Tiberius Caesar
Tiberius (16 November 42 BC-16 March 37 AD) was the Emperor of the Roman Empire from 14 to 37 AD, succeeding Augustus and preceding Caligula. Tiberius' reign saw the execution of Jesus and the subsequent rise of Christianity, and from 23 AD until his 37 AD death he lived a reclusive lifestyle at Villa Jovis on the island of Capri. Tiberius suffered from syphillis towards the end of his life due to his very debaucherous lifestyle, and he was killed in 37 AD by Praetorian Guard prefect Naevius Sutorius Macro, allowing his adoptive grandson Caligula to take power for himself.


Early reign

Tiberius was the son of Tiberius Nero and Livia Drusilla; his mother later divorced his father and remarried to Augustus, who adopted Tiberius as his heir. On 18 September 14 AD he succeeded his stepfather as the second emperor of the Roman Empire, and Tiberius was very successful in military campaigs, conquering Pannonia, Dalmatia, Raetia, and parts of Germania. During his reign, Jesus Christ rallied a movement of followers in Judaea, preaching that he was the son of God; Tiberius' appointed prefect Pontius Pilate had Jesus crucified for his heretical beliefs now known as Christianity

Life in the shadows

Tiberius 33

Tiberius in 33 AD

Tiberius was called "the gloomiest of men" by Pliny the Elder during his reign, as he was known to be a somber and reclusive leader. When his son Drusus Julius Caesar died in 23 AD, Tiberius became even more reclusive, and his generals Lucius Aelius Sejanus and Naevius Sutorius Macro took over as regents. Both were Praetorian Guard prefects, and they transformed the unit from Imperial bodyguards into a sort of electoral college that held most of the political power in Rome and often killed emperors to replace them with their own candidates - Sejanus was killed in 31 AD for plotting against Tiberius.

Entry of Caligula

Tiberius court Capri

Tiberius' court in Capri

Ever since his son's death in 23 AD, Tiberius hid away in Capri in southern Italy with jurist Marcus Cocceius Nerva, Tiberius' nephew Claudius, and his grandnephew Tiberius Gemellus. Tiberius lived an unhealthy lifestyle, obsessing over naked male and female servants in his pool that he called his "little fishies". He had many live sex shows and was involved with both men and women alike, and Tiberius eventually went mad as he took ill with syphillis and other sexually-transmitted diseases. Tiberius had "satyrs" (male servants) from Illyria and "nymphs" from regions as far as Britain entertain him at his court, and he believed that having sex with both satyrs and nymphs was healthy. He also believed that any senator was a natural enemy of the Emperor, as he believed that they all desired to be "caesar"s; when Macro presented him with documents that the Senate wanted him to approve, he automatically stamped the one concerning a senator accused of treason due to his logic. The madness of Tiberius led to Nerva slitting his wrists in a bathtub as he decried Tiberius as a madman who killed all of his friends and family, and Tiberius' attempts to poison and arrest Caligula to trick "fate" led to Caligula deciding to go against his grandfather.


Tiberius death

The death of Tiberius

On 16 March 37 AD, the half-paralyzed Tiberius lay on his deathbed after the Greek physician Charicles said that he had a year left to live. Many feared that he was dying, and Caligula and Macro entered the room, telling the other people to leave. Caligula, believing the incapable Tiberius to be dead, took the imperial ring off of his finger and wore it on his own hand. Tiberius abruptly woke up and told him to give him back his ring, but Caligula refused; Caligula lifted a mirror to attack Tiberius, but Macro took the mirror from him and put it down. He proceeded to take a clear black veil and suffocate Tiberius to death, and Tiberius choked on the veil as it was tightened around his neck. Tiberius' death allowed for Caligula to become the new emperor, and Macro was framed for his murder and executed.