Tiberius                   14 - 37 A.D.


Tiberius served as a general during several conquests under Augustus. Although Augustus was his step-father, the emperor intended for his successor to be his friend Agrippa. However, because Agrippa, and later his own adopted sons, died while Augustus was still in power he finally (and reluctantly) settled on Tiberius. Whether he felt like second fiddle or not is left to speculation but what is for certain is that, unlike Augustus, he retained an uneasy relationship with the Senate and one which would eventually see him "divorcing" himself from its day-to-day business by his self-imposed exile to the island of Capri.

In the beginning Tiberius ruled wisely and competently. He conferred with the Senate constantly and presented himself as a hardworking advocate of the people. But soon he became cynical after the flattery of Senators and rumors of betrayal. It was at this point that he quickly descended into a bitter and reclusive old man and then retired to Capri for the remainder of his life. While deathly ill and advanced in age, Caligula had him smothered with his own bed sheets... lest Tiberius decide to change his mind about naming him his successor.


AR Denarius 14--37 A.D.

3.7 g., 17 mm.

Obv. TI CAESAR DIVI AVG F AVGVSTVS: Laureate head right

Rev. PONTIF MAXIM: Livia seated right in a chair with ornate legs, holding a scepter and

an olive branch, one of the so-called "tribute pennies"

C. 16, Van Meter 8