Born: 42 B.C.
Died: 37 A.D.
Best known as: Successor to Caesar Augustus as Emperor of Rome
Name at birth: Tiberius Claudius Nero
Tiberius was the second emperor of ancient Rome, succeeding the powerful Caesar Augustus. Tiberius's mother Livia divorced her own husband to marry Augustus, and the emperor adopted Tiberius (then aged 46) in 4 A.D. After Augustus died in 14 A.D., Tiberius took control of the empire and ruled until 37 A.D. A grim and unsociable military man, Tiberius was rarely popular in Rome and spent much of the last decade of his life on the remote Isle of Capri. For a time he ruled in absentia through his lieutenant, Lucius Aelius Sejanus, prefect of the Praetorian Guard. (He had Sejanus executed in 31 A.D., fearing that Sejanus was plotting to overthrow him.) Tiberius married twice but had no children of his own at the time of his death; he was succeeded by Caligula.
Extra credit: Tiberius's second wife was Julia, the daughter of Augustus... For a time it appeared that Tiberius's adopted son Germanicus would succeed him, until Germanicus died unexpectedly in 19 A.D.; Germanicus was the father of eventual successor Caligula... The historian Tacitus suggests that Tiberius's death was helped along by Caligula and the Praetorian commander Macro, who ordered that the ailing ruler be smothered... Tiberius was emperor during the adult life and death of Jesus Christ... Tiberius is a different man from Tiberius Gracchus, who became tribune of Rome in 134 B.C.
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