Tiberius Claudius Nero Caesar was born in Rome on November 16, 42 BC. Four years after his birth his mother divorced his father and married Octavian. Tiberius was a descendant of the Claudian family who moved to Rome shortly after the foundation of the city. The Claudians did not respect others who were not of noble ancestry.
After Tiberius was four he was raised to be a loyal servant of Augustus. Tiberius is associated with Augustus for 22 years. Augustus had Tiberius carefully educated. Augustus later forced Tiberius to dissolve his happy marriage to Vipsania Agrippina and marry Augustus' daughter Julia. This was arranged to better the chance of succession of a descendant of Augustus to take power. The plan did not work because they did not get along and soon lived separately. For this reason Tiberius retired to the island of Rhodes where he devoted himself to study for seven years. When Tiberius returned to Rome in AD 26, Julia had been banished for adultery. The death of both of Augustus' grandsons within two years led him to adopt Tiberius as his son and heir.
Tiberius then went into active service in northern Germany against the Marcomanni. Tiberius succeeded in securing the northern border with the dangerous German tribes. Tiberius made two more marches into the heart of Germany. On his return to Rome he was awarded a triumph, the highest official tribute that was given to honor a victorious warrior.
Augustus died in AD 14 and Tuberius assumed sole power of the whole Roman empire. Tiberius was a large, strong man, and very tall. He had a fair skin complexion that was sometimes subjected to outbreaks of skin disease. According to Suetonius, he wore his hair long in the back. This was an old fashioned style for the time. Perhaps it was adopted in memory of his distinguished ancestry. Tiberius remained in excellent health most of his life. He was formal in manner but it was reported that he indulged in...