoptions, and, says Dio, it was made possible by that move. It was combined with grants of

money to deserving men who could not maintain themselves in the House. All

the Augustan purges came at the end of a struggle for power, or with a change of


personnel at the tip of the pyramid of power. None was really successful; on this

last occasion too, not many men could be brought to remove themselves

‘voluntarily’ from the roll; they hung on in hope.11

A complementary measure followed in AD 5, a law brought in by the consuls,

both well disposed towards Tiberius. The lex Valeria Cornelia created ten new centuries of voters, five each named after Gaius and Lucius Caesar (an ironical

touch) to act as centuriae praerogativae, centuries which voted first and had their results declared, so giving a strong lead to the rest of the centuries in the election of consuls and praetors in the comitia. The new centuries consisted of senators and leading knights. Ten years before, the comitia centuriata (centuriate assembly) had helped to blight Tiberius’ career by offering the consulship

prematurely to Gaius Caesar. The new arrangement increased the influence of

the highest classes on the outcome of consular and praetorian elections, thus

partly neutralizing the popularity that the family and friends of Julia the elder

enjoyed amongst the rank and file.12 The lex did not put an end to electoral disturbances; on the contrary, in AD 7 they were so bitter that Augustus had to

appoint the magistrates himself. But it may be seen as the precursor of the measure adopted in AD 14—the first undertaking of Tiberius’ principate. That reserved

the election of magistrates to the Senate, leaving the popular assemblies ( tributa as well as centuriata) no option but to ratify the Senate’s choice.13 Their special position under the new scheme would have flattered members of the Senate, and

even more those equites who were associated with them. The same year saw

another privilege conferred on the equestrian order: they were provided with

separate seats in the circus, again alongside those of the senators. Senate and

equites were to be united behind the Princeps and his dynasty in a latter-day concordia ordinum, the harmony between the two upper classes of Roman

society that Cicero had advocated. From that concordia the plebs and the irresponsible politicians who appealed to it were to be excluded, and by it they were to be made harmless.

The effectiveness of the new measure is hard to gauge. Syme examined the Fasti

of Augustus’ last decade and found them replete with the partisans of Tiberius.

Not that his friends are absent even before AD 4: his friendship was far from

being the only relevant factor. In AD 4 itself we find the friendly Sex. Aelius

Catus and C.Sentius Saturninus as consules ordinarii, with Cn. Sentius

Saturninus as suffect.14 But there were certainly men in office after that year who would not have reached the consulship if they had not been kin to Tiberius,

shared his views, served him, or impressed him with their military ability in

Germany or the Balkans. The number and success of men who seem to have had

little in their favour beyond a connexion with Tiberius illustrate the extent and

the effectiveness of his patronage.

M.Furius Camillus represented a patrician family not recently prominent (like

of that of Tiberius himself). He was descended from the Dictator who allegedly

had built the first temple of Concord. Camillus gave his son to L.Arruntius,

consul in AD 6, and betrothed his daughter Livia Medullina to the young


Claudius (she died on the wedding day).15 His colleague in the consulship of two

years later was Sex. Nonius Quinctilianus, by birth the son of P.Quinctilius

Varus, consul in 13 BC, another relatively obscure patrician, but connected by

marriage with Tiberius. In AD 6, L.Nonius Asprenas had been suffect; and four

years later a cousin, P.Dolabella, who was to be given full credit by Velleius for

the quiet conduct of his legions at the transfer of power in AD 14, was

ordinarius. Varus himself governed Gaul for two years with Nonius as his legate before his destruction in 9.16 L.Volusius Saturninus, consul in 12 BC and

governor of Syria in AD 4–5, was kin to Tiberius and (by marriage) to the

Quinctilii and Nonii, while Asprenas was a connexion of a trusted friend and

boon companion of Tiberius, L.Piso the pontifex, consul in 15 BC and appointed

Prefect of the city in the year before Augustus’ death, perhaps in anticipation of

disturbances that that event might cause.17 M.Plautius Silvanus, though not

related to Tiberius, may have claimed descent from the Plautius who in 312 BC

had collaborated with Appius Claudius the censor. And any rate he was said to

owe his success (he was consul in 2 BC) to Livia, and towards the end of the

principate of Augustus his daughter became the first girl to achieve marriage to

Claudius. Silvanus, after his proconsulship of Asia, was governor of Galatia and

in AD 7 brought reinforcements to Tiberius in the Balkans.18 Neither were the

Cornelii Lentuli related to Tiberius, but they were by no means ill-disposed, and

they figure prominently amongst the magistrates and pro-magistrates of the

decade: Ser. Maluginensis was consul in AD 10, Cn. the augur fought the Daci,

and two Lentuli, Lucius, the consul of 3 BC, who may have offered his daughter

in marriage to Volusius Saturninus (consul in AD 3), and Cossus, the consul of 1

BC, perhaps were successive governors of Africa (4–6).19

Military merit naturally commended itself to Tiberius. His renewed command

allowed him to do it justice. The Aelii Lamiae were not a family of long standing

in the Senate. L.Lamia, consul in AD 3, is well spoken of by Velleius Paterculus,

and is found in Africa in AD 14, having previously served under Tiberius in

Illyricum.20 One of the most notable friends of Tiberius, the military man

P.Sulpicius Quirinius, was rewarded for his success and perhaps for his fidelity

with the governorship of Syria in AD 6.21 Other new men from the

municipalities were C.Visellius Varro, suffect in AD 12, and L.Apronius, suffect

four years earlier—the latter achieved links with M.Silvanus and Lentulus

Gaetulicus. He was one of the men who served in Illyricum, as did Vibius

Postumus of Larinum, suffect in AD 5, brother of Habitus, suffect in AD 8.22

M.Papius Mutilus the Samnite combined a long pedigree with novitas, being the first of his family to enter the Senate; he was suffect in 9, and demonstrated his

loyalty to Tiberius seven years later by attacking the memory of a traitor.23 Two

consular governors of 14 seem to be of municipal descent: certainly C.Poppaeus

Sabinus, consul in 9, who came from Interamnia Praetuttianorum, and was the

legate of Moesia long prorogued by Tiberius;24 and probably Q.Iunius Blaesus

serving in Pannonia, uncle of L.Aelius Sejanus, who by AD 14 had long since

lived down his association with Gaius Caesar and was magna auctoritate


(had great influence) with Tiberius, and was appointed colleague to his father

L.Seius Strabo in the prefecture of the Guard; Sejanus was to ally himself, if he

had not already done so, with the Cornelii Lentuli.25 One more vital post should

be mentioned at this point: the prefecture of the corn supply, in which

C.Turranius was to give satisfaction for many years; as we have already seen, he

had experience in Egypt dating from the period of Tiberius’ first ascendancy.

Tiberius rated loyalty very high.26 That perhaps was the only quality that won his

consulship for the suffect of AD 7, Lucilius Longus; but, having spent seven

years on Rhodes with Tiberius, he must have been well endowed with it. We

have already noticed his political affiliations. Other politicians who emerge now

may have shared them. The suffect consul of 11 was a L.Cassius Longinus, and a

rhetorical exercise preserved by Dio and Seneca represents the Republican Cn.

Cornelius Cinna Magnus as planning the assassination of Augustus and saved by

Tiberius’ mother.27 Magnus, as consul in 5, saw to the passage of the lex Valeria Cornelia. His colleague was L. Valerius Potiti f. Messalla Volesus. The most distinguished member of that family was M.Messalla Corvinus the orator,

Tiberius’ instructor in Latin prose, whose reputation for integrity and

independence was perhaps greater than he deserved. His children were noted for

their loyalty to Tiberius.28

As the sons of the men who had been Tiberius’ friends in the earlier period of

ascendancy pressed on to the consulships and commands that were their due

(their parents sometimes surviving in posts of honour), and new men won their

way to the top by distinguished service under Tiberius’ command, the numbers of

the other side will have been decreasing monthly. Their centre was a small

family clique, very similar to the clique that had formed round the elder Julia.

The similarity was not coincidental: the second was a continuation of the first.

That emerges clearly if the connexions of the persons who were involved in the

downfall of the younger Julia are examined. Both groups had the same object:

the political demise of Tiberius, or at least the advancement of candidates of

Scribonia’s blood who would be strong enough to maintain their interests against

his. In the first case the candidates were Gaius and Lucius, in the second Agrippa

Postumus, perhaps with L.Paullus as a running mate. Agrippa and Julia of course

were the children of the exiled Julia and grandchildren of Scribonia, and if those

two ladies did not play an active part in the events of this decade it was only

because they were both still in exile at Rhegium. Paullus’ mother was a Cornelia

of the Scipios, a daughter of Scribonia by one of her earlier marriages. Paullus

was thus his wife’s half cousin, and first cousin to one of the lovers of the elder Julia, Scipio. The marriage could have been celebrated in about 7 or 6 BC, or a

year or two later, when Julia’s stepfather was out of the way.29

Julia the younger was convicted of adultery; but we know the name of only

one lover: D.Iunius Silanus. Lepidi and Silani are found in high positions during

the two decades that passed between the departure of Tiberius for Rhodes and his

accession to the Principate. Q. Caecilius Metellus Creticus Silanus held his

consulship for the whole of AD 7; C.Silanus was consul in 10; M.Lepidus, the


brother of L.Paullus, in 6; and M’.Lepidus, his second cousin, in 11. Manius’

sister was first betrothed to L.Caesar, then married to Sulpicius Quirinius. When

Julia and her husband fell, the engagement of their daughter, another Aemilia

Lepida, to Claudius was broken off, and she had to be found a different husband.

He was a Silanus, M.Torquatus, who was to be consul in AD 19.30 Connexions

between the Lepidi and the Silani went back to the Triumviral age and beyond.

Servilia, mother by D.Iunius Brutus of M.Brutus the Liberator, married for the

second time D. Silanus, consul, in 62 BC, and became the mother of daughters.

One, Iunia Tertulla, was the wife of Cassius the Liberator (as well as being

Cato’s granddaughter) and she survived until AD 22, causing comment by her

will: she omitted to mention the Princeps. Her elder sister was married to

Lepidus the Triumvir. Other connexions of the Silani are equally significant:

they were with the Sempronii (Gracchi?) and the Quinctii (Crispini?): M.Silanus,

consul in 25 BC, was the son of a Sempronia and the husband of a Crispina.

Members of both families were punished with the elder Julia. So was an Ap.

Claudius; and his sister or cousin Appia Claudia married C.Silanus and became

the mother of Decimus, the adulter of the younger Julia.31

An exemplary warning against reckless prosopographical speculation is

afforded by the conduct of M.Lepidus, consul of AD 6. As brother of L.Paullus,

he might have been expected to be at the heart of the group. In fact he was one of

Tiberius’ most respected friends—and is one of the few Roman politicians

whose reputation has been assailed neither by ancient nor by modern

historians.32 He fought alongside Tiberius in the Pannonian revolt after his

consulship and was entrusted with the supreme command in AD 8 while Tiberius

journeyed to Rome. There could be no greater display of confidence. It was

repeated six years later. In AD 14 Lepidus is found in charge of Tarraconensis

and its three legions. In the reign of Tiberius he betrothed his daughter to Drusus Caesar, son of Germanicus, and his influence protected the faithless widow as

long as he survived. Principle again, or speculation about the outcome, may have

divided the gens Iunia. One of the brothers of the adulter, Gaius, became consul in AD 10, the other, Marcus, in 15, with Drusus Caesar as his colleague. Marcus

continued to enjoy the esteem of Tiberius, and it was his influence that made it

possible for the offender to return to Rome in 20. Moreover, the consul of 7,

Q.Creticus Silanus, was legate of Syria when Augustus died, a position he would

not have held if he could not be trusted.33

Julia and her friends seemed likely to make some progress in 5, when Agrippa

finally took the toga of manhood (perhaps at the Liberalia on 16 March). But

Augustus did not allow him any of the privileges that his brothers had had: no

consulship after a five-year interval, no leadership of the youth, no attendance at meetings of the Senate. Fifteen years later, when he was introducing Germanicus’

elder son to the Senate, Tiberius requested for him the privilege that he himself had been accorded in 24 BC: that of holding magistracies five years before the

normal age.34 That would have had an inherent propriety in Tiberius’ eyes, and it

is unlikely that he would willingly have agreed to anything better for Agrippa;


the precedents were both disagreeable and disreputable. It may have been

controversy over just that point that delayed Agrippa’s assumption of adult

dress, and after Tiberius’ departure for an autumn campaign in 4, the controversy

would have raged all the more. The military situation, though it was less critical

than Velleius would have us believe, and the need to win back his place with the

armies drew Tiberius away from Rome, but anxiety over the political situation in

the city brought him back again almost every winter. Devotion to Augustus is

what Velleius calls it; Dio is cruder, but nearer the mark: he was afraid that

Augustus might prefer someone to himself.35 Augustus of course had made his

choice; but so he had in 6 BC, and he had shown himself infirm against the

manoeuvres of his daughter and friends.

Whatever else was against him, nature now began to play Agrippa’s game. In

AD 5, according to Dio, there was a solar eclipse (28 March), earthquakes, a

seven-day flood, and famine. Nothing could be better calculated to make the

populace amenable to the agitation of discontented politicians. It was probably at

the end of that campaigning season that Augustus was harassed by another

problem: noisy demands for discharge and bounty from the soldiers, who

perhaps saw that their opportunities might disappear with the next campaign. The

following year was to see the great attack on Maroboduus of the Marcomanni,

which was to establish Roman rule within Bohemia and consolidate the conquest

of Germany. Again luck was on the side of the malcontents. Before Tiberius was

five days’ march into enemy territory, he was called back by the news that

Pannonia and Dalmatia were in revolt. Augustus made no attempt to hide the

seriousness of the situation: he told the Senate bluntly that in ten days the enemy could be within sight of Rome. For three seasons (6–8) the Pannonians occupied

Tiberius’ attentions; the Dalmatians held out until 9. The sacrifices and

privations the war imposed, and Tiberius’ circumspection in his dealings with the

enemy, added to the effects of inclement weather throughout Italy and

destructive fires and floods in Rome, created just the psychological conditions to

delight an opposition. The new regime was failing at home and abroad.36

The first clear signs of trouble belong to the autumn or winter of AD 5.

Velleius tells us that Agrippa began to reveal his true nature about two years

before the critical battle against the rebels that was fought in the Volcaean

marshes; that came at the end of the campaigning season of 7.37 Doubtless what

Agrippa revealed was a strong desire for speedy advancement. As yet

consulship, proconsular imperium, and tribunician power were below the horizon.

The agitation came to a crisis in the following year. Some change in the status of

Agrippa took place in AD 6, recorded on a fragment of the Fasti Ostienses. 38

There is no evidence that it was for the better, the grant of a priesthood, for

example. More probably the calendar records the first stage of Agrippa’s

disgrace, which Suetonius clearly states came in two parts, abdicatio (the

severing of ties with the Julian family) and relegation to Surrentum, and, not

much later, permanent exile under guard on Planasia, the island near Corsica,


sanctioned by a senatus consultum; Dio adds that his property was confiscated.39

Perhaps we can date the abdication more closely.

Towards the end of the year, reinforcements had to be sent to Pannonia,

scraped together from freedmen and the theatrical claques. Velleius Paterculus

conducted some of these levies into the field; he was quaestor designate at the

time, having returned to Rome to embark on his political career earlier in the

year. But civil duties went by the board in the crisis. The useful officer Velleius was exempted from the functions of the quaestorship and stayed to fight in

Pannonia.40 Near the beginning of AD 7, Germanicus followed him, taking

further re-inforcements; like Velleius, Germanicus remained in the field,

beginning operations in the spring of 7. This in spite of holding a domestic

magistracy, the quaestorship. Germanicus, says Dio, was a substitute for Agrippa.

Evidently there had been a question of sending the latter to the war, perhaps as

tribunus militum, or of offering him a quaestorship, but disgrace supervened. The abdication belongs to the autumn of the year 6.41

What had happened to bring about even the first stage of Agrippa’s fall must

have been grave. Abdication was the enforced emancipation of a son from his

father’s authority. Agrippa lost his rights to the property of Augustus after his

death, and could be passed over in his will without voiding it; that is to say, in

legal terminology he was no longer suus. As an adoptatus abdicates (an adopted son who had suffered enforced emancipation), Agrippa was in a worse position

than most boys who suffered this extreme penalty (and they cannot have been

many): it reduced him to the status of an emancipated member of the gens

Vipsania; in other words, he lost his all-important adoptive name of Agrippa Iulius Caesar.42 This and the other consequences that flowed from abdication

entailed his exclusion from the political inheritance of Augustus. Political

advancement now was out of the question, unless Augustus relented and brought

him back into the family. Again we see Augustus dealing with political blunders

as if they were moral delicts. The pretext for the abdication was Agrippa’s

beastly nature, the ferocia (intractability) that was the normal justification of the penalty. Modern scholars, taken in as the Roman public was intended to be, have

debated the nature of his disease, with schizophrenia winning distinguished

support.43 It was all a blind.

The agitation that Augustus checked by this drastic method should be

discernible in the sources. Sure enough, Dio has a quite detailed account of a

political scandal of the year 6, to which he attaches the name of one P.Rufus, and

a ‘conspiracy’ of L.Paullus and Plautius Rufus is vouched for by Suetonius.44

Now the masses, distressed by the famine and the tax [it had been imposed

to support the new military treasury] and the losses sustained in the fire,

were ill at ease, and they not only openly discussed numerous plans for a

revolution, but also posted at night even more numerous bulletins. Word

was given out that all this had been planned and managed by one Publius

Rufus, but suspicion was directed to others; for as Rufus could neither


have devised nor accomplished any of these things, it was believed that

others, making use of his name, were planning a revolution. Therefore an

investigation of the affair was voted for and rewards for information were

announced. Information began to be offered, and this also contributed to

the commotion in the city. This lasted until the scarcity of grain was at an

end and gladiatorial games in honour of Drusus were given by Germanicus

Caesar and Ti. Claudius Nero, his sons. For this mark of honour to the

memory of Drusus comforted the people, and also the dedication by

Tiberius of the temple of Castor and Pollux, upon which he inscribed not

only his own name…but also that of Drusus.

Dio does not say explicitly what the placards contained, but it is clear from the

context: complaints about the war, the fire, floods, famine, and tax. ‘Revolution’

was in the air, but it is unlikely that Augustus himself was to go—only the men

who now stood closest to him, primarily Tiberius. The Senate, under its pro-

Tiberian consuls, was willing enough to do its duty and look for the real culprits; but Dio does not tell us who they turned out to be. Perhaps they were not

exposed until the following year, which Dio treats very sketchily as far as home

affairs are concerned. It is not hard to guess who they were: L.Paullus and his

wife. The death of Paullus, and the possible relegation of Julia, followed by the

repudiation of their daughter by Claudius and his betrothal to a girl whose father

would be grateful for the connexion (L.Furius Camillus, the consul of AD 8) may

be assigned to the last months of AD 6 or the early months of 7. Dio says that the

agitation lasted until the games were held in Drusus’ memory; probably on his

birthday, and that seems to have been in March.45 It will have been at the same

time that the opening up of the seas after the winter made it possible for fresh

supplies of corn to be brought in for the hungry populace.

This phase of the struggle for Agrippa’s future ended in defeat for his relatives

and friends, and had already brought disgrace on him as Augustus sought to

check the agitation by removing Agrippa from the political arena altogether.

Augustus failed there, and he failed when he executed L.Paullus or forced him to

die. The survivors were undaunted and the intrigues went on. But there was a

change. As the situation worsened for them, Agrippa’s friends became more

desperate and their methods deteriorated. Legitimate political techniques

(however they had been handled by Augustus, that was what they were down to

the agitation of Plautius Rufus) were displaced by conspiracy, libel, and high

treason. As support in higher places fell away, men of a lower social position

came to the fore as partisans of Agrippa, and in the end little was left of the

group but members of the family and their dependents.

Agrippa, besides being confined to Surrentum and losing his membership of

the Julian gens, had also lost to his adoptive father a considerable fortune inherited from M.Agrippa. Now, returned to the Vipsanii, he could use this fact

against Augustus. Dio reports Agrippa’s complaints that Augustus had

embezzled the money that should have come to him from his father. Perhaps this


was the content of the savage attack on Augustus that was published by one

Iunius Novatus in Agrippa’s name.46

It may have been at this stage that D.Iunius Silanus (a patron of Novatus?) saw

the opportunity for self-advancement. Julia was now a widow. If her brother

were rehabilitated (and there had been reversals of fortune in the house stranger

than that), the position of her consort could still be a fine one. What weapons the group thought they had is hard to see, but some hopes they must have had, for we

are told that neither Agrippa’s conduct nor that of his sister improved after their disgrace. One of the signs of Agrippa’s ‘madness’ that Dio reports was that he

spent his time fishing and took to calling himself Neptune. This perhaps was an

ironical reference to the victories of his father M.Agrippa at sea (and we may

remember that Sex. Pompeius had also regarded himself as a protégé of that

deity).47 It was only natural for Agrippa, deprived of his Julian paternity, to turn to his natural father and see what could be made of him. Velleius places one

stage of Agrippa’s disgrace towards the end of AD 7; that would be the removal

to Planasia. We can deduce agitation for his recall from Surrentum, and reflect

that one effective means of bringing about his return would be to elect him to a

magistracy—the consulship. That technique had been used before with some

success. It may have been tried again in 7, which happens to be a year in which

the elections were so contentious that Augustus had to appoint all the magistrates

himself.48 The consuls he lighted on were M.Furius Camillas and Sex. Nonius

Quinctilianus. As for the guard now imposed on Agrippa, we can surmise that here

had been unauthorized trips from Surrentum; fishing trips, no doubt. But what

did Agrippa hope to catch? His pastime may have taken him across the Bay of

Naples to Misenum, precisely to the naval base that his natural father had


Agrippa’s removal to Planasia took place in 7, but that was not the year of the

younger Julia’s final relegation. The sources imply the year 8, as they imply it

for Ovid’s exile.49 That Ovid was involved in the punishment of Julia has usually

been accepted, even when their activities have not been seen from a political

point of view (Julia has often appeared as a nymphomaniac whom Ovid’s

teaching enabled to outstrip her over-sexed mother). Ovid hints darkly that he

could have avoided his downfall if he had not associated with persons in high

places. The immorality charge which was brought against him was, as usual, a

smokescreen. The Ars Amatoria had been published nine years when Augustus

woke up to the threat it posed. That is why Ovid himself makes so much of the

charge; it was the weak part of Augustus’ case.50 But there was an error, and a culpa too, a mistake, even misconduct; Ovid had seen something of which he

failed to realize the true significance, and which he failed to report when he did.

Ovid, we may believe, was privy to Julia’s plans, whatever they were. Agrippa’s

advancement was the main plank in her policy. That now seemed impossible,

legally at least. Julia could give up or turn to illegality, the removal of Agrippa from his island by trickery or force. Two such attempts are attested: one made by

Agrippa’s slave Clemens in AD 14, frustrated because Agrippa was killed before


he could be rescued; and another, earlier, by L.Audasius, a person of ill repute

who was on trial for forgery, and by Asinius Epicadus, descendant of a Balkan

prisoner of war.51 The date of that attempt is not known, and there is something

wrong with Suetonius’ account of it; he says that they intended to take Augustus’

daughter Julia from her island as well as Agrippa, and rush them to the armies. But by the time Agrippa was sent to Planasia, Julia the elder had long been back on

the mainland. Possibly Suetonius means Julia the younger, whose ultimate place

of exile was the island of Trimerum off Apulia, but the omission of her mother

from the plot is surprising: Julia the elder had more of the blood of Augustus in

her than her children did. If Suetonius had simply forgotten that Julia had

returned to the mainland, the attempt of Asinius and Epicadus may have been

engineered by her daughter in AD 8.

To be effective in politics, a woman needed a husband, brother, or son to act

for her. So the elder Julia had discovered, and so her daughter and

granddaughter, the two Agrippinas, were to find. D.Silanus may have been the

political ally and spokesman of the younger Julia, lover too, and perhaps even

husband. One source says that they were married; and that marriage may have

been the act that Ovid witnessed, without (so he claimed) realizing its

significance. Silanus was denied the Princeps’ friendship and knew that he had to

leave Rome; Julia went off to her island, and the child she bore was not raised.52

Ovid, like Silanus, avoided trial, but his destination was indicated to him: Tomis

on the Black Sea outskirts of the Roman world. The allies of Agrippa were to be

well apart. Doubtless it was his secure confinement, and Tiberius’ successes in

Pannonia, that made it possible for Augustus to be so mild.

The Pannonian insurgents surrendered on the Bathinus in AD 8, and probably

when Tiberius entered Rome in the winter53 a solemn ceremonial was devised.

After mounting a tribunal in the packed Saepta in the Campus Martius and

greeting Senate and people, he was conducted round the temples and up on to the

Capitol, where he took his seat with Augustus between the consuls. In the

summer of the following year came news that the Dalmatians had succumbed,

and it was greeted with the award of a triumph. Titles commensurate with the

services he had given were offered: Pannonicus, Invictus, Pius. They were not

accepted; not because they were too great for the man they were designed to

honour, but because Augustus knew that it could not be long before Tiberius

bore a cognomen greater than any of these—his own.54

The triumph was put off by Tiberius himself. Almost as soon as Germanicus

announced the end of the struggle in Dalmatia in Rome news came of the

destruction in Germany of Varus and his three legions. The material loss was

grave enough. It also meant the end of Augustus’ plan to extend the frontier to

the Elbe; and the blow to Roman pride and prestige was even more serious. In

the last months of AD 9 the newly victorious Tiberius was needed on the Rhine

as much to restore the broken reputation of Rome’s generals as to re-organize the

shaken survivors and to punish the rebels. These tasks were to last him through


10 and 11, culminating in the defiant celebration of Augustus’ birthday, 23

September 11, in enemy territory.55

The winter of 9–10 had also seen Tiberius at Rome, and if he did not on this

occasion also (or for the first time) make his solemn entry into the Saepta, he

took the opportunity of dedicating the temple of Concord, on 16 January.56 The

cost of restoring the temple had been met from the spoils of the German wars, in

which Nero Drusus had played his part as well as Tiberius, and the temple was

dedicated in the name of both brothers. It was a symbol of the harmony in which

they had lived, and the dedication was perhaps meant also to symbolize the end

of the factional strife that had raged for the last two decades: Concord and

conciliation were to prevail. If so, it was to prove a delusive hope.

To be sure, the way seemed clear. Tiberius’ ostentatious display at the side of

Augustus, and the acceleration of the careers of Germanicus and Drusus,

announced in AD 9 on the occasion of the victory in Dalmatia,57 must also be

brought into connexion with the destruction of Agrippa’s faction and his

ambitions. As we have seen, Germanicus became quaestor in December of AD

6, perhaps taking the place of the abdicated Agrippa Postumus. He was twenty-

one, and holding office exceptionally early, though not as early as his father and

uncle had held it; nor was his adoptive brother Drusus Caesar given any

extraordinary advancement at this time.58 The ad hoc arrangements of AD 6

were not regularized until after the victories in Pannonia and Dalmatia had been

won. Then advancement for both Tiberius’ sons became extraordinarily rapid,

and they even omitted the praetorship altogether. Germanicus was given the

ornamenta triumphalia and praetoria, the insignia of a triumphing general and of a man who had attained the praetorship, with the special privilege of giving

his vote immediately after the ex-consuls. His consulate itself he held in AD 12,

at the age of twenty-six. Drusus Caesar meanwhile was admitted at once to

membership of the Senate and given the privilege of voting ahead of the ex-

praetors as soon as he should become quaestor. Election to that office came in

the following year (no doubt the news of the victories arrived after the elections

of AD 9 had taken place); his consulship came in 15, three years after that of

Germanicus, and also at the age of twenty-six. The collapse of the faction of

Julia and Agrippa had finally made it possible to give the sons of Tiberius

unusual, and equivalent, privileges. Tiberius’ own proconsular imperium was still limited, probably to the Gauls or to provinces which he had occasion to

enter. It was not until at the eventual celebration of the triumph, on 23 October

AD 12, that all territorial limitation was removed.59 A consular law of 13 made

Tiberius’ powers equal to those of Augustus, and provided that they should

conduct a census together, using their consular imperium.60 From now on

Tiberius would always sit at Augustus’ side between the consuls. But he never

cared for consular imperium. When it came to summoning the Senate after

Augustus’ death Tiberius made a point of exercising his tribunician power,

which had been renewed in 13.61 The consular imperium had been granted to


Augustus at a moment of defeat for the Senate, and its exercise inevitably

infringed the prerogatives of the consuls proper.62

Gold coins struck at Lugdunum in the last year of Augustus’ life display the

Princeps’ head on the obverse with the legend CAESAR AVGVSTVS DIVI F

(ilius) PATER PATRIAE and Tiberius’ on the reverse with TI.CAESAR AVG

(usti) F(ilius) TR(ibunicia) POT(estate) xv. They recall the silver issued at Rome

near the end of M.Agrippa’s career, more than a quarter of a century before:

Augustus’ head on the obverse, with CAESAR AVGVSTVS, and Agrippa’s on

the reverse, wearing his naval crown, with the name of the moneyer.63 It was

only in 10 that Tiberius’ portrait began to appear on coins at all and that he

succumbed to the temptation which had overcome Caesar first of all the

dynasts.64 Now for the second time Augustus had succeeded in bringing his

plans for the succession to full fruition; a colleague had reached the plenitude of power, and should survive to carry on the administration when the first Princeps

died. In formal terms, the new arrangements left nothing to be desired. But

legality was not all that mattered. The prospect of any succession at all created

discontent among diehard senators, while the prospect of Tiberius’ succession in

particular made survivors of Julia’s circle fear that their own ambitions would

remain unsatisfied. That they could command strong support amongst the people

had been shown on more than one occasion. As he lay dying Augustus expected

news of rioting; Tiberius did not believe that the funeral would go quietly and

felt unable to deprive Rome of a military commander by dispatching the Prefect

of the Praetorian Guard, Seius Strabo, to help quell the mutiny in Pannonia that

broke out after Augustus’ death, in spite of the appointment in AD 13 of L.Piso

the pontifex to the prefecture of the city.65

Nor was Augustus completely happy in his own mind. A doubt still lingered

about Agrippa Postumus. In the last spring of his life, when it would be

reasonable to believe him too feeble for the journey, the Princeps voyaged to

Planasia to see his grandson.66 The only man of standing to accompany him was

Paullus Fabius Maximus. Tacitus’ story has it that the meeting brought about

tears and mutual protestations of affection, and that Fabius reported them to his

wife Marcia, and she to Livia, who had known nothing of the journey, still less

of an outcome so unfavourable to her son. When Fabius died not long

afterwards, and just before Augustus, Marcia was heard to reproach herself at her

husband’s funeral for being the unwitting cause of his death. Dio’s version even

has Livia making away with Augustus to avoid the consequences of the visit.

This last story is too functional to be accepted in its entirety: it shows Augustus and Agrippa reconciled, and the reconciliation brought to nothing by Livia. It is

unlikely in the first place that Livia would have been unaware of her ailing

husband’s absence, or where he was. Nor can the reconciliation be accepted.

Augustus made no alteration to the will, sealed on 3 April AD 13,67 which

contained no mention of the abdicated son: since cruel fortune (it was a

conventional phrase) had torn his sons Gaius and Lucius from him, Tiberius was

instituted heir to two-thirds of the estate, Livia to one-third. The details about the 46 REHABILITATION: THE FINAL STRUGGLE FOR THE SUCCESSION

alleged suicide of Fabius and murder of Augustus were built on the coincidence

of their deaths and added by way of ornament and corroboration. Are we to

dismiss the whole story of the trip as Scribonian fiction? That too is unlikely.

The Princeps was a public figure. The testimony of only a few courtiers would

be sufficient to refute a story of a round trip of 320 miles by sea from Ostia.

Augustus made the journey, perhaps at the instance of Fabius,68 and a painful

decision; we can accept the story up to and including the tearful scene with

Agrippa. But even as he wept, Augustus was steeling himself to leave his

grandson on Planasia.

Perhaps he had to give an even harsher order. The ‘first crime of the new

principate’, as Tacitus calls the execution of Agrippa on his island, took place

almost at the same time as the death of Augustus in August AD 14. When a

centurion announced to him that ‘his orders had been carried out’, Tiberius

denied having given any such orders, and asserted that those responsible would

be called to account in the Senate. But Tiberius did not speak on the subject in

the House; he merely issued a statement that his father had given orders that

Agrippa was not to survive him.69

That version did not win acceptance in ancient times. Livia is suggested as the

main actor by Suetonius, while Tacitus and Dio put the blame squarely on the

shoulders of Tiberius. Tiberius of course benefited; and, as Tacitus points out,

Augustus had never before proceeded to the execution of a member of his own

family. Modern writers are divided. Augustus’ confidential agent, the knight

C.Sallustius Crispus, sent papers ( ‘codicillos’ in Tacitus) to the tribune on Planasia, and with Livia is alleged to have dissuaded Tiberius from having the

matter out in the Senate. This has suggested, in ironical fulfilment of Sallustius’

fear of becoming a scapegoat, that he acted on his own initiative, presumably

forging the name of Tiberius on the fatal document.70 Yet, unlike some agents of

the will of Elizabeth I, he remained in favour, and what he personally had to gain

by hastening the execution is not clear. Without his complicity there was little

that Livia could do, and nothing but malicious tittle-tattle, of the kind that made her responsible for the death of the husband who died in her arms, connects her

with the execution. Tiberius too must be acquitted. If he gave the order it was

incredibly careless to have its accomplishment reported to him before witnesses.

We should accept his account, regarding the codicilli either as the actual writ of execution, which Augustus had left in charge of Crispus or, more probably, as

the paper which took news of Augustus’ death to Planasia and brought

automatically into effect the instructions that Augustus (tempering expediency

with as much mercy as he could afford) had already sent to the island, or left

there in the spring.

Augustus’ ruthless precautions were not unjustified. As soon as his death

became known, a slave who had once belonged to Agrippa (who would have

passed to Augustus when Agrippa was abdicated and his property confiscated)

made for Planasia with the idea of conveying the prisoner to the German armies.

But he travelled on a merchantman and arrived after the execution had taken


place.71 If this last scheme for a coup in Agrippa’s favour is borne in mind,

Augustus’ instructions to the guard on Planasia, especially if they were issued not long before his death, become easier to understand and to forgive. Tacitus and

Suetonius write as if Clemens acted on his own initiative. As we shall see, that is not likely; he probably had patrons in high places. When, two years later, the next plan that Clemens formed came to fruition, and he and his accomplices were ripe

for arrest, it was the Augustan Walsingham, Sallustius Crispus, whose diligence

made it possible to take them into custody. He may have investigated the earlier

plot, and reported it to the Princeps. Knowing that the news of his death might

trigger off an attempt to rescue Agrippa, Augustus signed a provisional death

warrant, to be brought into effect if there were any indication of such an attempt.

The alternative, as we shall see, was to arrest, perhaps without proof, a man of

family and distinction, whose trial would cause scandal, disturbing the transfer

of power that all knew to be imminent.72

The struggle between Tiberius and the descendants of Scribonia has not taken

more space than its vital importance demands. In its first phase it blighted ten

years of Tiberius’ life, removing him from politics and war and the opportunities

of enhancing his own reputation and influence. It troubled the years of his second

ascendancy, undermining the basis of his power at home while he was kept

abroad by two successive military crises, and damaging his reputation with the

public even as his opponents were worsted. The danger itself was to last into his

reign, and the ill-repute that the downfall and death of Agrippa earned him

multiplied as other aspirants to power from the descent of Augustus and

Scribonia came to grief. Worst of all, the history of the age came to be written

largely in their favour (in spite of the disappointment of Gaius Caligula’s four-

year reign) and not without reference to the memoirs of one of their posterity,

Agrippina the younger.73

It is impossible now to discern the part played by Tiberius himself in the defeat

of his opponents in the period before he came to sole power. Self-defeating pride

is manifest in 6 BC, giving place to abnegnation (but that could hide the bitterest of resentments). When he came to power again Tiberius insisted, justifiably, on

reinstatement to his previous position; but he may also have insisted on slow

advancement for Agrippa Postumus, fanning the suspicions that had caused the

crisis of 6 BC. He was away from Rome for long periods between 4 and 12, and

it was hard, but not impossible, for him to give powerful advice as the political

crises arose.74 But although his role during these years may have been a darker

one than that which he had played before the Rhodian exile (and it would not be

surprising if his attitude had hardened), no evidence at hand can convict him of

disreputable conduct.



With the celebration of the triumph, the extension of Tiberius’ imperium to equality with that of Augustus, and the sealing of the will, the formal preparations for Tiberius’ takeover were complete; and the partnership of the two principes

was shown in action when they used their consular powers to carry out a census

together. The ceremonies were completed in May AD 14. Augustus still had a

few months to live. Some of his precious days were spent on the arduous trip to

Planasia, but high summer found him in Campania. He spent four days

holidaying on Capri, then crossed to the mainland to attend a quinquennial

gymnastic festival that was being held at Neapolis in his honour (1 August).

Tiberius was with him, but there was work to be done in Illyricum and one

reason for leaving Capri had been Augustus’ desire to accompany Tiberius for

part of the way (thereby perhaps silencing rumours about the possible

rehabilitation of Agrippa Postumus and showing that there was no rift between

himself and his heir). Augustus was already ill with an intestinal complaint, but

he reached Beneventum with Tiberius and there they parted. It is not certain

whether Tiberius saw Augustus alive again or not; accounts differ.1 But although

Velleius’ tale of Augustus rallying at the sight of Tiberius and surviving long

enough to give him the charisma of his blessing is suspiciously uplifting, it is

categorical; and while Velleius might rhapsodize over the details of the scene, he

would hardly have invented it altogether. He has the agreement of Suetonius,

who gives the two men a whole day together and Augustus a tart comment on his

heir after he had left the bedside: ‘Poor Roman people, to be ground in such

relentless jaws.’ This part of the story, and the version of the ‘superior’ writers mentioned by Dio who held that Augustus was dead before Tiberius could return

from Illyricum, and that Livia concealed his death until her son was on the spot

and at the centre of power, emanated ultimately from later sources that were out

to show Tiberius as an heir unwelcome or even supposititious.

The time of death was given out, probably after a few hours’ delay, as 6 p.m.,

19 August. Tiberius cannot have slept that night. There was much to be done:

messages to be sent to Rome, to all the armies and the provinces of the Empire,

to friends and supporters; and the pomp of the funeral to set in motion. The

ceremonies had been planned long before by Augustus himself, with the


solicitude that the great sometimes have for their last appearance on the stage. Sulla certainly had displayed it, and his funeral, with that of Caesar, was what

Augustus had studied; there had already been two runs through—the funerals of

Agrippa and Drusus. It was not mere vanity. The more honour shown to a dead

statesman, the better for his political heirs. Caesar’s funeral had ended in

confusion; Sulla’s was the real model, and since Sulla, too, had died away from

Rome (at Cumae), it gave scope for additional ceremony. Sulla’s funeral proper

had been preceded by a stately procession through Italy; so too the funeral of

Drusus and presumably that of Agrippa. This time, however, it was to be not

soldiers but civilians who supported the bier: the magistrates of the coloniae and municipia, the country towns, that lay between Nola and Rome were to take their turn in the relay, moving at night and laying up the coffin by day in the town hall of each city, or in its principal temple. Tiberius assigned himself an arduous part, but one less arduous, and less harrowing, than the similar role that he had

sustained in 9 BC: he was to march behind the coffin all the way. An edict

announcing this was published at Rome, excusing the fact that Tiberius could not

leave his father and, in virtue of the tribunician power (for Tiberius did not wish to infringe or diminish the prerogatives of the consuls), summoning the Senate to

meet on the day after the body arrived at Rome. Here again the dead Princeps

was to claim all attention; there was only one item on the agenda: the detailed

arrangements for his funeral.2

The chronology of the eight weeks or so that followed Augustus’ death is of

vital importance as the framework within which Tiberius’ confirmation in power

must be placed. Several dates besides 17 September, the day of Augustus’

official consecration, have been suggested by writers ancient and modern for

Tiberius’ acceptance of the Principate, some so late (13 October) as to require

explanation in terms of delay caused by the mutinies that broke out amongst the

Pannonian and Rhine legions, others so early (3 September) as to verge on the


A rapid chronology may be rejected at once. The date of the arrival of

Augustus’ body in Rome, and so of the first meeting of the Senate, can be

calculated with confidence. It was 4 September, too late for the discussion about

the future of the respublica at the second meeting to have taken place before the date implied by Tacitus—17 September. The cortège passed through the

coloniae and municipia of Suessula, Calatia, Capua, Casilinum, Urbana, Sinuessa, Minturnae, Formiae, Fundi, Tarracina, Tres Tabernae (not a chartered

town, but a necessary resting place), Aricia, and Bovillae. At that municipium

Roman knights were to take up the burden and convey the coffin into Rome.

However well planned the arrangements were, the cortège can hardly have set

off less than twenty-four hours after the Princeps’ death. Even if the body were

going in a closed coffin (and Dio tells us that at the funeral proper only an effigy was visible), it was probably partially embalmed before it left Nola. Suessula

would be reached on the morning of 21 August, and so on, until the procession

entered Bovillae on the morning of 2 September.4 Tiberius now probably went


ahead into Rome; the body was conveyed into the city on the night of 2–3

September, perhaps early in the morning of the 3rd. On the following day, 4

September, the Senate duly met for the sole purpose of hearing the will read and

discussing arrangements for the remaining and central ceremonies: lying in state,

cremation, insertion of the bones into the mausoleum long prepared for them. It

fell to Tiberius to deliver a preliminary oration. He was unable to perform it,

broke down, and handed over his text to his son Drusus Caesar. Public displays

of grief were not in Tiberius’ style. He must have been worn out physically by

the dash from Illyricum and the long, slow march from Nola, mentally by the

strain that the political situation imposed upon him; now in the Senate he must be

aware, perhaps for the first time, that from second place he had moved into first,

and that he was on his own.

Later parallels suggest5 that there were four clear days between the entry into

Rome and the cremation. Augustus’ funeral should have taken place on 8

September. As Augustus’ son, Tiberius continued to play a leading part in the

imposing ritual; it fell to him to deliver a laudation from the Julian rostra, while Drusus Caesar, the grandson who was present at Rome, spoke from another

platform. As the pyre blazed on the Campus Martius, an eagle was released from

it and soared upwards, demonstrating that the late Princeps had become one of

the immortals. His bones, however, had to be extracted from the pyre, gathered

together, and wept over. Livia, now in her early seventies, watched over them for

five days, attended by Roman knights. With their insertion into the mausoleum

the iustitium (period of mourning) imposed by the Senate came to an end, and business could be resumed again. It was now 14 September, and the Senate met

again on the 17th. Its first duty was to declare the late Princeps a god; its next to discuss matters of state, for the first time since Augustus died, and in the

presence of his successor.

The lapse of nearly a month between the death of Augustus and this debate

accords well with the impression given by the ancient sources that Tiberius was

dilatory in accepting his new position. It fits, but it is not enough to account for that impression, which Tacitus, Dio, and Suetonius reinforce by describing the

awkward exchanges between the members of the Senate and the apparently

reluctant Princeps. The unhurried gravity of the proceedings between 19 August

and 17 September may be borne in mind, but the debate still remains to be

interpreted. The ancient writers were not backward in offering their own

explanations. For Tacitus, caution and cunning were behind the Princeps’

hesitation: Tiberius wanted to force the Senate into committing itself to him, and

to appear as their freely chosen candidate. The version of Dio and Suetonius has

won less approval. For them, Tiberius’ chief motive was fear, whether of armies

in revolt alone or of conspiracy at home as well. For when the armies of

Pannonia and the Rhine heard the news of Augustus’ death, unrest began. In

Pannonia three legions under the command of Q.Iunius Blaesus broke out into

revolt, and on the Rhine four, stationed in summer quarters amongst the Ubii

under A.Caecina Severus. Their real and declared objects were to increase pay


and bounties, improve their conditions, and shorten the length of their service,

but on the Rhine there was an idea of declaring in favour of the commander-in-

chief, Germanicus.6 That idea did not get far, but in the view of Dio and

Suetonius, Tiberius was afraid to take power until he knew the outcome of these

mutinies. It must be said at once that the picture was never a convincing one.

Tiberius’ only chance of power, even of life, if he was in danger, lay in speed

and decisiveness. Refusal of empire would never have saved him. Experience

should have told him that: even as an exile on Rhodes, with the succession

assured to Gaius Caesar, he had been thought too dangerous to live. Besides,

Tiberius was a soldier; he knew that he should seize the initiative and deal any

opposition a swift and crushing blow before it grew too strong. Perhaps we are to

conclude from this that Tiberius was unaware that the Rhine and Pannonian

legions were in revolt until after the debate of 17 September, and that his reaction was swift: the immediate dispatch of his son Drusus Caesar to Pannonia with

L.Aelius Sejanus, a detachment of the Praetorian Guard and cavalry, and some

leading men to keep him company. But that will not do. For one thing Tiberius

seems to have continued to bandy words with the Senate about his constitutional

position after 17 September, and after the news of the mutinies had become

known.7 The claim of Suetonius and Dio, that Tiberius accepted the Principate

only after the danger had passed, implies that he went on hesitating until after

they were over—and so it becomes a matter of some importance to discover how

long they continued. Besides, Drusus’ massive escort, which included at least

one senior consular, cannot have taken only nine days to travel the 467 Roman

miles that separated Rome from the legions near Emona in Pannonia, even if the

party could have been got together in time to leave Rome on the morning after the

debate. For Drusus arrived at the legionary camp on 26 September and with the

help of an eclipse of the moon that took place that very night terrorized the

mutineers into surrender. The party left Rome before the debate, and if Tacitus

really means us to believe that Drusus attended it, he must have sped after the

party once the debate was adjourned and overtaken them at a rendezvous near

the legionary camp.8 Tiberius certainly knew of the Pannonian mutiny before the

debate, probably before the cremation, and possibly before he ever reached

Rome with the cortège.

News of Augustus’ death should have arrived at Rome (147 Roman miles

distant from Nola) by the evening of 20 August. From there it will have travelled

to the provincial governors with all the speed of bad news, and if the courier kept up a rate of 150 Roman miles a day, Q.Iunius Blaesus will have been informed

by midday on 25 August. A iustitium ensued, and it was this enforced idleness that gave the men time to think about their grievances. The weakness of any

chronology is that we can only guess about the length of time that it took for the

mutinies to develop. But in Pannonia it cannot have taken long; Dio says that the

soldiers mutinied as soon as they heard the news. If we allow three days for

trouble to start and to become so serious that it had to be reported at Rome, the

first news of it will have arrived in the city after midday on 2 September.


Tiberius by now was resting at Bovillae, only eleven Roman miles away. By

nightfall he knew what had happened. This first message was not the last, nor

was it the worst. We do not know which of them prompted Tiberius to send

Drusus Caesar and the Praetorians. Perhaps even the first, if it was carried by the tribunus militum Blaesus’ son, a cousin of the new Princeps’ friend Aelius

Sejanus. The messenger was not to know that his departure was the signal for a

remission in the mutiny. After a night of reflection Tiberius could have given the

Praetorians the order to march in Rome on 3 September.

As we have seen, Drusus Caesar may not have left with the troops; he had his

functions to perform in the Senate on the 4th and at the cremation on the 8th, and

he may even have been present in the Senate on the 17th. Hence a double need

for the presence in Pannonia of the Praetorian commander with his troops. But

the prefect L.Seius Strabo was not sent. He too was needed at Rome at this

juncture. Instead his son was associated with him in the prefecture (it could be

done by the stroke of a pen, unlike a grant of proconsular imperium) and

dispatched at the head of the troops. Drusus Caesar, like his distinguished

senatorial companions, had no official standing; but his presence would recall the

legions to their loyalties by bringing to mind their old commander, now the new


On the morning after the eclipse, Drusus Caesar harangued the troops and a

further delegation was sent to Tiberius with the requests of the soldiers, this time a party of three of which young Blaesus was one. Their return could be expected

in nineteen days at the earliest (even that would not allow Tiberius time to

consult the Senate) and Drusus did not wait for it. After seeing the ringleaders

summarily punished he stayed only until the legions dispersed to their winter

quarters (a period of torrential rain had added to their guilt and fear). It took

some little while. The ninth legion was the last to go, and not without hesitation.

Drusus could not have left for Rome before the beginning of October.

Much more serious, because more widespread and longer lasting, were the

mutinies on the Rhine. Tacitus tells us that they broke out at about the same time

as the Pannonian disturbances, but they may have been a few more days getting

under way. Not only do the sources take the Pannonian mutiny first (that may be

because it ended more quickly) but we hear of no outstanding ringleaders on the

Rhine; the movement seems to have been a more general one and may have

taken longer to gather momentum. In any case the news of Augustus’ death

cannot have reached the summer camp of the Lower Rhine legions in the

territory of the Ubii until about 27 August: it had about a thousand Roman miles

to travel. News of the outbreaks would be correspondingly slow to reach Rome.

Not only that: Germanicus was not even with his army when the mutiny began.

He was amongst the Sequani and Belgae, administering the oath of loyalty to the

new Princeps, and would have returned to camp before dispatching the news to

Rome. Tacitus himself hints that nothing was known of the outbreaks on the

Rhine until measures had been taken to deal with the Pannonian mutiny and until

after at least one debate on the succession.9 Germanicus quieted the first


outbreaks by making concessions and was able to set out for the armies of the

Upper Rhine to exact the oath of loyalty to Tiberius; the soldiers at Moguntiacum

gave him pause, but those of Vindonissa were quiet enough. By late September

Germanicus was back in camp amongst the Ubii, and it was there that a

delegation from the Roman Senate found him. These men, led by L.Plancus, the

consul of AD 13, were the distinguished senators who had been instructed on 17

September to convey to Germanicus not only the condolences of the Senate on

the death of his grandfather, but also the more agreeable news that it had voted

him the proconsular imperium. The despatch of the embassy is strong evidence that Rome knew nothing of the Rhine mutiny on 17 September. It would be

strange to send these men on an errand which was, after all, not vital, to a

general known to be dealing with a dangerous mob of mutineers.

The delegation from the Senate were not acting as couriers, and they were

carrying good but not urgent news. No pace more rapid than fifty Roman miles a

day could be expected of them, and they can hardly have arrived in Germanicus’

camp before 7 October. When they did come it was the immediate signal for a

further outbreak, which raged on into the night of their arrival. On the following

day Germanicus hurried them to safety and (after long deliberation) showed his

men what he thought of them by sending his wife away as well. Agrippina could

have made her ostentatious and effective exit from the camp as early as 9 October.

If we are to believe Tacitus, chagrin at the sight of the general’s wife being sent to bear her child amongst a foreign tribe swept the legionaries into remorse and

fury against their leaders in revolt. In the summer camp the mutiny could have

been over by 11 October. Sixty miles down river there was still unrest at Vetera,

the winter quarters into which two of the mutinous legions had been taken by

Caecina. Germanicus assembled his forces (about 12–14 October?) and sent a

message to the beleaguered legate to say that he was on his way. It could have

arrived the same evening (15th?); and the loyalists at Vetera would have acted at

once against the mutineers, if only to secure their own safety when Germanicus

arrived. But Germanicus probably lingered a day or two, to allow time for his

message to take effect. If he and his forces set out down the Rhine on the 17th,

they would have arrived at Vetera on the 19th. They found the carnage over.

There was nothing for Germanicus to do but weep over the unburied corpses and

order their cremation. A short campaign in Germany followed, to wipe away the

memory of the mutiny and the bloody retribution that followed it.

If Suetonius and Dio are right in making the end of the mutinies coincide with

Tiberius’ accession to power, that event should be put in mid-October. Josephus

in one place even gives us a firm date, 13 October,10 that is very near to the

second regular Senate meeting of the month, on the Ides (15th): but if anything

did happen in the Senate on the Ides of October to justify Josephus’ view that

Tiberius then assumed the Principate, it cannot have happened because the

mutinies were over. The slaughter at Vetera came too late to be known at Rome

on the Ides, still less on the 13th. The end of the mutinies may have coincided 54 THE ‘ACCESSION’ OF TIBERIUS

with Tiberius’ assumption of power, but it did not make it possible. The mutinies,

as we already suspected, were not the cause of Tiberius’ hesitation.

The true explanation must be sought elsewhere, and it will not be found unless

we are willing first to face the question, what essential powers remained to be

conferred in August AD 14, to make Tiberius Princeps. The answer is none, for

the very reason that Augustus had spent some years ensuring that there should be

none and at last had been able to complete plans in favour of a man who, unlike

M.Agrippa, survived him. In August 14, Tiberius was in his sixteenth year of

tribunician power; he was collega imperii, Augustus’ colleague, in the full sense: his imperium over the provinces was equal to that of Augustus and greater than that of the proconsuls; his imperium, like that of Augustus, extended into Rome, where it was equal to that of the consuls; these were the essentials. As for

auctoritas, prestige and influence, he was already a Iulius Caesar, the senatorial decree of 17 September was to make him Divi filius, son of the deified Princeps, and the will imposed the title Augustus.11 True he was not Pontifex Maximus

(that did not come until 10 March AD I512), nor had he been voted the title pater patriae, but neither of these positions had been accorded Augustus until well on in his principate and neither was of the essence of power. Hence perverse or

despairing views: Tiberius’ powers lapsed on Augustus’ death, required

redefinition, or were surrendered on 17 September.13 There is no evidence for

any of these suggestions, and the first two involve constitutional anomalies.

More plausibly some modern scholars have taken their picture from Tacitus,

lightening or removing the tint of hypocrisy, and have evolved theories of the

type propounded by E.Hohl: Tiberius was seeking, or was trying to extort, the

moral sanction of the Senate for his regime; he wanted to know, or he wanted it

to seem, that he enjoyed their support.14 Or (with Béranger) formality had

already taken over. A decent papal reluctance was required of the Princeps, and

it was all a matter of etiquette.15 None of these views is really satisfactory. As

Tacitus saw, for a man genuinely uncertain whether or not to accede to empire,

Tiberius had loaded the dice rather heavily, while in the role of hypocrite he is

too reckless: a day should have been enough for the whole farce. Yet it went on,

causing bewilderment and irritation, so that the subordinate players began to

forget, or to lose patience with, their roles. ‘Let him get on with it,’ cried one, ‘or leave it alone.’16 But this exclamation gives the game away: it reveals that it was up to Tiberius whether he ‘got on with it’ or not. By asking what Tiberius was

‘hesitating’ to do, when his dies imperil, the day of his accession, was, or when he took over the Principate, we have been begging the very question we are

asking by defining it as a question of a certain kind. For Tiberius was not

hesitating to do anything, however later historians saw his behaviour; he was

seeking to define the meaning of his powers. It was not only the possession of

imperium that mattered, but what one did with it. Hence the declarations of intent made by later Principes such as Nero who, in his own accession speech,

promised to use his powers not to dominate but to guard the state.17 This is not

the first time that a solution in terms of reinterpretation and redefinition has been THE ACCESSION OF TIBERIUS 55

offered. G. Kampff holds that Tiberius planned to relieve the Princeps of the bulk

of his executive and administrative work, leaving his actual supremacy unaffected

—and guaranteed for life.18 Such a scheme would have been unthinkable for the

Principate at this early stage of its development. The comments that Tiberius

made in the course of the debate about the crushing burdens imposed on the

Princeps (like the dilaloriness that overcame him later in his principate) favour

Kampff’s view, but they must be explained in another way: up to that time

Tiberius had never shown himself a man to neglect his work. If in September AD

14 he said that the weight of empire was too great for any one man (except the

divine Augustus) to bear, it was not so much because he consciously shrank from

those burdens, as burdens, but because he sought a way of redefining the

Principate without denigrating his predecessor. We have already seen that a

politician very close to the imperial family had occasion just at the time of the

accession to deliver a warning against destroying the essence of the Principate by

referring everything to the Senate.19 What we have in the ‘succession’ debate is

not a refusal of fresh powers, not an abortive or staged attempt to resign

established powers only recently renewed or conferred, but Tiberius’ attempt to

deny the implication that such powers necessarily made a man Princeps in the

sense that they imposed on him responsibility for guiding the Empire and

shaping policy; it is a rejection of the ‘regendi cuncta onus’ 20 and a request for help from the numerous distinguished men in the state. They should not refer

everything to one man, but take responsibility themselves. That is the theme of

the speech reported by Tacitus. Naturally it was marred by obscurity, which

Tacitus has darkened still further through his own failure to understand its

import. For clarity would have exposed not only Tiberius’ own political

convictions (no harm in that) but thereby his high-minded view, so galling to his

defeated political opponents, that the principate of the deified Augustus had been

subtle tyranny, and his own intention, even more galling, to change it and play a

lesser part in government. The point had to be disguised as a discourse on the

magnitude of the Empire and his own inadequacy (probably genuinely felt, and

perhaps real). Bolstering his case, he brought out the libellus (memorandum) that Augustus himself had drawn up on the subject of the Empire. He would do his

part, whatever it was that was entrusted to him by the Senate.21 Not all the

senators even understood what Tiberius meant; some thought it was all show;

others, who knew the man, did not care for what he was proposing, or thought it

impracticable. The realistic and ambitious C.Asinius Gallus was one of these.22

What Tiberius wanted was impossible because power was indivisible. Once

gathered into one pair of hands it could not be re-distributed throughout the body

politic; the sway of the Princeps extended far beyond his legal prerogatives and

it was useless to pretend that it did not. What part, he accordingly demanded, did

Tiberius wish to take? Tiberius was taken aback. If he understood Gallus’

purpose, which was to force him to admit that responsibility for decision-making

rested with the Princeps, distaste for his position prevented him from accepting

the implication; but he may have missed Gallus’ irony and thought that he really


was being invited to choose some sphere or department of government in which

he should be supreme—a complete distortion of his proposal. Hence his reply, a

comment on the impropriety of refusing the whole and accepting a part (the

choice of a part implying supremacy over the whole). Gallus had to go on, and

spell out what he meant: ‘the body politic of the state was a single entity, and must be ruled by one man’s will’. The same idea was put more bluntly by a man less

subtle than Gallus but equally anxious to preserve the prerogatives of a dynasty

with which he to was connected through intermarriage with the family of

Agrippa: Q.Haterius.23 ‘How long, Caesar, will you allow the Republic to remain

without a head?’ he asked, and felt the lash of the Princeps’ tongue. It was the

first time that Tiberius found himself betraying his own principles: the senator

Haterius was choosing to be subservient; the senator Tiberius tried to force him

to be free. The passage of arms left him only one course, and one means of

directing men like Haterius into a sense of their responsibilities as senators: he

apologized for his sharpness; he had been speaking to a senator with a senator’s

freedom. Then, turning to the House as a whole, he gave a clear statement of his

position: it was his view (which they were not hearing for the first time) that a

right-minded, serviceable Princeps, whom they had invested with vast and

unrestricted powers, ought to be the servant of the Senate, often of the whole

citizen body, and even sometimes of individual members of it. He had no regrets

at having expressed this view, because he had always found them right-minded

and well-disposed masters.

If we adopt this view of the debate it comes as no surprise that Tacitus’

account of Tiberius’ eventual ‘acceptance of the Principate’—a fuller and more

ambitious account than that of Suetonius and Dio—is couched in negative terms.

‘Worn out by the general clamour and the remonstrances of individuals, he gave

way gradually, not to the point of admitting that he was taking up the imperium, but so that he ceased to be importuned and to refuse.’24 The debate petered out,

and Tiberius stopped protesting that he was not going to be Princeps as Augustus

had been, that he was not stepping into Augustus’ shoes. He had failed to get the

senators to acknowledge that the burden of government lay ultimately on them

and so he seemed tacitly to accept the responsibility that they had fallen on their knees to avoid.

On the view put forward here, there was no act on the part of the Senate that

could make Tiberius Princeps. Whether, in Velleius’ terms, he became ‘eminens

princeps’ or remained ‘aequalis civis’ 25 would be determined by his own behaviour and that of the Senate; at the end of the debate he must have had to

content himself with a private resolve to educate his peers into their

responsibilities. But a difficulty arises. There was a resolution before the Senate at its meeting of 17 September, a relatio consulum (motion introduced by the consuls) which Tiberius might have vetoed, but did not; he was thanked for his

forbearance by Mam. Aemilius Scaurus.26 What can have been the content of the

motion before the Senate?


The clue is given by Velleius Paterculus. In his account, which is in full

accord with the view taken here, what Senate and people were struggling for was

that Tiberius should succeed to his father’s post: ‘stationi paternae succederet’.

The word statio we have met before in Augustus’ letter to Gaius Caesar: he and Lucius were then to be successors to the statio, the post occupied by their adoptive father. The word was current in the political vocabulary of the time,27

and the Senate, turning from the melancholy grandeur of the ceremony

of deifying a dead Princeps and looking for words calculated to please his

survivor, will have expressed its pleasure at the prospect of Tiberius’ taking up

the statio of his father; and probably, too, it declared its hope that he would occupy it for many years to come: ‘versae inde ad Tiberium preces’.

The motion was complimentary and formal, and should have passed without

division or debate. If that was its nature, the wording may not have been known

to Tiberius beforehand, indeed it can hardly have been known to him if it was to

perform its complimentary function; it would be its promulgation in the Senate

that caused the sudden dispute. For the sensitive Tiberius ( ‘suspicax animus’ is Tacitus’ phrase) the words ‘paterna statio’ would be a stumbling block in

themselves, with their implication that he was to take over the position of

Augustus unaltered and play an identical role in the state. Nor is it difficult to

think of words that may have featured in the resolution and which, because more

specific, would be even more offensive.28 A word of auctoritas (influence) in the relatio, or the suggestion that he might gubernare (govern)—a word used of Augustus by Vitruvius in his preface—would certainly have been taken amiss.

Tacitus’ language suggests that it was lost sight of in the debate, which is not

surprising if it was a compliment which had failed to please. The agenda that

Tacitus gives for the day of the debate is impossibly long, and it is quite clear that some of the events he describes, notably the praetorian elections and

arrangements for the ludi Augustales, the games given in Augustus’ memory, belong to later sessions. Pursuing events in the Senate, perhaps with the aid of its minutes, Tacitus has telescoped them.29 It is more than probable, when we

consider the late accession dates implied by Suetonius, Dio, Josephus, and

Egyptian documents,30 that discussion continued at the next regular meeting of

the Senate, or senatus legitimus (careerists thinking that they would build up credit by continuing the pressure, anxious partisans fearing loss of control by the dynasty), on 1 October and even later, on 15 October.

On this view, the problem of Tiberius’ dies imperii and the date he ‘took over’

the Principate dissolves. He had no dies imperii, except in the sense that Augustus’ death left him alone in a position of overwhelming strength,

guaranteed by his official powers, imperium and potestas, and confirmed by his personal relationship to the dead Princeps. Historians writing a century or more

later naturally thought in terms of a dies imperil. It was legitimate for their own time, when the Principate was entrenched and measurable lacunae between the reign of an emperor and his successor could be tolerated. Looking for a decisive

point in AD 14 that they could regard as the start of the reign, some found it in


the day Augustus died, some in the day on which, they believed, Tiberius’

protestations ended and he accepted responsibility for guiding the state. The near

synchronism of that occasion with the end of the mutinies gave some historians

the explanation of Tiberius’ extraordinary conduct. If they had paid attention to

Tiberius’ slow march to Rome behind the coffin, they would not have believed

that he was in fear of the armies; if they had asked themselves what powers he

lacked in AD 14 they would not have thought that he was ‘hesitating’ to take any

action whatsoever; and they would have seen that in putting forward their relatio the consuls were performing an action that was both unnecessary and distasteful

to the new Princeps. The desire to do something when there was nothing to be

done led the consuls to take a false step; but it is a desire that can easily be

understood in formal and in political terms. Under the leadership of the consuls

Sex. Pompeius and Sex. Appuleius and of the equestrian prefects L.Strabo and

C.Turranius, senators and knights alike had already shown anxiety to

demonstrate their loyalty by taking an oath to the absent Tiberius almost

immediately after Augustus’ death. We cannot be sure, but both the mass oath-

taking and the motion that came before the House on 17 September may have

been prompted by nervous fear of the discontent and unrest that are implicit in

Velleius’ dramatic account of the transfer of power and are strongly suggested by

certain actions of the new Princeps.31

If the problem of Tiberius’ ‘hesitation to accept the Principate’ can be

dissolved, that does not deprive the events of autumn, AD 14, of their

significance both in the history of the Principate and in the principate of Tiberius himself. Augustus, in 27, 23, and 19 BC, had acquired with the consent of the

Senate unique powers that made it natural for him gradually to be recognized as

a Princeps superior to other principes viri, leading men in the state. Tiberius in AD 14 was in possession of almost identical powers and soon after Augustus’

death was forced tacitly to acknowledge that they made him too Princeps; by AD

21 he was openly and explicitly recognizing his position and the obligations it

imposed on him to take a lead and set a tone.32 So it was natural for Gaius

Caligula to become Princeps when the Senate, following the cogent example of

the Praetorian Guard, recognized him as such and conferred on him the powers

held by Augustus and Tiberius; grant of powers and accession to the Principate

coincide for the first time: it is the beginning of the dies imperii. Claudius, like Vespasian after him, became Princeps in spite of the Senate,

extorting recognition and a grant of powers: Vespasian made the situation

explicit by backdating his tribunicia potestas and his dies imperii nearly six months to the date of his proclamation by the army in Egypt. Principate was

almost emancipated from imperia and potestates. It is ironical that it fell to a man of Tiberius’ convictions to open the way to legitimizing and institutionalizing the new monarchy, even more ironical that in doing so he was bowing to the wishes

of the Senate.

To Tiberius himself the debate revealed difficulties which he would have to

face throughout his principate. First, it exposed the difficulty of convincing men


that it was possible (and that he desired) to hold the powers that Augustus had held without exercising them in such a way as to seize the political initiative. Second, it presented him with the problem of altering the system that had been developed

by the man to whose efforts he owed his own supremacy, and whose

consecration had just made him Divi filius. Third, it showed him that his own political principles must prevent him from forcing senators to play a part they

were unwilling or frightened to play. He knew too, that they were not all as well

disposed towards him as he had said, and that he had worse things to fear than

embarrassing attempts to enhance his powers. All in all, it was not a bright




It would be misguided to expect marked changes in the government of Rome,

Italy, and the Empire to become discernible with the accession of the new ruler.

The deification of Augustus gave Tiberius immense political advantages;1 like

Octavian himself when Julius Caesar was consecrated in 42 BC, he became Divi

filius, the son of a divinity. Forty years later again, in AD 54, young Nero’s advisers procured the deification of Claudius—and wrote their protégé an

accession speech in which he renounced the most objectionable features of

Claudius’ reign: it was perfectly understood that the new Princeps, for his own

sake, had to sanction his adoptive father’s deification. But the apotheosis of

Augustus was different: the genuine and long-recognized merits of the old ruler

were as much a consideration as the needs of the new. That fact imposed

restrictions on the political and administrative activities of the man who had

presided over the Senate’s consecration of Augustus. The Senate swore

allegiance to Augustus’ acts (one member who failed to do so lost his seat), and

the obligation rested most heavily of all on Augustus’ heir.2 Repeatedly Tiberius

declared his intention of maintaining one or other Augustan precedent or

institution. It was a principle with him—no doubt one that was sometimes

convenient to cite.3 The coinage proclaimed the same message, by continuing

Augustan types or by issuing gold coins with reverses that bore Augustus’

portrait and the legend DIVOS AVGVST(us) DIVI F(ilius) and copper

displaying his radiate head within the majestic legend DIVVS AVGVSTVS


We need not doubt that Tiberius’ devotion was genuine. Augustus was a great

man; and if Tiberius was a Stoic, there was room in his philosophy for the new

cult.5 Besides, there was a personal debt of gratitude, and affection despite

political differences.6 Tiberius owed Augustus forty years of political and

military advancement, to the Principate itself. It is not surprising to find him

paying public tribute in his speeches and constructing a temple and other

monuments in Augustus’ honour and in honour of the whole Julian house; more

significant is the fact that twelve years after he came to power he can be found

sacrificing to Augustus apparently in private.7


The restrictions imposed on Tiberius by Augustan precedent may not have

been as serious as they seem at first glance. True, there were not only the acts of the Princeps to consider but the political testament in which Augustus

bequeathed his survivors specific and detailed advice. Yet, of the policies it

advocated, one, the restriction of the Empire within its existing limits, seems to

have been in accord with Tiberius’ own inclinations, and another, the plan to

transfer elections to the Senate, was certainly to his advantage.8 Moreover,

Tiberius had been in the innermost circle of power, on and off, for a quarter of a

century. His influence on Augustus’ actions could be detected not long after M.

Agrippa’s death; since AD 4 his influence had been paramount and hardly

challengeable. It might be asked what part he played in drawing up the political

testament. Not only that: there are vicissitudes of Augustan policy even before 12

BC to remember. There were few touches of the tiller that some Augustan

precedent, or utterance at least, would not justify.

Outside the influence of Augustus himself there are other factors that must be

taken into account if we are to appreciate the continuity between the two

principates; one is the weakness of individuals, however powerful and heroic, in

the face of the tides of history—and the pressures exercised on them by their

contemporaries. Then, Roman indifference to extensive plans and programmes;

the rising politician was pragmatic, adaptable, even opportunist. But that

tendency should not be exaggerated. Too much adaptability became levitas,

irresponsibility; constantia, steadiness, was a quality generally admired, and certainly admired by Tiberius. He had had time to develop considered views on

men and affairs, or at any rate principles of conduct, and there is the evidence of his own utterances as to what they were. Tiberius’ speeches and letters to the

Senate show that he had a clear idea of his own and their roles in government

and politics. It is noteworthy how much of his discourse takes the form of

definitions and rulings on the functions and duties of Senate, magistrates, and

Princeps. The loftier the role, the heavier the obligations it imposed. Tiberius had the interest in the perfect fulfilment of a given part that was the mark of a Stoic, though it was not exclusive to that sect.9

Since he came to political maturity, at the time of his first consulship, Tiberius

had been known to stand for something in Roman politics. There is no need to

cite evidence already brought forward, or the asseverations of September and

October AD 14, to show that the main plank in his platform was the supremacy

of the Senate in government. Those asseverations were repeated in later years,

and the sources are at one in giving Tiberius the credit for substantiating them,

for a time at least. Yet he went down into history as a tyrant, and even modern

apologists have detected in his principate a centralizing tendency that was by no

means to the advantage of the Senate, and which was to be carried further by his

nephew Claudius. Tiberius owes his reputation for hypocrisy to this fact among

others. But before we trace the working out of Tiberius’ policies, the validity and coherence of his views themselves, as far as they can be ascertained, are worth

examining a little more closely.


Our sources are disparate. Coin types and legends are not always to be

interpreted or even dated with certainty. Nor is it clear how far the Princeps

himself was involved in choosing them, even if it were universally accepted that

they represent an attempt to bring round a populace (or a section of it) to one or

other view of its ruler and his policies. There is a safer hypothesis: the coins

show the Princeps as he wished, or those close to him thought he wished, to be

seen; possibly as he wished to be.10 They display principles, adumbrate plans,

and recall achievements. Inscriptions erected by well-meaning but not always well-

informed individuals and corporate bodies take us further from the centre of

power into circles where a word rich in historical meaning becomes a parroted

slogan. More hope lies in literature, in the writings of Velleius Paterculus and

Valerius Maximus, men acutely sensitive to the mind of the Princeps, and in

those of later historians, both for the utterances of Tiberius himself which they

report, and for the echoes or mockeries of official claims embedded in their


No one word will cover all this ground, least of all the word ‘virtues’. That is

not because virtues can be exhibited in private as well as in public life, and lack political content. At Rome not party programmes but the personal merits of

politicians (as well as their birth) were of prime importance, and the history of

the last century of the Republic was interpreted in moral terms.11 The Romans

were very ready to recruit moral and emotive words into the service of politics.

But the virtues of one man, even if he is an autocrat, which precisely was what

Tiberius declined to be, do not guarantee the felicity of an empire; the word

‘virtues’ leaves out too much ( concordia, for example) and assumes too much, namely that preaching entails practice. ‘Principles’ is better, but once again there is an assumption of sincerity and no place for concordia; besides, principles must be formulated and arranged in a hierarchy of status. Our subject is less well

defined: it is stated or implied on Tiberian coinage and inscriptions, and in

language used by or about the Princeps.

For all that, it will be convenient to divide discussion of these concepts into two parts, passing from Tiberius’ attitude to the political exigencies of his day to

qualities which he claimed to deploy in face of them.

Tiberius prided himself on his insight; his posture was that of a realist, even a

pessimist, without illusions about human destiny, human nature, and politics.12 It

was in his harsh view of human nature that Tiberius’ veneration for the law had

its roots. If the laws could be enforced they had a part to play in keeping men and institutions to their proper functions; those that could not were worse than

useless. In times of peace and order the impersonal authority of the law defined

and restrained the ambitions and powers of individuals, even those of the

Princeps himself. It was only where the law did not lay down guidelines that

Tiberius allowed that the expansive imperium and potestas of the magistrates might have some play.13

That did not mean the abdication of an individual’s responsibility. The

Senate’s position in the constitution had crumbled in the last century BC before


the onslaughts of ambitious magistrates and private individuals; finally law itself had given the latest and most ruthless of them, Octavian, an entrenched and

invulnerable position within the constitution. Tiberius, unlike his brother Nero

Drusus, realized that overwhelming military power and executive authority had

to be conferred on a man who would use it for the protection of the Senate in its

functions. Nor did he fail to recognize that such a man must enjoy immeasurable

influence outside the sphere of his authority proper. It was for this man to rise to heights which lesser men could not reach;14 one of those heights was the

voluntary restriction of his own imperium and potestas to the smallest possible area and the circumscription of his own auctoritas; as concomitants, the

discouragement of servility, flattery, and the ‘cult of personality’; and the

curbing of personal servants, their numbers and power. In the last analysis,

responsibility rested on an individual, the Princeps, with support from the

constitution that was quite inadequate.15 In the present case the Princeps was a man who may indeed have mistrusted himself, but who had accumulated reasons for

mistrusting the ambitions of his family and peers. Tiberius’ view of the future of

Rome cannot have been optimistic.

His duties lay in the present, and Tiberius made it plain to those whose opinion

mattered to him what he hoped to achieve. He made no attempt to appeal to the

masses through the media of coins and inscriptions (one notable exception to

that rule will be considered later). Not surprisingly: they would not have liked

what he had to tell them. It was an omission that must have contributed to his

reputation for adrogantia. But despite the well-known austerity of his

coinage the types and legends that were chosen are of some significance, and

illustrate his ‘optimate’ policy. Plainest of all in its implications is his continued interest in Concordia, a deity whose hey-day was commonly held to have

coincided with that of the Senate in the second century BC. To the restoration of

her temple he had vowed the spoils of Germany in his second consulship, and

dedicated it on 16 January AD 10, with that day celebrated as a holiday in

consequence. Whether Concordia herself figures on the early coinage of Tiberius

or not is problematical; if she does she is not named; but there is no doubt that

the temple represented on sesterces of AD 35–37 is hers. Concordia was offered

public dedications in AD 16 after the conspiracy of Libo Drusus had been

crushed, and others from the hands of private individuals, senators and equites, perhaps on the same occasion, perhaps later in the principate, when Sejanus’

time was running out.16 The appearance of the temple on coins may celebrate the

twenty-fifth anniversary of its dedication; the offerings of AD 16 were only to be

expected at a time when the harmony in the state that was guaranteed by the

supremacy of Tiberius and the Senate was shown to have been in danger.

Concordia is not an isolated theme. Salus is a political idea that comes, as we might infer from the statues set up side by side in 11 BC, from exactly the same

conservative and senatorial political stable: when Marius put down Appuleius

Saturninus he showed himself ‘salutaris civis’. In the conventional medical terms a healthy state of the body politic (salus) is produced when all its parts are 64 THE POLICY OF THE PRINCEPS

functioning together in harmony (concordia). Augustus on his deathbed knew

whom to summon if he was to leave all salva, safe and sound, behind him;

SALVS AVGVSTA is proclaimed on the coinage of AD 22–23; Salus Perpetua

Augusta figures on an inscription set up at Interamna in AD 32, after the fall of

Sejanus; and Tiberius liked to think of himself as ‘bonus salutarisque

princeps’.17 The equivalent abroad of domestic concordia was pax, likewise honoured in 11 BC and manifestly an objective cherished by Tiberius, though it

is not proclaimed on the official coinage. Uninterrupted tranquillity emerges, not

surprisingly, as a dominant ideal of the conservative Princeps; indeed, it was a

firm hope precisely of salus, quies, pax, and tranquillitas that shone forth (in Velleius’ view) as soon as Tiberius was adopted in AD 4.18 What we have seen of

the opposition to his rise shows that he would not attain it easily; indeed, the

fragility of the Tiberian calm is exposed by the very themes used to advance it: to proclaim concordia was to acknowledge that opposition existed.

Confronted by other men’s failings and his own unpopularity, a man who

knew his responsibilities might naturally take comfort in his own virtue and its

defiant display. ( Noblesse oblige, but it has its consolations.) That Tiberius was a self-conscious cultivator of his own virtutes (merits) is suggested by more than one phrase of Tacitus, as well as by his confessed willingness to ignore hatred, as long as he had respect. The Princeps cared for his reputation, but he was willing

to bear present odium if it would enhance his later fame. The noble posture was

an open invitation to his detractors to accuse him of hypocrisy and vice.19

But Tiberius’ virtutes were not mere hot-house plants. Allusion to them in public implies their serviceability to the state. First amongst them comes the startling

clementia, startling because the opening chapters of Seneca’s essay on the subject display it as the virtue of an autocrat, not of a man who aspired to be aequalis civis, a citizen on equal terms with his fellows, and first because of the four cardinal virtues of the Stoics that had been attributed to Augustus on the shield

set up in the Senate-house in 27 BC, the Clupeus Virtutis, this is the one that received most attention in Tiberius’ principate.20 Iustitia we shall examine below; but both pietas and virtus might well be claimed as Tiberian virtues, the latter for the Princeps’ prowess in war, the former for his devotion to Augustus’ example

and memory. Indeed, even during Augustus’ lifetime there had been a proposal

that his adopted son should take the name Pius. It had been rejected, because he

intended Tiberius to bear his own more distinctive cognomen.21 Pietas has its place on the coinage of AD 22–23; but whatever his admirers claimed for him,

Tiberius may have been conscious that his title had been weakened by his

conduct in 6 BC and would be diminished further by the changes he was

introducing into the Principate.22 As for virtus, Tiberius’ claims were indeed great, but they were not again to be reinforced by personal appearance on the

field; like pietas, virtus, though it was not exclusively a military quality and might still have scope in the whole field of government, made promises that

could not wholly be fulfilled; besides, its Marian associations might make it

unacceptable to Tiberius.23 The prominence of dementia (with moderatio) on the THE POLICY OF THE PRINCEPS 65

reverses of coins (dupondii) variously dated to AD 22–23 and AD 34–37, and the dedication of an Ara Clementiae by the Senate in AD 28, have prompted more than one explanation.24 The reverses are dedicated to clementia or moderatio and each type displays a shield containing a bust. That image recalls the shield presented

to Augustus, and it was suggested long ago that in 21 Tiberius too may have

been offered an honour in this form. The year 21 was one that saw only one

conviction for treason, and in which Tiberius upbraided the Senate for its

precipitate execution of Clutorius Priscus; in AD 28, by contrast, the downfall of

Agrippina and Nero Caesar had begun, and it was the misgivings of the Senate

that caused clementia to be invoked.25 R.S.Rogers demurred; he held that

Tiberian clementia has a wider reference. Clementia towards external enemies had already been shown at the triumph of 12: the Pannonian leader Bato, instead

of being strangled in the Tullianum, had been established in a comfortable exile

at Ravenna. As commander-in-chief Tiberius had occasion to extend mercy to

Rome’s enemies abroad as well as to criminals at home. But of the plentiful

instances of the Princeps’ clemency towards foreign opponents that Rogers cited

few were exercised directly by Tiberius,26 and such acts were not likely to awake

much admiration in the minds of those for whose use the coinage was struck.

Clementia belongs at home and, as the context of the references to it makes clear, it was exercised on political offenders. The diligence of Rogers himself

uncovered nearly two score examples of such domestic clementia, some too

trivial to be thought of as the basis of Tiberius’ claim to the virtue, others more significant. Clementia was what Tiberius had begged for his wife Julia in 2 BC, what he extended to those who opposed his rise to power, even (so he claimed)

to the conspirator of AD 16, Libo Drusus. He continued to offer it to lesser

political offenders; but there could be nothing more instructive than the Senate’s

erection of an altar of clementia in the year that the younger Julia died on her island. That Agrippina’s fall was imminent must have been suspected; the altar

served the double purpose, commemorative and hortatory, for it was known that

the idea that he practised clementia was one that appealed to the Princeps. Five years after Julia’s death Tiberius reported that of Agrippina to the Senate, and

grimly congratulated himself on his forbearance towards her: he could have had

her executed, and her body thrown on the Gemonian steps.27 Hence an attractive

explanation for the dupondii with the clementia legend. H.Gesche, advocating a late date for the dupondii on numismatic grounds, connects them with the golden offering made to Jupiter in AD 33 in recognition of Tiberius’ clementia towards Agrippina, and with the amnesty granted to her followers and those of Sejanus.

Alternatively, we might think of the aftermath of the conviction of Libo Drusus

in AD 16. In any case, Tiberian clementia, like Tiberian concordia, was in origin Tiberius’ response, from a position of strength, to defeated and convicted rivals.

It is an invitation to forgive and forget. It is no coincidence that Nero offered

clementia after he killed his mother, and that it was proclaimed on the coins of the victorious Vitellius ten years later.29


Moderatio, which was coupled with clementia on the ‘shield’ reverses, was a constant theme, harped on by Tiberius’ admirers, guyed by his detractors.

Ubiquitous because its field is so much wider than that of clementia, moderatio (or words related to it) was used to refer to Tiberius’ attitude towards his powers and to the manner in which he exercised them, to the tone of his first edict, for

example, and to his undertaking to commend no more than four candidates for

the praetorship; or to his refusal of further powers (that of nominating twelve

praetors every year) and honours (a temple in Spain in AD 25, triumphs) and to

his reluctance to allow what he thought were excessive attentions to his relatives, during their lifetime and at their funerals.29 In short, as Rogers has indicated, the display of moderatio was the mark of a mind that was consistently civilis (unassuming). This was the cardinal virtue that made Tiberius fear the excesses

of auctoritas, that lay behind his respect for the law; that consisted partly in the exercise of clementia; 30 and that guaranteed the Senate its supremacy in


In private life, too, it was a virtue that Tiberius held in high esteem. In AD 22

his speech discouraging the Senate from introducing or reinforcing rules against

luxury, which would have laid many of its members open to prosecution and

disgrace through the attentions of informers, won him, says Tacitus, a reputation

for moderatio. In the course of the speech Tiberius looked back to the time when individuals exercised self-restraint (‘sibi quisque moderabatur’).31

With iustitia, whose bust is represented on the coinage, we turn to another of those Stoic virtues that had been credited to Caesar and Augustus (a respect for

rights and property); but C.H.V.Sutherland may be right in attributing to the

Tiberian concept a much more closely political interpretation.32 Inscriptions

honour Tiberius as ‘iustissimus princeps’, and that may very well represent an ideal of his. Certainly he professed the wish to be judge and senator, rather than

Princeps, and sought a reputation for knowledge of the law, both religious and

secular. His knowledge he displayed on more than one occasion in the Senate,

and he extended it by consorting with at least one distinguished jurisconsult,

Labeo’s heir as leader of what was to become the Proculian school, M.Cocceius

Nerva, who was a member of the entourage on Capri.33

Iustitia carries us on to Tiberius’ claim to merit as the highest authority in the whole Roman world. The last three themes we have to review are liberalitas,

providentia, and constantia. The first finds no mention on coins or inscriptions; perhaps the Princeps thought it an unheroic quality, or one to be taken for

granted in a man of his financial resources, or too despotic in its associations.34

Yet one utterance recorded by Tacitus makes it clear that he was well aware that

openhandedness was incumbent upon him. Nor does the historian deny Tiberius’

tacit claim. It was not only towards the plebs that Tiberius displayed generosity (those benefactions will be mentioned in their place). In AD 15 a senator whose

house had been damaged by the construction of a highway demanded

compensation from the Treasury. When the officials in charge refused it,

Tiberius made a grant from his own purse. The Princeps likewise used his money


in the cause nearest his heart by maintaining the fortunes of decent but

impoverished members of the nobility. Even the son of Cn. Piso, who lay under a

charge of maiestas (treason), was received in AD 20 with a generosity that

Tacitus says was usual in the Princeps’ dealings with young men of his class.35

Next, providentia. Tiberius was notoriously canny—slow in coming to

decisions, acute in taking them at last. There is no doubt that he made a virtue of this and prided himself on his sound judgment, especially in military matters; that much escaped him when he reported to the Senate on the suppression of the

Gallic revolt in AD 21.36 Tiberius’ skill in dealing with enemies without had its

domestic counterpart, as Rogers pointed out. An inscription of AD 32, set up at

Interamna, was dedicated to ‘Salus perpetua Augusta, Libertas Publica, the

Genius of the Municipality, and the Providentia of Tiberius’; the same quality

was commemorated by the governor of Crete, P.Viriasius Naso.37 The ability to

forestall conspiracy is a virtue with a darker side, for which ancient writers give Tiberius full credit.38 But that is a caricature of providentia. The quality has also been connected, rightly, with the securing of the succession; but even that is not

wide enough. Providentia should be the concern and the capacity to plan ahead that ensure that benevolence is effective. Providentia makes it easier to carry out the promises implicit in the other virtues that Tiberius claimed. In particular, he wished to be remembered as a man providus of the Senate’s interests. That wish was expressed in AD 25; two years earlier he had expatiated on his care for the

provisioning of Rome and Italy.39 In the view of Strabo and Josephus, Tiberius’

providentia embraced the welfare of provincial peoples as well; and Tacitus’ use of the verb ‘providere’ in connexion with his care for the provinces may echo, consciously or unconsciously, an official speech or document.40

In the same noble speech of AD 25 in which he made known to the Senate

how he wished to be remembered, and immediately after putting his claim to be

thought providus on their behalf, Tiberius expressed the hope that he be found constans in danger and fearless of causing offence when the public good

demanded it. He had displayed constantia, an upper-class and Stoic virtue, in war, not by showing severity to his own troops, a context in which constantia is often found, and one alien to Tiberius, but against the enemy.41 Now he claimed

it for his civil life. His reference to unpopularity is significant; in serving the Senate above all other sectors of Roman society Tiberius knew that he was

pleasing only a very small minority class, and not the whole of that. He had

learned the lesson early, in 6 BC; at that time it could have been held that he had been wanting in constantia, and it may be no coincidence that this reference to it of AD 25 came only a year or so before his final departure from Rome. In

moments of acute danger, in war or conspiracy, Tiberius did not lose his nerve;

but the constantia of the long haul was not a virtue to which he has any real claim.

The political and moral themes that were brought to the fore during the

principate of Tiberius offer illumination in more than one way. They reveal the

preoccupations of the Princeps; and two of them, concordia and clementia, 68 THE POLICY OF THE PRINCEPS

betray by his insistence on them his awareness of hostility and discord. Another,

and fundamental, contradiction in the public image of the Princeps has already

been noted in connexion with clementia. In advocating concordia, practising liberalitas, and displaying providentia, Tiberius was arrogating no higher place than any great Republican politician might have expected. In claiming to

exercise iustitia, clementia, and moderatio—the last his cardinal virtue—he was acknowledging himself the possessor of monarchical powers;42 for Julius Caesar

had displayed, not only the notorious clementia, but moderatio as well. True, Valerius Maximus could cite good Republican models for these virtues, but he

finds most of his worthies in positions of extraordinary power or influence:

P.Valerius Poplicola, taking on, as consul, the power of the kings and voluntarily

sharing the rods of office with a colleague; Furius Camillus hesitating to take

over his command before completing the formalities of his investiture with the

dictatorship; Marcius Rutilus Censorinus and L.Quinctius Cincinnatus declining

to be continued in their magistracies; Q.Fabius Maximus begging the people to

allow his family a rest from office; Q.Scaevola refusing to destroy an accused

man with his sole evidence; M.Bibulus, as governor of Syria, returning to

Cleopatra the murderers of his sons with the comment that it was not for him but

for the Senate to pass sentence on them.43 If these and other specimens of

moderation could serve as blueprints for acts of Tiberius, so much greater the

scope and magnitude of his powers.




We pass from the principles that underlay Tiberius’ administration and from the

slogans that gave some of them expression to their working out in practice—no

easy thing to trace. Our fullest and most reliable source, the Annals, breaks off in AD 29, to resume after the fall of Sejanus. We have other factors to remember.

One is the possibility of changes of source which could mislead by shifting the

emphasis of extant narratives. Another is the fact that novelty wears off.

Tiberius’ first actions as Princeps were the object of close study; repeated or

become habitual, they passed unnoticed. As he made his inevitable mistakes,

these would attract attention, while his successes would be received with

boredom or cynicism.

If the Senate was to play the role that Tiberius envisaged for it, if its maiestas, its greatness and dignity, was to be enhanced, he had to ensure that its agenda

encompassed everything that it might legitimately hold to be its business, and the

Senate itself must debate each item for all it was worth. The first task was the

easier and there was one step that could be taken immediately. Augustus had set

up a formal consilium, a group of advisers, to prepare business for the Senate.1

From AD 13 it consisted of a committee of twenty senators, membership rotating

annually, with the consuls, consuls designate, Tiberius and his sons, and other

members co-opted ad hoc. The views of this body must always have weighed

heavily with the rest of the Senate, and its members came to full sessions

committed in some degree to the decisions it had reached, whatever they had

thought of the proposals in the first instance. Even before AD 13, when its

resolutions were accorded the status of senatus consulta, its existence diminished the authority of the full House. Not surprisingly, Tiberius abolished this

committee under the new regime; in its latest form the only justification for it

had been the infirmity of the Princeps. Tiberius eschewed all but a consilium of the old, Republican type, which a magistrate gathered round himself to advise

him in the execution of his duties and which Augustus himself had also had.

Tiberius’ consilium, which he maintained until his retirement to Capri, had peculiar features. It consisted not only of his trusted friends, but of

twenty leading men, probably chosen for him by the Senate. The figure gave the

consilium a superficial resemblance (perhaps intentional) to the Augustan


committee, but its functions were not probouleutic: the twenty members were

permanent representatives of the Senate on a body which advised Tiberius on his

administrative duties, and their presence enhanced the power and prestige of the

Senate. After the Augustan committee was abolished the business that came before

the Senate was probably less well prepared and its meetings in consequence

longer and less orderly. The Princeps might be defeated, or baffled by

unexpected twists in the debate. These were consequences which Tiberius must

have foreseen and been prepared to accept; a man easily thrown off his guard and

slow to think on his feet would not give up the advantages of the Augustan

committee without consideration. For all the inconvenience it entailed, it was a

simple and mechanical matter to discharge the first of Tiberius’ obligations

towards the Senate. For a substantial part of his principate he kept the agenda

papers full: in AD 23 ‘everything was still being dealt with by the senate, all

public affairs and the most important private matters as well’.2

The second task was more problematical. Repeatedly we read of the Princeps

communicating with the House, orally or by letter, to draw attention to matters

that needed it, whether by introducing the subject himself, as must have been the

case when privileges and powers of the imperial family were in question, or by

suggesting to the Senate before the debate or in the course of it how a problem

should be handled.3 Wherever these interventions came it would be a naïve man

who would fail to recognize the effect they must have on the course of the

debate.4 Tiberius was not naïve; he must have realized that each suggestion he

made, each lecture delivered on the duties of senators, diminished the authority of the House. It was this that made him sometimes express his views in the form of

a statement of what his views would have been, if he had been giving them.

Tiberius must have seen himself as an educator; he must have believed that, with

training and instruction, a revitalized body would become capable of conducting

business efficiently and authoritatively on its own.5 It is ironical, perhaps, that the most wide-ranging debate of Tiberius’ principate—for, whatever the terms of

the motion, it became a debate on the constitution—had come at the beginning,

in September 14. The low level of that debate may have prevented Tacitus from

noticing its remarkable nature; but to the new Princeps it must have

demonstrated the need for his scheme; and it is the progress of that scheme in

detail that is the theme of this chapter.

But Tacitus and Suetonius mention private as well as public affairs. The

Senate was to concern itself not only with its own place in the constitution, but with the status and privileges of its members. It was to the Senate that Aurelius Pius

appealed in AD 15 when his house was damaged by public works; and the ex-

praetor Cn. Corbulo in AD 21 when L.Sulla, a younger man but of nobler birth,

refused to give him place at a gladiatorial show.6 Even after their deaths the

honours of senators were the concern of the House, as they had been under the

Republic. The Senate was responsible for organizing the obsequies of Augustus,

and it gave permission for more than one state funeral in the course of Tiberius’


principate, the qualifications for this distinction being (beside consular rank)

kinship or close friendship with the Princeps.7

‘Private affairs’ are taken to refer to trials of individuals in the Senate; but that body controlled its members in other ways than by imposing infamia (official disgrace) and other penalties on them, important though that was. Some measure

of the Senate’s authority is given by the case of D.Silanus, who had voluntarily

gone into exile in AD 8 when Augustus renounced his friendship. Using his

brother Marcus as an intermediary, he begged Senate as well as Princeps for

grace. He was successful and returned to the city; not, however, to hold office.8

Some men, forced to relinquish their seats through poverty that was no fault of

their own, the Senate might help by subsidizing them from the state treasury.

That at any rate was what Tiberius told them in AD 15 when they applied to him

after hearing of one case he had helped. They did not all put their claims with

discretion. M.Hortalus, a descendant of Cicero’s great rival in oratory,

Q.Hortensius, used the senator’s licence to depart from the subject under

discussion to make a premeditated and insolent plea. His four sons were posted

at the door of the House, so that he could show how many children he had raised

—purely because Augustus had so advised and because his ancestors deserved

posterity. Now he begged Tiberius for a subsidy—or support for a grant from the

Aerarium. The Senate was inclined to favour the appeal—or so we are told.

Tiberius denounced it, but ended by giving each boy 200,000 sesterces from his

own purse; according to Tacitus he was forced to give way to the feeling of the

House; it may be that he wanted to make it clear that the Senate’s time should be

devoted to matters of state, not to the interests of individuals.9 Tiberius’ outburst seems to have deterred the Senate from showing indiscriminate generosity

towards its impoverished members. Only the following year certain senators

were permitted or required to resign their seats, apparently by senatus consultum and on the Princeps’ suggestion.10 Coming so soon after the conspiracy of Libo

Drusus this move might be seen as an attack on Tiberius’ political opponents. But

it was on a very small scale (only five men are named); and although one of the

victims, Appius Appianus, may have been the nephew of one of the elder Julia’s

lovers, another, Marius Nepos, had already benefited from Tiberius’ generosity;

and yet a third, Q.Vitellius, belonged to a family that was otherwise in high

favour with the Princeps and his adoptive son Germanicus.11 Tiberius did without

the systematic purges of the Senate that Augustus had four times attempted, most

recently in AD 4. That may be because he disapproved of them; but it is more likely that he realized that they caused more odium than they were worth. Extravagant

living was what led to the impoverishment and enforced retirement of the five

senators in AD 17, as well as to the downfall of Libo Drusus, and his

condemnation was followed at the very next session of the Senate by a debate on

the subject. A senatus consultum was the result: food might not be served on dishes of solid gold, and males were forbidden silk. Severer measures were

discouraged by Tiberius, not only in 16 but also in 22, when the matter was

raised again by the aediles. The thing was too widespread to control—and the


odium of making the attempt would fall, not on the aediles, but on the Princeps.

Here the preoccupations of Senate and Princeps diverged: traditional fear of luxury and of a decline in moral standards were their concern in public, even if what

they privately shuddered at was the expense of keeping up with the more dashing

members of society. For Tiberius, who may have seen through the moralizing,

this was small beer compared with his task of keeping Rome and Italy in their

position of political supremacy in the face of declining productivity and the

flight of precious metals outside the Empire. Shocking though the neglect of his

predecessor’s legislation was, Tiberius did nothing to enforce it, showing that he

disagreed with Augustus’ methods, if not his aims. Instead, an appeal to the

Senate’s self-respect; what measures Tiberius did take in this field were

concerned with public more than private extravagance.12

But the first act of the new Princeps was to carry out a proposal recommended

by Augustus in his political testament: the transfer of elections from people to

Senate. Amongst other things it was a plain intimation that Tiberius intended the

Senate to be master in its own house. The procedure of election by comitia

centuriata and tributa was preserved entire; the Senate simply voted beforehand on the candidates and produced a list no more numerous than the number of

places available. The people in effect lost all say in the election of magistrates.

Tiberius went further. At the first elections to take place under the new

dispensation, those for the praetorship, he announced that he would not support

more than four candidates—one-third of the places available. Naturally these

were sure of election, and Tiberius’ undertaking shows that Augustus had not

always, or ever, restricted himself to that proportion. The formal process of

election in the Senate would be preceded by canvassing and bargaining between

the intending candidates, as it had been on the Campus Martius; these

negotiations could be carried out more conveniently when the electorate was

small and its preferences predictable. Nevertheless, elections for magistracies up

to and including the praetorship were normally contested, and sometimes


The Senate as a body was at liberty to regulate its own procedures on all matters,

though it was bound by tradition. So in elections. One of the praetors of 17 died

in office, and a suffect had to be elected. The lex Papia Poppaea of AD 9 gave preference to candidates with the greatest number of children; but Germanicus

and Drusus Caesars pressed for their kinsman, D.Haterius Agrippa, and the law

was set aside—though not at once, nor by an overwhelming majority. That the

struggle was as real as if it had taken place when the law still counted gave

Tacitus a melancholy pleasure.14

The new scheme cannot escape criticism. Like the purge of AD 4, the

alterations that had been made to the structure of the comitia centuriata in AD 5

had as one purpose the curbing of Tiberius’ political opponents; the change made

in 14 carried those alterations to their logical conclusion by allowing the people

no voice in elections at all. And by putting elections into the hands of a limited

group, his peers voting openly,15 Tiberius was increasing the power in his own,


and not only because these men would not jeopardize their own futures by voting

for men of whom he did not approve. Under the old system, all the influence that

the Princeps had enjoyed, great though it was, had been unofficial; he relied on

auctoritas and largesse, just like any other politician. Now, for the first time, the Princeps seems to have acquired an official role in the electoral process: that of

receiving the names of candidates and of reading out the list of candidates in the

Senate when it was complete. It sounds innocuous, but there was an obvious

opportunity to deter unwelcome candidatures. This may be what lies behind the

criticism that Tacitus makes of Tiberius’ handling of consular elections.16 The

supreme magistracy was the key to high command abroad, and only four places

were available each year, the two consuls ordinarii regularly giving way to two suffects for the second half of the year. In Tacitus’ day the whole procedure had

become formalized; and he was bewildered by the diversity of practice that he

found when he examined Tiberius’ election speeches. When the Princeps

commented on candidates—and that was not always—he was very guarded, and

named no names. What Tacitus found most often was that Tiberius simply

reported that there were only two candidates for the two ordinarius places, and that accordingly he had handed on their names to the consuls who would preside

over their formal election in the comitia centuriata. There would be no contest in the Senate—unless other candidates declared themselves. Tacitus pronounced

this offer empty—or actually deceitful; he must have believed that all the other

possible candidates had been privately warned off. But there is another

explanation still possible at this stage of the Principate: the horse-trading that

went on behind the scenes had been so effective as to destroy open competition.

Even in the following principate, when Gaius Caligula tried to restore genuine

elections on the Campus Martius, he gave up the experiment because the deals

that candidates did before the elections made them a sham.17

The Princeps, then, even Tiberius with his powers enhanced by the new form

of elections, played a more complex and less decisive part in the disposal of

magistracies than might be supposed. But it would be safe to say, with Dio,18

that nothing was done of which he disapproved, and reasonable to ask in what

ways the influence of Tiberius can be detected on the consular Fasti. Theories based the proportion of nobiles and novi homines (men descended from consuls and those who were the first of their families to enter the Senate) appearing on the Fasti at various periods of his principate (Tiberius favoured nobiles; Tiberius favoured novi homines) conflict and are valueless.19 We must be more cautious.

Tacitus mostly approved of the men who reached the consulship in the first seven

years of the regime: Tiberius valued illustrious birth, military talent, and the arts of peace.20 That was conventional, and we cannot generalize from a remark in

support of a particular candidate for the praetorship disadvantaged by a low

origin: ‘Curtius Rufus is his own ancestor.’21 We have already seen what

qualified a man for Tiberius’ support in the last years of Augustus’ principate;

there is no reason to believe that he changed his views when he came to sole

power: membership of a consular family would normally take a man to the top;


failing that, a long patrician pedigree commended itself; military talent could

make up for novitas, the want of senatorial forbears; and loyalty created a strong claim.

So much for the highest rungs. There was also the problem of how many novi

homines should be admitted at all, and from what areas. Indifference to the make-up of the House might betray indifference to its functions and prestige; equally,

the Princeps who enrolled large numbers of new men might be interested more in

their loyalty than in their merits. As we have seen, Tiberius never undertook a

systematic revision of the senatorial roll, but all the evidence shows him

concerned with the standing of the whole order as well as individual members. He

would not admit men indiscriminately. Indeed, it is usually assumed that he was

as sparing in his admission of new men to the Senate as he was in admitting

peregrines to the citizenship.22 And we have the authoritative statement of his

nephew Claudius that Tiberius looked no farther than Augustus for new senators,

that is, not beyond the confines of Italy.23 That Claudius was right is suggested

by the origins of the military men whom we saw advancing during the last

decade of Augustus’ principate. But Italy by now had come to include Cisalpine

Gaul; and the same period, or the early years of Tiberius’ regime, brought in men

from Hasta, Brixia, Concordia, Pola, and probably from Atria.24

It would be rash to attribute the success of these men to the influence of

Tiberius simply because it coincided with his elevation; but when we are dealing

with small numbers of exceptional persons, it is natural to believe that there was

a personal tie. No more than Augustus did Tiberius offend public opinion by

adlecting new men into the Senate at a given rank; they had to secure election to

the quaestorship like the members of families already senatorial. They needed

encouragement, perhaps even permission, to stand,25 and support if they were to

make their way—the support that we find Tiberius giving to Velleius Paterculus

in AD 14.26 Sex. Palpellius Hister of Pola, suffect consul in 43, certainly was

known to the Princeps: he had been assigned to Tiberius by Augustus as a

member of his suite before he embarked on his senatorial career, probably at the

time of the Pannonian revolt (he would have known the terrain).27 The father of

Pompeius Macer, praetor in AD 15, was an intimate friend of Tiberius.28

Pompeius, coming from Mytilene, was the first known senator from the eastern

part of the Empire, and one of the very few provincials admitted to the Senate by

Augustus. His antecedents explain the distinction. His father had served

Augustus as procurator of Asia; his grandfather had been Pompey’s secretary and

biographer; in addition he had wealth and the esteem of his fellow countrymen.

Augustus may have admitted two more provincials: Aelius Marullinus of Italica

(his origins were ultimately Italian); and Sex. Curvius Silvinus, who perhaps

came from Nemausus.29 But Marullinus may be Triumviral, Silvinus Tiberian.

Certainly Tiberius looked beyond even the outermost bounds of Italy, for all that

Claudius said. From Corduba in Spain came Iunius Gallio and his kinsman by

adoption the philosopher L.Seneca; from Barcino L.Pedanius Secundus; from

Saguntum Hispanus Pompeius Marcellus Umbonius Silo. Narbonensis was not


far behind. Forum Iulii contributed L.Iulius Graecinus, the father of Agricola,

and perhaps his close relative M.Graecinus; Vienna (Vienne) the two brothers

Valerius Asiaticus; Nemausus Cn. Domitius Afer, who had connexions with

Silvinus and his family; and it may be from an unknown town of Narbonensis

that Togonius Gallus emerged. Most remarkable of all, very late in the reign a

man from Attaleia on the south coast of Asia Minor, M.Calpurnius Rufus,

embarked on a senatorial career, rising to govern his own province as an ex-

praetor under Claudius.30 These provincials seem to have been trickling into the

Senate steadily throughout Tiberius’ principate. D.Valerius Asiaticus held his

first consulship as suffect in 35; he can hardly have been quaestor later than 22.

Four years after Asiaticus, Domitius Afer held the fasces; but he had been praetor probably in 25 and must have been admitted very early in Tiberius’

principate. Pedanius Secundus was not consul until 43; L.Graecinus died as an

ex-praetor in 40. These two men would have been a few years senior to L.Seneca,

who did not attain his suffect consulship until 56, after a switchback career; they must have held their first magistracy towards the end of the principate.

Tiberius showed himself more enterprising than might have been expected,

more so than Augustus had been. Some of his men did well: six consulars among

eleven provincial novi homines is a high success rate. As for quality, the

Graecini and Asiatici seem to have been admirable men; but the brilliant satirical

talents of Afer were smirched by the way he used them, and Tiberius himself

twitted Togonius Gallus and lambasted Iunius Gallio for their ridiculous

adulation. Gallio lost his seat; so did Umbonius Silo, in the principate of

Claudius.31 Tiberius would have been better pleased if he had been able to watch

Seneca’s career in its final phase. In him ambition took a noble form, and he tried for eight years to manoeuvre the young Nero into accepting for his principate

something like the blueprint that Tiberius had drawn up.

It was a cardinal feature of that plan that magistrates high and low should be

accorded the prestige and authority proper to their dealings with the Princeps,

each other, and the Senate. In AD 14 Tiberius acted through the consuls and

studiously avoided devaluing their office by using his own consular imperium.

He followed this up with sustained courtesy towards the magistrates.32 The first

show of freedom that Tacitus records belonged to the following year and took

the form of a dispute between a praetor and a tribune over the treatment of actors: were they or were they not liable to a flogging if they caused disturbances among

their audiences? The praetor supported order and severity, the tribune, naturally,

vetoed the proposal to flog favourites of the people.33 A trivial incident, but

quarrels between tribunes and other magistrates had made up much of the fabric

of Republican political life. At a later point in the Annals Tacitus tells of similar wrangles between praetor and tribune, tribune and quaestor.34 These took place

in the early part of Nero’s principate, and once again he comments that vestiges

of the old freedom still survived. It seems that if the supremacy of the Senate as a body was the centre-piece of Tiberius’ policy, individual magistracies were not

to become mere rubber stamps. But if we look a little further into the dispute of


15 we see that there was some doubt of the efficacy of the tribune’s veto, which

might not have stood if it had not been supported by a decision of Augustus; and

the Senate devised other means of restraining the power of theatricals. The

Neronian incident ended in the powers of tribunes being restricted; both in AD

14 and in AD 56 the political climate was unfavourable to tribunician activity.

In AD 21 the Senate debated whether pro-magistrates should be forbidden to

take their wives abroad on tours of duty. There was a vehement protest, and a few

words from Drusus Caesar in praise of his own wife settled the question; but a

scandal that broke three years later prompted Cotta Messallinus to initiate a

senatus consultum that laid responsibility for a wife’s misdemeanours fairly and squarely on the shoulders of her husband.35

That the Senate should be in control of magistrates is in full accord with

Tiberius’ scheme of government. If the Princeps were the servant of the Senate

so must the lesser authorities be. The Senate was to be master in its own house;

how much further did its authority reach?

Financial policy should be in the hands of the Senate; that was received

doctrine in the second century BC.36 Practice fell out of step with theory as the

resources of the Aerarium became inadequate to meet the needs of government.

The wars of conquest conducted by Sulla, Pompey, and Caesar in the late

Republic enriched those generals as well as the Aerarium, and the wealth of

Augustus exceeded that of the state. By subsidizing the Aerarium from his

private funds Augustus established an unofficial control over its expenditure; and

he was only nominally responsible for the huge sums allocated to him for the

management of the provinces under his charge, for he never gave them up and so

never had to render account of the sums in the imperial Fiscus.37

Towards the end of his principate, in AD 5–6, Augustus had dealt another

blow to the authority of the Senate in financial matters. He forced it to create a

new treasury, the Aerarium Militare, with the sole function of ensuring the

adequate payment and settlement of the soldiers. It was an important step

towards solving a serious problem of long standing, but it was extremely

unpopular. For one thing, although the treasury was subsidized at first by

donations from Augustus, made from his own property and that of Tiberius and

Agrippa Postumus, new taxes were levied to keep it supplied.38 Besides, the

setting aside of funds for a stipulated purpose reduced the Senate’s room for

manoeuvre in financial matters generally.

Tiberius begins with a very fair record; he used his own fortune to help

deserving senators—and that only when the Senate had considered their case;39

and he resisted the temptation to put pressure on the officials in charge of the

Aerarium when their views conflicted with his own.40 How long this attention to

the proprieties lasted we cannot be sure. After the earthquake of 17 Tiberius

promised his own help to the ruined cities of Asia, and remitted for five years

what they were due to pay Aerarium or Fiscus.41 Tacitus is using the word

‘Fiscus’ here to refer to the Princeps’ private property in Asia: well and good;

but he had no authority to remit what was due to the hard-pressed Aerarium. Yet


there is no cause for alarm; a similar measure after the earthquake that destroyed

Cibyra in Asia and Aegium in Achaea was carried by senatus consultum on his proposal.42

Well-founded disquiet sets in when we reach the twenties. In 24 C.Silius

anticipated conviction for maiestas (treason) by committing suicide; in spite of the normal rule that suicide saved property, that part of his which was calculated

to form part of a gift from Augustus was confiscated to the Fiscus. In 32 the

property of Sejanus was diverted from the Aerarium to the Fiscus; and in the

following year the silver and gold mines belonging to a Spaniard who had

suffered execution were ‘set aside for Tiberius, although they had been

confiscated to the state’.43 This is ambiguous, but the most probable

interpretation is again that the mines were to be exploited for the benefit of the

public funds under the control of the Princeps, not for his private enrichment. All the same, the Senate was losing effective control over the sums involved in all

three cases.

The explanation (not an excuse) is financial stringency, and specifically

shortage of currency. More will have to be said of this later, but the cost of

running the imperial provinces and the armies they contained cannot have failed

to consume the revenue they brought in; and it was precisely in 33 that Tiberius

relieved the indebtedness of the landed gentry by making a loan of a hundred

million sesterces. The political rights of the Senate were beginning to take

second place to wider economic needs. Nor could they claim consideration. The

events of 33 showed both the resources of the Aerarium and the resolution of the

Senate inadequate to take measures to deal with the crisis.44

The management of religion was an integral part of Roman statecraft; and it is

in keeping with the regime in its early stages that we find the Senate, naturally

under the learned guidance of the Pontifex Maximus, head of the state religion,

playing the prominent part traditionally assigned to it. In 19 the Senate at Tiberius’

instigation supervised the choice of a new Vestal Virgin, here taking over a

function once exercised by the people. Three years later it heard Servius

Maluginensis, the Flamen Dialis, appealing for permission to draw lots for a

province and absent himself from Rome; other experts spoke, but that high

authority the Pontifex Maximus reserved his decision, which was eventually

given as an appendix to another debate on a point of religion. Maluginensis did

not long survive the rejection of his plea, and in 24 it fell to the Senate, again at Tiberius’ instance, to promote legislation designed to relax the rules that made it so difficult to find a successor. Probably they, or the college of Pontifices, played a part in the eventual selection of Maluginensis’ son: the election of priests as

well as magistrates had been withdrawn from the people in AD 14. As late as AD

32 we find the Senate deliberating whether an oracle was or was not fit to be

included in the canon of the Sibylline Books; but on that occasion there was a

difference: Tiberius intervened by letter and made heavy-handed use of his

priestly office. Like his predecessor, Tiberius was anxious to prevent the

circulation of unauthorized and perhaps seditious prophecy.45 His action was the


more embarrassing for the Senate in that it had already passed a decree admitting

the oracle.

In 24 Tiberius asked the Senate indifferently for lex or senatus consultum, nicely illustrating the fact that early in the Principate the Senate became a source of law. Normal Republican procedure had been to bring legislation before the

Senate for approval before it was voted on by the people in the comitia: the authoritative senatus consultum becoming the binding lex. It was the champion of the people Ti. Gracchus who finally established the practice of taking

measures to the people without senatorial backing. Under the Principate it became

a matter of indifference which machinery was employed. Augustus continued to

enact leges, either acting through the consuls or bringing them forward himself as leges Iuliae. Yet there was none to challenge mere senatus consulta if they had his backing; it was a senatus consultum (Calvisianum) 46 which in 4 BC set up a new, shortened procedure for extortion trials; and it was probably by

senatus consultum that in AD 14 the people were deprived of their electoral rights. That the consummation of this process should belong to the principate of

Tiberius is in full accord with our view of his regime. Leges are not unknown, but the certain instances belong to the early years, AD 19 and 24, and none is

attested after 28.47

In the early Principate senatorial legislation usually took the indirect form of

advice to the magistrate on the interpretation of existing law. Under Tiberius

there were several discussions in the House which resulted, not to be sure in the

repeal of a law or in its amendment, but at any rate in its clarification. We have

already seen the Senate in 24 bringing the misbehaviour of a governor’s wife

within the scope of the lex Iulia Repetundarum; but the earliest of these

discussions had come in AD 20. The lex Papia Poppaea was an enactment only

eleven years old, designed with the full approval of Augustus to encourage

marriage and the rearing of children by limiting the rights of testators and heirs

who were unmarried or childless. The law was being evaded, and that gave

informers their chance. The status of senators and knights was threatened if their

property was lost to them; and a feeling of insecurity was spreading beyond Rome

and even Italy. Tiberius appointed a committee of fifteen senators (ten of them with experience as consuls or praetors); they were not to modify the law (though that

may have been the intention of the man who raised the question), but to define

its scope.48

Widespread though the evil was, it was no doubt the peril of senators that

most moved the House. We have already noticed the open self-interest that

actuated members. Certainly it was the plight of an individual that prompted the

first discussion of the lex Iulia Maiestatis and its functioning. C.Cestius complains in 21 that he was being threatened and abused by a woman against

whom he could take no action, because she clutched a portrait of the Princeps

which it would be lèse majesté to violate. There was a chorus of sympathy, and Drusus Caesar, the presiding consul, threw the woman into prison as a

deterrent.49 It may not be fortuitous that in the following year the Senate was


invited to regulate the asylum rights of cities in the eastern half of the Empire,

where temples were crammed with delinquent slaves, debtors, and criminals. The

Senate, its work cut out, delegated the task to the consuls.50

The year AD 21 did not see the last debate on maiestas. Three years later an ex-praetor, Caecilius Cornutus, was falsely accused. Unable to bear the anxiety,

he killed himself before a verdict was reached. After the collapse of the whole

prosecution, it was mooted that accusers should lose their statutory rewards when

the accused committed suicide before conviction. The proposal was rejected.

Tiberius spoke against it, on the grounds that it would subvert the law.51 His

action may be seen in a sinister light, for two reasons. First, he was seen to be

encouraging delation; more serious was the fact of his intervention on the

present occasion. We have seen Tiberius playing the part of a senator before.

Anxious perhaps that the Senate should not allow sympathy for Cornutus to run

away with it, he spoke with decisive authority, depriving the Senate on this

important occasion of the opportunity of making up its own mind. The

arguments he used were not so recondite that they could not have been

discovered and uttered by a private citizen.

Self-interest, or concern for the interests of fellow senators, marks the House’s

last and most interesting attempt to modify the law in Tiberius’ reign. Again it

was prompted by the activities of delatores (accusers). This time they were attacking men who enriched themselves by usury, violating the law of Julius

Caesar which seems to have regulated the proportion of a man’s capital that

might be lent out at interest—or must be invested in Italian land. So many cases

were being brought that the praetor in charge of the court referred the matter to

the Senate. Most of its members were implicated, and the House requested an

amnesty from the Princeps. Eighteen months were allowed; then they must comply

with the law. The calling in of debts all at once led to a shortage of currency, and the Senate’s precautions (that only two-thirds of the capital should be repaid

immediately, and invested in Italian land) were inadequate: the creditors were

not content with less than full payment, and compulsory transactions in land only

depressed its price; debtors who were being pressed for cash could not sell.

Expelled from their properties, they were losing rank as well as their fortune. It

was Tiberius who had to come to the rescue, with three-year interest-free loans to

the tune of a hundred million sesterces against the security of double the value in land. As for the regulations of Julius Caesar, which the Senate had re-enacted,

Tacitus tells us that they were soon being evaded again.52

It is sometimes said that Tiberius created a new High Court from the Senate.53

If that were true it would give strong support to the view of his policies taken

here: courts staffed by senators were the rule down to the tribunate of

C.Gracchus in 123 BC and for a decade after the dictatorship of Sulla. But

Tiberius cannot be given the credit for this innovation; it was of Augustus’

devising and came probably not many years after he had almost failed to secure

the conviction of M.Primus, Fannius Caepio, and Varro Murena. Trials held in

the Senate would have the same advantage for the Princeps as elections held


there; but the ostensible function of the court would be to take ‘political’ cases.

At any rate a committee of the Senate had been taking extortion cases since 4 BC;

and Ovid was aware that he might have been exiled by a decree of the Senate.

Extortion, adultery, and above all treason were its sphere and, in an exceptional

case in Tiberius’ principate, murder.54 The ostensible function of the court being

entirely in the spirit of Tiberius’ principate, he did nothing to detract from its

powers but, when he sat with it, merely tried to ensure that it did what he thought to be justice. In this he was not successful; and it is ironical that it was in his principate that the senatorial court became notorious for its handling of treason

cases—so much so that the topic demands a chapter to itself.

In any constitutional theory of the Principate that had regard for the past, the

Senate was entitled to a say in the running of affairs in Rome and Italy and in the public provinces, without let or hindrance from the consular imperium of the Princeps.55 In 15, the same year as the debate on the disturbances caused by

theatrical performers and their aficionados, the Tiber flooded and caused havoc, as it had done so many times before. The matter went to the Senate, and Asinius

Gallus proposed consulting the Sibylline Books—not a very helpful suggestion,

however carefully purged the oracles had been. No doubt Gallus’ proposal was

sarcastic, and prompted by his earlier experiences with the Tiber and its banks. As consul in 8 BC he had established its boundaries (that too after discussion in the

Senate); in the following year, also ex senatus consulta, Augustus himself had taken on the task. Tiberius apparently did not contemplate that course; but he

rejected Gallus’ advice; L.Arruntius and C.Ateius Capito were entrusted with the

task of finding a remedy, and, if Dio is to be believed, it was as a result of this inundation that Tiberius set up a permanent senatorial board of five Curatores

Alvei Tiberis. Certainly Tiberius found it natural to work through senatorial boards; in 16 another was appointed to restore and transcribe public records.56

The care of public buildings in Rome and Italy was also taken to be the Senate’s

concern, and it was to them that M.Lepidus applied when he planned to restore

the Basilica Aemilia in 22, the last time that a private person undertook a task

that demanded greater means than most men could command and conferred

greater prestige than it was safe for them to win. Tiberius himself paid for the

restoration of the theatre of Pompey, on the ground that no member of the family

could incur such expense; he did not change its name.57 But the Senate was

interested in the moral as well as the material welfare of the people of Rome. In

AD 19 it passed severe decrees against prostitution and forbade even the

granddaughters of knights from joining the profession. Devotees of Isis, Jews,

and Jewish proselytes fared worse after scandals involving two gullible ladies of

good birth. Four thousand Jews were transported to Sardinia to fight the brigands

there and the rest banished from Italy unless they gave up their faith.58

The expulsions of 19 and 24 (actors were the victims) show the Senate

exercising its traditional authority in Italy. So did the outcome of the Tiber flood enquiry. Arruntius and Capito discovered a remedy: diverting tributary waters

upstream from Rome. But that would affect the amenities and prosperity of


certain Italian towns: Florentia, Reate, and Umbrian Interamna. They brought

their protests to the Senate—and won their case. Nothing was done. But the Senate

did not fail to take cognizance of the catastrophe at Fidena in 27. A jerry-built

amphitheatre crammed with Romans in search of amusement collapsed and cost

the lives of (it was said) fifty thousand persons. The Senate banished the man

responsible for putting on the show and decreed that nobody possessed of less

than the equestrian census of 400,000 sesterces might exhibit gladiatorial games,

and that the ground on which it was proposed to construct an amphitheatre

should be tested for solidity.59 Equally edifying is our picture of the Senate’s

dealings with the provinces, an ‘imago antiquitatis’; and Tacitus enthuses over the spectacle of the Senate investigating, with freedom to confirm or emend, the

privileges that its ancestors had granted.60 The question was one of asylum rights, and the embassies came from the provinces of Asia, Cyprus, and Crete. Nero, in

the accession speech that Seneca wrote for him, restricted the Senate’s

autonomous jurisdiction to the ‘public’ provinces—those governed by

proconsuls appointed by lot rather than by legates nominated by the Princeps.

The same restriction seems at first sight to apply in the principate of Tiberius. The cities to be restored after the earthquake of 17, under the supervision of an

inspector of praetorian rank chosen by the Senate, were all in the senatorial

province of Asia; and while senatorial Achaea and Macedonia appealed to the

Senate in 15 against the tax burdens they had to bear, it is not clear who heard

the complaints of Syria and Judaea two years later, although they were made

known to the House.61 But it is worth drawing attention to the contrast between

Tiberius’ handling of the stricken cities and Augustus’ behaviour after the

earthquake of 27 BC. The first Princeps, approached in Spain by a delegation

from Tralles, rebuilt the city, probably without consulting the Senate; and he may

have sent an eques, Vedius Pollio, to supervise the operation.62 The role of the Senate in relieving the sufferings of Asia, as well as in bringing delinquent

administrators to justice, was acknowledged when the cities of the province

asked permission to erect a temple to Tiberius, Livia, and the Senate; Tiberius

said later that he had been willing to accept the honour because the Senate had

been included in it, and it was the Senate that decided which city was to have the

distinction of housing the cult: Smyrna.63

Another temple was involved in a request from the people of Segesta in Sicily:

it was on Mount Eryx, and dedicated to Venus. In 25 they asked for it to be

restored; but Tiberius undertook to pay for the work himself; after all, it was his ancestress (by adoption) who was the object of the cult. There came at the same

time two other cases for decision: a dispute between Sparta and Messene over

possession of another temple, that of Diana Limnatis, in which the Senate gave

judgment for the Messenians; and the fate of the inheritance left by an exile to

his adopted city of Massilia (the bequest was allowed).64

One of the incidents just mentioned concerned a province which in AD 15 had

been transferred from jurisdiction of proconsuls to that of legates of Augustus.

Commentators agree that the Senate’s handling of the case of Sparta and


Messene represents a special concession made by Tiberius. Sparta was a free city,

no part of the province, but that was not true of Aegium, one of the cities which

in 23 were relieved of their tribute obligations for three years.65 The suspicion

arises that Tiberius was ready to acknowledge the senatorial interest, not only in

the provinces governed by proconsuls, but in those under legates; a more liberal

and more logical attitude than that propounded by Nero in his speech.

Another striking instance of senatorial involvement in an imperial province is

to be found. When Tiberius opened the trial of Cn. Piso in AD 20 he spoke of

him as a man who had been assigned to Syria as aide to Germanicus ‘auctore

senatu’—at the instance of the Senate. However tendentious this sentence

(Tiberius was trying to secure Piso a fair trial), and however little real choice the Senate had in the appointment of Germanicus’ mentor, Piso’s name had been the

one that they advanced.66

More striking still is Drusus Caesar’s promise in AD 14 that the claims of the

Pannonian mutineers would be referred to the Senate. The mutineers themselves

were quick to point out that the Senate was consulted only when the advantages

of the military were in question; they never heard anything about battles or

punishments. We do not hear the outcome of Drusus’ promise, except that

Tiberius certainly reported his and Germanicus’ activities to the Senate, which

presumably approved the increases. When they were rescinded Tiberius issued

an edict—whether in consequence of a senatorial decision is not stated.

Suetonius’ claim that Tiberius consulted the Senate about levying troops and

discharging them is a generalization that may be based on one incident only.67

Not even lip-service was paid later, when Iunius Gallio proposed that

discharged members of the Praetorian Guard might sit with the knights in their

fourteen reserved rows of seats in the theatre. Tiberius wrote a scathing reply to

Gallio. What had he to do with soldiers? Their prizes and their instructions

should come from the imperator and from nobody else. Perhaps Gallio had

thought of something that the deified Augustus had overlooked; or was he trying

to stir up trouble?68 The Senate took the hint, deprived Gallio of his seat and then banished him from Italy. Tiberius’ irritation with a gross flatterer is

understandable; but the attack is an unmistakable sign of the change that had

come over Tiberius since his early days as Princeps.

The truth was that the running of the army was too important and too delicate

a matter to be left to the Senate, and the complexity of relations between Senate

and Princeps is nowhere better illustrated than in Africa, a ‘public’ province but

now the only one containing an army (one legion, fighting under the auspices of

the Princeps). In general Tiberius seems to have behaved with propriety towards

the province. Even so, it was he who in 21, when serious trouble broke out,

informed the Senate, at the same time reminding the House of its

responsibilities. It would have to appoint a governor fit for the job of quelling

rebellion in desert terrain. The Senate did not rise to the occasion. Instead of

allowing only the names of tried soldiers to go forward for sortition, it left the

choice to the Princeps. Tiberius would not take on the entire responsibility for


selecting the governor. He sent the Senate the names of two men: M.Lepidus and

Q.Blaesus. Lepidus immediately withdrew, according to Tacitus because he

feared the jealousy of Sejanus’ uncle. Lepidus was not a coward, and he was a

friend of Tiberius. His excuses (ill-health, young children, a marriageable

daughter) could have been genuine. That does not exculpate the Senate.69

The incident reveals complexities in an apparently straightforward process: the

appointment of provincial governors. The Augustan system had established the

Princeps himself as governor of a number of provinces for a fixed term of years

(renewable); he chose his own legates, and his choice was ratified by the Senate.

For the two plum ‘senatorial’ provinces of Asia and Africa the two senior

consulars (they had to be of at least five years’ standing) who were free and

willing drew lots; for the remaining ‘senatorial’ provinces men of praetorian

rank. The Senate had to decide, first of all, whether to appoint at all, or whether to prorogue the man already in office. That might depend on the calibre of the

latter, as on that of his possible successors. On that matter there might be debate, in which the Princeps could participate.70 Again, the candidates had to put

themselves forward and be accepted as such. P.Dolabella in AD 22 wanted

Tiberius to undertake to scrutinize the character of potential candidates, a

responsibility which the Princeps declined, with an appeal to the remedial power

of lex and to mutability of character. Nevertheless, in 36 we find C.Galba committing suicide because a letter from Tiberius had forbidden him to put

himself forward for the lucrative consular provinces. It looks as if the Princeps

felt less scruple in intervening as time went on, at least in particular cases.71

In a different sense Tiberius himself confessed to intervening, when in 33 he

complained of the reluctance of consulars to serve. He was speaking of imperial

provinces; whether he had been brought to pray men to serve as proconsuls is

not revealed. As early as AD 15 he had introduced a regulation which laid it down

that lingering proconsuls should be off by 1 June; but it was in imperial

provinces that he had to take the extreme step of allowing eminent men to hold

office without discharging their duties in person.72

Once in his province, how free was the governor from imperial interference?

It would be vain to accumulate random examples from all over the Empire,

incidents drawn from other principates, when they cannot be compared, in

numbers or in kind. But it is worth while drawing a contrast and considering one

province in detail. Tiberius acknowledged the principle that a proconsul was

supreme in his province and exempt from interference by unauthorized persons,

even if they were employees of the Princeps. In AD 23 he protested vehemently

that his procurator Lucilius Capito had no right to take over the functions of the

proconsul, or to commandeer his troops. Capito was tried by the Senate and

exiled. He cannot have been the only procurator to encroach on the functions of

his governor, but his fate may have discouraged others for a while. Very

different was the attitude of Claudius thirty years later. Far from trying to repress such encroachments, he had them legalized, enhancing the powers of

procuratores by senatus consultum.73


Next, the province. Africa’s military importance made it the supreme test. We

have already noticed the propriety of Tiberius’ conduct towards the Senate on the

subject of this province, propriety only mildly tempered by military necessity.

The same factors may be observed at work in his dealings with its governors,74

whose name and style continued to appear on the coinage (this was a privilege

that they did not keep under Tiberius’ successor). Between the years 20 and 24

the governor could command the services of legio IX Hispana, besides those of the legion regularly stationed in the province, III Augusta; how he deployed them was for him to decide, and if he needed to supplement them by levying fresh

troops, he was evidently free to do so—with the Senate’s permission. The

governor was permitted to make his own awards for bravery—but one was

rebuked for the inadequacy of his—and required to report his successes to the

Senate.75 In other conflicts Tiberius showed himself willing to trust the judgment

of men on the spot (in the Balkans he had suffered from Augustus’ interference);

as it was in Gaul in AD 21 and in the Orient in 34–37,76 so too in the rebellion of Tacfarinas. For Velleius the struggle was won under Tiberius’ auspices and by

his instructions (consilia); the first claim was indubitable, the second probably true as far as overall policy was concerned; Africa, like the Orient, was too

distant for detailed instructions to be issued at every juncture. The only

instructions from Princeps to proconsul that we know of are those given to

Q.Blaesus after the rebel had sent his insolent embassy to Tiberius demanding a

home for his men. Blaesus was to grant an amnesty to the rest, and secure the

person of Tacfarinas by whatever means he could.77 There is nothing original in

this policy, successful though it was, and it may have been urged on the

proconsul only as part of the speech in which Tiberius whipped up the Senate’s

indignation. P.Dolabella, Blaesus’ successor, did not have the legio IX Hispana.

Tiberius ordered it back to Pannonia after Blaesus’ victory; nor did Dolabella

dare to detain it (so Tacitus): he was more afraid of Tiberius and his orders than

of the dangers of fighting without the extra legion. If that was a blunder on

Tiberius’ part it was committed on the advice of his man on the spot.76

Nor is there much evidence for consistent intervention in routine matters.79

We can hold that L.Lamia mentioned orders from the Princeps on a road-

building inscription because such orders were exceptional; in that case all the

other public works attested for the years 14–37 were executed on the sole

initiative of governors.80 There is something inherently implausible in that

picture; it is hard to believe that Tiberius was not informed beforehand at least

when large-scale works were proposed; and if he were informed, he could

suggest modifications. Road works in particular would be a matter of interest to a

military man and it comes as no surprise that in his old province of Illyricum the

governor P.Dolabella was particularly active. The grammar of the inscriptions

differs in Illyricum; Tiberius himself is credited with the roads that Dolabella, his legate, constructed.81 But perhaps the difference between the two provinces lay

less in their constitutional status than in the fact that Tiberius was thoroughly and recently familiar with Illyricum, while he had never set foot in Africa.


Cities which, like Sparta, were free were technically outside the Empire. That

was what brought them within the Senate’s sphere of competence, foreign affairs.

That sphere naturally included kings dependent upon Rome for their position and

kept in it for their usefulness. Suetonius specifically says that the Senate was

regularly consulted on the subject.82 Archelaus of Cappadocia was accused

before it in AD 17, but acquitted. Again a contrast between the conduct of

Augustus and that of Tiberius: one cause of the second trial was said to be

Tiberius’ resentment at the way Archelaus had treated him when he was on

Rhodes. Archelaus owed Tiberius a debt of gratitude for a defence made on his

behalf at an earlier hearing. That had been in 27 BC, and the case had been taken

by Augustus, then consul, but not before the Senate.83

In the following year, AD 18, Maroboduus, whose power had been (so

Tiberius said) more of a threat to Rome than that of Pyrrhus or Antiochus III,

lost his kingdom in the Bohemian tableland and took refuge south of the

Danube. Tiberius’ speech was made in the Senate, where the fate of the old

chieftain was debated.84 The fate of another enemy was discussed there in AD 19.

A Chattan chieftain had offered to poison Arminius, Rome’s great opponent in

Germany, whose power and ambition would have been enhanced by the

departure of Maroboduus.85 Like the previous debate, this one gave Tiberius and

the Senate an opportunity to strike a high and generous note. Once again Pyrrhus

was invoked. The Senate had disdained to use treachery against him; they would

do no worse now. Perhaps the Senate was only brought in to make this

propaganda point. But the same period (AD 18) saw another prince on trial in the

House: Rhescuporis of Thrace, accused of murder by the widow of his victim

Cotys. The Senate sent him into exile and divided the kingdom between his son

and those of his victim.86 Clients could be rewarded as well as punished. When

the war with Tacfarinas was finally over, the Senate sent one of its members to

Ptolemy of Mauretania. The envoy took with him an embroidered robe of

honour, in acknowledgement of services rendered. It was an antique custom;

earlier recipients had been Porsena, Massinissa, and Ariovistus.87

What all this activity adds up to is hard to say. There was a formal element in

the Tiberian policy: important matters were on the agenda; how effectively they

were dealt with is another question. And however effective and strong-minded

the Senate was, there were limits beyond which it could not go. Tiberius set

those limits, but he set them wide, wider than they had been since 43 BC and

wider than they were ever to be again, except for a brief interregnum in 41. A

few bold spirits, some inspired by malice, dared explore the terrain open to them

as far as its limits. Others made a play of it: Valerius Messalla Messallinus is an example, affecting freedom of speech even as he proposed that the oath of

allegiance to Tiberius should be repeated yearly.88

If the Senate could not venture to broach certain subjects, there were others of

which it was not even informed. No debate followed the death of Agrippa

Postumus; and the pretender Clemens was quietly executed in the palace. True,

he was technically the property of the Princeps, but the matter was one of public


concern. We have already seen in the first case that Tiberius’ silence may have

had no sinister motive; and the backers of Clemens, if allowed to go unmolested,

would do less harm than they might as dead or exiled martyrs.89

The Senate was not perfectly informed on provincial matters either. They did

not hear about the revolt in Gaul until it had been put down, so Tacitus and Velleius report. And Tiberius allegedly hid the losses suffered by L.Apronius in 28 at the

hands of the Frisii to avoid having to appoint a commander to deal with them.90

But these were matters for the executive. The Senate’s function was to formulate

policy, and there was no question in any of these cases of a change; Tiberius was

acting within his competence as a holder of imperium.

Much more significant is Tacitus’ silence on the outbreak of trouble with

Parthia in 35. There were embassies, policy to be formulated, a commander to be

appointed. We hear of it in some detail in the pages of Tacitus. Not a word of the


This is too striking not to indicate a change in Tiberius’ attitude, the

abandonment of efforts that he had found exhausting and not always worth while.

The change will not have come about all at once; turning points can be indicated.

There was a change in the tone of the Princeps’ recorded dealings with the

Senate after 28. His impatient reaction in 32 to Gallio’s proposal and to the

Senate’s acceptance of the Sibylline corpus is far removed from the didactic and

ironical, but full and courteous, lectures of the early years. The last serious policy debate reported in our sources came at the time of the financial crisis of AD 33,

and a sorry showing the Senate made. There is very little after AD 28, and we

cannot attribute this to loss of interest in Tacitus’ part or to a change in the

sources he was using. It has been thought that until AD 31 he made nearly

exclusive use of the History of Aufidius Bassus, whose work was then taken up by the elder Pliny. But Tacitus claimed to consult, not only all the available

literary authorities but the archives of the Senate as well. Quite apart from the

fact that he lets fall clues inadvertently (for example, the fact that the Senate

played some part in the appointment of Cn. Piso), Tacitus was keenly interested

in our topic, was conscious of the change (for he says that until AD 23 the Senate

was handling all business), and was ready to offer a reason for it.92 His comment

on the hushing up of the Roman losses of 28 is that the Senate had other things to

think about: the dynastic struggle at home. Exactly the same was true of

Tiberius, as Velleius discloses.93

This remark of Tacitus points clearly to one cause of trouble. The Senate,

functioning as a court, was being exploited by rival factions; its members

became committed by their votes to one group or another and through hatred or

terror were incapable of operating as a serious deliberative body. In this process

we may legitimately regard the fall of Sejanus in October 31 as a decisive point

both for the sharp aboutturn of thought that it entailed for the Senate as a body

and for the calamities that followed.

Even before this process reached its climax other factors must have begun to

take effect. One such factor was certainly the final departure of the Princeps from POLICY IN PRACTICE: THE SENATE AND ITS MEMBERS 87

Rome in 26. When he was in the city Tiberius was an assiduous attender, and his

presence and interest would keep up the standard of debate.94 A false step could

be retrieved, if the Princeps’ displeasure appeared at once; in his absence

irreparable blunders such as Gallio’s might be perpetrated. Right from the start

the Senate was uncertain how much business it could transact during the absence

of the Princeps. Cn. Piso’s view in AD 16 had been that business should not be

put off: it would bring credit on the state that senators and equites could perform their functions in his absence; Asinius Gallus countered with the opinion that it

was only when business was conducted under the Princeps’ eyes that the dignity

of the Roman people was adequately maintained. That dignity was the ostensible

criterion; in effect the issue was the Senate’s freedom of debate and the powers of the Princeps, championed as usual by the ambitious Gallus. The senators took the

point, and his view won the day, establishing a pernicious precedent.95 It was

during a temporary absence of 21–22 that the question of extravagance came up

for the second time, to be referred to Tiberius at once without discussion.

Moreover, the process of decision-making was perceptibly slowed down by the

absence of the Princeps on an island three miles off a headland that was itself a

hundred miles from Rome. It made it less worth while for him to consult the

Senate, especially on matters that required dispatch, and less pointful for them to take pains over the formation of opinion. The centre of government was no

longer at Rome, and the Senate’s position was weakened in consequence.

But the failure of Tiberius’ senatorial policy had been clear to him before he

left for Campania and Capri in 26; indeed his departure may be attributed partly

to its failure, perhaps to a misguided idea that his absence would encourage the

Senate to debate more freely: in 33 he was still insisting that meetings should not be skimped.96 We have seen that Tiberius inherited a political paradox from his

predecessor, and that he tried to deal with it by educating his masters into

independence. His failure to do so was due to faults on both sides. His own was

inconsistency. Sometimes he would sit silent, as he did at the altercation between

Cn. Piso and Asinius Gallus; sometimes he would speak in the middle of the

debate, sometimes last; sometimes he would write advice to the consuls, or make

use of his tribunician veto; he might remain poker-faced for a while—and then

break out into anger. He was a human being and needed rules and precedents to

guide him; none adequately limited the Princeps in his dealings with the Senate.

The senators did not know where they were.97 The Senate has received its full

share of the blame—as if it was a unified body, not a group of individuals with

the interests of individuals. A few men understood and respected the Princeps’

policy; others were well-disposed, yet thought him misguided. But even at the

beginning of his principate Tiberius was far from enjoying the esteem of the whole

body. The House contained men who had backed his rivals and who hated and

feared him in consequence. If they had courage they showed their hatred; if not,

they followed the example of careerists who voted to please. But the Senate,

after all, ought to have been more than a group of individuals. It had privileges

and responsibilities. To be sure, throughout this chapter its interest in its


privileges has been to the fore. Hardly ever did the Senate dare to oppose a

Princeps. One such notable occasion, perhaps the last, was in AD 48, when

Claudius proposed to grant permission to stand for senatorial magistracies to the

chieftains of Gaul. The Senate was less vociferous about its responsibilities. The

Princeps, whose own motto might have been ‘noblesse oblige’, found that there was nothing to be done with these men. They would listen to lectures on their

duties as senators and magistrates and go their own way. ‘Ready for slavery’ was

Tiberius’ verdict, a habitual one according to Tacitus.98 He records it under AD

22; but we can trace a change in the Princeps’ thinking before that date. At the

time of his accession to sole power he had disclaimed any desire to be a princeps; by 21 he was excusing himself from dealing with the Gallic revolt in person and

from sending Drusus Caesar by saying that it was unfitting for the Princeps to

leave the capital; and in the following year he spoke openly and realistically

about his higher obligations as Princeps. It was a recognition of defeat. That five more years elapsed before he signalized it by retreating, seven before he railed at the Senate for allowing a single senator to bring his ‘imperatoria maiestas’, his dignity as Princeps, into public ridicule, does him some credit.99



It is only because Tiberius’ overriding policy of favouring the Senate needed

separate treatment that the equestrian order finds itself ranged here alongside the common people. Otherwise for the supporter of concordia ordinum, harmony

between the classes of Roman society, they were not natural bedfellows. The

propertied and responsible classes, senators and knights, were to be united in

Tiberius’ support. To that end, knights as well as senators were assigned to the

ten centuries of C. and L.Caesar under the lex Valeria Cornelia of AD 5 and to the five of Germanicus and five of Drusus Caesar that were created by senatus

consultum after the deaths of those principes; to that end, knights, also in AD 5, were allocated special seats in the circus alongside those of the senators.1 Nor, as we have seen, did Tiberius show any reluctance to admit municipal members of

the equestrian order to the Senate. Not surprisingly: like many of his peers, he

had equestrian antecedents: his grandmother Alfidia and his first mother-in-law

Caecilia could claim no higher rank. And finally Tiberius, like most senators, had

friends in that order as well as in the Senate; for seventeen years one of his most intimate and influential friends, L.Aelius Sejanus, was an eques; a fact that must have given satisfaction to the whole order.2

The dignity of that order Tiberius showed himself as anxious to preserve as

Augustus had been. A senatus consultum of 23 defended the prestige of the

equites and united the order by allowing the gold ring that distinguished it only to the freeborn sons of freeborn men with freeborn grandfathers on their father’s

side, provided that they also possessed the equestrian census and were entitled to

sit in the fourteen rows of the theatre under the lex Iulia. There had been encroachments by men of servile origin, and those were to be brought to an end.

In the following year the lex Visellia made freedmen who passed themselves off as freeborn men liable to prosecution; one offence specifically mentioned was

that of attempting to become a member of a municipal council. The law was not

entirely negative: on the old principle that a man who served Rome deserved

advancement in status it allowed six years’ service in the Vigiles to qualify

Junian Latins for full citizenship; but the main purpose of both senatus consultum and lex was to preserve social distinctions and the privileges and dignity of the upper classes.3 Misconduct by members of the equestrian as well as the senatorial


order was sharply checked: women who registered as prostitutes in order to

escape from the penalties of adultery, young men who voluntarily degraded

themselves in rank so as to appear in the arena or on the stage, all were liable to exile.4

On the other hand, the old-fashioned Princeps was acutely aware of the

differences in standing between senators and equites of high standing and did not mind pointing it out, even to Sejanus himself—if we accept as genuine the letter

of 25 in which Tacitus has him making the point.5 The Princeps’ preoccupation

with place and function operated against the order as well as for them. On at

least one famous occasion, two years earlier, Tiberius showed his reluctance to

allow any equestrian official in his employ to encroach on the privileges and

powers of a proconsul. Later in his principate, to be sure, there may have been a

change. For one thing, an equestrian procurator of Jamnia, Herennius Capito, is

found sending soldiers to exact repayment of a debt from Herod Agrippa of

Judaea; but unlike Lucilius Capito he was not thereby usurping rights that

properly belonged to a senatorial governor. It would never have occurred to

Tiberius to replace a defunct proconsul of Asia, even temporarily, with the

procurator of the province, as Domitian did.6 In this respect the preserves of the

equites were less carefully guarded than those of the Senate: we find a freedman, Hiberus, in the normally equestrian post of Prefect of Egypt for a few months in

AD 32; and if he had not died in the office he might have gone on holding it.

Tiberius is admitted by Tacitus to have exercised strict control over his

(relatively few) freedmen, at least until AD 23. The appointment of Hiberus

suggests that their influence may have increased as time went on, perhaps

because the Princeps became increasingly isolated from all but his immediate

household after his departure for Capri. All the same, the months that followed

the fall of Sejanus may be seen as a period of crisis; and Tiberius may naturally

have been willing to take extraordinary measures to ensure the security of Egypt.

But Hiberus is not the only evidence for an increase in the influence of the

freedmen. The New Year letter that Tiberius wrote to the Senate in January 28

accused Titius Sabinus, a Roman knight, of offering bribes to his freedmen; and

Agrippa of Judaea thought the same enterprise worth his money. When

L.Fulcinius Trio was forced to suicide in AD 35 it was Tiberius’ chief freedmen

he attacked in his will alongside the Praetorian Prefect Macro.7

Between Tiberius, the defender of established privilege, and the unprivileged

members of society cordiality was not to be expected. Velleius’ picture of the

rejoicings that attended his return from Rhodes and his adoption, of the popular

demand that he should be given the Pannonian command in AD 6, is overdrawn,

and significant for that reason; it should be set against the lampoons quoted by

Suetonius, of which the second couplet denies Tiberius the rank of eques, for want of the property qualification. That is a reference to his adoption by Augustus and its consequences, and the couplet probably belongs precisely to the year that,

according to Velleius, saw him return to such rejoicing.8 The lampoons never

stopped from that time; Tiberius had renounced any attempt to win the favour of


the people when he entered upon his second consulship with the promise to

restore the temple of Concord, and his political opponents repeatedly took

advantage of that fact. We have already noticed the city populace demonstrating

or threatening to demonstrate in favour of his rivals. Twice, in 6 BC and AD 3,

they won their point. They had genuine grievances: hunger, high rents, flooding,

fires; and it is probable that in 2 BC and virtually certain that in AD 6 they were encouraged to voice them by those rivals; Tiberius in 6 BC and again in AD 6

was a man in power—a convenient scapegoat for their discontents if Augustus

himself was not to be touched. Games celebrated in honour of the dead Nero

Drusus in the spring of AD 7 helped to distract them from their anger; on 10

August of the same year an altar to the beneficent deities and providers of corn

Ceres Mater and Ops Augusta was dedicated in fulfilment of a vow; and Nero

Drusus was commemorated again in the dedication of the temples of Castor and

Concord, for which Tiberius paid from his German spoils.9 But this was not the

end of such episodes. The trouble that Augustus expected in AD 14 did not

materialize; but in AD 16 the false Agrippa Postumus attracted a huge crowd of

supporters in his march on Ostia and Rome; and thirteen years later, when

Agrippina and her elder son were attacked in the Senate, the demonstrators

outside were persistent and noisy. They were not, it must be admitted, openly

hostile to the Princeps; Sejanus rather was their target; and that suggests perhaps that they were under discipline. In 31 Tiberius was given a clear intimation of the preferences of the people when he conferred priesthoods on Gaius Caligula and

on Sejanus and his son; and in October, when he staged his coup against

Sejanus, Tiberius considered that his only way of securing the populace for his

cause was to release his grandson Drusus Caesar from confinement and put him

at their head.10 For Sejanus had been at pains to occupy the place that Tiberius

had left empty by courting the plebs. He made some headway: the construction of granaries is recorded, and in 22 strenuous efforts to save the theatre of

Pompey from destruction by fire and to prevent the fire from spreading (fire was

an ever-present terror to the poorer classes of Rome). Sejanus brought his

campaign to a spectacular end by having his election to the consulship confirmed

on the Aventine Hill. The Aventine had strong associations with the plebs: it was there that they had withdrawn in ancient times under patrician oppression and

that the plebeian cults of Diana, of Liber and Ceres, the deities of wine and

grain, were established, there that Gaius Gracchus had made his last stand in 121

BC. If Juvenal is to be believed, what won Sejanus friends in the urban plebs was as much his political success as his ideological pretensions. That is a cynical

view; the plebs felt genuine affection for the families of Julia the elder and Germanicus, and compared with that any impression made by Sejanus was

superficial and did not survive his disgrace by a minute.11

It is to the period immediately after the fall of Sejanus that there belongs one

piece of evidence that seems to show Tiberius aware of Sejanus’ efforts and

ready to cajole as well as to intimidate the people.12

The inscription reads:

Tiberius the politician

Tiberius the politician


[At n]unc quoniam r[upit pacem (?)]

[a]nnorum lx Seiani sc[elerata]

[inc]itatio et improbae comitiae

[ill]ae fuerunt in Aventino ubi

[Sei]anus cos. factus est et ego

[de]bilis inutilis baculi comes

[u]t supplex fierem, omni nunc <vi(?)>

[v]os rogo boni contr

[ibu]les si semper apparui

[vo]bis bonus et utilis tri

[bul]is si numquam

[ium deser(?)]ui nec


—]m coi[—

—] rif[—:

But now, since the criminal incitement (or perhaps ‘[flag]itatio’,

‘demand’) of Sejanus has destroyed the peace of sixty years (?), and that

irregular electoral assembly has taken place on the Aventine at which

Sejanus was elected consul and I, the feeble companion of an

unserviceable staff, was brought to become a supplicant, I ask you with all

my might (?), my worthy fellow-tribesmen, if I have always seemed to you

to be a worthy and serviceable member of our tribe, if I have never

deserted my duty nor…13

The document is extraordinary and in many respects inexplicable; that alone is

enough to guarantee its authenticity. The prime question it raises is that of the

identity of the speaker. The syntax is anomalous (I have taken ‘fierem’ to depend on a ‘factus sum’ to be inferred from ‘factus est’) and the grammar worse:

‘improbae comitiae’ is a gross solecism on the part of the man who drafted the appeal or on that of the lapicide. There is no difficulty with the sense of the

phrase. The comitia centuriata should meet as iusta comitia (a duly appointed assembly of the people) on the Campus Martius (not on the Aventine) and

continued to do so even after AD 14 when it merely ratified the Senate’s choice

of candidates for consulship and praetorship. The author of the document knows

what he is talking about and has even the rare word ‘contribulis’ at his disposal.

He is a person of consequence, who expects to be known to his fellow tribesmen;

and he became a ‘supplex’ at the election of Sejanus, a word used in electoral contexts of the candidates who sought office. It is natural to think of Tiberius,

who took office at the same election as Sejanus, who was in his seventies at the

time, and who might describe himself literally as the ‘feeble companion of a

staff’ and metaphorically as ‘the companion of a useless (or harmful) staff’ (that

is to say, of Sejanus; the word ‘inutilis’ was often applied to persons); who certainly considered himself a slave to his duty, and who was notoriously given

to obscure and convoluted language. The ‘improbae comitiae’ remain an


obstacle to holding Tiberius to be the author of the inscription; he was unclear but pedantically correct in his speech. It is best perhaps to think of an error made by a hasty stone-cutter, who seems to have made at least one other mistake.

Tiberius, if it is he, is asking a favour of his fellow tribesmen after the fall of Sejanus. We cannot tell what it is; perhaps no more than an appeal for order in the aftermath of the disturbances; at any rate the tone is thoroughly conciliatory.14

All the evidence we have considered so far is from Rome and the

neighbourhood. But there was enthusiasm for the false Agrippa in Italy too, and

in AD 33 for a false Drusus Caesar who appeared in the eastern provinces.15

Whether Tiberius’ concern for the quietude of the Italian cities was more than a

normal dislike for inter-factional strife and proletarian disturbances is uncertain; the cities had sufficient causes for such disturbances and there is no need to

postulate dynastic politics as an issue. When Tiberius died the people demanded

his corpse as a lay figure for the spring festival at Atella, but by 37 his unpopularity was very widespread and its original causes seemed remote, if they were not

altogether forgotten.16

For Tiberius’ unpopularity Z.Yavetz has held Tiberius himself largely to

blame. Yavetz has allowed the pre-existing unpopularity of the Princeps to slip

out of sight; but there is no doubt that Tiberius’ principles and pride (adrogantia) exacerbated it.17 We have already seen that he made little or no attempt to present a winning side of himself to the masses of Rome; his very first act as Princeps

was effectively to deprive the people of their rights as electors. Yet he was

conscious—bitterly conscious—of his unpopularity. By AD 14 it had been made

too clear too often to be missed. By AD 23 the cohorts of the Praetorian Guard,

which had been dispersed about Rome and Italy, were assembled in one

permanent camp just outside the city, and it is a plausible guess that they were

concentrated there because it was in Rome that disturbances were most feared,

though Sejanus’ pretext was military discipline.18 During Tiberius’ principate the

populace perforce remained quiet for the most part, making its feelings plain

only at times of the greatest strain—that is to say, when corn was short. But

Tiberius had his means of sounding public opinion, as Tacitus indicates.19 It made

no difference. Consciousness of unpopularity will have made it even more

difficult for Tiberius to pay court to the people.

The underlying tone, then, was hostile. The Princeps had also to deal with day

to day fluctuations of public opinion. Nobody knew better than Tiberius what the

populace could achieve if it put its mind to it. That knowledge cannot have failed

to have its effect on the most tenaciously held of principles. Early in his

principate Tiberius, who had a passion for Lysippus’ statue the Apoxyomenos,

had it removed from in front of the Baths of Agrippa and taken to his own

bedroom, replacing it with another work. Eventually he gave way to the public

outcry in the theatre (the usual place for public demonstrations) and had it put

back.20 Tiberius did not merely react to disorder with speed and decision; he

sensibly made every effort to satisfy the reasonable wants of the people. He was

conscientious in maintaining grain supplies in face of widespread and persistent


shortages, transport difficulties, and perhaps losses due to the rebellion in Africa (17–24). He brought them in, as he himself claimed, from more provinces than

Augustus had exploited and on one occasion (in AD 19) subsidized the price;

justifiably he resented being accused of negligence.21 He distributed tips to the

people (on appropriate occasions: three is the number that Velleius astutely

conceals) on the same scale as Augustus; he was slow in distributing the largesse

that Augustus had left his people, and one anecdote has him savagely making

away with a man who criticized him for his tardiness; but Augustus had allowed

a year for the payment of some legacies, and he may have been a little shorter of

cash than he realized.22 Real need made Tiberius quicker to act. He made

earnest, if not at first successful, efforts to check the Tiber floods; his generosity and concern after the fires at Rome in AD 16, 27, and 36 were above reproach

and even won him some short-lived popularity.23 To attribute these efforts to

prudence does not do Tiberius justice: we must allow for his sense of duty and

his awareness of the responsibilities his position imposed. A sense of duty as

well as prudence is evident in Tacitus’ version of the pronouncement he made

during the senatorial debate on extravagance and luxury in AD 22. That his

conduct after the fires was due to regard for his own repute (‘gloria’) is hinted by Tacitus; common humanity may have been a factor, though we should not make

too much of Velleius’ stories of the consideration he showed to his soldiers on

campaign: a valuable asset was not to be wasted or mishandled; and the interest

in the sick that he displayed on the island of Rhodes may have been scientific

rather than humanitarian.24

Tiberius did what he thought was his duty. Corn and, to a lesser extent, congiaria (tips) came into that category. Dutifulness was not enough. His tone was

paternalistic. When the commons complained of the inadequacy of the corn

supplies they received a sharp rebuke, and that was not the only time.

Gladiatorial and theatrical performances and the circus he hated, and attended

them only for a short time, perhaps until he found that the spectators were using

them as occasions for bringing pressure to bear on him, not only to put back their

favourite statues, but to emancipate their favourite actors. These shows he did

not regard as obligatory, whatever Augustus’ practice had been, and they were

curtailed and a limit set to the number of gladiatorial contests to be given at any one festival. The people continued to make use of what opportunities they had

left: in AD 32 they were still able to make a vociferous demonstration in the theatre for several days on end (it was over a grain shortage). Nor had Tiberius ventured

to make the transition to austerity too sudden; in AD 15 actors’ pay was cut, and

unruly members of the profession guaranteed exemption from corporal

punishment only because they could produce a ruling of Augustus to that effect.

Eight years later the Princeps returned to the attack, drawing the attention of the Senate to the outrageous, seditious, and licentious behaviour of actors. The old

Atellan farce, which was so much to the trivial taste of the common people, had

become so powerful an influence for mischief that it must be restrained by the

Senate. The House obliged by expelling the actors, or some of them, from Italy;


and the resentment that that action caused survived until Tiberius died; at any

rate, Caligula at once restored the exiles. In AD 27 the people flocked to the fatal amphitheatre at Fidena precisely because there was nothing on at Rome, and

Seneca presents us with a gladiator, Triumphus, lamenting the state of the times

under Tiberius: ‘How fair an age has passed away!’25

Nor did the Princeps embark on any fresh large-scale building programme.

The few new public buildings he is known to have constructed, even that purely

utilitarian project, the barracks for the Praetorians on the Viminal, were put in

hand near the beginning of his principate, like those he repaired (except for the

rebuilding after the fires); and three of them might have been calculated, were in

fact calculated, to remind the plebs of the genial and generous Princeps they had lost. An arch for the return of the standards captured in Germany, a temple of

Fors Fortuna (a deity with plebeian associations), a temple of the Gens Iulia and

a statue of Augustus at Bovillae, all were dedicated in AD 16; a number of

temples that Augustus had begun to repair were completed by Tiberius and

dedicated in AD 17; the temple of the deified Augustus, to which Tiberius was

committed from the moment of consecration, if not the restored scaena (stage) of Pompey’s theatre, was completed probably by AD 34, but both remained

undedicated in the Princeps’ absence. Dio gives an impression of substantial

building operations undertaken at the beginning of the principate but not

exploited by the Princeps to his own glory; Velleius exploits them, but does not

go into detail, and this is significant.26 We may conclude that even in the eyes of an admiring contemporary the programme was relatively modest, especially

compared with the achievements of which Augustus could boast (he restored no

fewer than eighty-two buildings), and that Tiberius made no capital out of it. He

had less faith than most Romans in monuments built of stone as a means of

preserving a man’s memory;27 the economical Princeps thought he had more

cogent reasons—the very success of Augustus, shortage of cash—for refraining.

But the policy was unfortunate even from the economic point of view. Imperial

investment in building would have stimulated the economy; certainly it would

have provided employment for a number of artisans in the city. But it was the

apparent meanness and lack of ambition of the new regime—a dispiriting

contrast with the exhilarating grandeur of the Augustan programme—that is our

concern as affecting the morale of the populace.

For a man sensitive about his reputation with posterity Tiberius was

remarkably careless of contemporary and lower-class public opinion, no doubt

because history was not written by members of the urban plebs. But their

reactions were duly recorded and one thing that was noted was the contrast

between the impression made by Tiberius’ arrogance and by the affability of

Germanicus and Agrippina, who enjoyed and probably courted the favour of the

populace. In AD 19 the arrogance was seen to be sinister as well as irritating.

Germanicus died in the East, it was said of poison administered by Tiberius’

friend Cn. Piso; and Tiberius checked the spontaneous mourning of the people

with one of his brusque communiqués. When the ashes arrived in Rome neither 96 EQUITES AND PLEBS

he nor Livia attended their interment; and the common people had no time for

the aristocratic and Stoic restraint that Tiberius habitually showed in face of

grief. Besides, he tried to secure the man charged with the murder a fair trial.28

When, ten years later, Germanicus’ widow and eldest son fell into disgrace,

suspicion would become certainty. And it was only natural to return the hatred of

a man who had shown his feelings by absenting himself from the city, issuing

instructions that his peace was not to be disturbed, and finally shutting himself

up on an island for purposes clearly divined by his friends the Atellan farceurs:

‘Up the island roes the tongue of an old goat goes.’29 Upon Germanicus‘ son,

Gaius Caligula, focused hopes of release from a dreary and in the end, for a

limited circle, terrifying regime; upon the boy’s grandfather focused hatred for

maintaining it and for making away with Gaius’ father, mother, and brothers.30

Gaius Caligula inherited all their popularity; but it was not Gaius’ popularity that prompted the demand ‘Tiberius to the Tiber’; his claim to power rested partly on

his kinship with Tiberius and on his recognition in Tiberius’ will, and that should have imposed caution on the people. By making a display of his aristocratic

independence and his senatorial principles, by neglecting public opinion, and by

allowing dynastic faction free play, Tiberius added in no small measure to the

discontent that, through no fault of his own, his original advancement had roused.

In a sense Tiberius had the last word with the plebs. The Senate annulled his will, but Gaius Caligula undertook to pay the legacies. Each member of the

Praetorian Guard received 1,000 sesterces, of the Urban Cohorts half as much, of

the Vigiles and the legions 300 sesterces; the city populace received 45 million

sesterces. Tiberius had arrived at those sums by consulting the will of Augustus;

having calculated his duty down the last as, he stuck to it to the end.31



Augustus’ overall control of the provinces was made explicit in 23 BC when he

received proconsulare imperium maius. Yet a governor might still see himself as king for a year, and it was in a royal deed that L. Volesus Messalla, proconsul of

Asia, exulted as he stalked past the bodies of the men he had condemned. This man

held office in the last years of Augustus, but it is usually maintained that there

was a marked improvement in the standard of provincial government under the

Principate: the Princeps chose many governors himself, supervised them, and

made the prosecution of malefactors easier, both by promoting legislation (the

senatus consultum Calvisianum of 4 BC offered provincials a new and speedier method of redressing non-capital wrongs) and by making himself accessible to

delegations of Rome’s subjects; from his point of view the support of the

provincials, or at least of the influential classes among them, was important as a

counterpoise to possible senatorial discontent, as it already had been to dynasts

of the late Republic, to Marius, Pompey, and Caesar.1

The principate of Tiberius has been singled out for special praise. Not only did

it see the system in full working order, but Tiberius made two innovations of his

own. First, the long tenure enjoyed by some governors, not only legates in the

‘imperial’ provinces, but proconsuls. C. Poppaeus Sabinus, legate of Moesia for

twenty-four years until his death at the end of AD 35, with Achaea and

Macedonia added in AD 15, is a striking example of the first category;

P.Petronius, proconsul of Asia perhaps from AD 29 to 35, of the second.2 These

men had more time to learn their jobs, it is claimed, than the normal proconsul, with his single year in office, and even than the legate, with three. Second, and even

more remarkable, two men governed in absence. Neither L. Aelius Lamia, legate

of Syria from c. AD 21 to 32, nor L.Arruntius, legate of Tarraconensis from AD

23 at least until 33, ever went out to his province. Hence the view that Tiberius

was planning a centralized administration, a kind of ministry that would govern

the provinces from Rome, keeping the man in charge of each under the eye of the


More recently, and notably by Brunt, Alföldy, and Orth, provincial

government under the Principate, and in particular the administration of

Tiberius, have been seen in a less rosy light. The Princeps was concerned more


with exploiting the provinces than with advancing their economic and social life

and their status. Pontius Pilate was one of the men that Tiberius kept in office for years (in that case nine); there was no shortage of prosecutions for

maladministration during his principate, and we have three serious uprisings to

account for (the long-lasting rebellion of Tacfarinas in Africa, the revolt of

Florus and Sacrovir in Gaul in 21, and that of the Frisii in 28). In Judaea later the complaint was heard that the Princeps in Rome was too far away to know

everything that went on; under Tiberius two governors of first-class provinces

were at the same distance or not much less.4 The whole topic of Tiberius’

provincial administration needs to be reconsidered in the light of these recent


If Tiberius failed it was not for want of personal experience, in this as in other

areas of his life. He had seen service abroad from his earliest years, and his

training for empire equalled that of Augustus, Vespasian, and Trajan. At sixteen

he was fighting in Spain; at twenty-two leading an army through the Balkans and

Anatolia into Armenia, and, according to Velleius, giving proof of all his merits

by the way, no doubt by making himself affable to men who mattered in the

provinces and by promising future services. He had been active in the defence

and pacification of Gallia Comata and in the conquest of the Alps, Illyricum, and

Germany, and he would have launched the civil administration of those regions,

if he did not actually supervise its working. On the island of Rhodes he had seen

life in the Roman Empire as private individual as well as army commander and

he had taken some part in the life of its people in the gymnasium and schools.5

Experience was nothing without reflection. Tiberius had views. He kept his

public and his private life in separate compartments. The magistrates of Rhodes

approached him as Princeps with a request not completed in due form with prayers

for his welfare; they were not spared the trouble of coming to Rome to correct

their mistake; and they had feared worse. In AD 22 a dispute over control of a

temple was brought to the Senate by Messene and Sparta, which was under

Tiberius’ patronage; the Messenians won.6 The aloof impartiality, the harshness

to friends, were studied, part of his awareness that more was expected of a

Princeps than of men in lower positions.

The same idea played its part in Tiberius’ failure to visit any part of the

Empire after he came to power. He had spent twenty-eight years or seasons

abroad before AD 14. After his accession he never left central Italy. It was a

source of grievance in that year that an experienced general, in health and only

fifty-six years old, could not or would not approach the mutinous legions of

Pannonia and the Rhine. At that moment Tiberius, as we have seen, may have

had closer fears; but according to Tacitus he was trying to show impartiality

towards the two armies and to hold his own majesty in reserve. Yet public

opinion, or his own anxieties, an idea of using that maiestas to intimidate the mutinous soldiers on the spot or (in 23) to spur on recruiting officers in the

performance of their duty, forced him to prepare for a journey that would never

be made, in AD 14 or any other year. His dilatory behaviour, which earned him


the nickname ‘Callipides’ (after a Greek runner who made no progress), was

contrasted unfavourably with the energy of Augustus; but the truth was that

Augustus’ last visit to Gaul had been undertaken when he was a year younger

than Tiberius was in AD 14. After 8 BC he too was never to leave Italy again.

Tiberius, then, was adopting the same policy that Augustus had pursued for the

last twenty-two years of his principate. Like Augustus, Tiberius could rely, at least for the first nine years, on members of the dynasty. By the end of that time, what

may have begun as practice had become confirmed principle, a principle that

meant that the Princeps never saw the provvinces.7

Tiberius’ campaigns in Germany and Illyricum from AD 4 onwards betray no

reluctance to delegate responsibility to subordinates, but it would be wrong to

believe that he later stayed in Italy because of a delicate sensibility towards the feelings of provincial governors or even towards those of his sons. Germanicus

received imperium proconsular in Germany in AD 14; that did not prevent

Tiberius exerting strong pressure on him when he thought that the campaigns

ought to be brought to an end; he made Cn. Piso governor of Syria in AD 17 to

restrain the activities of Germanicus; and the latter’s unauthorized entry into

Egypt provoked a sharp and public reaction.8 Tiberius could intervene at a

distance. Other determining factors can be made out. The Empire was a monster.

Tiberius’ very grasp of minutiae, the care with which his campaigns were

prepared, may have warned him that he could not involve himself in the affairs

of one province without neglecting the rest; his province was the world, and a

man with an eye for detail but little creative imagination (his taste in literature reveals these qualities of mind) had to school himself to see the whole. And

finally his appeals to the majesty of the Principate veiled an abhorrence of

solicitation and flattery that grew less easy to hide as time went on.9

Yet it is this man who is credited with two remarkable innovations in Roman

provincial administration—not that the ancient writers saw much policy in them,

or anything creditable. For the prorogation of governors, Tacitus repeats the

reasons he found in the works of his pre-decessors: a dislike of taking fresh

decisions, and an innate conservatism; the wish to allow as few as men as

possible to enjoy authority; a preference for mediocrity. Neither of these last two explanations is credible, certainly no more credible than Dio’s allegation that the depleted Senate of Tiberius’ last years could not provide sufficient numbers of

officials (that at least turns out to be a distortion of the truth). A famous mot of Tiberius compares governors in their provinces with gorged flies on a sore: it

was better to leave them than to drive them off to make way for fresh ones. If

Tiberius said this, it was as a bitter and impatient joke, made perhaps in reply to criticism, and it is not to be taken as revealing his true views. In AD 33 Tiberius was heard complaining of the unwillingness of good men to take up provincial

commands.10 Far from preferring mediocrities, Tiberius wanted to give posts to

men of merit; those he secured he continued in office and did not supersede them

with men less able. That was the theory. Tiberius’ dislike of taking decisions11

reinforced it, but made the practice less admirable than the theory, for the


incompetent or dishonest were also continued, remaining immune to prosecution

as long as they held their posts. It should cause no surprise that competent

governors were hard to find. Even under the Republic it was not every senator

who jumped at the chance of governing a province: Cicero was one of those who

avoided the experience as long as he could. Now the political rewards, if not the

financial, were measurably less great; some men’s ambitions were satisfied by

the ennobling consulship; and the capital had obvious attractions, especially

perhaps when compared with the chilly northern provinces. Tiberius’ remedy

aggravated the disease: once his tendency to prorogue was recognized, men may

have been even more seriously deterred from putting themselves forward. It

could mean a sentence to a climate not much better than that of Ovid’s Tomis

and for a period almost as indefinite.

It is in the same quarter that we must seek an explanation of governorships

held in absence. This too Tacitus attributes to Tiberius’ inability to take

decisions. Overtly sinister explanations are given by Suetonius and Dio and by

Tacitus elsewhere. Lamia and Arruntius were detained through the influence of

Sejanus, or by the Princeps’ own fears. Dio, however, also reports that

governorships in absence were claimed to be given honoris causa. Lamia and

Arruntius were men high in Tiberius’ esteem for their trustworthiness and talent.

He continued to benefit from their presence while they held senior office; and

they added to their prestige amidst the comforts of the metropolis. Only for the

provincials were the advantages uncertain. It was probably a deputy of Arruntius

(his name was L.Piso) who was assassinated in Tarraconensis in AD 25 for his

excessive zeal in collecting tribute; Lamia’s legate in Syria was there long

enough to ‘make it his own’—whatever that implies.12

The governorships in absence reveal Tiberius’ fundamental attitude towards

the provincials as clearly as his cleaving to Rome and Italy and his announcement

in AD 23 that he would have to go into the provinces to conscript new recruits for the army because there was an inadequate supply of volunteers from Italy, and those unsuitable.13 It is illustrated with succinct clarity by another mot, his admonition to the Prefect of Egypt, Aemilius Rectus: ‘I want my sheep shorn, not

flayed.’ A longer exposition of his views, reported by Tacitus, is consistent with

the apothegm whether that is genuine or not. The senatorial debate on luxury in

22 provoked the Princeps to complain of Roman dependence on supplies from

abroad: they had no other means of meeting the needs of masters and slaves and

of making up for the deficiencies of Italian arable land than by importing from

the provinces; and securing these supplies was the responsibility of the Princeps.

We have already noticed the pressure he was under from the plebs to ensure its grain allowance. His very position forced the Princeps to take up the attitude of a Gaius Gracchus towards the provinces: they must be exploited—and efficiently—

for the benefit of the people of Rome. For Tiberius Rome and Italy were the

political caput rerum, the centre.14 The provincials had a lowlier position in this scheme of things. How lowly is shown not only by his choice of metaphor (they

were ‘sheep’) but by his irritation when he heard in 19 that Germanicus, who


liked to be as an equal among equals, had curried favour with the people of

Alexandria by appearing among them in Greek dress; and that his body had been

stripped and exposed to the gaze of foreigners at Antioch in an attempt to

convince them that he had been murdered.15 Even when Roman dignity and the

interests of Rome and Italy were not directly concerned, the same dour realism

prevailed. In AD 15 the provinces of Achaea and Macedonia begged for relief

from their financial burdens. The Senate decided that they would find it less

expensive to be governed by imperial legates than by proconsuls, and decreed

their transfer to Tiberius’ administration.16 That decision will have been

welcome. Proconsuls governed in style; the status and the retinue of the legates

were more modest. But what the inhabitants of the two provinces felt about being

united under one governor, and that the legate of Moesia, is not known. The

economies were made with little regard for their self-esteem.

But economy was not the only consideration. The change made explicit the

fact that the centre of gravity in the Balkan peninsula had altered. As Roman

power extended itself towards the Danube during the principate of Augustus the

proconsul of Macedonia had often been called upon to fight, as he had under the

Republic; finally the newly conquered area had required an administrator of its

own, the governor of Moesia, who emerges in AD 4, in command of the force

that had once been the proconsul’s.17 The existence of this new province

diminished the importance of Macedonia and Achaea; they were the least of the

charges that Poppaeus Sabinus had on him. The unsettled areas of the Balkans

lay elsewhere. Pannonia and Dalmatia had been re-pacified only in AD 9, and

the tribes of Thrace were often to cause trouble during the principate of Tiberius.

There was a strong case for a unified command in the unsettled peninsula

(Tiberius had been on his way to Illyricum in AD 14 when the news of

Augustus’ final illness reached him) and in AD 17 hegemony over the whole

area, Illyricum, Pannonia, Raetia, and Noricum, was conferred on Drusus

Caesar, with proconsular imperium. Tacitus claims that the purpose of the

command was to give Drusus military experience and Tiberius increased

security. Coming as the command did three years after Germanicus’ grant of

imperium proconsulare, it may have had those purposes as well, but Drusus was not idle and he had won his ovation by 20. Not only did inland tribes have to be

settled; there were pirates to be suppressed. Those who forced Cyzicus to block

the channels that ran through her isthmus were partly checked by Drusus’

procurator, and he was honoured for it by the city of Ilium.18 But the immediate

occasion for his appointment was an appeal from the Suebi against the Cherusci,

who now had no Roman expedition to face and could turn their attention to their

southern neighbours, the Suebian Marcomanni under Maroboduus. The appeal

was rejected, naturally enough now that Roman policy was to allow the Germans

to destroy each other; but Drusus was sent to make sure that Roman territory

remained untroubled and he was perfectly successful. An old enemy, the Goth

Catualda, was let loose on the weakened Maroboduus, whom Tiberius

considered as dangerous to Rome as Pyrrhus or Antiochus III, and he had to


throw himself on the mercy of the Princeps.19 In the same area we find the legate

in Upper Illyricum, P.Dolabella, constructing roads to run from the cities of the

coast, Salonae and Iader, to the borders to the province. They were to cut through

the central mountain ranges and make the tribes there accessible to coercion and

civilization. Tiberius was the most successful soldier of his age; it was only

natural that he should pay careful attention to the defence and pacification of the Empire, especially of this region which lay so close to its heart—ten days’ march

from Rome, as Augustus let out in a moment of panic. The termini of the radial roads were connected by routes constructed along the Danube and by the river

itself and its fleet.20

Even late in the principate of Tiberius, when the interest and energy of the

ageing ruler flagged in his seclusion, considerable road works were put in hand

in Hispania Tarraconensis, notably in that north-west corner of the province

which had proved so intractable to Roman rule and which, as it happened, had

been the scene of Tiberius’ earliest military operations. Perhaps they should all

be attributed to the initiative of the unknown legate.21

Africa, too, was of particular concern: according to Josephus it supplied two-

thirds of Rome’s grain supply.22 There, some weeks after Tiberius’ accession,

the proconsul L.Nonius Asprenas was building a road from the legionary camp

at Ammaedara to Capsa and Tacape on the coast. In the proconsulate that

followed, that of L.Aelius Lamia in AD 15–16, another road was constructed on

Tiberius’ orders to open up the route inland from Lepcis Magna.23 These two

roads gave speedy access to tribes of the interior, respectively the Musulamii and

the Garamantes; the camp at Ammaedara dominated the south-east of

Musulamian territory, and the road cut that tribe off from their natural allies, the Cinithii and Garamantes. As the soldiers advanced they would survey and mark

off the new territory. There is no evidence that this activity was an immediate

prelude to confiscation for land-grabbing immigrants, but the nomads may have

seen it in that light, and in any case it hampered their seasonal migrations. By 17

the Musulamii under Tacfarinas were in revolt, and they were to take seven years

to defeat.24

One modern writer has claimed that Tiberius was responsible for the outbreak

in the first place. Tacitus describes the Musulamii as having no part in city life; later he emphasizes Tiberius’ vexation at having the rebel write to him as an

equal to demand a settled home and land for his people. From this we are to

conclude that the rebellion was caused by the exclusion of the Musulamii from

urbanization and prolonged by imperial pique.25 This view is not just. There is no

evidence that the Musulamii were ready and eager for city life at the beginning

of the outbreak in AD 17, none that there was any urbanization in their area from

which they were being excluded. Tacfarinas’ later demands for a ‘sedes’ and

‘concessio agrorum’, if they are not demands for a return to the old conditions of free migration, were made as a second best. If the advance of a settled life of

agriculture made nomadism impossible, the rebels at least insisted on a

guaranteed stake in that life. Besides, Tiberius inherited his troubles from his


predecessor, as he had inherited the plan to construct the road from Tacape.26

The rebellion of Tacfarinas is an episode in a continuing process of pacification.

When L.Calpurnius Fabatus became Prefect of the seventh cohort of Lusitanians

and of the six Gaetulian tribes in Numidia is uncertain; this post may have been

created in the aftermath of Tacfarinas’ rebellion or in that of a disturbance which broke out twenty years later, to be put down by the future Princeps Galba (he

won the ornamenta triumphalia). Meanwhile, the limitation of land continued: it is attested in the third year of C.Vibius Marsus’ governorship (29–30).

Eventually some Musulamian land was hived off to form the territory of the

Flavian colony of Madauros, which became imperial or private property. The

final hemming in and pacification of the Musulamii did not take place until

Trajan’s reign. It was hastened by the restrictions placed on the formerly

nomadic tribes and by the growth of townships round the forts that Rome used to

police the area.27

The importance of Tacfarinas’ rebellion is not to be exaggerated. Tacitus had

his own reasons for magnifying it. It was only one episode in a long process and

it constituted no threat to the unity of the Empire. Tiberius depicted the rebel in one of the historical analogies which he used to bring home his assessment of a

situation to the Senate, as a deserter from the army, a brigand, of less account

than Spartacus, whose depredations were not to be tolerated in an empire at the

height of its power and untroubled by other dangers. All the same, Tacfarinas’

tactics were hard to counter, his allies were to be found at either end of the

province, he could range widely and threaten places as far apart as Lepcis Magna

and the district of Cirta. The Roman victory was hard won and Tiberius is to be

faulted only for his erroneous judgment of the position at the end of Blaesus’

governorship and for his failure to set the record straight by acknowledging the

achievement of Dolabella.

The revolt that broke out in Gaul in AD 21 has been assigned a number of

causes.28 Tacitus mentions indebtedness, continual demands for taxes, and the

rapacity of governors. The movement began amongst the Andecavi and Turoni,

but the important and traditionally loyal tribe of the Aedui was involved, and so

were the Treviri to the north. The leaders were two members of the Gallic upper

class, the Treviran Julius Florus and the Aeduan Julius Sacrovir. One important

factor in the outbreak was the ending of the boom that had taken place in Gaul

since the conquest of Caesar. In the reign of Augustus towns had been built or

developed, with expensive walls and gates; roads had been constructed, and if

the Gauls had thrown themselves with enthusiasm into the business of making

money (they were soon to eclipse Italy in the wine and pottery industries), they had also felt it incumbent upon themselves to spend it on the amenities that made

Roman life worth living. Help had come from Augustus: he paid for the walls

and gates of Nemausus and other towns. The roads were built by the state but the

Gauls knew when they paid their taxes that their contribution to the imperial

finances was no mean one.29


The booty of Egypt lubricated the Roman economy for twenty years. After

about 10 BC there are signs of a shortage of cash, aggravated in Italy because

silver was exported to pay for Oriental luxuries, spices and silk. This economic

fact, as well as dislike of the pressure to keep up with their peers, which could

lead individuals into debt and criminal conspiracy, may lie behind the moral

arguments against the wearing of silk by men and the use of gold at table which

were heard in the Senate near the beginning of Tiberius’ principate and again in

22.30 Certainly shortage of currency was a factor in the financial crisis of AD 33; it was alleviated for the benefit of the landowning class by disbursements made

by the Princeps. Donations of silver and gold, offered by certain senators and

equites in AD 16 or 31, may have been intended as token sacrifices to the

welfare of the commonwealth.31 Tiberius’ own way of life was frugal; that habit

he carried over into his housekeeping for the state, combining personal liberality

with care for the contents of the state treasury, Aerarium and Fiscus alike. It was a natural policy to adopt, especially when money began to be difficult to come

by, but it might have been more advantageous to the Roman economy if Tiberius

had hoarded less; the extravagant expenditure of Gaius Caligula gave it more of

a stimulus.32 Even more disquieting is the possibility that shortage of bullion led Tiberius to take an interest in other men’s money and property, even to the point

of having charges brought against them so that he might confiscate their wealth

or its source (mines). The first time that Tacitus notices the phenomenon is in AD

24, on the conviction of C.Silius; then came the property of Sejanus, transferred

to the Fiscus at the beginning of 32, and the gold and copper mines of Sex.

Marius, the richest man in Spain, sequestrated for the Princeps in 33, which

happens to be the year of the financial crisis. The charge cannot be substantiated, and it is probably coloured by the rapacity of Domitian;33 but the heavy cost of

running the armed ‘imperial’ provinces made it natural, when a man’s property

was confiscated, for that property to be transferred from the Aerarium, which

was supported by the revenues of Narbonensian Gaul and Asia, to the Fiscus,

which was at the disposal of the Princeps.

That Gaul in particular was victim of Tiberius’ demands is a charge brought

against the Princeps by Grenier. According to Suetonius, Tiberius withdrew

immunities that his predecessors had allowed. Now the Aedui, a community that

possessed a treaty with Rome, were immune from taxation. Grenier suggested

that the Aedui reacted by revolting.34 That explanation will not do for the

Treveri, the Andecavi, and the Turoni. Besides, Tacitus speaks of ‘continuatio

tributorum’, the unremitting demand for taxes, as one of the causes. That does not sound like a burden newly imposed (indeed, the latest census had been

completed by Germanicus in AD 16) and Tacitus’ summary of the principate

down to 23 particularly makes the point that Tiberius was careful not to disturb

the provinces by imposing new burdens on them, a remark that would be

difficult to make if one of the only serious revolts that took place during that

period had been provoked precisely by the imposition of new taxes. (It was

horses and auxiliary troops that the Gauls had to provide.) Suetonius does not PROVINCIAL AND FOREIGN POLICY 105

even name the Gauls, and the losses he mentions may refer to other cities;

Cyzicus was deprived of its freedom in 25 for a riot in which Roman citizens

died.35 It is safest to think of economic stringency as the main cause of the

revolt, with the least astute of the Gauls going to the wall because they could not meet obligations incurred in a period of euphoria and expansion; remorseless

taxation, not merely a special tribute continued after the ending of the expedition into Germany, was a secondary cause.

Scholars have adduced other factors, for some of which Tiberius must be held

responsible, if they are right. Certainly he was responsible for withdrawing

Germanicus from Gaul and Germany (Aquitania, Belgica, and Lugdunensis now

came under three separate governors for the purposes of civil administration),

and for the absence during the five years before the revolt of all members of the

imperial family. Personal attention was something that the Gauls had become

used to, and which they may have demanded. The realistic Tiberius was not

prepared to gratify them. The effect of this on Gallic morale cannot be measured;

perhaps it was not considerable, but one of the grievances was the brutality and

arrogance of the officials in charge of the provinces; Germanicus’ successors did

not give satisfaction. As for the suppression of Druidism, which Pliny credits to

Tiberius, the date of the senatus consultum is unknown; it may have come after the revolt and it cannot safely be brought in as a contributory cause.36 If Tiberius is to be blamed, then, it is for husbanding rather than disbursing his resources of gold and silver, for maintaining taxation at unacceptable levels, and for failing to pander to Gallic self-esteem. The revolt was soon ended, in spite of the quarrels

of the two commanders on the Rhine, who should have united in suppressing it;

the Senate heard of the outbreak and its suppression at the same time.

Prevention, however, was better than cure, and Tacitus gives his subject full

credit not only for avoiding the imposition of new burdens, but for ensuring that

old ones were not aggravated by plundering and brutality on the part of

governors.37 This verdict summarizes the views of Tiberius’ near-

contemporaries. It comes in general terms, but it deserves attention. The point

about Tiberius’ control of his governors is of particular interest. Whether a large number of cases of res repetundae is to be taken as evidence of care or of

negligence on the part of a Princeps it is useless to speculate; there are too many variables involved, the evidence is scrappy and diverse in quantity and quality as

the sources change. One would expect relatively few prosecutions in Tiberius’

time if only because of his prorogations, yet Brunt reports eleven such cases from

the years 14–37 and only two from the principate of Augustus.38 Certainly,

Tiberius was not inclined to shelter offending officials even when he had

appointed them himself. The trial in 23 of Lucilius Capito, procurator of Asia,

attests that. In the previous year Tiberius had shown notable severity towards

C.Silanus, proconsul of Asia, who was convicted of extortion aggravated by

violence. The disproportion must be due to disparity in the sources for the two

principates; and it is likely that the provincial organizations that undertook the


prosecutions of delinquent governors were not equipped to do so under

Augustus: the first attested example is precisely that of C.Silanus.39

It was the punishment of these officials, as well as the help given the province

after an earthquake, that led the inhabitants of Asia to seek permission to erect a temple to Tiberius, Livia, and the Senate; yet the conduct of Capito in usurping

the functions of the governor and exercising jurisdiction outside the imperial

estates that were his province was repeated by his successors and eventually

became accepted as the norm. Equestrian officials and legates, as appointees of

the Princeps, were formidable to senatorial officials and to their subjects.

Nevertheless, what led Capito astray may have been not common greed or

arrogance, but misplaced zeal for his exacting master.40

It is not only Capito’s behaviour that can be interpreted in this way. There are

three other instances to be considered, from far-flung corners of the Empire. In

Hispania Tarraconensis we have seen L.Piso assassinated in AD 25 by one of the

Termestini;41 although the culprit dashed out his own brains before the truth

could be tortured out of him it was believed that the whole tribe was implicated.

Piso had been exacting taxes with more zeal than the high-spirited Spaniards

could stomach. Three years later came the revolt of the Frisii in Germany.42 They

lived north of the mouth of the Rhine, barbarians of small means, and Tiberius’

brother had imposed tribute of ox-hides on them, without specifying size or

quality. That was not done until Olennius, the ex-centurion who was in charge of

them, demanded buffalo-hides. In Tacitus’ touching account it was only when

they had sold cattle, lands, and families that the Frisii killed the soldiers who

came to collect the tax; Olennius fled to a Roman fort. L.Apronius, now

governor of Lower Germany, launched an attack on the Frisii, but met with a

serious reverse, losing more than 1,300 men and making no attempt at

retaliation. Tacitus gives Tiberius the credit of suppressing the news of the losses in order to avoid having to appoint a commander to avenge them. Apronius kept

his post—and the opinion of his troops. His blunder was not serious enough, in

Tiberius’ mind, to outweigh past services and perhaps present political

considerations. The Frisii were still unpacified in AD 47, when Cn. Domitius

Corbulo undertook to settle them.

Lastly, the conduct of Pontius Pilate, Prefect of Judaea from AD 27 to 36.43

One night early in his administration Pilate brought military standards into

Jerusalem. They bore the image of Tiberius on them, and their introduction

infringed Jewish law. The result was a riot. The city mob, joined by people from

the country, made for Pilate at Caesarea, and eventually induced him to remove

the standards. That was not the end of the trouble that he caused. He began to use

the sacred treasure known as the Corbonas on an aqueduct. When he came to

Jerusalem he was mobbed, and a number of Jews were clubbed down or

trampled underfoot in the ensuing panic. The last incident came very near the

end of his term of office. He insisted on setting up gilded shields in Herod’s

palace in the Holy City. One thing Pilate had learnt: they bore no image, but but

only an inscription that stated the name of the dedicator and that of the person in PROVINCIAL AND FOREIGN POLICY 107

whose honour the dedication was made. Distinguished Jews begged him to

remove them, but he refused. The Jews wrote to Tiberius and he instructed Pilate

to set them up in the temple of Augustus at Caesarea.

Pilate’s behaviour has led scholars to believe that he was a conscious anti-

Semite, acting in concert with Sejanus—for it was after the fall of the Prefect

that he was recalled. Certainly Tiberius is given a good press by the

contemporary Jewish writer Philo, while Sejanus is seen as bent on destroying

the whole race. But Philo’s account is suspect. His Legatio is an invective against Gaius Caligula, whose conduct has to be contrasted unfavourably with

that of Tiberius; and if the Jews suffered under that Princeps (the Jews and their

proselytes, with the followers of Isis, were expelled from Italy in AD 19 and four

thousand deported to Sardinia to fight bandits) it was only because he was under

the influence of Sejanus.44 There is no reason to believe in a connexion between

Pilate and Sejanus, and it is unlikely that the governor deliberately stirred up

trouble amongst his subjects, even if he could rely on the support of the

Praefectus Praetorio to get him out of the trouble that would surely follow. For as Tacitus and other authors repeatedly emphasize, tranquillity was a prime

consideration in Tiberius’ provincial government.45

There is another explanation of Pilate’s conduct: stupid officiousness and,

especially when the fall of the Prefect brought on a period of fear and

uncertainty, a desire to demonstrate loyalty to the Princeps at all costs. It is in accord with this suggestion that the inscription found at Caesarea shows, not only

that the official title of the governor in Tiberius’ time was Praefectus, but that

Pilate had constructed a building known as the Tiberieum.46

Tranquillity was what Tiberius wanted—for its own sake and because it

favoured the efficient exploitation of the provinces. It was a safe theme for the

admiring historian Velleius, because he achieved it, the disturbances in Africa,

Gaul, and Germany serving only to emphasize the profound peace that reigned

elsewhere. The transfer of legio IX Hispana to Africa was the only movement of the legions that Tiberius found necessary to make during his principate; only

four years later he was able to return it to Pannonia. The principate has no

spectacular successes to display (Tiberius took the title imperator only once after his accession, and there was one triumph to match and one ovation, those of

Germanicus and Drusus, with seven known grants of triumphal insignia, ten

fewer than Augustus made in not many years more47); but that is an index of

Tiberius’ success. The Principes who came after were to go far beyond Tiberius’

modest goal of maintaining peace. There is no sign that he understood as well as

his predecessor Augustus the nascent political importance of the provinces.

Rome and Italy were the centre of his world and he did not pretend otherwise. In

that he was true to his conservative persuasion; for the provincials had been, and

were again to be, from the reign of Claudius onwards, a counter-weight to

opposition from the Senate. True, Tiberius permitted the entry of some few

provincials to that body. Their selection from far-flung parts of the Empire proves that there was nothing systematic in it. More significant would have been


extensive grants of citizenship, compensating in some measure for the hard-

headed fiscal exploitation of the provinces. We have no reliable figures, but the

evidence of inscriptions has been gathered,48 and it shows men called Ti. Iulius

as comparatively rare; fewer than one hundred are known compared with the

several thousand C.Iulii whose rights go back to Caesar or Augustus (or are due

to Gaius Caligula). They are remarkably rare in the Spanish and Gallic provinces

and in Africa; it is as if Tiberius considered that the grants had gone far enough

in these provinces, highly Romanized though some of them were. There are more

in Upper Germany and they are commoner still in the Danubian provinces,

Raetia, Noricum, Pannonia, and Moesia; they are found among the civilians in the

first three provinces as well as among former members of the auxiliary forces.

The very few Ti. Iulii of Eastern origin belong mostly to ruling circles of the

cities of Asia. Perhaps it would not be too sweeping to say, on the basis of the

figures we have, that what influenced Tiberius was the ancient criterion of

service to Rome in the armed forces, perhaps with hereditary connexions with

the Princeps’ family operating in the East.

This was not the only sphere in which Tiberius showed little inclination to court

the provincials; his attitude was markedly passive. Principes carried on their

administration by responding to the pleas and petitions of their subjects; it was

the only way for them to cope with the immense labours it involved—Tiberius

once ironically made a speaker alter to ‘onerous’ a reference to his tasks as

‘sacred’—and Tiberius did so with a deliberation that suited his policies and

character. As time went on, according to Suetonius, his interest and his energy

declined; and after his retirement to Capri, he became less accessible to petition; he would keep embassies waiting and so put off contact and decisionmaking.49

These wasteful postponements were a fault in Tiberius’ later administration.

Individuals and whole communities were left uncertain of their status, rights, and

obligations. The Anauni and other Alpine tribes ‘attributed’ for administrative

purposes to the city of Tridentum were usurping the privileges of Roman

citizenship. That their status remained so long unregulated was blamed on his

persistent absence from public life (‘pertinaci absentia’) by his nephew

Claudius.50 The temperaments of the two men were poles apart—or Claudius’

secluded upbring-bringing gave him an insatiable thirst for administration that

had been quenched in Tiberius long before he came to the Principate.

Correspondingly meagre is Tiberius’ record as a builder of cities and founder

of colonies. Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee was the creation of Herod Antipas,

and Tiberia in Thrace was probably Philippopolis renamed by the grateful client

Rhoemetalces; as for Phrygian Tiberiopolis and Pappa Tiberiopolis in Pisidia,

their names suggest that they acquired city status and institutions during Tiberius’

principate and that they commemorated the change by taking the name of the

Princeps;51 Velleius Paterculus informs his readers of the senatorial view of

colonies abroad, which run from Gaius Gracchus through Appuleius Saturninus

and Caesar to Augustus. In any case, the objective need for them (strategy and

the settlement of the swollen Triumviral legions) had been satisfied by Augustus.


The only attested Tiberian colony is Emona in Dalmatia. Others claimed for him

there and in Pannonia may belong to the last years of Augustus. But if they do

they are themselves exceptional: no Augustan colony has been proved founded

later than 15 BC. Tiberius, then, here as in other spheres, was continuing the

policies of Augustus’ later years.52

How popular Tiberius was with his subjects in the provinces we cannot tell,

but the conclusions we have reached so far do not suggest that he would be held

in high regard. He made no detectable effort to encourage the imperial cult, by

AD 14 a conventional weapon in the imperial armoury. The very conventionality

of it displeased the realist who, asked to give his own name to the month of his

birth, wanted to know what would happen if there were thirteen Caesars. On the

other hand, the position that the deified Augustus had held gave dignity to the

man who held it after him, personally unworthy though he might feel himself to

be and fully conscious of his own mortality (Augustus had half believed in his

superhuman nature and the power of his eye; after all he had not owed

everything to his predecessor and his name, as Tiberius might feel he did53).

Augustus glorified the functions of the Princeps; did those functions now glorify

his successor? The conflict explains Tiberius’ attitude to cult offered him

publicly and privately, which he expounded in 25, declining a petition from the

province of Baetica that it be permitted to erect a temple to himself and his

mother. Where there was a precedent and an occasion, or when it was politically

expedient, as had been the case in Asia two years earlier, he accepted. In Baetica

none of these conditions was satisfied: there was no precedent in this western

province, and no occasion; and the Senate was not to be included in the cult.54

Nor did Tiberius welcome city or private cult, unless some definite benefit had

been conferred (it went on all the same55). Not all cases were clear-cut, and

indecision or unwillingness to offend well-wishers, rather than calculated

ambiguity, is to be detected in Tiberius’ reply, probably of the summer of AD

15, to the letter of the ephors and city of Gytheum in Laconia; without giving an

outright refusal he expressed himself content with ‘more moderate’ honours than

the divine Augustus was to receive, honours ‘suited to a human being’. The

proposal had included the erection of statues of Augustus, Tiberius, and Livia,

and six days of festivities devoted also to Germanicus, Drusus Caesar, and

Quinctius Flamininus.56 Not long before this, Granius Marcellus, proconsul of

Bithynia, was beheading another statue of Augustus and providing the trunk with

a new portrait bust.57 Other governors must have given a similar lead (not

necessarily so parsimonius a one) to their subjects, if they needed it. A decade

earlier, when Tiberius had been restored to favour in AD 4, the people of Aezani

in Phrygia sent envoys to him at other end of the Empire at Bononia on the

Channel coast and secured promises of his good offices in return.58 They will not

have been the only people to make that long-term investment. Once a man

became entrenched in power such offerings were made in a spirit more of duty

than of hope; they came to be expected by the ruler (the same was true of the

Principate as a whole). W.Orth has warned against estimating the popularity of a


Princeps by counting the number of statues and dedicatory inscriptions set up to

him. Tiberius knew as much, but in his time the cult was young enough for his

want of interest in it to cause misgivings.59

But Tiberius knew what was expected of a Princeps, as he had known what

was due from a patron. He met all his obligations with considered generosity,

examining all the privileges (beneficia) that Augustus had conferred, and

confirming some of them. In return for his good offices he did not refuse the

temple offered him by the cities of Asia after the earthquake of AD 23 and the

convictions of Silanus and Capito—not the only time that Tiberius made

contributions of his own and had taxes remitted after a natural disaster—just as he had accepted cult at Nysa, even as a private individual.60

As a benefactor Tiberius expected fides (loyalty), as it had been shown him at Nysa in his darkest days. His memory was tenacious of good and (notoriously)

of bad.61 Nemausus is not known to have suffered from its action in throwing

down his statues while Nysa was maintaining its devotion, but the sources

suggest that King Archelaus of Cappadocia was to have lost his throne for his

undutifulness at that same time. Before the new principate was two years old he

had to face charges at Rome, but he died before the case was over and it is not

clear how it would have ended; Archelaus had been in danger more than once

before. This time the accusation may have been that he helped a relative, Artaxes

III or Zeno, on to the throne of Armenia without consulting Rome, reason

enough for his deposition, even if Tiberius kept silent about a private grudge.62 The incident displays one facet of Roman rule. The cohesion and stability of the

Empire depended not only on the formal relations of rulers and ruled, on

imperium and the army, but on personal ties between a mighty politician and his dependants. Here was a limited place for the intervention of the women of the

imperial court: it was said to be a letter from Livia that brought Archelaus to

Rome. These ladies might be responsible for the education of hopeful young

dynasts destined for client kingdoms, as Antonia was for that of the children of

Cotys. Ties formed in this way could be useful to them in later life. Agrippa I

was brought up with Drusus Caesar and his mother was a close friend of Antonia.

That friendship stood him in good stead when he came to Rome to seek his

fortune in the last years of Tiberius. She loaned him money, and when he was

accused (rightly) of wishing Gaius Caligula a speedy accession to the Principate,

she persuaded Tiberius to hear the accusation and mitigated Agrippa’s privations

in prison.63

Q.Veranius organized the new province of Cappadocia for Germanicus in 17 at

the beginning of his mission to the East. It was not the only territory to be

brought under direct Roman control at this time. Antiochus III of Commagene

died in the same year, and his kingdom was incorporated into the Empire by

another legate, Q.Servaeus; yet the principality of the Amanus may have been

allowed to continue under a relative of the late ruler, Philopater, who had also

died in 17, and Archelaus’ son kept dominions in Cilicia Tracheia and eastern

Lycaonia. More than the express wishes of a section of the population of


Commagene, the upper class, determined Roman policy. The areas taken over

were profitable. Cappadocia yielded revenues that made it possible for Tiberius

to halve the unpopular one per cent sales tax that had been imposed after

Actium; there were also extensive royal lands that went to the state and silver

mines that were to feed the mint at Mazaca, which perhaps now took the name

Caesarea. Tiberius did not assign Cappadocia a consular or praetorian governor

or any troops, although it was a backward land still organized on tribal rather

than on urban lines. It was assigned to an equestrian prefect.64 That shows

Tiberius at once underestimating the importance of the area (under Vespasian it

was to receive a consular governor and legions, but by then there was a Parthian

nominee on the throne of Armenia) and treating it as an exploitable source of

revenue. But Tiberius had strategic considerations in mind. Both Cappadocia and

Commagene lay on the Euphrates, already recognized in the island encounter

between Gaius Caesar and the Parthian monarch as the boundary between the

two empires. Tiberius was continuing the policy begun by Augustus of hardening

the frontier by taking direct control of the former client kingdoms that bordered

it. It was Vespasian who completed the process.65

As a rule Tiberius was reluctant to annex new territory simply to round off the

Empire. The tetrarchy of Herod the Great’s son Philip, consisting in Gaulanitis

and Trachonitis, was only a partial exception. When the ruler died in AD 34 his

patient and conscientious regime had lasted thirty-seven years; the area,

mountainous and once unruly, might be thought ripe for plucking. Tiberius did

not quite make up his mind. He transferred the administration of the two districts

to the governor of Syria, but without allowing their revenues to flow into the

provincial chest. If he chose, Gaulanitis and Trachonitis could be set going again

as separate administrative units. But he died without making a permanent

decision. Gaius handed the tetrarchy over to Agrippa I, Claudius to Agrippa II,

and he had to cope with a rebellion in Gaulanitis; Tiberius may have been right

to hesitate.66

Elsewhere too Tiberius’ resistance to the idea of annexation is patent. In

Thrace in AD 19 Rhescuporis, who held the western and rougher part of the

kingdom, killed his nephew Cotys with the idea of taking over his half as well.67

L.Pomponius Flaccus was instructed to lure Rhescuporis to Rome to stand trial

(like another Jugurtha—but before the Senate). There he was accused by the

dead man’s widow and was exiled to Alexandria (he did not long survive). His

son, Rhoemetalces II, succeeded to the western kingdom; he had no part in his

father’s treachery. But Cotys’ children were too young to be entrusted with the

eastern realm; they were to be educated at Rome in the house of Antonia, and the

kingdom governed by a Roman administrator, Trebellenus Rufus. When

Trebellenus left Thrace Cotys’ heir was still not installed; he had to wait until AD

38; it may be that Tiberius was contemplating the annexation that Claudius was

to carry out; if so, he took no further steps towards it. The western kingdom

continued troubled and troublesome. In 21 Rhoemetalces was being besieged in

Philippopolis by the Coelaletae, Odrysae, and Dii; four years later his levies


caused another uprising and he had to be rescued by Poppaeus Sabinus, whose

success was important enough to earn him the insignia of a triumph. It is no

surprise that Tiberius left the western kingdom untouched; Rhoemetalces was

performing, though with moderate success, exactly the duties that Strabo

considered to be those of the client king on the spot. The wisdom in Tiberius’

policy was made clear in AD 46, when Claudius annexed Thrace and had to fight

for it; and the new province, though small in area, proved too difficult for a

procuratorial governor to manage; Trajan handed it over to an imperial legate.68

Britain was another realm that might have been taken over by Tiberius but was

left for Claudius’ attention.69 The policy here was explicit and taken over from

Augustus: Strabo, writing soon after Augustus’ death, explains that British rulers

had secured the friendship of Augustus, making the island virtually Roman, and

that there was no need to incur the cost of garrisoning it when the profits from

import and export dues were so high. However, the balance of power that

Augustus had attempted to establish was destroyed as Cunobelin, king of the

Catuvellauni, continued to expand his kingdom and the Atrebates lost ground to

his brother Epaticcus. Tiberius did nothing to help the victims, and Verica, king

of the Atrebates, finally fled to Claudius in AD 42 or 43.

But the ‘consilium coercendi intra terminos imperii’ was a general doctrine inherited from Augustus and publicly proclaimed in the documents bequeathed

to the state by the late Princeps.70 Tiberius’ adherence to it is shown elsewhere

by his avoidance of unnecessary adventures in areas where Rome’s established

interests were not threatened—he allowed only one such expedition, that of

L.Vitellius to punish the Arab vassal Aretas of Petra for an attack on Herod the

Tetrarch71—but nowhere more clearly than in Germany; for it was in 27 BC that

Augustus had last seriously contemplated the invasion of Britain, while he had

been committed to subjugating Germany between the Rhine and the Elbe until

AD 9. After that date Tiberius’ campaigns were punitive demonstrations

designed to restore Roman morale (the birthday of Augustus was celebrated in

AD 11 in free German territory) and intimidate the victors—if possible into

submission. The campaigns of Germanicus were intended by Tiberius to have the

same effect. Tiberius’ change of heart, after he fought so many years for the

conquest, may have caused him doubts as well as regrets. They would have been

dissipated when he assumed sole control.72 The ambitious dash of the elder

Drusus was consciously copied by his son Germanicus, and now Tiberius could

see it from Augustus’ point of view. Risky when the Romans were on the

offensive, it was reckless and selfish when the official policy was to repay the

Germans for a defeat already inflicted. In a short autumn campaign in AD 14,

which had the secondary object of restoring the morale of the mutinous legions,

and which was much in the style of Tiberius’ own recent piecemeal campaigns,

Germanicus marched up the Lippe against the Marsi. The following year saw him

exploiting his independent imperium to the full and achieving some spectacular effects. Besides making an attack on the Chatti, he rescued the pro-Roman

chieftain Segestes and his reluctant daughter from Arminius, the hero of the


German victory over Varus—thus enabling that leader to rally the tribe behind

himself. For all this Tiberius proposed that Germanicus should assume the title

imperator. The general went on to organize an advance on the Ems and an attack on the Cherusci by sea and land, and succeeded in finding and burying the dead

from the Varian disaster, though he did not come upon the elusive Arminius,

who so harassed the troops with A.Caecina on their return march as to spread the

belief on the Rhine that they had been destroyed and that the Germans were

coming; only the determination of Agrippina prevented the cutting down of the

bridge over the Rhine; Germanicus’ stormy return by sea was equally dangerous

and very costly in men and materials. Tiberius, alarmed, thought to bring

Germanicus back by having a triumph decreed to him—even though the state of

war subsisted—and the insignia of a triumph to three of his lieutenants. In vain:

combined operations on a larger scale were planned for the following year,

which proved to be Germanicus’ last in his command. The fleet sailed by way of

Holland to the mouth of the Ems and thence to the Weser, which the Romans

crossed. Two battles were fought against Arminius, both successful; but neither

Idistaviso nor the second engagement brought down the leader; only the

Angrivarii were reduced to submission. The weather again proved disastrous to

the returning legions, and restored German morale, but Germanicus renewed the

attack on the Chatti and Marsi before the campaigning season came to an end

and his report promised to complete the conquest in one more year; he had

already set up a trophy commemorating the reduction of the tribes between the

Rhine and the Elbe and it is true that he had established or re-established some

forts beyond the Rhine. But Tiberius added to the inducements to return: he

offered a second consulship, and Germanicus did not have to make good his

word. The Princeps’ letters were laudatory, diplomatic, and patient; and the

triumphal citation as generous as the wording of the trophy: ‘over the Cherusci,

the Chatti, the Angrivarii, and the other tribes up to the Elbe’. The triumphal arch dedicated at the end of the previous year to celebrate the recovery of the

standards lost with Varus put the achievement of Germanicus on the same level

as that of Augustus and Tiberius in the East in 20 BC—and made it as definitive;

an era was at an end.73

The letters of Tiberius spoke of the value of diplomacy in dealing with the

Germans. He had achieved more by that means, he said, than ever by fighting

(not that the two were incompatible, and their ends were identical).74

Henceforward in the north diplomacy was to dominate, reinforced by a careful

watch on the tribes on the other side of the Rhine. Tiberius set the tribes, and

their leaders within them, one against the other and put into power chieftains

such as the Quadian Vannius who were well disposed.75 Vannius took over some

of the subjects of Maroboduus and his conqueror Catualda in 19, while

Maroboduus himself was kept in reserve at Ravenna, Catualda at Forum Iulii, in

case the Suebi made trouble. It was the same policy that Augustus had used

against the Parthians: blackmail. Tiberius had asked Germanicus to allow Drusus

Caesar his share of glory, and Tiberius’ policy was immaculately executed by


Drusus—from the Balkans. After AD 16 the Rhine frontier disappears from view

in Tacitus’ account of Tiberius’ principate, eclipsed by events in the Balkans and

the East: Tiberius deserves credit for anticipating developments that were to

become clear only after the fall of the Julio-Claudian dynasty; it was not between

the Rhine and the Danube that any large new province was eventually to be

created, but north of the Danube, Trajan’s Dacia. Meanwhile, along the Rhine

and Danube, the construction of permanent military bases in the principate of

Tiberius marked out the present limits of Roman ambition: Argentoratum

(Strasbourg), Vindonissa, Carnuntum, and Aquincum.76

The school in which Tiberius had first learned diplomacy was in the East.

Here in 20 BC under Augustus’ guidance he had put a king on the throne of

Armenia, and discovered that diplomacy, backed up by a credible threat from the

Roman army, was a sure means of keeping peace on terms that were satisfactory

to Rome.77 So it had been in 2 BC, at the time of the mission of Gaius Caesar.

When Gaius appeared, the upstart king of Parthia, Phraataces, who had probably

abetted the seizure of Armenia by the anti-Roman candidate Tigranes III, opened

negotiations. The agreement concluded at the meeting recognized Tigranes’

claim under Roman suzerainty, but he did not long survive, and Gaius had to

invade Armenia to establish his successor, Ariobarzanes of Media. Augustus’

luck was out: Ariobarzanes died, and his son Artavasdes was murdered. By

about AD 6 Augustus was supporting a grandson of Herod and Archelaus as

Tigranes IV; him the Parthians deposed and by the end of the principate the

Armenian throne was vacant and Roman influence in Armenia at a nadir. In

Parthia Phraataces was in turn deposed by a king (Orodes) whose cruelty was the

pretext for an embassy of Parthians to ask Rome to allow the hostage Vonones,

the eldest son of Phraates IV, to claim the throne. They approached Augustus in

Rome and were referred to Tiberius in Germany.78 Vonones proved degenerate;

he had forgotten Parthian ways in a long sojourn at Rome. For the last two years

of Augustus’ principate the king of Parthia was Artabanus, an Arsacid on his

mother’s side; Vonones was reduced to seeking a kingdom in Armenia. There he

proved equally unacceptable to Rome and to Parthia, and Q. Creticus Silanus, the

governor of Syria, took him into custody, leaving the throne of Armenia

unoccupied.79 Germanicus’ mission in the East was concerned not only with

incorporating other vacant client kingdoms into the Empire and with the

complaints of the provincials (Jews and Syrians both claimed to be over-

burdened; perhaps they were emboldened to make representations by the success

that the pleas of Achaea and Macedonia had met), but with bringing back to

normal Rome’s relations with Parthia and establishing on the throne of Armenia

a king acceptable to Rome, to Parthia, and even to the Armenians.80 He entered

Armenia, like Tiberius nearly four decades before him, and crowned Zeno of

Pontus as King Artaxes. To this scheme the Parthian monarch offered no

opposition; he had no wish to see his defeated rival established in Armenia. On

the contrary, he sent envoys with a request for a renewal of the old pledges of

friendship, for the removal of Vonones to a safe distance, and for a second


meeting on the Euphrates. Vonones was removed and met a violent death soon

after; only the meeting on the Euphrates did not take place: Rome was now in a

stronger position than she had been eighteen years before. It was her candidate

and not the Parthian’s who was on the throne of Armenia, and there was no need

to acknowledge Parthian equality. Tiberius’ choice too was astute or fortunate.

Artaxes’ tastes were those of the Armenians: riding and hunting. He ruled for

seventeen years and died in AD 34 still king of Armenia.81 By then Artabanus

was confirmed in his tenure of power and began not only to demand the treasures

that Vonones had left in Syria and Cilicia but to lay claim to all the territories that had belonged to the Seleucid and Persian empires. Tiberius responded in a

familiar way by dispatching a pretender to the throne of Artabanus: Phraates,

youngest of the sons of Phraates IV. He was unlucky. The man was not equal to

the anxiety and labour of his task. He died before he could make any impression

on Artabanus. Tiberius replaced him with a man from the next generation,

Tiridates, and, taking seriously the threat of Artabanus to invade Syria, put that

province and Eastern affairs generally under the control of L.Vitellius, the consul of 34. Nor did Tiberius neglect Roman interests in Armenia. He produced another

Roman nominee, Mithridates, who invaded the country with Iberian allies.

Artabanus found that he could not dislodge the pretender; he made two attempts,

one in person, and their failure helped Vitellius in undermining his position at

home to such a degree that he had to flee to Hyrcania. Now Vitellius took the

offensive into Parthian territory, having Tiridates escorted down the Euphrates to

Ctesiphon, where he was crowned. Tiberius had no intention of backing up the

luckless king. He was on his own, and when Artabanus returned in force it was with

him that Vitellius opened negotiations. Tiberius had shown him that his own

security depended on leaving the Roman nominee safely on the throne of

Armenia, and it was on that understanding that for a second time Roman and

Parthian met in mid-Euphrates, so according Roman recognition to Artabanus,

who sent his son Darius to Rome as hostage. There was little damage to Roman

prestige here, for Vitellius was not a member of the Roman imperial house.

These negotiations came at the very end of Tiberius’ principate, so near his death

that they could be ascribed to the reign of Gaius.82 But Tiberius deserves the

credit. True, all the negotiations had secured was that Armenia should be in the

hands of the Roman nominee; not a yard of new territory came under Roman

control as a result. Their importance lay in the effect they had on public opinion

in the East. Rome’s authority had been decisively asserted, and the stability of

her political system demonstrated by contrast with the violent swings of fortune

to which Parthian monarchs were subject. If Rome had disaffected subjects in the

East, it was no use for them to look to Parthia for help; and her friends rejoiced

in her triumph.83 On occasion to the end of his life Tiberius put to good use the

skills he had learned in his earliest youth.



One of Tiberius’ first acts when the death of Augustus left him alone in power

was to ask the Senate for a grant of proconsular imperium for his adopted son Germanicus, who had been supervising the chastisement of the German tribes as

Augustus’ legate.1 It was appropriate that this advancement to independent

imperium should come when the dynasty had been weakened by the death of the man from whom the subordinate command had stemmed; but what Tiberius’

request also secured to Germanicus was an immediate grant of a power that he

was eventually to share with his adoptive brother. In Tacitus’ view there were

many who wondered in AD 14 whether Germanicus would be content to wait. If

there were such rumours their propagators, and those soldiers of Germanicus

who offered to march for the Principate, and really meant their offer, were

misinformed. There is no evidence that Germanicus contemplated making a

premature and hazardous bid for supremacy when his future position was

guaranteed by ancestry, adoption, experience, and powers. All the evidence

attests the propriety of Germanicus’ attitude towards his adoptive father, from

his first appearance in the Balkan campaigns to the end of his life. Nor does

Tacitus omit to inform his readers of the impartiality with which Tiberius treated

his sons.2 His testimony is borne out to the full by what we know of the positions

held by Germanicus and Drusus during the first four years of the regime. The

three years that separated the two young men were matched by the three years

that separated their first consulships of AD 12 and 15 respectively, and by the

three years that separated the grants of proconsular imperium made to them: Drusus’ Balkan command dates to AD 17.3 In the following year, after

celebrating his triumph over Germany, the elder brother entered as Tiberius’

colleague upon his second consulship, which was to be, like Tiberius’ second

consulship of 7 BC, the prelude to an Eastern command, and although Drusus’

second consulship of AD 21, also as Tiberius’ colleague, came two years after

his brother’s death, it is hard to believe that it was not already in prospect in 18.

Tiberius’ impartiality was matched by the good relations that Tacitus says

prevailed between the two brothers.4 Drusus shed tears over his brother’s death

and treated the suspected murderer with reserve at the public audience he gave

him when approached by him in the Balkans. That could be the judicious


conduct of a politician.5 But the brothers were united to each other and to

Tiberius by common descent and by rivalry from another quarter that had

threatened them in the decade before Augustus’ death and now reared up again

with a new head. On 13 September 16, M.Scribonius Libo Drusus, praetor in that

year or in 15 and brother of the consul ordinarius, was brought to trial by four senators and by other persons on a charge of plotting against the lives of

Tiberius, Germanicus, Drusus, and other principes civitatis, leading men in the state.6 The evidence brought forward, as preserved to us by Tacitus, consisted of

papers showing amongst other things that Libo had consulted astrologers as to

whether he would have sufficient money to pave the Via Appia as far as

Brundisium with coin; and the names of members of the imperial family and of

senators on a list in his own handwriting, with sinister marks set against them.

Libo had been able to find nobody to act as his counsel, and that night, after

making an appeal to the Princeps through P.Sulpicius Quirinius and receiving the

reply that he should approach the Senate, he committed suicide. The trial

continued and Libo was convicted.

Tacitus and Seneca depict a pitiable young man, vapid and extravagant.7 But

the fact that Libo was in debt would not have deterred him from embarking on a

scheme to raise himself to the heights; stupidity certainly would have been no

barrier, and his trust in astrologers was shared by men of intellect and

intelligence. In the aftermath the Senate took account of both dangers:

astrologers were expelled from Italy and two of them executed, and at the very

next session measures were taken against extravagance: solid gold vessels might

not be used at table, men were prohibited garments made of silk; severer

measures still were mooted, but failed to find favour.8

The affair was taken seriously by Tiberius and by men who favoured his

regime. That is shown by the fact that Libo found no advocate, by the aggravated

penalties imposed and the generous awards to the accusers, and by the

extravagance of the thanksgivings and offerings (to Jupiter, Mars, and the highly

significant Concord) that followed the trial; the day of Libo’s death was even

declared a day of public rejoicing.9 Tacitus exposes the names of the men

responsible for these proposals and (he claims) the early growth of servility:

M.Cotta Messallinus, praetor designate and consul in 20; Cn. Lentulus, consul in

14 BC; L.Pomponius Flaccus, consul designate; probably L.Plancus, consul in

AD 13; C.Asinius Gallus, consul in 8 BC; M.Papius Mutilus, suffect in AD 9;

L.Apronius, suffect in AD 8.10 The first three were personal friends of Tiberius—

for Lentulus at least he had a high regard; the last two were municipal men who

owed their advancement to him; one was a connexion and wholly committed to

the dynasty. This was not servility but the rallying of senatorial opinion behind

Tiberius and his regime by sympathetic (or interested) men of rank— principes


The danger had lain in Libo’s high connexions.11 There was a link with the

family of Livia (the surname Drusus was now forbidden the Scribonii), but

Pompey the Great was a direct ancestor, as well as L.Scribonius Libo, whose


daughter Scribonia was thus Libo’s greataunt. Probably she was amongst the

‘leading women’ who had canvassed the houses of the nobility on Libo’s behalf

at the opening stages of his trial;12 certainly she was with him at the last, urging him not to do Tiberius’ work for him by committing suicide; just as, nearly

twenty years before, she had gone with her daughter, the elder Julia, into exile,

remaining with her until her death in AD 14.13 Any plan to destroy Tiberius and

his children (Germanicus was no kin to her) would win her backing; Scribonia

could have been in the scheme right from its beginning.

That went back some way. The account of Tacitus implies that Tiberius was well

aware that something was afoot when he advanced Libo to his praetorship;14 that

is, if he held that office in 15, immediately after Tiberius’ accession to the

Principate. Suetonius says outright15 that the conspiracy of Libo was one of the

reasons (the other being the mutinies in Pannonia and on the Rhine) for Tiberius’

‘hesitation’ on that occasion. That idea we need not accept, but it gives a clue to the nature and ramifications of Libo’s plan.

It might be said that Libo’s high birth alone was enough to bring him down; that

the ‘plot’ was a frame-up by Tiberius devised to rid him of a potential rival; or

that, at best, the foolish speculations of the victim allowed the Princeps to

destroy him. Yet Suetonius, puerile as are the anecdotes he cites, had it that

Tiberius genuinely believed in a plot to assassinate him; and Seneca, who was a

very young man at the time of the trial, described Libo as aiming higher than

anyone could reach at that epoch—or Libo at any epoch. How he expected to

achieve his aim is a problem, until we recall that the conspiracy of Libo was not

the only threat to his position that Tiberius had to face in AD 16: there was also

the insurrection of Clemens; and the two episodes, though not directly associated

with each other in the ancient sources, were convincingly connected by Rogers.16

Clemens makes his first appearance in an unsuccessful attempt to rescue Agrippa

Postumus from Planasia in August 14.17 The story that he made up for his

failure by snatching away the urn containing Postumus’ ashes is hard to believe;

what would he or his backers have wanted with them? They would not prove

Agrippa dead, nor would their loss prevent the authorities producing other ashes

as Agrippa’s. The only motive can have been devotion to the memory of

Agrippa, to secure the ashes fitting burial. Clemens’ attempt, if it is to be

accepted as genuine, was probably sponsored by a relative of Agrippa; perhaps a

woman, one of the Julias or Scribonia herself. The whole story might be

dismissed if it were not for the fact that Agrippa was executed; it may indeed

have grown out of that fact, but there is a nucleus of material besides which

cannot be ignored: the precautions taken by Augustus, Livia, and Tiberius to

ensure that Tiberius’ accession to supreme power came about quietly,18 the

execution of Sempronius Gracchus on Cercina, and the suicide of Julia the


Clemens made his way to Cosa in Etruria, lay low there until his beard had

grown, enhancing his resemblance to Agrippa, then allowed himself to be

glimpsed from time to time in the country towns of Italy. Gathering support as he


went, he came to Ostia and proceeded to Rome with a large band of followers.

There C.Sallustius Crispus’ agents quietly arrested him and took him to the

Palatium, where he was questioned and executed.

The activities of Clemens stretch from Augustus’ death to some time in 16;

those of Libo also, except that the terminal date is secure (13 September). With

Tiberius and his natural heirs out of the way, a man of Libo’s pedigree could

consider himself a strong claimant for power, especially if he were allied with

one who would attract some of the popular support that the family of Agrippa

Postumus all enjoyed. Popular demonstrations, a march on the Senate-house,

forcing members to confer the necessary powers on Libo and ‘Agrippa’, had a

good chance of success (the pretender could be made away with when the crisis

was over). What of the armies? Germanicus, idol of the Rhine legions, would

have perished with his father when he returned from Germany at the end of 16.20

Behind him he left C.Silius in charge of the Upper Rhine army; in Spain

M.Lepidus was probably still in command; certainly P.Dolabella was governing

Dalmatia and Q.Creticus Silanus Syria.21 All these men were loyal supporters of

Tiberius or friends of Germanicus; but with Tiberius and his sons gone, they

might be persuaded to give up that allegiance. Only two were of the standing to

put up any claim of their own; and Lepidus, loyal though he was to Tiberius, was

full brother to that Paullus who had lost his life in AD 7 and so second cousin to

Libo, while Creticus Silanus, who was consul in that year, was a Junius by birth,

of the same generation as C.Silanus, consul in 10, and his brother, D.Silanus,

now in exile for adultery with Julia the younger. These families had been divided

in their allegiance for many years, and may have split more over the chances of

success of the dynast they backed than on principle. And in 16 Libo could make

himself out the champion of Julia the younger, ‘Agrippa Postumus’, and all their


It is possible that Libo’s supporters did some work with the armies. The

mutinies that broke out in 14 cannot be connected with the movement that

backed Agrippa Postumus, though Clemens’ plan was said to be to rush him to

the Rhine legions. Like the armies in Pannonia in AD 6, they had been

reinforced, in AD 9, with low-class recruits from the city, some of them ex-

members of the theatrical claques, not likely to take to army life in any event but some of them perhaps once the hired supporters of the Julias and Agrippa

Postumus.22 But when the offer to march on Rome was made in AD 14, it was

made to Germanicus. Since then, Clemens and others may have been at work.

Between 14 and 16, says Dio, he went to Gaul; whether to Cisalpine Gaul or to

Comata, where the legions were, Dio does not tell; and Tacitus says nothing of

it.23 Dio has another item: a centurion brought into the Senate to testify in the

year 16.24 He wanted to give his evidence in Greek, but Tiberius would not

permit him. The trial of Libo is the only case known to have been taken in the

Senate in that year,25 and the centurion, who must have come from a legion that

recruited in the Eastern provinces, was probably serving in the Balkan garrison,


which had been reinforced in 6–7 by two legions brought from Syria;26 it is

possible that he offered evidence of attempts on the loyalty of those legions.

It was not only amongst the populace, or even in the army, that ‘Agrippa’ had

his support. According to Tacitus a number of courtiers, equites, and senators had furnished money and advice. No enquiry was made, no attempt to expose

links between the two movements. With ‘Agrippa’—and Libo—gone, the danger

was past. Bygones could be bygones; Libo had anticipated Tiberius’ clementia;

but there were others who might feel its sting, and have to accept the concordia that was all that their defeat left them.27 Its celebration on the Capitol was

appropriate indeed if Libo’s was a popular movement that had been repressed.

The genuine and remarkable concord between Germanicus and Drusus will

have been cemented by the episode. Whether their good relations would have

survived the strain of the joint administration that Tiberius had in mind is

another matter. Public opinion had its doubts.28 Even in the lifetime of

Germanicus there were signs of rivalry between the wives of the brothers.

Agrippina, the granddaughter of Augustus and daughter of Marcus Agrippa,

might sit by while her siblings were disgraced and destroyed; but she was fierce

for her own claims which, with that ancestry, were high, and for the claims of

her numerous children.29 The wife of Drusus, Livia Julia, or Livilla, was a great-

niece of Augustus and had once been married to Gaius Caesar; but her beauty in

womanhood was not matched by fecundity; at Augustus’ death she had only one

surviving child, and that a girl.30 There was much in the position of Agrippina

between 14 and 19 that might anger Livilla, still more in the position of Livilla

after the death of Germanicus to make his widow jealous and even fearful for her

children, for all the apparent benevolence of Drusus.31 It would not be surprising

if these women saw the power structure of the Principate in nakedly monarchical

terms. Their sex forced them to operate behind the scenes, within the confines of

the court, using allies and agents that were sometimes senators, more often, since

the growth of women’s influence meant a corresponding decline in the power of

the Senate, knights, freedmen, or slaves. So in the Republic Servilia, mother of

M.Brutus, had worked, then Scribonia and Livia, and the two Julias. Tiberius had

benefited from his mother’s help (and so had other politicians), but perhaps for

that reason and because men said that he owed his position to her marriage and

her influence over her husband, he showed himself strongly opposed to petticoat

government, of which he had had cruel experience in the first decade BC, still

more to the open encroachment of women upon the honours and prerogatives of

men. It is not surprising that the appellation ‘Iuliae filius’ offered to Tiberius in AD 14 was refused; it may have been meant to hurt; but other honours paid to

Livia during her lifetime and after her death were severely curtailed, or allowed

to lapse. That attitude on the part of Tiberius was taken by the public as evidence of a quarrel with his mother; it may be that she would have felt justified in

complaining of ingratitude, he of interference. But whatever political activity

went on behind the scenes, the ‘Ulysses in petticoats’ always preserved a


decorous front: she was certainly chaste, and her wifely virtues were well


In the younger generation Tiberius found a woman who, though as chaste as

Livia, was certainly no less ambitious, and far less discreet in the way she used

her position in the dynasty: Agrippina’s interference with the legions in AD 15,

when rumour came of a disaster to the expedition in Germany, was heroic—and

unprecedented. Not only did she distribute food and bandages to the returning

troops, she had taken on the role of general, forbidding the bridge over the Rhine

to be broken down, and stood at the bridgehead to greet the men as they came

over. This woman was unlikely to be on terms with the conservative and

conventional Tiberius, even when their political interests coincided.33

In 17 Germanicus set out on his mission to the East, accompanied by

Agrippina, who was now pregnant with their ninth and last child. It could be said

that the purpose of the mission demanded that Germanicus should have imperium

maius, and this he was given, on the same terms as Agrippa in 13 BC, Tiberius in 6, and Gaius in 1. The grant’s precedents were more important than any use

Germanicus was to make of it: when Tiberius gave up his Eastern command in 6,

the East had to wait until Gaius was old enough to take it: domestic politics, not

provincial or foreign considerations, were paramount.34 Tiberius did not trust the

judgment of his adopted son. They had not agreed on the need for further

campaigns in Germany, and it had taken the offer of a triumph, a second

consulship, and perhaps the Eastern command, as well as a plea that Drusus should

be given a chance to shine, to bring the reluctant hero home. Tiberius removed

Germanicus’ friend Q.Creticus Silanus from the governorship of Syria, which he

had held for three years, and replaced him with a man known to Tiberius all his

adult life, his colleague in his second consulship of 7 BC. Cn. Piso’s political

views were close to those of the Princeps, and he did not hesitate to air them; his abilities may have been mediocre, and his temper ungovernable, but that fact was

outweighed by his closeness to Tiberius and by his seniority.35 There is no need

to doubt that he was sent to Syria to head Germanicus off from adventures that

would not profit the Empire, or even that he had written instructions to that

effect. The young Germanicus had five years before him in the East, and vast

powers. He wished to see the lands that were under his sway and which once had

been under that of Alexander and that of his grandfather Antony; he wished also

to be seen by his subjects and to enjoy the popularity that comes from power and

significant ancestry tempered by graciousness. The Athenians had been courted

on the journey out, to the disgust of the unsentimental Piso; Egypt could not be

omitted from the itinerary of Antonius’ grandson, and Germanicus, entering the

country in 19, enhanced his popularity by acts of genuine and useful

benevolence.36 But, unlike Gaius Caesar, who may have visited Egypt in

connexion with his Arabian expedition, he had no business there.37 Tiberius

evidently had said nothing about a visit, and it caused him embarrassment. No

member of the imperial family except Gaius had set foot in Egypt since Octavian’s

triumphant entry in 30 BC, and the neglect may have been deliberate: Egypt had


been stripped of her independence and Italy freed of the fear of a rival for which

even her own rulers might abandon her; now the grandson of Antony was

courting the Alexandrians, flattering their vanity by appearing amongst them in

Greek dress (Tiberius, who must have heard of it from his Prefect of Egypt,

C.Galerius, or who had informants in the entourage, alluded to that) and

reminding them, perhaps unwittingly, of the great days of Cleopatra and the

Triumvirate. Then Germanicus was a senator, and senators, as Tiberius

remarked,38 were strictly forbidden to enter Egypt without the Princeps’

permission. It was not that Germanicus had set a dangerous precedent for his

peers; he had given them grounds for complaint.

When Germanicus returned to Syria he probably heard some of this from Piso.

It was not the only issue: Piso had already failed to send troops to Armenia when

Germanicus ordered them, and there had been a banquet given by the king of the

Nabataeans at which the gold crowns presented to Germanicus and Agrippina

had been the subject of pointed comment from Piso: there was, or should be, a

difference between the sons of Parthian kings and of Roman principes. (Piso threw aside the lighter crown that he had received.) Then there was the affair of

Vonones, who had failed successively as pretender to the thrones of Parthia and

of Armenia, and who had been received into Roman protection in Syria by

Creticus Silanus.39 At the request of the incumbent king of Parthia, Germanicus

had moved Vonones away from the border, where he was able to stir trouble up

amongst the chieftains on the Parthian side. It was a deliberate affront to Piso,

and designed to show how little influence he had: for Vonones had won Piso’s

patronage. While Germanicus was in Egypt Vonones attempted to escape, but

was recaptured and killed. For his part Piso took advantage of Germanicus’

absence to cancel or reverse all the orders that Germanicus had given the military

and civil authorities. Relations deteriorated so far that Piso decided to leave the province. But Germanicus fell ill, and he stayed on until objects designed to

bring about the young princeps’ death by magic were found in his bedroom.

Germanicus then formally renounced his friendship with Piso; most of Tacitus’

sources claimed that he ordered him out of the province. Piso did not return until

he heard on the island of Cos of his superior’s death on 10 October,40 and then he

planned to re-enter Syria, which had been taken over by the legate Cn. Sentius

Saturninus, by force. But, bottled up in a Cilician fortress, he had to surrender,

return to Rome, and face charges of murder, treason, and extortion.

The trial presented Tiberius with a situation of extreme delicacy. The populace

of Italy and Rome had already been roused to paroxysms of grief by Agrippina’s

arrival with the ashes of Germanicus and by the gloomy pomp of her progress

from Brundisium towards the capital.41 It took a familiar form: the urn on the

shoulders of officers of the Praetorian Guard, standards before it unadorned, and

official rods and axes reversed, the magistrates of the towns of Calabria, Apulia,

and Campania doing their part, the people in mourning, the knights in their

ceremonial dress as they burned piles of clothes and spices when the procession

passed. Drusus Caesar met it at Tarracina, with Claudius and the children of


Germanicus who had not gone abroad with him. It was not enough. Tiberius and

Livia kept indoors, so did Antonia, the dead man’s mother; and although the

ceremony of interment was not a funeral proper, as the body had been burnt at

Antioch, their absence was noticed and resented, and a comparison drawn

between the obsequies of Germanicus and those of his father Nero Drusus—a

false analogy, for Drusus’ body had been cremated at Rome, like those of Sulla,

Agrippa, and Augustus; the interment of Germanicus was better paralleled by

those of C. and L.Caesar. The honours decreed when the news of his death

arrived were not less than theirs; they were to be exceeded by those accorded

Drusus Caesar in 23 (adulation is inflationary, and Germanicus had never held the

tribunician power).42 At the end of March or the beginning of April Tiberius

issued an edict, enjoining firmness and reminding the people of their normal

pursuits—and pleasures.

The arrival of Cn. Piso will have aroused as much interest as the forthcoming

Megalensian games. He showed self-assurance, and his son had been kindly

received by Tiberius. The populace grew more angry still.43 Tiberius refused to

take the case himself,44 but presided over the Senate when it was heard, and very

properly instructed the House to hear the case with impartiality, granting

vengeance to the parents and children of Germanicus; private quarrels the

Princeps would follow up as a private individual, not in his official capacity; the charges of soliciting the troops and of attempting to re-enter the province by

force had also to be considered, and the possibility that the accusers (P.Vitellius, Q.Veranius, and Q.Servaeus, all legates of Germanicus, and L.Fulcinius Trio)

had exaggerated them; they had already gone too far when they exposed the body

to show signs of poisoning. The case still had to be decided, and neither the

standing of Germanicus nor the grief of his relatives should affect the issue.

But the Senate was implacable; and the people, unable to get hold of the man,

began to drag his statues towards the Gemonian stairs; they were rescued on

Tiberius’ orders. During the recess Piso’s wife Plancina, a friend of Livia, began

to prepare for her own escape. She foresaw the outcome, and so did Piso. He was

dead before the Senate sat again, leaving behind a document addressed to

Tiberius. It contained accusations of conspiracy, directed presumably against

Germanicus’ legates, protestations of loyalty to Tiberius and his mother, and

pleas for his sons. This letter Tiberius had read out in the Senate and interceded, not only for M.Piso but (on behalf of Livia) for his mother Plancina as well, to

the indignation of the Senate. Her sons, in spite of Tiberius’ urging, failed to

speak for her (they probably thought that they were already compromised), but

after two more days Livia’s pleas were found to be effective: Plancina was


That acquittal was a blow to Agrippina. When Tiberius mitigated the sentence

on M.Piso and conceded him his father’s property she may have seen it in the

same light. The Princeps was hostile to her fatherless house, and that of her rival Livilla had just been increased by the birth of twins, which had elated Tiberius so much that he was moved to claim in the House that never before in the history of


Rome had twins been born to a man in so high a station as Drusus Caesar; and

the event was commemorated on a remarkable coin reverse.45 It was not only the

counterpoint of celebration against mourning that will have grieved Agrippina.

The birth of the twins Germanicus and Tiberius could in her eyes give Drusus a

motive for displacing her own boys.

There was no justification for such a belief. It was precisely in AD 20 that her

elder son, Nero Caesar, was brought into the Forum to take the garb of manhood

(the people received a tip to mark the occasion), introduced into the Senate-

house by Tiberius and Drusus Caesar, and promised the quaestorship five years

before the normal age.46 That advancement was something of which Tiberius

could approve, since it was what he himself had received, and it is unlikely that

even Agrippina could have expected more. Not only were the precedents for

speedier advancement discouraging in their outcome or constitutionally irregular

(Marcellus and Gaius Caesar), they had been superseded by more recent

precedents, those of Germanicus and Drusus Caesar themselves.47 The same year

saw the two branches of Tiberius’ family linked by marriage: the older of the two

heirs, Nero, wed Julia, the daughter of Drusus Caesar.48 Further reassurance for

Agrippina came in 23, when the same formal introduction to public life was

accorded Nero’s younger brother, Drusus.49 The boy’s uncle of the same name

had by then been some months in possession of the tribunician power, and so

virtually partner of the Princeps. Treating the death of Nero Drusus in 9 BC and

his own elevation to a second consulship in 7 as a precedent, and yet maintaining

the same interval of three years between Germanicus’ and Drusus’ first and

second tenure of the office, Tiberius made Drusus Caesar consul for the second

time in AD 21, and had him invested with the tribunician power in the spring of

the following year.50

How Drusus Caesar would have turned out as sole Princeps after the death of

his father is an unanswerable question. Compared with Germanicus, Drusus

seems to have been a late starter with the army. The trip to Pannonia in AD 14 is

the first attested service abroad, and that was made without any grant of official

powers. Dio expressly denies him any part in the suppressing of the Pannonian

revolt, to which even Agrippa Postumus was to have been sent. Ill-health may

have been the cause, although nothing is heard of that until AD 21.51 In AD 14

Drusus acted with decisive brutality, and when appointed to high command three

years later—‘to accustom himself to a soldier’s life’, says Tacitus—he showed

himself capable; an ovation earned under Tiberius’ auspices was truly earned.52

On the civil side there is no sign of a cultivated talent, and Drusus enjoyed

nothing like the popularity of Germanicus.53 (Not that that is a guarantee of

future merit: Caligula inherited all his father’s favour.) But there were failings of character: a taste for wine, which Drusus shared with his father; a taste for

theatrical and gladiatorial shows, which he did not, but which endeared him to

the Roman populace; and an inclination to violence that Tiberius in his own case

limited to words.54 But there is no reason to believe that Agrippina was unlucky


in her brother-inlaw. On the contrary, it was not long after his death, on 14

September 23,55 that she came to realize that she had a real enemy to face.

It was once an axiom of the history of Tiberius’ principate that L.Aelius

Sejanus aimed at succeeding his master; more recently he has been seen as a

mere minister, a Thomas Cromwell who rose too high for his master’s peace of

mind—or for that of his master’s close associates.56 The older view presents

formidable difficulties. The house of the Caesars was well stocked in AD 14,

even in AD 23; but there was another obstacle that Sejanus could never move:

his original station in life.57 Sejanus stemmed from Volsinii; he was the son of

Seius Strabo, the equestrian Prefect of the Guard at the end of Augustus’ life, and he had been adopted, probably by Aelius Gallus, another distinguished eques,

Prefect of Egypt. The paternity was eclipsed by Sejanus’ mother’s lineage, which

gave him consular brothers and a consular uncle and cousins. Nevertheless,

Sejanus was an eques and held an equestrian post, that of Prefect of the Guard.

Velleius is painfully aware of these facts, and dwells on others that he intends to make them less glaring: the rise to eminence of such novi homines, the first men in their family to embark on the senatorial career, as Coruncanius, Marius,

Cicero, and M.Agrippa. It is a measure of Sejanus’ problem, if he aimed so high,

that the first eques to become Emperor was Macrinus in 217, another Praetorian Prefect. Vespasian, who came to power in 69, was certainly a novus homo, but had been a senator since the time of Tiberius. Yet already in 12 BC it had been

only the chances of mortality that had carried off the novus homo Agrippa and left Augustus as Princeps. For all his obscure origin, a soldier of renown in

possession of imperium maius and tribunicia potestas could not have been removed from supreme power. Tiberius himself was a patrician of ancient

lineage; but his immediate forbears were not distinguished, and he was not by

birth a Julius. Drusus Caesar united the houses of the Nerones and the Vipsanii,

and his mother’s mother was not a Marcella but the daughter of Cicero’s

equestrian friend Atticus.58

Sejanus is first heard of in connexion with C.Caesar; probably he accompanied

the young commander to the East in 1 BC as a member of his staff, perhaps

tribunus militum, at the beginning of his career.59 When Gaius died, Sejanus may have continued his military service in Germany or Pannonia, perhaps under the

rehabilitated Tiberius. He was already influential with him by AD 14 and in the

face of the unrest that was expected it was natural to associate him with his

father in the Prefecture to act as intermediary when Drusus went without official

powers to their beleaguered kinsman, Q.Blaesus. It was not long before Sejanus’

father was sent to Egypt, leaving him alone in the command that he was to hold

for the rest of his life.60

By 23 Sejanus had increased his powers as Prefect by concentrating the troops

in barracks on the Viminal just outside the city walls.61 There were other signs of growing influence and prestige; one is a quarrel with Drusus, who ‘could not

bear a rival’ and knocked this one down, perhaps in about AD 20.62 The story

may be coloured by later events and rumours, but the details are circumstantial.


Nothing suggests that Drusus resented Sejanus’ presence on his expedition to

Pannonia in AD 14; and it may have been a clash between theatrical claqueurs

and the Praetorian Guard in 15 that began the quarrel. But in 20 Tiberius seems

to have spoken of Sejanus in the Senate (so the evidence is good) in terms

applicable to the man whom he saw as his partner in power. That would be

legitimate cause for resentment in the heir whose destiny was precisely that

position.63 Tiberius requested that the Senate should confer the ornamenta

praetoria, the insignia of a praetor, on Sejanus, a grant which did him honour (it was the first time they had gone to a man outside the Senate) but brought him no

more power than before.64 More gratifying was the marriage connexion that

Sejanus contracted in that year: Sejanus’ daughter was to be betrothed to a son of

Claudius.65 Claudius was discounted in the plans for the succession and was

playing no part in public life, but Sejanus’ grandchildren would be direct

descendants of the elder Drusus and of Mark Antony, collateral descendants of

Augustus himself. There may be more than that. The death of a political heir is a

signal for intrigue. So it had been in 9 BC with the death of Nero Drusus, an

event paralleled in Tiberius’ reign by that of Germanicus. Tiberius intended to

raise his son to parity with himself, following the plan that Augustus adopted in

9; but plans could be upset, as the earlier series of events had shown.

Claudius resented his exclusion from political life: twice he asked Tiberius for

a public career, twice he was refused. We do not know when; but it was in the

year 20 that Claudius came into prominence. Naturally he was allowed to

proceed to Tarracina to meet Agrippina with the ashes of Germanicus and to take

part in the interment. But when his name was excluded from the list of those to

be thanked for their services in revenging the young princeps’ death, L.Asprenas rose and asked the consul if the omission had been deliberate.66 Claudius had

friends in the Senate and amongst the equites; one of the most powerful would be his new connexion Sejanus. By birth Claudius’ claims to advancement were

strong, and Sejanus may have thought of urging them on Tiberius, or even have

done so and failed. Drusus Caesar would not thank him for that.

The prosecution of Clutorius Priscus in 21 for writing and reciting a poem

lamenting (and therefore presupposing) the death of Drusus Caesar may give

another indication of the disturbed state of politics in the two years immediately

after the death of Germanicus. The case67 is usually considered as an example of

folly on the part of the poet, cruelty on that of Drusus Caesar, servility on that of the Senate, and as a legal monstrosity. From the political angle it can be taken as an attack on some friends of Germanicus, the Vitellii. The poem set up a

situation in which, with Drusus gone, nothing would stand in the way of

Germanicus’ children. It was read in the salon of P.Petronius, suffect in AD 19,

and only his mother-in-law Vitellia persisted in her denial that she had heard the

verses; she realized the purpose of the attack. The consul designate proposed the

extreme penalty: he was D.Haterius Agrippa, son of a notorious orator whose

wife may have been a daughter of M.Agrippa and Marcella; the consul designate

shared a distinguished grandfather with Drusus Caesar.68 P.Petronius was on


intimate terms with Claudius, who as Princeps raised L.Vitellius to his second

and third consulships and a censorship with himself as colleague; and the circle

of the Petronii and Vitellii included members of the gens Plautia, with which Claudius was connected by his marriage.69 The allies of Drusus had reacted

sharply and effectively to the move to bring Germanicus’ backward brother on to

the political stage. Claudius learned the lesson and took to dice; what Sejanus did is a matter of controversy.

On 26 October 31,70 eight days after Sejanus fell, and two days after the

execution of his oldest son, his divorced wife Apicata committed suicide.

According to Dio, she left a message for Tiberius: Drusus Caesar had been

murdered at the orders of his wife Livilla and her lover Sejanus.71 The story is

not easily to be believed. Even with Drusus gone the house of the Caesars was

still full. Sejanus in murdering Drusus must have been acting in self-defence:

only the life of Tiberius stood between the Praetorian Prefect and political

extinction at the hands of his political heir. Even more implausible is the tale of Livilla’s complicity. Her husband would guarantee the future of her children, and

if ambition was her driving force she would not have turned to Sejanus while

Drusus Caesar lived. The accusation of Apicata may be dismissed as the revenge

of a woman whose husband had divorced her for one better connected, and

whose family was ruined in consequence.72 It was a stroke of luck for Sejanus

when Drusus Caesar died, because at worst he was now free from immediate

danger. If he had ever backed Claudius, that horse had to be left out at grass:

without a senior running partner he was nowhere, certainly behind young Nero

and Drusus in the race. But Sejanus was still not safe if those young men came to

power: as the trusted servant of Tiberius he was an obvious object of suspicion to

Agrippina; after the Princeps’ death there might be a clean sweep of all faithful

servants. The gloom that prevailed in the house of Germanicus after his death

was transferred now to that of the dead Drusus Caesar, and there lay Sejanus’ real

chance of permanent power. As the husband of Livilla, Sejanus might hope to

take the place of Drusus Caesar in political life as well, and by becoming Tiberius’

partner to intervene in the succession as Agrippa had intervened in 18 BC, and

Tiberius himself in 6 BC and AD 4. And as the wife of Sejanus the ambitious

Livilla might hope to enjoy the dignity of a consort once again, and to advance

her children even beyond those of Agrippina; for the difference in age between

Nero and the twins was too small to make it likely that they would enjoy power

for long, even if Nero put them before any issue of his own.

At the time of Drusus Caesar’s death Tiberius had no suspicion that it was

anything but natural. The blow was not less cruel for that, and it was only one, if the worst, of the bereavements that Tiberius suffered in the years 20 to 23. Very

soon after the suicide of Cn. Piso, Tiberius heard of the death of his former wife, Vipsania. The following year he lost P.Sulpicius Quirinius, like Piso a man he

had known and trusted since his youth; and in 23 not only Drusus himself but

one of Drusus’ twin sons and another close friend, Lucilius Longus, the only

senator who had gone with him to Rhodes.73 Vipsania he had given up for the


sake of his own advancement, though he loved her; Piso could be seen as a victim

of his own misplaced zeal for the Princeps, There would be regret as well as a

sense of loss. The future was bleak, personally and politically, and the Princeps

needed a reliable friend and servant. The responsibilities that Tiberius might

have hoped to shed—that he had shed during his son’s consulship, spending it in

Campania ‘for his health’—would fall on him again with all their weight. When

Tiberius left for Rhodes in 6 BC Augustus had gambled on his own survival.

Tiberius, who was eight years older than Augustus had been in 6, though Nero

and Drusus were about four years older than their counterparts had been, could

not be sure of surviving to ensure the continuity of the regime. In his straits he

turned to the Senate.74 Before the funeral he attended a meeting, excusing

himself for his hardihood; he had sought a sterner solace than most: the arms of

the state. Nero and Drusus were brought in and commended to the patres: it was they who would in some part have to take the place of Germanicus and Drusus

Caesar, of the ageing Tiberius himself, to guide the young men. But (he went on)

they would have to do more than that; he asked the consuls, indeed other

senators, to take on the burden of responsibility for government. The appeal was

misunderstood, and heard with scepticism.

In one respect Tiberius departed from the precedent of 6 BC. When Drusus

Caesar died he made no attempt to speed up the careers of his grandsons, as

Augustus had done in 5. That was only to be expected; but for Agrippina the

boys’ advancement was agonizingly slow: Nero would not become even

quaestor until 5 December 25, and could not expect the consulship until 34.75

Impatience is detectable. When the pontiffs took their annual vows for the safety

of the Princeps at the beginning of 24 Nero and Drusus were mentioned

alongside him. Whoever authorized that it was not Tiberius. He noticed the

intrusion and summoned the pontifices to find out if it was Agrippina who had had their names included. They denied it and got off with a mild lecture. The

Senate had to listen to a discourse on the danger of spoiling young boys—but

they had not spent seven years on Rhodes.76 Tiberius was on the lookout for any

signs of his former wife in her daughter; she would see his caution in another

light: it was due to jealousy.

In the same year Sejanus began systematically to undermine their position.

The first attacks were peripheral, aimed at disgracing or at least discrediting

Agrippina’s friends and relatives, and so frightening off the rest. In 24 C.Silius, an ex-legate of Germanicus and commander on the Rhine, was accused of

maiestas (treason) on the grounds of complicity in the Gallic revolt of 21, and of extortion after it was over. He committed suicide; Sosia, his wife, a friend of

Agrippina, was sent into exile. The prosecutor was the incumbent consul

L.Visellius Varro, who had an inherited feud with Silius.77 The fact that in this

case, as in that of Clutorius Priscus three years before, the distinguished and

honourable moderate, M.Lepidus, spoke in mitigation of the sentence proposed

does not prove that there was a link between them; but he may have been trying

to repair the split that was developing between the two branches of the imperial


house and in the Senate.78 In AD 24 he was defeated by C.Asinius Gallus, whose

children by Vipsania were kin to Drusus Caesar and whose attitude towards

Sejanus was apparently friendly.79 Another case of the year, scandalous because

brought by a son against his father, seems to be a pendant to the Silius affair.80

Vibius Serenus accused his father of sending agents to the Gallic rebellion from

his own province of Baetica. The evidence was not good, and Serenus made inept

accusations against two men close to Tiberius, Cn. Lentulus and L.Seius Tubero.

But the Princeps’ evident hostility to the elder Serenus inspired severe proposals, one of them coming from Asinius Gallus. Some Vibii, the suffect consuls of AD

5 and 8, C.Postumus and A.Habitus, were protégés of Tiberius; Postumus had

served in Illyricum. The elder Serenus had appeared as prosecutor at the trial of

Libo—one of the things that Tiberius had against him was that like Silius, who

boasted that Tiberius owed the Empire to the fidelity of Silius’ legions in AD 14,

he claimed that the Princeps was in his debt: he had never been rewarded for his

part in Libo’s conviction. Serenus was loyal to the regime, but his son may have

been anxious to detach himself from any dangerous connexions.

One family certainly split by the events of the twenties was that of the Vitellii.

P.Vitellius had been one of Germanicus’ legates and had distinguished himself

as prosecutor of Cn. Piso,81 and the family had already been under attack from

Drusus Caesar’s friends. Publius took the hint and, like another member of the

prosecuting team, Q.Servaeus, followed Sejanus into the other camp.82 In 31,

when the Prefect fell, he was in charge of the military treasury and ready (it was

alleged) to surrender the keys to Sejanus. In 32 he was handed over to the safe

custody of his brother Lucius, that friend of Claudius whose glory was only at its

beginning when he reached his first consulship in 34.83

It may have been to drive the lesson home that another assistant of

Germanicus was brought to trial in 24: his quaestor, P.Suillius Rufus.84 He was

accused by an unnamed prosecutor of taking bribes while acting as arbitrator,

juryman, or president of a court. He was found guilty; and Tacitus passes no

favourable judgment on him and his later career under Claudius as a friend of

that Princeps. C.Silius too in Tacitus’ view had been guilty of extortion; but that does not mean that the prosecutions were the work of disinterested champions of

oppressed provincials and defrauded litigants.

After laying down this creeping barrage, Sejanus felt free to pick off a personal

opponent. The immediate political affiliations of the historian A.Cremutius

Cordus are not known, although his sentiments were Republican. But he loathed

Sejanus and, like Drusus Caesar—they were the only two—dared to make his

loathing public. When the theatre of Pompey was burnt down in 22 the Senate

had decreed that in recognition of Sejanus’ success in containing the fire his

statue should be erected in the theatre; which, in Cremutius’ words, was its real

ruin. Two friends of Sejanus, Satrius Secundus and Pinarius Natta, drew the

attention of the senatorial court to aspects of Cremutius’ historical works that

might be interpreted as treasonable. After making a speech in his own defence

the accused man retired to his house and starved himself to death. His works


were ordered to be burnt, but his daughter saved copies of them and, like those

of Cassius Severus and T.Labienus, they were allowed to circulate again under


It was in 25 that Sejanus made his first bid for the hand of Livilla. Tacitus

claims to reproduce the content of his letter to Tiberius, and the reply he received.

The likelihood of such letters being preserved and made public has been

doubted.86 Yet they were not more embarrassing to the dynasty than the letters

that passed between Augustus and his wife on the subject of Claudius’ mental

and physical capacity;87 and these reached the light of day in Suetonius’

biography. Besides, the second letter encapsulates words and phrases

characteristic of Tiberius; either Tacitus so thoroughly understood his subject that consciously or unconsciously he could clothe an invented letter in language

suitable to its purported author, or he faithfully preserved expressions actually

found by him or his source in original documents. Tiberius prevaricated. He had

not made up his mind whether Nero would prove fit to take over from himself

directly or whether it would be necessary to introduce a man from an

intermediate generation (and that man an eques), a step that might tear the dynasty apart. For the moment, Tiberius stuck to his original plan of 23.

If he did not allow Livilla to reinforce her position by marrying, no more in

the following year did he grant Agrippina’s request for a husband, prevaricating

again.88 The memory of what had happened in 2 BC must have been revived in his

mind. Like Julia the elder, her daughter Agrippina hoped to make the succession

more secure for her sons by introducing a compliant husband into the dynasty in

case the Princeps died prematurely—or in case Tiberius changed his mind about

the order of succession. Like his predecessor, though in a less drastic way, the

Princeps prevented any interference with the scheme he had laid down.

Adultery with Asinius Gallus was one of the charges eventually to be brought

against Agrippina. Tacitus’ report of her request names no names, but the

widowed Gallus would be an obvious match, and if he was superficially at least

on good terms with Sejanus, one that might help to bring together the two halves

of Tiberius’ house.89 The story of the adultery may stem from this request, and

Tiberius may have believed it precisely because the request had been made. If

marriage was in Gallus’ mind (and his ambition was to become a byword90) it is

not surprising that Sejanus developed an implacable emnity towards a man who

might set himself up as a potential partner—or a potential rival.

The year 26 saw an attack on a second cousin of Agrippina’s who was also a

close friend.91 Cn. Domitius Afer, a talented orator from Narbonensian Gaul, had

already reached the praetorship, but aimed higher and undertook the prosecution

of Claudia Pulchra, widow of the Quinctilius Varus who had perished in

Germany. Adultery was one of the charges against her (the adulterer, Furnius, is

obscure); a plan to poison the Princeps; and dealing in magic to bring about his

death. Successful against Pulchra, Afer brought a case against her son

Quinctilius Varus in the following year, this time in concert with P.Dolabella,

who was, shockingly enough, first cousin of the accused.92 By now the Princeps


had left for Campania, and although he had shown marked approval of Afer’s

virtuosity in 26, calling him ‘a master in his own right’, the Senate did not

venture to settle the case in his absence, and it probably lapsed.93 Varus was

wealthy; Domitius Afer needed money and Dolabella’s idea may have been at

least to keep some of it in the family (both confident that Varus would be

convicted after the destruction of his mother in the previous year). That may

explain the prosecution of 27, though Varus was betrothed to Germanicus’

daughter Livilla and may have been seen as a threat for that reason.94 The attack

on Pulchra was certainly political, and due to her connexions with Agrippina,

who intervened unsuccessfully on her behalf. Pulchra’s aunt was that Claudia

who had been betrothed to Octavian; her second cousin Ap. Claudius had already

paid for his association with the elder Julia; and the son of another cousin, it has been conjectured, was the D.Silanus who went into exile for his adultery with the

younger Julia.95 If these facts were not brought up it is hard to see what

plausibility the charge of attempted poisoning would have had; Agrippina does

not seem to have been named, but with her eldest sons Tiberius’ heirs and her

daughter betrothed to Varus the danger was very close.

That form that Agrippina’s intervention took well illustrates what was in the

minds of the protagonists in the drama of 26. She came upon the Princeps

sacrificing to Augustus, and named the trump card that she held—and that all

held who were descended from Scribonia. Why did he persecute Augustus’

granddaughter, who was more of an image of the deified Princeps than any dumb

statue? If the anecdote is to be trusted, Tiberius took Agrippina by the arm and went straight for the ultimate issue between them, quoting a line from tragedy: ‘Do

you feel wronged, my child, because you do not rule?’96

That remark might have been made to her mother, sister, and three brothers.

Its irony would have been as lost on them as it was on her. Tiberius knew, or had

discovered, what it was to rule. Long ago too he had found out what it was to be

envied for his power. The encounter with Agrippina was one incident in a series

that determined him to leave Rome permanently. Another, if it is to be believed,

was contrived by agents of Sejanus.97 They convinced Agrippina that Tiberius

intended to poison her. When he noticed that she was eating nothing at dinner he

took fruit from a dish that had just been brought to the table and offered it to her with a word of commendation. Agrippina handed it straight to her servants.

Tiberius said nothing to her, but turned to his mother and remarked that it was not to be wondered at if he took stern measures against someone who alleged that he

was trying to poison her. That was the last invitation to dinner that Agrippina

received from Tiberius.

This incident too is revealing, if it is genuine. Agrippina was only a nuisance

to Tiberius, not a danger. Poisoning he had never seriously been suspected of. If

Agrippina believed that Tiberius intended to dispose of her in that way she

completely misread her father-in-law’s character and over-estimated her own

importance. The same episode reveals Tiberius’ determination to see how far his


daughter-in-law mistrusted him, even to set up situations in which she could

display her mistrust.

For they allowed him to see her as a new study in resentment, a second Julia

the elder, convinced that he meant ill towards her two sons. Retirement had been

honourable and justified in the circumstances of 6 BC; it was so again in AD 26.

Besides, he was sixty-seven. Officially he had no partner to share the burdens of

empire and the Senate was no more capable now than it had been twelve years

before of taking on its proper responsibilities. But he had a helpmeet who could

guarantee his security as commander of the Praetorian Guard, relieve him of

routine work as an authoritative friend possessed of delegated imperium, and give good advice as a man outside and above senatorial politics. So much for

Sejanus’ part in removing Tiberius from the capital.98 The astrologers knew

better. Ostensibly he left in 26 to dedicate temples of Jupiter and Augustus at

Capua and Nola. The astrologers said he would never return: the conjunctions of

the stars forbade it. So did the course of Tiberius’ past life. There were others

who grasped something of the truth: Tiberius was ashamed of his appearance in

old age, they said; emaciated, tall and bent, his head bald and his face covered

with blotches, some of them patched with plasters.99 But what Tiberius was

trying to hide and patch up was not his complexion but the public disharmony in

the dynasty. As for the secret pleasures that he had enjoyed on Rhodes, pleasures

that no ordinary, decent Roman shared—the prospect of indulging in them

without interruption certainly made Capri more alluring to an elderly amateur of

scholarship who enjoyed passing the port.100

The prophecies of the astrologers were all but confirmed almost as soon as the

Princeps left Rome.101 He was dining in a cavern at a villa named Speluncae,

between the sea at Amyclae and the hills of Fundi, when a fall of rock killed

several servants and put the diners to flight. Sejanus threw himself on hands and

knees across the Princeps’ body and was found in that position by the soldiers

who came to the rescue. Probably Tiberius did not consider how precious his life

was to the Prefect’s career, and gratefully accepted the act as one of selfless


Sejanus began to make full use of his credit.102 His technique was to employ

agents provocateurs to rouse the suspicions and fears of Agrippina and her son Nero. They have already been seen warning Agrippina against dining with

Tiberius; now they concentrated on Nero, who was the greatest threat and now was

just holding his quaestorship and so in the public eye. Nero was inclined by

nature and encouraged by his freedmen and clients to push himself forward.

Cautious men began to avoid him. His blunders and indiscretions were reported

to Sejanus by spies who included his wife, Drusus Caesar’s daughter Julia. Even

his brother Drusus was stupid enough to join Sejanus’ side, out of jealousy of

Nero’s leading position in public life and the greater affection that Agrippina had for him.103

During the year 27 Sejanus was able to bring to court a case that had been in

preparation since 24, where Tacitus links the victim with C.Silius as one of the


powerful friends of Agrippina who had to be destroyed.104 Titius Sabinus was not

in public life as far as we know. There could be no charge of extortion against

him as a returning magistrate. Only treason would do. Hence perhaps the delay in

bringing the charge: evidence had to be gathered or fabricated. L.Lucanius

Latiaris105 made friends with Sabinus, pretending sympathy for Agrippina and

her children. Eventually Sabinus, in the privacy (as he thought) of Latiaris’ home, hurled abuse at Sejanus and Tiberius that was overheard by three other senators

of praetorian rank concealed in the roof space.106 Sabinus was arrested at once,

and the accusers informed Tiberius by letter of the evidence they had collected.

On 1 January 28, Tiberius’ reaction was made known to the Senate (the

examination of Sabinus’ slaves may already have taken place). Tiberius made it

clear that some of his freedmen had been bribed and that there had been an attempt

on his own life. The execution of Sabinus followed immediately, but no action was

taken against Nero, who may have been implicated in the charges. Tiberius

contented himself with a letter of thanks to the Senate for punishing an enemy of

the state. His own life (he said) was not safe from the plots of his enemies.

Everyone knew who were meant. Writing in 30, Velleius Paterculus speaks of a

threeyear period of anguish for Tiberius, caused by the pent-up fire of

grief, indignation, and shame brought upon him by his daughter-in-law and

grandson.107 The starting point for that anguish must be the discovery of

Sabinus’ hostile activities, real or staged by Sejanus. The trial itself was the point of no return for Agrippina and Nero; their position was now precarious in the

extreme, with Tiberius completely alienated from them.

Anguish did its work. It was soon after Livia died in 29 that Tiberius wrote the

Senate another letter of accusation. Its terms were savage, but it contained no

charge of conspiracy: the worst charge that was ever brought was of

contemplating a dash to the German army or an appeal to the people in the Forum

at Augustus’ statue.108 Overbearing conduct and an insolent temper were alleged

against Agrippina, homosexuality against Nero. That should cause no surprise. As

with the two Julias and Agrippa Postumus, a moral took the place of a political

charge, and this time no statute at all was invoked (adultery was not a plausible

charge to bring against Agrippina). The Princeps followed his predecessor’s

example in treating Agrippina and Nero like recalcitrant children, while the plain

issue—their claim to an immediate share in the power—was kept from Senate

and public, which might not react in a way that would be welcome to him. These

precautions were not enough. While the Senate debated the letter, a crowd

collected outside the Curia carrying placards and portraits of the victims and

shouting that the letter did not come from the Princeps but was forged by

Sejanus. Even if that had been the case the forgery would not all have been on

one side. Pamphlets also circulated purporting to contain denunciations of

Sejanus pronounced in the Senate by ex-consuls.109 Inside, M.Cotta Messallinus

—the Princeps’ faithful servant—called for the affair to be debated, while Iunius

Rusticus, who was in charge of the Senate’s records and thought to be in

Tiberius’ confidence,110 urged delay. The consuls too were hesitant.111 The


tactics of Agrippina’s supporters, which are familiar enough to students of the

last two decades of the Augustan principate, were momentarily effective: the

Senate did nothing. A second letter arrived, delivering a stinging rebuke for

allowing the Princeps’ wishes to be slighted; the case was to be remitted to his

court. Another communication, in the form of an edict, lashed the populace. The

Senate instantly gave way and attested its readiness to vindicate the Princeps in

any manner that he would permit. It was probably the angry paterfamilias

himself who sent Agrippina and Nero into exile, to Pandateria and Pontia

respectively, having them hurried off in closed carriages. Nero in addition was

declared a public enemy, hostis, by the Senate, which may have been taking from Tiberius’ description of Titius Sabinus. The pronouncement was little more

than the striking of an attitude by the House when it was dealing, not with a

Marius, a Catiline, or an Antonius, but a youth safely incarcerated on an island;

the measure (unlike outlawry, aquae et ignis interdictio) would take practical effect only if Nero slipped away: he might be killed;112 but it was one of the few

expressions of extreme disapprobation open to the House and peculiarly

appropriate if no formal trial had taken place.113

For the moment, the other children of Germanicus escaped. Agrippina the

younger who, being a girl, presented little danger, had been married to Cn.

Domitius Ahenobarbus at the end of the previous year;114 but Drusus Caesar,

whose information had contributed to his brother’s downfall, should have been

quaestor precisely in 29. There is no evidence that he was,115 but he would have

to be dealt with quickly. Meanwhile, however, he was found a partner: Aemilia

Lepida, daughter of the consul of AD 6. But she too, like Livilla, is said to have

put up no resistance to Sejanus’ charm.116 Soon every word her husband uttered

was being reported to the Prefect. There were other channels—slaves, freedmen,

clients, friends—if another seduction does not find credence. Some time in 30,

probably in the first half of the year, Drusus too found himself in the Curia

facing a bitter attack from Tiberius. Feeling safe with precedents, the Senate

declared him too a hostis, and he went into confinement in a dungeon under the Palatium.117

Tiberius, confronted by indisputable evidence of the depravity and hostility of

his second grandson, gave way. The only possible heirs now were Gaius

Caligula, who was in his eighteenth year, and Ti. Gemellus, born in AD 19, one

each of the children of Germanicus and Drusus Caesar. But they were young and

Tiberius was now past seventy. To hope that he would live long enough to secure

the peaceful succession of a pair of mature principes, well trained in

administration and war, would be foolish. Augustus had been younger in AD 4

when he secured the succession for the dynasty by adopting a consular of forty-

five and a boy of sixteen. Sejanus was elected to the consulship of 31, with Tiberius as colleague and accession to the proconsular imperium (province unknown); the prospect of the tribunician power was clear ahead. To strengthen the tie the

betrothal of Sejanus to Livilla was at last announced.118


It was not only by destroying the prospects of Agrippina’s eldest sons that

Sejanus had come to this pitch. He had worked hard for his positive advantages

as well. One ingenious gambit was designed to convert his relatively humble

birth into an asset, enhance his popularity at Rome, and emphasize a precedent

that would justify his ambition, however high it rose. Sejanus made himself out

to be a second M.Agrippa, and a latter-day champion of the plebs.

The idea was simple but evocative. Agrippa had been the friend and

benefactor of the people, though he showed no sensitivity towards the Senate and

its rights. If Drusus Caesar and his nephews were descendants of Agrippa by

blood, Sejanus could be so in politics. That this was how he wished to be seen is

distinctly shown by the comparisons drawn by Velleius in 30, in those chapters of

his history which might be read as an election manifesto for the Prefect.119 What

Agrippa had been to Augustus, what the low-born Servius Tullius had been to

Ancus Martius in the far-off days of the kings, which Sejanus also ransacked for

precedents (he set up a statue of Fortune which had once belonged to Servius

Tullius in his own house, a blatant advertisement of intent120, these things

Sejanus could be to Tiberius, and would be once he had his consulship.

Election duly took place in the Senate but the pageantry on the Aventine that

followed had a political value.121 Sejanus appeared as the champion of the urban

plebs, a role that had been left vacant by the Princeps, who had less sympathy for the Gracchi than for their slayers. The people already had their heroes: the elder

Julia and her family had attempted to take up the interests of the plebs, and with some success. All the more important it became for Sejanus to outbid her

children for urban support; but the appeals to plebeian solidarity, the discreet

demagoguery—it had to be discreet, with Tiberius his master—were not enough

to dim the present popularity of Augustus’ and Germanicus’ flesh and blood, to

swamp the demonstrations made in favour of Agrippina and Nero in 29. When

Sejanus fell in 31 Macro was instructed to free young Drusus Caesar and parade

him before the people as an antidote to any movement for Sejanus. There was no

need: jeers and blows accompanied Sejanus to prison.

The composition of Julia’s clique had shown that a popular group need not

exclude men of family and distinction. Sejanus was catholic; he could not afford

to be anything else. His access to the Princeps, almost exclusive as it was, gave him enormous powers of patronage, which he preferred to use unobtrusively.122 The

accusers of Titius Sabinus had hoped for the consulship, to be obtained through

his favour. These men were not distinguished. But Sejanus had made friends

with important men like Mam. Scaurus too, and aligned behind himself those

who (like P.Vitellius and Q.Servaeus?) had begun to assess Agrippina’s political

acumen as inadequate to her needs; and those who had always been close to

Tiberius and who might dread the accession of young men who had learned from

their mother to bear a grudge against their grandfather and his friends. Sejanus

connected himself with the Cornelii Lentuli by betrothing his son to the daughter

of the commander of the Upper Rhine army; another vital area, the Lower Rhine

and its legions, was under the command of Lentulus’ own father-in-law,


L.Apronius.123 Even the greatest families of the recent past did not shrink from

forming an alliance with Sejanus’ kinsmen the Blaesi. Perhaps the surviving

members of Mark Antony’s family thought to restore their fortunes by the

alliance. The connexion was to prove unhelpful in the short run, fatal in the long.124

Sejanus was less successful in securing the sympathy of the absentee governors

of Tarraconensis and Syria than he was on the Rhine; but these provinces were

far away and could be ignored.125

Nevertheless there were senators other than L.Arruntius whose eminence and

hostility put them into danger. Asinius Gallus was one. He had been apparently

friendly towards the Prefect, and in 28 at the end of the trial of Titius Sabinus he had reacted to Tiberius’ letter of thanks by begging him to let the Senate share

his fears, so that it might remove them. The enquiry was as ambiguous as Gallus’

other interventions in debate, but suggests that he had given up any intention he

might once have had of uniting the two branches of the domus: Agrippina would not do as a partner and he had better back Sejanus, Livilla, and the young

Gemellus, kinsman to his own children. Gallus, as a senior consular, was

foremost in proposing most of the important honours conferred on Sejanus,

presumably at the moment of his recognition as Tiberius’ partner in 30. His

anxiety to be one of the envoys sent to Tiberius and Sejanus to inform them of

the honours voted them was natural, but Sejanus, who certainly must have

considered so eminent and so slippery a backer a menace to his position, may

have suspected that something more than a formal message of congratulation

was to pass between Gallus and the Princeps. He got in first, and it was on the very day that the legate Gallus was dining with Tiberius on Capri that the imperial

missive denouncing him and his jealousy of the Princeps’ friendship with

Sejanus was read in the Senate.126 Nor did Sejanus allow any other hostile voices

to be heard on the island if he could help it. Curtius Atticus was an equestrian

member of Tiberius’ court. If Atticus had had anything hostile to say about

Sejanus, he went too far and roused the Princeps’ anger.127

The dénouement was not far off. For Sejanus’ opponents, the situation looked hopeless. The Princeps was committed, the Prefect all-powerful. But the very

violence of Tiberius in defending his protégé betrays uneasiness. He had

undertaken to continue the dynasty on lines laid down by Augustus, and he had

failed. Now he had to introduce an outsider to power and, however liberal the

Claudii towards novi homines, they were liberal only because they could afford to be: the position of the Claudii in society and politics was unassailable, that of the dynasty was vulnerable. As for the precedent of M.Agrippa, Tiberius had

been his son-in-law; but there is no evidence that he liked the man; and

politically they were far apart.128 Tiberius must have hated what he had had to do.

A reaction against Sejanus, if it could be brought about, would be violent indeed.

Another point: the very success of Sejanus in ruining the family of Germanicus

provided them with a protagonist as cunning as Sejanus himself, who matched

his will to power, and whose family connexions made him the ideal leader for a

counter-move: Gaius Caligula.


When Tiberius wrote his autobiography, he said that he had punished Sejanus

because he had discovered that he was venting his rage against the children of

Germanicus.129 There is an objection to Tiberius’ account, one raised by

Suetonius himself. By the time Sejanus fell, Nero was dead, but Agrippina and

Drusus were not, and they still lingered in prison, and Asinius Gallus in the

custody of the magistrates, after 31. That need cause no surprise. Sejanus’

technique had been to provoke acts and words of hostility; they were not

obliterated by his death. Again, some sources claim or imply that it was a

conspiracy against Tiberius himself that brought about Sejanus’ downfall.130 That

need give no discomfort. An attack on Tiberius’ heirs could and would be

construed in the hysteria of the moment as an attack on the Princeps, and the

offence so made more monstrous. Tiberius encouraged such constructions by

implying in the letter that denounced the Prefect (and we have only this one item

from the contents) that he could no longer trust the Guard and that his life was in danger.131

The tense of the verb in the sentence from Tiberius’ autobiography is worth

noting. It implies that Sejanus was still acting against the children at the time of his fall: that is to say, machinations against the youngest son Gaius Caligula were the gravamen of the offence, in Tiberius’ own account. In those of Josephus and

Dio, the evidence for Sejanus’ misdeeds was smuggled to Tiberius on Capri from

the house of Antonia, his sister-in-law; and it was in Antonia’s house that Gaius

was to be found from Livia’s death in 29 until he was summoned to Capri,

sometime after his eighteenth birthday on 31 August AD 30.132 Gaius knew that

if Tiberius’ place were ever taken by Sejanus, his own life was not worth a

farthing. On the positive side his pre-emptive action might give him direct access

to the Principate: his elder brothers and the mother who favoured Nero were

already disgraced, and as far as they were concerned the way was clear for himself.

Gaius, like his brothers, found himself assailed by agents of Sejanus—and duly

reported the fact to his grandmother, who passed it on to Capri.

The information may have been genuine: on Capri Gaius was to become

notorious for his discretion, and Sejanus’ agents could already have been at work:

one of them, Sextius Paconianus, was a senator of praetorian rank, and unlikely

to have been resident on Capri.133 But there were others at court who benefited

from the downfall of Sejanus. Q.Naevius Cordus Sutorious Macro, formerly

Praefectus Vigilum, who executed the coup against Sejanus, benefited through

the promotion he won to the post that Sejanus left vacant; his collaborator

P.Graecinius Laco, the incumbent Praefectus Vigilum, was also honoured.134 Ti.

Claudius Thrasyllus, the astrologer resident on Capri, benefited: his

granddaughter Ennia Thrasylla was married to the new Prefect of the Guard; and

she was said to have become Gaius’ mistress.135 Pallas, the slave of Antonia who

allegedly carried the letter from Antonia’s house to Capri, benefited; at least, he was free and the owner of property in Egypt by the end of Tiberius’ principate

and soon to embark on a brilliant career as a rationibus (controller of accounts) 138 THE DYNASTIC CATASTROPHE

under Claudius.136 Claudius too benefited as Gaius’ nearest kinsman; but there is

nothing to show that he played a part in the movement.

Sejanus’ consulship opened to unfavourable omens which, if they are correctly

reported, do his opponents great credit for ingenuity.137 Tiberius remained on the

island, detained by ill-health. It was the first time he had entered on the office in absence; distaste for the capital, or fear of the astrologers’ predictions that he

would never enter Rome alive again, were too strong for convention. There is no

reason to believe (with Dio) that he entertained any misgiving about Sejanus yet;

the parting was affectionate and tearful. He had been using the term ‘socius

laborum’ again, and the language of the communications from Capri had made it clear how close Sejanus was to his master. When men called the consul Tiberius’

collega imperii they were referring to more than collegiality in an office to be held for a few months only, and they had clearly done right to set up statues to

the new pair, to have gilded chairs brought into the theatres for both of them, to

vote them quinquennial consulships, to sacrifice to the images of Sejanus as they

did to those of Tiberius, and to swear by his Fortune. Then came a doubt, and

rumours that grew stronger as the consulships wore on. They were caused by a

marked fluctuation in the tone of Tiberius’ frequent communications, and by

inconsistency in their content. The state of his health and the likelihood of his

coming to Rome were variously gauged; he wrote warmly of Sejanus—and

coolly. It was all a cunning manoeuvre on the part of a master of deception—or

the vacillation of an old man who could not make up his mind. The strands that

made up Tiberius’ reputation as a dissimulator may have included this one: that

often he did not know himself what he thought. This was the man who, in the

prime of life, in his element in Germany, did not make a move after the Varian

disaster without consulting his consilium; and the man who made the word

‘dubitatio’ characteristically his own.138 The consulship came to an end on 8

May, exceptionally in the middle of a month;139 with Tiberius abdicated, Sejanus

could not stay on. Appropriate honours followed to reassure him. Tiberius

offered a priesthood, perhaps the augurate, to him and his son. Now, as an ex-

consul he would take up the promised proconsulare imperium; while the Senate, having voted the priesthood, decreed as an additional gesture, graceful but safe,

that all future consuls should be instructed to conduct themselves in emulation of


The discordant note grew more strident. What was happening to Gaius

Caligula must have caused Sejanus most unease. Some time after 31 August 30,

he was summoned to Capri, not necessarily as a result of the letter that may have

reached the island from Antonia’s house, though it is tempting to make that

inference. The advancement of Sejanus, in Tiberius’ eyes, need not mean

abandoning Gaius; he and Tiberius Gemellus would be next in line. When the

new scheme was firmly adopted, the coming of age of Gaius might now take

place. It was long overdue: Gaius, born on the last day of August in AD 12,

should have taken the toga of manhood in the twelve months beginning 31

August 26. The fact that nothing was done betrays Tiberius’ uncertainty,


precisely in the year that he left Rome, about the future of his elder grandsons:

Gaius could take the toga neither with ceremony nor without it. He was in the

position that Agrippa Postumus had been in after the death of Lucius Caesar, but

he was kept in it for much longer. Or was it the death of Nero Caesar that

prompted Tiberius to bring Gaius to Capri? Nero was murdered, or forced to

suicide, on his island, apparently some time after the expiry of Sejanus’

consulship, when Sejanus was already suspect to the Princeps.140 Indeed it was a

letter to the Senate on the subject of Nero’s death that raised more doubts about

Sejanus’ position in the minds of its members: it referred to him as plain

‘Sejanus’. Sejanus in danger had an even stronger motive for removing Nero

than Sejanus secure; but it may have been this very act (or event) that convinced

Tiberius of his guilt. Yet it was not the elevation of Sejanus to partnership with

Tiberius or the death of Nero that was the cause of Gaius’ removal to Capri.

Tiberius’ suspicions of Sejanus are a better explanation. Gaius took the toga in a

hole and corner style, not after the fashion of a young princeps; and on the same day he shaved his beard, a ceremony that usually followed the assumption of the

toga at a decent interval.141 Tiberius was in a hurry.

More followed. When Sejanus and his son were offered their priesthoods,

Gaius was honoured in the same way.142 The citation spoke well of him and,

according to Dio, gave some indication that he was to be Tiberius’ successor.

Whether he intended the move to test public opinion or not, Tiberius received

clear proof of the continued popularity of Germanicus’ house, and Sejanus was

correspondingly disheartened. The next step that Tiberius took was an act of self-

denial that involved a set-back to Sejanus: he forbade cult to any living human

being and the consideration of any measure in his own honour. The prohibition

was no novelty and no doubt had long been neglected. Tiberius’ purpose in

reiterating it in 31 was clear.143

Some time between 1 July and 1 October Sejanus tried to strike back at his

enemies, not on the island but in the Senate. For the group had, and needed,

members in both places. L.Arruntius was one of its most distinguished partisans

and his enmity to Sejanus was of long standing. Aruseius and Sanquinius (if that

was his name) brought an indictment against him, perhaps at the very moment

that his adopted son, L.Arruntius Camillus Scribonianus, a connexion of the

Libones, was canvassing for the consulship of 32. The charge was quashed on

the grounds that it was not legal to bring an indictment against an imperial legate in office. The senatus consultum enforcing this line was brought forward by a Lentulus, possibly Cossus, the consul of 1 BC who became Praefectus Urbi in 33,

a confidant of the Princeps; that perhaps is why Dio says that Tiberius himself

was responsible for quashing the indictment, unless the Senate consulted the

Princeps on the legal point. The friends of Arruntius now had good grounds for a

counter-prosecution for calumnia (malicious prosecution). Aruseius and his

fellow accuser were convicted.144

Even before this, perhaps, the Princeps had not shown himself entirely supine.

C.Fufius Geminus, consul ordinarius in AD 29, owed his advancement to Livia; 140 THE DYNASTIC CATASTROPHE

but there was no love lost between him and Tiberius, who had suffered from his

caustic wit. Fufius’ wife too, Mutilia Prisca, was a friend of Livia, and had been

instrumental in introducing an ally of Sejanus to the old lady to poison her mind

against Agrippina. Yet in 30, at the height of Sejanus’ power, the couple were

forced to suicide, Fufius being accused of impietas, failure of duty and respect, towards Tiberius, which he attempted to disprove by showing Tiberius as equal

heir with his children in his will. And in 32, after Sejanus’ downfall, Fufius’

mother Vitia was destroyed on a charge of mourning her son. It would be good to

know who brought the original charges, or if the accusation came from Tiberius


Sejanus was in suspense for more than five months after laying down his

consulship. At length, on the night of 17 October, Macro arrived in Rome, where

Sejanus had remained at the wish of Tiberius, with a letter from the Princeps and

instructions which he communicated to Graecinius Laco and the loyal consul

P.Memmius Regulus, who had come into office only on 1 October; his colleague

L.Fulcinius Trio had held the post since 1 July, but he was a supporter of Sejanus

and it may be that Tiberius waited for Memmius’ term to begin before he acted.

At dawn Macro met Sejanus on the Palatine, where the Senate was to meet in the

temple of Apollo, and told him that he was to be given the tribunician power.

When he was safely inside the temple Macro showed the Praetorians on duty his

authority from the Princeps, sent them back to barracks and replaced them with

the Vigiles (Watchmen) under Laco. He entered the temple, delivered the letter

to the consuls and went off to the barracks where he successfully consolidated

his authority (the Praetorians were to receive a donative). Tiberius’ letter was

long-winded and rambling (which gave Macro more time for his manoeuvre by

keeping Sejanus away from the barracks)146 and it seems never to have brought

precise charges; but it ended with instructions to imprison Sejanus and punish

two of his senatorial friends (Aruseius and Sanquinius?). By the time that point

was reached, some senators had actually moved away from Sejanus’ place and

praetors and tribunes, seeing where their duty lay, surrounded him. Regulus

called him out of his seat and, while the whole House joined in the denunciation,

put the proposal for imprisonment and handed him over to the waiting Laco.

Later on the same day the Senate, encouraged by popular demonstrations against

Sejanus and by the absence of the Praetorians, reconvened; not this time in the

temple of Apollo but in a building that has appeared before in connexion with

conspiracy and its suppression, the temple of Concord. Tiberius had

reconstructed Opimius’ temple, which had been the scene of Cicero’s attack on

the Catilinarians in 63 BC; now it was to witness the condemnation of a latter-

day Catiline.147 The ideology of Sejanus had been turned neatly against him;

Regulus knew his history—or he had been instructed by a master. By nightfall

Sejanus had been strangled.

The coup could not have been carried out more neatly, but it could easily have

failed. The Praetorian Guard accepted Macro’s donative, but went on the rampage

against the property of Sejanus and his friends;148 it might well have stayed


faithful to its commander of seventeen years. And Regulus, for fear of the

relatives and friends of Sejanus who sat in the Senate, was afraid to ask the

opinion of more than one consular on the motion for Sejanus’ death. According

to Suetonius, Tiberius, watching from Capri, had ships ready to carry him away;

which overseas province he would have fled to is a matter of speculation, with

Egypt or Syria the likeliest. The latter, under the governorship of L.Aelius Lamia

and his legates, had been the only province not to display the statue of Sejanus

side by side with that of the Princeps. Its governor, after the death of the

Praefectus Urbi L.Piso the pontifex in 32, was transferred to that important and

prestigious post.149

As soon as Sejanus was dead, the hunt began for his relations. His

distinguished uncle Q.Blaesus did not long survive. His eldest son, whose full

name was probably Aelius Gallus Strabo, was sentenced and executed within a

week. In the latter half of November or the first two weeks of December, even

his two youngest children, Capito Aelianus and Iunilla, were executed, the girl,

who was unmarried, being raped first.150 Livilla was taken into custody by her

mother Antonia, and news of her death became known; complicity in Sejanus’

attack on the children of Germanicus earned that, even if the story of Drusus’

murder is disregarded, and she suffered ‘damnatio memoriae’, destruction of her statues and the like, at the beginning of 32.151 A clean sweep had been made of

the immediate family; satellites could bide a while, powerful allies might get off

altogether; for it was a dynastic feud, as Tiberius intimated, that came to a

bloody end in 31. Nothing can excuse the murder of the two children or

exonerate the Senate that authorized it, or Tiberius, if he knew of it. One could

say that the vis dominationis, the strains imposed by absolute power, had

wrenched the Princeps irrevocably out of the ruck of normal human

behaviour;152 but the act can be explained in political as well as in psychological terms (revenge for the murder of Drusus Caesar): Sejanus had destroyed the

dynastic plan that Tiberius had taken over from Augustus and developed, and

had tried to introduce himself and probably his children into the scheme. He had

risen so high that his family and his children were a danger to the surviving heirs of the Princeps. Therefore they died. The Principate must pass to Tiberius’

grandchildren, the great-grandchildren of Augustus.




Tiberius prided himself on his knowledge of Roman law, both sacral and secular,

and on his respect for it.1 The ius auxilii inherent in the tribunician power and his imperium gave him the right to come to the aid of a citizen who appealed to him against magisterial injustice and to take cognizance of cases from all over the

Empire, in Italy, and at Rome.2 They were already his before AD 14, although he

is not likely to have used them when Augustus was available. His return to Rome

and his accession to sole power, together with his election to the supreme

pontificate on 10 March AD 15,3 gave full scope to his auctoritas (prestige and influence), and at least one senator argued that Senate and equites could not carry on their business without his supervision.4 Tiberius intended to use his influence

well, and eight years after his accession could still proclaim the supremacy of

law.5 The Princeps for whom iustitia was a cardinal virtue was called

‘iustissimus princeps’ by those who sought to do him honour; and he liked to be thought of as ‘senator et iudex’, a member of the House, exercising his judicial functions like his peers.6

Tiberius’ preoccupation with the even-handed administration of justice led him

early in his principate to take a place in the praetor’s court, at the side of the tribunal or on a seat facing it. His presence (and the lectures he gave on

occasion) ensured that the presiding magistrate did his duty, though they

detracted, Tacitus believes, from the freedom of action traditionally allowed in

the courts (for emotional appeals and the weight of inherited influence).7

Tiberius may have been prompted to visit the courts by the complaints uttered by

L.Piso in the Senate in AD 16,8 or by the conditions that Piso deplored: iudices (arbitrators, jurymen, or the presidents of courts) accepting the bribes that

litigants offered to win their cases; hectoring lawyers threatening to deploy their oratorical talents in prosecution.

The Princeps readily gave magistrates his expert advice on points of law and

propriety. He advised the consuls of AD 22 not to act as advocates, presumably

in private suits, saying that he would not have done so himself.9 As to criminal

proceedings he rightly had no qualms. When C.Silius in 24 asked for his

indictment for res repetundae (the illegal acquisition of funds or property) and maiestas (treason) to be postponed until his accuser laid down his consulship, he TIBERIUS AND THE LAW: THE DEVELOPMENT OF MAIESTAS 143

quoted the old senatorial injunction to the consuls ‘not to allow any harm to

come to the Republic’ (it formed the substance of the senatus consultum ultimum that had been passed against C.Gracchus, Appuleius Saturninus, and Caesar, to

name only the most notorious dissidents).10 The formula was not immediately

relevant, but there is no doubt that magistrates were entitled to undertake

prosecutions. Tacitus’ censure misses the point, which is that the fact that

Tiberius was not willing to stretch the law in favour of the defendant and quoted

the emergency formula suggested to men’s minds that he was ill disposed

towards Silius, and so influenced their attitude.

As for the indictment of magistrates, a rescript gave a ruling: it was

permissible, but the trial had to be deferred until the defendant had laid down his office.11 Previously the magistrate had to abdicate before the Senate actually

condemned him; that proceeding violated the principles that lay behind the

Roman system of magistracies, and it had been distastefully exemplified in the

abdications in 87 BC of the optimate consul, Cornelius Merula; in 63 of P.Sura,

the Catilinarian praetor; and in 43 of Tiberius’ own connexion Q.Gallius who

perished for plotting against Octavian; Licinius Murena in 23 BC and M.Libo in

AD 16 are other possible victims.12 The rescript may have been elicited by an

incident reported by Dio under the year 22, in which a praetor, probably identical

with the Magius Caecilianus mentioned by Tacitus as acquitted in 21, was

threatened with prosecution for maiestas, went home, took off his robes of office, and returned to the Senate a vulnerable private citizen, to the

consternation of the Princeps. The consul Drusus may have referred the case to

his father in Campania, and dismissal of the case and the ruling were the result.

R.S.Rogers dates the rescript later than 24, when the praetor M. Plautius

Silvanus was to have been tried for throwing his wife out of a window, but

committed suicide.13 The praetor’s father-in-law summoned Tiberius to the scene

of the outrage, and his prompt investigation established Silvanus’ guilt (there

were signs of a struggle). He could not continue in office, and the Senate decided

to make an exception to the rule. Certainly it was not always observed by

Tiberius’ successors: under Gaius Caligula and Nero aediles and praetors and

even a tribune were condemned after losing their offices.14

On the modification of statutes Tiberius was equally ready to offer his views.

They were usually moderate. Where the law had been allowed to lapse, even if it

were a law of Augustus, or when a tightening up of sumptuary restrictions was in

prospect, as it was in the debates of 16 and 22, Tiberius expressed himself

unwilling to bear the odium for imposing the law in all its rigour.15 When the law

was one that dealt with more than matters of taste and convenience and was of

practical value to Italy, as in the case of Caesar’s investment law, which was

reapplied in AD 33, Tiberius was willing to allow a substantial period of grace to

debtors and creditors before requiring conformity.16 Other legislation was being

worked to death. Augustus’ last attempt to encourage the upper classes to

reproduce, the lex Papia Poppaea of AD 9, was giving wide scope to delators because it was being widely evaded. In AD 20 Tiberius gave the task of


interpreting the law to a committee of senators.17 But when it was suggested four

years later that the section of the lex Iulia Maiestatis that provided rewards for successful prosecutors should be suspended when the accused committed suicide

before conviction, he discouraged the proposal in the plainest terms.18

In his personal dealings with the law, as elsewhere, Tiberius consciously

displayed civilitas, the unassuming manner of a private citizen, distinguishing sharply between his official functions and his status as a privatus. When he sat in the praetor’s court he was acting (potentially at least) as the holder of superior

imperium; when involved in litigation in any other capacity than as magistrate or iudex he was careful not to go beyond his place as a private citizen (of rank). In AD 16 the outspoken L.Piso was seeking to recover a sum of money from

Urgulania, a friend of Livia and grandmother of Claudius’ wife Urgulanilla.19 On

being cited to appear before the praetor Urgulania had herself conveyed to the

Princeps’ house, where Piso indomitably pursued her. Tiberius promised his

mother to appear as Urgulania’s advocate. His journey from the Palatine to the

tribunal was studiedly casual and leisurely: the bodyguard was dismissed to a

distance and the Princeps found time to converse with anyone who accosted him

on his route. Meanwhile, the sum owed Piso had been paid into court by Livia.

The episode enhanced Tiberius’ reputation (the word civilis is twice used in connexion with the case), and, if Tacitus is to be believed, Tiberius’ conduct

continued admirable in civil cases down to 23 at least: in any dispute with a

private person he had recourse to the due processes of law. The men responsible

for those processes cannot but have been biased in favour of the Princeps; but his

own utterances show his anxiety to be treated, as far as was practicable, as a

privatus, and that anxiety may have had some compensating effect.

Although Tacitus concedes that the laws were admirably administered during

the early years he makes one exception: the lex Maiestatis, 20 Tiberius’ attitude towards that law is prominent in the ancient sources and is a large component of

their (and so of our) judgment of the Princeps. There were changes in existing

practice, in the scope of the law and its administration—penalties, rewards to

accusers—that made it possible for Seneca to write of a ‘frenzy’ of accusations

which (with exaggeration that serves at least to show how strongly this

contemporary witness felt about the scourge) he says led to loss of life greater

than that caused by the Civil Wars. It is likely, though Seneca does not say so,

that he is referring particularly to the period that followed the death of Sejanus, where Tacitus has a passage very similar in tone.21 Gaius Caligula found it

popular to abolish the charge; the abolition lasted two years during which

Tiberius was pilloried for his handling of the law.22

The first maiestas law, the lex Appuleia, aimed at bringing to book those whose conduct ‘diminished the majesty of the Roman People’, had been brought

in by the demagogic tribune L.Appuleius Saturninus at the end of the second

century BC.23 It provided for sedition, incompetence in the field, and

unauthorized campaigning. Saturninus’ law replaced prosecution before the

people by the perduellio procedure with a permanent court staffed by equites.


Proceedings would no longer be dependent on the willingness of a tribune to

prosecute, nor would they be subject to tribunician veto; most important,

prosecution before the people had laid a double task on the tribune: he had to

prove both that the action had been performed and that it merited punishment;

the laws that established permanent quaestiones defined certain acts as criminal; the prosecution had to prove only that the accused had performed the action for him to be liable to the penalty prescribed.

Maiestas, however, was not straightforward. The nature of the offence made it a peculiarly flexible weapon in the political game. A man might (for instance)

take part in a riot and still claim that his action had not diminished the maiestas of the Roman people.24 On the other hand, even the later legislators, such as

Sulla, who aimed at being comprehensive and systematic,25 could not cover

every contingency, and it is possible that even the first maiestas law included a clause making liable for prosecution anyone who diminished the maiestas of the Roman people (by whatever means).26 If so, the scope of the law, even under the

Republic, was or could be very wide indeed, and there was ample opportunities

for malicious political prosecution. It is of the vagueness and imprecision of the

crimen (charge) that Cicero complains in a letter of 50 BC to Ap. Pulcher, who had just escaped the lex Cornelia.27 The passage is corrupt, but Cicero evidently regards it as unsporting to accuse a man of maiestas because it is unclear what constitutes the offence: it is ‘a mere expression’ in contrast with ambitus

(electoral corruption), where the issue is the straightforward one of whether a

man has offered bribes or not. The crimen maiestatis was in ill repute a quarter of a century before the foundation of the Principate.

Maiestas minuta, then, had always been a plastic and expandable concept. The majesty of the Roman people, and diminution of it, were interpreted by

legislators, advocates, makes, and jurisconsults with particular reference to the maiestas of that section of society which exercised, or in their opinion should exercise, real power: for Saturninus the people; after Sulla’s time the senatorial

oligarchy; under the early Principate the Princeps himself and his family and

friends and, by deliberate policy of the Princeps, the Senate whose political

supremacy he claimed to guarantee.

It was as part of that policy that there had come about a change of the highest

importance in the administration of that law and others, though Tacitus,

Suetonius, and Dio do not notice it: the transfer of jurisdiction to a senatorial court, perhaps in 19 or 18 BC, the years of Augustus’ final constitutional settlement, as

a result of the trials of Primus and Murena. In both these cases the majority

verdicts of guilty delivered by the jury of senators and equites had not been as overwhelming as Augustus would have wished.28 Henceforward, as the result of

a lex or more probably of a simple senatus consultum, cases involving the interest, security, or welfare of the Senate as a whole or of individual members were to be

tried in the House. Such were maiestas, repetundae, and adultery in the senatorial order. The exact terms of the resolution are unknown and the difficulty scholars

experience in reconstructing the formulation may be due to the fact that the


consuls were left discretion as to whether or not they were to take cases in these

categories out of the hands of the praetor and his court.29

This change was momentous, and in many ways far from beneficial to the

ruling class. Looking only to the restoration of their control over provincial

governors and their misdemeanours (senators were lenient to their peers), to their

victory in an ancient struggle for control of the courts,30 they might fail to note that they had also become the guardians of the maiestas of the Roman people and of its magistrates, and so guardians of the maiestas of the Princeps. Deleterious consequences should have become apparent before long. Unlike the indices of the praetorian court, members of the Senate would not be able to keep their vote

secret.31 Speeches had to be made on the penalty to be imposed, if any; it was

impossible to remain uncommitted. A senator’s views would become known to

the Princeps and to lesser faction leaders; his career, even his safety, might be

affected. When Gaius Caligula restored the charge he tried to show that each of

the victims of Tiberius’ principate had been a victim of the Senate, which had

supplied accusers, witnesses, and jurymen.32 Tacitus himself felt that guilt;33 it

made him bitter against the law and against Tiberius; but Augustus should not

have escaped without criticism for making the transfer.

Again, although the Senate kept some of the procedural rules laid down in the

leges, especially for the opening stages of the process, where the language of Tacitus is often technical, and although it had its own procedural rules, it was

free to conduct itself much as it wished. Hence irregularity in the course of trials and opportunity for those interventions of the Princeps that will be examined at

the end of the chapter. Two extreme examples: Titius Sabinus and Sejanus were

hustled away to execution in 28 and 31 in spite of a senatorial decree, made at

the instance of Tiberius in 21, forbidding the registration of senatus consulta in the Aerarium (and so their coming into force) until ten days after they had been

passed.34 Hence, too, charges under two separate statutes could be brought at the

same time instead of being taken successively in separate courts. No case is

attested before AD 14, but it was an obvious manoeuvre to tack on to a charge

that was likely to end in acquittal, such as repetundae, one that the

overshadowing interest of the Princeps would incline the Senate to take very

seriously indeed,35 and even to subsume under maiestas accusations that would as appropriately have been brought under the lex Iulia de Adulteriis. When C.Silius was accused in 24 of maiestas and repetundae, ‘everything was handled on the maiestas charge’; an earlier attempt at subsumption was defeated in 17, when Tiberius ruled that the lex Iulia de Adulteriis was adequate to deal with the unchastity even of a woman related to the Princeps.36 In spite of initial setbacks, the technique of tacking continued in use until the end of Tiberius’ principate,

when maiestas was abolished; and Tacitus, with some exaggeration, says that it was a makeweight in every case.37 Not surprisingly: the maiestas charge offered a secondary advantage, making available to the prosecution the evidence of the

accused person’s slaves, evidence which could then be used to recover

information to be used for charges other than maiestas. 38


A ‘liberty’ akin to this free handling of procedure may lie behind the puzzling

charges brought against Clutorius Priscus in the case of 21.39 Having written

verses on the death of Germanicus, and having been rewarded for them, Priscus

thought to double his prize by composing a second set, this time on the death of

Drusus Caesar. The consul designate proposed the death penalty, and the plea of

M.Lepidus for mercy and a sentence of aquae et ignis interdictio (outlawry) with confiscation of property received support from only one senator. The penalty

proposed by Lepidus was put forward as the one which he would have

considered appropriate if Priscus had been charged with maiestas; the actual charge, then, was different. It may be that Priscus was charged simply with

writing verses upon Drusus’ death, and that in 21 we have a reversion to a state of affairs that prevailed before certain acts were defined by statute as illegal. The

Senate under the guidance of the consuls took cognizance of the act and dealt

with it ad hoc. If this view is correct, the dangers of such a procedure are obvious, and it was the plain duty of Tiberius to reproach the Senate not merely

with its hasty zeal in having the accused man executed, but with making up the

law as it went along. But that duty conflicted with Tiberius’ overriding principles of allowing the Senate to be master in its own house. It was a principle that led

them, possibly through the ‘new and hitherto unheard of charge’ of praising

M.Brutus and calling Cassius the last of the Romans that was brought against

A.Cremutius Cordus in 25, certainly through the hesitant discussion of the

offences of Agrippina and Nero in 29 (the handling of Drusus’ case in the

following year may come into the same category), to the prompt execution of

Sejanus in 31 after no trial but the mere hearing of a letter which is said to have contained no outright charge and to the monstrous and illegal killing of two of

his children in the Tullianum upon no charge whatsoever, their guilt consisting

solely in their paternity.40 This pernicious development probably did not

originate in the principate of Tiberius. If the evidence were better, it might be

traceable to the decrees passed by the Senate against Cornelius Gallus and its

sanctioning of the exile of Agrippa Postumus to Planasia by senatus consultum.41

Nor did it end in 37. Claudius and Nero conducted trials intra cubiculum (in the privacy of their home) and in the praetorian barracks; formal charges and

senatorial participation alike went by the board. Under Tiberius senators who

cared and had the courage could still appeal to what the law laid down.42

Penalties too were subject to variation. Senators might indulge in leniency

when it was the provincials who had suffered; but the maiestas of the Princeps must be defended with the full rigour of the law, it might even be with measures not

strictly laid down in law. By Pliny’s time the Senate could be said to have the

power to increase or diminish the severity of the laws by altering the prescribed

penalties in individual cases.43 It is orthodoxy to hold that the penalty laid down in Caesar’s lex was exile in the form aquae et ignis interdictio, and that when defendants were executed they were victims of an act that had no sanction in the

statute.44 But the penalty prescribed by Caesar, as by Sulla in his lex Cornelia, was execution: Velleius claims that Iullus Antonius, the lover of the elder Julia


whose adultery amounted to maiestas, was shown clemency in being allowed to choose the manner of his death.45 Under the Republic men convicted in the

courts were not executed but went into exile either before conviction or

immediately after it. Against them the tribunes passed an annual aquae et ignis interdictio which outlawed them; being unsafe inside the Empire they quitted it for some civitas libera et foederata, an independent city which enjoyed treaty relations with Rome, and taking the citizenship of that town they lost that of

Rome.46 Caesar’s law did not reduce the penalty but made obligatory the

imposition of the interdict. During the Civil Wars and Triumviral period regular

trials for maiestas seem to have been in abeyance. In 40 BC Q.Salvidienus Rufus was brought before the Senate and forced to suicide: ten years later M.Lepidus was

summoned to Actium and executed.47 By 23 BC cases were being taken in the

appropriate court, and men might again expect to avoid execution by going into

exile. But Caepio and Murena were killed in flight, and M.Egnatius Rufus in 19

was executed in prison; it is unclear whether the death of L.Paullus, which

followed an enquiry instituted by the Senate, was execution or suicide.48

The penalty prescribed was not always enough. In aggravated cases the

senators might vie with each other in proving the horror they felt at the accused

man’s guilt. Savage methods of execution,49 ‘damnatio memoriae’ in varying forms,50 exposure of the body on the Gemonian stairs, and denial of burial51

might all be added. As to these aggravations of the penalty two points should be

made. They accrue almost exclusively in four familiar cases: those of Libo

Drusus, Cn. Piso, C. Silius, and Aelius Sejanus, and in cases dependent on that

of Sejanus; that is to say, in the ‘great’ maiestas cases of Tiberius’ principate.

Those cases evidently were held to be comparable with the most serious that had

occurred under the Republic, and three of them are picked out for mention by the

indignant Velleius Paterculus (writing before the fall of Sejanus).52 Secondly, the additional penalties are well documented under the Republic; their revival or

increased use during the principate of Tiberius may in part account for his

reputation for the misuse of ancient precedents for his own cruel ends.

Now the death penalty prescribed by the law was being carried out, the Senate

had to mean what it said, and it developed a scale of lesser penalties, imposing

(in descending order of severity) deportation to an island or oasis with loss of civil rights,53 aquae et ignis interdictio, 54 relegation without loss of civil rights, whether to a specified place or beyond a certain distance from Rome,55 and

infamia.56 The maturing of aquae et ignis interdictio as a penalty is indicated by the regulation that Tiberius imposed, probably in AD 23.57 If a man retired into

exile, took the citizenship of another state and thereby extinguished his civil

rights, that entailed the loss of his right to dispose of his property under Roman

law; the new regulation laid it down that anyone who suffered interdiction (no

matter where he was domiciled) should lose the right to make a will.

References to imprisonment grow more and more frequent as Tiberius’

principate wears on.58 It had been used by magistrates as a measure of coercitio, a means of securing obedience to the will of a magistrate, under the Republic and


in exceptional cases as a means of ensuring that an accused person stood trial or

did not evade execution; occasionally it was proposed as punishment, as bv

Caesar for the followers of Catiline.59 Its increasing prominence in the sources is due partly to the introduction of an effective death penalty, which meant that the

accused person had to be prevented from escaping both before and after the

verdict; when the ten-day rule was introduced in AD 21 condemned persons

spent that period in the carcer (prison), longer if the wishes of the Princeps were uncertain or if they had been reprieved. Until about AD 30 the only accused

persons on whom a guard is known to have been set were (not unexpectedly)

Libo Drusus, whose farewell banquet was disturbed by the tread of the soldiers’

boots, and Cn. Piso, who had a tribune of the Praetorian Guard assigned to him.

From 30 onwards more and more persons were detained in custody of one kind or

another, their cases undecided either because the Senate dared not take the final

step or because the Princeps had expressly asked to take part in the trial. Its

increasing recourse to imprisonment is an index of its confusion and uncertainty.

With death a penalty now enforced it is not surprising that accused persons

often anticipated condemnation by suicide, especially as suicides normally

preserved their property from confiscation and were allowed burial, presumably

on the ground that they died uncondemned.60 This rule explains the case of

Vibulenus Agrippa, who in AD 36 took poison in the Senate-house during his

trial, was rushed to the Tullianum, and had the rope put round his neck when he

was already dead;61 but it did not hold when the Senate considered that the guilt

of the accused demanded exceptional severity. The trial might be continued and

the property confiscated. So it was in the cases of Libo Drusus (AD 16), C.Silius

(AD 24), and followers of Sejanus; and confiscation was proposed in that of Cn.

Piso (AD 20).62 Such deaths impinge on the historian’s attention in the principate

of Tiberius, especially in 32 and after. The increase in numbers cannot be

denied, but it is exaggerated for us because we have the conscientious and hostile

testimony of Tacitus and Dio and the sensational generalizations of Suetonius.

There were deaths in the poorly documented principate of Augustus, but fewer.63

Under the Republic men had occasionally killed themselves when brought to

trial for treason, and even for repetundae. Financial ruin and loss of dignitas (status) were more than they could face; but the diminishing freedoms of the

Principate turned up fewer chances of rehabilitation or survival.64

Rewards to successful prosecutors would be in proportion to the seriousness

of the offence; they too were varied at the discretion of the Senate, no doubt in

the Augustan principate after 18 BC as in that of Tiberius. Provision was made in

the lex Iulia Maiestatis as in other laws: one-quarter of the defendant’s property was the standard material reward, but probably there were others: under some

statutes the successful accuser seems to have been entitled to take on the insignia of his victim and his seniority.65 The case of Libo Drusus may be taken as

illustration of the practice. Three of Libo’s four accusers received praetorships

extra ordinem (Libo was praetor either in the year of his trial or in the previous year), and the entire property was divided between them.66 The rewards


guaranteed by the law were thus exceeded; but there is a recognizable

relationship to them in the prizes that Libo’s accusers carried off. In the case of Cn. Piso the rewards deviated further from the norm. Ex-praetors could hardly be

given consulships extra ordinem, but they were to be elevated to priesthoods (perhaps in the college or colleges of which Piso had been a member); and

L.Fulcinius Trio, who was one of those who had benefited from the death of

Libo and who had dealt only with the old charge of repetundae, was given a promise of support when he came to stand for office.67

‘Delators’ were hated under the Principate. They were a class of men who

acquired the favour of the Princeps, standing, and wealth, through the practice of

prosecution. Their first great chance came in the struggle for supremacy that was

fought out in the Senate under Tiberius, and they were maintained by a series of

Principes whose fears made them tyrannical.68 The delators hardly looked back

until the reign of Trajan; and Tiberius has been blamed for actively encouraging

them, notably by refusing to deprive them of their praemia (rewards) when the defendant committed suicide and by backing individual prosecutions.69 But in

the first place a political explanation of the phenomenon is not sufficient; in a

time of social change new men fighting against conservative prejudice had (they

thought) to use any means of advancement they could find; and after the

economic expansion of the Augustan principate had come to an end some

families found themselves in financial difficulties.70 Besides, the notorious

practitioners met in the pages of Tacitus and Pliny were only the biggest fish in a pool that was swarming with greedy lesser fry, who must already have been hard

at work by the time of Tiberius’ accession (the lex Papia Poppaea was a

favourite field) if their prosecutions and threats of prosecutions were enough to

make L.Piso think of leaving public life.71 Odium attached itself to professional

prosecutors (quadruplatores) under the Republic, some of it rubbing off on to serious politicians, unless they were young men at the beginning of their careers;

and when the prudent Cicero finally embarked on a prosecution (that of Verres)

he claimed good reason for it; even then it was not quite gentlemanly to accept

the extraneous rewards that success brought with it. Nearly a century later, when

the consular Mam. Scaurus joined two professionals in an attack on C.Silanus in

22, he had to go far back into Republican history for reputable precedents.72 Nor

can it be said that Tiberius approved of their activities in principle. In defending their praemia, Tiberius was, as he claimed, defending a system which could not be replaced. The proposal for abolition apparently dealt only with maiestas, but the lex Maiestatis was not the only statute that offered rewards; and the

innovation would give protection to the property of guilty as well as innocent

defendants; what was required was a harsher penalty for calumnia, malicious prosecution.73 Tiberius must have been aware of, perhaps he shared, the old

Republican prejudice; and his own youthful experience as a prosecutor had not

been one to remember with pride.74 Tiberius hated the delator Vibius Serenus,

and when he promised his political support for L.Fulcinius Trio (who was

precisely the ‘accusator’ in the trial of Cn. Piso from whom the avengers of TIBERIUS AND THE LAW: THE DEVELOPMENT OF MAIESTAS 151

Germanicus (‘indices, testes’) tried to dissociate themselves), had added a warning: Trio should not let violence spoil his oratory. Cn. Domitius Afer, by

contrast, won high praise: ‘an orator in his own right’. Rightly or wrongly,

Tiberius seems to have adopted a detached attitude towards the delators, judging

their performances while he remained at Rome like the connoisseur of oratory

that he was.75

Encouragement of delators is not the only charge that Tiberius has to meet.

His ‘ars’ was responsible for ‘bringing back’ (‘reduxerat’) the crimen maiestatis in 15. Tacitus uses a similar phrase of Nero, but that was in AD 62, after Nero’s

principate had lasted eight years without a case being brought.76 The last known

trial for treason under Augustus took place as late as AD 12,77 and Tacitus has

been taken to task for his expression. He seems also to imply that the praetor

Pompeius Macer asked Tiberius if charges of maiestas were to be entertained at all and was given an affirmative reply: the laws were there to be enforced.78 If he does mean to imply that he is mistaken; the praetor had no business to ask such a

question. He did not preside over the senatorial court; that was the prerogative of consuls or Princeps. Macer was asking, as president of the appropriate jury court,

if any cases were to be taken in that court (as well as in the Senate). Tacitus

claims that Tiberius, like Augustus, had been provoked by libels. Yet this issue

sinks from sight, presumably into the praetor’s court, where Tacitus does not

choose to follow it (if he has the means); the defendants were probably persons of

no quality. Macer’s question and Tiberius’ reply are of minor significance in the

history of the crimen maiestatis.79

Yet Tacitus has some backing for his term. When the first charges of maiestas

were brought under Tiberius they imported a new concept, the maiestas of a

deified Princeps. This was the first and obvious novelty of the new principate,

and Pliny goes so far in his Panegyric on Trajan as to claim that Tiberius deified

his predecessor in order that he might usher in (‘induceret’) the law.80

Offences against the deified Augustus might take two forms: defamation, and

disrespect towards his image. It was Augustus who had been responsible for

bringing defamation within the maiestas category in the first place. There is no reason to believe that libel or slander was specifically catered for in leges

maiestatis (though verbal injury to a magistrate could have been so construed)81

and Tacitus says that he extended the law to include defamation of prominent

men and women.82 The lex Iulia Maiestatis in force under the Principate was a law of Caesar, not of Augustus;83 he needed a ruling or rulings that the uttering,

writing, and publication of libels in verse or in prose, whether under one’s own

name, anonymously, or pseudonymously, were to be construed as constituting a

diminution of maiestas. He got at least one such ruling and deployed it against Cassius Severus, who was exiled in AD 8, and against other unknown writers in

12.84 Thus persons of distinction were afforded protection. The Princeps, besides

being distinguished, had his official position as a defence; but he took verbal

attacks on himself, if they did not threaten something worse, with comparative

equanimity; men had uncomfortable moments, none was executed.85 Tiberius


was as anxious as Augustus that senatorial reputations should be protected, and

Cassius Severus, who had not learned his lesson, was indicted in 24 for

continuing his old practices. Repetition sharpened the Senate’s temper; Severus

was removed from Crete to Seriphus and suffered aquae et ignis interdictio and total loss of property.86 As far as attacks on himself were concerned Tiberius

adopted the Augustan model and proclaimed that there should be free speech in a

free state.87 He put policy into practice. In 15 he intervened in favour of Granius Marcellus, who was accused of slandering him; two years later he refused to

allow similar charges against Appuleia Varilla to be entertained at all, and, after consulting her, reported that his mother took the same view of what Varilla had

said about her.88 In 24 he vetoed the conviction of a man who had uttered

libellous verse against him89 and in 32 upheld the appeal of M.Cotta

Messallinus, who had accused Gaius Caligula of homosexuality, derided as a

funeral feast the banquet in honour of the late Julia Augusta that he was

attending, and boasted that he could rely on Tiberius’ protection when he went to

law.90 Cotta was right in that; past services outweighed what the Princeps made

light of as harmless table talk; but even two years later Mam. Scaurus’ Atreus, with its admonition to bear the follies of rulers with patience, drew from Tiberius only the remark that he ‘would make Scaurus into an Ajax’, which does not

necessarily mean drive him to suicide; at any rate the play was not included in

the indictment that followed, whatever effect it had on the Princeps.91 These

examples of lenity contrast with three other cases, not all so late in the principate that they may be attributed to the tightening hold of tyranny. Libellous verses

uttered by Aelius Saturninus brought him before the Senate and then to the

Tarpeian rock as early as AD 23, and only two years later the Narbonensian

orator Votienus Montanus was relegated to the Balearics. Finally, Sextius

Paconianus was executed in 35, three years after narrowly escaping a death

sentence and being consigned to prison, where he composed the lampoons on the

Princeps that were his final downfall.92 Tacitus emphasizes his unpopularity with

the Senate, and it is not surprising that they took advantage of the second offence of a man already denounced by Tiberius to rid themselves of him once for all. As

for the other two cases, the circumstances of Saturninus’ death are too obscure to

allow profitable speculation, and Tacitus’ account suggests that it was the nature

of Montanus’ slanders that aggravated the penalty: they were sensational enough

to put Tiberius right out of countenance, to the embarrassment of the consilium; but the witness who repeated them with such conscientious fortitude was a

soldier, and Montanus’ aim may have been seditious as much as defamatory. The

cases are too few and the evidence too poor to show whether this was a criterion

consciously and systematically applied.

Immediately after his death the status of the deified Augustus as a possible

victim of libel was unclear. Attempts to exploit him under the maiestas statute focused themselves on the fact that technically he was now a god, and they

concentrated on insults to his image.


The first charges were brought against two Roman knights, Falanius and

Rubrius, of whom one was accused of keeping a male prostitute, Cassius, in his

domestic college of worshippers of Augustus and of selling a statue of Augustus

along with the gardens in which it stood, the other of swearing falsely by the late Princeps; and the charges against Granius Marcellus, the former governor of

Bithynia accused of slandering Tiberius, also included that of fitting a head of

Tiberius to a statue of Augustus and of setting his own image higher than those of

the Caesars.93 These cases ended in dismissal of the charges or in acquittal.

Augustus had not been deified for the destruction of Roman citizens (wrote

Tiberius); the actor Cassius, whatever his reputation, had taken part in the

ceremonies held by Livia herself in memory of her husband; there was nothing

sacrilegious in selling the statue of a god; as for the perjury, Tiberius

characteristically brought out a legal maxim to clinch the point: ‘Wrongs done

the gods are righted by the gods.’ Granius’ case ran to an acquittal (at least on

the charge of maiestas) which would never have been granted if the Senate had believed that Tiberius desired conviction. We can take it that he disapproved of

the attempt to broaden maiestas in this direction.

That is surprising. Even if religious offences had not been catered for in the

leges maiestatis 94 the deification of Augustus was an act of patent political significance for Tiberius. A slight to the new deity could easily be construed as a slight to the maiestas of Tiberius himself.95 Nor could Pliny’s statement be accounted for if the deified Princeps had remained out of account. In AD 17

Tiberius insisted that if Varilla had spoken irreverently of the deified Augustus

she was to be convicted (in fact she was acquitted).96 Ten years after the

acquittal of Granius Marcellus came the trial of A.Cremutius Cordus on a charge

hitherto unknown: his Annales had praised Brutus and described Cassius as the last of the Romans.97 Tacitus reproduces the gist of his defence. It opens by

pointing out that Cordus’ guilt lay not in deeds but in words and those not

directed against Tiberius or his father, who were protected by the lex (that much had been acknowledged, if Tacitus is to be trusted). None the less, the defence

passed from precedents for praising the Liberators to precedents for insulting the

dynasts, the language of Catullus and Bibaculus. The hostile political

implications of the work of Cremutius Cordus may then have been the gravamen

of the charge. The author starved himself to death and his writings were

sentenced to the bonfire. Tiberius’ attitude towards the offenders of 15, 17, and

25 is not inconsistent; there is more to the changes than the sharpening

intolerance of an established autocrat. He meant to distinguish words and actions

intended (‘hostili animo’) to insult the deified Princeps and to depreciate his achievement from unintentional discourtesies of no political import.98

Further, maiestas came to adhere to images of the Princeps, as well as of the deified Princeps, in spite of Granius Marcellus’ acquittal. No cases of this kind

are reported from the principate of Augustus, but the Princeps’ artful approach to

divinity, even in his lifetime, not to mention his possession for life of the

tribunician sacrosanctity, will have made his statues seem to merit different


treatment from those of lesser men; by 14 the idea needed only the guarantee of


The final stage may be illustrated from the Digest, which lists the categories of monument, the melting, selling, or mutilation of which did not incur the

crimen.99 Tiberius’ chilly reception of the first charge in AD 15 may have

discouraged further attempts along these lines until AD 22, when another case,

that of a silver statuette of Tiberius melted down for plate, was quashed.100

Melting down was one thing, insult another. One Pontius would have been

brought to trial if a quick-witted slave had not prevented him from relieving

himself at a banquet while wearing a portrait ring of Tiberius on his finger.101

Besides, the case of 22 followed a discussion in the Senate initiated by C.Cestius

Gallus,102 who showed Tiberius and the consul Drusus Caesar the way out of the

difficulty of asylum rights abused: the Principes are like gods but, like the gods, they protect only the innocent. Probably a senatus consultum was passed which forbade the carrying of the imperial portrait to the detriment of another person.103

The debate of 21 limited a recognized right; how far back that right went is not


The attractions of the maiestas charge gives plausibility to what Seneca says about the mania for bringing prosecutions on that charge and to Tacitus’

rhetorical claim that the evil sprang up at the beginning of Tiberius’ principate,

to be repressed for a while and to break out again with renewed virulence (he

means in the twenties and thirties).104 Tacitus is quite right to imply a stepping

up of the number of maiestas trials during Tiberius’ principate. But he fails to notice an important distinction that should be drawn between the cases of Libo

and Piso in the early years of the principate and those that followed the death of

Drusus Caesar in AD 23, though he traces the decline of Tiberius’ principate in

general terms to that year. The guilt of Piso was a hard fact, covered by

Republican categories; so, in all probability, was that of Libo.105 In the twenties, on the other hand, maiestas was pitilessly exploited by Sejanus and his allies against Agrippina and her sons and their relatives and friends, in the early thirties by Gaius Caligula and the group that backed him, and finally by Macro, Sejanus’

successor in the post of Prefect of the Praetorian Guard, who deployed it against

rivals who threatened his ascendancy over Gaius. If the senatorial court was to

serve that turn, every charge, plausible and implausible, would be scraped

together to form an indictment that would carry weight.

Tacitus’ analysis has another failing. He gives full weight to the trials of Libo

Drusus, rightly treating it as a paradigm for the principate of Tiberius. But the

Princeps takes the blame and the incident is seen in complete isolation. Whatever

the legal merits of the case against Libo, the trial may be seen as the final

incident in one chapter of a struggle for power that had begun under Augustus (if

we demand a single point of departure, it is the death of M.Agrippa in 12 BC);

and the struggle had been intensified in the last years of the Princeps, coming to

a climax with a series of trials and acts of coercitio on the part of Augustus that brought death or exile to half a dozen persons between the years 6 and 8.


On the other hand Tiberius has more to answer for than his absence from

Rome from AD 26 onwards and the increasing apathy and cynicism of the ageing

Princeps in the face of dangers and abuses of which he was aware.106 The role of

the Princeps in the processes of law was a complex and developing one: his

powers were great and the processes fluid. Cases might go before him either for

full treatment or for preliminary examination; he might advise on accepting the

charges, preside over the trial or attend as an ordinary senator, intervene

anywhere in the trial, and quash or modify verdict and sentence.107

In earlier cases of his principate, notably in those of Libo and Piso, when

presiding over the court, as he seems to have done in cases of prime importance

(as princeps senatus or in virtue of his consular imperium?), he displayed in words and manner a studied impartiality—which those two defendants, probably

rightly, since senators could hardly condone diminution of the Princeps’

maiestas without a strong hint from him, took to be fatal to their cause.108 Where his own interests were not patently involved the presiding Princeps was less

inhibited, and he did not hesitate to embark on a crushing interrogation of

C.Silanus, an ex-governor of Asia, whom he took to be guilty of offences

comparable with the outrageous crimes of Messalla Volesus.109

Judicial impartiality was not his only method of separating the Princeps from

the senator. He laid claim to what Augustus lamented he had lost, the right to a

private quarrel.110 Cn. Piso, if he were guilty of exceeding his duty as legate, of insubordination towards his commander, of rejoicing at that commander’s death,

could expect Tiberius’ personal hatred and the vengeance of a private enemy;111

D.Silanus, returning to Rome from the long sojourn abroad that followed the

discovery of his adultery with Julia the younger, was told in the same year, 20,

that he could not expect the friendship of Tiberius,112 and in 32 the Princeps

denied his society to Sex. Vistilius for his slanders on Gaius.113 It was in vain:

Piso was overwhelmed by the charges against him; Silanus held no office; and

Vistilius killed himself.

Tiberius’ interventions in trials over which he was not presiding may be

illustrated from the early case of Granius Marcellus.114 On hearing the charges

Tiberius lost his temper and declared that he too would vote, openly and on oath,

thus imposing the same obligation on his peers. Then came the famous question

of Cn. Piso: at what stage would Tiberius give his verdict? If he voted first Piso

would have a lead to follow; if last, he was afraid he might inadvertently be

dissenting from the Princeps’ view. Piso’s Republicanism was blatant; on the

other hand he was a trusted friend of Tiberius. It is less likely that he was

warning Tiberius against exerting undue influence on the Senate than that he was

telling him, if he meant to express disapproval of such charges (and it seems clear from this passage that Tiberius did not intend to make a habit of voting in

criminal trials), to make a good job of it and let the Senate know what his views

were (certainly they were views of which Piso approved). Tiberius then moved

the acquittal of the defendant on the charges of maiestas.115 Very different was 156 TIBERIUS AND THE LAW: THE DEVELOPMENT OF MAIESTAS

the outcome ten years later, when an outburst of indignation seems to have

resulted in conviction and a severe sentence.116

Sometimes when an unfavourable verdict had been reached an influence for

mercy and moderation may be seen at work, attested equally by Tiberius’ own

declarations in particular cases (he would have intervened in favour of Libo

Drusus in 16 and of Paxaea in 34 if they had not killed themselves), by a number

of actions reported by Tacitus, who concedes that his speech was more fluent

when he intervened in this sense, and by policy attributed to him in senatorial

speeches in the twenties.117

Talk was easy when an enemy or an embarrassing ally was dead. That would

explain Tiberius’ protestations in the case of Libo, and his veto on the deletion of Piso’s name from the public records and on confiscation of his property.118 More

probably the Princeps was paying tribute to the eminent family in this case and in

that of Appuleia Varilla, who in 17 was spared the penalty prescribed by the lex Iulia de Adulteriis and handed over to her family for punishment, an

oldfashioned recourse likely to appeal to Tiberius.119

His intervention on behalf of an eques who had been convicted of lampooning him was well received,120 but it was not often that his clemency was taken at face

value. When in 24 Firmius Catus was condemned for calumnia after

unsuccessfully prosecuting his sister for maiestas, Tiberius vetoed the sentence of deportation and had him expelled from the Senate; that was regarded as the

repaying of a debt to one of Libo’s accusers, rightly perhaps, but Tiberius may

also have felt that the man’s abhorrent action in attacking his sister had

exacerbated the Senate’s hostility towards him—or that he was paying for his

attack on Libo.121 It is not the only example of Tiberius’ intervening because he

could have feared that perhaps the Senate was neglecting its duty.122

The claims of high breeding, friendship, and fides (loyalty) inevitably weighed heavily; Tiberius would never have denied that, and he made old services part of

his plea for Cotta Messallinus.123 But the demands of justice or policy doomed

Cn. Piso in 20, and the relentless pressure of the succession struggle brought

several friends to their death; only two or three of Tiberius’ consilium survived, claims Suetonius, and even friends of long standing and tried fidelity perished.124

It is noteworthy that of the five cases in which Tiberius personally aggravated

the penalty imposed by the senatorial court none is earlier than 24. P.Suillius

Rufus’ later activities fully justified Tiberius’ harsh judgment of him (at least in the view of Tacitus); he had been found guilty of accepting bribes while iudex, not an offence that Tiberius would take lightly, as his attention to the courts

shows; and he would know that many members of the Senate might feel uneasy

about penalizing it. Of the later cases, only for that of Iunius Gallic, expelled

first from the Senate, then from Italy, and finally returned to Rome and custody

when he took up residence in the pleasant island of Lesbos, does any ready

explanation offer: he was an associate of Sejanus.125

It was not only over the modification of penalties that Tiberius’ attitude seems

to have changed: he began to initiate charges himself. It was at his instance in 32


that Gallio had been penalized in the first place. The same letter denounced

another friend of Sejanus, and in the same year C.Cestius was encouraged by

Tiberius, who prejudged the issue by attacking them as ‘ringleaders’, to undertake

the prosecution of Q.Servaeus and Minucius Thermus.126 The Princeps’ ability to

look after himself in this way was openly recognized:127 it was already well

established in 31, and its origins go much further back. Two incidents of the year

21 link interference with judicial verdicts and the initiating of prosecution. Two

Roman knights, Considius Proculus and Caelius Cursor, had brought a

prosecution for maiestas against the praetor Magius Caecilianus. It failed and was taken by Tiberius to be malicious. At his instance the two men were

punished for calumnia.128 If the Princeps was well informed of the facts his action was in one sense laudable, for it discouraged irresponsible delation of

maiestas; but it prejudiced the issue and put the weight of Tiberius’ auctoritas full in the scale of conviction. In the conflict between his own impartiality and the

freedom of the Senate on the one hand, and the responsibilities of the Senate and

the facts as he saw them on the other, the first pair were failing. The second case of 21 makes this clearer. It concerned a magnate of Macedonia, Antistius

Vetus.129 The praetorian adultery court acquitted Vetus; Tiberius was dissatisfied

with this verdict and said so; he accused Vetus of involvement in the rising of

Rhescuporis and secured his conviction in the Senate.

Such interventions were the more effective because they were made by letter;

the contents had to be accepted or rejected (unthinkable) or the Senate might try

to stall. Agrippina’s ally Titius Sabinus perished promptly on New Year’s Day

28 after a letter arrived from Capri; two were required to make the Senate ready

to act against Agrippina herself and Nero Caesar; only one to dispose of Sejanus

in 31; probably the same means had procured a sentence of death against Asinius

Gallus in 30.

By 37 Sejanus’ successor Macro had adapted the technique to his own

purposes. It was documents from him that put in motion one of the last

prosecutions for maiestas of Tiberius’ principate, that against Albucilla and some eminent male accomplices (adultery was also alleged).130 No letter from the

Princeps accompanied the claims that the witnesses had given evidence, and

slaves had it extracted from them by torture under Macro’s supervision. The

Senate suspected a put-up job by Macro, who hated L.Arruntius; and acted

slowly enough to allow two of the accused to survive.

From the Princeps himself such letters ceased to be effective (to his

indignation) only in 37, when it became known that he was dying.131 And in at

least two cases they were effective without being followed by the strict

formalities of indictment and trial: the eminence of Agrippina and Nero, the

power of Sejanus, both making speed imperative, put those out of the question.

The Senate’s freedom to adjust its own procedure amounted in the last analysis

to freedom to break the fragile restraints imposed by judicial formality. The Senate forgot that it had taken on the responsibilities of a court of law and acted like the political body it really was. But the senatus consulta that it produced could be as 158 TIBERIUS AND THE LAW: THE DEVELOPMENT OF MAIESTAS

fatal to the persons arraigned before it as if no legal safeguard had been

neglected; and they were carried out at once.

These developments were sanctioned and encouraged by the man who in AD

17 had punctiliously excluded from one indictment charges that properly

belonged to another, and who had carefully distinguished one charge from

another within the maiestas category. The contrast is marked and painful, and it needs explanation.

The letters of Tiberius, from that of 27 onwards, and especially those of the

year 32, were concerned with the rights and safety of the Princeps himself.

Addressing the Senate before the trial of Piso, Tiberius had insisted on the

difference between personal injury and offences against the state; in 25 he had

prevented the jurist Ateius Capito from swelling the latter class at the cost of the former.132 But these injuries were mere affronts. Now he believed that he was in

danger and demanded summary and unquestioning punishment. Factional

pressures, inner tension, perhaps genuine fear, must be invoked as the source of

the misconduct. At the beginning of his principate, for how long Suetonius does

not say, Tiberius would enter the House only after dismissing his escort; by 32

he was thought to desire protection precisely amongst his peers.133

The inherent faults of the senatorial court are obvious. How far they had

developed before Tiberius took over the administration is not clear because the

evidence is lacking. The court’s essentially political nature and its docility, its ability to accept new charges as well as those on the statute book, its fluid

procedure, its freedom to take charges separately or together, to alter penalties

and rewards, its uncertain role, doubling court of law and legislative body,134 all are pernicious failings that emerge to daylight in the pages of Tacitus, Dio,

Suetonius, and, for a much later period, Pliny. The Princeps operated with this

body, and his own responsibility for its failings is heavy. Beyond making

perfunctory gestures of impartiality, he failed to maintain the distinction between his position as senator and iudex and his position as Princeps—or failed to recognize that the two roles could not be distinguished. The ambiguity of his

position made the status of his remarks ambiguous: advisory or mandatory? In

either case, what sanctions might follow? To this ambiguity he added the

irresponsible abdication of his departure from Rome and the unleashing of the

factions, the imperious impatience of an old man accustomed to rule and to be

feared, and finally the vengefulness of one who had been deceived.

Yet there were features of Tiberius’ administration of justice that later were

looked upon with regret. The senatorial court might fail in its duty but as long as it functioned it knew what was going on; approval is implied in Tacitus’ and

Dio’s accounts of the trial of the equestrian procurator Capito in the Senate in

AD 23.135 The prosecutors of Cn. Piso asked for the case to be taken by the

Princeps himself and his consilium, which alone shows that function of the Princeps well established by AD 20; yet little is heard of it in Tiberius’

principate. That the Princeps should take the case of Livilla in 31 is

understandable; as it was in the cases of the Julias and Agrippa Postumus. Cases


not involving the domus were heard on Capri and deaths followed;136 but the intra cubiculum trial was to grow into a notorious evil only in the time of Claudius, to be renounced by Nero on his accession.137 Tiberius’ use of the

Senate, characteristic of his principate and his principles, left that body some say in the administration of justice.




The fall of Sejanus is marked by Tacitus as a turning point in Tiberius’ life and

principate.1 That is correct. In politics the period that followed saw the question of the succession settled and Gaius Caligula, the main contender, consolidating his position with the Princeps, his chief partisan, Macro, eliminating rivals to his

own influence through the senatorial court. More striking was the wreaking of

vengeance on Sejanus’ followers, which created a reign of terror very suitable

for Macro’s purpose. These developments can be made out from the sources. It is

more difficult to imagine the state of mind of Tiberius himself; the initial shock

of discovering that his only reliable friend was a murderous schemer who gave

no loyalty and no affection to his master must have been intensified almost

beyond bearing when Tiberius read the letter from Apicata, whatever he came to

believe when he had finished torturing Livilla’s alleged accomplices to find out

the truth. There is a whining tone of self-pity, a demand for sympathy, common

to that part of the denunciation of Sejanus quoted by Suetonius, in which he asks

the Senate to send one of the consuls to escort ‘an old man all on his own’ into

their presence, and the inscription in which Tiberius appeals to his fellow

tribesmen, the people of Rome, in the aftermath.2 Sharp though the blow was, the

agony of his family’s misbehaviour had been going on for more than four years

before that, and had forced Tiberius in the end to adopt a plan that cannot have

been agreeable to him. Now, one decisive and brilliantly thought out and

executed action had rid him of the upstart. There were no more choices to make.

By the beginning of 32 Tiberius was in a mood to tease the Senate in his usual

manner,3 and it would be wise to hesitate before taking the famous words of

another letter quoted by Tacitus and Suetonius to be what they claim them to be,

the utterance of a man in the depth of despair. R.S.Rogers noticed that they came

at the beginning of the letter in which he dissuaded the Senate from convicting

M.Cotta Messallinus.4 What Rogers regarded as signs of irritation and

impatience I see as a game with words taken for the purpose from the comic

poets: ‘What I am to write to you, conscript fathers, or how I am to write it, or

what I am to refrain from writing at this time, may the gods and goddesses all

send me to perdition quicker than I feel I’m going already, if I know.’


The Senate marked the destruction of Sejanus with unseemly celebrations:5

Sejanus was to suffer ‘damnatio memoriae’, a statue of Liberty was to be set up in the Forum, and members of the great priestly colleges were to hold an annual

festival in commemoration; oaths were to be taken only in the name of Tiberius,

and excessive honours to any man were forbidden for the future, some small

exceptions being made for Macro and Laco. Their refusal of rewards was echoed

by Tiberius, who declined birthday games and (once more) the title pater patriae.

Princeps and Senate now turned their attention to the chastisement of Sejanus’

lesser allies. His uncle Q.Blaesus had perished in the first outbursts.6 Now fell

the orator Bruttedius Niger, whose talents had carried him at least to the rank of

aedile, and P.Vitellius who, being Prefect of the Aerarium Militare, could

conveniently be charged with readiness to open it up for Sejanus’ benefit.

P.Pomponius Secundus is known only to have offered aid and comfort to his

friend Aelius Gallus after Sejanus’ execution; he survived in custody, was

released by Gaius, and won the suffect consulship and triumphal ornaments under

Claudius.7 There was probably more justice in the charge brought by Tiberius

himself early in 32 against the ex-praetor Sextius Paconianus, that he had been

used by Sejanus to ensnare Gaius Caligula; at any rate, the downfall of this man

was greeted with rejoicing, and he was saved from the death penalty only by

turning state’s evidence. His choice of victim was equally gratifying to the

Senate: it was Lucanius Latiaris, who had struck down Titius Sabinus (his

accomplices were to perish later).8 Soon afterwards C.Cestius undertook the

prosecution of another former legate of Germanicus, Q.Servaeus, and the eques

Minucius Thermus, whose friendship with Sejanus had been, it was thought,

completely innocent; but Tiberius insisted on the prosecution and presumably on

the conviction of these men. They, however, took a leaf out of Paconianus’ book,

incriminating the Gaul from the Santones, Julius Africanus, and another obscure

person, Seius Quadratus, possibly a dependant of Sejanus’ father Seius Strabo or

of one of his other relatives of that gens.9 The case of the four consulars, for which Gaius and Macro were probably responsible, is mysterious and differs

from others in this series precisely because of the eminence of the accused.10 It

caused consternation in the House: there was hardly a senator who had no tie

with these distinguished men. C.Annius Pollio, suffect in an unknown year,

C.Appius Silanus, ordinarius in 28, Mam. Scaurus, suffect in 21, and

C.Calvisius Sabinus, ordinarius in 26, were all charged with maiestas, along with Annius Vinicianus, Pollio’s son. Presumably the accusations linked them

with the aspirations of Sejanus. Tampering with the forces stationed in the city was apparently part of the charge, for a man implicated in the case, who turned

state’s evidence and later committed suicide in prison, was a tribune of the urban

cohorts. His evidence freed Appius and Sabinus from suspicion, and the case of

the others was postponed so that it might be heard in the presence of Tiberius (it

never was).

The year closed with the deaths of three knights, Geminius, Celsus, and

Pompeius, on a conspiracy charge; the first certainly had been a friend of Sejanus


—he was a man given to the extravagance and luxury that had surrounded

Sejanus’ early life, though the Prefect himself became a model of self-control—

but again, according to Tacitus, there was nothing political about the relationship.11

The readiness of the accused to turn state’s evidence shows how much afraid

they were. What had been going on from the very moments that Sejanus’ body

had been thrown out on the Gemonian stairs was a witch-hunt; men competed to

kick the corpse and show how much they hated him: otherwise their slaves might

be able to accuse them of complicity in his crimes.12 That was one way of

clearing oneself. A variant was practised by the consul of 31 who had been one of

Sejanus’ partisans, L.Fulcinius Trio. It had naturally been Regulus who had been

sent to escort Tiberius to Rome (though he had been sent away without being

admitted once the need for the charade had passed) and at the end of the year the

growing hatred between the two broke out into open discord.13 Trio tried to

rehabilitate himself by hinting that Regulus was being remiss in reminding up

Sejanus’ supporters (it was better than nothing). That drove Regulus not only to

rebut his colleague’s allegations, but to make one of his own: Trio was involved

in the conspiracy; Regulus demanded an investigation.

They were still quarrelling when they went out of office, and in the following

year Haterius Agrippa thought to make capital for himself by reviving an incident

which had greatly disturbed the House; so indolent a man as he was had nothing

to be afraid of. Haterius accused both consuls of complicity in the ‘plot’ and of

keeping silent for fear of what might be exposed. Q.Sanquinius Maximus

checked that move by suggesting that the Princeps would not thank the Senate for

adding to his problems.

The same motives, fear, or a senator’s desire to ingratiate himself with the

Princeps in dangerous times, lay behind two flattering proposals brought before

the Senate during the year. As soon as the consuls took office in 32 (one of them

was the Princeps’ connexion by marriage, Cn. Domitius Ahenobarbus, and he

held office all the year; the other was the son of L.Arruntius) the Senate

displayed its unwearied zeal by taking its oath to Augustus’ and Tiberius’ acta individually, by passing its measures against Livilla, and by ordering that the

property of Sejanus, which had been confiscated to the state treasury, should be

transferred to that section of it which was under Tiberius’ direct control, the

Fiscus.14 These measures were sponsored by men of rank, Scipios, Silani, Cassii.

But the new man Togonius Gallus thought that his loyalty should not go

unrecorded, and asked Tiberius to draw up a list of senators from whom twenty

would be chosen by lot to act as his armed bodyguard whenever he entered the

chamber. Togonius the Gaul was taken in by that part of Tiberius’ letter of 18

October which had asked the Senate to send one of the consuls to escort him to

Rome. But the House should not have made fun of him. What Togonius was

asking Tiberius for was a wholesale grant of certificates of trustworthiness. The

reply was not unkind, but pointed out some of the difficulties: one was that Tiberius did not know how to choose. Iunius Gallio’s proposal15 met a different

reception. He had moved that veterans of the Praetorian Guard should sit with


the equites in the fourteen rows reserved for them at the theatre. Tiberius, in a violent and sarcastic onslaught, demanded if he thought he knew better than

Augustus; or perhaps, as a satellite of Sejanus, he had the object of stirring up

trouble. The Senate took the hint and expelled Gallio from membership. There is

no inconsistency between the two cases: Gallio implied that Tiberius owed his

survival to the loyalty of the Guard, and Tiberius did not like being reminded of

debts of that kind;16 once he let it be known that he considered Gallio a partisan

of Sejanus, that was enough. Gallio perhaps was gambling on the motion

securing his position, and lost.

The friendship of Sejanus was not enough to damn everyone who was accused

of enjoying it. The accusation was beginning to look like a weapon that was

universally effective, but the accusers of the eques M.Terentius were

disappointed.17 Terentius pointed out that Caesar too had been a friend of

Sejanus, and drew a distinction between plots against the state and the Princeps’

life, and friendships renounced at precisely the moment they were renounced by

him. Terentius was acquitted and his accusers, who had other crimes to their

accounts (perhaps they too were intent on making the first move before they

themselves were attacked), were put to death or sent into exile, penalties too

severe for mere calumniators.18

Many charges were brought at this time simply because it was opportune. As

in the case of Terentius, any connexion with Sejanus was sufficient reason to

bring a charge against a man who previously had seemed hard to attack. This

may be the explanation of the prosecution by the ex-praetor Considius of

P.Pomponius Secundus in 31. But such feuds could be carried on by the victim’s

friends, and often had been in Roman Republican politics. A Considius Proculus

was accused of maiestas in 33, found guilty, and executed; his sister Sancia suffered aquae et ignis interdictio. The fact that Proculus was celebrating his birthday at the moment he was summoned to plead his cause in the Senate did not

soften the heart of his accuser; not surprisingly—he was Q.Pomponius, brother

of Publius.19

Some of these trials may be seen in particular as mopping-up operations

instigated by Gaius Caligula and his friends, especially, but not necessarily, if

they involved charges of injury or insult to Gaius himself. The trial of Sextius

Paconianus is the paradigm of the first class; while M.Cotta Messallinus in 32

was said (amongst other things) to have accused Gaius of homosexuality. But the

dominant political characteristic of Cotta was his slavish loyalty to Tiberius; that precisely may have been why the prosecutors wanted him away; but it was worth

enough to Tiberius to induce him to intervene on the behalf of the accused.20

Someone was operating on the island as well as in the Senate. The charges

against Paconianus stemmed from Tiberius himself, and were made in the same

letter that attacked Gallic. Sex. Vistilius was another enemy of Gaius, having

said much the same of him as Cotta.21 There was no trial, but Tiberius announced

that Vistilius would no longer be welcome company. Vistilius opened his veins,

then sent a letter in mitigation. The Princeps was unrelenting, and Vistilius undid 164 LAST YEARS AND POSTHUMOUS REPUTATION

the bandages. Other victims, these on Capri itself, were Vescularius Flaccus and

Iulius Marinus, both veterans of the Rhodian exile and inseparable from the

Princeps. The latter certainly had acted on Sejanus’ behalf, and it may have been

for that that he died. Yet many may have attached themselves to the minister in

the sincere belief that they were acting in the interests of Tiberius and his

immediate family, that is to say, in the interests of his grandson Ti. Gemellus. In Upper Germany, in charge of four legions, was a governor who had betrothed his

daughter to Sejanus’ son. Yet Cn. Lentulus Gaetulicus survived in office. A bold

letter to Tiberius saved him, we are to believe, and took his accuser into exile.22

It is reported by Tacitus, under the year 34, and offers Tiberius the rest of the

Empire if he will allow Lentulus his province; recall he will take as a command

to die. The threat is clear. The letter reflects credit on its author, but he may not have composed it until some time after its dramatic date. Amongst the Cornelii

Lentuli Tiberius had counted some faithful friends.23 Gaetulicus might have

claimed that his motive had been to ensure the smooth succession of Drusus

Caesar’s son Gemellus. And Tiberius might be convinced by that plea, while he

was not one to give in easily to blackmail. But the same argument would not

appeal to Gaius, and it was under Gaius that Gaetulicus perished, legions or no


Ti. Gemellus had another friend who held high office late in the principate of

Tiberius: A.Avillius Flaccus, appointed to the Prefecture of Egypt after the death

of the freedman Hiberus in 32 or 33.25 He was a close friend of Tiberius and kept

his post until the end of the principate and beyond. It was perhaps his devotion to the Princeps that made him attack Agrippina and so incur the anger of her

youngest son. He must have feared the coming to power of Gaius Caesar;

rightly, for he did not long survive the death of his friend Macro; he was

removed from his post, exiled, and finally put to death in 39.

The position of Ti. Gemellus as a potential successor to Tiberius was a very

weak one, if his claims are set against those of Gaius. On Gaius focused all the

popularity that his lost father, mother, and brothers had once enjoyed (and it was

a monopoly, for Agrippina and Drusus remained lost even after the fall of

Sejanus). Ti. Gemellus was the child of the much less popular Drusus Caesar,

and grandson by blood of the Princeps, no recommendation in the eyes of the

populace. Besides, born in December AD 19, he was more than seven years

younger than Gaius, who had already taken the toga of manhood, was designated

to the augurate and was to become quaestor in 33, at die age of twenty-one.

The year 33 marked an end and a beginning in Tiberius’ principate in more

ways than one. If it was in 34 that the phoenix made one of its periodic

reappearances in Egypt, the bird would have done better to have come a year

earlier.26 Formally 33 was a turning point as 23 (a year of manifest change for

the Princeps) had been: they marked die tenth and twentieth anniversaries of the

grant of powers that had made Tiberius Augustus’ equal in imperium, and those powers needed renewal.27 It was, in the second place, a year of deadis.28

Successively were announced, or became known, those of Asinius Gallus, young


Drusus Caesar, and his mother Agrippina the elder. Gallus died still in custody,

of starvation voluntary or enforced. That Drusus was deliberately starved to

death in his dungeon on the Palatine is explicitly stated by Tacitus and

Suetonius. He was strong and survived nine days by gnawing the stuffing of his

mattress. That he abused and cursed the Princeps to the end was known for a

fact, because Tiberius had the record of his exchanges with his gaolers read out

in the House. Lastly, Agrippina, also by starvation, but of her own volition:

forced feeding was attempted. That event too had a powerful effect on the

Princeps, who gave vent to his feelings in a letter to the Senate. She had

committed suicide in despair at the death of her lover Gallus. (Tacitus rightly

rejects that suggestion: the woman was a virago, the weaknesses of her sex

destroyed by her ambition.) Tiberius reminded the Senate that her death and that

of Sejanus fell on the same date; that he should do so is not surprising: it was the conflict between these two rivals for power, as he realized, that had made his life at Rome intolerable. He made it a boast that she had not suffered the same fate,

strangulation and exposure on the Gemoniae. He could not have made it clearer

that he put the two offenders in the same category; where indeed they belonged.

The Senate reacted with gross servility. A vote of thanks was passed for his

forbearance (clementia) and an annual offering of gold was voted to Capitoline Jove.

Appropriately the year 33 was also to see the final wiping out of the

conspiracy of Sejanus. A number of persons had been detained in public custody

after condemnation by the Senate, but had not died because Tiberius had not

sanctioned the act. Now he gave the order. The number executed and exposed on

the Gemoniae was very large, up to twenty, and included women and boys.29 But

the year was also one of new beginnings, and of marriages. First, the position of

Gaius Caligula was assured; Tiberius had intimated as much before Sejanus fell.

Now he gave him a bride of good family, and a father-in-law whose loyalty to

Tiberius was indisputable.30 M.Silanus, suffect in 15, had been able to obtain the

recall of his brother Decimus from exile, and he probably had put forward some

of the proposals against Sejanus that were adopted in 32. That fact puts the

proposals in a more favourable light, for his high descent from the Silani and the

Claudii Pulchri and his oratorical talent were matched by his high character;

Tiberius’ opinion of his intelligence and probity is shown by his refusal to accept cases offered him on appeal from Silanus; and he was very often asked first for his opinion in the Senate.

The year 33 was that of Gaius’ quaestorship, which gave him access to the

Senate.31 The marriage took place on the mainland, and it is probable that Gaius

exercised his functions at Rome. It would be natural to wonder if the demise of

young Drusus Caesar (though not, of course, that of Agrippina) had any

connexion with his presence. Tiberius cannot be held guilty of the starvation of

Drusus. Otherwise he could not have ordered the recital of the victim’s dying

words in the Senate. That was done as an act of self-justification (Tacitus does

not say that the record made clear the manner of Drusus’ death).32 He probably


believed that Drusus killed himself. Perhaps he did, but his departure left the way clear for Gaius and scotched the rumours of a reconciliation between Tiberius

and his imprisoned grandson that were beginning to be heard.

But Tiberius did not intend Gemellus, his grandson by blood, to be passed

over. There is more than one indication of that. The first is the marriages made

by Gaius’ sisters. Agrippina the younger was the first to be wed, in Rome at the

end of 28.33 Her bridegroom was Cn. Domitius Ahenobarbus, who was to hold

the consulship in 32. Tacitus comments on the marriage: what Tiberius was

looking for, besides ancient lineage, was propinquity to the Caesars; and

Ahenobarbus’ grandmother was Octavia, making him the great-nephew of

Augustus. At a pinch the young man might be a candidate for the Principate, if

the descendants of Augustus and Tiberius failed. The second and third daughters

of Germanicus were not married until 33,34 although the youngest, Livilla, had

previously been betrothed to the disgraced connexion of her mother’s,

Quinctilius Varus. They did not marry as brilliantly as their sister: Drusilla went to L.Cassius Longinus, the consul of 30, and her sister to his colleague

M.Vinicius. Longinus was grandson of the Liberator and member of an old

plebeian house; M.Vinicius was grandson of a novus homo, one of Augustus’

generals; he was not obvious material for a Princeps, and had no desire to be

considered such; he survived to hold a second consulship in 45, but fell victim to

the intrigues of Messallina. Quite undistinguished was the husband that Tiberius

found for his son Drusus Caesar’s daughter Julia, the sister of Gemellus, in the

same year; Tacitus comments on the disgrace.35 Not that she deserved better; as

the wife of young Nero Caesar she had spied on her husband and reported his

every sigh to her mother. Now she was quietly married off to C.Rubellius

Blandus, whose grandfather, it was widely recalled, was an eques of Tibur,

though Blandus himself had attained the consulship (suffect in 18). But the

meaning of this is that there were to be no more interlopers. A single eques of exceptional ability might make his way to the second place in the Empire; a

whole gaggle of mediocrities (even Longinus was nothing in comparison with

his talented and impressive brother Gaius36) stood not a chance against the

grandsons of the Princeps, young though they were. For, leaving aside

Ahenobarbus, who had been brought in before this scheme was in prospect, they

were the only male members of the dynasty who counted. The augurate that had

been destined for Gaius was never conferred; instead he was installed in his dead

brother’s pontificate, and Gemellus took the other priesthood.37

The ancient sources differ as to Tiberius’ intentions.38 Some have him

preferring the older of his grandsons, because of his age—but his character was

suspect; some the younger, because of his descent—but there was the possible

taint of bastardy; besides, whatever his preference, could he impose it? Tacitus

has the Princeps racked by internal debate, running through the possible

candidates, considering even Claudius and rejecting the idea of an outsider

because of the humiliation such a choice would impose on the gens Iulia. The reason is valid, but the Princeps’ meditation on Claudius destroys faith in the


whole paragraph. For twenty years Tiberius had resolutely and consistently

opposed the entry of Claudius into public life in any capacity whatsoever above

that of priest and leading eques.39 There need have been no debate. The blueprint had been drawn up years before, and after the appalling results of his adventure

with Sejanus the Princeps would be ready to adhere to it religiously. The boys

were to be a pair.

An objection will be raised at once. Tiberius was aware of the weakness of his

grandson Gemellus in comparison with much older and more popular Gaius. If

he intended to raise him to power with his cousin, why did he do nothing to

forward his plan? The right solution may be to appeal, not so much to Tiberius’

fatalism, marked though it had always been, and probably more marked than

ever in his last years on the island, but to his formalism. Gaius, he might reflect (and there would be men to remind him of the fact), had not taken the toga of

manhood until he was in his nineteenth year; now, in the year in which he

became twenty-two, he was quaestor. If Tiberius followed the rules that had

obtained since his own youth for the introduction to public life of young

members of the family, he would reach his first consulship at twenty-eight, in

this case six years after the quaestorship; and the same treatment precisely should be accorded to Gemellus. He should take the toga in 38; and hold the

quaestorship in 41. But Tiberius could not hope to live so long; or could he?

Augustus had suffered from weak health all his life, and survived until his

seventysixth year; when Livia died she had been ten years older; her son Tiberius

had always been remarkably robust, and he was taking care of his health in the way

he knew best. We do not know what other astrologers told him, only that Gaius’

ally Thrasyllus is said in 36 to have made Tiberius believe that he would survive

another ten years.40

It would be good to be able to offer another indication of Tiberius’ intentions:

the coinage of the last three years of his principate. H. Gesche’s proposal to

assign the clementia and moderatio coins of Tiberius to those years41 has many seductive features from the numismatic point of view, and the political

interpretation that Gesche is able to offer on the basis of her numismatic

arguments is even more attractive. The reverses of the coins are inscribed with

the virtues which give them their name, and they show each a shield within

which is set a small, youthful bust. There are two virtutes and so two shields and two persons represented. Examining and rejecting the ideas that Tiberius,

Germanicus, or Drusus Caesar is shown, Gesche connects them with the

succession. The shields are indeed those set up in memory of Germanicus and

Drusus after their deaths (that of Drusus came to its tenth anniversary in 33); the virtutes are those of Tiberius himself; his clementia towards Agrippina, celebrated in 33; his moderatio in allowing her son to succeed him; while the youthful busts represent his grandsons, Gaius and Gemellus, whom he thus

indicated as his successors.

Gesche’s view deserves the most serious consideration, and if it is not wholly

convincing,42 that does not mean that she is wrong to regard Gaius and Gemellus


as joint successors. There is the will, not drawn up, it is true, until 35, when

Gemellus was in his sixteenth year, but designating Gaius and Gemellus equal

heirs to Tiberius’ fortune. The political significance of Caesar’s will, of

Antony’s, and of Augustus’ has never been denied; Tiberius’ will is not to be

denied it either. Its implications are clear: Gaius and Gemellus were seen by

Tiberius as prospective partners in power.43

It is a matter of wonder to Tacitus that the death of Agrippina was followed by

that of her old enemy Munatia Plancina.44 He believes that she had been

protected until then by the friendship of Livia and the enmity of Agrippina; Dio

that Tiberius spared her to spite Agrippina. The charges against her are not

specified by the sources, but Tacitus calls them ‘well known’: those of 20, then,

brought up again. The accused woman committed suicide. The explanation may

be that the charges were brought in retribution for Agrippina’s death; probably,

that is, at the instigation of Gaius. In 20 Plancina had shown a remarkable will to survive; relying on the patronage of Livia, she had abandoned her husband to his

fate (many Roman women thought it right to join their husbands in suicide). Yet

now she took her own life. She could look for no protection: Tiberius disliked

what she had done in 20, and proffered his mother’s defence of her as his

mother’s and not his own.45 In 33 Livia was dead and the ultimate accession of a

son of Germanicus and Agrippina assured. That Plancina owed her end to the ill-

will of Gaius may be a plausible suggestion; but it cannot be demonstrated as

true. That is an unsatisfactory feature of the last years of Tiberius’ principate,

from the historian’s point of view. The centre of power and intrigue was with the

court on Capri. From there emanated edicts and letters public and private, eye-

witness reports and rumours. Sometimes the end result of an intrigue was a

prosecution in the Senate, all that can be seen of a political iceberg the shape of ninetenths of which must be a matter for conjecture.

Not only in purely domestic politics is the evidence fragmentary and baffling.

A series of events linking Rome and the Orient took place during the years 31–

34. To try to relate any of them with others may be rash; but it would be no less

so to ignore the possibility that they may have been connected.

First in chronological order, if Tacitus is to be trusted (Dio has a date three

years later), came the epiphany of a false Drusus Caesar in the East.46

Germanicus’ second son appeared on the Cyclades and on the mainland of Asia

Minor, and some of Tiberius’ freedmen on the spot were claimed to have given him

recognition. His goal was said to be the armies of his ‘father’ Germanicus, Syria

or Egypt. The imposter was pursued round Greece from east to west by

Poppaeus Sabinus, governor of Moesia, whose pursuit ended at Nicopolis.

Sabinus reported the results of his enquiries to Tiberius: the youth now claimed

to be a son of M.Silanus; his support had melted away and he had sailed for

Italy. Next in order came the attempt of Rubrius Fabatus at the end of 32 to slip

away to asylum in Parthia;47 he was probably a senator, and so debarred from

travelling beyond Italy or Sicily without imperial permission, unless he were on

official business. Fabatus had reached only the Straits of Messina when he was


apprehended. He was brought back to Rome by a centurion but beyond being

kept in custody he came to no harm. The affair ends inconclusively, like that of

the false Drusus, and seems as inexplicable, except as a case of an uneasy

conscience over a connexion with Sejanus. With 33 came the fall of the

Euryclids and their affines, the descendants of Theophanes of Mytilene.48 Pompeia

Macrina was sister of the praetor of 15, Pompeius Macer, and daughter of another

Macer, the friend of Augustus and Tiberius. The career of the grandfather,

Theophanes, who had been the secretary and biographer of Pompey the

Great, property on Lesbos, the friendship of the Roman dynasts, and the

important equestrian posts held by the knight Macer had brought the family

within striking distance of the consulship. Pompeia now was sent into exile, and

her brother and father killed themselves to avoid conviction, on charges which

included the close friendship between Theophanes and Pompey and the cult

offered Theophanes after his death by the Greeks—presumably of Mytilene. This

case was consequential upon another. Macrina’s husband was C.Iulius

Argolicus, son of Laco, of the Euryclid dynasty of Sparta which Tiberius had

restored to its position in the Peloponnese soon after his accession. Like his father C.Iulius Eurycles, Laco did not keep his place. Tiberius had punished him and

his son by removing them from their position before the trial of Macrina. The

offences of Laco are nowhere mentioned, but it is a plausible conjecture of

G.W.Bowersock’s that the circumstances were similar to those of his father’s

expulsion: that is that he had tried to extend his power within the Peloponnese

and had laid himself open to accusation of sedition and extortion by rival

aristocrats in Laconia, like the Brasidas who had accused his father. The trial of

Macrina and her kinsmen may be directly connected with the fall of Laco, or it may

be the work of separate agents who were taking advantage of the discredit that

had attached itself to his relatives.

R.S.Rogers had the courage to offer a theory that links the false Drusus and

the Euryclid group.49 Accepting the date given by Tacitus for the false Drusus (it

would be easier to believe that he had escaped from the Palatine dungeon at a

time when he had not already been reported dead of starvation), he regards it

roundly as the last effort of Agrippina’s ‘party’. There is much to be said for his view, especially if imperial freedmen really had identified the imposter as

Drusus. The story recalls that of Clemens, which may show either that an

irresponsible Greek thought he could play the same trick, or that his supporters

were not inventive in devising new schemes for their political advancement. But

who would support the false Drusus and for what purpose? He had political

descendants, the false Neros who troubled the eastern provinces in the

principates of Galba and the Flavians.50 Nothing suggests that they were the

puppets of Roman politicians; they were adventurers who arose in the East and

perished there, and if they had any support from above it came from Parthia,

which hoped to profit from the unpopularity of the new dynasty to stir up trouble

in the eastern provinces; and they were followed by the lower classes in the cities of the East. The false Drusus does not quite fit this pattern, for all the support


that Dio says he won in the cities: Parthia could have no hope of unseating the

long-established ruler on Capri. Again, the imposter was last heard of en route for Italy, strange destination for an Oriental pretender who had come to the end of the road. Then the mention of M.Silanus. That person would not have come into the

public eye in the East until his daughter was married to Gaius in 33, and it is

tempting to jettison Tacitus’ date for the false Drusus; it was not necessary for a man to be alive for him to appear in the East, as the false Neros showed. But the

betrothal of Gaius may have taken place some time before 33. Who stood to gain,

apart from the imposter, and supposing he was not acting on his own? The

attempt came, according to Tacitus, between one month and six weeks after the

execution of Sejanus; what is not clear is whether the enterprise was undertaken

before or after the disgrace of Sejanus became known in the East. After the

disgrace of Sejanus the movement had little point for a politician at Rome,

except to ensure the survival of the real Drusus. The imposter’s followers would

never reach Italy, and if they did the real Drusus had only to be produced for

them to be stultified. Before the news arrived there it could be seen as a last

attempt of the followers of Agrippina to shake the hold that Sejanus had on

Tiberius and the principate; the Syrian legions, after all, were not well disposed

towards him and the discontent of the masses in the eastern provinces, topped up

by their enthusiasm for the affable and hellenophile Germanicus, might be

enough to force Tiberius to drop him (it is the old technique of the popular

demonstration writ large); or it might be seen as the same plan executed by the

friends of Gaius. The movement was slow to gain impetus; by the time it did,

Sejanus was dead, but it could not be stopped. The quiet ending of the affair

favours the view that it was a device of Gaius and his friends, readily overlooked

by the Princeps; and the involvement of Silanus suggests that he should be added

to the list of those who took active steps against Sejanus.

By 34 enquiry into the ramifications of Sejanus’ friendships and plans was

officially over. Yet some men survived who might safely be disposed of because

they were unloved of the Princeps. Mam. Scaurus had already been attacked in

32 with three other consulars as a man certainly well disposed towards the

Prefect, and although he had survived because the case was adjourned sine die,

Tiberius made comments which boded no good. Now in 34 a second attack was

made, which Scaurus chose not to survive. His wife, a Sextia of the Sextii

Africani, urged him on to suicide and joined him in it.51 So too (though she did

not take the lead) did Paxaea, the wife of Pomponius Labeo, the former governor

of Moesia, whom Tiberius deprived of his friendship in the same year. There was

a charge of repetundae and other offences hanging over him, and Tiberius

indignantly accused Labeo of hiding his guilt by bringing odium on himself; as

for Paxaea, whatever she had done, she had had nothing to fear.52 (Tiberius

meant either that Paxaea, as a woman, was exempt from the charge of

repetundae, or that he did not intend to press other charges.) The renuntiatio amicitiae (formal severing of a friendship) presumably had nothing to do with the other charges; Tiberius’ motives for invoking it are not stated, but he used it LAST YEARS AND POSTHUMOUS REPUTATION 171

in other cases where the honour of Gaius was impugned. As for Scaurus, Tacitus

states categorically that his death was due to the enmity of Macro—rather than

his friendship with Sejanus. Certainly he had been a supporter of the man Macro

had helped to destroy, and one of the charges reeks of that offence: adultery with

Livilla. It is worth recalling that the only man who was named as helping plan

Gaius’ downfall was a Sextius, though his cognomen was Paconianus.53

M.Paconius happens to be the name of a legate of C.Silanus who joined Mam.

Scaurus and two other friends of Sejanus, Bruttedius Niger and Iunius Otho, in

accusing him of repetundae in 22.54 Paconius perished at a date unknown, one might suspect in about 33 or 34. He was accused of maiestas, but the case

apparently was protracted, or the Senate failed to deliver a verdict. Someone was

determined to remedy that. The impeccable authority of a consular historian

present on the occasion vouches for the truth of the story that a dwarf entertainer asked Tiberius at a dinner party why Paconius was still alive. The Princeps

delivered him a rebuke—and wrote to the Senate to ask the same question. It is a

nice illustration of the way an aged autocrat might be manipulated at the dinner

table. But there are other points to make: first, that Mam. Scaurus had other

enemies than Tiberius himself and Macro; and that they probably included

M.Silanus, who might have cared as much for his brother Gaius as he did for

Decimus, and who was now higher than ever in the councils of state. Secondly,

the suicides. The rate seems to increase towards the end of Tiberius’ principate.

Tacitus and Dio produce an admirable reason for the accused to take that way

out55—yet Tiberius was indignant that Labeo and Paxaea took it. The truth is

stated explicitly only at the end of Tacitus’ first hexad, when L.Arruntius

proposed suicide and caused surprise to his friends. But Arruntius feared the future.

It was not only that Tiberius was becoming hardened to suffering and

increasingly careless of the processes of law. He was increasingly malleable in

the hands of men who should be his servants; he was not tightening his grip but

losing it. Then there would come the inevitable accession of Gaius, the

supremacy of Gaius’ friends; even if an attack failed in the last years of the old

Princeps, it would be renewed in the first years of the new. We have already

noticed the example of Plancina.

Other instances may be offered before the last important political trial of the

principate is dealt with. First in time, the suicide of L.Fulcinius Trio.56 Like Mam.

Scaurus, he had undergone attack before and survived. More than three years

later, in 35, the threat of prosecution came close again. He killed himself, but

took a minor revenge on the Princeps who, being mortal, could not protect him.

The will contained a lengthy and savage attack on Macro and the leading

freedmen of the Princeps, whom he accused of senility and whose continuous

absence had made him into little more than an exile. The suicides of two sons of

Q.Blaesus, who had died in the first wave of victims in 31, took place the

following year;57 they were not brought to trial, but the priesthoods that they had been promised in the days of their cousin Sejanus’ power were allotted to other

men, and they took that as a sign that they should die. Next to their death Tacitus 172 LAST YEARS AND POSTHUMOUS REPUTATION

notes that of young Drusus Caesar’s widow, Aemilia Lepida. While her father

M. Lepidus lived his influence with Tiberius was great enough to protect her in

spite of her treachery to Drusus. Now she faced a charge of adultery with a slave,

unfortunately well founded; Lepida abandoned her defence.

The name of Macro recurs as that of the man responsible for the deaths of

Scaurus and Trio at least. It would be hard to gauge how far he and how far

Gaius (and others) were behind what happened. It seems at any rate that his

influence increased in the last years of Tiberius’ life as he tightened his grip on the Praetorian Guard. Not that his hold would prove firm against the will of a

child of Germanicus, but he could ensure a speedy and smooth transition of

power if, as most of the court must have expected, Gaius came to the Principate

without possessing beforehand any of the imperium or potestas, the official powers, that Tiberius held in 14. Gaius cannot have cared for that situation, and

Macro survived only until 38; in a sense the two men were rivals from the start.

Yet the enhanced power that he enjoyed as the moment of the transfer drew

nearer is attested by the story of Gaius’ adultery with his wife Ennia, no matter

whose idea the affair was. Tacitus and Dio mention it under the last year of

Tiberius’ life, 37, but it began earlier, after Gaius lost his wife.58

Certainly the last important trial of the principate was the work of Macro. That

is shown, not only by the fact, Tacitus notes, that the evidence was brought to the attention of the Senate by him, without even an accompanying letter from the

Princeps, but by the persons involved.59 Laelius Balbus had charged Acutia,

formerly the wife of P.Vitellius, with maiestas; she was condemned, but the tribune Iunius Otho vetoed the grant of praemia (rewards) to her accuser. Next the notorious Albucilla, former wife of Satrius Secundus, was brought to court

on the same charge; her accomplices (and of course lovers) were Cn. Domitius

Ahenobarbus, C.Vibius Marsus, and L.Arruntius, who was known to be hated by

Macro. Arruntius committed suicide, and Albucilla too dealt herself a wound; it

did not prevent the Senate from ordering her to be carried off to prison. The

other two defendants were less hasty: Ahenobarbus asked time to prepare a

defence, and Marsus hit on a slow method of suicide (by starvation). The lesser

fry, accessories to the protagonists, were dealt with more speedily, the expraetor

Carsidius Sacerdos suffering deportation, Pontius Fregellanus and Laelius

Balbus infamia (official disgrace). Balbus figures in both trials, as accuser in the first and defendant in the second, which suggests that the second was a massive

retaliation for the first, but which may mean only that an antagonist of Balbus

was prompted to join or trigger off an attack that was already impending. Tacitus

does not mention the ties of kinship that bound the defendants in the second trial: D.Laelius Balbus, who was to hold the consulship in 46, had a sister married to

C.Vibius Marsus, the suffect of 17, and his daughter was married to L.Arruntius

Camillus Scribonianus, the son of L. Arruntius and colleague of Domitius

Ahenobarbus in his consulship of 32. A recent enquirer has suggested60 that

Macro’s prosecution scotched a plot to bring Cn. Domitius Ahenobarbus to

power in Gaius’ place. Certainly his own birth and his marriage to Agrippina


brought him very close to the Principate—dangerously so. But the solution is a

little melodramatic. Ahenobarbus survived until late in the principate of Gaius,

and died of dropsy.61 L.Arruntius is another man who was thought of at one

moment or another as a possible candidate—and a willing one—for the

succession to Augustus,62 and he now killed himself. Perhaps he was the rival.

But a consul of AD 6 cannot have been much less than sixty-four years old in AD

37; Arruntius must have been beyond such ambitions. A solution in a lower key

presents itself. L.Arruntius, to judge by the attack made on him in 31, had been a

leading figure in the movement against Sejanus. He should have been high in the

councils of the new regime. The same might be conjectured of Gaius’ brother-in-

law Ahenobarbus, though he is not known to have played any part in the

downfall of the Prefect, and C.Vibius Marsus: he had been one of the legates of

Germanicus in Germany and Syria. That precisely may have been what Macro

feared: he was trying to make away with, or at least discredit, two rivals, not of

Gaius, but of himself. As for the prefatory trial, Germanicus is again the clue.

The victim was the widow of a legate who had abandoned the family, the

prosecutor a kinsman of one who had not; and the tribune who vetoed his

rewards, Iunius Otho, was probably a son of the homonymous accuser of

C.Silanus, who was known to support Sejanus.63

Of the second case Tiberius knew little or nothing. His last four years, after the

mopping up of the ‘conspirators’, were comparatively untroubled. They saw no

diminution of his mental powers, nor, perhaps, were they as unhappy as those

whom he abandoned may have hoped. Tiberius had his daily reading, from

which he would cull items to tease his company of savants (and woe betide

anyone who tried to cheat by discovering what book was currently in the Princeps’

hands). He had his cucumber frames and his dinner parties, from which, with

stiff courtesy, he would dismiss his parting guests standing, a lictor by his side, in the middle of the room; and he had his pet snake.64 A lonely old man he may

have been, but he made the best of it.

Increasing age made the Princeps more and more reluctant to take decisions or

even to receive visitors or delegations who might require him to do so. Least of all could he enter Rome, whether because it meant plunging back into affairs of

state and subjecting himself to the importunities of its crowds, or because the

prophecies of the astrologers acted too powerfully on his mind; perhaps for both

reasons. He travelled in Campania and came close to the city more than once.65

On the first occasion he sailed up the Tiber, which had sentries posted on its

banks, as far as the gardens of Caesar; the sight of the city walls was enough to

send him downstream again. The second occasion mentioned by Suetonius is

more interesting. Tiberius reached the seventh milestone on the Appian Way,

when a portent frightened him back. He went to feed his pet snake and found it

dead, eaten alive by ants, it was said; and the astrologers told him ‘to beware the violence of the multitude’. I have already suggested that it was predictions that

he would never return to Rome alive that helped to keep him away; it looks as if


astrology was used on this particular occasion for the same purpose. That snake

may not have been alive when the ants swarmed over it.

Reports of the last years show Tiberius as sensitive to the failings of other men

in positions of responsibility as he was indulgent towards his own; but he had

never been slow to remind magistrates of their duties and functions, and that

characteristic too could only be expected to develop with age. The Sibylline

oracles had been collected and authenticated by Augustus. New items were not

readily admitted; they might lead the people astray. In 32 a tribune, Quintilianus, who was presiding over the Senate in the absence of consuls and praetors, put to

the house a motion to admit another text to the canon.66 It was supported by a

senior consular and Quindecimvir Caninius Gallus, and it was passed. Tiberius

read the minutes of the meeting and delivered the young and inexperienced

tribune a mild rebuke; but Caninius was told he ought to have known better than

to introduce a writing of dubious authenticity to an ill-attended meeting of the

Senate without consulting his fellow priests or allowing the verses to be read and

assessed. The Senate went back on its decision and voted that the production be

submitted to the scrutiny of the Quindecimviri.

An even more sensitive area was the comportment of the people. A grain

shortage in the same year caused the outbreak of demonstrations against the

Princeps that went on for several days in the theatre.67 Tiberius was upset, and

held the Senate and magistrates responsible: they should have used the authority

vested in them by the state to control the people; in any case his imports of grain exceeded those of Augustus. Thus goaded, the Senate drew up a decree couched

in the severe terms of a bygone age, and the consuls issued edicts to match. The

silence of the Princeps himself towards the people was taken for haughtiness; but

there need be no doubting the truth of Tiberius’ claims: he had, as he thought,

done all that could be done in the matter.

Where Tiberius’ duty was plain and straightforward he continued to do it. To

the difficulties of the landed classes in 33 he responded with a generous interest-

free three-year loan which came ultimately from his own purse.68 His response to

the problem of Armenia and Parthia, when it arose again in 35, was prompt and

rational, and to the disaster that struck Rome in 36, when the Circus Maximus

and the Aventine Hill took the main force of a fire, not less generous than it had

been in 25, when the Caelian suffered.69 The victims had the value of their

properties assessed by a commission consisting of the men who had married the

Princeps’ granddaughters, and afforced by P.Petronius on the nomination of the

consuls. The losses were met by the Princeps. It was his last act of public

munificence, and the senators voted decrees in the Princeps’ honour, the last they

were to devise.

Tiberius fell ill at Astura in Campania, but rallied enough to reach Cerceii.70 He

was determined not to let his illness be known, remained lucid (neither speech

nor expression showed any sign of a mind that was wandering), even displayed a

forced gaiety. At Cerceii he attended a tattoo, and hurled javelins at a boar in the arena. He was at once stricken with a pain in the side and caught a chill from


becoming overheated and then being in a draught. Still he rallied, and even when

he reached his villa at Misenum—it had once been the property of L.Lucullus—

he insisted on going on with his normal routine, including the formal dinner

parties and other diversions. There he was at pains to prevent the physician

Charicles taking his pulse, but failed to deceive him. He planned to return to

Capri, but the stormy March weather and his failing health made it impossible. He

took to his bed.

There were several accounts of his death, some of them attributing it to Gaius

Caligula, who either poisoned or starved him, or to Macro, or to both; in Tacitus’

version, when the old man, whom everyone thought to be dead, had come to

himself and was demanding food, Macro smothered him with his bedclothes.

Those stories have their genesis in Caligula’s later unpopularity; they are less

convincing than what the elder Seneca wrote less than four years after the

event.71 Tiberius knew that his end was near. He took off the seal ring that was

the symbol of his authority, apparently with the idea of giving it to someone;

then he put it back on his finger and lay motionless for some time with his left

fist clenched. Suddenly he called his servants, but no one came, so he got out of

bed. The effort was too much for him. He collapsed just near it, and died. It was

16 March 37.

The day that the news of the ‘lion’s’death reached Rome (18 March) was a

joyful one for the populace, who ran wild, full of ideas for disposing of the body.72

Macro and Gaius, however, followed the valuable precedent of AD 14. The

remains were put in a coffin and a slow and stately cortège carried them to Rome;

the pace was exactly the same as that of the funeral procession of Augustus,

nearly twenty-three years before;73 and at Sinuessa the two routes, from Nola and

Misenum, joined, and made the parallel closer still. But there were differences.

First, the second coffin was carried, not on the shoulders of the councillors of the towns through which the cortège passed, but on those of soldiers.74 It was

appropriate, and perhaps the councillors would not have relished the job.

Secondly, the funeral cortège was more of a triumphal progress, with sacrifices

being offered up for Gaius and rejoicing all along the route.75

The procession entered Bovillae on the morning of 28 March. Gaius now went

ahead into Rome; the body was conveyed into the city on the night of 28–29

March, and it was cremated on 3 April at a public funeral at which Gaius

delivered the laudation, Augustus and Germanicus receiving much attention.

Before that event took place there was a delicate political manoeuvre to be

carried out. As soon as Tiberius died Macro had Gaius saluted imperator by the armed forces at Misenum and when the news reached Rome the Senate was

summoned and likewise accorded Gaius the salutation.76 But there was a snag. At

the next Senate meeting, that which followed the arrival of Gaius and the cortège,

and which must have been summoned on 30 March, for the purpose of arranging

the funeral, Macro read the will.77 Tiberius had instituted Gaius and Ti.

Gemellus joint heirs. The consuls proposed that the will be declared null and

void, on the ground that Tiberius, in making it, had been of unsound mind. The


property thus should have fallen to the liberi, the descendants under his paternal authority,78 again Gaius and Gemellus, but with their sisters, so that Gaius should have been worse off financially. But an important political declaration had been

made by the Senate, with the support of the mob who had broken into the Curia

to help them with their deliberations (this is the last instance of a demonstration organized by one of Scribonia’s family that we shall have to notice). They had

declared that there was nothing to be said for Tiberius’ scheme of sharing power

between Gaius and Ti. Gemellus: the boy was too young and did not possess the

right even to enter the Senate. In voiding the will on those grounds the Senate

presumably did not allow intestate succession, but handed over the property in its

entirety to Gaius. Nevertheless, Gaius paid all the legacies. Nobody could

complain that they had suffered from Gaius’ action (except Gemellus); he even

carried out the wishes of Livia’s will, which had been neglected for eight years

because of a fault that Tiberius had found in the drafting.79

But Gaius spelt out his interpretation of his own and Gemellus’ positions even

more clearly. He adopted Gemellus and made him princeps iuventutis.80 The

adoption was a legal nonsense as gross as his querella de inofficioso testamento, his complaint that Tiberius’ will failed to fulfil his obligations to members of his family. Seven years and four months separated the two young men, not the

requisite eighteen years, and there was no reason to believe that Gaius, who was

twenty-four, would remain childless: he had lost his wife in childbirth. Like the

conferment of the title princeps iuventutis, it neatly removed the encumbrance to the next generation and deferred any question of giving him powers: the boy was

too young.

The funeral of Augustus had been followed by his apotheosis, an eagle being

released from the pyre and the late Princeps being seen to rise therefrom by an

independent witness. So far, precedent had been carefully followed; the question

was whether it would be followed in this respect also; it seems to have been

anticipated at Lugdunum.81 For Gaius it would be convenient that Tiberius

should be given divine status, making him Divi nepos, grandson of a deified Princeps. Yet his popularity stemmed from his membership of a family that (in

most men’s eyes) Tiberius had all but destroyed. Gaius requested the Senate to

deify. He was not present at the meeting (he may have been at sea, bringing back

the bones of his dead mother and brother82), and the Senate was able to prevaricate.

It would not be difficult to represent Gaius’ request as due to misguided, though

admirable, devotion to a grandfather’s memory. He let it drop.

Tiberius’ reputation stood low in 37. It is misguided to argue that, if the

Princeps was not deified, at least he did not suffer ‘damnatio memoriae, for that alternative was not yet in the repertoire;83 besides, the interests of Gaius counted for something. It would become possible to form a more balanced view only

later, when the conduct of Gaius belied his early promise; ironically enough, that

Princeps himself came to feel some sympathy for his predecessor,84 a fact which

offers historians some light on the attitudes of Tiberius himself: Gaius had


picked up the contempt that Tiberius felt for his subjects and fellow human


Under Claudius and his successor Tiberius could be seen in better perspective.

The younger Seneca had been adult for most of his principate, and, writing early

in the regime of Nero, he acknowledged that the earlier part of it had been no

less good than that of Augustus—that is, it was equal to the model which all

Principes professed to adopt and superior to much that had followed under Gaius

and Claudius.85 Tiberian precedents stood alongside Augustan and Claudian in

the ‘lex de Imperio Vespasiani’ of 70, which empowered Vespasian to perform acts which his predecessors had performed without specific entitlement, and if

oaths were not sworn to Tiberius’ acta as they were to those of Augustus and the other Divi, it was only because of the precedent set by Gaius in 38.86 To Domitian, whose aim was to reduce the Senate’s role in politics to a nullity, it

was the latter part of the principate that was of interest, and Tiberius’ success (as he would see it) in using the lex Maiestatis to intimidate his peers. Besides, like Domitian, he had long been kept from power, and brought in only because the

favoured heirs were lost. That story, so influential until our own day, will have

been put out by the family of the lost heirs, notably by the younger Agrippina,

who wrote up her own vicissitudes and those of her family; and it must have

been canonical by the time of Domitian’s accession to power in 81. Tiberius

himself wrote a brief autobiography, but it was his day-books and acta that were Domitian’s constant study.87 That did Tiberius no good in senatorial circles.

There was another resemblance. It was acknowledged by Seneca that there had

been a period of good government under Tiberius. So too with Domitian, until in

83 he had felt strong enough to rid himself of his main rival for power.88 Then

the mask was thrown off. The same explanation would account for the change in

Tiberius’ principate, though it cannot have been as late as this that Tiberius was

first charged with dissimulatio (hypocrisy).

Tacitus was writing the Annals when Hadrian, not Domitian, was in power,

and it is a convincing suggestion that the historian discerned features that

Tiberius had in common with the later Princeps, not only with Domitian through

whose tyranny he had suffered.89 The philhellenism is one such feature—but

Hadrian carried it much farther than Tiberius would have thought proper—and

the consilium coercendi intra terminos imperii, the view that the Empire should not be extended beyond its existing boundaries. Tacitus saw Tiberius partly in

terms of his successors, and with the aid of sources disparate in nature, scope,

and veracity. His predecessors’ works are now lost. Of these the most important

were the cautious, quasi- official recital of Aufidius Bassus, and the critical, even hostile, writings of the consul of 35, Servilius Nonianus, an eye-witness to much

of what he described.90 Tacitus used the memoirs of Agrippina too, but the

picture he gives of the author’s mother can hardly be derived entirely from that

work. On the other side, orations of Tiberius had been collected and published.91

Tacitus incorporates material from those, there is no doubt of it. He may have

obtained it not from the collection but from the acta senatus themselves, which 178 LAST YEARS AND POSTHUMOUS REPUTATION

he claims to have consulted.92 But it would be impossible to show that the

narrative of events in the House was based mainly on that record—an

intermediate literary source may always be postulated, and can sometimes be

demonstrated. Tacitus was a senator himself and knew men whose fathers and

grandfathers had sat in the Senate of Tiberius; he would talk to them of his

subject. The personality of the Princeps fascinated him and made the first hexad

of the Annals his masterpiece. That fascination has proved itself contagious to his followers. Lastly, another kind of oral tradition seems to have made its way

to the surface in the Annals: the vulgar and hostile tradition about Tiberius’ private habits.93 That Tacitus’ portrait is not a convincing whole—more of an

expressionist sketch—is a measure of the disparity of the sources and of his

honesty in handling them, but also of his impatience of routine detail, of his

inability to resist the epigrammatic but misleading punch-line, of his taste for

satire (both traits he shared with his subject). For some pedestrian but

illuminating items (and for the full blooming of scandal) the student turns to the

compilation of archive material and gossip that Suetonius published a few years

later under the title Biographies of the Caesars.

Both Tacitus and Suetonius (and Dio who wrote a hundred years later) present

Tiberius as a man their readers ought to hate. Nineteenthcentury scholarship did

not avoid the challenge. The Princeps was rehabilitated—at the expense of the

historian—on the Continent, in this country, and in the United States. The

movement lasted a century and came to its terminal stage with Kornemann’s

biography, published twelve years after his death, in 1960. ‘Étrange coïncidence!

La nouvelle force de l’histoire universelle, le Christianisme, reçut à jamais par la crucifixion du Christ et par sa mort une suprême consécration et sa pleine efficacité à l’heure même ou le plus grand martyr de l’État romain touchait, lui aussi, à sa

triste fin.’94 A more recent generation of writers has shown itself less ready to

believe in the merits of men in power. (Not surprisingly.) It is the historian

writing in a society that was not free who commands sympathy and respect and

whose accuracy and insight are to be vindicated. But the antithesis is mistaken.

The two men are not to be weighed one against the other. To do that is to forget

the origin of the campaign waged on Tiberius’ behalf: notoriously, it grew from

the material presented by the historian. He had his view of the man; each of his

followers and critics has had his own, tempered by that of his predecessors.

It was part of Tiberius’ modestia, his awareness of his own limitations, to know that individual members of a state, however eminent, were dispensable

mortals, while the state went on for ever;95 and that makes it appropriate that one of the most important events of Tiberius’ principate was precisely the death of

Augustus and his own accession to sole power; it made the Principate a

permanency. Equally appropriate is the fact that the two most striking features of

Tiberius’ policy as Princeps were, firstly to maintain the form of the new

institutions as they had been left by Augustus, to take Augustus’ consilium as praeceptum, holding to be mandatory what his predecessor had regarded as

advisable, and secondly, to turn it from a sham into what it purported to be:


Tiberius reduced his own role before that of Augustus in the first instance, and

before that of the Senate in the second. In his first endeavour, maintaining the

form of the Augustan constitution, Tiberius clearly succeeded; and by avoiding

innovations he slowed down the pace of social change in Italy and the provinces,

allowing them to settle. He failed, partially from the beginning, almost wholly

from 26 onwards, to realize senatorial government. Tiberius recognized his

failure by retiring to Capri, and so aggravated it and opened the door to the

feature of his principate that goes down as paramount in the textbooks: the

treason trials. It is significant that this feature too may be attributed to Tiberius making himself scarce—this time in the physical sense of removing himself from

the scene.

The man Tiberius is a unified whole, and he is comprehensible.96 He was

shaped by his ancestry (heredity, education, and conscious emulation). The

serious-minded boy97 took to warfare, in which the Nerones had excelled, and

embraced the political principles for which his grandfather Claudianus had died

in the very month of his birth, and aesthetic tastes to match. There was no

escaping the heritage, but one would not wish to escape it; it was a good one.

Tiberius became a fatalist, ruled by astrology, a doctrine entirely consistent with the Stoicism which became almost obligatory for conservative Romans active in

political life. The ambition natural to a Roman of family, so easily satisfied by a youth who was the Princeps’ stepson, forced him to compromise. His

responsibilities, to his stepfather and his class, oppressed the young man, and he

soon learnt to find release in convivial drinking. Shown a prospect of the whole

Empire by Augustus, he would contemplate it only on the understanding that the

Principate was to take a form consistent with his own doctrine of senatorial

supremacy. Having once compromised, he became sensitive to imputations of

dishonesty and devious ambition, and reacted violently to the suspicion and

hostility of his wife and his stepsons. Yet there came to be something in the

misunderstanding of his peers and the commons in which he almost revelled.

Surely it was not only to make manifest the guilt of their authors that the foulest slanders were read out in the Senate without a word omitted? The worse the

accusations the more the Princeps could take refuge in his conscious virtue, in

the sense of superiority that set him apart even from the men he chose to regard

as his equals (it earned him a simultaneous reputation for arrogance and

hypocrisy). When the calumnies of Julia were repeated by Agrippina, it was only

natural for him to withdraw once again, this time to Capri, with the cronies

whose interests he shared. Becoming more and more himself as he got older, he

may even have come to relish the degradation and fear of the senators;

impatience fell into cruelty. The man became harder and harder to reach,

withdrawn on the island and into himself. Tiberius’ dealings with his humbler

and remoter subjects were of a piece with his conduct towards his social peers. He

was aware of obligations towards them, but they were the obligations of a noble

towards his clients, raised to a high degree by the position in which he found

himself. First came the Roman people and Italy, and his sense of duty towards


them was enough to make him interrupt the solitude he sought. The provinces

came far behind, though pecuniary help was forthcoming when a disaster was

massive. It is futile to pass judgment, favourable or unfavourable, on his

‘administration’ of the provinces. He met what he saw as his obligations

punctiliously, if not always with dispatch. To blame him for failing to advance

the juridical status or economic prosperity of his subjects is misplaced. He had

no idea that there was such a goal to be reached. Men looked after their own

material welfare (provided that they were not overwhelmed by catastrophe); as

for advancement in status, that was available (as it always had been) to men of

substance who had earned it. In the end, Tiberius would not even deny himself

the last resort of the disgusted politician: retirement. Tiberius had known near

exile, and on Rhodes he must have felt the righteous indignation of a Rutilius

Rufus. The withdrawal to Capri was the nearest a Princeps could approach to a

complete retirement on the lines of a Lucullus (fishponds or cucumber-frames, it

is all one). He was not to know, of course, that the first Princeps to abdicate was to be Diocletian, two and a half centuries in the future. In his ignorance Tiberius nearly achieved it, and he believed that he had earned his rest.


Works are not included in this list if they appear in the Bibliography and are

cited in a form that is easily recognized.


L’Année épigraphique

A e R

Atene e Roma


American Historical Review


American Journal of Archaeology


American Journal of Philology

Ant. class.

L’Antiquité classique



Ath. Mitt.

Mitteilungen des deutschen archäologischen Instituts (in Athen)


Bulletin de correspondance hellénique


Ägyptische Urkunden aus den Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin,

Griechische Urkunden


Bonner Jahrbücher


Cambridge Ancient History


Corpus Inscriptionum Graecarum


Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum


Classical Journal


Classical Philology


Classical Quarterly


Classical Review


H.Mattingly et alii, Coins of the Roman Empire in the British

Museum, London, 1923–




Coinage in Roman Imperial Policy, London, 1951


Classical Weekly



V.Ehrenberg and A.H.M.Jones, eds., Documents illustrating

the Reigns of Augustus and Tiberius, 2nd ed., Oxford, 1955



G and R

Greece and Rome


Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies






Harvard Studies in Classical Philology


Inscriptiones Graecae


Inscriptiones Graecae ad Res Romanas Pertinentes


H.Dessau, Inscriptiones Latinae Selectae


J.M.Reynolds and J.B. Ward Perkins eds., Inscriptions of

Roman Tripolitania, Rome, 1952


Journal of Hellenic Studies


Journal of Roman Studies




Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome


Museum Helveticum






Magistrates of the Roman Republic, 2 vols, and supplement,

New York, 1952


Numismatic Chronicle


Numismatic Notes and Monographs


Nuova Rivista storica


Oxford Classical Dictionary, 2nd ed., Oxford, 1970


Proceedings of the British Academy


Papers of the British School at Rome


Papers of the Cambridge Philological Society



Phil. Woch.

Philologische Wochenschrift




Prosopographia Imperii Romani


M.Grant, Roman


Anniversary Issues, Cambridge, 1950


Paulys Real-Encyclopädie der classischen Altertums-




Revue des Etudes anciennes


Revue des Etudes latines


Res Gestae Divi Augusti


H.Mattingly, E.A. Sydenham, et alii, The Roman Imperial

Coinage, 5 vols., London, 1923–38


Rheinisches Museum für Philologie



Mitteilungen des deutschen archäologischen Instituts,

Römische Abteilung

Syme, RR

R.Syme, The Roman Revolution, Oxford, 1939


C.Cichorius, Römische


Studien, Leipzig and Berlin, 1922


Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum


W.Dittenberger, Sylloge Inscriptionum Graecarum


A.H.M.Jones, Studies


in Roman Government and Law, Oxford, 1960


Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological



Wiener Studien


Yale Classical Studies


Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigrafik



I* The main source is Suet., Tib., 1–6. For individuals see RE and MRR. For education, see H.I.Marrou, Histoire de l’Éducation dans l’Antiquité, 6th ed., Paris, 1965 ( History of Education in Antiquity, tr. of 3rd ed. by G.Lamb, New York, 1964), and M.L.Clarke, Higher Education in the Ancient World, London, 1971. For

Tiberius’ education see J.C.Tarver, Tib. the Tyrant, 143ff.

1 Tac., Ann., IV, 38, 1; Suet., Tib., 19; Claudius: Tac., Ann., XI, 24, 1, with N.P.Miller, RM, 1956, 312.

2 F.Münzer, RE, XIII, 1927, 882, suggests that Livia’s father was a Nero, but his reason for rejecting the clear statement of Suetonius is not convincing. Note the

reference to Claudia Quinta in Tac., Ann., IV, 64, 4; she must have been a member of the Pulcher family, if the mention of her by Cic., pro Cael., 14, 34, is to be relevant.

3 See R.M.Ogilvie, A Commentary on Livy Books 1–5, Oxford, 1965, 273f., for story and sources. The Claudii were ‘one of many nomadic shepherding clans who

settled at Rome with the rise of agricultural prosperity’.

4 For attempts to reconstruct a ‘Claudian’ policy see Th. Mommsen, Röm. Forsch., I, Berlin, 1864, 285ff.; G.C.Fiske, HSCP, 1902, 1ff.; P. Lejay, Rev. de Phil., 1920, 92ff.; A. Garzetti, Ath., 1947, 175ff.; E.S. Staveley, Hist., 1959, 410ff.; F.Cassola, I Gruppi politici Romani nel III secolo A.C., Trieste, 1962, 128ff.

5 For Valerius Antias as the creator of Livy’s Claudii, see Ogilvie, op. cit., 300; 376.

6 Tac., Ann., I, 4, 3, appeals to ‘vetere atque insita Claudiae familiae superbia’, with the approval of Koestermann, ad loc. It is an inherited characteristic for Tiberius, but not for Tiberius’ nephew Germanicus.

7 Livy, II, 58, 6ff., with Ogilvie, op. cit., 383.

8 For Clodius as a true popularis in contrast to the pretended populares Pompey, Caesar, and Crassus, see E. Gruen, Phoen., 1966, 120ff.

9 He is speaking in the person of the Censor, pro Cael., 14, 34.

10 M.H.Prévost, Les Adoptions politiques à Rome sous la République et le Principal, Paris, 1949. Whether Claudianus was adopted in due form, or whether he was

simply named chief heir in Livius Drusus’ will, on condition that he took Drusus’

nomen, is not clear (on the legal distinctions see E.J.Weinrib, HSCP, 1967, 252ff.).


Slightly in favour of adoption in due form is the fact that Claudianus used the

praenomen Marcus, which a patrician Claudius is unlikely to have borne before his adoption. For his natural father, see F.Münzer, RE, XIII, 1927, 882 (who opts for

‘testamentary adoption’).

11 For testimonia on the Drusi see A.H.M.Greenidge and A.M.Clay, Sources for Roman History 133–70 B.C., 2nd ed. by E.W.Gray, Oxford, 1960, 46; 128ff.

12 Claudianus’ support of the Triumvirs: Cic., ad Att., II, 7, 3, where Cicero calls him

‘Pisaurensis’ (perhaps his mother came from Pisaurum: see F.Münzer, RE, XIII, 1927, 854f.); his post in 50 BC: ad Fam., VIII, 14, 4. Livia was born on 30 January 58 BC: Acta Frat. Arv., ed. E.Pasoli, Bologna, 1950, fr. 56, p. 108f.; fr. 9bc, p. 111.

For her mother, see Suet., Cal., 23, 2, with T.P.Wiseman, Hist., 1965, 333f., who claims that she was an Alfidia from Marruvium of the Marsi. That is not

convincing, and many ties connect the Claudii with Campania: E.Rawson, Hist.,

1973, 220ff. For such marriages, see Wiseman, New Men in the Roman Senate, 139

B.C.-A.D. 14, Oxford, 1971, 53ff. Following Syme, RR, 424, n. 4, and Hist., 1964, 156f., he mentions (277f.) that of a daughter or sister of Ti. Nero to Q.Volusius (of Cingulum?). For Claudianus at Philippi, see Veil. Pat., II, 71, 3.

13 Hor., Odes, IV, 4, 37ff. Neronian inferiority: Syme, RR, 19; Tarver, Tib. the Tyrant, 87, implausibly suggests that it was due to want of ambition.

14 Legateship: App., Mith., 95; Florus, I, 41, 9; speech: Sall., Cat., 50, 4; App., BC, II, 1, 5.

15 Cic., ad Q. Fratr., III, 1, 15, cf. 2, 1. In a letter of recommendation, ad Fam., XIII, 64, Cicero describes him as ‘adulescentis nobilis, ingeniosi, abstinentis’.

16 Ad Att., VI, 6, I.

17 For his career, see [Caes.,] Bell. Alex., 25, 3; Suet., Tib., 4, 1f.; Dio, XLII, 40, 6; Veil. Pat., II, 75.

18 For Nero’s part in this episode, see Suet., Tib., 4, 2f.; Vell. Pat., II, 75ff.; Dio, XLVIII, 15, 3f. Suetonius’ story (6, 1) tells how the infant Tiberius almost betrayed the

fugitives with his crying.

19 Suet., Tib., 5, arguing against rival views; ILS, 108; other evidence is collected in PIR2 C 941.

20 For the wedding of Octavian and Livia (dated in Fasti Verul., Inscr. Ital., XIII, ii, 160f.) and Drusus’ birth, see Suet., Div. Claud., 1, 1; Dio, XLVIII, 44; with PIR 2 C

857, and G.V.Sumner, Lat., 1967, 424, n. I (arguing for March or April 38 BC as the month of Drusus’ birth). J.Carcopino, Rev. Hist., 1929, 225ff., suggested a political motive for Nero’s action; for the marriage with Scribonia it is stated by App., BC, V, 53.

21 Tiberius’ age: Suet., Tib., 6, 4. Octavian’s tutorship: Dio, XLVIII, 44, 5.

22 Cf. Tac., Agr., 28, 4ff.

23 Cf. Suet., Gram., 17, 1.

24 Suet., Gram., 16, 2.

25 See Syme, Tac., II, 700ff.; N.P. Miller, AJP, 1968, 1ff., and especially 14ff. In Suet., Tib., 25, 1, he quotes the saying found in Terence, Phorm., 506; Augustus, in 21, 5, adapts a famous phrase of Ennius in compliment to him. The phraseology of

67, 1 (=Tac., Ann., VI, 6, 1), is comic; see above, pp. 201–2. For the diet, Hor., Ep., II, 1, 50ff.

26 Suet., Tib., 56; 70, 3. Tiberius was not alone in enjoying the game; see M.L.Clarke, op. cit., 24.


27 For the Conquestio de morte L. Caesaris and Tiberius’ models in Greek verse and Latin prose, see Suet., Tib., 70. Of his Greek models, the third-century poet Euphorion wrote epyllia and epic poems known to Catullus and Gallus; he

used material from the Trojan cycle and Attic legend, was interested in aetiology

and geography, and was proverbially obscure; Cicero mocks the Alexandrian poets

of Rome by calling them ‘cantores Euphorionis’ ( Tusc., III, 45). Rhianus, also of the third century, was a Homeric scholar, and wrote epigrams and, like Euphorion,

epics on local legends (Thessaly, Achaea, Elis, Messene); they were replete with

mythological, historical, and geographical lore; but his language was simpler.

Parthenius, who worked at Rome in the mid first century BC, wrote elegy and was

himself influenced by Euphorion; he was regarded as comparable with Callimachus

himself (see W.V. Clausen, GRBS, 1964, 187ff., and notices in OCD 2). As patron and dedicatee Tiberius received not only commentaries on his three favourite poets

and the learned and improving Memorabilia of Valerius Maximus, but Apollonides’

commentary on the Silli (Lampoons) of Timon (Diog. Laert., IX, 109), which

suggests that he was interested in that form; Germanicus’ translation of the

Phaenomena of Aratus ( PIR 2 I 221, p.184); and Manilius’ Astronomica. These last dedications clearly suit Tiberius’ preoccupation with astrology and a Stoic outlook; see below, n. 36.

28 Fasti Praen., Inscr. Ital, XIII, ii, 131, cf. 448.

29 Nestor: [Luc.] Macr., 21, cf. Strabo, XIV, p. 675; with Cichorius, RS, 278, n. 2. For Athenaeus and Marcellus, RS, 271ff. Tiberius’ legal and historical expertise: Tac., Ann., III, 64, 4; IV, 38, 3.

30 Tiberius’ precocity: Suet., Tib., 8, shows him conducting his first cases at the age of seventeen or eighteen; his talent: Tac., Ann., XIII, 3, 2; high education: Vell.

Pat., II, 94, 2f., cf. Macr., Sat., II, 5, 2. Sir R.Syme made the point about Augustus’

education in a paper delivered at Balliol College in 1970.

31 The retinue in the East: Hor., Ep., I, 3, 15; 8, 2; II, 2; Porph. ad Hor., Ep., I, 3, 1. It is discussed by Tarver, Tib. the Tyrant, 154ff. The company on Capri: Tac., Ann., IV, 58, 1; Suet., Tib., 56, cf. 70; Plut., de Def. Orac., 17. See Cichorius, RS, 348.

32 The trip to Rhodes, made as a youth: Damascius, Vit. Isid., 64 (p. 94, Zintzen), quoting Plutarch, cf. Quint., III, 1, 17, who puts the tuition during the exile. For Theodore, see Suda s.v.; Suet., Tib., 57; G.M.A. Grube, AJP, 1959, 337ff.

Theodore knew Tiberius as a child and must have taught him in Rome c. 30 BC

(V.Stegemann, RE, VA, 1934, 1847f.). For education as the pretext for Tiberius’

visit of 6 BC, see Dio, LV, 9, 5; 8. Theodore on clarity: Quint., IV, 2, 32. Tiberius was ‘Theodoreus’ and disliked the style of the ‘hot’ and ‘inspired’ Nicetes (Sen.,

Suas., III, 7).

33 Messalla Tiberius’ master: Suet., Tib., 70, 1. His vocabulary: N.P. Miller, art. cit.; Syme, Tac., I, 284; archaism: Suet., Div. Aug., 86, 2, and perhaps Tac., Ann., IV, 19, 3; and see above, n. 25; purism: Dio, LVII, 17, 1ff.; obscurity: Suet., loc. cit.; Tac., Ann., I, 11, 4; 33, 2, and cf. ILS, 6688; wordiness: Tac., Ann., III, 51, 2, and cf. the

‘verbosa et grandis epistola’ from Capri (Juv., X., 71); style improved on pleasant occasions: Tac., Ann., IV, 31, 4; or when he spoke impromptu: Suet., Tib., loc. cit.; the ambiguity deliberate: Tac., Ann., XIII, 3, 5; irony: VI, 2, 5, cf. Syme, Tac., I, 284; 319; 428f. I am inclined to accept the suggestion of Seager, Tib., 32, following Thiel, Tib., 31f., that Tiberius was not quick-witted in debate: hence silence and NOTES 187

slowness; deliberate reticence would also be calculated to allow freedom to other

speakers, and obscurity might be intended for tact.

34 Rhodes: Suet., Tib., 11, 1f.; 13, 1; the philhellene friends of Tiberius are noted by G.W.Bowersock, Augustus and the Greek World, Oxford, 1965, 133f. Olympia:

SIG 3 782 (= EJ2 78); Thespiae: AE, 1960, 307.

35 Sculpture: Suet., Tib., 74; Pliny, NH, XXXIV, 62; Dio, LV, 9, 61. Painting: Suet., Tib., 44, 2. Scientific interests: 11, 2.

36 Fortitude: Sen., Cons, ad Pol., 15, 5 (Nero Drusus: ‘exercitum…ad morem Romani luctus redegit’); Cons, ad Marc., 15, 3 (Drusus and Germanicus Caesar); Tac., Ann., III, 3ff. (Germanicus); Tac., Ann., IV, 12 (Drusus Caesar, with Roman precedents cited in his edict). The theme is treated by Val. Max., V, 10. Many of

his other ‘virtues’ (below, Ch. VI) were Stoic: E.V.Arnold, Roman Stoicism,

Cambridge, 1911, 305, n. 30. Sense of fitness (according to Professor P.A.Brunt, in his inaugural lecture, Oxford, 1971, a mark of the Stoic): Tac., Ann., II, 59, 3; III, 6, 2; 12, 7; 53, 3f.; 54, 9; 64, 4f.; IV, 38, 1; Suet., Tib., 29. Cf. P.Grenade, Essai sur les Origines du Principal, Paris, 1961, 452: ‘L’austerité de son caractère était renforcée par l’influence du Portique.’ For Rhodes as the home of Panaetius and

the school of Posidonius perhaps inherited from him, see F.H.Cramer, Astrology in Roman Law and Politics, Philadelphia, 1954, 61.

37 Tiberius as astrologer and intimate of Thrasyllus: Tac., Ann., VI, 20, 3 (study on Rhodes); Suet., Tib., 14, 4; Dio, LV, 11 (on Rhodes); Suet., Div. Aug., 98, 4 ( c. AD

14); Dio, LVII, 15, 7f. (early in the principate of Tiberius?); Suet., Tib., 62, 3, and Dio, LVIII, 27, 1ff. (death of Thrasyllus in AD 36; his influence at that time);

Cramer, op. cit., 90ff.; A.H.Krappe, AJP, 1927, 359ff.; Cichorius, RS, 390ff.; W.Gundel, RE, VIA, 1937, 581ff.; Syme, Tac., II, 525. Citizenship: CIL, III, 7107.

Note the dedication to Tiberius (see Cramer, op. cit., 96f.) of Manilius’

Astronomica, with its Stoic outlook (I, 111; 476ff.; II, 60ff.). R.M.Ogilvie, The Romans and Their Gods, London, 1969, 54, draws attention to Suet., Tib., 69, where neglect of religion is blamed on Tiberius’ astrological beliefs; Tiberius’

references to religion are conventional (e.g., Tac., Ann., IV, 38; and note also the prime position of religio in Valerius Maximus’ work). We cannot expect perfect consistency but Stoicism may be relevant here (not that the Stoics themselves were

consistent throughout their history: Arnold, op. cit., 217). They acknowledged the existence of gods, including deified human beings, but did not approve of

conventional forms of worship ( op. cit., 223; 233ff.). Tiberius’ philosophical convictions were in conflict with his duty as Pontifex Maximus and with his

concern for Roman tradition (hence alike his preoccupation with ius divinum (see below, Ch. VI, n. 3) and his distaste for foreign novelties), giving rise to such

divergent views as those of W.Warde Fowler, The Religious Experience of the

Roman People, London, 1911, 447, n. 2, and Thiel, Kaiser Tib., 16, n. 2.


II* For Tiberius’ early career the main sources are Suet., Tib., 5–9; Vell. Pat., II, 94f.; Dio, LIIIf.

1 N.P.Miller, AJP, 1968, 5.


2 M.Gallius of the will: Suet., Tib., 6, 3; for M.Gallius Q.f., serving under Caesar in 47: Cic., ad Att., XI, 20, 2; as praetorius under Antony at Mutina: Phil., XIII, 26.

App., BC, III, 95, mentions his brother Quintus’ fate, cf. Suet., Div. Aug., 27, 4.

The will was probably drawn up after the birth of Nero Drusus in 38. It may have

been because of this will that D.Claudius Nero Drusus took the name Nero

Claudius Drusus (Suet., Div. Claud., 1, 1).

3 Nep., Att., 19, 4, cf. Sen., Ep., 21, 4. The betrothal took place in Atticus’ lifetime; he died on 31 March 32 BC (Nep., Att., 22, 3). Agrippa’s gain: Vell. Pat., II, 96, 1.

4 Suet., Tib., 6, 4; for the date of the Lusus, see Dio, LI, 22, 4.

5 Fasti. Praen., Inscr. Ital., XIII, ii, 130f. (= ILS, 8744a), cf. Suet., Tib., 7, 1.

6 Dio, LIII, 26, 1; evidently Tiberius made an impression on the civilian population as well: ILS, 144 (Carthago Nova); 146 (Tarraco, 16–14 BC, with mention of a

pontificate, conferred at an unknown date, perhaps in immediate succession to Ti.

Nero); CIL, II, 1113 (Italica: ‘patron’); 1529 (Ulia: ‘patron’); 476? (Emerita: possibly Claudian).

7 The marriage: Dio, LIII, 27, 5., Marcellus’ prospects: Vell. Pat., II, 93, 1, and other sources cited in PIR 2 C 925.

8 Dio, LIII, 28, 3f. ; Tac., Ann., III, 29, 1f.

9 Suet., Tib., 8, with CQ, 1971, 478ff., and CR, 1974, 186, for chronology and connexions; a different chronology is proposed by G.W. Bowersock, Augustus and

the Greek World, Oxford, 1965, 157ff. For Claudian influence in the East see E.

Rawson, Hist., 1973, 219ff.

10 See E.Badian, Mnem., 1974, 160ff., arguing that Tiberius, holding the prestigious quaestorship attached to the consul (Augustus), would yet carry out the duties

mentioned by Velleius and by Suet., Tib., 8.

11 Dio, LIV, 1, 3f., cf. RG, 5, 2.

12 RG, 34, 1, cf. Vell. Pat., II, 89, 4, and ILS, 8393, Ch. II, 35.

13 Dio, LIII, 12, cf. Tac., Ann., XIII, 4, 3.

14 Dio, LX, 23, 6, seems decisive. For other evidence see K.M.T. Atkinson, Hist., 1960, 453ff.

15 Ethiopia and Arabia: RG, 26, 5; Britain: Dio, LIII, 22, 5; see C.E. Stevens, ‘Britain between the invasions (BC 54-AD 43): a Study in Ancient Diplomacy’, in Aspects

of Archeology in Britain and Beyond: Essays presented to O.G.S.Crawford, ed.

W.F.Grimes, London, 1951, 332ff.

16 See T.R.S.Broughton, TAPA, 1935, 18ff.; Levick, CQ, 1971, 478. For other issues see H.H.Scullard, From the Gracchi to Nero, 3rd ed., London, 1970, 443f.

17 For the trial of Primus the only source is Dio, LIV, 3, 1ff. For the date, see

S.A.Jameson, Hist., 1969, 204ff.

18 For the identity of counsel, consul, and conspirator see D.L.Stockton, Hist., 1965, 32ff.; Jameson, art. cit.; contra, Atkinson, art. cit.; R.A. Bauman, Hist., 1966, 420ff.; M. Swan, HSCP, 1967, 235ff.; E.J. Weinrib, Phoen., 1968, 49ff. First and last are identified by Dio, LIV, 3, 4; for the conspirator’s closeness to Augustus see Dio, LIV, 3, 5, and Vell. Pat., II, 91, 2.

19 Vell. Pat., II, 91, 2 (‘ante erat pessimus’). See also PIR 2 F 117. Fannii had been staunch supporters of senatorial government since the consulship of C.Gracchus’

opponent C. Fannius in 122. For these men, see MRR with Additions and

Corrections, 24. The conspirator’s cognomen belonged to the Servilii; when their last male representative died in 67 BC his cognomen was taken by his nephew NOTES 189

M.Iunius Brutus, the assassin of Caesar. Fannius Caepio should be a connexion of

Brutus or of the Servilii.

20 Suet., Div. Aug., 66, 3.

21 Dio, LIV, 3, 3f., differently interpreted by E.Cary in his Loeb translation. Before he could be prosecuted a consul would have to abdicate his office. Murena did not do

so, cf. Obseq., 70 (130): ‘constat neminem, qui magistratum collegae abstulerat, annum vixisse’; Augustus lived. See Weinrib, art. cit., 32ff. A.H.M.Jones, The Criminal Courts of the Roman Republic and Principate, ed. J.A.Crook, Oxford, 1972, 65, admits that contumacious absence from nominis delatio could lead to conviction, cf. A.J.H.Greenidge, The Legal Procedure of Cicero’s Time, Oxford, 1901, 462f.

22 Caepio: Macr., Sat., I, 11, 21; Murena: Strabo, XIV, p. 670; Vell. Pat., II, 91, 2:

‘quod vi facere voluerant, hire passi sunt’, suggesting that they were killed without trial.

23 Suet., Tib., 8; significantly, Velleius is silent. For distaste for prosecution (even of a Verres), see Cic., Div. in Q.Caec., 1ff., and Levick, CQ, 1971, 175f. A mitigating factor: relations between the Servilii Caepiones and the Livii Drusi had been

destroyed in a celebrated trial of the mid-nineties: see E.Badian, Hist., 1957, 318ff.

(= Studies in Greek and Roman History, Oxford, 1964, 34ff.).

24 Votes for acquittal: Dio, LIV, 3, 6; Athenaeus: Strabo, XIV, p. 670 (for this man, see Cichorius, RS, 271ff.).

25 For these events see PIR2 I 215, p. 162.

26 M.Reinhold, M.Agrippa, Geneva and New York, 1933, 167ff., thinks of

proconsulare imperium over imperial provinces, with Syria as his special province, maius imperium over the senatorial provinces east of the Ionian Sea from 18

onwards, extended to western provinces in 13; but cf. E.W.Gray, ZfPE, VI, 1970, 227ff., who argues that Agrippa began in 23 with overall imperium aequum,

renewed for five years in 18 and made maius in 13. I agree with L.Koenen, ZfPE, V, 1970, 217ff., that the imperium referred to in the papyrus is maius ( µηθεvòς

including Augustus). I take it to refer to the grant of 13 BC. In 23 Agrippa perhaps received imperium aequum in the eastern provinces, with Syria as his special province, in 18 imperium aequum throughout the Empire.

27 So Syme, RR, 338.

28 Tac., Ann., II, 43, 3 (Piso); Dio, LIII, 32, 4 (Sestius). Tacitus and Dio say that the posts were offered by Augustus. That view may be influenced by later imperial

control over the office; or the offer may have taken the form of a challenge.

29 Dio, LIV, 1, 3, cf. RG, 5, 1; Augustus celebrated the end of the conspiracy at the end of October; Jameson, art. cit., 226f.

30 Dio, LIV, 6, 1ff; 10, 1f.

31 Dio, LIV, 10, 5. See A.H.M. Jones, JRS, 1951, 112ff. (= Studies in Roman Government and Law, Oxford, 1960, 1ff.).

32 Vell. Pat., II, 93, 1; Dio, LIII, 30, 4f.; 33, 4.

33 Suet., Tib., 8. For the relationship of these two functions, the ‘duplex cura’, see Levick, art. cit., 280f.; but note Badian, art. cit., 164ff.

34 Dio, LIV, 6, 5; 12, 5, cf. RG, 6, 2.

35 The ‘vocabulum’: Tac., Ann., III, 56, 2. Agrippa: see above, n. 26; Dio, LIV, 28, 1, cf. CREBM, I, 21ff., nos. 103, 107, 110ff., 121ff. ( EJ 2 70): note Gray’s reservation, 190 NOTES

art. cit., 238 (not coextensive with Augustus’); he emphasizes Josephus’ phrase διáδoχoς κaίσaρι(AJ, XV, 350).

36 On Parthia, see J.G.C.Anderson, CAH, X, 239ff.; N.C.Debevoise, A Political History of Parthia, Chicago, 1938; K.H.Ziegler, Die Beziehungen zwischen Rom und dem Partherreich, Wiesbaden, 1964 (with bibliography); B.Levick, Roman Colonies in Southern Asia Minor, Oxford, 1967, 165ff.

37 Suet., Tib., 9, 1 (‘exercitus’; Suetonius thinks that Tiberius went to Syria, but he also believes that he received the signa); 14, 3; Hor., Ep., I, 3, 3; Vell. Pat., II, 4, 4

(‘exercitus’, ‘legiones’); Dio, LIV, 9, 5. For these and other sources for the

mission, see PIR 2 C 941, p. 220. M.Parker, The Roman Legions, Oxford, 1928, 91, thinks of’The Illyrian and Macedonian legions with possible detachments from

Syria’; Kornemann, Tib., 18, of ‘six légions’.

38 RG, 29, 2; Veil. Pat., II, 91, 1; Suet., Div. Aug., 21, 3; Justin, XLII, 5, 11f.; Dio, LIV, 8, 1ff. Suetonius’ view ( Tib., 9, 1) that Tiberius received the signa is followed, e.g., by Kornemann, Tib., 18, by Ziegler, op. cit., 47, and by Polacco, Il Volto di Tiberio, 159ff., who identifies as Tiberius the figure receiving the standard in the centre of the corselet of the Prima Porta statue of Augustus; J.M.C.Toynbee, JRS, 1956, 161, concurs. Seager, Tib., 18, is undecided. But the silence of Velleius is decisive; and why did Augustus go all the way to Syria only to concede the moment

of glory to Tiberius? For the date, see Ovid, Fasti, V, 595ff.; Fer. Cum., ILS, 108; Fasti Maff., Inscr. Ital, XIII, ii, 76; Philocalus, ibid., 247 ( EJ 2 p. 48), with Degrassi, ibid., 456f.

39 Jos., AJ, XV, 105, cf. RG, 27, 2; Tac., Ann., II, 3, 4; Dio, LIV, 9, 4f.; Vell. Pat., II, 94, 4; 122, 1. On the claim, P.A.Brunt, JRS, 1963, 174f.

40 LIV, 9, 5.

41 See above, n. 38; for coins: Sutherland, CRIP, 37f.; 44ff.; CREBM, I, 3f., nos.

10ff., 73f., 427ff. ( EJ 2 26ff.). Literature: Propertius, IV, 6, 79ff.; Hor., Odes, IV, 15; Ep., I, 12, 27f.; Ovid, Fasti, V, 567ff.

42 Dio, LIV, 10, 3f., cf. CREBM, I, 1f., nos. 2ff., cf. 63f., nos. 358ff. ( EJ 2 29).

43 Dio, LIV, 9, 5; 10, 4 (19 BC), cf. Hor., Ep., I , 12, 26f.; Diodorus of Sardis, AP, IX, 219; and Crinagoras, AP, XVI, 61, with Cichorius, RS, 298ff., 313f., interpreting Diodorus’ σo ίη in terras of diplomacy. Is there a reference to the sojourn on

Rhodes ( cf. W.R.Paton’s translation ‘in the schools’)? In Velleius’ view (II, 122, 1) he deserved an ovation.

44 Suet., Tib., 14, 3; Dio, LIV, 9, 6. See P.Collart, Philippes, Ville de Macédoine, Paris, 1935, 223ff., and F. Vittinghoff, Römische Kolonisation und

Bürgerrechtspolitik unter Caesar und Augustus, Mainz, 1951, 23 and 128f., for the population of Philippi. Other supernatural signs: Suet., Tib., 14, 2ff. Possibly the story comes from Tiberius’ autobiography.

45 Vell. Pat., II, 94, 4: ‘ad visendas ordinandasque, quae sub Oriente sunt, provincias, praecipuis omnium virtutum experimentis…editis’; 122, 1: ‘ordinatis rebus

Orientis’. Velleius is anticipating Tiberius’ later position in the East.

46 Dio, LIV, 10, 4. For the success of Tiberius’ marriage, see Suet., Tib., 7, 2.

47 Bowersock’s suggestion, op. cit., 160f., that the defence of the Thessalians belongs to this period has little to be said for it. The brief belongs to 26–25 and was owed to hereditary ties with the area (Professor E.Badian has kindly drawn my attention to

the activities of Ap. Nero there in the early second century BC: see CR, 1974, 186, and ‘Titus Quinctius Flamininus: Philhellenism and Realpolitik’, Cincinnati, 1970, NOTES 191

44f.). For a governorship in Gaul, 19–18, see Syme, JRS, 1933, 15ff., following E.Ritterling, BJ, 1906, 174f.; RE, XII, 1925, 1223. It would be the occasion for his reconstitution of legio I (Tac., Ann., I, 42, 3). It is passed over in E.Ritterling’s Fasti des röm. Deutschland unter dem Prinzipat, ed. E.Groag, Wien, 1932.

48 For sources and date, see PIR2 L 311; for the slightness of the reverse, see Syme, JRS, 1933, 17f.; other German incursions: Dio, LIV, II, 2(19 BC); 32, 1 (12BC).

49 Dio, LIV, 19, 6. For Britain, see Stevens, art. cit., 337f. Tiberius’ legateship: Ritterling, Fasti, 6f. He did not leave Rome until after 29 June, on which he and Nero Drusus gave games to celebrate the dedication of the temple of Quirinus: Dio,

LIV, 19, 5; Fasti Ven., Inscr. Ital., XIII, ii, 59.

50 Suet., Tib., 12, 2; Tac., Ann., III, 48, 3, cf. Vell. Pat., II, 102, 1; see Syme, RR, 429.

51 For these campaigns, see Syme, CAH, X, 347ff.; K.Christ, Hist., 1957, 416ff.; C.M.Wells, The German Policy of Augustus, Oxford, 1972, 59ff., rightly

emphasizing the importance of the operations of Nerva (who yet remained on good

terms with his successor: Vell. Pat., II, 116, 4f.). See also Syme, RR, 329; 390.

Syme, also in JRS, 1933, 23, n. 62, remarks on the difficulty of defining the commands of generals operating in northern Italy; Nerva had been proconsul of

Illyricum: ILS, 899. The view of A.von Premerstein, Jahresheft, I, 1898, Beiblatt, 158ff., still held by A.Mócsy, Pannonia and Upper Moesia, London, 1974, 24, that Tiberius operated in Thrace late in 15, has little to be said for it: Syme, art. cit., 117f., with addendum in Danubian Papers, Bucharest, 1971, 66.

52 Syme, CAH, X, 351ff. For different views, see W.A.Old-father and H.V.Canter, The Defeat of Varus and the German frontier policy of Augustus, Urbana, 1915; P.A.Brunt, JRS, 1963, 175ff.; Wells, op. cit.

53 Sources: PIR 2 C 857, p. 196.

54 Dio, LIV, 33, 1 and 5; 34, 1.

55 Cf. Tac., Ann., I, 3, 1: ‘Tiberium Neronem et Claudium Drusum priuignos imperatoriis nominibus auxit, integra etiam tum domo sua.’

56 For sources, see PIR2 I 316, p. 166, and 222, p. 186.

57 The theory was first propounded by Kornemann, Doppelprinzipat und

Reichsteilung, but in a rigid and schematic form; C.H.V.Sutherland used it discreetly in CRIP; it was expounded to me many years ago by Mr C.E.Stevens, and restated in Lat., 1966, 229ff.; 1972, 782ff.

58 For Agrippa’s date of birth see M.Reinhold, op. cit., 4.

59 For parallelism between the early careers of Tiberius and Nero Drusus, see Levick, Lat., 1966, 231: it can be seen in quaestorship, ornamenta praetoria (Dio, LIV, 10, 4; 22, 3), praetorship, and consulship. Tiberius was pontifex, perhaps in direct

succession to his father, certainly by 13; Nero Drusus was augur ( ILS, 146f.).

60 See P.Colon, inv. no. 4701, published by Koenen, art. cit.

61 Dio, LIV, 27, 1, cf. Suet., Div. Aug., 56, 2, with Lat., 1972, 786, n. 3.

62 For Drusus’ birth date, see Fer. Cum., ILS, 108. For the year, see Mommsen, Ges.

Schrift., IV, 262; Rogers, Studies, 92; Levick, art. cit., 236ff.; G.V.Sumner, Lat., 1967, 427ff., argues for 14, followed by Seager, Tib., 25, n. 2.



III* The main sources are Suet., Tib., 9–14; Vell. Pat., II, 94–103; Dio, LIV, 28-LV, 13.

Modern works: Syme, RR, 349ff.; E.Groag, WS, 1918, 150ff.; 1919, 74ff.; M.L.

Paladini, NRS, 1957, 1ff.; P.Sattler, ‘Julia und Tiberius’; E.Meise,

Untersuchungen, 3ff. (fully documented); Levick, Lat., 1972, 779ff.

1 For sources and date, see M.Reinhold, Agrippa, 125f.

2 Source s i n PIR 2 C 941, p. 221; C.M.Wells, The German Policy of Augustus, 155, with Tiberius ‘completing the conquest of the Sava Valley and Bosnia begun by M.

Vinicius (14) and Agrippa (13)’.

3 Geryon: Suet., Tib., 14, 3, c f. Plut., Vit. Caes., 47.

4 For the law, see P.Corbett, The Roman Law of Marriage, Oxford, 1931, 250f.

Tiberius’ divorce and remarriage: Suet., Tib., 7, 2f.; Div. Aug., 63, 2; Vell. Pat., II, 96, 1; Tac., Ann., I, 12, 6; 53, 2; IV, 40, 9; Dio, LIV, 31, 2; 35, 4.

5 Dio, LIV, 31, 1. The ‘concept of the guardian or regent’ is still used by Seager, Tib., 22.

6 Military honours: for the sources, see PIR2 C 857, p. 197, and 941, p. 221; Tiberius received ornamenta triumphalia in 12 BC and an ovation in 10; Drusus the same honours in 11 and 9: see a paper called ‘Military Titles and Honours of some junior Members of Augustus’ Family’, to be offered to C Q, cf. A.E.Gordon, Quintus Veranius, consul A.D. 49, Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1952, 312; Seager, Tib., 26f., believes that Tiberius was awarded two ovations; but this is impossible: see Vell.

Pat., II, 122; Mommsen, Res Gestae Divi Aug., 2, 13ff. The will: Suet., Div.

Claud., 1, 5. Drusus a prop and future princeps: Sen., ad Marc., 4, 2. The funerals: Agrippa: Dio, LIV, 28, 3ff.; Drusus: LV, 2, 2f.; Epit. Liv., CXLII; Cons. Liv., 67ff.; 161ff; 217ff.; Tac., Ann., III, 5; Suet., Div. Claud., 1, 3; Augustus: Suet., Div. Aug., 100, 2ff.; Dio, LVI, 31ff. The model was Sulla’s: Appian, BC, I, 492ff., Plut., Sulla, 38.

7 Tac., Ann., IV, 39, 5, and 40, 8, with Suet., Div. Aug., 63, 2, for the date.

8 Suet., Tib., 60, 1 (perhaps ultimately from the memoirs of the younger Agrippina); Dio, LIV, 36, 2ff.

9 See Wells, op. cit., 156, 267.

10 The dash into Germany: Val. Max., V, 5, 3; Pliny, NH, VII, z84; the slow march: Suet., Tib., 7, 3; Cons. Liv., 89ff.; 171ff. Neither this nor the later journey with the body of Augustus is mentioned by Velleius; perhaps because of the contrast

between piety towards deceased members of the house and severity towards the

living: Tac., Ann., IV, 52, 4.

11 Suet., Div. Claud., 1, 4f., rejects the story, cf. Tac., Ann., II, 82, 3. Personality of Drusus: see PIR 2 C 857, p. 198.

12 Dio, LIV, 15, 1ff.

13 Dio, LV, 6, 1.

14 Tiberius’ theory: Suet., Tib., 29: ‘dixi et nunc et saepe alias, p.c., bonum et salutarem principem, quem vos tanta et tarn libera potestate instruxistis, senatui

servire debere et universis civibus saepe et plerumque etiam singulis; neque id

dixisse me paenitet, et bonos et aequos et faventes vos habui dominos et adhuc

habeo’. Cf. Tac., Ann., XIII, 4 (Nero’s similar programme, a comparison which I owe to Mr C.E.Stevens). Practice is dealt with above, Chs. VII and VIII.

15 Suet., Div. Aug., 94, 8, cf. Tac., Ann., I, 12, 1: ‘quaecumque pars sibi mandaretur, eius tutelam susceptaturum’, and Vell. Pat., II, 124, 2: ‘cum quidquid tuendum non


suscepisset, periturum videret’. For tutela, see J.Béranger, Recherches sur l’Aspect idéologique du Principat, Basel, 1953, 257ff., 266ff.

16 Suet., Div. Claud., 1, 4; Tac., Ann., I, 33, 3; II, 82, 3.

17 Dio, LIV, 35, 2; Cic., de Lege Agr., I, 23; and other passages cited by V.Fadinger, Die Begründung des Prinzipats, Berlin, 1969, 323, n. 2.

18 Dio, LV, 3; 4, 3.

19 For Crassus, see PIR 2 L 186, and Syme, RR, 308; Drusus: Suet., Div. Claud., 1, 4.

20 Agrippa’s refusals: Dio, XLVIII, 49, 3f. (37 BC); LIV, 11, 6 (19); 24, 7 (14).

Balbus: Inscr. Ital., XIII, i, 633ff. For the honours of Tiberius and Drusus, see above, n. 6. Tiberius as legate: RG, 31, 1. For the pretext, and its inadequacy, see Gordon, op. cit., 308f.; Sattler, ‘Julia’, 497. Piso: Dio, LIV, 34, 7.

21 Sources for Tiberius’ campaigns in Germany, 8–7 BC: PIR 2 C 941, p. 221f. See Wells, op. cit., 156ff.

22 Drusus’ funeral like a triumph: Sen., ad Marc., 3, 2. For the date of his death, see Levick, art. cit. (n. III*), 783, n. 5.

23 Vell. Pat., II, 99, 1: ‘tribuniciae potestatis consortione aequatus Augusto’.

24 Tribunician power: Suet., Tib., 9, 3; Vell. Pat., II, 99, 1; Tac., Ann., III, 56, 3.

Imperium maius: Suet., Tib., 11, 3 (lictors, vocatio, and tribunal on Rhodes); Dio, LV, 9, 4 (Armenia), cf. 9, 6 (Paros). See Levick, art. cit., 781f.

25 For the reasons offered see Satder, ‘Julia’, 492, n. 15; 494, n. 19. For the work of the Princeps, see F.G.B. Millar, JRS, 1967, 9ff.

26 For the date of the assumption of Augustus’ tribunician power, on or soon after 26

June 23, see PIR 2 I 215, p. 162; it was the date of Tiberius’ adoption in AD 4: Fasti Amit., Inscr. Ital, XIII, ii, 187, cf. Vell. Pat., II, 103, 3 (27 June), and perhaps of his second grant of tribunician power.

27 Dio, LV, 8, 1f.

28 For the significance of the temple of Concord, see Levick, art. cit., 803ff.

29 Original success of the marriage: Suet., Tib., 7, 3; Julia and Tiberius’ celebrations: Dio, LV, 2, 4; 8, 2.

30 For Julia, see Meise, Untersuchungen, 19ff.; Levick, art. cit., 795ff.; her father’s daughter: Macrob., Sat., II, 5, 8.

31 Tiberius on women in politics: Tac., Ann., I, 14, 3, and below, Ch. X, n. 32; not Julia’s equal: 53, 2.

32 For the events of 6 BC, see Dio, LV, 9, and Suet., Tib., 10f., with Levick, art. cit., 786ff.

33 Levick, art. cit., 788f., and works cited there.

34 CREBM, I, 85f., no. 498f.; see Sutherland, CRIP, 68f.

35 See, e.g., Tac., Ann., IV, 37f.: ‘validus alioqui spernendis honoribus…quae saxo struunter…pro sepulchris spernuntur’; Vell. Pat., II, 124, 2: ‘…ut potius aequalem

civem quam eminentem liceret agere principem’.

36 For honours to C.Caesar, and three years later to L.Caesar, see PIR 2 I 216, p. 166f. , and 222, p. 186.

37 Tac., Ann., I, 53, 5.

38 Suet., Tib., 10, 2: ‘matri suppliciter precanti’.

39 For this episode (Dio, LV, 9, 6), see Levick, art. cit., 792f., 805.

40 See PIR 2 I 216, p. 167; and Akveld, Germanicus, 77f., who distinguishes various grades of imperium maius.

Tiberius the politician

Tiberius the politician

Tiberius the politician


41 A.Gell., NA, XV, 7, 3:



meam’. Note number and tense.

42 Sources: PIR 2 I 222, p. 186f.

43 Full documentation on these men in Meise, Untersuchungen, 21ff.

44 Vell. Pat., II, 100, 4, with Levick, art. cit., 796.

45 The tribune: Dio, LV, 10, 15; Gracchus: Tac., Ann., I, 53, 6; not identical: E.Groag, RE, IIA, 1923, 1372.

46 Vell. Pat., II, 100, 5; for connexions between Quinctii and Sempronii, see Levick, art. cit., 798, n. 2.

47 Vell. Pat., loc. cit. For Ap. Claudius’ descent, see T.P.Wiseman, HSCP, 1968, 207ff.; he was connected with the Quinctii (Levick, loc. cit.) and was first cousin once removed to Octavian’s first bride Claudia, who was returned to her mother

Fulvia a virgin (Dio, XLVIII, 5, 3). For Scipio’s descent, see Groag, PIR2 C 1345.

48 Scribonia in exile: Vell. Pat., II, 100, 5; Dio, LV, 10, 15. Her character: Sen., Ep., 70, 10: ‘gravis femina’; Suet., Div. Aug., 62, 2.

49 See Levick, art. cit., 798, n. 7.

50 Marsyas: Sen., de Ben., VI, 32, 1; Pliny, NH, XXI, 9, with Sattler, ‘Julia’, 520f., and Levick, art. cit., 799ff. Tribunician agitation: Dio, LV, 9, 10; 10, 1. Meise, Untersuchungen, 8, n. 39, is sceptical.

51 Tac., Ann., III, 48. L.Volusius Saturninus was suffect, probably Tiberius’ first cousin; see above, Ch. I, n. 12.

52 PIR 2 A 771; Vell. Pat., II, 43, 4, praises him, but the Veteres were eminent at the time of writing.

53 PIR 2 C 287. His loyalty: Tac., Ann., III, 16, 5.

54 Censorinus: RE, XIV, 1930, 1551; Vell. Pat., II, 102, 1; Corvinus: RE, VIIA, 1955, 159; Vell. Pat., II, 112, 1; he was the son of Tiberius’ oratorical model (Suet., Tib., 70, 1).

55 PIR 2 A 1229.

56 Macrob., Sat., II, 6, 3. Livia’s favour: Suet., Galba, 5, 2.

57 RE, IA, 1920, 2034. Livia’s favour and the gossip: Suet., Otho, 1, 3. For his mastership of the mint, see Levick, art. cit., 806.

58 Dio, LV, 10, 10.

59 RE, XVIII, 1942, 1671.

60 Ahenobarbus: Vell. Pat., II, 104, 2; Suet., Nero, 4; Syme, JRS, 1934, 128; RR, 400; Wells, op. cit., 158f.; Saturninus: Vell. Pat., II, 105, 1f.; RE, IIA, 1923, 1511f.; Syme, RR, 401, n. 1; 435, n. 4.

61 See Syme, RR, 401, n. 3. The marriage connexion: above, Ch. II, n. 60.

62 For the date of his legateship of Galatia, see Levick, Roman Colonies in Southern Asia Minor, 203ff.; a trimmer: Syme, RR, 425; his marriages: Tac., Ann., III, 22, 1ff., with Wiseman, art. cit., 220.

63 Gallus: D.Magie, Roman Rule in Asia Minor, Princeton, 1950, II, 1342, n. 38.

Turranius: RE, VIIA, 1948, 1441; he was superseded in Egypt by 2–1 (BGU, IV, 1200); praefectura annonae: Tac., Ann., I, 7, 3; Syme, RR, 437.

64 The elder Lucilius: Plut., Vit. Brut., 50; Vit. Ant., 69; Appian, BC, IV, 129. The younger: Tac., Ann, IV, 15, 3, with Syme, RR, 363, n. 1; 434f. He was suffect consul in 7.

65 Suet., Tib., 42, 1, cf. 59, 1; Dio, LVIII, fr. 3; Pliny, NH, XIV, 16; 64; 145.

66 Suet., Tib., 12, 2, cf. Vell. Pat., II, 99, 4.


67 Suet., Tib., 11, 4. For the legal issues see Levick, art. cit., 810, n. 2. For the details of Tiberius’ life on Rhodes, see Suet., Tib., 11ff.

68 See Levick, art. cit., 811, n. 2.

69 Visit to Gaius: Suet., Tib., 12, 3 (Samos); Dio, LV, 10, 19 (Chios), cf. Vell. Pat., II, 101, 1 (a very different version).

70 Syme, RR, 428, n. 4, recalls the activities of Ti. Nero; for Agrippa, see CIL, XII, 3153f.; AE, 1920, 43 (= EJ 2 75: Maison Carrée, cf. CIL, XII, 3156). Gaius as patron gives a xystus: 3155.

71 Tac., Ann., III, 48, 3; Suet., Tib., 13, 2; Vell. Pat., II, 102, 1, cf. 97, 1; Pliny, NH, IX, 118.

72 Suet., Tib., 15, 1; young Drusus was probably being educated by Antonia: Jos., AJ, XVIII, 14, 3. For the ‘Pompeiana domus’ in Antony’s hands, in 44 and in 39, see Vell.

Pat., II, 77, 1; App., BC, II, 525. Maecenas left his property to Augustus to dispose of as he wished (Dio, LV, 7, 5).

73 See PIR 2 I 222, p. 187, for the date.

74 Fortitude of Augustus: Suet., Div. Aug., 65, 2. Death of Gaius: see PIR 2 I 216, p.



IV* The main sources: Suet., Tib., 15–22; Dio, LV, 10a, 6–LVI, 30, 5; Vell. Pat., II, 102–23; Tac., Ann., I, 3–7. The period has been treated by Syme, RR, 419ff.; J.Schwartz, Rev. Phil., 1945, 21ff. (I do not accept the chronological framework set up in that paper); A.E.Pappano, CP, 1941, 30ff.; F.Norwood, CP, 1963, 150ff.; E.Meise, Untersuchungen, 35ff.; A. Ferrill, Hist., 1971, 718ff. (over-simplified); B.Levick, Lat., 1976. For Tiberius’ legal position, see H.Dieckmann, Klio, 1918, 339ff; L.Dupraz, MH, 1963, 172ff; M.L.Paladini, Hommages M.Renard, II, 573ff.

1 Tac., Ann., IV, 1, 3, cf. H.Bird, Lat., XXVIII, 1969, 61, n. 3; Vell. Pat., II, 101, 2f., with G.V.Sumner, HSCP, LXXIV, 1968, 265ff.

2 For L.Paullus, see PIR 2 A 391.

3 Dio, LV, 13, 1; Suet., Div. Aug., 65, 3. For speculation on the reason for the change, see Meise, Untersuchungen, 28f.

4 Agrippa Postumus was born after his father’s death in March of 12; Agrippa was

campaigning in the Balkans during the autumn of 13. I do not accept the arguments

of V. Gardthausen, Aug. und seine Zeit, II, 844, n. 1. Gaius’ death: Fasti Gabin., Inscr. Ital, XIII, i, 257f.; the news: ILS, 140.

5 Fasti Cupr., Inscr. Ital, XIII, i, 245. His mind affected: Dio, LV, 10a, 8; Vell. Pat., II, 102, 2f.

6 See Levick, Lat., 1966, 227ff.; for a different interpretation, Instinsky, Herm., 1966, 332ff. Tiberius’ German command: Vell. Pat., II, 104, 2; Suet., Tib., 16, 1:

‘delegatus pacandae Germaniae status, Parthorum legati mandatis Augusto Romae

redditis eum quoque adire in provincia iussi’, suggesting imperium maius over all the provinces, with Gaul and the German frontier as his special province, cf. Dio, LV, 13, 2. The tribunician power: locc. citt., and Tac., Ann., I, 3, 3. For the ten-year grant, see Mommsen, Res Gestae Divi Aug. 2 , 31 (Dio correct against Suetonius).

7 See Levick, art. cit. The objections raised by Sumner, Lot., 1967, 413ff., will be met below. Note the numismatic evidence cited by M.Grant, From Imperium to


Auctoritas, Cambridge, 1946, 268f. For the inferences drawn from Suetonius’

statement ( Tib., 15, 2) that Tiberius was ‘forced’ to adopt Germanicus before his own adoption ( cf. Tac., Ann., I, 3, 5), see Seager, Tib., 37f. Tiberius was legally debarred from adopting anyone after his own adoption: Levick, CR, 1972, 309ff.

The view of Timpe, Kontinuität, 29, and Seager, Tib., 37, that the adoption of Germanicus was intended to give additional security to Tiberius is not supported by Tac., Ann., 1, 3, 5, which they cite.

8 Germanicus’ marriage: Mommsen, Ges. Schrift., IV, 272. Claudius’ betrothal: Suet., Div. Claud., 26, 1.

9 Favour felt to Germanicus; his swearing in of provincials and troops: Tac., Ann., I, 34ff.; Suet., Cal., 1ff. Political views: 33, 3; relations with Drusus: II, 43, 6, cf.

Dio, LVII, 18, 7; replaces Agrippa Postumus in the Balkans: Dio, LV, 32, 1.

10 Similarly, Meise, Untersuchungen, 32, 44. See above, p. 153f.

11 Dio, LV, 13, 3, where the purge is connected with the arrangements made in AD 4.

See Jones, Studies, 21 ff.

12 For recent discussion of the lex Valeria Cornelia and of the Tabula Hebana, to which we owe our knowledge of it, see R.Frei-Stolba, Untersuchungen zu den

Wahlen in der röm. Kaiserzeit, 120ff.; E.S.Staveley, Greek and Roman Voting and Elections, London, 1972, 218ff.; Levick, art. cit. (n. IV*).

13 Tac., Ann., I, 15, 1; Vell. Pat., II, 124, 3, interpreted by Jones, JRS, 1955, 18f.= Studies, 46f.

14 For the Sentii Saturnini, see Vell. Pat., II, 92, 1ff.; 105, 1f. For the Aelii Tuberones, cf. the consul of II B C and Seius Tubero, a close friend of Tiberius, Tac., Ann., IV, 29, 1.

15 For this family, see Syme, RR, 424f., and E.J.Weinrib, HSCP, 1968, 247ff.

Medullina: Suet., Div. Claud., 26, 1.

16 See Syme, RR, 424, 434. Dolabella: Vell. Pat., II, 125, 5.

17 For L.Volusius Saturninus, P. Quinctilius Varus, the Nonii, and Piso, see Syme, RR, 424, with connexions in n. 2. The legateship of Volusius in Syria: BMC Galatia, etc., 159, no. 60f.; of Nonius under Varus in Germany: Vell. Pat., II, 120, 3. For

Piso, see PIR2 C 289, p. 64f., with Suet., Tib., 42, 1, for the merry-making.

18 For the old collaboration, see F. Münzer, Röm. Adelsparteien, 41, cf. Syme, RR, 422, n. 3; eastern posts: 435. Vell. Pat., II, 112, 4, is critical, cf. E.Koestermann, Herm., 1953, 377, n. 2. Claudius’ marriage: Suet., Div. Claud., 26, 2.

19 Syme, RR, 424; 437; for Africa, see E.Birley.JRS, 1962, 221. Cossus eventually

went on to the prefecture of the city; for Tiberius’ trust, see Sen., Ep., 83, 15, and cf. Vell. Pat., II, 116, 2, and Dio, LVII, 24, 8.

20 Vell. Pat., II, 116, 3; he became governor of Syria and finally succeeded L.Piso as praefectus urbi: PIR2 A 200.

21 Jos., AJ, XVIII, 1ff.

22 Syme, RR, 363, n. 1. Apronius and Postumus in Illyricum: Vell. Pat., II, 116, 2.

Apronius’ connexions: Tac., Ann., IV, 22, 1ff.; VI, 30, 3. Origin of Postumus: Syme, RR, 362, n. 7. Governor of Asia in 13: BCH, 1884, 467; Ath. Mitt., 1900, 207.

23 See Vell. Pat., II, 16, 2, for his ancestry. Syme, RR, 434, includes him in the list of Tiberius’ protégés; attack on Libo: Tac., Ann., II, 32, 4.

24 See Syme, RR, 362, 434; Moesia: Tac., Ann., I, 80, 1; VI, 39, 3 (death in 35 after twenty-four years as governor).


25 Blaesus in Pannonia: Tac., Ann., I, 16, 2; his origin: Syme, RR, 363, n. 1; 434. For the connexions of Sejanus, see Sumner, Phoen., 1965, 134ff.; Hennig, Seianus, 5ff.; stemma below. Prefecture of the Guard: Tac., Ann., I, 7, 3; 24, 3.

26 Tac., Ann., III, 48, 3.

27 Cassius son of the Liberator? See PIR2 C 502. Cinna: Sen., ed Clem., I, 9; Dio, LV, 14ff. (under AD 4); an adherent of Tiberius: Syme, RR, 425.

28 Syme, RR, 512 (the orator); 423, n. 3 (his family). M.Valerius Messalla

Messallinus, cos. 3 BC, was legate in Illyricum in AD 6, winning triumphal ornaments (Vell. Pat., II, 112, 1f., with high praise), cf. Tac., Ann., I, 8, 5; III, 18, 3. M.Aurelius Cotta Maximus Messallinus, cos. AD 20: II, 32, 2; III, 17, 8; V, 3, 4; VI, 5: ‘Tiberiolus meus’. He sent the exiled Ovid the pleasing gift of silver reliefs of Augustus, Tiberius, and Livia ( ex Ponto, II, 8, 1ff.).

29 Cornelia: PIR 2 C 1475. Julia reached marriageable age in about 7–6 BC: Mommsen, Ges. Schrift., VIII, 192. In PIR 2 I 635, her marriage is dated c. 4 BC.

Scipio the adulterer, his father, and grandfather: PIR 2 C 1435; 1438; 1437; with 1395.

30 C.Silanus: Tac., Ann., III, 24, 1ff. Manius’ sister: III, 22f.; Suet., Tib., 49, 1; Syme, JRS, 1955, 22ff. Claudius’ engagement: Suet., Div. Claud., 26, 1. M.Torquatus: Pliny, NH, VII, 58; CIL, VI, 27034; X, 8041, 21; Mommsen, op. cit., 197.

31 Tertulla (or Tertia): PIR 2 I 865; Tac., Ann., III, 76, 2. The Triumvir’s wife: PIR 2

850. Connexions of the consul of 25 BC: IG, VII, 1851 f.; BCH, 1926, 440, no. 76.

For D. Silanus’ mother, see T.P.Wiseman, HSCP, 1970, 219ff.

32 See Syme, art. cit. Praise from Vell. Pat.: II, 114, 5; 125, 5.

33 The influence of M.Silanus: Tac., Ann., III, 21, 5. Creticus Silanus: PIR 2 C 64; Syme, JRS, 1966, 57.

34 Agrippa takes the toga virilis: Dio, LV, 22, 4. The request of AD 20: Tac., Ann., III, 29, 1f.

35 For the military situation in AD 4 and Tiberius’ campaigns, see Wells, The German Policy of Augustus, 159ff. Vell. Pat., II, 104, 2, and 105, 1, has Tiberius departing for Germany ‘protinus’; the doubts of Schwartz, art. cit. (n. IV*), 48 are groundless. For his return, see Vell. Pat., II, 105, 3 (December AD 4: ‘pietas’);

107, 3 (AD 5: ‘eadem…festinatione’); Dio, LV, 27, 5 (under AD 6). He was

probably unable to return at the end of 6 and 7: see Levick, art. cit. (n. IV*), n.


36 Natural disasters in 5: Dio, LV, 22, 3; in 6:26, 1ff. for the cumulative effects, 27, 1ff, cf. Pliny, NH, VII, 129. Other sources and chronology are discussed by Schwartz, art. cit. (n. IV*), 50ff. Demands for discharge and bounty: Dio, LV, 23, 1; 24, 9–25, 6. Maroboduus: J.Dobiáš, Klio, 1960, 155ff. Tiberius received his third salutation as imperator in AD 6 (Dio, LV, 28, 6f., on conclusion of a truce with the Germans, cf. ILS, 107= EJ 2 , 61); the fourth presumably belongs to his victory over the Pannonians in 8. Sources for the rebel lion: PIR 2 C 941, p. 223. Tiberius probably was assigned Illyricum as his special province in addition to or instead of Gaul and Germany; the phrase used by Vell. Pat., II, 111, 1 (‘respublica ab Augusto ducem

in bellum poposcit Tiberium’), recalls previous occasions when public agitation was intended to lead to the appointment of a general: Cic., de imp. Cn. Pomp., 44; RG, 25, 2. Seriousness of the revolt: Vell. Pat., II, no, 6 (ten days’ march from Rome, cf. Dio, LV, 30, 1); Suet., Tib., 16, 1. Sources for the course of the rebellion: PIR 2 C

941, p. 223, with Syme, CAH, X, 369ff; E.Koestermann, Herm., 1953, 345ff.; 198 NOTES

Wells, op. cit., 237f.; Seager, Tib., 38ff. Tiberius’ conduct under criticism: Dio, LV, 31, 1, where Augustus’ discontent is inferred (by sources hostile to Tiberius?) from the sending of reinforcements, cf. Suet., Tib., 21, 5, for later praise of his handling of affairs. But anxiety is shown by the excessive numbers of legions arriving in the area in 7: Vell. Pat., II, 113, 1f. Tiberius is ‘optimus eorum quae agebat iudex et utilia speciosis praeferens quodque semper eum facientem vidi in omnibus bellis,

quae probanda essent, non quae utique probarentur sequens’.

37 Vell. Pat., II, 112, 7; so interpreted by F.W.Shipley in his Loeb translation; contra, E.Hohl, Herm., 1935, 360, n. 1; Pappano, art. cit. (n. IV*), 36, n. 41; A.Degrassi, Inscr. Ital., XIII, i, 214. Syme, CAH, X, 372, dates the battle.

38 Fasti. Ost., Inscr. Ital, XIII, i, 183: ‘Agrippa Caesar [abdicatus est?]’, Degrassi.

Meise, Untersuchungen, 29f., dates the relegation to late 5 or early 6 (two years after the adoption). There is no reason to believe that Agrippa Postumus is the

commander referred to in AE, 1964, 107 (so J.Reynolds, JRS, 1966, 119).

39 Suet., Div. Aug., 65, 1 and 4; Dio, LV, 32, 2.

40 Vell. Pat., II, in, 3f.

41 Dio, LV, 31, 1; substitute for Agrippa: 32, 1. For Germanicus’ achievements in the war, see PIR 2 I 221, p. 180. Sumner, Lat., 1967, 426, argues for 6 as the year of Germanicus’ quaestorship; but cf. Levick, art. cit., (n. IV*).

42 See Levick, Hist., 1972, 673ff. In that paper I regrettably overlooked J.Crook, CQ, 1954, 153f., who made many of the same points. S.A.Jameson, Hist., 1975, 287ff., argues for a different interpretation.

43 See Hohl, art. cit., 350, n. 3; Pappano, art. cit. (n. IV*), 33, n. 21; Norwood, art.

cit. (n. IV*), 162, n. 18. I described him as ‘not a promising youth’ ( Lat., 1966, 228, n. 2), Seager as ‘a young man of low intelligence and uncouth disposition’ ( Tib., 46); it would be dangerous to go beyond that. Treating political opponents as if

they were insane is a technique still in use.

44 Dio, LV, 27, 1ff. (translated by E.Cary in the Loeb edition); Suet., Div. Aug., 19, 1.

45 For Drusus’ birth date, see above, Ch. I, n. 20. But the year of these games is not 6

but 7. The year 6 is that usually given, but it does not allow enough time for the

period of the famine. Did the famine, the tax, the fire, and the conspiracy, all pass by March of 6? As for the dedication of the temple of Castor and Pollux, which

took place on 27 January ( Fasti Praen., Inscr. Ital., XIII, ii, 117), that a fortiori belongs to a later year ( pace J.G.Frazer, The Fasti of Ovid, II, 262ff.; EJ 2 , 46; and Seager, Tib., 39); perhaps the misunderstanding alleged to have arisen between Augustus and Tiberius in 7, and the sending out of Velleius and Germanicus,

suggest that Tiberius stayed the winter in the Balkans. He was at Rome in the

winter of 7–8: cf. Vell. Pat., II, 114, 5. For Suetonius’ dating of the dedication ( Tib., 20), apparently after the triumph of 12, see F.W.Shipley, MAAR, 1931, 39, n.


46 Suet., Div. Aug., 51, 1.

47 Dio, LV, 32, 1. For the significance of the appellation Neptune, see E.Pappano, art.

cit. (n. IV*), 35. For Sex. Pompeius, M.Agrippa, and Neptune, see S.Weinstock, RE, XVI, 1935, 2528ff.

48 Dio, LV, 34, 3.

49 Julia died in AD 28 after twenty years of exile (Tac., Ann., IV, 71, 6f.). She may have suffered temporary relegation at the time of her husband’s death; the

Scholiast on Juvenal, VI, 157f., has her once recalled. Syme, Ammianus and the

Tiberius the politician

Tiberius the politician

Tiberius the politician


Historia Augusta, Oxford, 1968, 86, and Meise, Untersuchungen, 88, dismiss his evidence. Meise argues for the simultaneous disgrace of Julia and Paullus in AD 8,

with D.Silanus as a mere adulterer used as scapegoat (40, n. 26); the Scholiast

made two exiles out of two reasons for one exile (40ff.). For the Scholiast’s

sources, see G.B.Town-end, CQ, 1972, 380. Professor Townend thinks the

Scholiast unlikely to have derived all his material from Suetonius. Ovid: W.Kraus,

RE, XVIII, 1942, 1916ff.; the arguments of Schwartz, art. cit. (n. IV*), 27ff., for 9

are not convincing. On Ovid’s exile see most recently J.C.Thibault, The Mystery of Ovid’s Exile, Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1964, reviewing theories to date; Meise, op. cit., 223ff. ; R.Verdière, Ant. Class., 1971, 623 ff. For Ovid’s own statements, see S.G.Owen, P.Ovidii Nasonis Tristium Liber secundus, Oxford, 1924, 1ff.

50 See Syme, RR, 468; so H.Dessau, Gesch. der röm. Kaiserzeit, I, 469.

51 Suet., Div. Aug., 19, 1f. For the implications of the name Asinius Epicadus, see Levick, art. cit. (n. IV*). For the problem of the islands, see Meise,

Untersuchungen, 29f.

52 Julia’s alleged marriage:

, ed. Sp. Lampros,

, 1904, 149. What Ovid saw: Trist., II, 103ff.; III, 5, 49f.; 6,

27ff. His timidity: IV, 4, 39; ex Ponto, II, 2, 17. The value of advice: Trist., III, 6, 13f. S.Reinach, Rev. Phil., 1910, 347, draws attention to the word ‘funestus’, which Ovid uses in connexion with his ‘error’: Trist., III, 6, 28. It makes a nice oxymoron in the context of marriage and Ovid uses it thus in Ep., XII, 140 (Medea), and Fasti, I, 521 (Evander). Julia’s child: Suet., Div. Aug., 65, 4,

53 This may be the victory of 3 August ‘[in] Inlyrico’ ( Fasti Ant., Inscr. Ital., XIII, i, 328). Dio, LVI, 1, l, says that Tiberius returned to Rome ‘after the winter’. An

entry took place on 16 January ( Fasti Praen., CIL I2, 231) and may be attributed to 9 (as by D.M.Pippidi, REL, 1933, 435, and Schwartz, art. cit. (n. IV*), 55) or to 10

(cf. Suet., Tib., 17, 2), with G. Wissowa, Herm., 1923, 377; A.Stein, PIR 2 C 941; Hohl, Die Siegesfeiern des Tiberius, tabulating other proposals (24); and Seager, Tib., 44, n. 5. EJ 2 p. 45, following L.R.Taylor, AJP, 1937, 185ff., refer the document to the ovation of 9 BC, probably rightly. Dio’s account is circumstantial.

54 Suet., Tib., 17, 2, cf. P.Kniesl, Die Siegestitulatur der röm. Kaiser, Göttingen, 1969, 29f. The award of a triumph went with Tiberius’ fifth salutation as imperator (Dio, LVI, 17, 1; RIC, I, 82; no. 220; CREBM, I, 50, no. 271ff.).

55 Arrival of the news: Vell. Pat., II, 117, 1, cf. Dio, LVI, 18, 2; Tiberius’ reaction: Vell. Pat., II, 120, 1; Suet., Tib., 17, 2. Hohl, art. cit., 23, n. 67, makes Tiberius approach Germany in too leisurely a way (not until 10). The celebration of

Augustus’ birthday in Germany (Dio, LVI, 25, 3) indicates the objective of these

expeditions. It was in Germany that Tiberius won his sixth acclamation (Mommsen,

Res Gestae Divi Aug. 2, 16f.) .

56 Dio, LVI, 25, 1; Fasti Praen., CIL I2 231; Verul., AE, 1937, 5= EJ 2 p. 45 ; Ovid, Fasti, I, 639f. For discussion of this temple and its significance to Tiberius, see T.Pekáry, RM, 1966–67, 105ff.; Levick, art. cit. (n. IV*), 803ff.

57 Dio, LVI, 17, 1ff

58 See Sumner, Lat., 1967, 413ff. He accepts Suetonius’ statement ( Cal., 1 , 1) that Germanicus held the quaestorship a quinquennium before the normal age, and does not recognize the irregularity of Germanicus’ advancement, which was caused by

the extraordinary political situation.


59 Suet., Tib., 20, 1; Vell. Pat., II, 121; Ovid, ex Ponto, II, 1; II, 2; III, 3, 85ff. For the day, see Fasti Praen., Inscr. Ital., XIII, ii, 135= EJ 2 p. 54; for the year (12 rather than 11), see Sumner, HSCP, 1968, 274, n. 107. For the previous scope of

Tiberius’ imperium, see P.A.Brunt, ZfPE, XIII, 1974, 171ff.; but I do not believe that he could use his imperium within the city until 13.

60 Suet., Tib., 21, 1, cf. Div. Aug., 27, 5; Vell. Pat., II, 121, 1 (apparently implying that the law preceded the triumph, but see Brunt, loc. cit. ); RG, 8, 4; Dio, LVI, 28, 6. There can be no doubt that Tiberius possessed imperium domi in AD 14: he gave the watchword to the Praetorian Guard and appointed a new praefectus: Tac., Ann., I, 7, 7; 24, 3.

61 Dio, LVI, 28, 1; Tac., Ann., I, 10, 7; RG, 6, 2.

62 Tac., Ann, I, 7, 4f.; Suet., Tib., 23, 1.

63 CREBM, I, 87, no. 506ff.= EJ 2 81 (Tiberius); 23, no. 110ff., (= EJ 2 70), cf. nos.

103, 107, 121ff. (Agrippa).

64 See above, p. 38. For the first coins, see CREBM, I, 50, nos. 217 ff., 94f., nos.

570ff., with Sutherland, CRIP, 73ff.; for a warning against interpreting acts of Augustus as showing hostility to his son and heir; see Levick, CR, 1972, 309ff.

65 Augustus’ question: Suet., Div. Aug., 99, 1. Tiberius used a bodyguard at Rome in September 14: Tac., Ann., I, 7, 7. At the funeral precautions were taken that Tacitus mocks: Ann., I, 8, 7; a second prefect appointed: 24, 3. Piso: see PIR 2 C 289, p.


66 Tac., Ann., I, 5, 1f.; Dio, LVI, 30, 1. Modern treatments; M.P. Charlesworth, AJP, 1923, 145ff.; E.Hohl, Hem., 1935, 350ff; Pappano, art. cit. (n. IV*), 42ff: W.

Allen, jr., TAPA, 1947, 131ff; M.L. Paladini, Acme, 1954, 313ff.; J.D. Lewis, Auckland Classical Studies presented to E.M.Blaiklock, 172ff.; R. Detweiler, CJ, 1970, 289ff.

67 Suet., Div. Aug., 101, 1. On the language of the will see Levick, art. cit. (n. 64).

68 For the death of Fabius, see PIR 2 F 47. It would be risky to make too much of his patronage of Ovid, and of Ovid’s third wife’s connexion with his house (PIR 2 , loc.


69 I cannot accept Seager’s interpretation ( Tib., 50) of Tac., Ann., I, 6, 2: ‘nihil de ea re Tiberius apud senatum disseruit: patris iussa simulabat’, cf. XIII, 21, 9. For the murder, see also I, 53, 2.

70 So Seager, Tib., 49f., and Jameson, art. cit. (above, n. 42), 313f.

71 For Clemens, see Tac., Ann., II, 39f.; Suet., Tib., 25, 1; Dio, LVII, 16, 3f. Not all Agrippa’s slaves seem to have passed to Augustus: note Sex. Vipsanius

M.f.Clemens, CIL, V, 3257.

72 This theory, which is adumbrated by Suet., Tib., 22, does not square with Tiberius’

statement that Augustus had simply given orders that Agrippa was not to survive

him (Tac., Ann., I, 6, 2). But Tiberius’ concern was to preserve quiet and prevent the development of crisis. The lie he told was a small and salutary one.

73 See Syme, Tac., I, 271ff., discussing Aufidius Bassus’ laudatory Bellum Gemanicum and his Histories, the much more influential senatorial writer Servilius Nonianus (on whom see also Herm., 1064, 408ff.), and Agrippina, eschewing the enthusiasm of B.R.Motzo, Studi Cagliaritani, 1927, 19ff.; and allowing due place for the development of oral tradition.


74 Note that in 8 Augustus made a journey to Ariminum to meet him and discuss (it

was said) affairs in Illyricum—as if Tiberius did not know perfectly well how to

handle them (Dio, LV, 34, 3).


V* The main sources are Tac., Ann., I, 7–52; Vell. Pat., II, 123–25; Dio, LVI, 31–47; Suet., Div. Aug., 97–101; Tib., 22–26. Modern studies: Ph. Fabia, Rev. Phil., 1909, 28ff.; A.Lang, Beiträge zur Geschichte des Kaisers Tiberius, 55ff.; Marsh, Reign, 45ff.; E.Hohl, Herm., 1933, 106ff.; J. Béranger, MH, 1948, 178ff.; Recherches sur l’aspect idéologique du principal, Basel, 1953, 3ff.; F.Klingner, Tacitus über Augustus und Tiberius; H.H.Schmitt, Hist., 1958, 378ff.; D.Timpe, Untersuchungen zur Kontinuität des frühen Prinzipats, 27ff.; K.Wellesley, JRS, 1967, 23ff. (proposing an impossibly rapid chronology); D.Flach, Hist., 1973, 552ff.

1 Vell. Pat., II, 123, 3, and Suet., Tib., 21, 1, for the meeting; Dio, LVI, 31, 1, against; Tac., Ann., I, 5, 5f., undecided. Dio, LVI, 30, 5, claims to know the day of death, Suet., Div. Aug., 100, 1, the hour, with details of the death scene; and 19

August is also the official date: Fasti Ostiens., Amit., Antiat. minist., Inscr. Ital., XIII, i, 185; ii, 191 and 208= EJ 2 pp. 40; 50. This implies that it was only after a delay of a few hours that Livia issued the correct time. Yet Suetonius gives

Augustus and Tiberius a whole day together, and the time of Tiberius’ arrival must

have been known. Suetonius’ and Velleius’ versions could not have survived, if the

discrepancy had been very great; they were unlikely to survive any discrepancy.

That there was a delay in announcing the death is stated also by Suetonius, but he

gives a different reason. We can admit the delay without denying that Tiberius

found Augustus alive. See Timpe, Kontinuität, 29ff. For the literary origin of the story of Livia’s deceit, see M.P.Charlesworth, CR, 1927, 55ff., and R.H.Martin, CQ, 1955, 123ff.; for a different account, see D.C.A. Shotter, Mnem., 1965, 359ff.

2 Augustus’ plan: Dio, LVI, 33, 1. For the Sullan precedent, see J.Carcopino, Sylla ou la monarchie manquée, Paris, 1928, 222ff. The procession through the coloniae and municipia: Suet., Div. Aug., 100, 2f.; Dio, LVI, 31, 2. The edict and first meeting of the Senate: Tac., Ann., I, 7, 5f.; 8; Suet., Tib., 23, 1; Dio, LVI, 31, 2ff.

3 Consecration of Augustus: Fasti Amit., CIL2 1, 244; Inscr. Ital., XIII. ii, 510= EJ 2

52; 13 October: Jos., AJ, XVIII, 6, 10; 3 September: K. Wellesley, art. cit. (n. V*), 27.

4 The slowness of the procession was rightly emphasized by J.C. Tarver, Tib. the Tyrant, 81, and the figure of about fifteen days given by M.P.Charlesworth, CAH, X, 610, is in accord with the account given here; cf. also A.Lang, op. cit. (n. V*), 8f. The timetable also fits that of the obsequies of Tiberius himself, for which

Gaius used the Augustan precedent. Tiberius died at Misenum on 16 March 37; his

body entered Rome on the 29th, preceded by Gaius, who entered on the 28th: Fasti Ostiens., Inscr. Ital., XIII, i, 191= EJ 2 43; Acta Fratr. Arv., ed. W.Henzen, xliii. The two routes to Rome converged at Sinuessa; before that the cortège of Tiberius passed through Cumae, Liternum, and Volturnum, two stages fewer than that of

Augustus. Tiberius’ body entered Rome thirteen days after his death; Augustus’

should have taken two days longer to arrive.


5 Tiberius was cremated on 3 April: Fasti Ostiens., loc. cit. Marciana, who died at Rome on 29 August 112, was accorded a censor’s funeral, probably on 3

September: Fasti Ostiens., op. cit., 201=E.M.Smallwood, Documents illustrating the Principates of Nerva, Trajan and Hadrian, Cambridge, 1966, 22 (I owe this point to the kindness of Mr F.A.Lepper).

6 See E.Liechtenhan, MH, 1947, 52ff.; J.J.Wilkes, CQ, 1963, 268ff.; Seager, Tib., 58ff. The attempt to proclaim Germanicus was not seriously meant; but the

influence of soldiers recently recruited at Rome is emphasized by Tacitus, Ann., I, 16, 4; 31, 4; the ‘vernacula multitude’ would have no love for Tiberius.

7 Tac., Ann., I, 46, 1, cf. Timpe, Kontinuität, 50f.

8 This is the solution of P.A.Brunt, JRS, 1961, 238; the objections of Wellesley, art.

cit. (n. V*), 25f., are not conclusive. Another, better, explanation is that Drusus Caesar, in spite of Tacitus’ words (Ann., I, 14, 5) ‘…quod designatus consul pracsensque erat’, which seem to imply his presence at the debate, was already on

his way to Pannonia. Tacitus by ‘praesens’ (a future participle would be preferable, but ‘praefuturus’ has a different sense) would mean ‘domiciled at Rome’. Drusus’

presence in the House would be no bar to a consular bill conferring imperium

proconsulare. This solution is suggested in GerberGreef, Lexicon Taciteum, s.v.praesens ( cf. Ann., II, 26, 4), cf. also Flach, art. cit. (n. V*), 556ff.

9 Tac., Ann., I, 46, 1, cf. Lang, op. cit. (n. V*), 24f.; Flach, art. cit., 558.

10 Jos., AJ, XVIII, 224, cf . BJ, II, 190; cf. Béranger, L’Aspect idéologique, 24.

11 The claim of Suet., Tib., 26, 2, cf. Dio, LVII, 2, 1, and 8, 1f., that Tiberius refused to accept the title Augustus and used it only in his dealings with foreign potentates, is false: see PIR 2 C 941, p. 225, and M. Grant, Aspects, 41f. (going beyond the evidence). No doubt Augustus asked for it to be taken (see Timpe, Kontinuität, 55, against Mommsen, Staatsrecht, II, ii3, 773), but Tiberius prevented the Senate from confirming the title. The view of Timpe, loc. cit., that it was voted to him at the second meeting (on 17 September) contradicts Dio, who says that he never allowed

it to be voted him. Tiberius’ right to it continued to depend on Augustus’ wishes,

expressed in the will, and he had to permit its use for the sake of his own heirs; i.e., he took it as Augustus’ heir, not on his own merits. The title pater patriae was steadfastly refused: Suet., Tib., 26, 2; 67, 2; Tac., Ann., I, 72, 2 (AD 15); II, 87, 2

(19); Dio, LVII, 8, 1; LVIII, 12, 8 (31). It is ascribed to him by error in the

Gytheion inscription of AD 15 ( AE, 1929, 99= EJ 2 102); perhaps the offer of 15

was known, and the refusal not credited. For other occurrences see M.Grant,

Aspects, 44. So with imperator. Tiberius’ claim to the uncivil praenomen was greater in virtue of his military successes than that of the young Octavian; that

perhaps was why he was offered it: he declined but it sometimes appears before or

instead of Ti. in inscriptions: Suet., Tib., 26, 2; Dio, LVII, 2, 1; 8, 1f., cf. ILS, III, i, p. 262. In the oath of Palaipaphos space is twice left for the later insertion of the title (T.B.Mitford, JRS, 1960, 75ff.).

12 ILS, 154; Fasti Praen., CIL I2, p. 233; Fasti Vat., ibid., p. 242= EJ 2 p. 47.

13 See Timpe, Kontinuität, 35ff. Seager, Tib., 53f., believes that Tiberius’ powers were defined in terms of those of Augustus; when Augustus died, they required

redefinition: it was not powers that Tiberius lacked but a province. It was careless of Augustus to have Tiberius’ powers defined in such a way that they would have

to be conferred again when he died, especially as it was the purpose of his

Tiberius the politician

Tiberius the politician


succession policy to avoid such an hiatus; and it would be a constitutional solecism for one man’s power to require redefinition because another had died.

14 Fabia, art. cit. (n. V*), 53ff.; Marsh, loc. cit. (n. V*); Hohl, art. cit. (n. V*); similarly Syme, RR, 438f.; Tac., I, 410ff. (rightly suggesting that the debate petered out).

15 Béranger, loc. cit. (n. V*).

16 Suet., Tib., 24, 1.

17 Tac., Ann., XIII, 4, 3, an important passage drawn to my attention by Mr C.E.Stevens.

18 G.Kampff, Phoen., 1963, 25ff., with the bald statement that the consuls put forward a motion proposing Tiberius as Princeps for life.

19 Tac., Ann., I, 6, 6, ‘neve Tiberius vim principatus resolveret cuncta ad senatum vocando’.

20 Tac., Ann., I, 11, 2.

21 The libellus; Tac., Ann., I, 11, 5 ff.; Dio, LVI, 33, 2, brings it out at the meeting of 4 September: see Fabia, art. cit. (n. V*), 34f. Tiberius’ promise: Tac., Ann., I, 12, 1ff.: ‘quaecumque pars sibi mandaretur, eius tutelam suscepturum’, cf. Vell. Pat., II, 124, 2: ‘quicquid tuendum non suscepisset, periturum videret’. Dio, LVII, 2, 4, speaks of a geographical distribution (Rome and Italy, armies, provinces); it is

surely his own.

22 Asinius’ ambitions: Tac., Ann., I, 13, 2; on his remark: Fabia, art. cit. (n. V*), 37ff; Lang, op. cit. (n. V*), 18ff.; on the man, Syme, Tac., I, 381f. He may have been one of the friends who, between sessions of the Senate, gave Tiberius private

encouragement: Suet., Tib., 24, 1.

23 For Q.Haterius’ remark, see Fabia, art. cit. (n. V*), 44f. For his connexions, see Tac., Ann., II, 51, 1, with PIR2 H 24f. Tiberius’ apology: Suet., Tib., 29.

24 Tac., Ann., I, 13, 6. Suet., Tib., 24, 2 (‘recepit imperium’), and Dio, LVII, 7, 1 (

), are misleadingly positive,

perhaps because they knew that Tiberius, after all, was Princeps. Suetonius quotes

Tiberius: ‘dum veniam ad id tempus quo vobis aequum possit videri dare vos

aliquam senectuti meae requiem’. It is regrettable that he did not tell us what

Tiberius undertook to do until that time. Fabia, art. cit. (n. V*), 47, prefers the version of Suetonius.

25 Vell. Pat., II, 124, 2.

26 Tac., Ann., 1, 13, 4.

27 Vell. Pat., loc. cit., cf. E.Koestermann, ‘Static Principis’, Phil., 1932, 358ff.; 430ff.; Béranger, MH, 1948, 194, n. 109.

28 ‘Suspicax animus’: Tac., Ann., I, 13, 4. Tiberius the scholar and philosopher quibbled over words (I, 46, 3). He particularly disliked being called ‘auctor’ (Suet., Tib., 27). For another metaphor, see Ovid, ex Ponto, IV, 13, 27f.: ‘qui frena coactus saepe recusati ceperit imperil’.

29 Lang, op. cit. (n. V*), 10f., claims categorically that Tacitus describes the events of one session, but rightly continues the discussion into October (22). Seager, Tib., 55, denies that proconsular power could be conferred on Germanicus while

Tiberius’ own position remained unsettled, and claims that Velleius’ account shows

that the election arrangements of 14, ‘the first of Tiberius’ tasks as princeps’,

preceded the mutinies; he dates the accession to 17 September. But the

constitutional powers of Tiberius were not in question, and if Velleius intends us to

Tiberius the politician

Tiberius the politician

Tiberius the politician


believe that mutinies followed accession it is only to protect Tiberius from such

strictures as those of Tac., Ann., I, 46.

30 See D.M.Pippidi, Autour de Tibère, 125ff.

31 The oath: Tac., Ann., I, 7, 1ff.: ‘Ruere in servitium consules, patres, eques…’ On 4

September there was already a proposal that it should be renewed every year (8, 5).

For its significance, see A.von Premerstein, Vom Werden und Wesen des

Principals, Munich, 1937, 57ff.; Timpe, Kontinuität, 38f.; P.Herrmann, Der römische Kaisereid, Göttingen, 1969, reviewed by J.Briscoe, CR, 1971, 260ff.

Danger: Vell., Pat., II, 124, 1, cf. above, Ch. IV, n. 65. The dispatch of Drusus to Pannonia might be a means of avoiding it.

32 ‘Maius aliquid et excelsius a principe postulatur’ (Tac., Ann., III, 54, 3). For princeps and Princeps see Timpe, Kontinuität, 33ff.


VI* For the coinage of Tiberius, see CREBM, I, 120ff.; RIC, I, 98ff.; Grant, Aspects, 1ff. For the interpretation of Tiberian ‘virtues’, see M.P.Charlesworth, Harvard Theological Review, 1936, 107ff; PBA, 1937, 105ff.; C.H.V.Sutherland, JRS, 1938, 129ff.; Rogers, Studies, 3ff.; Grant, RAI, 3ff.; Sutherland, CRIP, 79ff.; Béranger, L’aspect idéologique; Syme, Tac., II, 754ff.; H. Gesche, Jahrb.f.Numismatik u.Geldgesch., 1971, 37ff.; Levick, The Ancient Historian and his Materials, London, 1975, 123ff.

1 See W.S.Ferguson, AHR, 1913, 32f.

2 Oath to Augustus’ acta: Dio, LI, 20, 1; LIII, 28, 1; by Tiberius: LVII, 8, 5. Apidius Merula lost his seat in 25: Tac., Ann., IV, 42, 3.

3 Strabo, VI, p. 288:

; Tac., Ann., I, 77, 4: ‘neque fas Tiberio infringere dicta eius’

(on corporal punishment for actors); IV, 37, 4: ‘qui omnia facta dictaque eius vice legis observem’ (on the building of temples to him in the provinces); Agr., 13, 2:

‘consilium id divus Augustus vocabat, Tiberius praeceptum’ (failure to invade

Britain); cf. Ann., I, 14, 6; III, 24, 7: ‘integras parentis sui offensiones’; VI, 3, 2:

‘repperisse prorsus quod divus Augustus non providerit’. Cf. also II, 50, 2; 59, 3; III, 68, 1; VI, 46, 3 (attributed by Tacitus).

4 CREBM, I, 124, no. 28f.; 130, no. 74f.; RIC, I, 95, no. 1ff.; Sutherland, NC, 1941, 97ff.; CRIP, 84ff.; Grant, RAI, 33ff.; Aspects, 103ff.; C.M.Kraay, Die Münzfunde von Vindonissa, bis Trajan, Basel, 1962, 34f.; Th. Pékary, Schweiz. Münzbl., 1965, 128f. The issues continue after 37. Views are summarized by A.S. Robertson,

Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow, I, 1962, liv f.

5 E.V.Arnold, Roman Stoicism, Cambridge, 1911, 233.

6 Affection: Suet., Tib., 21, 4ff., cf. Div. Aug., 51, 3; D.C.A.Shotter, G and R, 1966, 207ff., is puzzled by it because he believes that Augustus’ dynastic policies

‘contained little to conciliate Tiberius’.

7 The temple to Augustus: Tac., Ann., VI, 45, 2; Suet., Tib., 47, 4, cf. Dio, LVII, 10, 1. A shrine to the gens Iulia and a statue were dedicated at Bovillae in AD 17: Tac., Ann., II, 41, 1 (for numismatic references to the gens, see Grant, Aspects, 92ff.); a temple of Augustus at Nola in 26: Suet., Tib., 40. The sacrifice: Tac., NOTES 205

Ann., IV, 52, 3, made, according to Furneaux and Koestermann, ad loc., in his capacity as Sodalis Augustalis ( cf. I, 54, 2), but evidently at home.

8 The documents: Tac., Ann., I, 11, 5ff.; Suet., Div. Aug., 101, 4; Dio, LVI, 33; Vell.

Pat., II, 124, 3. The view that Tiberius helped to draw up the breviarium was put forward by G.P.Baker, Tib., 144f.

9 See above, Ch. I, n. 36.

10 Compare the views of A.H.M. Jones, Essays in Roman Coinage Presented to

H.Mattingly, Oxford, 1956, 13ff., with those of C.H.V.Sutherland, JRS, 1959, 46ff.

For the limitation of ‘virtues’ as evidence, see F.W.Walbank, G and R, 1944, 30; for their history, S.Weinstock, Divus Julius, Oxford, 1971, 228ff.

11 See D.C.Earl, The Moral and Political Tradition of Rome, London, 1967, 1ff.

Tiberius himself adhered to tradition in advancing politicians: see Tac., Ann., I, 80, 3; 81, 2.

12 Tac., Ann., I, 72, 2: ‘cuncta mortalium incerta’; II, 36, 3, on pride and instability; III, 54 (cf. II, 33, 6), on luxury, with the medical metaphor favoured by

conservative moralists (see R.M.Ogilvie ad Livy, II, 32, 8ff.). Tiberius’ seeming misgivings about his own character and mental poise (Suet., Tib., 67, 2ff.) should not be taken seriously; they are arguments adduced ad hoc.

13 The laws to be enforced: Tac., Ann., I, 72, 5; II, 36, 5; better repealed than ineffective: IV, 30, 4; dire consequences of their neglect: III, 54, 3f.; law versus imperium: III, 69, 7: ‘ne verterent sapienter reperta et semper placita; satis onerum principibus, satis etiam potentiae. Minui iura, quotiens gliscat potestas,

nec utendum imperio, ubi legibus agi possit.’

14 Position and responsibility of the Princeps: Tac., Ann., I, 47, 2ff.: ‘…maiestate salva, cui maior e longinquo reverentia…Quod aliud subsidium, si imperatorem

sprevissent?’ (a view imputed to Tiberius), cf. III, 47, 2f.; ‘neque decorum principibus…omissa urbe, unde in omnia regimen’; III, 3, 1: ‘inferius maiestate

sua’ (imputed view); 6, 2: ‘non enim eadem decora principibus viris…quae

modicis domibus’; 53, 4: ‘maius aliquid et excelsius a principe postulatur’; 54, 8:

‘hanc…curam [the corn supply] sustinet princeps’; IV, 8, 8: ‘ita nati estis [Nero and Drusus Caesar] ut bona malaque vestra ad rem publicam pertineant’; 40, 1:

‘principum diversam esse sortem’.

15 See above, p. 76, Ch. I, n. 36, and n. 14, for Tiberius’ remarks on the subject, and add Tac., Ann., II, 87, 2; III, 35, 1; 47, 5; 59, 2; IV, 38, 1ff.; Suet., Tib., 26ff. Note especially the remark about auctoritas (I owe this observation to Mr C.E.Stevens).

The historians’ verdict: Tac., Ann., IV, 6, 2; Suet., Tib., 26ff.; Dio, LVII, 7, 2ff.

16 For Concordia on coins, see CREBM, I, 91, no. 544f.; 124ff., no. 30ff., with K.Kraft, Zur Münzprägung des Augustus, Wiesbaden, 1969, 248f.; the figure has been taken for Pax (H.Mattingly, CREBM, I, ad loc. ) and Salus (J.Liegle, Herm., 1942, 304). Concord, according to Sallust, belongs to the years before Carthage fell in 146: see D.C.Earl, Political Thought of Sallust, Cambridge, 1961, 33. Rebuilding of the temple: see above, Ch. III, pp. 36–37, with n. 27f., Ch. IV, p. 62, with n. 56.

Feriae: Fasti Verul., Inscr. Ital., XIII, ii, 161. Libo Drusus: Tac., Ann., II, 32, 3.

The dedications: CIL, VI, 91ff., 904, 3674 (3075=30856); ILS, 3783; EJ 2 215); discussed by Th. Pekáry, Röm. Mitt., 1966–67, 105ff., who argues for dating them to the period immediately before Sejanus’ fall in 31. I see them rather as voluntary offerings made after the precedent had been set in 16 by the official dedications.

The interpretation given in the text does not preclude an allusion to the concordia of 206 NOTES

the brothers Tiberius and Nero Drusus, Drusus and Germanicus Caesar; for the

cousins Ti. Gemellus and Caligula see Gesche, art. cit., 62f.

17 The statues: Dio, LIV, 35, 2, cf. Ovid, Fasti, III, 881f. (Salus, Concordia, Pax); see Grant, Aspects, 81. Marius: Val. Max., VIII, 6, 2. Connotations of Salus: above, Ch.

III, p. 34; and sources cited in Lat., 1972, 802, n. 2; 803, n. 3. Augustus ‘cum sciret quis volenti omnia post se salva remanere accersendus foret…revocavit filium’: Vell.

Pat., II, 123, 1. Salus on the coins: CREBM, I, 131, no. 81ff.; RIC, I, 106, no. 23; n.

16 above. Interamna: ILS, 157 (= EJ 2 51); ‘salutaris princeps’: Suet., Tib., 29; Val.

Max., II, 9, 6; VIII, 13 pr., cf. I pr.

18 For pax, see Grant, Aspects, 77ff. Philo, Leg., 141 ( cf. 8), is eloquent, cf. Vell. Pat., II, 126, 3; 131, 1. Tiberius’ concern for peace abroad is mentioned by Tac., Ann., II, 64, 2 (perhaps it was expressed to the Senate); 65, 1; IV, 6, 7; VI, 32, 1. His

preoccupation with order in the Senate is orally expressed in I, 80, 2: ‘ne ambitu

comitia turbarent’. Hopes raised by the adoption: Vell. Pat., II, 104, 5. Tiberius’

actions do show concern for quies and pax; they are dealt with in Chs. VIII and IX.

Tranquillitas was a word Tiberius favoured (IV, 40, 8; N.P.Miller, AJP, 1968, 15); he cared for his own peace by retreating to Capri; an edict enjoined ‘ne quis

quietem eius inrumperet’ (IV, 67, 1, cf. the language of his letter to Sejanus, 40, 7:

‘qui te invitum perrumpunt’), cf. III, 15, 4; unexpected callers had a rough welcome: Suet., Tib., 60. Concern for his peace of mind: Tac., Ann., IV, 38, 3:

‘quietam…mentem duint’. It is not for the historian to speculate on causal

connexions between Tiberius’ desire for quies in the state and for himself: but for the ‘strain of violence in Tiberius’ see Syme, Tac., II, 701.

19 Tac., Ann., IV, 71, 4: ‘nullam aeque…ex virtutibus suis…diligebat’; cf. I, 75, 4, and Vell. Pat., II, 126, 4; ‘oderint dum probent’: Suet., Tib., 59, 2. Care for his reputation: Tac ., Ann., VI, 46, 4, with Furneaux, ad loc., and IV, 38, 1 ( cf. III, 54, 1; IV, 40, 1). Virtue as the hypocrite’s mask: W. Süss, Ethos, Leipzig, etc., 1910, 251ff.

20 Tiberius claims, or is ascribed, clementia: Tac., Ann., II, 31, 4; III, 50, 3 (by implication); 68, 2; VI, 25, 4 (by implication), cf. III, 22, 4; IV, 31, 2 (he is aware of the reputation it gives); 42, 3 (‘inclementiam’); VI, 1, 4 (sarcastic); 14, 4 (denied); 25, 5, cf. Suet., Tib., 53, 2. Clementia is assigned a chapter by Val. Max., V, 1. The virtue is treated by Weinstock, op. cit., 233ff.; a word to be avoided: 236; and Charlesworth, art. cit., 1937, 112f.; Grant, RAI, 48f.; Syme, Tac., II, 703. For the Clupeus, see RG, 34, 2; for virtus in general, Earl, op. cit., l8ff.

21 Suet., Tib., 17, 2.

22 For pietas, see Weinstock, op. cit., 248ff., and Syme, Tac., I, 415. On the coinage: CREBM, I, 133, no. 98, discussed by Grant, RAI, 35ff., and see Weinstock, op. cit., 255, n. 8. Note the Ara Pietatis Augustae vowed in 22 during Livia’s illness but

dedicated only by Claudius: ILS, 202; Tac., Ann., III, 64, 3, cf. ILS, 3785. Vell.

Pat., II, 99, 2, ascribes Tiberius’ departure in 6 BC to ‘mira quaedam et incredibilis atque inenarrabilis pietas’, cf. 105, 3; 130, 1 (‘pia munificentia’). Tiberius’ pietas towards his brother Drusus is a theme of Val. Max., V, 5, 3; but the section on

‘pietas erga parentes’ (V, 4) is silent on the Princeps. For implied changes in the Principate, see Vell. Pat., II, 126, 2.

23 Vell. Pat., II, 129, 3, attributes the defeat of Florus and Sacrovir to Tiberius’ virtus.

Marius: Weinstock, op. cit., 231f.


24 The coins: CREBM, I, 132, no. 85ff., n. *; RIC, I, 107, no. 30f. The altar: Tac., Ann., IV, 74, 3. For the date of the dupondii, see Sutherland, CRIP, 191ff. (22–23), Grant, RAI, 47ff., and Gesche, art. cit. (n. VI*) (34–37). For their interpretation, see Sutherland, art. cit. (n. VI*); and CRIP, 97f.; Rogers, Studies, 35ff.; Gesche, art. cit., 48ff.; and Levick, art. cit. (n. VI*). The view that shields were presented to Tiberius was originated by R.Mowat, RN, 1911, 335f.

25 Clutorius’ death: Tac., Ann., III, 51, 2f.; Antistius Vetus tried for maiestas: 38, 2.

26 Bato: Suet., Tib., 20 (an example of fides rather than of clementia). Rogers, Studies, 42ff., cites favourable responses made to Maroboduus and Catualda in 19: Tac., Ann., II, 63, 1f.; 6.

27 Tiberius’ forbearance: Tac., Ann., VI, 25, 4f.

28 Libo Drusus: Levick, art. cit. (n. VI*). Nero: Tac., Ann., XIV, 12, 5f. (‘lenitas’); Vitellius: CREBM, I, 384, no. 78ff.; and Tac., Hist., I, 75: ‘Vitellius victor clementiae gloriam tulit.’

29 Moderatio (or what gives rise to it, modestia) claimed by Tiberius: Tac., Ann., II, 36, 2: ‘grave moderationi suae tot eligere, tot differre’; III, 12, 11: ‘cetera pari modestia tractentur’. Practised by him: I, 7, 6: ‘verba edicti fuere pauca et sensu permodesto’; 14, 3: ‘moderandos feminarum honores dictitans eademque se

temperantia usurum in iis quae sibi tribuerentur’ ( cf. V, 2, 1); III, 12, 1: ‘orationem habuit meditate temperamento’; 69, 8: ‘prudens moderandi’; cf. II, 29, 2; V, 2, 1; VI, 2, 6; 45, 2. Ascribed to him by others: III, 50, 2: ‘principis moderatio’; 56,

1:‘fama moderationis parta’; 4: ‘modestiae Neronis’ (Augustus’ view); IV, 38, 4

(one view of Tiberius’ refusal of the temple in Baetica); I, 8, 6 (‘adroganti

moderatione’), is a jibe at Tiberius’ cardinal virtue; it is implausibly taken in an active sense (=Tiberius restrained the senators) by D.C.Shotter, Mnem., 1965, 364.

Moderatio is ascribed to Tiberius by Vell. Pat., II, 122, 1, and by Suet., Tib., 32, 2, cf. 57, 1: ‘moderationis simulatione’; it is celebrated by Valerius Maximus, IV, 1, with C.Claudius Nero as one prize specimen, and the ‘cunctatio’ of Camillus in

taking up his powers another (I, 2; 9). An exhaustive collection of material has

been made by Rogers, Studies, 60ff.; not all relevant to the present purpose; cf.

Béranger, L’Aspect idéologique, 159.

30 Cf. Sen., de Clem., II, 3, 1f., with Gesche, art. cit., 74, n. 143.

31 Tac., Ann., III, 54, 5.

32 Iustitia: see Weinstock, op. cit., 243ff. Coins: CREBM, I, 131, no. 79f., with Sutherland, CRIP, 97f. Inscriptions: ILS, 159 (AD 32–33) and 3783 (one of the dedications to Concordia, see above, n. 16). Val. Max., VI, 5, is devoted to iustitia and Vell. Pat., II, 126, 2, considers it one of the benefits of the regime.

33 ‘…mihi…intellegentem humani divinique iuris mentem duint’, Tac., Ann., IV, 38, 3. Instances of expertise: I, 62, 3 ( cf. Koestermann, ad loc., and E.Badian, Arethusa, I, 1968, 45, n. 57); 73, 4; 76, 2; III, 64, 4f.; 71, 3f.; VI, 12, 1 (all ‘divini iuris’; for the importance that Tiberius attached to the supreme pontificate, see Grant,

Aspects, 45); III, 21, 4; IV, 19, 2f. (rights of consuls and proconsuls), cf. II, 30, 3.

See also above, n. 11. Cocceius Nerva: IV, 58, 1; VI, 26, 1; Dig., I, 2, 2, 48.

34 So F.W.Walbank, G and R, 1944, 30. Liberalitas is not mentioned on coins until the principate of Hadrian; Val. Max. assigns it a chapter (IV, 8), but Tiberius did not like it celebrated: Dio, LVII, 17, 8.

35 Tac., Ann., I, 75, 4 (compensation to Aurelius Pius and subvention to Propertius Celer and possibly to others): ‘virtutem diu retinuit’ ( cf. Dio, LVII, 17, 8); II, 48, 1: ‘grata

Tiberius the politician

Tiberius the politician

Tiberius the politician

Tiberius the politician

Tiberius the politician

Tiberius the politician

Tiberius the politician

Tiberius the politician


liberalitate, quod bona…locupletis intestatae…Aemilio Lepido…et…divitis equitis

Romani hereditatem…tradidit M.Servilio…nobilitatem utriusque pecunia iuvandam

praefatus’; III, 8, 2: ‘sucta erga filios familiarum nobiles liberalitate’; VI, 45, 1:

‘damnum [of the fire on the Aventine in 36] ad gloriam vertit’; cf. Suet., Tib., 48; Div.

Claud., 6, 2. Other examples are plentiful, and lack any suggestion of self-consciousness, but Velleius harps on munificentia and liberalitas: II, 126, 4; 130, 1f.

36 The Gallic revolt: Tac., Ann., III, 47, 1: ‘se consiliis superfuisse’. Prudentia in war is ascribed to Tiberius by Vell. Pat., II, 111, 4, cf. 129, 1ff. (‘astu’ in Tac., Ann., II, 64, 2), and Suet., Tib., 18, 1, ‘caelestis providentia’ in general by Val. Max., I, pr; the ‘consilium’ and ‘providentia’ displayed by Nero and Salinator in the Hannibalic War ( id., VII, 4, 4), may be noted. Philo, Leg., 33, speaks of Tiberius as

, cf. 142:

. Tac., Ann., VI, 46, 5, has

him ‘providus futurorum’ in the sense that men might connect with his astrological

skill. PROVIDENTIA occurs on aes commemorating Augustus: CREBM, I, 143, n.

*; RIC, I, 95, no. 6; it is discussed by Grant, RAI, 63f.; for the date, see Gesche, art.

cit., 64f., connecting it with the securing of the succession. For providentia in general see Charlesworth, art. cit. (n. VI*); Rogers, Studies, 20ff.; Béranger, L’Aspect idéologique, 210ff.

37 See Rogers, Studies, 26ff.; Syme, Tac., I, 416; ILS, 157f., cf. A.B.West, Corinth, VIII, ii, Cambridge, Mass., 1931, 90, no. 5, and 110 (a cult of Providentia Aug. and Salus Publica). Val. Max., IX, 11, ext. 4, also refers to providentia in the context of Sejanus’ conspiracy. Cf. Cic., in Cat., III, 6, 14.

38 Tac., Ann., I, 13, 4: ‘suspicax animus’; II, 30, 3: ‘callidus’; XI, 3, 2: ‘calliditas’.

39 Tac., Ann., IV, 38, 1: ‘rerum vestrarum [the Senate] providum’; III, 54, 8 (Rome and Italy).

40 Strabo, XIII, p. 627 (

); Jos., AJ, XVIII, 172 (

) , cf. Tac., Ann.,

IV, 6, 7: ‘ne provinciae…turbarentur providebat’.

41 Tac., Ann., IV, 38, 1, cf. 37, 3. Constantia a Stoic virtue (

): Cic., Tusc.,

IV, 5, 10; 6, 14; 21, 47; see Grant, NC, 1950, 23ff.; Syme, Tac., II, 544. For Tiberius and his troops, see Vell. Pat., II, 114, 3.

42 Suet., Div. Iul., 75, 1.

43 Val. Max., IV, 1, 1ff.; 11; 15. See Weinstock, op. cit., 229.


VII* See Tac., Ann., I ff.; Suet., Tib., 26ff.; Dio, LVIIf. H.Furneaux, The Annals of Tacitus, I, 89ff.; J.C.Tarver, Tib. the Tyrant, 353ff.; E.Ciaceri, Tib. successore di Aug., 246ff.; and Seager, Tib., 123ff., have treated the topic.

1 Maiestas of the Senate: Vell. Pat., II, 126, 2. The Augustan consilium: Dio, LIII, 21, 4 (27 BC); LVI, 28, 2 (AD 13); Suet., Div. Aug., 35, 2; SEG, IX, 8 (= EJ2 311), line 87; Tiberius: Suet., Tib., 55; Dio, LVII, 7, 3; LX, 4, 3; see J.A.Crook, Consilium Principis, Cambridge, 1955, 8ff.; Syme, RR, 408, n. 3.

2 Tac., Ann., IV, 6, 2; 15, 3, cf. Suet., Tib., 30: ‘neque tam parvum quicquam neque tam magnum publici privatique negotii fuit, de quo non ad patres conscriptos

referretur’; Dio, LVII, 7, 2.


3 E.g., Tiberius requests privileges for Nero Caesar in AD 20: Tac., Ann., III, 29, 1; informs the Senate of Tacfarinas’ rising in 21 and tells them that they must choose a competent governor ( cf. II, 86, 1, on recruiting a Vestal; IV, 16, 1, on the Flamen Dialis); initiates a senatus consultant in response to ‘preces sociorum’ in 23: IV, 13, 1; draws the Senate’s attention to the need to deal with ‘immodestia histrionum’ in the same year: IV, 14, 1, cf. III, 37, 1. For other punitive measures, see III, 37, 1; Suet, Vit., 2, 2.

4 Tiberius’ intervention was not always decisive: Suet., Tib., 31, 3f.; Dio, LVII, 7, 3.

Its form: Tac., Ann., III, 53, 2; Dio, loc. cit., 4; 21, 1.

5 See Vell. Pat., II, 126, 4: ‘facere recte cives suo…faciendo docet; cumque sit

imperio maximus, exemple maior est’. Training the Senate: Tac., Ann., III, 35, 11; 47, 5; 51, 2 (AD 21); 59, 2 (22); IV, 6, 2 (down to 23); VI, 13, 2 (32); Suet., Tib., 26ff. Aware of being a cynosure: Tac., Ann., III, 53, 1.

6 Tac., Ann., I, 75, 3; III, 31, 4ff.

7 Tac., Ann., I, 8, 4ff. (Augustus); II, 83; IV, 9, 2f. (honours to Germanicus and Drusus); III, 48, 1 (Sulpicius Quirinius); IV, 15, 3 (Lucilius Longus); VI, II, 6

(L.Piso the pontifex); 27, 2 (L.Lamia).

8 Tac., Ann., III, 24.

9 Tiberius refers appeals to the Senate: Tac., Ann., I, 75, 6f., confirmed by Vell. Pat., II, 129, 3. Hortalus: Tac., Ann., II, 37f. Generosity to ‘nobilitas’: 48, 1ff.

10 Tac., Ann., II, 48, 3, with Suet., Vit., 2, 2, for the procedure.

11 Appianus: T.P.Wiseman, HSCP, 1968, 220; Marius Nepos: Sen., de Ben., II, 7, 2ff.; for Q.Vitellius, his brother’s success, and an attack on them by Cassius

Severus, see Suet., Vit., 2.

12 Tac., Ann., II, 33; III, 52ff. For senatorial fears, see D.Daube, Roman Law, Linguistic, Social, and Philosophical Aspects, Edinburgh, 1969, 117ff. Augustus’

legislation is mentioned by A.Gell, NA, II, 24, 14; Suet., Div. Aug., 34, 1; Dio, LIV, 2, 3 (22 BC). Augustus or Tiberius is credited with an edict raising the sum

allowed for banquets (A.Gell, loc. cit. ); for other Tiberian measures, see Suet., Tib., 34; Pliny, NH, XXXIII, 32f.

13 Tac., Ann., I, 15, 1; Vell. Pat., II, 124, 3. See Jones, Studies, 46f.; Syme, Tac., II, 756ff.; R.Frei-Stolba, Untersuchungen zu den Wahlen in der römischen Kaiserzeit, 136ff. I cannot accept the interpretation of E.S. Staveley, Greek and Roman Voting and Elections, London, 1972, 220. See also Dio, LVIII, 20, 3 (electoral

manoeuvres); Tac., Ann., XIV, 28, 1 (competition), with Jones, Studies, 47f.

14 Tac., Ann., II, 51. Koestermann, ad loc., argues from the lex Malacitana ( ILS, 6089), LVI, that the candidates had obtained the same number of votes. More probably

candidates with fewer children were disqualified.

15 Pliny, Ep., III, 20, 2.

16 Tac., Ann., I, 81, 3. D.C.Shotter discusses this passage, in CQ, NS XVI, 1966, 321ff.; I can accept only some details of his interpretation.

17 Dio, LIX, 20, 4.

18 Dio, LIII, 21, 6f. (Augustus).

19 On the Fasti between AD 5 and 31, see G.Tibiletti, Principe e Magistrati Repubblicani, 239ff. Nobiles favoured: Marsh, Reign, 116; Novi homines: R.Sealey, Phoen., 1961, 111. The view of Grant, Aspects, 55, n. 20, commends itself.

20 Tac., Ann., IV, 6, 2.

21 Tac., Ann., XI, 21, 3.


22 See, e.g., Orth, Provinzialpolitik, 100f. Dio, LIX, 9, 5, attests neglect late in the principate.

23 ILS, 212.

24 See T.P.Wiseman, New Men in the Roman Senate 139 B.C.-A.D. 14, Oxford, 1971, nos. 415 (C.Stertinius Maximus of Hasta), 336 (C.Pontius Paelignus of Brixia), 442

(T.Trebellenus Rufus of Concordia), 304 (Sex. Palpellius Hister of Pola), 88 (C.

Caetronius of ?Atria); note also nos. 517f., senators of uncertain date from Aquileia and Pola. Tiberius was familiar with Cisalpina at least from 11 BC (see above, pp.

31ff.); his child by Julia had been born at Aquileia (Suet., Tib., 7, 3).

25 Contra, Jones, Studies, 30ff., neglecting Suet., Div. Vesp., 2, 2.

26 Vell. Pat., II, 124, 4.

27 ILS, 946.

28 Wiseman, op. cit., no. 330, with references.

29 Wiseman, op. cit., nos. 5, 149.

30 See PIR 2 I 756 (Gallio); A 617 (Seneca); Laet, Samenstelling, no. 719

(Pedanius Secundus); 852 (Umbonius Silo); PIR2 I 344f. (L. and M.Iulius

Graecinus); de Laet, op. cit., no. 812; ILS, 212 (Valerius Asiaticus and his brother); PIR 2 D 126 (Domitius Afer); de Laet, op. cit., no. 804 (Togonius Gallus); Levick, Roman Colonies in Southern Asia Minor, 107f. (M.Calpurnius Rufus).

31 Tac., Ann., VI, 2, 2ff. (Togonius and Gallio); Dio, LX, 24, 5f. (Silo).

32 The principle: Tac., Ann., III, 53, 3 (AD 22). Practice: I, 7, 4: ‘nam Tiberius cuncta per consults incipiebat…ne edictum quidem…nisi tribuniciae potestatis

praescriptione posuit’ (AD 14); IV, 6, 3: ‘sua consulibus, sua praetoribus species; minorum quoque magistratuum exercita potestas’ (up to 23). Cf. Vell. Pat., II, 126, 2; Suet., Tib., 30, 1; 31, 2f.; Dio, LVII, 11, 2 (up to 19); note his absenting himself from Rome on 1 January, partly to avoid obscuring the glory of the consuls on their first day of office (Dio, LVII, 8, 5), and his communications with the consuls as

late as 33 (LVIII, 21, 3).

33 Tac., Ann., I, 77.

34 Tac., Ann., XIII, 28.

35 Tac., Ann., III, 33f.; IV, 20, 4, cf. Dig., I, 16, 4, 2, with Orth, op. cit., 65ff.

36 Polyb., VI, 13, 1.

37 The generals: E.Badian, Roman Imperialism in the late Republic, 2nd ed., Oxford, 1968, 76ff. Wealth of the Principes: Lucan, III, 168 (a reference which I owe to Mr C.E. Stevens). Subsidies: RG, 17. Working of the imperial system: Jones, Studies, 99ff.; P.A.Brunt, JRS, 1966, 75ff.

38 RG, 17; Dio, LV, 24, 9ff.; 32, 2; Tac., Ann., I, 78, 2; II, 42, 6.

39 Tac., Ann., I, 75, 6f.; II, 38, 8; Vell. Pat., II, 129, 3 (‘senatu auctore’), cf. Dio, LVII, 10, 3.

40 Tac., Ann., I, 75, 4.

41 Tac., Ann., II, 47, 3. See Brunt, art. cit., 86, n. 74. For consultation of the Senate

‘de vectigalibus et monopoliis’ as normal Tiberian practice, see Suet., Tib., 30. It is not clear if reference was made to the Senate in 17 about the reduction of the

‘centesima rerum venalium’: Tac., Ann., II, 42, 6, cf. I, 78, 2, and Dio, LVIII, 16, 2.

42 Tac., Ann., IV, 13, 1 (three years’ remission).

43 Tac., Ann., IV, 20, 1f.: ‘ea prima Tiberio erga pecuniam alienam diligentia fuit’; VI, 2, 1 (Sejanus); 19, 1 (property of Sex. Marius).

44 Tac., Ann., VI, 16ff., and see above, pp. 104–5, 133.


45 The Vestal: Tac., Ann., II, 86; the Senate’s role, taken over from the people: A.Gell, NA, I, 12, 12; Dio, LV, 22, 6. Maluginensis : Tac., Ann., III, 58f.; 71. His son: IV, 16. Authority of Pontifex Maximus: A.H.M.Jones, Criminal Courts, 10.

Priestly elections: A.N.Sherwin-White ad Pliny. Ep., IV, 8, 3. Sibylline Books: Tac., Ann., VI, 12, 1ff.; see above, p. 218. Augustus’ interest in the maintenance of traditional religion: Suet., Div. Aug., 31, 2f.; Dio, LIV, 36, 1.

46 SEG, IX, 8 (= EJ 2, 311), lines 72ff.

47 Dig., XL, 1, 24, cf. VIII, 8, 11, 2 ( lex Iunia Petronia of 19); Tac., Ann., IV, 16, 4f.

(23); Cod. Iust., IX, 21; 31, 1 ( lex Visellia of 24 (?); see Mommsen, St., III, i, 424, n. 3); Gaius, Inst., II, 134; Dig., XXVIII, 2, 29; Inst. Iust., II, 13, 2 ( lex Iunia Vellaea (?) of 28). In general see Mommsen, St., III, i, 346, and H.Jolowicz, Historical Introduction to Roman Law, 2nd ed., Cambridge, 1954, 365ff.; 372ff.

Leges were employed by Claudius.

48 Tac., Ann., III, 25ff.; differently interpreted by R.Bauman, Impietas in Principem, 54.

49 Tac., Ann., III, 36; see above, p. 194.

50 Tac., Ann., III, 60ff., especially 63, 1.

51 Tac., Ann., IV, 30, 3ff.

52 Tac., Ann., VI, 16ff.; Suet., Tib., 48, 1, where the loan is treated as an act of public munificence; Dio, LVIII, 21, 4ff., showing that Tiberius himself made the sum

over to the Aerarium for the purpose of the loan.

53 See below, Ch. XI, n. 29.

54 Jones, Studies, 69ff.; J.Bleicken, Senatsgericht und Kaisergericht, Göttingen, 1962, 53ff.; P.Garnsey, Social Status and Legal Privilege in the Roman Empire, Oxford, 1970, 17ff. Murder: Tac., Ann., III, 12, 10.

55 Tac., Ann., XIII, 4, 3 (Italy and the ‘public’ provinces), cf. Polyb., VI, 13, 4f.

(Italy), cf. 7 (foreign affairs). Furneaux and Koestermann ad loc. give examples of senatorial activity in Italy (Nero and early Vespasian) and the ‘public’ provinces

(Claudius and Nero).

56 The flood of AD 15: Tac., Ann., I. 76, cf. 79; the delimitation of 8–7 BC: ILS, 5923

a-d (Gallus), 5924 a-d (Augustus). The permanent board: Dio, LVII, 14, 8. Suet., Div.

Aug., 37, 2, includes the Curatores among the boards devised by Augustus: ‘curam operum publicorum, viarum, aquarum, alvei Tiberis, frumenti populo dividundi,

praefecturam urbis, triumviratum legendi senatus et alterum recognoscendi turmas

equitum’. This testimony is rejected by Mommsen, St., II, ii3, 1046, n. 2; but according to Koestermann, ad loc., the two commissioners were acting as heads of the Curatores…Tiberis and of the Curatores Aquarum; Capito headed the latter from 13 to 22 (Front., de Aquis, II, 102). The record commission: Dio, LVII, 16, 2, cf. ILS, 972; for another example, see above, p. 105, and another Augustan precedent, a three-man economy commission, chosen by lot: Dio, LV, 25, 6 (AD


57 The Senate’s involvement in public works under Tiberius: Suet., Tib., 30; M.Lepidus: Tac., Ann., III, 72, 3; the theatre of Pompey: 72, 4, cf. VI, 45, 2.

58 Tac., Ann., II, 85, cf. Jos., AJ, XVIII, 65ff.

59 Actors: Tac., Ann., IV, 14, 4 (on the motion of Tiberius), cf. Suet., Tib., 37, 2; Dio, LVII, 21, 3. For the appeal of Florentia and the other towns, and other Italian

business dealt with by the Senate, see Tac., Ann., I, 79; II, 35, 3 (AD 16); Suet., Tib., 31, 1 (Trebia, no date). The catastrophe at Fidena: IV, 63, 3f.


60 Tac., Ann., III, 60ff., cf. IV, 14 (AD 23). Tiberius referred embassies from the senatorial province of Africa to the consuls: Suet., Tib., 31, 2, cf. Tac., Ann., IV, 37, 1 (Baetica). For the intertwining roles of Senate and Princeps in the provinces see F. Millar, JRS, 1966, 156ff.

61 Earthquake relief: Tac., Ann., II, 47, 4f. Achaea and Macedonia: Tac., Ann., I, 76, 4; the Senate decided (at whose suggestion?) to transfer the provinces to imperial

control; cf. 80, 1. Syria and Judaea: II, 42, 7; mentioned in the Senate: 43, 1.

62 See above, p. 21; Pollio: Cat. of Coins of the Roman Empire in the Ashmolean Museum, I, Oxford, 1975, 1363.

63 Tac., Ann., IV, 15, 4ff.; 37, 4; 55f.

64 Tac., Ann., IV, 43.

65 Achaea and Macedonia: Tac., Ann., I, 80, 1. Sparta free: A.H.M. Jones, The Greek City, Oxford, 1940, 129. Aegium: Tac., Ann., IV, 13, 1.

66 Tac., Ann., III, 12, 2, cf. II, 43, 3: ‘praefecerat Pisonem [sc. Tiberius]’.

67 ‘Militis commoda’: Tac., Ann., I, 26, 5f.; Report to the Senate: Tac., Ann., I, 52, 2

( cf. Sue t., Tib., 30); IV, 4, 4ff. For the legal position, see P.A. Brunt, ZfPE, 1974, 162ff. The edict: 78, 2f., with 79, 1: ‘Actum deinde in senatu…’

68 Tac., Ann., VI, 3, 1f.

69 Imperial auspices: AE, 1940, 68 (= EJ 2 43). Tiberius referred envoys from Africa to the consuls: Suet., Tib., 31, 2. The choice of Blaesus: Tac., Ann., III, 32; 35. For Lepidus, see Syme, JRS, 1955, 22ff.

70 The Augustan system: Suet., Div. Aug., 47; Dio, LIII, 13f.; Mommsen, St., II, i3, 243ff. Five-year interval: lex Pompeia of 52 BC: Dio, XL, 56, 1. Debate is implied by Caes., BC, I, 5, 9, cf. the prorogation of imperial favourites such as Eprius Marcellus, PIR 2 E 84. Blaesus was prorogued by the Senate in 22: Tac., Ann., III, 58, 1, cf. Syme, Tac., I, 441. Debate on the merits of candidates: Tac., Ann., III, 32, 2; Suet., Tib., 30, 2: ‘denique quibus imperium prorogari aut extraordinaria bella mandari’ (a generalization from the discussion of 21, according to Orth,

Provinzialpolitik, 41).

71 Dolabella’s proposal: Tac., Ann., III, 69, 1ff. (Val. Max., VI, 9, takes up Tiberius’

theme of ‘mutatio morum’). C.Galba: VI, 40, 3; Suet., Galba, 3, 4. Galba was impoverished and killed himself not at the dishonour but because he had lost his

chance of restoring his fortunes: see Orth, Provinzialpolitik, 70, n. 3. It would be worth knowing to whom Tiberius’ grim letter was addressed. When he declared

against the candidature of Maluginensis (see above, p. 102) he was motivated by

regard for the law or for Augustan precedent (so Orth, op. cit., 48).

72 Tiberius’ complaint: Tac., Ann., VI, 27, 3. Dio, LVIII, 23, 5, attributes the shortage to Tiberius’ executions. The regulation of AD 15: LVII, 14, 5. Absentee governors:

Tac., Ann., I, 80, 4; VI, 27, 2; Suet., Tib., 63, 2, cf. 41; Dio, LVIII, 8, 3; 19, 5f., with Orth, Provinzialpolitik, 82ff., and Syme, Tac., I, 442f.

73 Capito: Tac., Ann., IV, 15, 3; Dio, LVII, 23, 5. Claudius: Tac., Ann., XII, 60.

74 The following paragraphs are heavily indebted to Orth, Provinzialpolitik, 57ff.

75 For the coinage, see Grant, Aspects, 8ff.; IX Hispana: Tac., Ann., III, 91; IV, 5, 4; 23, 2; CIL, V, 4329, line 5; the move was made in consultation with the Senate: Suet., Tib., 30, with Rietra, ad loc. Deployment: Tac., Ann., IV, 24, 3. Recruitment: CIL, VIII, 14603 (AD 36–39), with Brunt, art. cit., 164ff. Decorations: Tac., Ann., III, 21, 3f. (L.Apronius in 20); Suet., Tib., 31, 2 (generalization). Reports to Senate: Suet., loc. cit.


76 Gaul: Tac., Ann., III, 41, 4. Vitellius in the East: VI, 32, 3: ‘cunctis…praefecit’; he received instructions on dealing with Artabanus: Jos., AJ, XVIII, 96, and 101, cf.

124. His replacement of Pilate: 88ff. For his powers, see D.Magie, Roman Rule in Asia Minor, II, 1364, Orth, Provinzialpolitik, 58f.

77 Vell. Pat., II, 129, 4; ‘Dat negotium Blaeso [sc. Tiberius]’: Tac., Ann., III, 73, 4.

78 Tac., Ann., IV, 23, 2.

79 The execution of Gracchus by L. Asprenas in AD 14, perhaps on Tiberius’ orders

(Tac., Ann., I, 53, 9), was an affair of state and nothing to do with routine administration.

80 Road works of Lamia: IRT, 930 (= EJ 2 , 291: ‘imp. Ti.Caesaris Aug. iussu’); by Rubellius Blandus in 35– 36: IRT, 330f.; limitation by C. Marsus in 29–36: CIL, VIII, 22786a, f, k.

81 ILS, 5829; 5829a; CIL, III, 3199.

82 The theory, Polyb., VI, 12, 2; 13, 7, cf. Livy, XXIX, 16, 6ff., and (for client kings) Caes., BC, III, 107, 2, with access through the consuls; for Augustus, cf. Dio, LIII, 21, 6; 25, 1; LV, 33, 5 (a consular committee); LVI, 25, 7 (Augustus). Tiberius and client kings: Suet., Tib., 30.

83 Tac., Ann., II, 42, 2ff.; Dio, LVII, 17, 3ff. Cf. Suet., Tib., 8.

84 Tac., Ann., II, 63, 1ff.

85 Tac., Ann., II, 88, 1f.

86 Tac., Ann., II, 64ff. The anecdote about Pyrrhus is recorded by Val. Max., VI, 5, 1.

87 Tac., Ann., IV, 26, 4.

88 Instances of opposition: Suet., Tib., 31, 1. Messalla: Tac., Ann., I, 8, 5, cf. III, 70, 3

(Ateius Capito).

89 Tac., Ann., II, 40, 6.

90 Gaul: Tac., Ann., III, 47, 1; Vell. Pat., II, 129, 3. Apronius: Tac., Ann., IV, 74. 1.

91 Tac., Ann., VI, 31ff.; 41, 2ff.

92 Aufidius Bassus: Ph. Fabia, Les Sources de Tacite dans les Histoires et les Annales, Paris, 1893, 392ff.; contra, Syme, Tac., I, 276ff.; taken up by Pliny’s Histories: Pliny, Ep., III, 5, 6; terminal date 31. Mommsen, Ges. Schr., VII, 677ff., cf. Syme, Tac., II, 698f. Syme advocates Servilius Nonianus as a source: Ten Studies in Tacitus, Oxford, 1970, 104f. G.B. Townend, Herm., 1961, 115ff., Balbillus. Tacitus’ claims: see Furneaux’ edition, I, 13. The acta: Ann., XV, 74, 3.

93 Tac., Ann., IV, 74, 2; Vell. Pat., II, 130, 4.

94 Tac., Ann., III, 53, 1 (apology for communicating by letter in AD 22); see Crook, op. cit., 131f. (above, n. 1). Until 26 Tiberius seems to have spent most of the business year at Rome except for a projected absence in 16, Tac., Ann., II, 35, 2—

implicitly denied by Suet., Tib., 38, who says he failed to put a foot out of doors for two years after he took power—and an absence during 21–22 (Tac., Ann., III, 31, 2–

64, 1), during which he went no farther than Antium (Suet., loc. cit. ). Note the complaint of M. Terentius in 32: ‘abditos principis sensus’: Tac., Ann., VI, 8, 9.

95 Tac., Ann., II, 35 (AD 16).

96 Dio, LVIII, 21, 2.

97 Timing and tone of interventions: Tac., Ann., I, 74, 5f.; Suet., Tib., 30f.; Dio, LVII, 7, 3ff. (or does this refer to the consilium?). Written advice: Tac., Ann., I, 73, 3, with Furneaux ad III, 31, 4, for letters written during his absence in AD 21–22.

Veto: see below, Ch. XI, n. 107.

98 Tac., Ann., III, 65, 3 (recorded under AD 22). For the Gauls see Ann., XI, 23.


99 Vell. Pat., II, 124, 2; Tac., Ann., III, 47, 2; III, 53, 3; IV, 40, 1 (AD 25), cf. I, 47, 3

(thoughts attributed to Tiberius); V, 5, 1 (AD 29).


VIII See Seager, Tib., 136ff.; Z. Yavetz, Plebs and Princeps, Oxford, 1969; R.Syme,

* Herm., 1956, 257ff.; R.F.Newbold, Athen., 1974, 110ff.

1 Concordia ordinum: see above, pp. 51f.

2 Privileges to knights: see above, p. 52; novi homines: p. 98; antecedents: pp. 13, 19; friends: Hor., Ep., I, 3; 8; Pompeius Macer, Strabo, XIII, p. 618; A.Avillius Flaccus, Philo, in Flacc., 2; 158, etc. T;. Caesonius Priscus, Suet., Tib., 42; Curtius Atticus, Tac., Ann., IV, 58, 1. Massurius Sabinus the jurist, ‘made an eques late in life, perhaps in order to qualify him for the amicitia principis’: Crook, Consilium principis, 36; C. Sallustius Crispus, Tac., Ann., III, 30; Seius Strabo, Vell. Pat., II, 127, 3; C. Turranius can hardly be denied the title of friend; see Syme, RR, 437; Vescularius Flaccus, Tac., Ann., II, 28, 1 and VI, 10, 2, a friend from the days of the Rhodian exile; the status of Iulius Marinus (VI, 10, 2) was probably not lower.

3 Gold ring: Pliny, NH, XXXIII, 32, with Jones, Studies, 40ff., and M.I.Henderson, JRS, 1963, 65ff.= Seager, ed., Crisis of the Roman Republic, Cambridge, 1969, 73ff., cf. T.P.Wiseman, Hist., 1970, 81f.; New Men in the Roman Senate, Oxford, 1971, 69. Lex: Cod. Iust., IX, 21, 1; 31, 1; Gaius, Inst., I, 33; Ulpian, Fr. 3, 5; Rogers, Trials, 85. Dio, LIX, 9, 5, attests neglect in the last years.

4 Suet., Tib., 35, 2, cf. Tac., Ann., II, 85, 2 ( senatus consultum of 19 provoked by one case).

5 Tac., Ann., IV, 40, 5ff.

6 Procuratorial encroachment: Tac., Ann., IV , 15, 3, cf. 6, 7; Dio, LVII, 23, 4f.

Herennius: Jos., AJ, XVIII, 158, with PIR 2 H 103, and P.A. Brunt, Lat., 1966, 464f., who re-marks that Tac., Ann., IV, 6, implies a decline. Domitian: ILS, 1374.

7 Freedmen controlled: Tac., Ann., IV, 6, 7. Hiberus: Dio, LVIII, 19, 6; Philo, in Flacc., 2; see Brunt, loc. cit., who regards this as analogous to the encroachment of equestrian officials. Bribery: Tac., Ann., IV, 70, 1; Jos., AJ., XVIII, 145 (cited by Brunt). Trio: Tac., Ann., VI, 38, 2.

8 Vell. Pat., II, 103, 1 and 3ff.; 104, 3f.; 111, 2, cf. Suet., Tib., 59. Other lampoons: Tac., Ann., I, 72, 5 (AD 15); Suet., Tib., 66 (late in the principate). For his reaction, see above, pp. 192f.

9 Drusus honoured: see above, pp. 58f. Concord: Dio, LVI, 25, 1. Ceres and Ops:

Fasti Val., Amit., and Ant. Min.; see Inscr. Ital., XIII, ii, 493= EJ 2 , p. 50.

10 ‘Agrippa’s’ followers: Tac., Ann., II, 40, 1; Suet., Tib., 25, 1; Dio, LVII, 16, 3.

Demonstration for Agrippina and Nero: Tac., Ann., V, 4, 3f.

11 Gaius Caligula: Dio, LVIII, 8, 2. Drusus Caesar: Tac., Ann., VI, 23, 5; Suet., Tib., 65, 2; Dio, LVIII, 13, 1. Sejanus and the- plebs: Syme, art. cit. (n. VIII*); S.A.Jameson, NC, 1966, 120f. Granaries: CIL, VI, 238; 9471. The fire: Tac., Ann., III, 72, 4ff. Note delegations to Princeps and Sejanus by all three orders, that of the plebs led by tribunes and plebeian aediles (AD 29): Dio, LVIII, 2, 8. The Aventine: Syme, art. cit., and A. Merlin, L’Aventin dans l’Antiquité, Paris, 1906, 254ff.

Revulsion of feeling: Juv., X, 71ff.; Dio, LVIII, 11, 3.


12 ILS 6044= EJ 2 53 (I am much indebted to Mr M.W.Frederiksen for giving me a fresh tracing of the stone).

13 In line 4 Dessau in ILS prints ‘[q]uae’, but there is no trace of the ‘V’; cf.

Mommsen, CIL, VI, 10213. ‘Sixty years’ goes back to 30 BC and the end of the Civil Wars; hence the supplement; or perhaps the gap conceals a reference to the

Aventine fire of that year. Syme suggests ‘[efflag]itatio’, but, as he suspects, there is insufficient room; his ‘[flag]itatio’ is very attractive.

14 ‘Supplex’ is used in an electoral context by Horace, Ep., II, 2, 102. Tiberius’

pedantry: see above, Ch. I, n. 33. For the disturbances that followed Sejanus’ fall, see Dio, LVIII, 12, 1ff.; and Pliny, NH, VIII, 194, with Syme, art. cit., 261.

15 ‘Agrippa’: Dio, LVII, 16, 3, with mention of ‘Gaul’; ‘Drusus’: Tac., Ann., VI, 5.

16 Concern for order: Suet., Tib., 37, 1ff. Populus delighted at his death: 75, 3, with A.Piganiol, Recherches sur les Jeux romains, Paris, 1923, 112ff.

17 Op. cit. (n. VIII*), 108ff.

18 Tac., Ann., IV, 2, 1; Suet., Tib., 37, 1, cf. Div. Aug., 49, 1; Dio, LVII, 19, 6; 24, 5.

19 Agents active: Tac., Ann., II, 40, 3 (AD 16). Awareness of public opinion: III, 6, 1

(20); 54, 11 (22); IV, 38, 1 (25); VI, 13, 2 (32); 15, 5 (33). Discontent and

quietude: I, 15, 2; II, 82; III, 11, 3. Corn: III, 87, 1; VI, 13, 1. See Yavetz, op. cit.

(n. VIII*), 4 and 14.

20 Pliny, NH, XXXIV, 62.

21 Suet., Tib., 37; Tac., Ann., IV, 27, 3 (incipient slave revolt in 24); edicts: I, 7, 6 (AD

14); V, 5, 1 (29); VI, 13, 2 (32, with an account of his efforts to keep up the corn supply; see above, p. 218). Efforts acknowledged by Tacitus: II, 87, 1 (subsidy of

19); IV, 6, 6 (in general), cf. Vell. Pat., II, 126, 3. The debate of 22: III, 54, 7.

22 Congiaria of 300 sesterces in 17 for Germanicus’ triumph: Tac., Ann., II, 42, 1, with Furneaux, ad loc., cf. Suet., Tib., 20; of 375 in 20 and 23 for the tirocinia of Nero and Drusus: Fasti Ost., CIL, XIV, 244=4534; Tac., Ann., III, 29, 3; IV, 4; Suet., Tib., 54, cf. RG, 15; Dio, LV, 10. See D.van Berchem, Les Distributions de Blé et d’Argent à la Plèbe romaine sous l’Empire, Geneva, 1939, 144ff. Vell. Pat., II, 129, has ‘quotiens’. Augustus’ bequest: Suet., Div. Aug., 101, 2f.; Tib., 57, 2; Dio, LVII, 14, 1ff.

23 Floods: see above, pp. 105f. Fires in 16: Dio, LVII, 14, 8; in 27: Tac., Ann., IV, 6, 1ff., where it is noted that Tiberius’ departure would have been blamed for the

disasters of the year by the ‘vulgus’ but for his generosity; Vell. Pat., II, 130, 2; Suet., Tib., 48; in 36: Tac., Ann., VI, 45, 1f.; see above, p. 218.

24 Vell. Pat., II, 114 (officers); Rhodes: Suet., Tib., 11, 2.

25 Tiberius’ tone: Yavetz, op. cit., 105ff. Shows restricted: Suet., Tib., 34, 1, cf. 47 (he gave no spectacula and rarely attended); Tac., Ann., I, 54, 4; 76, 6 (absence in 15); Dio, LVII, 11, 4ff., calls Tiberius a frequent though unenthusiastic attender; but that is in the period before Germanicus’ death; and he mentions an occasion on which

Tiberius was forced to free an actor, which was exactly what Suetonius says

deterred him from attending. Actors: Tac., Ann., I, 77, 1ff., cf. Dio, LVII, 14, 2.

Restored: LIX, 2, 5. The Oscan farces: Tac., Ann., IV, 14, 4, cf. Suet., Tib., 37, 2, and Dio, LVII, 21, 3. Fidena: IV, 62, 3. Triumphus: Sen., de Prov., 4, 4.

Demonstration of 32: Ann., VI, 13, 1.

26 New buildings: Tac., Ann., II, 41, 1 (for the associations of Fors Fortuna, see Syme, art. cit., 265, cf. Hennig, Seianus, 76); VI, 45, 1: ‘modicis privatis aedificationibus ne publice quidem nisi duo opera struxit, templum Augusti et


scaenam Pompeiani theatri; eaque perfecta, contemptu ambitionis an per

senectutem, haud dedicavit’; Suet., Tib., 47, and Cal., 21, claims them unfinished, but cf. RIC, I, 109, no. 38; II, 49, 1: a list of temples which Augustus had begun to repair, completed by Tiberius; cf. Dio, LVII, 10, 1ff., and Vell. Pat., II, 130, 1.

Whether Tiberius was responsible for the construction of the temples at Capua and

Nola which he dedicated in 26 (Tac., Ann., IV, 57, 1; Suet., Tib., 40; Dio, LVI, 46, 3) is uncertain.

27 Tac., Ann., IV, 38, 2. Augustus: RG, 19ff.; Suet., Div. Aug., 28, 3–29.

28 Popularity of Germanicus and Agrippina: Tac., Ann., I, 33, 4; II, 13, 1; 41, 4; 43, 7; 59, 1, cf. EJ 2 320 (b); 72, 3, cf. III, 29, 3; IV, 12, 2; 15, 5; VI, 46, 1; Suet., Cal., 4, with Yavetz, op. cit., 109ff. Public grief at his death and funeral: II, 71f.; III, 1ff.; Dio, LVII, 18, 6ff.; trial of Piso: Tac., Ann., III, 12ff., and see above, pp. 196f. Portraits of Germanicus: see PIR 2 I 221, p. 185.

29 The edict: Tac., Ann., IV, 67, 1; see Yavetz, op. cit., 112. Mr Stevens drew my attention to a nice parallel: the unpopularity of Queen Victoria during the seclusion of her widowhood. The verse: Suet., Tib., 45.

30 Tac., Ann., VI, 46, 1.

31 So J.P.V.D.Balsdon, The Emperor Gaius (Caligula), Oxford, 1937, 182, citing Suet., Div. Aug., 101; Dio, LVI, 32, 2; LIX, 2, 1ff. There is an advance of five million sesterces to the populus.


IX* See Marsh, Reign, 134ff.; C.E. Smith, Tib. and the Rom. Emp., 182ff.; P.A.Brunt, Hist., 1961, 189ff.; G. Alföldy, Lat., 1965, 824ff.; Orth, Provinzialpolitik; Seager, Tib., 162ff. For separate areas, see notes to each.

1 Messalla: Sen., de Ira, II, 5, 5 ( cf. above, pp. 109ff.); Tac., Ann., III, 68, 1. On the communis opinio, see Brunt, art. cit. (n. IX*), 189ff.; Orth, Provinzialpolitik, 126.

The senatus consultum Calvisianum: Visscher, Les Édits d’Auguste

découverts a Cyrène, Brussels, 1940; EJ 2 311 V. For foreign clientelae, see E.Badian’s work under that title, Oxford, 1958, and Syme, RR.

2 Orth, op. cit., 131f. To his list of prorogations add J.Morris, BJ, 1965, 88ff.: Munatius Plancus Paulinus, cos. 13, legate of Pannonia for seventeen years (after Q.Blaesus). That the distinction between the positions of the two kinds of governor is of name only is argued by F.Millar, JRS, 1966, 156ff.

3 Orth, op. cit., 82ff.; see above, Ch. VII, n. 72. For the ‘centralized monarchy’, see Laet, Samenstelling, 298.

4 Pilate: see P.L.Hedley, Journ. Theol. Stud., 1934, 56f.; E.M.Smallwood, Journ.

Jewish Stud., 1954, 12ff.; Orth, op. cit., 132. The Jewish complaint: Jos., BJ, II, 352.

5 ‘Principem longa experientia’, Tac., Ann., I, 46, 2, cf. 4, 3, and (in other areas) VI, 48, 4. See Orth, op. cit., 13; 15. For the journeys, see Ch. II. ‘Virtutes’: Vell. Pat., II, 94, 4. For a possible connexion with Pisidian Antioch, see Levick, Roman

Colonies in Southern Asia Minor, 81, n. 6. Rhodes: Suet., Tib., 11f. A priest of Ti.

Claudius Nero at Pergamum: Ath. Mitt., 1907, 321f., n. 50. Spanish connexions: see above, Ch. II, n. 6.

Tiberius the politician

Tiberius the politician

Tiberius the politician


6 Rhodians: Suet., Tib., 32, 2, and Dio, LVII, 11, 2, in each case as an example of moderatio (could a common source have transferred this item from the exile to the principate?). Sparta and Messene: Tac., Ann., IV, 43, 1ff. Patronage: Suet, Tib., 6, 2.

7 Tac., Ann., I, 46f.; 21:III, 47, 2; 23:IV, 4, 2; often down to 26: Suet., Tib., 38, with Rietra, ad loc., cf. Dio, LVII, 3, 2 (illness as the pretext). It was Professor P.A.Brunt who kindly drew my attention to Augustus’ keeping to Italy in his later years.

8 Germany: Tac., Ann., II, 26, 3ff., cf. I, 62, 3. Cn. Piso: II, 43, 4f.; III, 16, 1f. Egypt: II, 60, 3f.; Suet., Tib., 52, 2.

9 The Empire a ‘belua’: Suet., Tib., 24, 1, cf. Tac., Ann., I, 11, 1ff. Careful generalship: 18. Literary tastes: see above, p. 16. Avoidance of public contacts: see below, n. 49.

10 Prorogations: Tac., Ann., I, 80, 2ff.; Dio, LVIII, 23, 5. Flies: Jos., AJ, XVIII, 171ff.

The complaint: Tac., Ann., VI, 27, 3.

11 Orth, op. cit., 80f., relies heavily on this as an explanation; Brunt, art. cit., 210, n.

59, favours a preference for mediocrity. For Tiberius’ cunctatio, real and alleged, see, besides passages cited in preceding nn., descriptions of his ‘accession’, above, pp. 71ff.; his conduct of affairs from 27 onwards: Suet., Tib., 41; Jos., AJ, XVIII, 169ff. (embassies and trials):

(implying a change); cf. Philo, In Flacc., 128f.; over the succession: Tac., Ann., VI, 46, 1.

12 Tac., Ann., I, 80, 4; Hist., II, 65, 2; Suet., Tib., 63, 2, cf. 41, 1; Dio, LVIII, 19, 5.

For the real explanation, see E.J.Weinrib, HSCP, 1968, 276f. For Piso, see Tac., Ann., IV, 45; Pacuvius in Syria, Sen., Ep., 12, 8: ‘ein äusserst ungünstiges Bild’

(Orth, op. cit., 90). The view adopted in the text is diametrically opposed to that of Marsh, Reign, 159.

13 See above, n. 7. Recruitment without fear is one of Velleius’ themes: II, 130, 2; see P.A.Brunt, Italian Manpower, Oxford, 1971, 241 f.; 414. For the effect abroad, see Tac., Ann., IV, 46, 2 (Thrace).

14 ‘Sheep’: Dio, LVII, 10, 5, cf. Suet., Tib., 32, 2. Supplies: Tac., Ann., III, 54, 6ff.

Gracchan attitude: E.Badian, Roman Imperialism, 2nd ed., Oxford, 1968, 44ff.

‘Caput rerum’: Tac., Ann., I, 47, 1, cf. III, 44, 2; 47, 3.

15 Dress: above n. 8. Equality: Jos., AJ, XVIII, 207f. Exposure: Tac., Ann., III, 12, 7.

While in Egypt Germanicus relieved a famine by opening the granaries, II, 59, 2,

cf. Jos., Contra Ap., 2, 5; but Tacitus makes it clear that this was not the object of the visit (so Suet., Tib., 52, 1). Tiberius might well have objected to that measure above all, given the attitude ascribed him in the text, especially if there were any connexion between that and the famine at Rome of 19 ( Ann., II, 87, 1); there is no reason to believe there was. Germanicus in Egypt: P.Oxyrh., 2435; P.Germ. (Hunt and Edgar, Select Papyri, II, 211 (= EJ 2 320)). See U.Wilcken, Herm., 1928, 48ff.;=

Koestermann, Hist., 1958, 348ff.; Akveld, Germanicus, 94ff.; D.G. Weingärtner, Die Ägyptenreise des Germanicus.

16 Tac., Ann., I, 76, 4; 80, 1.

17 Syme, JRS, 1934, 113ff., repr. with Addendum in Danubian Papers, Bucharest, 1971, 40ff.; A.Stein, Die Legaten van Moesien, Diss. Pann., I, 11, Budapest, 1940, 9ff., arguing that the province was created by Tiberius ( cf. App., Illyr., 30); A.Mócsy, Pannonia and Upper Moesia, London, 1974, 33 ff.; P.A.Brunt, Lat., 1960, 499, n. 1, suggests that Tiberius imposed the first census.


18 Drusus’ command: Tac., Ann., II, 44ff.; III, 7, 1; imperium and ovatio: 20, 4; see Orth, op. cit., 36, n. 7. Activities: Mócsy, loc. cit.; J.J. Wilkes, Dalmatia, London, 1969, 229; A. and J.Šašel, Inscriptions Latinae, quae in Iugoslavia inter Annas MCMXL et MCMLX repertae et editae sunt, Ljublana, 1963, 257; G.Alföldy, art.

cit. (n. IX*), 838 (grants of citizenship); CIG, II, 3612= IGR, IV, 219 (= EJ 2 227), cf. 3630 (clearance of pirates from the Propontis); honoured at Athens as Ares: IG

II/III2, 3257 (= EJ 2 136).

19 Fall of Maroboduus: Tac., Ann., II, 62f.

20 Roads and fleet: Wilkes, op. cit., 452ff.; Mócsy, op. cit., 44f. See above, Ch. VII, n. 81. Distance from Rome: Vell. Pat., II, 111, 1, cf. Dio, LV, 30, 1.

21 For roads of 32–34, see C.H.V. Sutherland, The Romans in Spain, London, 1939, 171; C.E.van Sickle, CP, 1929, 77ff.; Orth, op. cit., 102.

22 Grain: Jos., BJ, II, 383, with R.M.Haywood, Econ. Surv. of Anc. Rome, IV, 42ff.

23 Asprenas: ILS, 151= EJ 2 290; Lamia: IRT, 930= EJ 2 291.

24 The war: Tac., Ann., II, 52 (Camillas); III, 20f. (Apronius); 32, 73f. (Blaesus); IV, 23ff. (Dolabella); Aur. Vict., Ep., 2, 3 (‘lactrocinia’); with L.Cantarelli, A e R, 1901, 3ff.; T.R.S.Broughton, The Romanization of Africa Proconsularis, Baltimore and London, 1929, 88ff. Syme, Stud, in Rom. Econ. and Soc. Hist, in Honor of

A.C.Johnson, 113ff.; P.Romanelli, Storia delle Provincie Romane dell’ Africa, Rome, 1959, 228ff. Land-hunger: M.Rostovtzeff, Soc. Econ. Hist. Rom. Emp. 2, I, 319, cf. Broughton, op. cit., 91, and Syme, art. cit., 121, n. 30.

25 Alföldy, art. cit. (n. IX*), 837, citing Tac., Ann., II, 52, 3, and III, 73, 3. Cf. Syme, art. cit., 129f.

26 Syme, art. cit., 118ff.; JRS, 1933, 25ff.

27 Fabatus: ILS, 2721. Galba: Suet., Galba, 7f.; Aur. Vict., Ep., 4, 2. Marsus: CIL, VIII, 22, 786 a, f, k, with Orth, op. cit., 60, n. 3. Madauros: Syme, art. cit., 122.

28 The revolt: Tac., Ann., III, 40 ff., with A.Grenier, REL, 1936, 373ff.; A.J.Christopherson, Hist., 1968, 354ff.; 365f.

29 Gallic money-making: Strabo, IV, p. 195; Exports: Jos., BJ, II, 372f. See Grenier, Econ. Surv. of Anc. Rome, III, 465ff. (Augustus’ gifts, 490f.).

30 Tac., Ann., II, 33 ( cf. Dio, LVII, 15, 2), with reference to the fate of Libo Drusus; see D.Daube, Roman Law. Linguistic, Social, and Philosophical Aspects,

Edinburgh, 1969, 117ff.; III, 52ff., especially 53, 5; R.M.Wheeler, Rome beyond the Imperial Frontiers, London, 1954, 137 ff., shows where the money went.

31 Tac., Ann., VI, 16ff.; Suet., Tib., 48, 1, cf. 49, 2; Dio, LVIII, 21, 5; see above, p.

104. See M.Crawford, JRS, 1970, 46f.: ‘to preserve social status’. For the offerings, see Th. Pekáry, Röm. Mitt., 1966–67, 105ff., and for the date, Tac., Ann., II, 32, 3.

32 Frugality: Tac., Ann., III, 52, 2: (‘antiquae parsimoniae’, cf. VI, 45, 1: ‘modicus privatis aedificationibus’); Suet., Tib., 46 (‘parcus et tenax’), cf. 34, 1 (half-boars served at dinner). Old-fashioned economics: I am indebted for this point to Miss

N.G. Watts. According to Suet., Cal., 37, 3, Tiberius left 2,700 million sesterces, which Caligula spent in a year; cf. Dio, LIX, 3, 4:2,300 or 3,300, with Caligula in need during his second year; Augustus had left his heirs only 150 millions. But see

J.P.V.D. Balsdon, The Emperor Gaius, 182. The question might be obscure to contemporaries: Tiberius gave up publishing rationes imperii (Suet., Cal., 16 , 1).

Indifference? Or knowledge that the Aerarium and Fiscus could not balance their

accounts without his aid?


33 The charges in Suet., Tib., 49, are dealt with by G.B.Townend, Lat., XXI, 1962, 484ff., and by Rogers, Trials, 176f. See also Tac., Ann., IV, 20, 1f. (Silius, with note that it was the first example of ‘diligentia’). In 32 ‘bona Seiani ablata aerario ut in fiscum cogentur’: VI, 2, 1 (presumably on the same grounds that part of the

property had been Caesar’s gift). Marius, ‘Hispaniarum ditissimus’, accused of

incest and thrown from the Tarpeian rock; his mines (gold and copper) ‘quamquam

publicarentur, sibimet…seposuit’ (presumably to the Fiscus): VI, 19, 1f.; Dio,

LVIII, 22, 2, says that it was Tiberius’ favour that made Marius rich. When Fufius

Geminus read his will out in the Senate it was not because he knew Tiberius

wanted the property but to prove his goodwill towards the Princeps: Dio, LVIII, 4,

5. For Tiberius’ abstention from private property (AD 17), see Tac., Ann., II, 48, 1ff. For the Fiscus as opposed to the private purse as the destination of the

confiscated property, see P.A.Brunt, JRS, 1966, 81f. Domitian: Suet., Dom., 12.

34 Grenier, art. cit.; see above, n. 28. For the Treviri, see G.W.Clarke, Hist., 1965, 335ff.; contra, Christopherson, loc. cit.

35 Census: Tac., Ann., I, 31, 3; II, 6, 1. No new burdens: IV, 6, 7. Horses: II, 5, 3, cf.

I, 71, 3, where Gaul, Spain, and Italy vie with each other in making up the losses of 15 (‘arma equos aurum’). Auxiliares: II, 16, 3. Immunities: Suet., Tib., 49, 2.

Cyzicus: 37, 3; Tac., Ann., IV, 36, 2; Dio, LVII, 24, 6 (no mention of immunity, but there may be cases that have escaped the attention of the sources).

36 Administration: Acilius Aviola was legate of Lugdunensis in 21 (Tac., Ann., III, 41, 2). Finance continued centralized: ILS, 1514 (= EJ 2 158). Druids: Pliny, NH, XXX, 13; Suet., Div. Claud., 25, 5, credits Claudius with complete abolition.

37 Tac., Ann., IV, 6, 7; Strabo, XIII, p. 627; Jos., AJ, XVIII, 172; Vell. Pat., II, 126, 4.

38 Prorogations undesirable: Brunt, art. cit., 206ff.; Orth, op. cit., 77f. Number of cases: Brunt, art. cit., 224ff., with Orth, op. cit., 64, n. 2.

39 The trials of Silanus and Capito: Tac., Ann., III, 66ff.; IV, 15, 3; and Dio, LVII, 23, 4f., contrasting the Tiberian position with that in his own day. Action by the koinon: Brunt, art. cit., 212f.

40 Procuratorial encroachment: see previous n. and Brunt, Lat., 1966, 463ff.

Emperor’s appointees formidable: Brunt, art. cit. (IX*), 208ff. Capito was not charged with repetundae; he may have been exempt as an eques (see below, Ch.

XI, n. 135), but there is no mention of monies extorted.

41 Tac., Ann., IV, 45.

42 Tac., Ann., IV, 72ff. (AD 28); XI, 19, 1f. (47); but cf. XIII, 54, 1ff. (58). For the Frisii, see E.A.Thompson, The Early Germans, Oxford, 1965, 104ff. Apronius: VI, 30, 3 (AD 35); dedication to Tiberius on Mount Eryx by him and his son: CIL, X, 7257.

43 On Pilate, see Smallwood, Lat., 1956, 314ff., and Hennig, Seianus, 160ff. The military standards and the aqueduct: Jos., BJ, II, 169ff.; AJ, XVIII, 55ff., with Kraeling, Harv. Theol. Rev., 1942, 263ff., and L.H. Feldman ad loc.; Eus., Dem.

Evang., VIII, 2, 123. Shields: Philo, Leg. ad Gaium, 299ff., with Smallwood ad loc. Smallwood accepts the view of Pilate as a creature of Sejanus, like E.Bammel, Theol. Literaturzeitung, 1952, 207ff., cf. P.L.Maier, Church History, 1968, 8ff.; contra, Orth, op. cit., 36, and Hennig, loc. cit. A.H.M.Jones, The Herods of Judaea, Oxford, 1938, 172, is relatively favourable.

44 Philo, Leg., 159ff., with Smallwood, ad loc.; In Flacc., 1; Eus., Hist. Eccl., II, 5, 7; Chron., p. 176 Helm. Smallwood dissociates the attack mentioned by Philo, which

Tiberius the politician


comes at the end of Sejanus’ career, from the expulsion of 19, so dated by Tac.,

Ann., II, 85, 5, and Dio, LVII, 18, 5a, cf. Suet., Tib., 36, 1; Sen., Ep., 108, 22; Jos., AJ, XVIII, 65ff. (AD 30, attracted there, according to Smallwood, art. cit. (see above, n. 43), 326, by the peril mentioned by Philo). Philo needed the expulsion

later than 19 if Sejanus were to take the blame; Josephus may have followed him.

See also Feldman, ad loc., E.T.Merrill, CP, 1919, 365, and W.A. Heidel, AJP, 1920, 38ff.; R.S. Rogers, AJP, 1932, 252ff., and Hennig, op. cit., 171ff. The Jews and followers of Isis were expelled to avoid future scandal and criminality.

45 See above, Ch. VI, n. 18.

46 AE, 1963, 104. Note also the Jewish threat in John, 19, 12: ‘If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar’s friend’, with Bammel and Maier, artt. citt., cf. Hennig, op.

cit., 178, n. 54.

47 Imp. VIII: Tac., Ann., II, 18, 2, with H.Gesche, Chiron, 1972, 339ff.; contra, P.A.Brunt, ZfPE, 1972, 179f. For the salutations of Germanicus, see D.Timpe, Der Triumph, 36, n. 34. Ornamenta: A.E.Gordon, Q.Veranius, Consul A.D. 49, 312, with comment, 309, on Dio, LVIII, 4, 8.

48 Alföldy, art. cit., 837ff. Dio, LVI, 33, 3, has this as one of Augustus’ injunctions, implausibly. He was ‘very sparing’ of the citizenship (Suet., Div. Aug., 40, 3), but that was in comparison with Caesar.

49 See F.Millar, JRS, 1967, 9ff. Tiberius dilatory: see above, n. 11; ‘sacras occupations’: Tac., Ann., II, 87, 2; Suet., Tib., 27. His desire to be alone ( cf. Tac., Ann., IV, 67, 1, with the characteristic word ‘inrumperet’; Suet., Tib., 40) was ingrained ( cf. Suet., Tib., 68, 3: ‘incedebat cervice rigida et obstipa, adducto fere vultu, plerumque tacitus, nullo aut rarissimo etiam cum proximis sermone eoque

tardissimo’) and may have become pathological.

50 ILS, 206=Smallwood, Do cs. illustr. the Princ. of Gaius, Claudius and Nero, Cambridge, 1967, 368.

51 Tiberias, see Jos., BJ, II, 168; AJ, XVIII, 36ff., with Orth, op. cit., 111. Tiberia: Malalas, X, 236, 1f., cf. Orth, loc. cit. Tiberiopolis in Phrygia and in Pisidia: D.Magie, Roman Rule in Asia Minor, I, 500; II, 1359f. For Germanicopolis in Cilicia Tracheia, see M.Pani, I re D’Oriente, 201.

52 Vell. Pat., II, 7, 6ff. Augustus: Dio, LIV, 25, 6. For colonies late in his principate, see Levick, Rom. Colonies, 33ff., and, contra, E.L. Bowie, JRS, 1970, 204. Emona: Orth, op. cit., 100, n. 2; Mócsy, op. cit. (see above, n. 17), 74.

53 The month: Suet., Tib., 26, 2, with Rietra, ad loc., cf. Dio, LVII, 18, 2. The eye: Div. Aug., 79, 2.

54 Asia: Tac., Ann., IV, 15, 4f. Baetica: 37f.

55 Dio, LVII, 9, 1f.; see list in Orth, op. cit., 111ff.

56 SEG, XI, 922f.= EJ 2 102; S.B. Kougéas, ‘

, 1928, 16ff.; E.Kornemann,

Neue Dok. zum lakon. Kaiserkult, Abh. der Schles. Gesellsch. f.Vaterländ. Cultur, I, Breslau, 1929, 6ff.; M.Rostovtzeff, Rev. Hist., CLXIII, 1930, 2ff.

57 Tac., Ann., I, 74, 4.

58 Aezani: ILS, 9463= EJ 2 319.

59 Orth, op. cit., 111ff.; Tiberius: Tac., Ann., IV, 38, 2, with misgivings at 5f.: ‘melius Augustus, qui speraverit…contemptu famae contemni virtutes’, cf. Suet., Tib., 67, 2ff. A general prohibition: Suet., Tib., 26, 1.

60 Earthquake relief in 17: Tac., Ann., II, 47 (twelve cities of Asia destroyed), cf.

Pliny, NH, II, 200; Dio, LVII, 17, 7; Eus., Chron., p. 172 Helm., dating to 18 and NOTES 221

adding Ephesus; Strabo, XII, p. 576. The gratitude of the cities: BCH, 1887, 89f., no. 9 (AD 31). Cibyra and Ephesus contributed to the Naples basis: CIL, X, 1624= EJ 2 50 (AD 30); Cibyra was helped, with Aegium in Achaea, in 23: Tac., Ann., IV, 13, 1. Nysa: SIG 2 781= EJ 2 316.

61 Tac., Ann., III, 48, 3, gives prime examples of both; cf. I, 12, 6ff.; IV, 21, 2; Suet., Tib., 57, 1 (‘saeva ac lenta natura’); 21 (‘lentis maxillis’).

62 Nemausus: Suet., Tib., 13, 1. Archelaus: Tac., Ann., II, 42, 2ff.; Suet., Tib., 37, 4; Dio, LVII, 17, 3ff.; Philostr., Vit. Apoll, I, 12. See Magie, Roman Rule, II, 1349

(Tigranes IV); E.Bammel, Hist., 1958, 497ff.; Bowersock, Augustus and the Greek World, 54; 158ff.; contra, Levick, CQ, 1971, 478ff. Zeno: Pani, I re d’Oriente, 173ff. For the fate of Archelaus, cf. that of the Euryclids of Sparta, also protégés of Tiberius: Bowersock, JRS, 1961, 112ff.

63 For Livia in domestic politics, see above, p. 153. Intervening for a Gaul under

Augustus: Suet., Div. Aug., 40, 3. As educator of Germanicus’ children: Tac., Ann., IV , 8, 5. Antonia and the children of Cotys: Mommsen, Eph. Epigr., II, 257.

Agrippa I: Jos., AJ, XVIII, 143; 156; 164ff.; 183ff.; 202; 236. It was only natural that Mark Antony’s daughter should be a protector of Eastern dynasts; for the

origins of the ties, see Bowersock, Augustus and the Greek World, 42ff. Mr E.W.Gray has kindly pointed out to me the relevance of the Claudian patronage of

Sparta (Suet., Tib., 6, 2) to the establishment of C.Iulius Eurycles as dynast there; he lost the position, but his son C. Iulius Laco was installed in it early under

Tiberius (Bowersock, JRS, 1961, 117). For the value of provincial notables, see

Dio, LII, 19, 2f.

64 The annexation of Cappadocia and Commagene and the death of Philopator: Tac.,

Ann., II, 42, 6f.; 56, 4f.; Strabo, XVI, p. 749. Nature of conflict in Commagene: Jos., AJ, XVIII, 53. Philopator’s principality annexed, according to most writers, but cf.

Bammel, art. cit., 497, n. 14. Possessions of Archelaus II: Tac., Ann., VI, 41, 1; XII, 55, cf. Jos., AJ. XVIII, 140, with Feldman, ad loc. Condition of Cappadocia: Jones, op. cit., 174ff.; W.E.Gwatkin, Cappadocia as a Roman Procuratorial Province, Columbia, Miss., 1930. Equestrian governor: Dio, LVII, 17, 7, with Magie, Roman Rule, II, 1355. Revenues: Tac., Ann., II, 42, 6, cf. I, 78, 2. Caesarea Mazaca: Orth, op. cit., 95, n. 4. The mint: BMC Galatia, etc., 46, no. 11ff.

65 C.Caesar: Vell. Pat., II, 101, 1ff. Vespasian’s reorganization: Magie, op. cit., I, 572ff.

66 Jos., BJ, I, 668; AJ, XVII, 189; XVIII, 106ff.; 137; XX, 138; Vit., 187. See Jones, The Herods of Judaea, 174f.

67 For these events, see Tac., Ann., II, 64, 2ff.; 67 (AD 19); III, 38, 2ff. (21); IV, 5, 5

(23); 46ff. (26). See Jones, Cities of the East. Rom. Prov. 2 , 8ff.

68 Annexation and fighting: Eus., Chron., p. 180 Helm, cf. Tac., Ann., XII, 63, 3; CIL, II, 3272; RE, XII, 1925, 1250f.; VIA, 1937, 452. Trajan: ILS, 1052.

69 See C.E.Stevens, Aspects of Archaeology in Britain and Beyond, Essays presented to O.G.S.Crawford, ed. W.F.Grimes, London, 1951, 332ff., and S.S.Frere,

Britannia, London, 1967, 44f. Official policy: Strabo, IV, p. 200.

70 Tac., Ann., I, 11, 7, cf. Agr., 13, with Ann., IV, 32, 4; Dio, LVI, 33, 5. Alföldy, art.

cit., 828, cites Val. Max., II, 9, intr., and Curtius Rufus, IX, 2, 9ff., and 3, 7ff., as exponents of the doctrine.

71 Jos., AJ, XVIII, 109ff.; 120ff. See Alföldy, art. cit., 828.


72 The main ancient source for Germanicus’ campaigns is Tac., Ann., I, 50ff. (AD

14); 55ff. (15); II, 5ff. (16). See E.Koestermann, Hist., 1957, 429ff.; better, Timpe, Der Triumph, with bibliography, 1, n. 2; reviewed by E.W.Gray, CR, 1970, 347ff.; Wells, The German Policy of Augustus, 240ff. (forts).

73 Tac., Ann., II, 41, 1ff., for triumph and arch. SIGNIS RECEPT(is) DEVICTIS

GERM(anis) appears on undated dupondii of Germanicus: CREBM, I, 160f., nos.

49ff.; 93ff.; RIC, I, 108, no. 36, cf. 119f. The arch: Timpe, op. cit., 51ff.

74 Tac., Ann., II, 26, 3, cf. 64, 2; VI, 32, 1; see above, Ch. VI, n. 36. Vis and consilium combined: see Timpe, op. cit., 60ff.; Gray, art. cit., 349.

75 Tac., Ann., II, 62f. See Thompson, The Early Germans, 72ff.

76 Alföldy, art. cit., 829, n. 1, and, for the creation of the province of Raetia, n. 3.

77 Above, pp. 24ff. For Gaius, see CAH, X, 273ff., and K.Ziegler, Die Beziehungen zwischen Rom und dem Partherreich, Wiesbaden, 1964, 53ff.

78 Suet., Tib., 16, 1.

79 Vonones: Tac., Ann., II, 1, 1; 2, 1; 3, 1; 4, 4; 58, 3; (death) 68, 3; Suet., Tib., 49, 2; Jos., AJ, XVIII, 46 ff. See Pani, I Re d’Oriente, 173ff.

80 Germanicus’ mission in Armenia: Tac., Ann., II, 43, 1ff.; 56ff.; Suet., Cal., 1, 2.

Complaints about taxation: 42, 7. See CAH, X, 743ff.; Ziegler, op. cit., 57ff.

81 Tac., Ann., VI, 31ff.; 42ff.; Jos., AJ, XVIII, 96ff.; Dio, LVIII, 26, 1. See CAH, X, 747ff.; Ziegler, op. cit., 60ff.

82 Suet., Cal., 14, 3; Vit., 2, 4; Dio, LIX, 27, 3. See A.Garzetti, Stud. in Onore di A.Calderini e R.Paribeni, I, Milan, 1956, 211ff.

83 Cf. Levick, Rom. Cols., 165f.


X* Marsh, Reign, 160ff.; Seager, Tib., 58ff.; 178ff.; Akveld, Germanicus; Koestermann, Hist., 1957, 429ff.; Timpe, Der Triumph des Germanicus;

D.G.Weingärtner, Der Ägyptenreise des Germanicus; K.Scott, CP, 1930, 155ff.; Rogers, Studies, 89 ff.; TAPA, 1931, 141ff.; W.Allen, TAPA, 1941, 1ff.; Meise, Untersuchungen, 49ff. (with full documentation); Koestermann, Ath., 1965, 167ff.; Meissner, Sejan, Tiberius, und die Nachfolge im Prinzipat; Cichorius, Herm., 1904, 461ff.; G.V.Sumner, Phoen., 1965, 134ff.; H.E.Bird, Lat., 1969, 85ff.; Syme, Herm., 1956, 525ff.; Koestermann, Herm., 1955, 350ff.; A.Boddington, AJP, 1963, 1ff.; J.Nicols, Hist., 1975, 48ff.; D. Hennig, L.Aelius Seianus.

1 Tac., Ann., I, 14, 4. For his previous status see PIR 2 I 221, p. 180, and Akveld, Germanicus, 36, n. 2 (the subject is still unclear). The command presumably covered the same ground as had Tiberius’ ten years before; see above, Ch. IV, n. 6.

2 Possibility of Germanicus’ attempting a coup: Tac., Ann., I, 31, 1. Offered the Principate by soldiers; loyalty to Tiberius: 34, 1; 35, 4ff.; Vell. Pat., II, 125, 2; Suet., Tib., 25, 2; Cal., 1, 1; Dio, LVII, 5, 1ff.; 6, 2; 18, 8; Hunt and Edgar, Sel.

Papyri, II, 211= EJ 2 320 (b). Tiberius’ impartiality: Tac., Ann., III, 56, 5, cf. Strabo, VII, p. 288; Ovid, ex Ponto, IV, 13, 31. See Levick, Lat., 1966, 244, n. 4.

3 Tac., Ann., II, 44, 1, cf. III, 19, 4. See Levick, art. cit., 240, n. 3, and note the epigram of Honestus, BCH, 1902, 153ff., discussed by Nicols, art. cit. (n. X*).

4 Tac., Ann., II, 43, 6, cf. 53, 1, and Dio, LVII, 18, 7.


5 Drusus’ interview with Piso: Tac., Ann., III, 8, 3f.; his tears: 12, 11. Concord of the brothers: see above, Ch. VI, n. 16.

6 The official charge: Fasti Amit., CIL I2, 244= EJ 2 52; the literary sources are less precise (see Rogers, Trials, 12). The main accounts are those of Tac., Ann., II, 27ff., and Dio, LVII, 15, 4f. The contemptuous tone of Tacitus makes it impossible

to accept Marsh’s claim, CP, 1926, 291ff.; Reign, 59, n. 1, that his account derives from the Scribonii. Tacitus used several sources, some hostile: 29, 2. Libo’s

praetorship: see below, n. 14.

7 Tac., Ann., II, 27, 2; 29; 30, 2 (‘miseranda’); 31, 1f.; Sen., Ep., 70, 10 (‘stolidus’; but he had hopes). Defences of Tacitus’ account: A. Passerini, Studi giuridici in Memoria di P.Ciapessoni, 219ff.; Syme, Tac., I, 399f.; Sumner, Phoen., 1966, 81, is judicious.

8 Tac., Ann., II, 32, 5; 33; Dio, LVII, 15, 1f.; 8ff.

9 Tac., Ann., II, 32, cf. Dio, LVII, 15, 5. For the offerings, see Levick, The Ancient Historian and his Materials, 132f. For the penalties and the rewards, see above, pp.

187, 189.

10 For these men, see Syme, JRS, 1956, 18f., and Tac., II, 749f. For the friendship of Cotta, Lentulus, and Flaccus with Tiberius, see Tac., Ann., VI, 5, 1; IV, 29, 1, cf.

Dio, LVII, 24, 8; Suet., Tib., 42. For the advancement of Apronius and Mutilus, see Syme, RR, 363, 434. For Gallus’ position, see above, Ch. V, n. 22.

11 Elucidated by E.J.Weinrib in HSCP, 1967, 247ff.

12 Tac., Ann., II, 29, 1.

13 Sen., Ep., 70, 10; for Scribonia and Julia, see Vell. Pat., II, 100, 5 (‘permansit’).

14 Tac., Ann., II, 28, 3, cf. Vell. Pat., II, 129, 2 (‘ingratum’). Usually 16 is taken to be Libo’s year of office; and the legal objections are removed by Weinrib, Phoen., 1968, 32ff. But it is surprising that Tacitus does not make more of his being

charged while in office. Libo could have been praetor in 15, elected alongside

Velleius, and that may be why Velleius, speaking of his colleagues, refers to them

only as ‘nobilissimis ac sacerdotalibus viris’ (124, 4); Libo, not surprisingly, was a pontifex: Suet., Tib., 25, 3. Weinrib also tries to dispose of 17 as a possibility, but his arguments work only if the praetorian elections followed the trial ( cf. Tac., Ann., II, 36, a disagreement between Gallus and Tiberius over the election of praetors). But

the episodes may not be in chronological order, and Syme’s suggestion that Cotta

owed his prominence in the list of senators responsible for the adulation of 14

September (see above, n. 10) to the fact that he was praetor designate ( cf. Inscr.

Ital., XIII, i, 297) is attractive. In a normal year the praetorian elections were over by mid-September.

15 Suet., Tib., 25, 1.

16 Trials, 22 Rogers deals at length with both cases.

17 Tac., Ann., II, 39; the other sources are Suet., Tib., 25, which twice sets the attempts of Libo and Clemens side by side, and Dio, LVII, 16, 3f. For a sceptical

view of the earlier attempt, see Mogenet, Ant. Class., 1954, 331ff.

18 See above, Ch. IV, n. 65; Ch. V, n. 31.

19 Tac., Ann., I, 53.

20 For the idea of an assassination of all three principes, see Marsh, Reign, 59.

Tiberius more than once requested Germanicus to return: Tac., Ann., II, 26, 3:

‘crebris epistulis’, when the soldiers were already in winter quarters. Tiberius’

eighth salutation as imperator had already been won for him during the summer 224 NOTES

(18, 2, cf. H.Gesche, Chiron, 1972, 339ff., against P.A.Blunt, ZfPE, 1972, 179f.). The triumph was not celebrated until 26 May 17 (41, 2), but the return of Germanicus

must have been expected during the autumn or winter of 16–17.

21 C.Silius: Tac., Ann., IV, 18, 1; he was a friend of Germanicus. M. Lepidus: G.Alföldy, Fasti His-panienses, Wiesbaden, 1969, 13; but cf. A.J.Woodman, CQ, 1975, 295, n. 5. P.Dolabella: Orth, Provinzialpolitik, 36, n. 7; his views: above, p.

52. Q.Silanus: Tac., Ann., II, 43, 3, showing ties with Germanicus.

22 Tac., Ann., I, 16, 4: ‘Percennius…dux olim theatralium operarum, dein gregarius miles’ (in Pannonia); 31, 4: ‘vernacula multitudo, nuper acto in urbe dilectu’ (on

the Rhine). Their recruitment: Dio, LV, 31, 1 (for the Pannonian revolt); LVI, 23, 3

(after the disaster to Varus).

23 Dio, LVII, 16, 3. The name of L. Audasius, who meant to carry off Agrippa to the armies (Suet., Div. Aug., 19, 1), is found in Cisalpine Gaul; CIL, V, 3503ff.; 5759; 8879. Sympathizers may have had estates there.

24 Dio, LVII, 15, 3.

25 Cf. Rogers, Trials, 21, on L. Pituanius and P.Marcius, executed for practising astrology.

26 Vell. Pat., II, 112, 4.

27 Sympathizers in high places: Tac., Ann., II, 40, 6. Clementia: 31, 4, with Levick, art. cit., 130ff. Concordia: 32, 4; and see above, p. 62.

28 Tac., Ann., I, 4, 5. For the dual succession, see E.Kornemann, Doppelprinzipat, 40ff.; Levick, Lat., 1966, 239ff. Relations between the brothers: see above, Ch. IV, n. 9.

29 See Mommsen, Herm., 1878, 245ff. (= Ges. Schr., IV, 271ff.).

30 PIR 2 I 636.

31 Tac., Ann., IV, 4, 2.

32 Livia’s political ‘achievements’ are documented in PIR 2 301. They include the murders of Marcellus and C. and L.Caesar, the return and adoption of Tiberius, the

exile and murder of Agrippa Postumus, the murder of Augustus, and the

concealment of Augustus’ death. Most items may be credited to the imagination of

Scribonia and her supporters, and other detractors of Tiberius: Livia needed only to exist to incur hatred. Help for her son and other politicians: Tac., Ann., V, 2, 1; Suet., Tib., 51, 1; Div. Claud., 4, 1ff.; Vell. Pat., II, 130, 5: ‘accessione dignitatis’; L.R.Taylor, MAAR, 1956, 7ff. See also above, Ch. IX, n. 63. Honours curtailed: Tac., Ann., I, 14, 1ff.; IV, 37f.; Dio, LVII, 12; Suet, Tib., 26, 2; 50, 2 (during her lifetime); Tac., Ann., V, 1, 4; 2, 1; Dio, LVIII, 2, 1ff.; Suet., Tib., 51, 2; Cal., 16, 3; Galba, 5, 2 (after death). Bad relations with Tiberius: see above and Tac., Ann., I, 72, 5; IV, 57, 4; Suet., Tib ., 59, 1. Chastity, etc.: V, 1, 5f.; Val. Max., VI, 1, 1; Vell. Pat., II, 75, 3. Ulysses: Suet., Cal., 23, 2. The sketch by J.P.V.D.Balsdon, Roman Women, London, 1962, 90ff., is just.

33 For Agrippina’s character, see Tac., Ann., I, 33, 5; II, 72, 1; III, 1, 1; see above, p.

51. Heroism at the bridge and its effect on Tiberius: I, 69.

34 For Germanicus’ powers, see Tac., Ann., II, 43, 2, and Akveld, Germanicus, 74ff.

For political motives for the grant, Tac., Ann., II, 5, 2. For the mission, 53ff., 69ff., and other sources in PIR 2 I 221, p. 181ff. Birth of Julia Livilla: Tac., Ann., II, 54, 1.

35 Cn. Piso, appointment and temperament: Tac., Ann., II, 43, 3ff. See also PIR 2 C

287 and D.C. Shorter, Hist., 1974, 230ff.

36 See above, Ch. IX, n. 15.


37 C.Caesar: cf. Oros., VII, 3, 4 f., ‘ad ordinandas Aegypti Syriaeque provincias missus’, cf. Pliny, NH, II, 168; VI, 160; XII, 55; Suet., Div. Aug., 93.

38 For the effect of Germanicus’ visit on Tiberius, see Tac., Ann., II, 59, and Suet., Tib., 52. Tacitus’ ‘acerrime increpuit’ probably refers to the contents of a private letter; the rebuke in the Senate may have been mild.

39 For the vicissitudes of Vonones, see above, Ch. IX, n. 79.

40 For the date, see Fasti Ant., Inscr. Ital., XIII, ii, 209.

41 Tac., Ann., III, 1ff.; see above, Ch. VIII, n. 28.

42 Tac., Ann., II, 83, and EJ 2 942, adding five centuries of Germanicus to those of C.

and L.Caesar. See S. Weinstock, JRS, 1957, 144ff.; R.P. Fink, A.S.Hoey,

W.F.Snyder, YCS, 1940, 136ff. For Drusus, see Tac., Ann., IV, 9; 2; and EJ 2 94b (five more centuries).

43 Tac., Ann., III, 8f., cf. Suet., Cal., 2.

44 For the trial, see Tac., Ann., III, 12ff., and Rogers, Trials, 36ff.; and above, Ch. XI.

45 Tac., Ann., II, 84, 1f.; see PIR 2 I 224; 226, where the date of the twins’ birth is taken, with O.Hirschfeld, Herm., 1890, 366ff. (= Kl. Schr. 857ff.), and Degrassi, Inscr. Ital., XIII, 1, 216, to be 20 rather than 19; but see Furneaux and

Koestermann, ad loc., and Meise, Untersuchungen, 66, n. 116. The coins: CREBM, I, 113, no. 95ff.; RIC, I, 107, no. 28.

46 Tac., Ann., III, 29, 1ff.; Suet., Tib., 54, 1. Meise, Untersuchungen, 64f., thinks that they were eclipsed by the twins, cf. D.Hennig, Seianus, 44, n. 17.

47 See above, pp. 62f.

48 Tac., Ann., III, 29, 4; IV, 60, 4; VI, 27, 1; Dio, LX, 18, 4.

49 Tac., Ann., IV, 4, 1, Suet., loc. cit.

50 Tac., Ann., III, 56, with other evidence cited in PIR 2 I 219, p. 176. For the date see Rogers, AJP, 1940, 457ff.

51 The trip to Pannonia: Tac., Ann., I, 24ff. No part in the Pannonian Revolt: Dio, LVI, 17, 3. Ovid credits him with ‘vigor’ in ex Ponto, II, 2, 72. Illness of 21: Tac., Ann., III, 49, 1.

52 Ovation (28 May 20, three years and two days after Germanicus’ triumph): Tac.,

Ann., III, II, 3; 19, 3, cf. 56, 4; Fasti Ost., Inscr. Ital., XIII, i, 186f.; 216 (= EJ 2 p. 41).

Tiberius on ovations: Tac., Ann., III, 47, 5 (but Drusus needed military distinction, Tiberius no longer did so).

53 Drusus ‘rudis dicendi’ as consul designate in AD 14: Tac., Ann., I, 29, 1. For Drusus’ popularity, Rogers, Studies, 152f., cites Tac., Ann., III, 37, 2f. (contrast with Tiberius’ unpopularity); M.Stuart, CP, 1940, 64ff., counts the numbers of

extant portraits.

54 Dissoluteness and cruelty: Tac., Ann., I, 29, 4; 76, 5; II, 44, 1; III, 37, 3; IV, 10, 2; Plut., Mor., 624 C; Pliny, NH, XIV, 144f. (like Tiberius, on whom see Suet., Tib., 42, cf. Dio, LVIII, fr. 3; but Tiberius was a connoisseur: Pliny, NH, XIV, 16; 64).

Drusus was exempted by Tiberius from speaking first at the trial of Aemilia Lepida, Tac., Ann., III, 24, 6; but that does not mean ( pace Rogers, Trials, 55) that Drusus had a taste for convictions. He is wrongly said to have presided over the trial of

Clutorius Priscus (so Rogers, Trials, 63; Studies, 129; followed by Levick, The Ancient Historian and his Materials, 123). Drusus had been succeeded by a suffect by the time of the trial (‘fine anni’: Tac., Ann., III, 49, 1). He caused offence by taking up the tribunicia potestas in absence: III, 59, 3; he may have been

convalescent (so Seager, Tib., 122).


55 Fasti Ant.; Viae dei Serpenti, Inscr. Ital., XIII, i, 329; ii, 214f.= EJ 2 P. 52. Other references in PIR 2 I 219, p. 176.

56 See e.g. R.Syme, Tac., I, 402f.; Th. Pekáry, Röm. Mitt., 1966–67, 115ff.; Boddington, art. cit. (n. X*).

57 ‘Plena Caesarum domus’: Tac., Ann., IV, 3, 1. Origins: 1, 3; Vell Pat., II, 127, 3.

Modern accounts (n. X*, most recently D.Hennig, Seianus, 5ff.) neglect the language of Velleius, which suggests that Sejanus’ consular brothers and cousins

were (like the uncle) on his mother’s side.

58 Caecilia: Tac., Ann., II, 43, 7.

59 Tac., Ann., IV, 1, 3; see above, p. 47.

60 Seius, Strabo had been succeeded, if he was Prefect of Egypt, by AD 16: A.Stein, Die Präfekten von Ägypten in der römischen Kaiserzeit, Bern, 1950, 24, cf.

Hennig, Seianus, 7f.

61 See above, p. 121.

62 Tac., Ann., IV, 3, 2 (under 23: ‘recenti ira’: Drusus had hit Sejanus); Dio, LVII, 22, 1 (under AD 23: Sejanus struck Drusus “ποτε” ), cf. 14, 9 (AD 15: Drusus struck a distinguished eques). See Scott, art. cit. (n. X*), with Hennig, Seianus, 32, n. 1.

Drusus and Sejanus seem to have moved in the same circle: Gavius Apicius the

gourmet was a link: Tac., Ann., IV, 1, 3; Dio, LVII, 19, 5; Pliny, NH, XIX, 137.

63 Tac., Ann., IV, 2, 4, cf. Dio, LVIII, 4, 3 (AD 30), Vell. Pat., II, 127, 3: ‘principalium onerum adiutorem’, cf. 128, 4. Tacitus might be taking the title back too far, but cf.

Dio, LVII, 19, 7. Tacitus is insistent at IV, 7, 2 (‘incolumi filio adiutorem imperil alium vocari’), and Tiberius had already praised Sejanus’ ‘labor vigilantiaque’ in

checking the fire that burnt down Pompey’s theatre in 22 (III, 72, 4f.); perhaps

there was an implied criticism of Drusus’ conduct at a fire: Dio, LVII, 14, 10.

Strained relations between Tiberius and Drusus: 13, 1f.; 22, 3; Tac., Ann., I, 76, 3f., Suet., Tib., 52, 1f. Story that Tiberius poisoned Drusus: Dio, LVIII, 22, 3; Tac., Ann., IV, 10, 1ff. For socii laborum, see P.Grenade, Essai sur les Origines du Principal, Paris, 1961, 444ff. Strabo applied it to Germanicus and Drusus: VI, p.

240. It fits the official picture of Sejanus (Vell. Pat., II, 127, 3; Tac., Ann., IV, 39, 3), brought out by Seager, Tib., 196.

64 Dio, LVII, 19, 7; see Mommsen,

65 Tac., Ann., III, 29, 5f., cf. Suet., Div. Claud., 27, 1. See Furneaux, ad loc.

66 See Suet., Div . Claud., 5f. (attempts at promotion); Tac., Ann., III, 2, 4; 3, 2

(interment of Germanicus); 18, 4ff. (L.Asprenas’ query).

67 Tac., Ann., III, 49ff. See Rogers, Trials, 62ff.; see above, 185f. The consul who admitted the charge was Mam. Aemilius Scaurus or Cn. Tremellius. But Scaurus

seems later to have been a friend of Sejanus (Tac., Ann., VI, 29, 5f.; Dio, LVIII, 24, 5), and in 22 he joined other supporters of the prefect in prosecuting C. Silanus (III, 66, 1).

68 See PIR 2 H 25. Haterius was half cousin to Drusus, half nephew to Agrippina, and half cousin once removed to Germanicus; the connexion with Agrippina explains

why Tac., Ann., II, 51, 2, should say that Germanicus and Drusus favoured him as

‘propinquum Germanici’.

69 For the Vitellian group, see Syme, Tac., I, 386. Petronius and Claudius: Sen., Apoc., 14, 2. Claudius’ wife Plautia Urgulanilla: Suet., Div. Claud., 26, 2. For the Plautii, see L.R. Taylor, MAAR, 1956, 7ff. Nicols, art. cit. (n. X*), denies NOTES 227

Claudius’ divorce of Plautia Urgulanilla and his marriage to Aelia Paetina (Suet.,

Div. Claud., 26, 2), a connexion of Sejanus, any political significance.

70 Fasti Ost., Inscr. Ital., XIII, i, 186 f.= EJ 2 p. 42.

71 Dio, LVIII, 11, 6, cf. Tac., Ann., IV, 8, 1f.; 10f.; Suet., Tib., 62, 1; Eus., Chron., s.a. 22, p. 172 Helm. Jos. AJ, XVIII, 206, has a natural death. Foul play is denied by W. Eisenhut, MH, 1950, 123ff.; J.P.V.D. Balsdon, CR, 1951, 75; Syme, Tac., I, 401f., Seager, Tib., 181ff. Dio is wrong in one respect at least: Apicata can have seen only one of her children dead on the Gemoniae: the others survived until

November or December (Fasti Ost., loc. cit.).

72 Tac., Ann., IV, 3, 5, seems to put the divorce under AD 23, before the death of Drusus; 23 is accepted by PIR 2 A 913, but the date is not firm.

73 Vipsania: Tac., Ann., III, 19, 4. Quirinius: III, 48; Longus and the twin (Germanicus); IV, 15, 1f.

74 Tac., Ann., IV, 8, 2ff.

75 Tiberius and Nero Drusus had entered their consulships at twenty-eight;

Germanicus and Drusus Caesar at twenty-six (see Levick, Lat., 1966, 227ff.); the careers of the latter were irregular departures from the ‘norm’, caused by special

political circumstances: above, pp. 62–63, and see Levick, Lat., 1976. The precedent cited (Tac., Ann., III, 29, 2) was Tiberius’ own and Nero Drusus’; no mention of Germanicus and Drusus Caesar.

76 Tac., Ann., IV, 17, 1ff.; cf. Suet., Tib., 54, 1.

77 Tac., Ann., IV, 18ff. For the view that Sejanus’ part in the trials of 24–27 was smaller than has been supposed, see Hennig, Seianus, 41ff.

78 M.Lepidus’ proposals: Tac., Ann., III, 50, IV, 20, 3, with character sketch.

79 PIR 2 A 1229. Cultivates Sejanus: Dio, LVIII, 3, 1f., cf. Tac., Ann., IV, 71, 3ff.

80 Tac., Ann., IV, 28ff.; Dio, LVII, 23, 2, with Bauman, Impietas, 114f. Another intended victim of the younger Serenus in the following year was C.Fonteius

Capito, proconsul of Asia and Germanicus’ colleague in the consulship of AD 12:

36, 4f. The attempt to dispose of two close friends of Tiberius is interesting. For the Vibii, see above, p. 53.

81 Pliny, NH, XI, 187; Tac., Ann., III, 13, 3.

82 Tac., Ann., II, 56, 5; III, 13, 3; 19, 1; VI, 7, 2ff., with Syme, Tac., I, 325.

83 Tac., Ann., V, 8, 1ff.

84 Tac., Ann., IV, 31, 5f.

85 The statue: Tac., Ann., III, 72, 5, cf. IV, 7, 3; Sen., ad Marc., 22, 4. The trial: Tac., Ann., IV, 34f.; Sen., loc. cit., and 1, 2ff.; Dio, LVII, 24, 2ff., cf. Suet., Tib., 61, 3.

The books: Suet., Cal., 16, 1. Satrius Secundus became ‘coniurationis index’: Tac., Ann., VI, 47, 2. For legal aspects of the trial, see above, pp. 193f.

86 Tac., Ann., IV, 39ff., sceptically handled by Syme, Tac., I, 404, and II, 702; he notes a careful choice of words. These are ‘perrumpo’ (40, 7), ‘tranquillitas’ (8),

‘dubitatio’ (9), ‘ex-celsus’ (of things) (12); see N.P. Miller, AJP, 1968, 14ff.

Seager, Tib., 195ff. accepts the correspondence and treats it in detail; his interpretation of 39, 6 ( Livia’s ‘domus’, with Koestermann against Furneaux), is unacceptable.

87 Suet., Div. Claud., 4, 1ff.

88 Tac., Ann., IV, 53, 2f.

89 Adultery alleged by Tiberius: Tac., Ann., VI, 25, 2, with Furneaux sceptical.

90 Tac., Ann., I, 13, 2, with Syme, Tac., I, 381f.


91 Tac., Ann., IV, 52. For speculation as to her descent, see Wiseman, HSCP, 1968, 215ff.; either a daughter of Marcella (Minor) by M. Valerius Barbatus Appianus,

cos. 12 BC (so Syme, RR, stemma III), or of Marcella (Major) by Pulcher Claudius (so Wiseman, followed here). Furnius may be a connexion of the consul of 17 BC,

formerly a follower of Antonius ( PIR 2 F 591).

92 Tac., Ann., IV, 66. For the relationship, see Syme, RR, 424, 434, and stemma VII.

93 Contra, Seager, Tib., 205, because of the absence of Varus’ family from subsequent history. Seager thinks (201) that the charge of maiestas against Pulchra had been allowed to drop.

94 Betrothal: Sen., Contr., I, 3, 10, cf. PIR 2 I 674.

95 See Wiseman, art. cit., 220 (stemma); 221, n. 65.

96 Tac., Ann., IV, 52, 3ff.; Suet., Tib., 53, 1. Greek was the language of the extorted confession.

97 Tac., Ann., IV, 54; Suet., loc. cit. (‘simulans veneni se crimine accersi’).

98 For the causes of Tiberius’ leaving Rome, see Tac., Ann., IV, 57 (Sejanus, the cause cited by most historians, cf. 41, 2; desire to hide cruelty and vices; shame at appearance; secret pleasures; Livia). Suet., Tib., 51, 2, and Dio, LVII, 12, 6, both offer Livia. The astrologers: Tac., Ann., IV, 58, 2ff.

99 Tac., Ann., IV, 57, 3, cf. Suet., Tib., 68, 1ff. Tiberius was addicted to cucumbers; he may as well as eating them have used them to soothe his skin (Pliny, NH, XIX,


100 His companions on Capri were the consular jurisconsult M.Cocceius Nerva, Sejanus, another eques illustris, and a number of savants, mainly Greeks, whose

conversation entertained him: Tac., Ann., IV, 58, 1, and see above, p. 16. Juvenal thinks of them as astrologers: X, 94. For drink, see above, n. 54. No doubt there

were other pleasures (for sources, see below, Ch. XII, n. 93): Tiberius had been

free since his divorce at forty. It is only on Rhodes and Capri, where no one knew

what was going on, that scandal arises; on campaign and at Rome Tiberius seems to

have been more discreet than the Duke of Wellington.

101 Tac., Ann., IV, 59, 1f.

102 Tac., Ann., IV, 59, 5; 60.

103 Tac., Ann., IV, 60, 5f., under the year of 26.

104 Tac., Ann., IV, 18, 1; 19, 1; 68ff.; Dio, LVIII, 1, 1ff.; Pliny, NH, VIII, 145, mentioning the slaves and implicating Nero: ‘ex causa Neronis’, a chronological slip.

105 For the name, see Syme, JRS, 1949, 13, and Tac., 1, 277, n. 7.

106 Tac., Ann., IV, 68, 2: Porcius Cato, suffect in 36 and curator aquarum for a month before perishing in 38: cf. 71, 1ff., and see Koestermann and Furneaux, ad loc.; Petilius Rufus, on whom see A.Birley, Britannia, 1973, 180f.; M.Opsius: see IG, XIV, 719 (Naples).

107 Vell. Pat., II, 130, 4.

108 Tac., Ann., V, 1ff., unequivocal on the order of events and supported by Syme, Tac., I, 405, n. 2. The date of Livia’s death is put towards the end of 29 by Rogers, Trials, 98, who follows N.Cortellini, Riv. di stor. ant., 1898, 19; but Tacitus says that her death was followed by a rebuke to a ‘consul’—who left office in June (V, 2, 3).

Agrippina and Nero urged to take refuge: IV, 67, 6; Suet., Tib., 53, 2. For a careful account of these events see now Hennig, Seianus, 91ff.

109 Tac., Ann., IV, 5, 5, correctly interpreted by Bauman, Impietas, 122.

110 For his connexions, see PIR 2 I 813, cf. 730, and Syme, Tac., II, 559.

Tiberius the politician

Tiberius the politician

Tiberius the politician

Tiberius the politician

Tiberius the politician

Tiberius the politician


111 Tac., Ann., V, 2, 3, cf. 3, 5: ‘aliis a primoribus maximeque a magistratibus trepidabatur’. The consuls ordinarii were C.Fufius Geminus and L.Rubellius

Geminus, the former a protégé of Livia and his wife, if she is the Mutilia Prisca of IV, 12, 6f., a friend of Livia’s who was the means of damaging relations between

her and Agrippina. In the second half of the year the consuls were A.Plautius and

L.Asprenas; the former was to win an ovation as Claudius’ commander in Britain;

the latter was son of the suffect of 6 who had spoken up for Claudius in 20, and

legate of Dolabella in Africa ( CIL, II, 4129). Neither was likely to be a partisan of Sejanus.

112 Punishment: Suet., Tib., 53, 2; 54, 64; Cal., 7; 15, 1. For the declaration of men as hostes, see A.W. Lintott, Violence in Republican Rome, Oxford, 1968, 155ff., a political move devised only in 88 BC. Sabinus: Tac., Ann., IV, 70, 4. For the consequences of aquae et ignis interdictio, see above, pp. 187f.

113 Rogers, Trials, 101 (so Bauman, Impietas, 90), believes that ‘judicial proceedings against Nero and Agrippina followed, because of Pliny’s reference to the ‘causa

Neronis’ and ‘the statement of Philo [in Flacc., 3, 9] that the principal prosecutor of Agrippina was Avillius Flaccus’. Philo’s expression is

. Neither this nor Pliny’s ‘causa’ nor Suetonius’ ‘damnationem’

( Tib., 64) implies a formal trial.

114 Tac., Ann., IV, 75, and for other sources see PIR 2 D 127; this marriage was to produce the Princeps Nero.

115 Dio, LVIII, 3, 8: he was simply sent to Rome by Tiberius (perhaps for that


116 Tac., Ann., VI, 40, 4; Dio, LVIII, 3, 8; ILS, 1848.

117 Dio, loc. cit.; Suet., Tib., 54, 2; 64; Cal., 7; Tac., Ann., VI, 23, 4ff. The disgrace of Drusus should come before the elections of 30, if it is causally connected with

Sejanus’ elevation. A Cassius was involved in the attack (Dio) and it has been

assumed that one of the consuls of the year, L. or C.Cassius Longinus, is meant.

The objections of Rogers, Trials, 106, n. 327, have some force: the ordinarius, L.Longinus, married Drusus’ sister three years later. Perhaps the consul played a

purely official part in the attack, reading out the Princeps’ letter; or an obscure Cassius is meant.

118 Consulship: ILS, 6044= EJ 2 53; Tac., Ann., VI, 8, 6; Suet., Tib., 65; 1; Dio, LVII, 20, 2; LVIII, 4, 3; 6, 2; 8, 3. (He was to hold the post again five years ahead with the same colleague: 4, 4.) Proconsulare imperium: 7, 4f. Priesthoods for Sejanus and his son: 7, 4f. (perhaps the augurate: PIR 2 I 217, p. 170). Tribunician power: Suet., Tib., 65, 1; Dio, LVIII, 9, 2; 4; 10, 3. The betrothal: 3, 9, cf. 7, 5; Tac., Ann., VI, 27, 1, cf. V, 6, 2 (‘generum’), cf. Suet., loc. cit. Tacitus’ word suggests that Livilla was the woman Sejanus was to marry; but Zonaras calls her

. See Seager, Tib., 213, n. 6, and Meise, Untersuchungen,

57ff. Tiberius called Sejanus

; John of Ant., fr. 79, 8

(Müller, FGH, IV, 570).

119 Vell. Pat., II, 127f. See Syme, art. cit. (n. X*).

120 Dio, LVIII, 7, 2, cf. Pliny, NH, VIII, 197; XXXVI, 163.

121 For what follows see above, p. 119.

122 Tac., Ann., IV, 41, 3, cf. VI, 8, 4; Dio, LVIII, 5, 1; 10, 8; Jos., AJ, XVIII, 181.


123 The political connexions of Sejanus are elucidated by Bird, art. cit. (n. X*). For the success of his friends and kinsmen, see Tac., Ann., VI, 8, 4; Dio, LVIII, 10, 8. Cn.

Lentulus Gaetulicus and L.Apronius: Tac., Ann., VI, 30, 2ff.

124 The link is shown by Tac., Hist., III, 38, 3, and emphasized by Sumner, art. cit. (n.

X*), 144f.

125 For absentee governorships of these provinces by L.Arruntius and L.Lamia, see

above, p. 128f., with the enmity of Sejanus rejected as a reason. But Arruntius was hostile (see above, p. 176), and so probably Lamia (see above, p. 178).

126 The embassy and its consequences: Dio, LVIII, 3, 1ff. For legal aspects, see below, Ch. XI, n. 51. Tiberius complained of Gallus’ jealousy, when he was friendly with

Vallius Syriacus, a Theodorean forensic orator who fell with him (Dio, loc. cit., 7).

It is a guess to suggest that what was objected to in each friend was a propensity to bring accusations ( cf. Sen., Contr., IX, 4, 18).

127 Tac., Ann., IV, 58, 1; VI, 10, 2.

128 The views of Sealey, Phoen.. 1961, 97ff., esp. 105ff., are untenable.

129 Suet., Tib., 61, cf. Tac., Ann., VI, 3, 4. Seager, Tib., 214, writes ‘had plotted’.

130 Parricide, etc.: Val. Max., IX, 11, ext. 4. Tac., Ann., VI, 8, 11, makes a defendant ask that ‘insidiae in rem publicam, consilia caedis adversum imperatorem

puniantur: de amicitia et officiis idem finis et te, Caesar, et nos absolverit’. But that is general. Cf. Jos., AJ, XVIII, 181; Juv., X, 86. The sources are listed by Rogers, Trials, 110, n. 345, who holds that there was a plot against Tiberius, against Marsh, Reign, 304ff. Seager, Tib., 216, thinks the plot, if not pure fiction, undertaken as a last hope of survival when Sejanus found out that Tiberius had turned against him.

For the Guard, see Suet., Tib., 65, 1. Nicols, art. cit., explains the story of the attack on Tiberius as stemming from a source later than the assassination of Gaius

Caligula; Meise, op. cit., 77ff., as the official charge.

131 Suet., Tib., 65, 1.

132 The message: Jos., AJ, XVIII, 181ff.; Dio, LXV, 14, 1f. The important role ascribed to Antonia herself in exposing Sejanus (accepted by Seager, Tib., 216f.) is accounted for by Nicols, art. cit. (n. X*). Gaius’ moves: Suet., Cal., 10, 1 (the birthday) 8, 1, confirmed by the Fasti Val., and Pigh., Inscr. Ital., XIII, i, 317; ii, 218= EJ 2 p. 51.

133 Gaius on Capri: Suet., Cal., 10, 2; Paconianus: Tac., Ann., VI, 3, 4f.

134 Dio, LVIII, 9, 2, with 12, 7 for additional honours proposed for Macro and Laco.

For Macro’s full and correct name and offices, see Rend.d. Acc. Naz. Lincei, Cl. di Sci. mor., stor. e filol., 1957, 39ff.=Smallwood, Documents illustrating the

Principates of Gaius, Claudius and Nero, 254. For Laco see PIR 2 G 202: he became procurator Galliarum and in 44 was awarded consular ornamenta by Claudius: ILS, 1336; Dio, LX, 23, 3.

135 For Ennia Thrasylla, see PIR 2 E 65. If Cichorius, RS, 391ff., is correct, Thrasyllus married his daughter to an Ennius (perhaps the eques saved from prosecution for maiestas by Tiberius in 22: Tac., Ann., III, 70). The sexual intrigue, if genuine, dates to the period after the death of Gaius’ first wife Iunia Claudilla or Claudia, whom he married in 33 (Tac., Ann., VI, 20, 1; Dio, LVIII, 25, 2, wrongly has 35) and who died in childbirth (Suet., Cal., 12, 2).

136 See PIR 2 A 858, with Rylands Papyrus, II, 255, no. 192 (a), for the property. Note also (M.Antonius?) Hiberus, Prefect of Egypt in 32: see PIR 2 A 837. Probably he was there supervising Antonia’s property when the death of Sejanus ended


Galerius’ term, and was a quick and safe replacement. When Antonia Caenis was

freed is not known.

137 What follows is derived from Dio, LVIII, 3ff., and 4, 9ff. The chronology is

uncertain. 138 Suet., Tib., 19, 1; Miller, AJP, 1968, 14.

139 ILS, 6124; 15 May according to Suet., Tib., 26, 2 (a corruption in the text). The Ludi Martiales opened on 12 May, and should be given by the consuls; Tiberius was on Capri; cf. Dio, LVI, 46, 4.

140 Suet., Tib., 54, 2, cf. 61, 1 (‘suspecto Seiano’); note the position of the event in Dio’s narrative: LVIII, 8, 4.

141 Suet., Cal., 10, 1. Cf., e.g., Nero, 12, 4, for the date of Nero’s ceremony (61, at the age of twenty-three or twenty-four).

142 Dio, LVIII, 8, 1, cf. 7, 4; Suet., Cal., 12, 1, with PIR 2 I 217, p. 170. Seager, Tib., 217, dates the grant early in the year.

143 Dio, LVIII, 8, 4, cf. Suet., Tib., 26, 1; Tac., Ann., IV, 38, 1ff.

144 Dio, LVIII, 8, 3 (before the letter about Nero); senatus consultum and date: Dig., XLVIII, 2, 12 pr. For the possible charge, see Weinrib, Phoen., 1968, 52ff. Seager, Tib., 218, n. 6, denies that the passage proves that a Lentulus defended Arruntius.

For Cossus as the Lentulus, see Rogers, Trials, 109, and CP, 1931, 37ff.

Conviction for calumnia: Tac., Ann., VI, 7, 1; cf. Dio, LVIII, 10, 1? For the names of the accusers, Syme, JRS, 1949, 9 and 15.

145 Fufius: Tac., Ann., V, 2, 2f. His wife: IV, 12, 6. Their fall: Dio, LVIII, 4, 5ff. His mother: Tac., Ann., VI, 10, 1. This case is probably the basis of Suet., Tib., 51, 2.

146 Juv., X, 71; part of contents: Suet., Tib., 65, 2.

147 See above, p. 37. Sejanus as hostis: ILS, 157; Juv., X, 85. Regulus’ loyalty: Dio, LVIII, 13, 3.

148 Pliny, NH, VIII, 197; Dio, LVIII, 12, 2. Sejanus’ hold over the (8, 2) and by Jos., AJ, XVIII, 181. Guard is clearly brought out by Dio

149 Suet., Tib., 48, 2, cf. Tac., Ann., IV, 2, 4. Lamia: VI, 27, 2, and Dio, LVIII, 19, 5, with PIR 2 A 200.

150 Val. Max., IX, 11, ext. 4: ‘omni cum stirpe sua populi Romani viribus obtritus’.

Blaesus: Tac., Ann., V, 7, 2. Strabo and the children: Fasti Ost., Inscr. Ital., XIII, i, 186ff.= EJ 2 p. 42; Tac., Ann., V, 9; Dio, LVIII, 11, 5. Cf. Hennig, Seianus, 14, n.


151 Dio, LVIII, 11, 6f., attributing responsibility for her death to Tiberius, Suet., Tib., 62, 1, but reporting a story that he spared her and she was starved by Antonia.

Probably he conducted a family enquiry ( cf. Suet., Tib., 62, 1) and handed her over for punishment ( cf. Tac., Ann., II, 50, 4). ‘Damnatio memoriae’: VI, 2, 1. Adultery with Drusus’ poisoner Eudemus was an easy frill: Pliny, NH, XXIX, 20. Hennig, Seianus, 38, posits death from natural causes.

152 Tac., Ann., VI, 48, 4 (L.Arruntius).


XI* A.H.M.Jones, Hist., 1955, 464ff.= Studies, 67ff.; The criminal Courts of the Roman Republic and early Principate, ed. J.Crook, Oxford, 1972; J.Bleicken, Senatsgericht und Kaisergericht, Göttingen, 1962; Marsh, Reign, 106ff.; 289ff.; Rogers, Trials; JRS, 1959, 90ff.; E.Koestermann, Hist., 1955, 72ff. (bibliography: 75, n. 5); 232 NOTES

C.W.Chilton, JRS, 1955, 73ff.; J.E.Allison and J.D.Cloud, Lat., 1962, 711ff.; Bauman, Maiestas and Impietas (bibliographies).

1 See above, p. 89, with Ch. VI, nn. 32, 33, and below, Ch. XII, n. 79.

2 Dio, LI, 19, 6; Suet., Div. Aug., 33, 3. Jones, Studies, 51ff., discusses the origin of these rights, cf. D.Flach, Hist., 1973, 569. For Tiberius, see Dio, LVII, 7, 2; LXI, 8, 4 (refused cases on appeal from M.Silanus, suff. AD 15); Tac., Ann., II, 48, 1f.

(‘bona’); Suet., Tib., 57, 2 (summary execution; Mr Ste Croix kindly drew my attention to this passage).

3 Fasti Praen., and Vat., Inscr. Ital., XIII, ii, 120f.; 172f.; ILS, 154= EJ 2 p. 47.

4 Tac., Ann., II, 35, 2 (Asinius Gallus).

5 Tac., Ann., III, 69, 6: ‘minui iura quotiens gliscat potestas, nec utendum imperio, ubi legibus agi possit’.

6 Vell. Pat, II, 129, 2.

7 Tac., Ann., I, 75, 1f. (under AD 15); Suet., Tib., 33; Dio, LVII, 7, 6 (under AD 14).

8 Tac., Ann., II, 34, 1f.; IV, 21, 1. Cf. (for improvement) Vell. Pat., II, 126, 2:

‘sepultae…iustitia, aequitas…civitati redditae; accessit…iudiciis gravitas’.

9 Dio, LVII, 21, 1.

10 Tac., Ann., IV, 19, 2f. For the participation of magistrates in criminal proceedings, denied by Bauman, Hist., 1966, 420ff., see S.A.Jameson, Hist., 1969, 206ff., and E.J.Weinrib, Phoen., 1968, 32ff.

11 Dig., XLVIII, 5, 39 (38), 10.

12 For the Republican cases, see Broughton, MRR, and the full discussion of Weinrib, art. cit., 46ff., excluding Murena as tried in a quaestio and distinct from the consul of 23; see above, Ch. X, n. 14.

13 The praetor: Dio, LVII, 21, 2 (AD 22), identified by Weinrib, art. cit., 48, with the praetor Magius Caecilianus: Tac., Ann., III, 37, 1 (AD 21). Rescript: Rogers, Trials, 178. Silvanus: Tac., Ann., IV, 22, discussed by Weinrib, art. cit., 48, n. 65, cf. Jones, Criminal Courts, 112, with different interpretations of ‘datis iudicibus’.

14 Caligula: Dio, LIX, 23, 8. Nero: Tac., Ann., XIV, 48, 2 (political case); XIII, 44

( crime passionel committed by a tribune).

15 Tac., Ann., II, 33; III, 52ff. For minor regulations (some affecting plebs rather than senators), see Suet., Tib., 34, 1, and A.Gell., NA, II, 24, 14.

16 Tac., Ann., VI, 16f.

17 Tac., Ann., III, 25, 1ff.; 28, 4ff., cf. Suet., Div. Claud., 23, 1.

18 Tac., Ann., IV, 30, 3ff.; see above, p. 190.

19 Tac., Ann., II, 34, 3ff.; IV, 21, 1.

20 Tac., Ann., IV, 6, 7.

21 Sen., de Ben., III, 26, 1, cf. Dio, LVIII, 23, 4 (AD 33), and Tac., Ann., VI, 7, 4, with medical metaphor.

22 Dio, LIX, 4, 3; 16, 1f., cf. Suet., Cal., 15, 4. For the interpretation of such abolitions, see Bauman, Impietas, 191ff. They may help to explain why Tacitus thought that Tiberius ‘brought back’ the charge ( Ann., I, 72, 3).

23 Date: Broughton, MRR, I, 565, n. 4; interpretation: Bauman, Maies-tas, 34ff. For procedure and changes before the lex Appuleia, id. ibid., 16ff.; M.I. Henderson, JRS, 1951, 78; Jones, Criminal Courts, Ch. I, esp. 15ff.

24 Cic., de Or., II, 25, 107. Cf. Cicero's defence of C.Cornelius in 65: Asc., 61C.


25 Sources: Broughton, MRR, II, 75. Interpretation: Bauman, Maiestas, 68ff., underestimating the compre-hensiveness of Sulla’s law: see K.M.T. Atkinson,

Iura, 1967, 305f.

26 Cf. Auct. ad Her., II, 12, 17. The sixth surviving clause of the ‘lex de Imperio Vespasiani’ ( ILS, 244= EJ 2 364) serves a comparable purpose.

27 Cic., ad Fam., III, 11, 3, where I suggest ‘verbum tamen est maiestas’. For other remedies and interpretations, see Bauman, Maiestas, 247ff. For the judgment, cf.

Pliny, Pan., 42, 1.

28 Dio, LIV, 3, 4ff.

29 The view that the high court of the Senate was Tiberius’ creation (W.Kunkel,

Roman legal and constitutional History, tr. J.Kelly, Oxford, 1970, 67) is

unwarranted. The change is attested by AD 8 (Ovid, Trist., II, 131f., cf. SEG, IX, 8= EJ 2 311, of 4 BC). It is discussed by Jones, art. cit. (n. XI*), who favours a lex; contra, Weinrib, phoen., 1968, 46 (consular coercitio with the senate as consilium); by Bleicken, op. cit. (n. XI*), 17ff.; 46 See A.H.J.Greenidge, The Legal Procedure of Cicero’s Time, 510ff. by P.Garnsey, Social Status and legal Privilege in the Roman Empire, 17ff. Murder seems not to have been included: Tac., Ann., III, 12, 10 (convenience demanded that the murder of Germanicus should be taken with the

other charges); IV, 22, 3 (‘datis iudicibus’).

30 Tac., Ann., XII, 60.

31 See Mommsen, St., III, ii, 992f.; Jones, criminal courts, III. after the Murena affair Augustus had demanded open voting in cases that went by default: Dio, LIV, 3, 6.

Procedure in the Senate is illustrated by Pliny, Ep., VIII, 14, 13; that voting was normally secret is not shown by Tac., Ann., I, 74, 5.

32 Dio, LIX, 16, 2, cf. LVIII, 16, 3.

33 Tac., Agr., 45, 1.

34 Dio, LVIII, 10ff.; Tac., Ann., III, 51, 2ff.

35 Cf. Tac., Ann., III, 67, 5: ‘ne quis…iuvaret periclitanten, maiestatis crimina subdebantur’. Tiberius (68, 1) treated Volesus Messalla’s offences as precedents

for those of Silanus; was he too accused of maiestas? But see Seager, Tib., 160.

36 Silius: Tac., Ann., IV, 19, 5, with Henderson, JRS, 1951, 77f., for overlapping charges. Varilla: II, 50.

37 Tac., Ann., III, 38, 1: ‘omnium accusationum complementum’; cf. Rogers, Trials, 193. Sixteen cases of tacking (if husbands, wives, and partners in adultery are taken separately) are recorded for the principate of Terberius, id. ibid., 206ff.

38 Bauman, Impietas, 21, 54ff., makes this valuable point.

39 Tac., Ann., III, 49ff.; Dio, LVII, 20, 3f. For magic as the charge see Ciaceri, Processi politici e Relazioni internazionali, 160f.; M.P.Charles-worth, CAH, X, 630; Bauman. Impietas, 62ff.; Koestermann, art. cit., 99, n. 64, approves.

40 Cordus: Tac., Ann., IV, 34, 1. The charge here might be maiestas with a new content (so Bauman, Impietas, 99ff.); it depends on the meaning of ‘neque haec in principem aut principis parentem, quos lex maiestatis amplectitur’ (3). Tiberius’

letter: Dio, LVIII, 10, 1, cf. Juv., X, 69ff. Sejanus’ children: Tac., Ann., V, 9; illegality: Dig., XLVIII, 19, 20, 25. See Bauman, Impietas, 177ff., for cases of

‘manifest guilt’ and the ‘nullo crimine’ technique (but beginning under Claudius).

41 Dio, LIII, 23, 7; Tac., Ann., I, 6, 2; Suet., Div. Aug., 65, 4.


42 See Bauman, locc. citt., and (approving of Tiberius’ attitude) 227. Tiberian appeals to law: Tac., Ann., III, 50, 6; IV, 20, 3; 34, 3. Cf. II, 51. Such an appeal was still possible in 62: XIV, 48, 6.

43 Pliny, Ep., IV, 9, 17, with Bleicken, Senatsgericht, 37ff., and A.N.Sherwin-White, ad loc.

44 So, e.g., E.Levy, Die röm. Kapitalstrafe, Sitzungsb. d. Heidel-berger Akad.d.Wiss., phil-hist. Kl., V Abh., 1930–31, 42ff.; C.W.Chilton, art. cit. (n. XI*), 74f.; Allison and Cloud, art. cit. (n. XI*), 723ff.; Koestermann, art. cit. (n. XI*), 100, n. 66; Bauman, Impietas, 11; contra, Jones, Studies, 191, n. 65, and Criminal Courts, 74.

The evidence is Cic., Phil., I, 23; Tac., Ann., III, 38, 3; 50, 6; [Paul] Sent., V, 29, 1.

45 Vell. Pat., II, 100, 4. I hope to return to this point elsewhere.

46 See A.H.J.Greenidge, The Legal Procedure of Cicero’s Time, 510ff.

47 Rufus: Dio, XLVIII, 33, 3; Epit. Liv., 127. Lepidus: see PIR 2 A 368, cf. Cornelius Gallus in 27: the Senate voted that he should be convicted in he courts (Dio, LIII, 23, 7).

48 Caepio and Murena: Dio, LIV, 3, 5; Egnatius: Vell. Pat., II, 91, 4; Paullus: PIR2 A 391.

49 ‘More maiorum’ (scourging) proposed for Vibius Serenus in AD 24 (Tac., Ann., IV, 30, 1; he was already in exile—and was hated by Tiberius); some followers of

Sejanus in 31 and Sex. Marius in 33 were thrown from the Tarpeian rock (VI, 19, 1;

Dio, LVIII, 15, 3; 22, 2ff.: the charge against Marius was incest with his daughter, where tried is not clear). Another example: LVII, 22, 5 (AD 23: libel). Mere

mathematici were always liable to such penalties: Tac., Ann., II, 32, 5.

50 See F.Vittinghoff, Der Staatsfeind in der röm. Kaiserzeit, Berlin, 1936, esp. 64ff.

Mourning: Caepio’s father had got away with provocative behaviour: Dio, LIV, 3,

7; Fufius’ mother was executed for mourning him in 32: Tac., Ann., VI, 10, 1, cf.

Suet., Tib., 61, 2, generalizing, but cf. Ann., VI, 19, 4; later rule: Dig., III, 2, 11, 3; XI, 7, 35; for Republican precedents, see Mommsen, St., III, ii, 1190, n. 1. Erasure from the Fasti was an Augustan novelty: L.Paullus, PIR 2 A 391. The name and other inscriptions of Antony had suffered; they were later restored, those of his son Iullus not touched: Tac., Ann., III, 17, 8; 18, 1, a reason for Tiberius’ refusing erasure of Cn. Piso’s name (but it was removed from some monuments: Rogers, Trials,

50). Asinius Gallus suffered: PIR 2 A 1229, p. 248; Sejanus: 255, p. 42; Livilla: L

303. The banning of a convicted man’s cognomen (Libo Drusus’: Tac., Ann., II, 32, 2) or praenomen ( Cn. Piso’s: III, 17, 8) goes back to M.Antonius (Dio, LI, 19, 3) and early Republican precedents, including an act of the Claudii (Mommsen, St., III, i, 18, n. 1; Suet., Tib., 1, 2). The total banning of a man’s imago was Republican: Cic., pro. Rab. Perd. Reo, 9, 24; those of Brutus, Cassius, and Cato were not shown in public under the Principate (see Furneaux, ad Tac., Ann., III, 76, 6) but kept privately (Dio, LIII, 32, 4). In 16 that of Libo Drusus was forbidden in the same sense (Tac., Ann., II, 32, 2), in 24 that of C.Silius banned altogether (XI, 35, 2). The fate of Sejanus’ statues (Dio, LVIII, 11, 3; Juv., X, 58), like those of Piso (next note), was probably not due to any sentence of the Senate; that came later (Tac., Ann., VI, 2, 1, including Livilla). The holding of a man’s birthday accursed goes back to M.Antonius, (Dio LI, 19, 3); the converse celebration of death was

voted in the case of Libo Drusus (Tac., Ann., II, 32), Sejanus, and Agrippina (VI, 25, 5).


51 The first instance known in Tiberius’ principate is that of Sabinus in 28 (Dio,

LVIII, 1, 3; Pliny, NH, VIII, 145); then came Sejanus and his children (11, 5f.; Fasti Ost., Inscr. Ital., XIII, i, 188f.= EJ 2 p. 42) and an ‘immensa strages’ of his followers in 33 (Tac., Ann., VI, 19, 3; twenty according to Suet., Tib., 61, 4;

‘complures’ in Fasti Ost., loc. cit.=EJ 2 p. 43). The view that exposure on the Gemoniae was a device thought up by Tiberius and mentioned by his admirer Val.

Max., VI, 3, 3, as employed in 236 BC (‘semel laesa maiestate’) to give it

respectability will not do: note the melancholy name of the Scalae and the people’s attempt in 20 to drag Cn. Piso’s statues down them (Tac., Ann., III, 14, 6); the hook and other features are mentioned by Ovid, Ibis., 163ff., in AD 8 (so Seager, Tib., 228). Refusal of burial is known under the Republic: Mommsen, St., II, ii3, 1190, n.

1; the bodies of the Gracchi were thrown into the Tiber: Plut., Ti. Gracchus, 20, 2; C. Gracchus, 17, 4. Under the Principate it is an optional extra (Mommsen, loc. cit., n. 1), adopted in cases of maiestas ( Dig., XLVIII, 24, 1). Tiberius gave permission for the burial of Asinius Gallus, who starved to death in 33, though still reus: Tac., Ann., VI, 33, 2; either Dio, LVIII, 3, 3, is mistaken in saying that he had been condemned in the Senate or (better) Tiberius had disallowed the verdict, raising

doubts as to Gallus’ status.

52 Vell. Pat., II, 130, 3.

53 For deportatio and other forms of exile, see Dig., LXVIII, 22; RE, V, 1905, 231ff., s.v. It was a device of the Principate, combining aquae et ignis interdictio (and loss of civil rights) with confinement to one place: Dio, LVI, 27, 3 (implied for AD 12); Tac., Ann., III, 38, 3 (AD 21); 68, 2 (22); IV, 13, 2 (23); VI, 48, 6 (36: the technical term is used in the last two instances).

54 For the origin of interdiction, see above, pp. 187f. Early in the Principate it might be inflicted alone or aggravated by specification of an island exile as it was for

C.Silanus in 22, presumably after the model of Volesus Messalla in 12: Tac., Ann., III, 68, 2. The year 12 was that in which the conditions of life of those who had

suffered it were made more severe: Dio, LVI, 27, 3; and see below, n. 57. The simple gave way to the aggravated form: Dig., XLVIII, 19, 2, 1.

55 Relegation had been practised as a measure of coercitio, against non-citizens; it was used against a citizen in 58. As a legal penalty it began with Cicero’s lex de Ambitu: Greenidge, op. cit., 334; 425.

56 For Republican infamia in varying degrees, see Greenidge, op. cit., 508.

57 Dio, LVII, 22, 5. See Ciaceri, Stud, stor., II, 1108, 396; J.L.Strachan-Davidson, Problems in the Roman Criminal Law, Oxford, 1911, II, 55ff.

58 Coercitio: Tac., Ann., III, 36, 4 (AD 21). Custody: Asinius Gallus, in the charge of magistrates c. 30–33: Dio, LVIII, 3, 5; 25, 6. The Senate sent a quaestor to Fufius Geminus to see that he died: 4, 6. Sejanus, in prison a few hours: 10, 8; P.Vitellius and P.Pomponius Secundus, entrusted to their brothers in 31: Tac., Ann., V, 8, 2, cf. Dio, LIX, 6, 2; Asellius Sabinus ‘in carcere…indemnatus’ with ‘Seianianos locupletes…parricidas’, c. 31: Sen., Contr., IX, 4, 19ff., cf. Dio, LVIII, 15, 2.

Rubrius Fabatus, who tried to slip off to Parthia in 33, had ‘custodes additi’: Tac., Ann., VI, 14, 3f. Eutychus and Agrippa I, in chains, 36–37: Jos., AJ, XVIII, 169ff., Lampon; Philo, in Flacc., 128. Punitive: Drusus Caesar, in Palatium c. 30–33

(presumably comparable with exile on an island): Tac., Ann., VI, 23, 2; 24, 2f.; Suet., Tib., 54, 2; 61, 1; Dio, LVIII, 22, 4. Gallio, in custody of magistrates, 32: Tac., Ann., VI, 3, 3; Sextius Paconianus was in the career 32–36: VI, 3, 5, cf. 39, 1; in 33


others ‘accusati societatis cum Seiano’ who were being kept in the career were executed on Tiberius’ orders: VI, 19, 2. Iulius Celsus committed suicide ‘in vinclis’

in 33: VI, 14, 2; Rogers, Trials, 141, suggests that, like Paconianus, he had escaped execution by turning state’s evidence. Albucilla in 37 ‘iussu senatus in carcerem

fertur’: VI, 48, 6. She died there: Dio, LVIII, 27, 4.

59 See Greenidge, op. cit., 333f.; 513ff.; Jones, Criminal Courts, 13f.

60 Tac., Ann., VI, 29, 2; Dio, LVIII, 15, 2; 4ff. Rogers’ rejection of these statements, TAPA, 1933, 18ff., Trials, 182ff., is unconvincing: see Chilton, art. cit. (X*), 78ff.

61 Tac., Ann., VI, 40, 1; Dio, LVIII, 21, 2 (‘Vibullius’), cf. Suet., Tib., 61, 4


62 Libo Drusus: Tac., Ann., II, 32, 1; Piso: III, 17, 8; Silius: IV, 20, 1; 30, 3; Sejanus’

followers: Dio, LVIII, 15, 41. For continuation of the trial, attested in the cases of Caepio and Murena (Dio, LIV, 3, 5), Libo (Tac., Ann., II , 31, 4), and Piso (III, 16f., especially 17, 6), see Dig., XLVIII, 4, 11 (aggravated cases). For an early Republican precedent, see Livy, III, 58, and below, n. 64.

63 Tac., Ann., I, 10, 3.

64 E.S.Gruen, Roman Politics and the Criminal Courts 149–7 B.C., Cambridge, Mass., 1968, 304ff., records six suicides in his period; two belong to the Marian

‘terror’ of 87. Note also the suicide of Licinius Macer, prosecuted for repetundae before Cicero in 66, ‘ne sua bona hastae posset subici’ (Val. Max., IX, 12, 7; ad Att., I, 4, 2). Cicero was ‘aequus’ because ‘de eo nihil pronuntiavit’. For the anxiety of defendants, see Tac., Ann., II, 29, 2; IV, 28, 2; VI, 3, 3; Suet., Tib., 61, 4.

65 Tac., Ann., IV, 20, 3. See L.R. Taylor, Party Politics in the Age of Caesar, Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1949, 112ff.

66 Tac., Ann., II, 32, 1. Vibius Serenus was passed over (IV, 29, 4), Bauman, Impietas, 60, suggests because he had prosecuted for astrology, not maiestas, and failed.

Bauman’s objection, loc. cit., n. 46, that the generosity of dividing the entire property amongst the accusers was unparalleled, is not weighty.

67 Tac., Ann., III, 19, 1. The property was not confiscated (18, 2); presumably the accusers got their quarter from the state: Dio, LVIII, 4, 8.

68 Vicissitudes of delators: Tac., Ann., I, 74, 1f. (Caepio Crispinus as exemplum); II, 28, 4, cf. VI, 38, 2, with Dio, LVIII, 25, 2 (L.Fulcinius Trio); III, 66, 5f., cf. Juv., X, 83 (Bruttedius Niger); IV, 29, 4 (C.Vibius Serenus); 68, 2, cf. 71, 1, and VI, 4, 1

(accusers of Titius Sabinus); Dio, LVIII, 14, 4f. (Sejanus’ friends). For Tiberian

delators, see Marsh, Reign, 107ff.; Syme, Tac., I, 326ff., and for later developments Sherwin-White ad Pliny., Ep., I, 5, 1; V, 13, 6.

69 Praemia: Tac., Ann., IV, 28, 4f.; see above, p. 104. Prosecutions: I, 74, 2 (‘occultis libellis saevitiae principis adrepit’; this is Caepio Crispinus, see Syme, Tac., II, 693f., yet the prosecution failed); VI, 18, 2 (an excuse). For Tiberius encouraging

delation, see Furneaux, The Annals of Tacitus, I, 143f., and Koestermann, art. cit.

(n. XI*), 83ff.

70 Tac., Ann., 1, 74, 2: ‘egens, ignotus, inquies’; III, 66, 4: ‘obscura initia’; IV, 52, 2:

‘modicus dignationis’; see previous note,

71 L.Piso and accusatores; see above, n. 8. The lex Papia Poppaea: ‘omnis domus delatorum interpretationibus subverteretur’ (Tac., Ann., III, 25, 2).

72 Cicero on prosecution: pro Rosc. Am., 56; Div. in Q.Caec., 1; on praemia: pro Balbo, 57, cf. Asc., 54 C; on ‘boys’ and quadruplatores: Div. in Q.Caec., 24; 68.

See Jones, Criminal Courts, 62. Scaurus: Tac., Ann., III, 66, 2ff.


73 Tac., Ann., IV, 30, 4f. Tiberius is defended along these lines by Marsh, Reign, 171, but Koestermann, art. cit., 85, n. 31, objects that all maiestas cases were carried on after the suicide of the accused; hence the delators were to lose their praemia only if the accused were acquitted; but cf. Dig., XLVIII, 4, 11. The penalty for calumnia was exclusion from senatorial or municipal orders and disqualification from

bringing further accusations, but exile or relegation were sometimes imposed extra ordinem ( Dig., XLVII, 10, 43; XLVIII, 2, 4; ILS, 6085, line 120). Firmius Catus, convicted of calumnia in 24, was sentenced to deportation to an island; Tiberius reduced the sentence to removal from the Senate; Tac., Ann., IV, 31, 7f. In 32 he approved sentences of death and exile imposed on the accusers of M.Terentius

( calumnia was not the only charge): VI, 9, 1; Dio, LVIII, 19, 5.

74 See above, p. 22. Cf. Suet., Tib., 28.

75 Tac., Ann., III, 10, 2; 19, 1 (Trio); IV, 29, 4f. (Serenus); 52, 7 (Afer). In 22 Tiberius refused to sharpen the teeth of the sumptuary laws, and Tacitus credits him with

‘fama moderationis parta, quod ingruentis accusatores represserat’ (III, 56, 1); but what he represents Tiberius as avoiding is the outcry against delation: 54, 1.

76 Tac., Ann., I, 72, 3: ‘legem maiestatis reduxerat’; XIV, 48, 3: ‘revocata ea lex’. See Koestermann, art. cit. (n. XI*), 76, n. 7: Tiberius might have abolished the law like Caligula and Claudius; contra, Bauman, Impietas, 221.

77 Dio, LVI, 27, 1.

78 Tac., Ann., I, 72, 3ff., cf. Suet., Tib., 58.

79 So, clearly, P.Garnsey, Social Status and legal Privilege, 19; Furneaux, ad loc., and cf. Bauman, Impietas, 222; Seager, Tib., 152, makes the suggestion in a footnote.

Contra, Marsh, Reign, 61; Koestermann, art. cit. (n. XI*), 78ff., overestimates the importance of the reply, and the contrast he draws between Tiberius’

encouragement of this law and his restriction of the lex Papia Poppaea (84, n. 30) fails. He thinks (85) that the theme of libel is picked up again in 74, 3. But that was not the first trial in the series (74, 1), and Marcellus was acquitted.

80 Pliny, Pan., 11, 1. 81 Tac., Ann., I, 72, 4. For Republican remedies, see R.E.Smith, CQ, 1951, 169ff.; Bauman, Maiestas, 246ff. For magistrates, Jones, Criminal Courts, 107.

82 Tac., Ann., I, 73, cf. Dio, LVII, 24, 7?

83 That the lex Iulia Maiestatis of Dig., XLVIII, 11, was Augustus’ work has been argued by K.M.T. Atkinson, Hist., 1960, 446ff., and by Bauman, Maiestas, 266ff.

The view cannot hold against the objections of Allison and Cloud, art. cit. (X*).

84 Tac., Ann., I, 72, 3f.; Suet., Div. Aug., 55, perhaps referring to the placards of Dio, LV, 27, 1 (AD 6). Iunius Novatus was fined for his ‘asperrima epistula’ (Suet.,

Div. Aug., 51, 1), probably after Agrippa’s abdication in AD 6; Eus., Chron., p.

I76b Helm, gives 8–9 as the year of Severus’ exile; there is no call to remove it to 12 on the basis of Dio, LVI, 27, 1 (so Koestermann, art. cit. (n. XI*), 80). Further references and full discussion are given by Bauman, Maiestas, 246ff.

85 Suet., Div. Aug., 51, 1; 3 (advice to Tiberius). The remarks of Rufus (Sen., de Ben., III, 27) were threatening, not slanderous, and could have proved troublesome to

him; a Cassius got ‘leve exilium’ for something similar (Suet., Div. Aug., 51, 1).

86 Tac., Ann., IV, 21, 5.

87 Suet., Tib., 28, cf. Dio, LVII, 19, 1. The charge in 61, 3, is grossly exaggerated, though it takes account of the Cremutius Cordus case. See also Dio, LVII, 9, 2f.


88 Marcellus: Tac., Ann., I, 74, 3ff. The item that caused Tiberius’ indignation (if it was not the whole indictment) was probably the slander alleged by Crispinus rather

than the mutilation of the statues claimed by Romanus Hispo; both mentions of

Hispo (for the nomen see E.Badian, Riv. Stor. dell’ Ant., 1973, 77ff.) seem to be afterthoughts. Varilla: II, 50, 2f. The prosecution of women for maiestas was a novelty of Tiberius’ principate, but it is unlikely that Caesar’s law limited the

person who might be prosecuted to magistrates or even men. Cassius Severus

(above, n. 86) was not a senator, Athenaeus of Seleucia (Strabo, XIV, p. 670) not

even a citizen. Tac., Ann., VI, 10, 1, ‘quia occupandae rei publicae argui non poterant’, means that certain crimina in the maiestas category were unlikely to stick. In 24 Sosia was exiled and lost part of her property (IV, 20, 2f.). Her husband had been charged with maiestas and repetundae: ‘conscientia belli Sacrovir diu dissimulatus, victoria per avaritiam foedata et uxor socia [ v.l. Sosia] arguebantur’

(19, 4). The lex Iulia Repetundarum specified persons liable to prosecution (see M.Gelzer, Caesar, Politician and Statesman, tr. P. Needham, Oxford, 1968, 94.

Women were not included, and after Silius’ trial Cotta Messallinus promoted a

senatus consultant making governors responsible for their wives’ misconduct (20, 6, cf. Dig., I, 16, 4, 2, dated to 20; see Orth, Provinzialpolitik, 66f.); the activities of Plancina had provoked an ineffectual debate three years before (III, 33f.). By

Trajan’s time the woman herself might be put on trial (Pliny, Ep., III, 9, 19ff.). See Brunt, Hist., 1961, 198; for a different view, Sherwin-White ad Pliny, loc. cit.

89 Tac., Ann., IV, 31, 1.

90 Tac., Ann., VI, 5ff., with Rogers, Trials, 131ff., and Bauman, Impietas, 103.

91 The poetical works were burnt, according to Suet., Tib., 61, 3 (anonymous poet of an Agamemnon), like those of T.Labienus, Cassius Severus, and others in the later years of Augustus. But cf. Tac., Ann., VI, 29, 5f., and Dio, LVIII, 24, 5 (the charges were adultery with Livilla and consulting astrologers). Macro, not the accusers, ‘detulerat’ the tragedy. For Tiberius’ language, cf. Suet., Tib., 57, 2; the most favourable interpretation is that Tiberius was threatening to write a tragedy of an Ajax maddened and suicidal with envy, in which Scaurus would recognize

himself ( cf. Suet., Tib., 28); or, with Bauman, Impietas, 127, that it constituted renuntiatio amicitiae; but Bauman thinks that Scaurus killed himself because of the renuntiatio.

92 Saturninus: Dio, LVII, 22, 5, cf. Rogers, Trials, 72f. If Saturninus was of servile origin ( cf. ILS, 1568), it is surprising that he was brought before the Senate.

Montanus: Tac., Ann., IV, 42, 1ff. For Montanus as a corruptor of soldiers, see Marsh, Reign, 61, 115, n. 1; 173. Paconianus: Tac., Ann., VI, 3, 4; 39, 1.

93 Tac., Ann., I, 73f., cf. Dio, LVII, 9, 3. For the name Falanius or Faianius, see Syme, JRS, 1949, 12f.

94 Cf. Bauman, Impietas, 3ff.

95 See above, pp. 82f. Bauman, Impietas, 80, overestimates the significance of Tiberius’ ‘vice legis observem’ for the development of maiestas.

96 Tac., Ann., III, 70, 2ff.

97 Tac., Ann., IV, 34f.; Dio, LVII, 24, 2ff., cf. Suet., Tib., 61, 3, and Sen., Cons, ad Marc. Seager, Tib., 195, n. 3, thinks Cordus’ speech an invention of Tacitus; so Syme, Tac., I, 337, n. 10. As to whether the history was the main charge, opinions differ: see M.Columba, A e R, 1901, 361 ff.; Marsh, Reign, 290ff.; Rogers, Trials, NOTES 239

86ff; Syme, loc. cit. Tacitus gives the report of a preliminary hearing; we know of no other charges.

98 Cf. Dig., XLVIII. 4, 11.

99 Dig., XLVIII, 4, 5f.

100 Tac., Ann., III, 70, 2.

101 Sen., de Ben., III, 26, 1f., cf. Dio, LVIII, fr. 2.

102 Tac., Ann., III, 36, cf. Philostr., Vit. Ap., I, 15. See above, p. 103. Koestermann, art.

cit. (n. XI*), 95ff., exaggerates the terror that was created but rightly says that cases must have arisen from the abuse.

103 Dig., XLVII, 10, 38. Bauman, Impietas, 85ff., argues for a total ban on seeking refuge at statues or images, dating from the trial of Agrippina in 29.

104 Tac., Ann., I, 73, 1, with Koestermann, art. cit., 82, n. 23; for other interpretations see Furneaux, ad loc.

105 Tac., Ann., III, 12, 6 (Piso); Fasti Amit., CIL, I, 243= EJ 2 p. 52 (Libo), cf. Cic., in Pis., 50 (‘exire provinciam’); Dig., XLVIII, 4, 1 (‘…quo quis magistratus…quive imperium potestatemve habet occidatur; quove quis contra rem publicam arma

ferat…quive milites sollicitaverit concitaveritve…’). Koestermann’s interpretation

of Libo’s trial, art. cit., 88ff., is unduly sympathetic to the defendant. The view of Marsh, op. cit., 291ff., that more serious charges against Libo, Piso, and Cremutius Cordus are omitted from the record presented by Tacitus because they killed

themselves when their trials were still in the preliminary stages, is dealt with by Koestermann, art. cit., 89, n. 41. It is not trivial charges that Tacitus offers, but flimsy evidence.

106 Suet., Tib., 28 : ‘omnium inimicitiae…ad nos deferentur’.

107 As Koestermann argues ( art. cit., 93, n. 50) against Marsh, Reign, 123f., a hearing before Tiberius was planned in the Piso case (Tac., Ann., III, 10, 3), but he held only a preliminary hearing with an informal consilium (10, 6). Tiberius inspected the scene of a murder at the request of the victim’s father: IV, 22, 1ff., cf. Jos., AJ, XVIII, 83 (embezzlement). Depositions were secured by Macro: Dio, LVIII, 21, 3;

24, 2. For Albucilla in 37 (Tiberius’ role uncertain), see Tac., Ann., VI, 47, 4. For acceptance of charges, see Tac., Ann., I, 73, 3ff.; II, 50, 2f.; III, 22, 4; 70, 2ff. (a veto: ‘vetuit’; ‘perstititque intercedere’); IV, 15, 3: ‘audirent socios’. For Tiberius presiding, see Tac., Ann., II, 29, 2 (Libo); III, 17, 8 (Piso); 22, 4 (Lepida); 68, 1

(Silanus). Modification of the sentence: Tac., Ann., III, 18, 1; IV, 30, 2; Libo (II, 30, 4) and Silanus (III, 67, 4) address ‘pieces’ to Tiberius. His veto on sentence or admission of charges was probably a technical use of his right of intercessio,

regarded as part of his ius auxilii (a Sullan view) and usually reserved for such occasions (but cf. Suet., Tib., 26, 2). Nero wanted to use it for the same purpose: XIII, 43, 7; XIV, 48, 3; XVI, 11, 6. See IV, 30, 1: ‘intercessit’. Tiberius’ right to act was implicitly recognized in 21, when the ten-day rule was introduced, enabling him to intervene from a distance (III, 51, 3f.); it was neglected in cases brought at the instigation of the Princeps or involving danger if execution were delayed, such as that of Sejanus and perhaps of Titius Sabinus, IV, 70, 1 and 5.

108 Tac., Ann., II, 29, 2 (Libo); III, 12, 1ff.; 15, 4 (Piso); 22, 4 (Lepida, and ‘miscuit irae et clementiae signa’).

109 Tac., Ann., III, 67, 2. There was a charge of maiestas, on which Silanus may have been acquitted: see Seager, Tib., 160.


110 Suet., Div. Aug., 66, 2. For renuntiatio amicitiae as a substitute for the crimen maiestatis, see Bauman, Impietas, 109ff.

111 Tac., Ann., III, 12, 4.

112 Tac., Ann., III, 24, 7.

113 Tac., Ann., VI, 9, 2ff.

114 Tac., Ann., I, 74, well discussed by Seager, Tib., 153f.

115 ‘Tulit absolvi’: see Gerber-Greef, Lexicon Taciteum, s.v., and Koestermann, art.

cit., 87, n. 35. Cf. ‘laturum’ above; contra, Sumner, Phoen., 1966, 80. The oath does not prove that Tiberius’ vote was to be unfavourable to Marcellus: cf. Suet., Div.

Claud., 22. Dio, LVII, 24, 7, combining features of the trials of Falanius and Granius Marcellus, has the Princeps called upon to vote first and opting for

acquittal. See also Marsh, Reign, 110; contra, Koestermann, art. cit., 86.

116 Tac., Ann., IV, 42, 2.

117 Tac., Ann., II, 31, 4 (Libo); VI, 29, 3 (Paxaea). Eloquence in asking for mercy: IV, 31, 4; dementia praised: III, 50, 3; 68, 2.

118 Tac., Ann., III, 18, 1f.; for ‘nobilitas domus’, 17, 1.

119 Tac., Ann., II, 50, 4, with Furneaux, ad loc.

120 Tac., Ann., IV, 31, 1ff.

121 Tac., Ann., IV, 31, 7f.

122 Tac., Ann., III, 68, 1 (22, against C.Silanus); IV, 31, 5 (24, against P.Suillius, with an oath that it was e republica); and see above, p. 180.

123 Tac., Ann., VI, 5, 2; cf. his swift intervention for Cn. Lentulus in 24: IV, 29, 1; Dio, LVII, 24, 8.

124 Suet., Tib., 55; Tac., Ann., VI, 9, 2ff. (Vistilius); 10, 2 (Vescularius Flaccus, Julius Marinus).

125 Suillius: see above, n. 122; Gallio: Tac., Ann., VI, 3, 1ff., cf. Dio, LVIII, 18, 3f. For the five cases, see Rogers, Trials, 203f.

126 Tac., Ann., VI, 7, 2f. Q.Pomponius Secundus attacked Considius Proculus in 33

(18, 1f.), at the Princeps’ instigation, according to Rogers, Trials, 145.

127 Tac., Ann., VI, 4, 4.

128 Tac., Ann., III, 37, 1. Compare the case of Cotta Messallinus, acquitted in 32 after appeal to Tiberius: ‘turn facta patribus potestas statuendi de C.Caeciliano…qui

plurima adversum Cottam prompserat’ (VI, 7, 1).

129 Tac., Ann., III, 38, 2ff. See Seager, Tib., 158.

130 Tac., Ann., VI, 47, 2ff. For the earlier cases, see above, Ch. X, and note that of M.Paconius, where the Senate was prompted to pass sentence (Suet., Tib., 61, 6).

131 Suet., Tib., 73, possibly an in-accurate echo of the trial of Albucilla, of which Tacitus thought Tiberius knew nothing; cf. Dio, LVIII, 27, 3.

132 Tac., Ann., III, 12, 4; 70.

133 Suet., Tib., 30; Tac., Ann., VI, 2, 3.

134 F.Millar, JRS, 1968, 222.

135 Tac., Ann., IV, 15. 3f.; Dio, LVII, 23, 4, cf. Suet., Tib., 30. Equites had been exempted from the lex Iulia: Cic., pro Rab. Post., 12. Brunt, Hist., 1961, 193, n. 15a, sees Capito charged with vis publica.

136 Tac., Ann., VI, 10, 2; Suet., Tib., 62, 2 (Capri). The accusation of Votienus Montanus ‘apud Caesarem’ by Narbo in Sen., Contr., VII, 5 (20), 12, may be Augustan.

137 Tac., Ann., XIII, 4, 2.



XII* The main sources are Tac., Ann., VI; Dio, LVIII, 12ff.; Suet., Tib., 41ff; Jos., AJ, XVIII, 161ff. See Marsh, Reign, 200ff.; Z.Stewart, AJP, 1953, 70ff.; D.Timpe, Kontinuität, 57ff.; P.Y.Forsyth, Phoen., 1969, 204ff.; Seager, Tib., 224ff.

1 Tac., Ann., VI, 51, 6.

2 ILS, 6044= EJ 2 53; and Suet., Tib., 65, 2.

3 Tac., Ann., VI, 2, 5f.: ‘ludibria seriis permiscere solitus’.

4 Tac., Ann., VI, 6; Suet., Tib., 67, 1, with Rogers, Trials, 134. ‘Quid scribam vobis, patres conscripti, aut quo modo scribam aut quid omnino non scribam hoc tempore,

di me deaeque peius perdant quam perire me cotidie sentio, si scio’ (‘quam cotidie

perire sentio’, Suetonius). See Lewis and Short, s.v.perdo, citing ‘Di (deaeque omnes) te perduint.’

5 Dio, LVIII, 12, 4ff. Previous refusal of title pater patriae: LVII, 8, 1 (AD 14); Tac., Ann., I, 72, 2 (15: ‘a populo saepius ingestum’); II, 87, 2 (19).

6 Tac., Ann., V, 7, 2.

7 Niger: Juv., X, 82; P.Vitellius and P.Pomponius Secundus: Tac., Ann., V, 8.

Release: Dio, LIX, 6, 2 (confusing him with his brother). Suff. 44, ornamenta

triumphalia 50: Tac., Ann., XII, 28, 2.

8 Tac., Ann., VI, 3, 4ff.

9 Tac., Ann., VI, 7, 2ff.

10 Tac., Ann., VI, 9, 5ff.; death of the tribune: 14, 2. Silanus seems to have been the son of C.Silanus, cos. 10 (see PIR2 I 822). He is strange bedfellow for Scaurus, who had prosecuted his father in 22 (III, 66, 2). To C.Annius Pollio Scaurus

proposed that he should become just that (Sen., de Ben., IV, 31, 4), which argues some intimacy. Scaurus had been friendly towards Sejanus (see above, pp. 213 f.)

and Calvisius Sabinus, who was probably the brother-in-law of his colleague in the

consulship, Cn. Gaetulicus (see PIR 2 C 354), may have given his name to

P.Pomponius Secundus, who appears during his consulship as ‘…isius Sabinus P.

Pomponius Secundus’. Secundus’ mother was Vistilia (Pliny, NH, VII, 39), and his uncle probably the Sex. Vistilius who had just lost the friendship of Tiberius for

attacking Gaius as unchaste (VI, 9, 2f.); these ties are elucidated by Syme, JRS, 1970, 27ff. Domitius Corbulo was another son of Vistilia. He married a daughter to

an Annius Vinicianus ( PIR 2 A 700), who would be a son of the L.Annius

Vinicianus charged in 32. Syme connects Corbulo with L.Vitellius, P. Petronius,

and the partisans of Germanicus. Perhaps two of the consulars, Silanus and Pollio,

were too sympathetic to the cause of Drusus Caesar to be acceptable to Gaius and

Macro. This view is supported by the antecedents of Vistilius: he had been a

member of Nero Drusus’ entourage. The others might be unacceptable for a

different reason: devotion to Gemellus (shown by their former allegiance to


11 Tac., Ann., VI, 14, 1. For Geminius, cf. CIL, VI, 904, a dedication by C.Geminius Atticus in a series to which L.Fulcinius Trio contributed: Th. Pekáry, Röm. Mitt., 1966–67, 105ff. Sejanus’ habits: Tac., Ann., IV, 1, 3f.; Vell. Pat., II, 127, 4.

12 Juv., X, 85ff.

13 Tac., Ann., V, 11; VI, 4, 2ff. Regulas’ mission: Dio, LVIII, 10, 2, cf. 13, 3; Suet., Tib., 65, 1.


14 Tac., Ann., VI, 2. Oaths: Dio, LVIII, 17, 2f.: Tiberius had refused to allow the oath

‘for many years’, cf. LVII, 8, 4f.; Tac., Ann., I, 72, 2; Suet., Tib., 26, 2 (veto); 67

(‘quia aliquo casu mutari posset’).

15 Tac., Ann., VI, 3, 1ff.

16 Tac., Ann., IV, 18, 5.

17 Tac., Ann., VI, 8; Dio, LVIII, 19, 1ff., adding L.Caesianus, a praetor who had poked fun at the bald.

18 For the penalty for calumnia, see above, Ch. XI, n. 73.

19 Tac., Ann., VI, 18, 1f.

20 Tac., Ann., VI, 5ff.

21 Tac., Ann., VI, 3, 4f.

22 Tac., .Ann., VI, 30, 2ff. It is surprising that the accusation came so late in the day.

It must mark the developing power of Gaius and Macro.

23 Syme, RR, 424, 436.

24 Dio, LIX, 22, 5; Sen., QN, IVA, pr. 15; Acta Arv., ed. Henzen, xlix.

25 See PIR2 A 1414, modified by A.N.Sherwin-White, Lat., 1972, 820ff.

26 Tac., Ann., VI, 28 (34); Pliny, NH, X, 5 (36); Dio, LVIII, 27, 1 (36). Probably 36 is correct; see below, n. 46.

27 Dio, LVIII, 24, 1 ( celebration by the consuls of 34), cf. LVII, 24, 2: he did not ask for renewal (23 or 24?); the consuls celebrated the decennial festival. Perhaps they did not venture to mention that the power was coming to an end. Celebration was

tactful prorogation.

28 Tac., Ann., VI, 23ff. (Gallus, Drusus, and Agrippina), cf. Suet., Tib., 54, 2

(Drusus); 53, 2 (Agrippina); Dio, LVIII, 22, 4f.; 25, 4 (Agrippina and Drusus).

29 Tac., VI, 19, 2ff.: ‘Immensa strages’; Suet., Tib., 61, 4: twenty on one day; Fasti Ost., Inscr. Ital., XIII, i, 188f.: ‘complures’. At least two survived: Sextius Paconianus to be executed on another day: Tac., Ann., VI, 3, 4, c f. 39, 1; Pomponius lingered on: V, 8, 4.

30 The marriage: Tac., Ann., VI, 20, 1; Suet., Cal., 12, 1; Dio, LVIII, 25, 2 (AD 35).

For the bride’s father see PIR 2 I 832.

31 Dio, LVIII, 23, 1; Dio does not say that the quaestorship was ‘not in the first rank’

(so E.Cary, Loeb edition) but that he was not designated for the following year;

i.e., he was designated late in 31 for 33.

32 So Seager, Tib., 234.

33 Tac., Ann., IV, 75; for Ahenobarbus’ family, see Suet., Nero, 1f. It was Mrs A.-M.

Dabrowski who drew my attention to the mediocre matches of Gaius’ sisters and


34 Tac., Ann., VI, 15, 1; Dio, LVIII, 21, 1; Suet., Cal., 24, 3; Jos., AJ, XIX, 251; Schol. Juv., I, 155. Quinctilius Varus: Sen., Contr., I, 3, 10. Origins of Vinicius: Syme, RR, 192; 362; his fate: Dio, LX, 27, 4.

35 Tac., Ann., VI, 27, 1; Dio, LVIII, 21, 1.

36 Cf. PIR 2 C 501; 503.

37 Espérandieu, Inscr. lat. de Gaule, 618. For the arrangement, see Levick, Lat., 1966, 234.

38 Philo, Leg., 24f. (he favoured Gemellus); Jos., AJ, XVIII, 188; 211 f.; 214f.; 219

(Gemellus, but Agrippa I backed Gaius); Tac., Ann., VI, 46, 1ff. (he was undecided); Suet, Tib., 62, 3 (he meant to kill them both); Cal., 19, 3 (he preferred Gemellus); Dio, LVIII, 23, 1ff. (Gaius). Admirable tabulation by Meise, Untersuchungen, 53.


Allowance must be made for the ill repute acquired by Gaius, especially among the


39 Suet., Div. Claud., 4f.

40 Health: Suet., Tib., 68. Astrological predictions: 62, 3, cf. Dio, LVIII, 27, 1ff.

41 H.Gesche, Zeitschr.f.Num.u. Geldgesch., 1971, 37ff.

42 Another interpretation is offered in The Ancient Historian and his Materials, 123ff.

43 The will: Suet., Tib., 76 (with date); Cal., 14, 1; Dio, LIX, 1, 1ff.; Philo, Leg., 23.

Timpe’s attempt ( Untersuchungen, 71f.) to represent the will as a private document is rebutted by Gesche, art. cit., 72f.

44 Tac., Ann., VI, 26, 4f. (‘criminibus haud ignotis’); Dio, LVIII, 22, 5 (execution).

Her brother may just have been coming to the end of his seventeen-year

governorship of Pannonia: see above, Ch. IX, n. 2.

45 Tac., Ann., III, 15, 1ff.; 17, 2. Tiberius used this technique more than once: Suet., Tib., 51, 1.

46 Tac., Ann., V, 10, dating the appearance to the same time as the execution of Sejanus’ younger children (end of 31); cf. Dio, LVIII, 25, 1: after the deaths of Labeo, Scaurus, and others (34). It cannot be said that the peregrinations of

‘Drusus’ went on long enough for Tacitus to be speaking of the beginning of the

affair and Dio of the end: it was ‘acri magis quam diuturno rumore’. Tacitus could

have put the affair after the exposure of the children in 31, rather than that of the conspirators in 33, on the Gemoniae; or Dio may have confused the two attacks on

Scaurus (32 and 34). There are other discrepancies: the marriage of Gaius and the

phoenix are both dated two years later by Dio than they are by Tacitus (35 and 36

instead of 33 and 34). Dio’s date for the phoenix is confirmed by Pliny, NH, X, 5.

In the view of G.B.Townend, Herm., 1961, 118ff., Tacitus inserted an item from Balbillus at the first convenient point.

47 Tac., Ann., VI, 14, 3f.

48 Tac., Ann., VI, 18, 3ff. For the family of Theophanes, see Syme, Tac., II, 748f., and above, p. 98. For the Euryclids, see G.W.Bowersock, JRS, 1961, 112ff. ( stemma, 118).

49 Rogers, Trials, 126f., 145f.

50 See Levick, Rom. Cols, in South. Asia Minor, 167f.

51 Tac., Ann., VI, 29, 4ff. Sextia: see Syme, JRS, 1949, 12. For the charges, see above, Ch. XI, n. 91. The same accusers attacked Varius Ligus, but were bribed by him to

desist (Tac., Ann., VI, 30, 1). A ‘P.Varius P.f. Aem. Ligus filius’ honoured Gemellus in an inscription of Alba Pompeia ( ILS, 171).

52 Tac., loc. cit., 1ff. Renuntiatio used against Vistilius; see above, p. 205.

53 Tac., Ann., VI, 3,4.

54 Tac., Ann., III, 66f. The dwarf: Suet., Tib., 61, 6. The historian was probably Servilius Nonianus, the consular historian, no friend to the Princeps: See Syme,

Tac., I, 277. Tac., Ann., XVI, 29, 3, speaks of Paconius as an innocent victim ( cf.

28, 2).

55 See above, p. 188.

56 Tac., Ann., VI, 38, 2ff.

57 For the Blaesi and Lepida, see Tac., Ann., VI, 40, 3f.

58 Tac., Ann., VI, 45, 5; Dio, LVIII, 28, 4. See PIR 2 E 65 for other references, and above, Ch. X, n. 135. For Claudilla’s death, see Tac., Ann., VI, 45, 4; Philo, Leg., 9; Suet., Cal., 12, 2 (in childbirth), cf. Dio, LIX, 8, 7 (divorced).


59 Tac., Ann., VI, 47, 2ff.

60 Forsyth, art. cit. (n. XII*).

61 Suet., Nero, 5, 2.

62 Tac., Ann., 1, 13, 2.

63 For P.Vitellius, see above, p. 202. C.Vibius Marsus: Tac., Ann., II, 74, 1; IV, 56, 3.

Bird thinks, Lat., 1969, 75, that he must have defected: he was proconsul of Africa in the late twenties. But the Vibii had been protégés of Tiberius first; and in

Claudius’ principate he was legate of Syria: XI, 10, 1. Otho: III, 66, 2; the son died for his veto, presumably under Gaius.

64 Intellect: Tac., Ann., VI, 50, 1. Reading and quizzes: Suet., Tib., 56; 70, 3.

Cucumbers: see above, Ch. X, n. 99. Parties: Suet., Tib., 72, 3. ‘Serpens draco’: 72, 2.

65 Suet., Tib., 72, 1f.; AD 32: Tac., Ann., VI, 1, 1f.; AD 35:45, 1ff. Cf. Dio, LVIII, 21, 1: AD 33, during the marriages of his granddaughters, a distance of four miles.

66 Tac., Ann., VI, 12.

67 Tac., Ann., VI, 13; see above, p. 121.

68 Tac., Ann., VI, 16f.; see above, p. 133.

69 Parthia: see above, pp. 145ff. Fire of 36: Tac., Ann., VI, 45, 1ff.; Dio, LVIII, 26, 5; of 27: IV, 64.

70 Last days: Suet., Tib., 72, 2ff.; Cal., 12, 2f.; Tac., Ann., VI, 50; Jos., AJ, XVIII, 205ff.; Dio, LVIII, 28. For Tiberius and doctors, see Tac., Ann., VI, 46, 9; Suet., Tib., 68, 4.

71 Apud Suet., Tib., 73, 2. The elder Seneca died before his son’s exile in 41. The accounts of Tiberius’ death are well discussed by Seager, Tib., 244f.

72 See above, p. 124. For the date, cf. Acta Arv., ed. Henzen, xliii= Smallwood, Docs.

Illustrating the Principates of Gaius, Claudius and Nero, Cambridge, 1967, p. 10.

The lion: Jos., AJ, XVIII, 228, with Feldman, ad loc.

73 For the timetable, see above, Ch. V, n. 4.

74 Suet., Tib., 75, 3; Fasti Ost., Inscr. Ital., XIII, i, 190f.= EJ 2 p. 43, cf. Suet., Div. Aug., 100, 2.

75 Suet., Cal., 13.

76 Misenum: see Balsdon, The Emperor Gaius, 25. Balsdon’s whole discussion of the accession of Gaius is very lucid. Senate: Acta Arv., ed. Henzen, loc. cit.

77 Dio, LIX, 1, 2ff.; Suet., Cal., 14, 1.

78 For the querella de inofficioso testamento, see Inst. Iust., II, 18. Before Justinian the situation was that ‘si parum, quam ei debebatur, fuerit consecutus, movere de

inofficioso testamento querellam concedatur’: Nov. Theod., I, 22. It led to intestate succession: Dig., V, 2; 8; 13; 16. By law Gaius was receiving exactly what he was entitled to, and the Senate acted explicitly on political grounds, accepting the

implications of the will for the succession. Seager, Tib., 246, calls Dio’s suggestion that Tiberius bequeathed the Principate jointly to Gaius and Gemellus ‘absurd’. But that was the inference drawn by the Senate.

79 Dio, LIX, 2, 4; Suet., C al., 16, 3, cf. Tac., Ann., V, 1, 6; Suet., Tib., 51, 2.

80 Philo, Leg., 26ff.; Suet., Cal., 15, 2; Dio, LIX, 8, 1.

81 Augustus: Suet., Div. Aug., too, 4; Tac., Ann., I, 10, 8; Dio, LVI, 46, 1ff. Tiberius: Dio, LIX, 3, 7. Lugdunum: CREBM, I, cxliv; 146, no. 1ff.; RIC, I, 116, no. 9f., with Sutherland, CRIP, 107, cf. Vittinghoff, Der Staatsfeind in der röm. Kaiserzeit, 87, n. 382.


82 Dio, LIX, 3, 5, cf. Suet., Cal., 14, 2; 15, 1.

83 See Vittinghoff, op. cit., 84ff.

84 Dio, LIX, 16, 1ff. Sacrifice was offered, ‘ob memoriam’ in May and on Tiberius’

birthday even in 38 ( Acta Arv., ed. Henzen, xliv; xlvii= Smallwood, Documents, p.


85 Sen., De Clem. I, 1, 6, cf. Apocol., 1, 2; Stewart, AJP, 1953, 70ff., connects Seneca with the circle of Sejanus (not altogether convincingly). A balanced view is not to be expected from Philo, the Jew of Alexandria whose co-religionists had suffered

there from the pogroms that Gaius did nothing to stop and in Judaea from his

attempt to have his statue set up in the Temple: Tiberius gains by the contrast.

86 The lex: ILS, 244= EJ 2 364 A. The acta: Dio, LIX, 9, 1f.

87 Autobiography (commentarius): Suet., Tib., 61, 1; daybooks (commentarii): Dom., 20. For commentarii see E.M.Wightman, The Ancient Historian and his Materials, 98f.

88 Suet., Dom., 10, 1; PIR2 F 355; for Tiberius, cf. Tac., Ann., VI, 51, 5. For the tradition about Tiberius established by Tacitus’ day, see Harrer, AJP, 1920, 57ff.

89 Syme, Hist., 1974, 491.

90 See Syme, Herm., 1964, 408ff., and Townend, Lat., 1962, 489ff.

91 For the Memoirs, see Tac., Ann., IV, 53, 3, with Syme, Tac., I, 278, n. 2. Orations: II, 63, 4 (cited from the Acta, according to Furneaux, ad loc. ).

92 The speeches used: Syme, Tac., I, 283; Miller, AJP, 1968, 1ff. Acta consulted: Ann., XV, 74, 3, cf. III, 3, 2. Syme, Tac., I, 281ff.; art. cit., 489f., makes much of this. But e.g., ‘Perculsus…paulum reticuit; dein collecto animo respondit’ ( Ann., I, 12, 3), owes something to a literary intermediary, though Tacitus may have read the debate in the Acta too.

93 The anecdote in Suet., Tib., 44, 2, of an erotic picture of Atalanta and Meleager bequeathed to him with the alternative often thousand sesterces if he did not care

for the subject suggests that he struck high society as a prude (wrongly if so: he

hung the picture in his bedroom). In the first section of 44 (‘pueros…institueret, ut natanti sibi inter femina…’) the invention (of the lower classes?) is similarly limited by prudery. (I owe this point to a friend.)

94 Kornemann, Tibère, 234.

95 Tac., Ann., III, 6, 5.

96 Syme, art. cit., 481ff.

97 Philo, Leg., 142, cf. Suet., Tib., 57, 1, and Dio, LVIII, fr. 1 (he was ‘mud mixed with blood’).


For further references see the opening notes to chapters.


Baker, G.P., Tiberius Caesar, London, 1929.

Balsdon, J.P.V.D., Review of Pippidi, D.M., Autour de Tibère, JRS, 1946, 168ff.

Ciaceri, E., Tiberio Successore di Augusto, Milan, 1934.

Cichorius, C., Römische Studien, Berlin and Leipzig, 1922.

Gelzer, M., ‘Iulius (Tiberius)’, RE, X, 1919, 478ff.

Kornemann, E., Tiberius, Stuttgart, 1960; tr. into French by F.Delaloue, Paris, 1962.

Lang, A., Beiträge zur Geschichte des Kaisers Tiberius, Jena, 1911.

Marañon, G., Tiberius, a Study in Resentment, tr. G.B.Welles, London, 1956.

Marsh, F.B., The Reign of Tiberius, Oxford, 1931.

Passerini, A., ‘Per la Storia dell’Imperatore Tiberio’, Studi guiridici in Memoria di P.Ciapessoni, Pavia, 1948.

Pippidi, D.M., Autour de Tibère, Bucharest, 1944.

Rogers, R.S., Studies in the Reign of Tiberius, Baltimore, 1943.

Seager, R., Tiberius, London, 1972.

Smith, C.E., Tiberius and the Roman Empire, Baton Rouge, 1942.

Tarver, J.C., Tiberius the Tyrant, London, 1902.

Thiel, J.H., ‘Kaiser Tiberius. Ein Beitrag zum Verständnis seiner Persön-lichkeit’, Mnem., 1935, 245ff.; 1935–36, 177ff.; 1936–37, 7ff.; repr., Darmstadt, 1970.


Fiske, G.C., ‘The Politics of the Patrician Claudii’, HSCP, 1902, 1ff.

Linderski, J., ‘The Mother of Livia Augusta and the Aufidii Lurcones of the Republic’, Hist., 1974, 463ff.

Mommsen, Th., ‘Die patricischen Claudier’, Röm. Forsch., I, Berlin, 1864, 287ff.

Münzer, F., ‘Claudii Nerones’, RE, III, 1899, 2773ff.

Rawson, E., ‘The eastern Clientelae of Clodius and the Claudii’, Hist., 1973, 219ff.

Wiseman, T.P., ‘The Mother of Livia Augusta’, Hist., 1965, 333ff.



Allen, W., jr., ‘The Death of Agrippa Postumus’, TAPA, LXXVIII, 1947, 131ff.


Badian, E., ‘The Quaestorship of Tiberius Nero’, Mnem., 1974, 160ff. ‘The Thessalian Clients of Tiberius Nero’, CR, 1974, 186.

Béranger, J., ‘L’Hérédité du Principat’, REL, 1939, 171ff. ‘Le Refus du Pouvoir’, MH, 1948, 178ff.

Charlesworth, M.P., ‘Tiberius and the Death of Augustus’, AJP, 1923, 145ff.

Detweiler, R., ‘Historical Perspectives on the Death of Agrippa Postumus’, CJ, 1970, 289ff.

Dieckmann, H., ‘Die effective Mitregentschaft des Tiberius’, Klio, 1918, 339ff.

Dupraz, L., ‘Autour de l’Association de Tibère au Principal’, MH, 1963, 172ff.

Fabia, Ph., ‘L’Avènement officiel de Tibère’, Rev. Phil., 1909, 28ff.

Ferrill, A., ‘Prosopography and the last years of Augustus’, Hist., 1971, 718ff.

Flach, D., ‘Der Regierungsanfang des Tiberius’, Hist., 1973, 552ff.

Groag, E., ‘Studien zur Kaisergeschichte III. Der Sturz der Julia’, WS, 1918, 150ff.; 1919, 74ff.

Hohl, E., ‘Wann hat Tiberius das Prinzipat übernommen?’, Herm., 1933, 106ff. ‘Primum facinus novi Principatus’, Herm., 1935, 350ff. ‘Zu den Testamentum des Augustus’, Klio, 1937, 323ff. Die Siegesfeiern des Tiberius und das Datum der Schlacht im Teutoburgerwald. Sitzungsb. der deutschen Akad. der Wiss. zu Berl, Kl. f. Gesellsch.

Wiss., no. 1, 1952.

Instinsky, H.V., ‘Augustus und die Adoption des Tiberius’, Herm., 1966, 332ff.

Jameson, S.A., ‘Augustus and Agrippa Postumus’, Hist., 1975, 287ff.

Kornemann, E., Doppelprinzipat und Reichsteilung im Imperium Romanum, Leipzig and Berlin, 1930.

Levick, B.M., ‘Drusus Caesar and the Adoptions of A.D. 4’, Lat., 1966, 227ff. ‘The Beginning of Tiberius’ Career’, CQ, 1971, 478ff. ‘Atrox Fortuna’, CR, 1972, 309ff.

‘Tiberius’ Retirement to Rhodes in 6 B.C.’, Lat., 1972, 779ff. ‘Abdication and Agrippa Postumus’, Hist., 1972, 674ff. ‘“Julians and Claudians”’, G and R, 1975, 29ff. ‘The Fall of the younger Julia’, Lat., 1976, forthcoming.

Lewis, J.D., ‘Primum facinus novi Principatus?’, Auckland Classical Essays presented to E.M.Blaiklock, ed. B.F.Harris, Auckland and Oxford, 1971, 165ff.

Martin, R.H., ‘Tacitus and the Death of Augustus’, CQ, 1955, 123ff.

Meise, E., Untersuchungen zur Geschichte des Julisch-Claudischen Dynastie, Vestigia, X, Munich, 1969.

Nesselhauf, H., ‘Die Adoption des römischen Kaisers’, Herm., 1955, 477ff.

Norwood, F., ‘The Riddle of Ovid’s Relegatio’, CP, 1963, 150ff.

Paladini, M.L., ‘La Morte di Agrippa Postumo e la Congiurra di Clemente’, Acme, 1954, 313ff. ‘I Poteri di Tiberio Cesare dal 4 al 14 d.C.’, Hommages M.Renard, Brussels, 1969, 573 ff. ‘A proposito del Retire di Tiberio a Rodi e della sua Posizione prima dell’Accessione all’Imperio’, NRS, 1957, 1ff .

Pappano, A.E., ‘Agrippa Postumus’, CP, 1941, 30ff.

Pekáry, Th., ‘Tiberius und der Tempel der Concordia in Rom’, Röm. Mitt., 1966–67, 105ff.

Questa, C., ‘La Morte di Augusto seconde Cassio Dione’, Parola del Passato, 1959, 41ff.

Rogers, R.S., ‘The Deaths of Julia and Gracchus’, TAPA, 1967, 383ff.

Sattler, P., ‘Julia und Tiberius. Beiträge zur römischen Innenpolitik zwischen den Jahren 12 v. und 2 n. Chr.’, in Studien aus dem Gebiet der Altengeschichte, Wiesbaden, 1962, 1ff.= Augustus, ed. W. Schmitthenner, Darmstadt, 1969, 486ff.


Schmitt, H.H., ‘Der Pannonische Aufstand des Jahres 14 N. Chr. und der

Regierungsantritt des Tiberius’, Hist., 1958, 378ff.

Schwartz, J., ‘Recherches sur les dernières Années du Règne d’Auguste (4–14 apr. J.-

C.)’, Rev. Phil., 1945, 21ff.

Shotter, D.C.A., ‘Julians, Claudians and the Accession of Tiberius’, Lat., 1971, 1117ff.

Sumner, G.V., ‘Germanicus and Drusus Caesar’, Lat., 1967, 413ff.

Syme, R., The Roman Revolution, Oxford, 1939, repr. 1954.

Taylor, L.R., ‘Tiberius’ ovatio and the Ara numinis Augusti’, AJP, 1937, 185ff.

Timpe, D., Untersuchungen zur Kontinuität des frühen Prinzipats. Historia,

Einzelschriften, Heft 5, Wiesbaden, 1962.

Villers, R., ‘La Dévolution du Principal dans la Famille d’Auguste’, REL, 1950, 235ff.

Weller, J.A., ‘Tacitus and Tiberius’ Rhodian Exile’, Phoen., 1958, 31ff.

Wellesley, K., ‘The Dies Imperii of Tiberius’, JRS, 1967, 23ff.

Wiseman, T.P., ‘Pulcher Clodius’, HSCP, 1970, 207ff.


Akveld, W.F., Germanicus, Groningen, 1961.

Charlesworth, M.P., ‘The Banishment of the Elder Agrippina’, CP, 1922, 260f.

Christ, K., Drusus und Germanicus, Paderborn, 1956.

Eisenhut, W., ‘Der Tod des Tiberius—Sohnes Drusus’, MH, 1950, 123ff.

Grant, M., ‘An Asian Coin of Drusus Junior’, NC, 1950, 140ff.

Koestermann, E., ‘Die Feldzüge des Germanicus’, Hist., 1957, 429ff. ‘Die Mission des Germanicus im Orient’, Hist., 1958, 331ff.

Meise, E., ‘Der Sesterz des Drusus mit den Zwillingen und die Nachfolgepläne des

Tiberius’, Jahrb.f.Num., 1966, 7ff.

Mommsen, Th., ‘Die Familie des Germanicus’, Herm., 1878, 245ff.= Ges. Schr., IV, 271.

Rogers, R.S., ‘The Conspiracy of Agrippina’, TAPA, 1931, 141ff. ‘Drusus Caesar’s Tribunician Power’, AJP, 1940, 457ff.

Scott., K., ‘Drusus, nicknamed Castor’, CP, 1930, 155ff.

Timpe, D., Der Triumph des Germanicus. Untersuchungen zu den Feldzügen der Jahre 14–16 n. Chr. in Germanien, Bonn, 1968.

Weinstock, S., ‘The Image and the Chair of Germanicus’, JRS, 1957, 144ff.


Adams, F., ‘The Consular Brothers of Sejanus’, AJP, 1955, 70ff.

Allen, W., ‘The Political Atmosphere of the Reign of Tiberius’, TAPA, 1941, 1ff. ‘A minor Type of Opposition to Tiberius’, CJ, 1948, 203ff.

Bird, H.E., ‘Aelius Sejanus and his Political Significance’, Lat., 1969, 85ff.

Boddington, A., ‘Sejanus. Whose Conspiracy?’, AJP, 1963, 1ff.

Ciaceri, E., ‘L’Imperatore Tiberio e i Processi di lesa maestà’, Processi politici e Relazioni internazionali, 1918, 249ff.; reprint. ‘La Responsabilità di Tiberio nell’Applicazione della Lex Julia Maiestatis’, Stud. Stor, per l’Ant. Class, 1909, 377ff.; 1910, 19ff.

Cichorius, C., ‘Zur Familiengeschichte Seians’, Herm., 1904, 461ff.

Columba, G.M., ‘Il Processo di Cremuzio Cordo’, A e R, 1901, 361ff.


Forsyth, P.I., ‘A Treason Case of A.D. 37’, Phoen., 1969, 204ff.

Hennig, D., L.Aelius Seianus. Untersuchungen zur Regierung des Tiberius, Vestigia, XXI, Munich, 1975.

Jülg, J., Vita L.Aeli Seiani Tiberio Imperante, Oeniponti, 1882.

Katzoff, R., ‘Tacitus, Annales, I, 74; the Case of Granius Marcellus’, AJP, 1971, 68ff.

Kierdorf, W., ‘Die Einleitung des Piso-Prozesses’, Herm., 1969, 246ff.

Koestermann, E., ‘Der Sturz Sejans.’, Herm., 1955, 350ff.

Krapper, A.H., ‘Tiberius and Thrasyllus’, AJP, 1927, 339ff.

Marsh, F.B., ‘A Modern Historical Myth. A Defense of Tacitus’, CW, 1925–26, 135ff.

‘Roman Parties in the reign of Tiberius’, AHR, 1925–26, 233ff.

Meissner, E., Sejan, Tiberius und die Nachfolge im Prinzipat, diss., Erlangen, 1968.

Mogenet, J., ‘La Conjuration de Clemens’, Ant. Class., 1954, 321ff.

Nicols, J., ‘Antonia and Sejanus’, Hist., 1975, 48ff.

Rogers, R.S., ‘Lucius Arruntus’, CP, 1931, 31ff. ‘The Date of the banishment of the Astrologers’, CP, 1931, 203ff. ‘Two criminal cases tried before Drusus Caesar’, CP, 1932, 75ff. ‘An incident of the opposition to Tiberius’, CJ, 1951, 114ff.

Scott, K., ‘Ein Auspruch des Tiberius an Galba’, Herm., 1932, 471ff.

Sealey, R., ‘The Political Attachments of Aelius Sejanus’, Phoen., 1961, 97ff.

Shotter, D.C.A., ‘Tiberius’ part in the Trial of Aemilia Lepida’, Hist., 1966, 312ff . ‘The Trial of Gaius Silius (A.D. 24)’, Lat., 1967, 712ff. ‘The Case of Pomponius Labeo’, Lat., 1969, 154ff. ‘The Trial of Clutorius Priscus’, G and R, 1969, 14ff. ‘Tiberius and Asinius Gallus’, Hist., 1971, 443ff. ‘Cnaeus Calpurnius Piso, Legate of Syria’, Hist., 1974, 230ff.

Stewart, Z., ‘Sejanus, Gaetulicus, and Seneca’, AJP, 1953, 70ff.

Sumner, G.V., ‘The Family Connections of L.Aelius Seianus’, Phoen., 1965, 134ff.

Syme, R., ‘Personal Names in Annals, I–VI’, JRS, 1949, 6ff. ‘Marcus Lepidus, Capax Imperii’, JRS, 1955, 22ff. ‘Sejanus on the Aventine’, Herm., 1956, 527ff. ‘Some Pisones in Tacitus’, JRS, 1956, 17ff.

Townend, G.B., ‘The Trial of Aemilia Lepida in A.D. 20’, Lat., 1962, 484ff.

Weinrib, E.J., ‘The Family Connexions of M.Livius Drusus Libo’, HSCP, 1967, 247ff.


Allison, J.E., and Cloud, J.D., ‘The Lex Julia Maiestatis’, Lat., 1962, 711ff.

Astin, A.L., ‘Nominare in Accounts of Elections in the early Principate’, Lat., 1969, 863ff.

Bauman, R.A., Impietas in Principem, a Study of Treason against the Roman Emperor with special reference to the first century A.D., Münch, Beitr.zur Papyrusforsch. und ant.Rechtsgesch. 67 Heft, Munich, 1974.

Charlesworth, M.P., ‘The Virtues of a Roman Emperor’, PBA, 1937, 105ff. ‘The Refusal of divine Honours, an Augustan Formula’, PBSR, 1939; 1ff.

Chilton, C.W., ‘The Roman Law of Treason under the early Principate’, JRS, 1955, 73ff.

Crook, J., Consilium Principis. Imperial Councils and Counsellors from Augustus to Diocletian, Cambridge, 1955.

Frank, Tenney, ‘The Financial Crisis of 33 A.D.’, AJP, LVI, 1935, 336ff.

Frei-Stolba, R., Untersuchungen zu den Wahlen in der röm. Kaiserzeit, Zurich, 1967.

Gagé, J., ‘La Victoria Augusti et les Auspices de Tibère’, Rev. Arch., 1930, 1ff.


Gesche, H., ‘Die Datierung der 8. imperatorischen Akklamation des Tiberius’, Chiron, 1972, 339ff.

Grant, M., Aspects of the Principate of Tiberius, NNM, no. 116, New York, 1950.

Heidel, W.A., ‘Why were the Jews banished from Italy in 19 A.D.?’, AJP, 1920, 38ff.

Kampff, G., ‘Three Senate meetings in the early Principate’, Phoen., 1963, 25ff.

Koestermann, E., ‘Die Maiestätsprozesse unter Tiberius’, Hist., 1955, 72ff.

Kornemann, G., ‘Der Prinzipat des Tiberius und der Genius Senatus’, Sitz. Ber.Akad.H.

1., Munich, 1947.

Lacey, W.K., ‘Nominatio and the Elections under Tiberius’, Hist., 1966 , 167ff .

de Laet, S.J., De Samenstelling van den romeinschen Senaat gedurende de eerste Eeuw van het Principaat, Antwerp, 1941.

Levick, B.M., ‘Imperial Control of the Elections under the early Principate:

Commendatio, Suffragatio, and Nominatio’ , Hist., 1967, 207ff. ‘Mercy and

Moderation on the Coinage of Tiberius’, The Ancient Historian and his Materials, ed.

B.Levick, London, 1975, 123ff.

Merrill, E.T., ‘The Expulsion of the Jews from Rome under Tiberius’, CP, 1919, 365ff.

Newbold, R.F., ‘Social Tension at Rome in the Early Years of Tiberius’ Reign’, Ath., 1974, 110ff.

Pani, M., Comitia e Senate. Sulla Trasformazione delta Procedura elettorale a Roma nell’età di Tiberio, Bari, 1974.

Pekáry, Th., ‘Zur Datierung der Divus Augustus Pater/Providentia-Prägungen’, Schweiz.

Münzbl., 1965, 128ff. ‘Tiberius und der Tempel der Concordia in Rom’, Röm. Mitt., 1966–67, 105ff.

Rogers, R.S., Criminal Trials and Criminal Legislation under Tiberius, Middletown, Conn., 1935. ‘Tiberius’ Reversal of an Augustan Policy’, TAPA, 1940, 532ff.

‘Tiberius’ Travels, A.D. 26–27’, CW, 1945–46, 26ff.; 42ff. ‘Treason in the Early Empire’, JRS, 1959, 70ff.

Scott, K., ‘Tiberius’ Refusal of the title “Augustus”’, CP, 1932, 43ff. ‘The Diritas of Tiberius’, AJP, 1932, 139ff.

Seibert, J., ‘Der Huldigungseid auf Kaiser Tiberius’, Hist., 1970, 224ff.

Shotter, D.C.A., ‘Elections under Tiberius’, CQ, 1966, 321ff. ‘Tiberius and the Spirit of Augustus’, G and R, 1966, 207ff. ‘Tiberius and the Senate’, Mnem., 1968, 359ff.

Sutherland, C.H.V., ‘The “Virtues” of Tiberius: a Numismatic Contribution to the History of his Reign’, JRS, 1938, 129ff. ‘Divus Augustus Pater. A Study in the Aes coinage of Tiberius’, NC, 1941, 97ff. Coinage in Roman Imperial Policy, London, 1951.

Taylor, L.R., ‘Tiberius’ Refusals of Divine Honours’, TAPA, 1929, 87ff.

Tibiletti, G., Principe e Magistrati repubblicani, Rome, 1953.

Yavetz, Z., Plebs and Princeps, Oxford, 1969.


Alföldy, G., ‘La Politique provinciale de Tibère’, Lat., 1965, 824ff.

Bammel, E., ‘Die Schatzung des Archelaos’, Hist., 1958, 497ff.

Dobiáš, J., ‘King Maroboduus as Politician’, Klio, 1960, 155ff.

Grant, M., ‘The official coinage of Tiberius in Galatia’, NC, 1950, 47ff. ‘The Coinage of Tiberius in Cyprus’, Melbourne, 1957.

Grenier, A., ‘Tibère et la Gaule’, REL, 1936, 373ff.


Kraeling, C.H., ‘The Episode of the Roman Standards at Jerusalem’, Harv. Theol. Rev., 1942, 263ff.

de Laet, S.J., Aspects de la Vie sociale et économique sous Auguste et Tibère, Brussels, 1944.

Liechtenhan, E., ‘Das Ziel des Aufstandes der Rheinarmee’, MH, 1947, 52ff.

Mitford, T.B., ‘A Cypriot Oath of Allegiance to Tiberius’, JRS, 1960, 75ff.

Orth, W., Die Provinzialpolitik des Tiberius, diss., Munich, 1970.

Pani, M., Roma e i Re d’Oriente da Augusto a Tiberio (Cappadocia, Armenia, Media Atropatene), Bari, 1974.

Rostovtzeff, M., ‘L’Empereur Tibère et le Culte Impériale’, Rev. Hist., 1930, 2ff.

Šašel, J., ‘Drusus Ti. f. in Emona’, Hist., 1970, 122ff.

Smallwood, E.M., ‘The Date of the Dismissal of Pontius Pilate from Judaea’, Journ.

Jewish Stud., 1954, 12ff. ‘Some notes on the Jews under Tiberius’, Lat., 1956, 314ff.

Syme, R., ‘Tacfarinas, the Musulamii and Thubursicu’, Stud, in Rom. Econ. and Soc.

Hist, in Honor of A.C.Johnson, Princeton, 1951, 113ff.

Vanderpool, E., ‘Athens honors the Emperor Tiberius’, Hesperia, 1959, 86ff.

Weingärtner, D.G., Die Ägyptenreise des Germanicus, Bonn, 1969.

von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff, U., and Zucker, F., ‘Zwei Edikte des Germanicus auf

einem Papyrus des Berliner Museums’, Sitzungsb.d.Berl. Akad., 1911, 794ff.

Wilcken, U., ‘Zum Germanicus-Papyrus’, Herm., 1928, 48ff.

Wilkes, J.J., ‘A note on the Mutiny of the Pannonian Legions in A.D. 14’, CQ, 1963, 268ff.


Bergmans, J., Die Quellen der vita Tiberii in B.57 des Cassius Dio, Amsterdam, 1903.

Borzsák, St., ‘Das Germanicusbild des Tacitus’, Lat., 1969, 558ff.

Bringmann, K., ‘Zur Tiberius biographie Suetons’, RM, 1971, 268ff.

Daitz, S.G., ‘Tacitus’ Technique of Character Portrayal’, AJP, 1960, 30ff.

Ehrenberg, V., and Jones, A.H.M., edd., Documents illustrating the Reigns of Augustus and Tiberius, ed. 2, Oxford, 1955.

Furneaux, H., ed., The Annals of Tacitus, 2 vols.; 2nd ed. (Vol. II, rev. H.F. Pelham and C.D.Fisher), Oxford, 1896–1907.

Garzetti, A., ‘Sul Problema di Tacito e Tiberio’, Riv. star, it., 1955, 70ff.

Harrer, G.A., ‘Tacitus and Tiberius’, AJP, 1920, 57ff.

Jaeger, H., De Cassii Dionis Liberum 57 et 58 Fontibus, Berlin, 1910.

Jerome, T.S., ‘The Tacitean Tiberius: A Study in Historiographic Method’, CP, 1912, 283ff. Aspects of the Study of Roman History, New York and London, 1923.

Kessler, G., Die Tradition über Germanicus, Berlin, 1905.

Kiss, Z., L’Iconographie des Princes Julio-Claudiens au Temps d’Auguste et de Tibère, Warsaw, 1975.

Klingner, F., ‘Tacitus über Augustus und Tiberius’, Sitzungsb.d.Bayer. Akad.d.Wiss., Phil. hist. Kl, 1953, H.7.

Koestermann, E., Cornelius Tacitus Annalen erlaütert und mit einer Einleitung, 4 vols., Heidelberg, 1963–68.

Marsh, F.B., ‘Tacitus and Aristocratic Tradition’, CP, 1926, 289ff.

Mendell, C.W., Tacitus, the Man and his Work, Yale, 1957.


Miller, N.P., ‘Tiberius Speaks’, AJP, 1968, 1ff.

Motzo, B.R., ‘I commentari di Agrippina Madre di Nerone’, Studi Cagliaritani, 1927, 19ff.

Pani, M., ‘Osservazioni intorno alla Tradizione su Germanico’, Ann.d.Tac. di Mag. Univ.

Bari, 1966, 107ff.

Pippidi, D.M., ‘Tacite et Tibère’, Ephemeris Dacoromana, 1938, 233ff.= Aut. de Tibère, 11ff.

Polacco, L., Il Volto di Tiberio: Saggio di Critica iconografica, Rome, 1955.

Rietra, J.R., C.Suetoni Tranquilli Vita Tiberii—C.24—C. 40 neu Kommentiert, Amsterdam, 1928.

Rogers, R.S., ‘Ignorance of the Law in Tacitus and Dio’, TAPA, 1933, 18ff. ‘A Tacitean Pattern in Narrating Treason Trials’, TAPA, 1952, 279ff.

Ryberg, I.S., ‘Tacitus’ Art of Innuendo’, TAPA, 1942, 385ff.

Shotter, D.C.A., ‘Three Problems in Tacitus’ Annals I’, Mnem., 1965, 359ff ‘Three Notes on Tacitus, Annales 1 and 2’, CP, 1967, 116ff. ‘Tacitus, Tiberius and Germanicus’, Hist., 1968, 194ff.

Stuart, M., ‘Tacitus and the Portraits of Germanicus and Drusus’, CP, 1940, 64ff.

Sumner, G.V., ‘The Truth about Velleius Paterculus: Prolegomena’, HSCP, 1968, 257ff.

Syme, R., Tacitus, 2 vols., Oxford, 1958. ‘The Historian Servilius Nonianus’, Herm., 1964, 458ff. ‘History or Biography. The Case of Tiberius Caesar’, Hist., 1974, 481ff.

Townend, G.B., ‘The Sources of the Greek in Suetonius’, Herm., 1961, 98ff.

Toynbee, J.M.C., Review of L.Polacco, Il Volto di Tiberio, JRS, 1956, 157ff Walker, B., The Annals of Tacitus. A Study in the Writing of History, Manchester, 1951.

Woodman, A.J., ‘Questions of Date, Genre, and Style in Velleius: some Literary

Answers’, CQ, 1975, 272ff.

Tiberius the politician

1 Italy in Tiberius’ time, showing places named in the text

Tiberius the politician

2 The eastern Roman Empire

Tiberius the politician

Tiberius the politician

Tiberius the politician

3 Western Areas of the Roman Empire

Tiberius the politician

A The connexious of Tiberius

Tiberius the politician

B The family of Augustus

Tiberius the politician

C The descendants of Scribonia

Tiberius the politician

D Stemma of Sejanus (conjectural)


Most classical sites indexed may be found on the maps. Towns and districts are

indexed by their classical names; rivers and other geographical features by their

modern names. An italic A, B, C, or D signalizes persons to be found in the stemma so indicated. Celebrated figures (Principes and families, literary men, etc.) are indexed by the names most familiar to English readers, in each case followed

in parentheses by their name(s) in full. Parts of names are given in parentheses

when the word in question can only be inferred rather than attested. Reference is

made to the notes only when the material in question is not accessible through

the text.

Abbreviations: Tib. for Tiberius; sen. for senator(s); cos. for consul (ordinarius); cos. des. for designated consul; pr. for praetor; tr. pl. for tribunus plebis; eq. for eques; aed. for aedile; ‘II’, etc., for ‘for the second time’, etc.

abdicatio, 57f., 64

(? Aelius Gallus) Strabo, son of Sejanus,

‘accession’ of Tib., 69, 76, 79f.;

D, 175f., 178, 202

according to ancient authors, 74f., 79f.

Aelius Lamia, L., cos. AD 3; 53, 111, 125,

Achaea, 107, 125, 129f., 146

128f., 131, 172, 178, 255, n. 7

Acilius Aviola, sen., 266, n. 36

(Aelius) Marullinus, sen. , 98f.

acta senatus, 113, 222

Aelius Saturninus, 192f.

actors, 100, 105f., 122, 193, 255, n. 3;

Aelius Sejanus, L., Praetorian Prefect, cos.

see also theatre;

AD 31, D:


origin, 158f.;

Acutia, 216

early career, 47, 159;

adlection, 98

influence with Tib., 53f., 116f., 175f.;


prefect, 73;

importance of, 12, 29, 49;

in Pannonia, 71;

‘testamentary’, 19, 228, n. 10

relations with Drusus Caesar, 159ff.;

adrogantia, 11, 121, 224

alleged murder of Drusus, 161;

adultery, dealt with in Senate, 105, 184

concentrates Guard, 121;

aediles, 181, 261, n. 11

detains governors? 128;

Aedui, 132, 134

political plans, 161f.;

Aegium, 101, 107, 268, n. 60

asks for Livilla, 164f.;

Aelia Paetina, B, D, 274, n. 69

manoeuvres Tib. out of Rome? 167;

Aelius Catus, Sex., cos. AD 4, D, 52

saves Tib.’s life, 168;

Aelius Gallus, Prefect of Egypt, 159

allies, 164, 171f., 211;



advancement, 170;

Aerarium Saturni, 100f., 133, 185, 265, n.

betrothal, 170;


honoured by Senate, 164, 172, 175;

Aezani, 140

courts plebs, 118f., 171;

Africa, province of, 108ff., 110, 121, 126,

collega imperil, 174;

131f., 138, 258, nn. 60, 69

priesthood, 118;

Agricola, see Inlius Agricola, Cn.

attack on, 213;

Agrippa I (M.Julius Agrippa) of Judaea,

fall, 86, 171, 172–3, 177, 199f.;

117, 141f., 284, n. 58

in custody, 284, n. 58;

Agrippa II (M.Julius Agrippa) of Judaea,

executed, 178, 186, 288, n. 107;


on Gemoniae, 203, 283, n. 51;

Agrippa, Marcus (M. (Vipsanius)

‘damnatio memoriae’, 283, n. 50;

Agrippa), cos. III 27 BC, A, B, C:

fate of property, 101, 133;

origin, 159;

attacks on friends, 202ff.;

name, 29;

fall celebrated, 202;

marriage to Caecilia, 19;

importance of case, 187, 201;

marriage to Julia the elder, 24, 29;

philhellene, 17;

children, 29f.;

alleged anti-Semite, 136;

official powers, 23 f., 29, 49, 154;

counterweight to Agrippina, 207

policies, 171;

Aemilia, Basilica, 106

head on coins, 63;

(Aemilia) Lepida, sister of cos. of AD 11;

in East, 23f.;

47, 55, 273, n. 54, 288, n. 107

in Balkans, 236, n. 2, 240, n. 4;

Aemilia Lepida, daughter of cos. of AD 6,

triumphs refused, 35;

B, 55, 174, 215

gifts to Nemausus, 45;

Aemilia Lepida, daughter of L.Aemilius

founds naval base, 60;

Paullus, B, C, 55, 59

Baths, 121;

Aemilii Lepidi, 55

and Neptune, 60;

Aemilius Lepidus, M., cos. II 42 BC,

relations with Tib., 19, 29f., 173;

Triumvir, 55

death, 31;

(Aemilius) Lepidus, M., son of Triumvir,

consequences for Tib., 31f.;


funeral, 69, 156;

Aemilius Lepidus, M., cos. AD 6; 55, 106,

Sejanus’ model, 171;

109, 113, 151, 186;

descendants, 19, 161, 171

protects daughter, 215

Agrippa Postumus (M. Vipsanius Agrippa

Aemilius Lepidus, M’., cos, AD 11; 47, 55

Pos-tumus, Agrippa Julius Caesar), B,

Aemilius Lepidus, Paullus, suff. 34 BC, C,



birth, 31, 48;

Aemilius Paullus, L., cos. Aemilius Paullus

takes toga virilis, 48, 56, 175;


adopted, 49;

AD 1; B, C, 47f., 50, 54 f., 58f., 151, 187,

name, 58;

282, n. 50

prospects, 50;

Aemilius Paullus, L., son of Julia the

advancement, 56, 158, 243, n. 38;

younger, 50

supporters, 54, 57, 59;

Aemilius Rectus, Prefect of Egypt, 129

disgrace, 50, 57f., 169, 186, 200;

Aemilius Scaurus, Mam., suff. AD 21; 78,

exiled to Surrentum, 59,

171, 190, 192, 213f., 274, n. 67

to Planasia, 60;

Aerarium Militate, 101, 202

‘schizophrenia’, 58;

attacks Augustus, 60;


solicits navy, 60;

Andecavi, 132, 134

attempted rescue of him, 61, 65f.,

Angrivarii, 144


Annius Pollio, C., suff. ? AD 21, 22; 202f.

death, 61, 65, 112;

Annius Vinicianus, 290, n. 10

death as murder by Livia, 271–2, n. 32;

Annius Vinicianus, L., suff. before AD 41;

fate of property, 59f., 101;


impersonated, 118, 120

Antioch, in Syria, 129

Agrippina the elder ((Vipsania)

Antioch, towards Pisidia, 263, n. 3

Agrippina), B, C;

Antiochus in of Commagene, 141

marriage, 50;

Antiochus III, the Great, 111, 130

political activities, 51, 150, 165;

Antipas, Tetrarch, 138, 143

ineptitude, 171f.;

anti-Semitism, 136;

relations with Tib., 50f., 157f., 163,

see also Aelius Sejanus;



relations with Julia the younger, 51;


supporters, 168;

Pontius Pilate


Antistius Labeo, M., sen. , 89

on the Rhine, 74, 144, 153f.,

Antistius Vetus of Macedonia, 198

in the East, 154f., 165;

Antistius Vetus, C., cos. 6 BC, D, 42

not allowed to remarry, 165;

Antonia Minor, A, B, 141 f., 156, 173f.,

under attack, 165, 177, 195;

178, 239, n. 72

‘adultery’, 207;

Antonius, Iullus, cos. 10 BC, 41, 187

disgrace, 88, 118, 124, 169f., 186,

Antonius, L., cos. 41 BC, 14f.


Antonius Pallas, freedman, 174

behind false Drusus? 213;

Antony, Mark (M.Antonius), cos. II 34

confined after Sejanus’ death, 124,

BC, B:


Triumvir, 14f.;

‘damnatio memoriae’, 283, n. 50;

connexions with Tib., 42, 44;

‘clementia’ of Tib. towards, 207, 210;

Parthian campaign, 24;

Tacitus on, 222;

hostis, 170;

counterweight to Sejanus, 207

‘damnatio memoriae’, 282, n. 50;

Agrippina the younger (Julia Agrippina), B:

will, 210;

marriage to Cn. Ahenobarbus, 170, 208;

house passes to Tib., 46;

memoirs, 66, 221f., 237, n. 8, 246, n.

descendants and supporters, 154, 160,


172, 275, n. 91

Albucilla, 199f., 216, 284, n. 131, 288, n.

Apicata, D, 161, 201, 274, n. 72

107, 289, n. 58

Apidius Merula, sen., 249, n. 2


Apollo, temple of, 177

Germanicus in, 129, 155;

Apollonides, critic, 230, n. 27

grain shortage, 264, n. 15;

Apoxyomenos of Lysippus, 121

pogroms, 294, n. 85

Appia Claudia, wife of C. Silanus, 55

Alexandrianism of Tib., 16

Appius Appianus, sen., 95

Alfidia, mother of Livia, A, 13, 116

Appius Iunius Silanus, C., cos. AD 28; 202f.

Alps, conquest of, 27f., 126

Appuleia Varilla, 192f., 197

Amanus, principality of, 141

Appuleius Saturninus, L., II 100 BC,

Ammaedara, 131

86, 138, 181, 183f.

Anauni, 138

Appuleius, Sex., cos. AD 14;

Ancus Martius, 171

relatio of, 78ff.


Apronius, L., suff. AD 8; 53, 149f., 172,

Aruseius, 176f.

265, n. 24

Asellius Sabinus, 284, n. 58

Apronius Caesianus, L., cos. AD 39; 291,

Asia, province of:


false Drusus in, 211f.;

aquae et ignis interdictio, 186ff., 192, 205

earthquake relief, 101, 107;

Aquileia, sen. from, 255, n. 24

selection of governor, 108;

Aquincum, 145

governor’s powers, 109f., 125;

Aquitania, 134

embassies from, 106;

Arabia, 21, 134

Ti. Iulii in, 138

Archelaus I of Cappadocia, Tib.’s client,

Asia Minor:

20, 26, 111, 140f., 145

Augustus in, 26;

Archelaus II of Cappadocia, 141

Tib. in, 126

Aretas IV of Nabataei, 143, 155

Asinius Epicadus, freedman, 61

Argentoracum, 145

Asinius Gallus, C., cos. 8 BC, A:

Ariobarzanes of Media Atropatene, 143

in Asia, 44;

Ariovistus of the Suebi, 112

in Senate, 114, 280, n. 4;

Armenia Major:

on Tiber flood, 105;

Roman claim to, 25;

view of empire, 77f.;

Tib. in, 24, 26, 126;

relations with Tib., 43, 114, 149f.;

seized by Tigranes III, 145;

relations with Sejanus, 163, 172;

fighting in, 48;

denounced by Tib., 712, 198;

troops ordered to, 155;

and Agrippina, 165;

Tib.’s dealings with, 145ff., 218

in custody, 173, 284, n. 58;

Armenia Minor, 25

death, 206;,


as reus, 283, n. 51;

cost, 122, 133;

‘damnatio memoriae’, 282, n. 50

recruitment, 127, 129, 152, 264, n. 13;

Asprenas, L., see Nonius Asprenas, L.

of Africa, 131;


Balkans, 26, 40f., 44, 152;

influence on Tib., 18, 167, 210, 217,

East, 145;


Rhine, 40;

practitioners punished, 149;

Spain, 41, 55;

consultation forbidden, 287, n. 91

demands of, 51, 71;

asylum, right of, 103f., 106, 194

political affiliations, 44 f., 56, 151f.,

Ateius Capito, C., suff. AD 5, D, 105f., 199,


259, n. 88

Arminius of the Cherusci, 111, 143f.


Arruntius, L., cos. AD 6; 52, 105f., 125,

farce of, 122f., 124;

128f., 172, 176, 199, 214, 216

festival of, 120f.

Arruntius (Furius) Camillus Scribonianus,

Athenaeus of Seleucia, philosopher, 16,

L., cos. AD 32; 176, 204, 216

22f., 286, n. 88

art, Tib.’s taste in, 18, 40, 121f., 294, n. 93

Athens, 154, 264, n. 18

Artabanus III of Parthia, 145f.

Atrebates, 145

Artavasdes, claimant to Armenia Major,

Atria, sen. from, 98


Attaleia in Pamphylia, sen. from, 99

Artavasdes of Media Atropatene, 25

Atticus (T.Pomponius Atticus), eq.,

Artaxes I of Armenia, 25f.

descendants, 159

Artaxes III of Armenia, also known as

auctoritas, 29, 96;

Zeno of Pontus, 140, 146

of Tib., 36, 75, 79;


his view of it, 85, 89

temple at Nola, 167, 250, n. 7, 262, n.

Audasius, L., 61, 271, n. 23


Aufidius Bassus, 113, 246, n. 73

temple at Caesarea, 136;

Augusta Praetoria, 28

altar at Lugdunum, 281, n. 32;

Augusta Taurinorum, 28

statue in Forum, 169;

Augustus, cognomen, 62, 75

Prima Porta, 234, n. 38;

Augustus Caesar (C.Octavius, Imp. Caesar

Bovillae, 123, 250, n. 7;

Divi filius), cos. XIII 2 BC, A, B, C:

Gytheum, 139f.;

training, 126;

later repute, 220;

early career, 14f., 38, 85;

maiestas, 191ff.;

marriages, 15;

oath to acta, 82;

father of Nero Drusus? 15, 33;

example followed by Tib., 56, 82, 100,

relations with Tib., 45, 56;

121f., 223f., 258f., n. 71

on Claudius, 165;

Aurelius Cotta Maximus Messallinus, M.,

autobiography, 33;

cos. AD 20:

‘restores Republic’, 21, 33 f.;

in Senate, 100, 169, 287, n. 88;

powers, 21, 23, 29, 125;

prominent in AD 16; 271, n. 14;

and crisis of 23 BC, 21ff.;

gift to Ovid, 241f., n. 28;

purges Senate, 95;

attack on Gaius, 205;

campaigns: 20, in Egypt, 155,

friend of Tib., 149;

in East, 24f.;

accused, 192;


saved by Tib., 197, 201, 289, n. 128

in Africa, 131f.,

Aurelius Pius, sen., 94

in East, 24ff.,


see also Arabia;

of Augustus, 33;


of Tib., 173, 222;


see also Agrippina the younger

grants of citizenship, 138;

Aventine Hill:

colonies, 139;

associations of, 119f.;

admission of provincials to Senate, 98;

election of Sejanus, 171;

gifts Augustus Caesar—cont.

fire on, 218, 254, n. 35, 261, n. 13

to Gauls, 133;

Avillius Flaccus, A., Prefect of Egypt, 206,

wealth, 100f.;

260, n. 2, 277, n. 113

heir of Maecenas, 239, n. 72;

buildings, 123;


health, 151, 209;

sen. from, 98f.;

succession plans, 20, 24, 29, 31f., 35f.,

Vibius Serenus in, 163;

37, 40f., 47ff., 56, 63f.;

embassy to Senate, 258, n. 60;

stays in Italy, 127, 170;

request for temple refused, 89, 129

visits Agrippa Postumus, 64f.;

Balbillus, see Claudius Balbillus, Ti.

orders Postumus’ death? 65f.;


death, 65, 68;

Agrippa in, 31;

death as murder by Livia, 272, n. 32;

Tib. in, 31f., 35, 57, 61 f., 110, 126;

funeral, 68ff., 156, 219f.;

changes under Tib., 129f.;

will, 64, 121f., 210;

see also armies;

political advice, 83;


cult, 70, 75, 81f., 166, 193, 220f.;




Caetranius, C., sen., 256, n. 24

Barcino, sen. from, 99

Caligula, see Gaius (also known as

Bastarnae, 35


Bato of Pannonia, 88

Callipides, 127

Belgae, 73

Calpurnius Bibulus, M., cos. 59 BC, 91

Belgica, 134

Calpurnius Fabatus, L., eq., 132

Berenice, mother of Agrippa I, 141

Calpurnius Piso, Cn., cos. 23 BC, 23

Bibaculus (M.Furius Bibaculus), 194

Calpurnius Piso, Cn., cos. 7 BC:

Bibulus, M., see Calpurnius Bibulus, M.

friend of Tib., 42f., 190, 195;

Blaesi, see Iunii Blaesi

in Senate, 114, 196;

Bononia (Gesoriacum), Tib. at, 140

with Germanicus in Syria, 107, 113,

Bovillae, 123, 250, n. 7

127, 154f.;

Brasidas, dynast, 212

‘murder’ of Germanicus, 124;


trial and death, 107f., 156f., 162, 164,

in Sardinia, 106, 136;

190, 195, 197, 199f.;

rebellion of Tacfarinas as, 132

fate of statues, 283, n. 51;


praenomen forbidden, 282, n. 50;

invasion planned, 21;

penalty mitigated, 197;

upheavals in, 27;

accusers rewarded, 189;

Tib. and, 142f., 250, n. 3

importance of case, 187ff., 195

Brixia, sen. from, 98

Calpurnius Piso the pontifex, L., cos. 15

Bructeri, 28

BC, 17, 35, 53, 64, 178, 255, n. 7

Bruttedius Niger, sen., 202, 214, 285, n. 68

Calpurnius Piso, L., sen., 180, 182, 190

Brutus, M. (M.Iunius Brutus, Q.Caepio

Calpurnius Piso, L., sen. (son of cos. of 15

Brutus), cos. des. 41 BC, A, 44, 55, 186,

BC?), 128, 135

194, 233, n. 19

Calpurnius Piso, M., 90, 157


Calpurnius Rufus, M., sen., 99

erected by Augustus and Tib., 123;

calumnia, 176, 190, 197f.

in Gaul, 132f.

Calvisius Sabinus, C., cos. AD 26; 202f.

burden of Principate, 36, 76f., 138

Caninius Gallus, L., suff. 2 BC, 218

burial, refusal of, 187

Capito Aelianus, D, 178, 186

Cappadocia, client kingdom of, 25f., 141

C.Caesar, see Gaius Caesar


Caecilia Attica, A, 116

Augustus on, 68;

Caecilianus, C., 289, n. 128

reason for Tib.’s withdrawal to, 167,

Caecilius Epirota, Q., freedman, 16


Caecilius Metellus Creticus Silanus, Q.,

life on, 17, 124, 167, 217;

cos. AD 7; 55, 56, 145f., 151f., 154f.

Tib.’s entourage on, 17, 89;

Caecina Severus, A., suff. 1 BC, 71, 74,

Gaius on, 173f.


Capsa, 131

Caelian Hill, 218

Capua, 262, n. 26

Caelius Cursor, eq., 198

Carnuntum, 145

Caepio Crispinus, 285, n. 68f.

Carsidius Sacerdos, sen., 216

Caesarea, in Judaea, 137;

Carthago Nova, 232, n. 6

temple of Augustus at, 136

Cassii, in Senate, 203

Caesianus, L., see Apronius Caesianus, L.

Cassius, ‘actor’, 193

Caesonius Priscus, T., eq., 260, n. 2



attacks Drusus Caesar, 277, n. 117, cf.

political philosophy, 33f., 52;


in school curriculum, 16

Cassius Longinus, cos. AD 30

Cilicia Tracheia, 141, 156

Cassius, threatens Augustus, 286, n. 85

Cinithii, 131

Cassius Longinus, C., cos. des. 41 BC,

circus, seating in, 52

186, 194, 208, 283, n. 50

Circus Maximus, burnt, 218

Cassius Longinus, C. suff. AD 30;

Cirta, 132

208, 277, n. 117

Cisalpina, 98, 256, n. 24

Cassius Longinus, L., suff. AD 11;



Augustus and, 138;

Cassius Longinus, L., cos. AD 30;

Tib. and, 98, 138;


Claudius and, 138;

Cassius Severus, 164, 191 f., 286, n. 88,

Drusus Caesar grants, 264, n. 18

287, n. 91

civilitas, of Tib., 89, 182

Castor and Pollux, temple of, 58, 118

claqueurs, theatrical, 152, 159;

Catiline (L.Sergius Catilina), pr. 68 BC:

conscription of, 247, n. 6

hostis, 170;

Claudia, daughter of Clodius and Fulvia,

and Sejanus, 170

her relations, 41f., 166, 238, n. 47

Cato (M.Porcius Cato (Uticensis)), tr. pl.

(Claudia) Livia Julia, see Livilla

62 BC, A, 283, n. 50

Claudia Pulchra, wife of P.Varus, 165f.,

Cato the elder (M.Porcius Cato), cos. 195

275, n. 91

BC, in school curriculum, 16

Claudia Quinta, 228, n. 2

Catualda, Goth, 130, 144f.

Claudii, 11, 173, 224;

Catullus (C.Valerius Catullus), 194, 229, n.

clients, 268, n. 63


Claudius, Princeps (Ti. Claudius Nero

Catulus, Q., see Lutatius Catulus, Q.

Germanicus, Ti.Claudius Caesar

Catuvellauni, 143

Augustus Germanicus), A, B:

Celsus, eq., 203

mental capacity, 165;

census, AD 13–14;

prospects, 209;


promotion, 202;

Ceres, cult on Aventine, 119

holds games, 58;

Ceres Mater, altar to, 118


Cestius Gallus, C., cos. AD 35;

to Lepida, 50,

103, 194, 198, 202

broken, 59,

Charicles, physician, 219

to Livia Medullina, 52, 59;

Chatti, 143f.

marriage to Urgulanilla, 53;

Chauci, 28

supporters, 160f., 164, 277, n. 111;

Cherusci, 130, 144

at Germanicus’ funeral, 156;

Chios, 21, 44

and Sejanus, 160;

Cibyra, 101, 268, n. 60

benefits from Sejanus’ fall, 174;

Cicero (M.Tullius Cicero), cos. 63 BC:

acclaimed by Guard, 81;

novus, 159;

administration, 138;

prosecutor, 190;

abolishes maiestas, 285f., n. 76;

judge, 284, n. 64;

intra cubiculum trials, 186, 200;

and Catilinarians, 37, 178;

and ‘public’ provinces, 257, n. 55;

reluctant governor, 128;

and procurators, no, 137;

on maiestas, 281, n. 24;

and Gallic chiefs , 115;

and Ti. Nero, 13f.;

abolishes Druids, 266, n. 36;


grant to Agrippa II, 142;

altar of, 88;

annexes Thrace, 142;

Valerius Maximus on, 252, n. 20

invades Britain, 142f.;

client kings:

on Tib., 98;

Roman use of, 25, 142;

dedicates Ara Pietatis, 252, n. 22;

Senate and, 111f.;

deification, 70

education of, 141

Claudius, Ap., 41, 55, 166


Claudius Balbillus, Ti., 259, n. 92, 292, n.

Tib.’s, 20, 27;


attitude to, 140f., 225

Claudius Caecus, Ap., censor 312 BC, 11,

Clodius Pulcher, P., tr. pl. 58 BC, 12, 41


Clupeus Virtutis, 87

Claudius (Crassus Inregillensis Sabinus),

Clutorius Priscus, eq. , 88, 160, 163, 186

Ap., Decemvir 451–449 BC, 11

Cn. the augur, see Cornelius Lentulus, Cn.

Claudius Drusus Germanicus, Nero, see

Cocceius Nerva, M., suff. AD 21 or 22; 89,

Nero Drusus

276, n. 100

Claudius Marcellus, M., aed. 23 BC:

Coelaletae, 142

education, 16;

coercitio, 188, 195

advancement, 19f., 157;

cohort of Lusitanians, seventh, 132

marriage, 20;


prospects, 20, 38;

as advertisement, 38, 63, 84f., 87f., 89,

death, 24;


as murder by Livia, 271, n. 32

commemorating Tib.’s victories, 43;

Claudius Nero, Ap., pr. 195 BC , 235, n. 47

Augustus, 82;

Claudius Nero, C.,. cos. 207 BC:

deification of Tib., 221;

victory, 13;

gens Iulia, 250, n. 7;

moderatio, 253, n. 29;

moderatio and clementia, 88f., 210;

‘consilium’, 254, n. 36

naming governors, 110;

Claudius Nero, Ti., cos. 202 BC, 13

see also currency

Claudius Nero, Ti., sen., 13


Claudius Nero, Ti., pr. 42 BC, A, B:

few founded by Tib., 139;

father of Tib., 11;

see also Appuleius Saturninus;

career, 13ff., 19;


follower of Caesar, 14;

Ti.Claudius Nero

founds colonies, 14, 45;

Comata, Gallia:

ally of Antony, 14f., 19, 26f.;

Tib. governor of, 27, 126; restive, 27f.;

Republicanism, 14;

revolt in, 90, 110, 112, 115, 126, 132f.,

pontifex, 236, n. 59;


divorce, 15;


death, 15, 19

client kingdom of, 25;

Claudius Pulcher, Ap., cos. 143 BC, 12

annexed, 141

Claudius Pulcher, Ap., cos. 79 BC, 12

Concord, see concordia

Claudius Pulcher, Ap., cos. 54 BC, 184f.

Concordia, sen. from, 98

Claudius Thrasyllus, Ti., 18, 174, 210

concordia (concord), 34, 62, 84, 86, 91;

Clemens, slave of Agrippa Postumus, 61,

of imperial family, 152f.;

66, 112, 118, 120, 150ff., 212;

dedications to goddess, 86, 149;

in Gaul, 152, 261, n. 15

temple of goddess, 36f., 52, 62, 118,



of Tib., 87f., 91, 152, 197, 207;

on coins, 86;


ordinum, 52, 116

constitution, 33;

Considius Proculus, eq., 198, 205, 289, n.

and courts, 105;


lex Maiestatis, 183;

consilium principis, 92f.,

funeral, 69

constantia, of Tib., 83, 89ff. 260, n. 97

(Cornelius) Sulla, L., 94

consular power, 23, 63, 105;

Coruncanius, Ti., cos. 280 BC, 159

Tib.’s distaste for, 63, 69, 99f.

Cotta Messallinus, see Aurelius Cotta


Maximus Messallinus, M.

election of, 96f.;

Cotys, son of Rhoemetalces, of Thrace,

in AD 30, 119;

112, 142

suffects, 96f.;

courts, abuses of, 180, 197f.

prerogatives and functions, 104, 184,

Crassus, see Licinius Crassus Dives, M.

218, 220, 284, n. 58;

Cremutius Cordus, A., 164, 193f.

respected by Tib., 39, 63, 99f., 253. n.

Crete, 106, 192

33, 279, n. 139;

Cromwell, Thomas, 158

and ‘public’ provinces, 106;

Ctesiphon, 146

Tib. as consul, 180f.,

cubiculum, trials intra, 186 200

abdication, 233, n. 21

cucumbers, cultivated by Tib., 217, 225,

Corbonas, treasure, 136

260, n. 99

Corbulo, Cn., see Domitius Corbulo, Cn.,

Cunobelin of the Catuvellauni, 143


Curatores Alvei Tiberis, 105f.

Corduba, sen. from, 99

Curatores Aquarum, 257, n. 56

Cornelia, C, 54

currency, shortage of, 102, 104, 123, 133

Cornelii Lentuli, 53f., 206

Curtius Atticus, eq., 172, 260, n. 2

(Cornelii) Scipiones, 204

Curtius Rufus, sen., 97

Cornelius Balbus, L., the younger, sen. , 35

Curvius Silvinus, Sex., sen., 99

Cornelius Cinna Magnus,

Cyprus, 106

Cn., cos. AD 5; 54

Cyzicus, 130, 134

Cornelius Dolabella, P., cos. AD 10;

52, 109ff., 130ff., 151, 277, n. 111

Daci, 53

Cornelius Gallus, C., eq., Prefect of Egypt,

Dacia, province of, 145

186, 229, n. 27, 282, n. 47


Cornelius Lentulus the augur, Cn., cos. 14

district of, 57, 62, 130;

BC, 53, 149, 163, 289, n. 123

province of (Upper Illyricum), 151

Cornelius Lentulus, Cossus, cos. 1 BC, 53,

‘damnatio memoriae’, 178, 187, 202, 204,

176 312

221, 283, n. 50

Cornelius Lentulus Gaetulicus, Cn., cos.

Danube, 43, 53, 131, 145;

AD 26;

see also Balkans

54f., 172, 205f.

Darius, son of Artabanus III, 147

Cornelius Lentulus, Cn., cos. 3 BC, 53


Cornelius Lentulus Maluginensis, Ser.,

problem of, 104f., 133;

cos. AD 10, D, 53, 102, 258, n. 71

of Libo Drusus, 149

Cornelius Lentulus Sura, P., pr. 63 BC, 181

Decidius Saxa, L., tr. pl. 44 BC , 24f.

Cornelius Merula, L., suff. 87 BC, 181


(Cornelius) Scipio (P.?), C, 41

consequences of Augustus’ for Tib.,

Cornelius Sulla, Dictator 81 BC:

75, 81f., 193;

booty, 100;

consequences for maiestas, 191ff.;

politics, 184;


of Tib. discouraged, 176;

position in AD 4, 49f.;

cult at Nysa, 140;

advancement, 62f.;

cult at Pergamum, 263, n. 5;

relations with Germanicus, 50, 148f.,

mooted after Tib.’s death, 221f.;


see also personality, cult of;

at Augustus’ funeral, 70, 72f.;


in Pannonia, 71ff., 158;


honoured at Gytheum, 139f.;

Julius Caesar;

at Athens, 264, n. 18;


command in Balkans, 145;


powers, 130, 148;

delatores, 103f.;

grants citizenship, 264, n. 18;

rewards, 104, 182, 189f., 216;

ovation, 130, 158;

Tib. and, 190;

at Germanicus’ funeral, 156;

hated, 189f.;

in Senate, 96, 115;

Trajan and, 189

as consul, 100, 103f., 181, 194, 273, n.

deportation, 188


Diana, cult of, on Aventine, 119

tribunician power, 158, 273, n. 54;

Diana Limnatis, temple of, 107

personality, 158;

dies imperii, see ‘accession’

popularity, 158, 206;

Dii, 142

poem on death of, 160f., 186;


death, 158, 161f.;

of Tib., 75f., 128, 138, 175, 217;

death as murder, 161, 178, 274, n. 63;

of Furius Camillus, 253, n. 29

honours, 156, 210;

Dio Cassius, on Tib., 223

centuries of, 116, 274, n. 63;

Diocletian, Princeps, abdicates, 225

children’s prospects, 162f.

diplomacy, Tib.’s preference for, 144f.

Drusus Caesar (Drusus Julius Caesar), son

dissimulatio, of Tib., 17, 175, 222

of Germanicus, A, B:

doctors, Tib. and, 293, n. 70

prospects, 161ff.;

Dolabella, P., see Cornelius Dolabella, P.

marries Aemilia Lepida, 55, 170;

Domitian, Princeps, 117, 133, 221f.

advancement, 158, 163;

Domitius Afer, Cn., suff. AD 39;

attacks Nero Caesar, 168;

99, 165f., 190

disgraced, 170, 186;

Domitius Ahenobarbus, Cn., cos. AD 32;

imprisoned, 118, 173, 284, n. 58;

170, 200, 216

impersonated, 120, 221f.;

Domitius Ahenobarbus, L., cos. 16 BC, 43

supporters, 290, n. 10;

Domitius Corbulo, Cn., sen., 94

death, 124, 206ff.

Domitius Corbulo, Cn., suff. ? AD 39;

dual principate, 29f., 48, 63f.

136, 290, n. 10

Druidism, 134


Drusilla (Julia Drusilla), daughter of

of Italy under Augustus, 190;

Germanicus, B , 208

to be protected, 95, 129;

Drusus Caesar (Nero Claudius Drusus,

of Gaul, 132ff.;

Drusus Julius Caesar), cos. II AD 21, A,

economy commission, 257, n. 56


Egnatius Rufus, M., pr. 19 BC, 187

ancestry, 159;


birth, 30;

booty from, 133;

prospects, 37; education, 141;

Roman attitude to, 155;

takes toga, 46;


provincials ‘flayed’, 129;

Euphrates, 146f.;

C.Caesar in, 154f.;

see also Parthia;

Seius Strabo in, 159;

Armenia Euryclids of Sparta, 211, 268,

Germanicus in, 127, 129, 154f.;

n. 61

‘Drusus Caesar’ makes for, 211;

Eutychus, 284, n. 58

property of Pallas in, 174;

execution, aggravated forms of, 187

governor loyal in AD 31, 178;

exile, forms of, 187f.

phoenix in, 206



measures against, 95, 114, 122, 133,

Tib.’s influence on, 42f., 52, 96f.;

149, 182;

modified elections—cont.

of Gaius, 133, 265, n. 32

in AD 5:51, 116;

in AD 14:

Fabius Maximus, Paullus, cos. 11 BC, 64

52, 83, 95f., 120f.;

Falanius, eq., 193

held by Gaius, 97;

Fannius, C., cos. 122 BC, 233, n. 19

consular, of 6 BC, 37ff.;

Fannius Caepio, 22, 32, 105, 187

of AD 7, 60;

Fidena, disaster at, 106, 123

of AD 30, 119, 171;

financial policy, 100ff., 133;

of Vestals and pontiffs, 102;

see also Aerarium;

praetorian, 96, 270, n. 14


emancipation, 58

fires, at Rome, 56, 118f., 122f., 218

Emerita, 232, n. 6

Firmius Catus, sen., 197,

Emona, 72, 139

Fiscus, 101, 132f., 204

Empire, policy of checking growth, 83,

Flamen Dialis, 102, 255, n. 3

142f., 222

floods, Tiber, 56, 105f., 118, 122

Ennia Thrasylla, 174, 215, 278, n. 135

Florentia, 106

Ennius, Q., 16, 229, n. 25

Floras, see Julius Floras

Epaticcus, 143

Fonteius Capito, C., cos. AD 12;

Ephesus, 268, n. 60

275, n. 80

Eprius Marcellus, T. Clodius, suff. AD 62,

foreign affairs, Senate and, 111

II 74; 258, n. 70

Fors Fortuna, temple of, 123


Fortune, Sejanus’ statue of, 171

privileges and status, 51f., 70, 108,

Forum Iulii, 99, 145

116f., 159, 204;


property qualification, 103, 106, 118;

encroachments of, 116f.;

granddaughters forbidden prostitution,

in politics, 153, 211;

106, 117;

Tib.’s, bribed, 168;

as iudices, 183f.;

attacked, 215

as procurators, 135;

Frisii, 28, 112, 126, 136

as governors, 141;

frugality, of Tib., 133

at Germanicus’ funeral, 156;

Fufius, Geminus, C., cos. AD 29;

in politics, 153, 208f.;

176f., 266, n. 33, 276, n. 111, 282, n.

support for Clemens, 152;


and Claudius, 160

Fulcinius Trio, L., suff. AD 31 ;

Eryx, Mount, 266, n. 42

117, 156f., 177, 189 f., 203, 215, 285,

Ethiopia, 21

n. 68, 290, n. 11

Eudemus, 279, n. 151

Euphorion, 229, n. 27


Fulvia, wife of Mark Antony, 14, 41, 238,

married, 207;

n. 47

widowed, 215, 220;


lover of Ennia, 174;

ceremonial of, 32, 35, 70, 89;

accused of homosexuality, 192, 196,

political significance, 69, 156;


censor’s, 247, n. 5;

popular, 124, 158, 219;

public, 94;

and death of Tib., 219;

of Tib., 94

accession, 81, 220;

Furius Camillus, M., Dictator V 367 BC,

pays Tib.’s legacies, 124;

36f., 52, 91, 253, n. 29

attitude to Tib., 221;

Furius Camillus, M., cos. AD 8;

adopts Ti. Gemellus, 220;

52, 59f., 265, n. 24

reverses Tib.’s policies, 97, 122, 133,

Furnius, 165, 275, n. 91

164, 181, 183, 195, 216, 285f., n. 76;

credited with Parthian settlement, 147;

Gaetuli, 132

grants tetrarchy to Agrippa I, Gaius—

Gaius Caesar, also known as Caligula, see

cont. 142;

Gaius (also known as Caligula) Gaius

disappointment as Princeps, 66

Caesar (C.Julius Caesar), cos. AD 1, B,

Galba, Princeps (L.Livius Ocella Ser.



birth and adoption, 29;

Galba, Imp. Caesar Augustus), 43, 132

popularity, 30;

Galba, C., see Sulpicius Galba, C., cos.

advancement, 44, 48, 49, 79, 157;

Galerius, C., Prefect of Egypt, 155, 279, n.

elected to consulship, 37f., 40, 51;


attitude to Tib., 45f., 71;

Gallius, M.,? pr. 44 BC, 19

Tib.’s heir, 39;

Gallius, Q., pr. 42 BC, 19, 181

marriage, 47, 153;

games (ludi):

supporters, 45, 54, 159;

to be given by substantial persons, 106;

in East, 44f., 141, 145, 154f.;

restricted, 122f.;

powers, 154;

Martiales, date of, 279, n. 139;

fatal wound, 46, 48f.;

Megalensian, 156;

death as murder by Livia, 271, n. 32;

Augustales, 79, 156;

funeral, 156;

secular, 29;

centuries of, 116

in honour of Nero Drusus, 118;

Gaius (also known as Caligula), Princeps

of Augustus at Naples, 68

(C. Caesar Augustus Germanicus), B:

Garamantes, 131

supporters, 141;


on Capri, 175f.;

Augustus in, 127;

priesthood, 118;

Tib. in, 27, 32, 242, n. 36;

attacked, 174, 202;

economy of, 132f.;

prospects, 170;

roads built in, 133;

takes toga, 175f.;

Ti. Iulii in, 138;

advancement, 175f., 201, 209, 215;

Clemens in, 152;

behind fall of Sejanus, 173f.;

see also Aquitania;

on coins? 210;


initiates prosecutions, 202, 205, 210f.,




betrothal, 214;

Narbonensis Gaulanitis, 142

Gavius Apicius, M., 273, n. 62


Gemellus, see Tiberius Gemellus

prerogatives, 117, 125, 135;

Geminius, eq., 203

controlled by Tib., 135f.

Gemonian steps, 88, 157, 187, 203, 207

Gracchus, C., see Sempronius Gracchus,

Germanicus, twin son of Drusus Caesar


(Germanicus Julius Caesar), B, 157, 162

Gracchus, Ti., see Sempronius Gracchus,

Germanicus Caesar (Nero Claudius Drusus

Ti., tr. pl.

Germanicus, Germanicus Julius Caesar),

Graecinius Laco, P., 174, 177, 202, 278, n.

cos. II AD 18, A, B, C:


adopted, 50;

grain, supply of:

married, 50;

to Rome, 12, 20f., 23, 118f., 121 f.,

relations with Tib., 50f., 127, 148,

129, 131, 218;


at Alexandria, 264, n. 15

relations with Drusus Caesar, 50, 148f.;

Granius Marcellus, M., sen., 140, 192, 194,

kin, 50;


supporters, 95, 190, 217;

Greek dress, 45, 129, 155

advancement, 62f., 245, n. 58;

guardian of the state, see tutor reipublicae

in Balkans, 57;

Gytheum, 139, 248, n. 11

holds games, 58;

honoured at Gytheum, 139f.;

Habitus, see Vibius Habitus, A.

in Germany, 143, 151;

Hadrian, Princeps, 222

powers, 74, 127, 148, 249, n. 29;

Hasta, sen. from, 98

and mutiny, 73ff.;

Haterius Agrippa, D., cos. AD 22;

popularity, 50, 71, 124, 134, 148, 158;

96, 161, 203

triumph, 148;

Haterius, Q., suff. 5 BC, 77 f., 161

in East, 127, 141, 146, 148, 154f.;

Herennius Capito, C., procurator, 117

death, 124, 160;

Herod Agrippa, Antipas, see Agrippa I,

honours, 156, 210, 255, n. 7;

Antipas Hiberus, freedman, Prefect of

poem on death, 186;

Egypt, 117, 206, 279, n. 136

centuries of, 116;

Hispanus Pompeius Marcellus Umbonius

praised at Tib.’s funeral, 220;

Silo, see Umbonius Silo, Marcellus,

literary work, 230, n. 27

L.Hispanus Pompeius


Hispania, see Baetica; Tarraconensis

invaded by Nero Drusus, 28, 35;

Hortalus, M., see (Hortensius) Hortalus,

Tib.’s command in, 35 f., 49, 56;


Tib.’s campaigns in, 35f., 62, 126 f.,

(Hortensius) Hortalus, M., sen., 94


hostis, declarations of, 169 f.

policy, 144;

hypocrisy, see dissimulatio

Germanicus’ campaigns in, 143f.;

disturbances in, 49, 62;

Iader, 130

standards lost in, 123;

Iberi, 146

forts in, 144

Idistaviso, battle of, 144

Geryon, 31

Ilium, 130


Illyricum, province of: 235, n. 51;

appointment of, 109;

Tib. in, 126 f., 130, 242, n. 36;

reluctant to serve, 128;

under Drusus Caesar, 130;

prorogued, 125, 127f., 253, n. 33;

see also Balkans;

absentee, 109, 125f., 128f.;


freedom, 109f.;



Iunia Tertulla (or Tertia), A, 55


Iunii Blaesi, 172

title, 137, 143;

(Iunii) Silani, 55, 204

declined, 35;

Iunilla (Aelia Iunilla), D, killed, 178, 186

as praenomen, declined, 247f., n. 11;

Iunius Blaesus, sen., D, 215

Tib. saluted, III, IV, 242, n. 36, V, 244,

Iunius Blaesus, Q., suff. AD 10, D, 71f.,

n. 54, VI, 244, n. 55, VIII, 267, n. 47,

109f., 132, 159, 178, 202, 264, n. 24

271, n. 20;

Iunius Blaesus, Q., suff. ? AD 26, D, 72f.,

Gaius saluted, 220



Iunius Brutus, M. (Q. Caepio Brutus), see

use of, 31, 76;

Brutus, M.

of Tib., 49, 63, 75, 79f., 180, 182, 245,

Iunius Gallio, sen., 99, 113 f., 198, 204f.,

n. 59f., 270, n. 1;

284, n. 58

Tib.’s view of it, 85

Iunius Novatus, 59f., 294, n. 84

imprisonment, as penalty, 188

Iunius Otho, sen., 214

infamia, as penalty, 188

Iunius Otho, tr. pl. AD 37; 216f.

informers, see delatores insanity, alleged to

Iunius Rusticus, sen., 169

discredit politicians, 58

Iunius Silanus, C., cos. AD 10;55f., 135,


152, 190, 196, 214, 217, 274, n. 67, 283,

wording of, 85;

n. 54, 288, n. 107;

use of, 85, 119f.;

his son, 290, n. 10

showing citizenship, 138

Iunius Silanus, D., cos. 62 BC, A, 55


Iunius Silanus, D., sen., 55, 60f., 94, 152,

praetorian, see ornamenta praetoria;

166, 196, 207

of a triumph, see ornamenta

Iunius Silanus, M., cos. 25 BC, 55


Iunius Silanus, M., suff. AD 15;

Interamna, in Umbria, 106

56, 94, 207, 211, 213f., 279, n. 2

Isis, devotees punished, 106, 136

Iunius Silanus Torquatus, M., cos. AD 19,

Italica, 98f., 232, n. 6

B, C, 55

Italy, senatorial province of, 105;

ius auxilii, 180

Tib. cleaves to, 126f.;

iustitia, 89;

primacy for Tib., 129, 137, 225;

see also law iustitium, of AD 14; 70, 72

investment in, 104;

economy supported, 95, 129;

Jamnia, 117

sen. from, 53, 98;

Jerusalem, 136

‘Drusus Caesar’ sails for, 211, 213

Jews, 106, 136;

Iulia, gens:

see also anti-Semitism Judaea, 107,

temple of, 123; 250, n. 7

136f., 146

Iulius Agricola, Cn., suff. AD 77;

Jugurtha of Numidia, 142


Julia the elder, daughter of Augustus, A, B,

Iulius Argolicus, C., 212


Iulius Celsus, 284, n. 58

married to Marcellus, 20;

Iulius Eurycles, C., 212, 268, n. 63

married to M.Agrippa, 24, 29;

Iulius Graecinus, L., sen., and M., 99

married to Tib., 31, 37, 39;

Iulius Laco, C., 212, 268, n. 63

children, 29, 37, 50;

Iulius Marinus, eq., 205, 260, n. 2

personality, 37;

Iunia Claudilla (or Claudia), B, 278f., n.

supporters, 41f.;



politics, 153, 165, 167;

L.Caesar, see Lucius Caesar

attack on Tib., 37, 41;

Labeo, see Antistius Labeo, M.

downfall, 41f., 166, 169, 200;

Labienus, T., 164, 286, n. 91

Tib. pleads for, 88;

Laco, see Iulius Laco, C.

divorce, 44;

Laelia, 216


Laelius Balbus, D., cos. AD 46; 216

and Agrippa Postumus, 61, 151;

Lamia, L., see Aelius Lamia, L.

death, 151

Lampon of Alexandria, 284, n. 58

Julia the younger ((Vipsania) Julia),

Laodicea, on Lycus, 21

daughter of M.Agrippa, B, C;

Larinum, 53

marriage, 47, 54;


politics, 48ff., 54, 60f., 153;

Tib.’s interest in, 27, 85, 89, 102f.,

relations with Agrippina, 51;

180f., 258, n. 71;

‘adultery’ and disgrace, 55, 59f., 106,

rule of in Tib.’s principate, 184;

169, 196, 200;

see also iustitia;

marriage to D.Silanus? 61;


exile, 61;

legio, legiones:

and Agrippa Postumus, 61;

I, 235, n. 47;

death, 88, 150f.

III Augusta, 110;

Julia, daughter of Drusus Caesar, B, 153,

IX Hispana, 73, 110f., 137

157f., 168, 208

Lentulus the augur, see Cornelius Lentulus

(Julia) Drusilla, see Drusilla

the augur, Cn.

Julius Caesar, C., Dictator in perpetuity 44

Lentulus, Cossus, see Cornelius Lentulus,



and Catilinarians, 188;

Lentulus Maluginensis, Ser., see Cornelius

politics, 228, n. 2;

Lentulus Maluginensis, Ser.

senatus consultum against, 181;

Lepcis Magna, 131f.

booty, 100;

Lepidi, see Aemilii Lepidi

regulates investment, 182;

Lepidus the Triumvir, see Aemilius

enactment neglected, 104f.;

Lepidus, M., cos. II 42 BC

and provincials, 125;

Lepidus, M., see (Aemilius) Lepidus, M.,

and colonies, 139;

son of Triumvir

and citizenship, 138;

Lepidus, M., cos. AD 6, see Aemilius

on coins, 63;

Lepidus, M.

will, 210;

Lepidus, M’., see Aemilius Lepidus, M’.

gardens, 217;

Lesbos, 98, 198

deified, 82

lex, leges:

Julius Africanus, 202

and senatus consulta, 102f.,

Julius Florus, 126, 132f.

see also law;

Julius Sacrovir, 126, 132f.

Appuleia Maiestatis, 183;

Junian Latins, in the Vigiles, 116

Cornelia Maiestatis, 184,


penalty, 187;

offerings to, 149, 207;

‘de Imperio Vespasiani’, Tib. as

temple at Capua, 167, 262, n. 26

precedent in, 221,

sixth clause of, 281, n. 26;

knights, see equites

Iulia de Adulteriis, 185, 197,

penalty evaded, 117;


Iulia Maiestatis, Caesar’s, 103f.,

relations with Tib., 153, 275, n. 98;

182ff., 187,

‘murders’, 64, 271f., n. 32;

scope, 286f., n. 88,

at funeral of Augustus, 70;

penalty, 187,

absent from Germanicus’ funeral, 156;

rewards, 189,

and cult of Augustus, 193;

‘brought back’ by Tib., 191,

associated in Augustus’ cult, 107, 135,

Tib.’s use of it, 221,


see also maiestas;

in charge of Gaius, 173;

Iulia Repetundarum, 103,

long-lived, 209;

scope, 286f., n. 88, 289, n. 135;

death, 169;

Iunia Petronia, 257, n. 47;

honours, 167, 192;

Iunia Vellaea, 257, n. 47;

will executed by Gaius, 200

Malacitana, 255, n. 14;

Livia Medullina, 52, 59

Papia Poppaea, abused, 182, 190, 285,

Livilla ((Claudia) Livia Julia), daughter of

n. 79,

Nero Drusus, A, B, C:

set aside, 96,

wife of C.Caesar, 47;

clarified, 103;

wife of Drusus Caesar, 153;

Pompeia de Provinciis, 258, n. 70;

children, 153, 157;

Valeria Cornelia, 51, 116;

‘adultery’, 161;

Visellia, 116, 257, n. 47

‘murder’ of Drusus Caesar, 161;

libel (seditious):

accomplices, 201;

and Princeps, 58f., 124;

aims, 162;

as maiestas, 191f.;

sought by Sejanus, 164;

Tib.’s attitude to, 192f.

punishment, 200;

Liber Pater, cult of, 119

death, 178;

liberalitas (munificence), of Tib., 89f., 91,

‘damnatio memoriae’, 203, 282f., n. 50

101, 106f., 124, 218

Livilla (Julia Livilla), B, 166, 208

Liberty, statue of, in Forum, 202

Livii Drusi, 233, n. 23

Libones, see Scribonii Libones

Livius Andronicus, L., 16

Licinius Crassus, M., cos. 30 BC, 34

Livius Drusus, M., cos. 112 BC, A, 12, 15

Licinius Crassus Dives, M., cos. II 55 BC:

Livius Drusus, M., tr. pl. 91 BC, A, 11f., 15

Triumvir, 228, n. 8;

(Livius) Drusus (Claudianus), M., sen.,

defeat, 24, 34, 228, n. 8

12f., 14f., 224

Licinius Lucullus, L., cos. 74 BC, 219, 225

Lollius, M., cos. 21 BC, 27, 43, 145f.

Licinius Macer, C., tr. pl. 75 BC, 285, n. 69

Lucanius Latiaris, L., sen., 168, 202

Licinius Murena A.Terentius Varro, L.,

Lucilius Capito, Cn., procurator, no, 117,

cos. 23 BC, 21f., 105, 184, 187

135, 200

Livia Drusilla (Julia Augusta, Diva

Lucilius Longus, suff. AD 7;

Augusta), A, B:

44, 154, 255. n. 7

ancestry, 11ff.;

Lucius Caesar (L.Julius Caesar), B, C:

connexions, 150;

birth and adoption, 29;

character, 12;

in politics, 38;

marriages, 14f., 39, 42;

supporters, 54;

political role and protégés of, 37, 40,

Tib.’s heir, 39;

42, 45, 53f., 64, 68, 124, 141, 151, 153,

advancement, 40f., 44, 48f., 78;

157, 176f., 182, 192, 210, 271, n. 32,

betrothed, 47;

276, n. 111;

death, 46;

and Claudius, 165;

death as murder by Livia, 271, n. 32;


commemorated by Tib., 16, 46f.;

Marcius Rutilus Censorinus, C., cos. 310

funeral, 156;

BC, 91

centuries of, 51, 116

Marcomanni, 56, 130

Lucullus, L., see Licinius

Marius, C., cos. VII 86 BC, 86f., 125, 159,

Lucullus, L.


ludi, see games

Marius, Sex., 101, 133, 282, n. 49

Lugdunensis, 134

Marius Nepos, Q., sen., 95


Maroboduus of Marcomanni, 56, 111f.,

altar near, 28, 32;

130, 144f.

mint at, 63;

Mars, offerings to, 149

Tib. on coins of, 221

Marsi, 143f.

Lusitani, seventh cohort of, 132

Marsyas, 42

Lutatius Catulus, Q., cos. 78 BC, 33f.

Massilia, 46, 107

Lycaonia, 141

Massurius Sabinus, eq., 260, n. 2

Mazaca (Caesarea), 141

Macedonia, 107, 125, 129 f., 146, 198

Memmius Regulus, P., Suff. AD 31;

Macrinus, Princeps, 159

177f., 203

Macro, see Naevius Cordus Sutorius

Messallina (Valeria Messallina), wife of

Macro, Q.

Claudius, B, 298

Madauros, 132

Messene, 107, 126

Maecenas, C., eq., 22, 239, n. 72

military men, favoured by Tib., 44, 52f., 97



role of, 99f., 218;

of Spain, 133;

prosecution of, 181

of Cappadocia, 141

Magius Caecilianus, pr. c. AD 21;181

Minucius Thermus, sen., 198, 202

magnates, provincial:


cultivated by Augustus, 125;

naval base at, 60;

cultivated by Tib., 126;

Tib. dies at, 219

of Asia, 138;

Mithridates, brother of Pharasmenes of

of Macedonia, 198

Iberi, 146



of Tib., 193f.;

of Tib., 87, 89, 91;

of the Senate, 92;

celebrated by Valerius Maximus, 253,

cases of, 183ff.;

n. 29

as a political weapon, 195;

modestia, of Tib., 223, 253, n. 29

taken in Senate, 184;

Moesia, 53, 125, 129f., 138

role of Princeps, 195f.;

Moguntiacum, 73f.

see also lex Iulia Maiestatis

mourning, forbidden, 282, n. 50

Manilius, M., poet, 230, n. 27, 231, n. 37

Mucius Scaevola, Q., the pontifex, cos. 95

Marcella Major (Claudia Marcella), B,


159, 161, 275, n. 91

moderatio of, 91

Marcella Minor (Claudia Marcella), B, 275,

Munatia Plancina, 157;

n. 91

suicide, 210, 215, 287, n. 88

Marcia, 64

Munatius Plancus Paulinus, L., cos. AD

Marciana, Augusta, 247, n. 5

13;263, n. 2

Marcius, P., 271, n. 25

murder, cases taken in Senate, 105, 281, n.

Marcius Censorinus, C., cos. 8 BC, 42


Musulamii, 131f.


Mutilia Prisca, 177, 276, n. 111

bones collected, 221

Mytilene, magnates from, 98, 211f.

Nero Drusus (Nero Claudius Drusus

Germanicus) cos. 9 BC, A, B:

Naevius Cordus Sutorius Macro, Q., eq.:

birth and paternity, 15;

name, 278, n. 134;

praenomen, 232, n. 2;

and fall of Sejanus, 174, 177;

early career, 27;

honoured, 202;

gives Nero Drusus—cont.

and Gaius, 201, 215;

games, 235, n. 49;

initiates prosecutions, 198f., 202,

campaign in Alps, 28;

214ff., 288, n. 107;

in Germany, 28, 35, 143;

use of maiestas, 195;

use of fleet, 15;

attacked, 215;

prospects, 27f., 32;

and death of Tib., 219;

allies, 32 ff., 85;

fall, 206

personality, 33;

Narbo, 289, n. 136

popularity, 34;

Narbonensis, 14, 45, 99, 133

relations with Tib., 32ff., 39;


ovation, 35;

Claudii and, 13ff.;

augurate, 236, n. 59;

Tib. and, 15;

death, 33, 35, 160;

Germanicus and, 15;

commemorated, 36, 58f., 62, 118;

base at Misenum, 60;

descendants, 160;

fleet on Danube, 131

career as precedent, 158

Nemausus, 45, 99, 133

Nestor, philosopher, 16

Neptune, 60

Nicetes, rhetorician, 230, n. 32

Nero, Princeps (Nero Claudius Caesar

nobiles, Tib. and, 97f.

Augustus Germanicus), B:

Nola, temple of Augustus at, 167, 262, n.

parentage, 277, n. 114;

26, 250, n. 7

accession speech, 76, 82, 106;

Nonii, 53

on Italy and senatorial provinces, 257,

Nonius Asprenas, L., suff. AD 6;

n. 55;

52, 131, 259, n. 79, 276, n. 111

and Seneca, 99;

Nonius Asprenas, L. suff. AD 29;

cuts beard, 279, n. 146;

276, n. 111

use of veto, 288, n. 107;

Nonius Quinctilianus, Sex., cos. AD 8;

and magistrates, 100, 181;

52, 60

brings back maiestas, 191;

Noricum, 130, 138

intra cubiculum trials, 186, 200;

novi homines:

impersonated, 212f.

rise of, 159;

Nero, Ap., see Claudius

and Tib., 44, 53, 97 ff.;

Nero, Ap.

access to consulship, 99

Nero Caesar (Nero Julius Caesar), son of

Numidia, Gaetuli in, 132

Germanicus, B:

Nysa, 20, 140

prospects, 161f., 165;

marriage, 157f., 168;

oath of loyalty:

advancement, 56, 157, 163, 255, n. 3;

to Tib. in provinces, 73;

attacked by Sejanus, 168;

of Palaipaphos, 248, n. 11;

disgraced, 88, 118, 169, 186, 199f.;

by legions, 73f.;

death, 124, 173, 175f.;

at Rome, 80, 112;


to acta, 82, 204, 221

province of (Lower Illyricum), mutiny

Octavia (Minor), B, 41, 208

among soldiers, 64, 69, 71ff., 108,

Octavian, see Augustus Caesar

126f., 150;

Odrysae, 21, 142

end of, 73, 130,

Olennius, ex-centurion, 136

under Drusus Caesar, 130,


Ti. Iulii in, 138

of Tib.’s rise, 26f., 31;

Papius Mutilus, M., suff. AD 9;53, 149f.

of his destruction, 217;

Pappa Tiberiopolis, in

of Sejanus’ fall, 174

Pisidia, 138

Opimius, L., cos. 121 BC, 37, 177

Parthenius, 230, n. 27

Ops Augusta, altar to, 118


Opsius, sen., 276, n. 106

Rome and, 24ff., 36, 141, 218;

ornaments praetoria:

standards lost in, 24f.;

of Tib., 26;

settlement of 20 BC, 26, 144;

Germanicus, 63;

Tib. and, 113, 145ff.;

Sejanus, 160

en-encourages imposters, 212f.

ornamenta triumphalia, introduction of,

pater patriae, title refused by Tib., 75, 202


patricians, favoured by Tib., 52f., 97

L. Piso, 35;

Paullus, L., see Aemilius Paullus, L., son

Tib. and Nero Drusus, 236f., n. 6;

of Julia the younger

M. Messalla, 241, n. 28,

Pax, statue of, 34, 86

Germanicus, 63;

Paxaea, 197, 213f.

Galba, 132;

Pedanius Secundus, L., suff. AD 43;

granted by Tib., 137

of Barcino, 99

Orodes III of Parthia, 145

penalties, legal, varied, 187ff., 197f.

Ostorius Scapula, Q., Praetorian Prefect,

Percennius, 271, n. 22

Prefect of Egypt. 43

perduellio, 183


Pergamum, priest of Tib. at, 263, n. 5

earned by Tib., 235, n. 43;

personality, cult of the, 38, 63, 85, 139f.,

of Tib. and Nero Drusus, 236, n. 1;


of Tib., 32, 35, 244, n. 53;

see also deification

see also Drusus Caesar

Perusia, 14

Ovid (P.Ovidius Naso);

Petilius Rufus, sen., 276, n. 106

disgrace, 60f., 105;

Petronii, 161

exile, 128;

Petronius, P., suff. AD 19;

gift from Cotta Maximus, 241f., n. 28;

161, 218, 290, n. 10

and Fabius Maximus, 245, n. 68

philhellenism, of Tib., 17, 45, 55, 222

Philip, son of Herod, tetrarchy of, 142

Paconius, M., sen., 214, 289, n. 130

Philippi, omens for Tib. at, 27

Pacuvius, 129

Philippopolis, 138, 142

Pallas, see Antonius Pallas

Philo Judaeus, 136

Palpellius Hister, Sex., suff. AD 43;98

phoenix, return of, 206


Phraataces (Phraates V) of Parthia, 145

district of, rebels, 57, 61f., 98,

Phraates IV of Parthia, 25, 145;

end of rebellion, 61, 130;

his son at Rome, 25, 146


of Tib., 62, 87,

Valerius Maximus on, 252, n. 22;


Ara Pietatis, 252, n. 22

theatre of, restored, 106, 123

Pinarius Natta, 164

Pomponius Flaccus, L., cos. AD 17; 142,

pirates, 130


Pituanius, L., astrologer, executed, 271, n.

Pomponius Labeo, sen., 213f.


Pomponius Secundus, suff. AD 41; 205,

Planasia, Agrippa Postumus exiled to, 60;

289, n. 126

rescue attempts, 61, 65f.;

Pomponius Secundus, P., suff. AD 44; 284,

Agrippa Postumus visited by Augustus,

n. 58, 290, n. 10, 291, n. 29

64, 68

Pontifex Maximus, 75, 102, 253, n. 33

Plancina, see Munatia Plancina

pontifices, 102, 163, 236, n. 59

Plautii, connexions of, 161, 274, n. 69

Pontius, 194

Plautius, A., suff. AD 29;

Pontius Fregellanus, sen., 216

276f., n. 111

Pontius Paelignus, C., 256, n. 24

(Plautius?) Rufus, P., sen., 58;

Pontius Pilatus, eq., Prefect of Judaea, 126,

see also Rufus


Plautius Silvanus, pr. AD 24;

Poppaeus Sabinus, C., cos. AD 9; 53, 125,


130, 142, 211

Plautius Silvanus, M., cos. 2 BC, 53


Plautius Venox, C., censor 312 BC, 53

of Julia the elder and her kin, 30, 38,


51, 118;

in politics, 23, 37ff., 58, 64, 118, 129;

of Germanicus, 119, 124;

stimulated by politicians, 42, 48, 52, 56,

of Agrippa

118, 169, 220;

Postumus, 118;

congiaria, 90, 121f., 124;

of Agrippina and her sons, 171

courted by Sejanus, 170;

Porcius Cato, M., suff. AD 36; 276 n. 106

see also elections

Porsena, Lars, 112

Pliny the elder (C.Plinius Secundus), eq.,

portraits, and maiestas, 193 f.


Posidonius, 18

Pola, sen. from, 98

Postumus, see Agrippa Postumus

Pompeia Macrina, 211f.

Praetorian Guard:

Pompeius, eq., 203

importance, 43, 64, 81;

Pompeius, Sex., cos. AD 14, relatio of,

functions, 156, 186, 188;


privileges, 108, 204;

Pompeius Macer, procurator of Asia, 98,

bequests to, 124;

211f., 260, n. 2

in Pannonia, 71f.;

Pompeius Macer, Q., pr. AD 15;

concentrated, 121, 123, 159;

98, 191, 211f.

untrustworthy in AD 31, 173;

Pompeius Magnus Pius, Sex., cos. des. 35

won over by Macro, 177f., 215

BC, 14f., 42, 60

praetors, 34, 89, 100, 104, 181, 191

Pompeius Theophanes, Cn., 98

Primus, M., sen., 21f., 105, 184

Pompey the Great (Cn. Pompeius

princeps and Princeps, 80

Magnus), cos. III 52 BC:

princeps iuventutis, title of, 38, 220

supported by Ti. Nero, 13;

Proculian school, 89

politics, 228, n. 8;

procurators, powers of, 110, 117

and provincials, 125;

Propertius Celer, sen., 253, n. 35

booty, 100;

prostitution, measures against, 106, 116

house passes to Tib., 46;

providentia, 89ff.

theatre of, burnt, 119, 164, 274, n. 63;



Tib.’s care for, 90, 125ff., 225, 255, n.

frontier, declining importance of, 145



sen. from, 98, 107, 137;

centre of learning, 17f.;

Senate and, 105 ff., 129

Tib. on, 17, 39f., 44ff., 122, 126, 167;

Ptolemy of Mauretania, 112

snubbed by Tib., 126

Pulcher, Ap., cos. 54 BC, see Claudius

Rhoemetalces II of Thrace, 138, 142

Pulcher, Ap.


Pulcher Claudius, P. sen., 275, n. 91

Tib.’s interest in, 111;

Pyrrhus of Epirus, 111f., 130

see also Africa;


quaestiones perpetuae, 183f.


quaestors, 100, 284, n. 58

Romanus Hispo, 286, n. 88

querella de inofficioso testamento, 220

Rubellius Blandus, C., suff. AD 18;

quies, 86

208, 259, n. 80

Quinctii, connexions, 55, 238, n. 46f.

Rubellius Geminus, L., cos. AD 29;

Quinctilii, connexions, 53

276, n. 111

Quinctilius Varus, son of P., 166, 208

Rubrius, eq., 193

Quinctilius Varus, P., cos. 13 BC, A, 30,

Rubrius Fabatus, sen. ?, 211, 284, n. 58

43f., 52, 143, 165f.

Rufus, 286, n. 85;

Quinctius Cincinnatus, L., Dictator 458

see P. (Plautius?) Rufus

BC, 91

Rutilius Rufus, P., cos. 105 BC, A, 225

Quinctius Crispinus Sulpicianus, T., cos. 9

BC, 41

Sacrovir, see Julius Sacrovir

Quinctius Crispinus Valerianus, T., suff.

Saguntum, sen. from, 99

AD 2; 47

Sallustius Crispus, C., eq., 65f., 151, 260, n.

Quinctius Flamininus, T., cos. 198 BC,



Salonae, 130

Quintilianus, tr. pl. AD 32; 218

Salus, 34, 86, 90

Quirinus, temple of, 235, n. 49

Salvidienus Rufus Salvius, Q., cos. des. 39

BC, 187

Raetia, 28, 130, 138

Salvius Aper, Praetorian Prefect, 43

Reate, 106

Salvius Otho, L., suff. AD 33;43

‘regency’, 31

Salvius Otho, M., sen., 43

relegation, 188

Sancia, 205

religion in politics, 102

Sanquinius, 176f.

renuntiatio amicitiae, 196, 214, 287, n. 91

Sanquinius Maximus, Q., suff. II AD 39;

repetundae, res, 105, 135, 184f.


Republicanism, 14, 21f., 32ff., 37, 42, 44,

Sardinia, 106, 136


Satrius Secundus, 164

Rhescuporis of Thrace, 112, 142, 198

Scaevola, Q., see Mucius

Rhianus, 230, n. 27

Scaevola, Q.


science, interest of Tib. in, 122

armies of, 40, 50,

Scipio, see (Cornelius)

importance of, 151, 172,

Scipio (P.?)

Agrippa Postumus to be

Scipios, see (Cornelii)

taken to, 66, 152,


mutiny of, 69, 71, 73ff., 126ff., 150;

Scribonia, B, C:


marriage with Octavian, 15;

and provinces, 108;

in politics, 41f., 150;

foreign affairs, 111ff.;

descendants, 54, 66, 150, 166, 220;

responsibilities, 162, 186;

exile, 54

privileges, 52, 115f.;

Scribonii Libones, 176

maiestas, 92 , 184;

Scribonius Libo, L., father of Scribonia, C,

army and, 81;


Augustus and, 21;

Scribonius Libo Drusus, L., cos. AD 16, C,

temple in Asia, 107, 135, 139;


self-interest, 103f., 114;

Scribonius Libo Drusus, M., pr. ? AD 16, C:

attitude to Tib., 81;

connexions, 150;

servility, 114f., 160, 207;

date of praetorship , 270f., n. 14;

honours Sejanus, 164, 172, 179;

abdication? 181;

Agrippa and Nero in, 169;

conspirator, 86, 88, 95, 149 f., 197;

deserts Sejanus, 177ff., 202;

trial, 163f., 288, n. 107;

Tib.’s policy towards, 76ff., 83, 89,

accusers rewarded, 189, 197;


cognomen forbidden, 282, n. 50;

avoids deifying him, 221;

importance of case, 187ff., 193

recognizes Gaius, 220;

Segesta, 107

see also adlection;

Segestes of the Cherusci, 143


Seius Quadratus, 202

senatus consultant

Seius Strabo, L., Praetorian Prefect, D, 17,


54, 64, 80, 159, 202, 260, n. 2

property qualification, 103;

Seius Tubero, L., suff. AD 18, D, 163

maiestas, 191f.;

Sejanus, see Aelius Sejanus, L.

supported by Tib., 90;

Sempronii, 55, 237, n. 46

appeals to Senate, 94, 103;

Sempronius Gracchus, poet, 41f., 151, 259,

resignation, 95;

n. 79

from northern Italy and provinces, 98f.,

Sempronius Gracchus, C., tr. pl. 123–122


BC, 12, 37, 105, 129, 138, 171, 181, 283,

travel restricted, 211;

n. 51

support Clemens, 152

Sempronius Gracchus, Ti., tr. pl. 133 BC,

senatus consultum, consulta, 92, 95, 100,

12, 103, 171, 283, n. 51

105, 100, 116, 125, 134, 146, 184, 186,

Sempronius Gracchus, Ti., sen., 47

191, 194, 255, n. 3, 260, n. 4;


status, 102f.;

regular meetings established, 34;

registration, 185;

agenda, 92ff., 192;

ultimum, 181;

debates, 113;

Calvisianum, 103

proceedings, 185;

Seneca the younger (L.Annaeus Seneca),

freedom, 199;

suff. AD 56; 99, 106, 150, 183, 221,

disorders, 93;

294, n. 85

committees, 103, 105f., 182, 218;

Sentius Saturninus, C., cos. 19 BC, 43

role, 218, 223f.;

Sentius Saturninus, C., cos. AD 4;

in elections, 52, 95ff.;

43, 52

as court, 105, 184ff., 199f.;

Sentius Saturninus, Cn., suff. AD 4;

subsidizes members, 94f.;

43, 52, 156

grants state funerals, 94;

Sequani, 73

and taxation, 256, n. 41;


Servaeus, Q.,