Tiberius- Roman Empire

Topics: Roman Empire, Augustus, Nero Pages: 5 (1493 words) Published: July 26, 2013
“Tiberius was the second emperor of Rome and a highly-successful soldier whose reputation for arrogance and debauchery is probably unfounded” (BBC History) Tiberius was a significant Julio-Claudian emperor who applied a great deal of contributions to the Roman Empire during his reign… The Julio-Claudian dynasty refers to the first five Roman Emperors: Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula (also known as Gaius), Claudius, and Nero and the family to which they belonged. They ruled the Roman Empire from its formation, in the second half of the 1st century 27 BC, until AD 68, when the last of the line, Nero, committed suicide. The ancient historical writers, Suetonius and Tacitus, write from the point of view of the Roman senatorial aristocracy, and portray the Emperors in generally negative terms.

The reign of Tiberius ( 42 B.C- 37 A.D) is a particularly important one for the Principate, since it was the first occasion when the powers designed for Augustus alone were exercised by somebody else. In contrast to the approachable and polite Augustus, Tiberius emerges from written and archaeological sources as a mysterious and darkly complex figure, intelligent and sneaky. Tacitus refers to Tiberius as a “villainous emperor.” (Tacitus, Annals) His severe depression and dark moods had a great impact on his political career as well as his personal relationships. He contributed to significant political, social, legal and military developments; he became involved with both domestic and foreign diplomacy as well as building programs which all aided his significance within the Roman Empire during his reign.

There are four main aspects of Tiberius' impact on the empire that deserve special attention: political, social, legal and military developments which contributed to continuity and change during this Julio Claudian dynasty.

Throughout his reign, Tiberius embarked on major wars of conquest, which contributed to significant military developments. Tiberius enjoyed a long and distinguished military career before he became ruler. In AD23, Tiberius recruited soldiers from the Romanised people in the provinces and the descendants of the veterans, which enabled an army to eventually be formed. These soldiers began to play a role not only on the events in the empire but also within Rome itself. Such as, the praetorian prefect who cleverly controlled the flow of information between Rome, the emperor and the vigils, which helped play a part in the downfall of Sejanus.

Tiberius later became heavily involved in military campaign which helped reduce robbery by decreasing the distances between the military posts. His first military campaign was against the Cantabria’s. He was sent to govern the "long-haired" Gaul’s and fought in the Alps, Pannonia, and Germany. While he was in Germany he conquered various Germanic peoples and took 40,000 prisoners, where he then settled them in homes in Gaul. Tiberius received an ovation and a triumph in 9 and 7 B.C due to his succession in the Alps and domination of the Germanic peoples. However, he postponed the triumph out of respect to the disasters in Germany; this further enhanced his significance and duty as a roman leader. When he accepted his triumph he put on a triumphal banquet with 1000 tables. This event was a major contributor to the significance of Tiberius as he was able to, with the sales of his spoils; restore the temples of Concord, Castor and Pollux. The consuls then awarded Tiberius with joint control of the provinces with Augustus.

As well as his campaigns against the Germans and control of the revolt in the Alps, he also assisted in the control of a persistent guerrilla war in North Africa under Tacfarinas in A.D. 17-24.

Tiberius assigned military campaigns to able generals. He avoided aggressive action unless it was necessary, preferring to win by “diplomacy rather than force.” (Tacitus, Annals II) Tiberius provided reliable military leadership and cultivated ties with legions....
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