Tiberius Julius Caesar Augustus, b. Nov. 16, 42 BC, d. Mar. 16, AD 37,
was the second emperor (r. AD 14-37) of Rome. He was the son of Tiberius
Claudius Nero and Livia Drusilla, who later married Octavian (see Augustus,
Roman Emperor). In 12 BC, Tiberius was forced to marry Augustus's daughter,
Julia. In the event of Augustus's death he was to act as tutor of Augustus's
grandsons by Julia's previous marriage. Tiberius resented his role, and
from 6 BC to AD 2 he lived in retirement in Rhodes. After the premature
deaths of the grandsons, Augustus adopted (AD 4) Tiberius and recognized
him as his successor.
Tiberius was an accomplished general. He quelled revolts in the Danubian
provinces (12-9 BC), fought in Germany (9-7 BC, AD 4-6) and elsewhere, and
won the allegiance of his soldiers. When Augustus died, Tiberius was already
in possession of the chief military command; after a show of reluctance,
he let the Senate proclaim him emperor. A scheming and suspicious ruler,
Tiberius instituted a reign of terror, especially after 23, when Sejanus,
prefect of the Praetorian guard, became his chief advisor. Numerous senators,
and also members of the family of his nephew Germanicus Caesar, were accused
of treason and executed; in 31 Sejanus met the same fate. Tiberius ruled
from AD 26 until his death in seclusion on Capri; he was succeeded by Caligula.
Jerzy Linderski, from the Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia, 1997.
Bibliography: Levick, Barbara M., Tiberius the Politician (1976); Seager,
Robin, Tiberius (1972).