Tiberius’ retirement furthered rift between Senators and Princeps. Had to wait for Tiberius’
orders to arrive: “Men ready to become slaves.”
Treason trials increased during his reign – these are a black mark on Tiberius’ principate.
Sejanus had tons of power.
Maiestas: (treason) trials, including PERDUELLIO (High treason – conspiracy on the Emperor’s
life), LIBEL/SLANDER (against Emperor), and ADULTERY (with a member of Emperor’s
family). Even asking soothsayers, etc., when Tiberius might die was treason.
16 – Libel Drusus – started a conspiracy based on a prophesy by Astrologer THRASYLLUS.
Tiberius banned all astrologers.
Men encouraged to become DELATORES – informers. Lots of fortune hunters – if the accused
was convicted, they would receive ¼ of their estate. Maiestas was a vague charge, really hard for
accused to defend themselves.
Senators had most to lose, plus Tiberius was estranged to them. They lived in fear. In their
anxiety to reconcile the Emperor, they were willing to accuse their colleagues. As Imperial
power grew, Senate’s declined. “Servile followers,” could no longer freely voice their opinions
etc; Loss of “freedom of speech,” or LIBERTAS SENATUS.
Some Senators took the opposite route: opposed Emperor, glorified Cato (committed suicide at
Utica), tyranicides Brutus and Cassius- the Republican heroes. 2 generation of Imperial rule,
supported “Stoic Opposition,” and were called such. Were often persecuted with maiestas, would
follow path of Cato, suicide to be hailed as martyrs (an ostentatious form of protest).
25 – Cremutius Cordus, historian. Wrote a history of Brutus and Cassius, glorified them: even
called Cassius “the last Roman.” He was accused of maiestas, copies of his book were burned;
the few which survived were circulated after Tiberius’ death, used as inspiration for Stoic
In his later years, Tiberius got a reputation as ruthless, severe tyrant. His previous skill in
military matters and administration, consolidation of Rome, observation of diplomacy, only
applying military might to quell uprising and attacks (ie, in Germany and Benonias), were pretty
much forgotten. During most of his reign, Rome was in peace: a time of unprecedant prosperity. He was very
cautious. His thrift made him unpopular with the plebs, who loved Germanicus. When
Germanicus died prematurely, there was public outcry against Tiberius. Tiberius was apathetic
about providing Rome with temples, forums, monuments, etc. Fiscal concerns likely tempered
His reclusiveness prevented him from gaining much popularity – the people didn’t see him for
11 years (since 26). Didn’t even return for the public funeral of his mother; he had no direct
contact with anyone of the city. His relationship with the nobility and mob remained low until
37 – Tiberius felt his time was limited, started to Rome. Fell ill, died at 77 on March 16, 37.
Report of his death was vastly exaggerated: said praetorian had suffocated him with a pillow.
Senate refused to deify him.
So, now who succeeds? As much a problem for Tiberius as it was for Augustus. Tiberius’ own
son had predeceased him.
Gauis Caligula, Germanicus’ sole surviving son, and Tiberius Gamellus, son of Brutus, grandson
of Tib, were both coheirs. Caligula was much more popular, as he was Germanicus’ son. He was
7 years older, could boast decent from Augustus on both sides (mother Agrippa was Augustus’
granddaughter, Germanicus was adopted son of Tib). Gamellus could only claim this decent on
his mother’s side.
Caligula had married Junia Claudilla to cement the Julian connection. Her mother, Domitia
Lepida, was the daughter of Octavia and Mark Anotny.
So, both heirs were greatgrandsons of Augustus. Caligula had gained support from someone
Praetorian praefect Macro), who immediately proposed to the senate that ONLY Caligula (age
25) inherit. Senate agreed, ignored Tiberius’ will, which stated Gamellus be equal coheir.
Caligula adopted Gamellus as his son and Heir (yay) but then executed him the next year, 37.
Got Caligula on the throne, killed him in 38.
Gauis was called Caligula, meaning “Little boot,” is a childhood nickname he earned by wearing
tiny child’s uniform while with his father Germanicus at war in Germany. His elder brothers and
mother were killed by Tiberius’ maiestas charges.
He lived with both his grandmothers, than his great uncle Tiberius on Capri for his protection.
He met Herod Agrippa I and Ptolemy. Caligula seemed to herald a new era. His rule was gladly received by the people. In the early
months, he was super popular. He pardoned political offenders, recalled those exiled under
Tiberius, checked the ruthless charges of informers, temporarily suspended treason trials, piously
repatriated the bones of his mother and brothers so they could be interred in family plot with
Augustus, reduced taxes, lavishly spent money on gladiator games, chariot races, wild beast
But, it soon became clear that he was mentally and emotionally unfit to handle the power. He
was physically weak, mentally deranged. Depicted as a “mad tyrant,” he ruled more
autocratically than any Caesar before him. Absolutism became his ideal.
Caligula became Princeps at 25.He lacked experience in administration, spent money frivolously.
Believed he was already a god, while alive; attempted to have himself called Dominus (Lord).
Ordered sacrifices to himself; demanded he be worshiped in the east (stirred up sedition in Israel,
where he tried to put his image in the temple). He secured godhood for his three sisters, with
whom he apparently committed incest frequently, especially Drusilla, the eldest.
39 – Conspiracy to get rid of Caligula, failed. Commander of Roman legions on Upper Rhine
(Germany), LENTULUS GAETULICUS, led it. He was found out, killed; Caligula’s two
younger sisters were sent to exile.
41 – Tribune of praetorian guard, CASSIUS CHAEREA assassinated him on Jan 24, 41. His
wife and daughter were also killed. Tiberius had 4 years of reign. Was eternally punished by
Demnatia Eternia (spelling???)
ACCIUS= “ODERINT, DUM METUANT.” Let them hate me, so long as they fear me.
INCITATUS – Caligula’s horse. Appointed head priest of his cult, planned for him to be a
- trouble at Alexandria with the Jews, who didn’t want to worship Caligula.In Alexandria, Jewish
quarters were sacked, status of emperor placed in synagogues. Jewish embassy to Rome led by
PHILO, to petition for their removal. Instead, Caligula ord