Augustus AD 14 - 37 (19 Aug AD 14 - 16 March 37)
Tiberius Caesar Augustus (Tiberius Claudius Nero) Born in 42 B.C. - died A.D. 37.
Son of Livia.
Stepson, son-in-low and heir of Augustus;
Husband of Vipsania Agrippina and Julia;
Brother of Nero Claudius Drusus;
Father of Drusus (by Vipsania Agrippina) ;
Uncle and adoptive father of Germanicus, Claudius and Livilla.
Tiberius became ruler of the empire at the age of 54 and seems to have wanted to avoid the responsibility and retire as a general rather than emperor. He was Augustus's stepson, however, and when the latter lost his natural sons Gaius and Lucius, under pressure from his wife Livia, on June 27, 4 AD, Tiberius was adopted as heir. He then went off soldiering in the Balkans and on the Rhine and only retuned to Rome to witness Augustus's final days and death. The Senate deliberated on what honors to bestow on him and he himself preferred to preserve Augustus's fiction of First Citizen.
During the first decade of Tiberius's reign it was his native and adopted sons Germanicus and Drusus who were most prominent in the empire's military affairs, while Tiberius himself remained in Rome to quietly consolidate his rule. By 23 AD both had met with untimely death, however, rumoured to have been poisoned. His sons' demise affected the elderly Tiberius deeply and in 26 he left Rome for Campania, then for Capri, never to visit the capital again. The new presence in Rome were Drusus's wife Livila and her lover, the Praetorian Prefect Lucius Sejanus. Sejanus began clearing the stage from various relatives and potential heirs of Tiberius. In 31, however, Sejanus was removed after Tiberius's sister-in-law warned the emperor that Sejanus was planning to get rid of him too. Sejanus, his wife, sons, friends, and supporters were hunted down and killed without mercy. Tiberius remained on Capri, his distaste for public life growing along with his suspicions of treason and obsession with mythology and the purity of Latin grammar. The Senate did have a good deal of freedom to rule on its own, but disagreement between Tiberius, who really wanted to rule with their co-operation and the Senate pet projects, to which the emperor objected, increasingly drove a wedge between them. This reinforced Tiberius inherent suspicions and trails for high treason raged in Rome. The result was growing disrespect and hatred for Tiberius, especially after he had to raise sales taxes in 31.
As the emperor entered his declining years, he appointed Gaius Caligula, Germanicus's only son as heir-apparent. Early in 37, Tiberius contracted an illness while traveling around Campania, of which died on March 17. News of his death, we are told, provoked tears of joy rather than grief.
Mints: Caesarea Cappadociae, Commagene, Lugdunum, Rome.
List all Tiberius coins in the Catalog.