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
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"