Emperor Tiberius 14-37 AD


F. B. Marsh, The Reign of Tiberius; C.E. Smith, Tiberius; R.S. Rogers, Studies in the Reign of Tiberius, Criminal Trials and Criminal Legislation under Tiberius.



Mysterious deaths:


Ø                M. Claudius Marcellus (son of Octavia), married Julia, died in 23 BC


Ø                M. Vipsanius Agrippa married Julia, died 12 BC, produced sons Gaius and Lucius; they died 2 AD, 4 AD respectively


Ø                Agrippa Postumus was banished in 7 AD


Ø                Livia - produced Tiberius Claudius Nero and Drusus Nero. Drusus died on campaign in Germany in 9 BC; Tiberius retired to Rhodes from 6 BC to 2 AD;


Ø                Julia was exiled to Pandataria in 2 BC


Ø                Tiberius received tribunician potestas in 4 AD, promoted to colleague of Augustus in 12 AD


Ø                Augustus died 14 AD, 13 times consul, 21 times imperator, 37 years with tribunician potestas




1.    Problems with Succession – Tiberius ascended to the throne in 14 AD at age 54 and reigned for 23 years. Death of Livia, 29 AD. Two “Claudian” emperors, Tiberius and Claudius, both ascensions were greeted by military revolts; two “Julian” emperors, Gaius and Nero, though unfit for rule, succeeded to the throne without incident.

2.    Germanicus on the Rhine, rival to the throne, beloved by Roman public as a Julian

3.    Treason Trials – 22 years, 52 persons were accused of treason; ½ escaped conviction; 4 innocent persons were condemned to death, none by Tiberius, of the 12 executed, Tiberius ordered 8. delatores

4.    Trial of Cn. Calpurnius Piso, governor of Syria, 19 AD

5.    Conspiracy of L. Aelius Sejanus, sole praetorian prefect, Eques, 23 AD Drusus, Tiberius’ son, died, poisoned by his wife Livilla, who was mistress to Sejanus;

6.    Tiberius retired to Capri 26 AD; Antonia (sister-in-law) alerted Tiberius to Sejanus’ threat in 31 AD; downfall of Sejanus, but reign of terror conducted by Tiberius during the remainder of his tenure.


Velleius Paterculus, at Tiberius’ death in 37 AD, HS 3Billion


Maiestas – basis for treason trials.