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Tiberius (Tiberius Julius Caesar Augustus) (tībērˈēəs), 42 B.C.–A.D. 37, second Roman emperor (A.D. 14–A.D. 37). He was the son of Tiberius Claudius Nero and Livia Drusilla and was originally named Tiberius Claudius Nero. He campaigned (20 B.C.) in Armenia, became (19 B.C.) governor of Transalpine Gaul, and aided (12 B.C.) his brother Drusus on the Rhine and the Danube. Augustus, his stepfather, compelled him (12 B.C.) to divorce his wife, Vipsania Agrippina, and to marry Julia, the widow of Agrippa and daughter of Augustus. After the death of Drusus (9 B.C.) he campaigned in Germany, and following a second consulship (7 B.C.) he retired to Rhodes for seven years. On his return he was adopted as heir of the emperor and was sent (A.D. 4) into Germany. Five years later he subjugated Illyricum. Tiberius succeeded without difficulty on the death of Augustus in A.D. 14. He spent his efforts in continuing the policies of Augustus, with one exception; he drastically cut luxury expenses, including public shows. By so doing and by reforming the tax situation in the provinces he greatly improved the financial state of the government and made himself extremely unpopular in Rome. For years Sejanus was his chief aid and confidant. Tiberius retired to Capri in A.D. 26 and ruled thereafter by correspondence. He grew suspicious of intrigues and in A.D. 31 had Sejanus killed. Modern historians have been inclined to treat his administration more favorably than did Roman historians. He was succeeded by Caligula.


See studies by F. B. Marsh (1931) and R. Seager (1972).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(Tiberius Claudius Nero). Born 42 B.C.; died A.D. 37. Roman emperor from A.D. 14 to 37.

Tiberius was the stepson of Augustus, who adopted him in A.D. 4 and designated Tiberius in his will as his successor. Until A.D. 14, Tiberius held important state posts and served in Augustus’ military campaigns. Sources portray him as suspicious and hypocritical. During the first years of his reign, Tiberius ruled in harmony with the Senate, but he later implemented an autocratic policy, supported by the praetorians, whose camp was located in Rome. Much influence was exerted at court by the praetorian prefects Sejanus in the 20’s and Macro in the 30’s.

In an attempt to regulate the tax system in the provinces, Tiberius prosecuted provincial governors and tax farmers for abuses. He curtailed expenditures for public construction and entertainment, as well as the distribution of money and bread to the plebs. In 33 he loaned 100 million sesterces to Italian landowners on favorable terms.


Sergeev, V. S. “Printsipat Tiberiia.” Vestnik drevnei istorii, 1940, no. 2.
Kornemann, E. Tiberius. Stuttgart [I960].
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


determined at any cost to become Emperor. [Br. Lit.: I, Claudius]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


full name Tiberius Claudius Nero Caesar Augustus. 42 bc--37 ad, Roman emperor (14--37 ad). He succeeded his father-in-law Augustus after a brilliant military career. He became increasingly tyrannical
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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