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Lecture 21 Tiberius and Caligula

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Glenn Wilkinson

Lecture 21 (November 4) Tiberius and Caligula 1. Ovid – from last class 2. Reign of Tiberius, 14-37 A.D. a. relations with senate and people of Rome b. Germanicus (died 19 A.D.) and Drusus (died 23 A.D.) c. Sejanus, praetorian prefect (died 31 A.D.) d. death and final assessment 3. Reign of Gaius Caesar “Caligula”, 37-41 A.D. a. accession b. breakdown and eccentricities c. Drusilla d. Caligula and the Jews e. death and final assessment Ovid - almost 30 years younger than Virgil - likely only knew the world of Octavian – a totally different world - wrote poems on love – Ars Amatoria as a joking take on how to find love - poem was not approved by Augustus – strict moral legislations governing especially sexual matters - exiled by Augustus in year 8 A.D. – he also banished his granddaughter Julia - crime amounted to a poem and a mistake - poem clearly Ars Amatoria (Art of Love) - uncertain what the mistake was - while on the Black Sea – many poems lamenting his fate - also wrote apologies to Augustus, and then Tiberius – to no avail - apology – Tristeia book 2 - idea that the emperor’s slightest disapproval was enough – “the slightest frown…” - praises Augustus – called Caesar - expectation of the deification of Augustus – Ovid includes himself among those who wish it - similar sentiment – “anybody can kill… only a god can restore life…” – Augustus as quasi-divine already - main prongs in Ovid’s defense – page 33 in text – remembers his offences, literary offence in particular - later on – page 37 at bottom – in midst of his defense, mentions that everyone writes of love – idea that poets before wrote even more salacious lines - mentions that Romans are not less crude – both Greeks and Romans alike - primary defense – change in moral tone that occurred under Augustus – posture of flattery towards emperor – idea that even slightest trifle can get a person banished Reign of Tiberius - death of Augustus – was in fact deified - adoptive son Tiberius rose to power - command – maius imperium - office of tribune of the plebs and the plebeian council recedes - keys to success for Augustus – way with people – affable, approachable, fair - dealings with people – regularly went to public affairs, theatre – in Theatre of Marcellus (first nephew who was put forward to succeed) - theatre – panic that would collapse – Augustus went to most fragile part of structure and sat with the people - in order to be successful – people to either fear or love – or if extremely successful, both fear and love - while Augustus in power – Tiberius as successful general - event when not commanding armies he stayed away from Rome - after failed marriage to Julia – went to Rhodes for retirement - unlike Augustus – did not have a longstanding relationship with the people – problematic especially when it came to the senate - even when he returned from retirement – went back to campaigning - eight years as a recluse – did not establish a good relationship, not quite a “people person” - when Tiberius succeeded Augustus – suspicious of the senate and people, and vice versa - relied heavily on the Praetorian Guard – introduced by Augustus, but discreet about it (did not want it to be an obvious show) - increased numbers of Guard, extended the scope of their activities – from bodyguard to secret service with administrative abilities – and created a headquarters for them - gradually became convinced that the senators were plotting against him – very paranoid - began to sponsor the prosecution of senators for treason – became increasingly common throughout his reign - instead of exile as was common, he sentenced the guilty senators to death - disliked and distrusted by people and senators - while Tiberius was disliked – Germanicus was a nephew of Tiberius, and was adopted at the demand of Augustus - popularity of Germanicus – good-looking, charismatic, personable – enormously successful as military commander in Germany (along the Rhine River) – avenged the slaughter of three legions if the forest near 9 A.D., and retrieved two of the three legionary standards from the slaughter - related by blood to Augustus – unlike Tiberius – maternal grandparents were Octavia and Marc Antony - also married to the granddaughter of Augustus – wife was his cousin (Agrippina the Elder, daughter of Julia and Agrippa) - love for Germanicus was annoying and perhaps dangerous to Tiberius - result – Tiberius recalled Germanicus from Germany and sent him to East on military business – year 18 A.D. - while in the East – became embroiled in spat with a governor os
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