Loading...

Tiberius

TIBERIUS (tī-bēr'ĭ-ŭs, Gr. Tiberios). Tiberius Julius Caesar Augustus succeeded to the principate on the death of Augustus in a.d. 14, becoming thus the second Roman emperor. He was born in 42 b.c., son of Empress Livia, wife of Augustus, by her first husband, Tiberius Claudius Nero. He had a distinguished military career in the East and in Germany, and, in the absence of direct heirs to Augustus, was the logical successor. Augustus, however, did not like Tiberius; and Tiberius for many years, was the passive witness of several attempts to bypass his claims and his abilities. The experience of disapproval and rejection no doubt contributed to the dourness, secretiveness, ambiguity, and suspicious preoccupations that marred the years of Tiberius’s power. A morbid fear of disloyalty led to the heavy incidence of treason trials, which were a feature of the Roman principate under its worst incumbents. There is no evidence that Tiberius was unduly tyrannous, but aristocrats and writers of