Today In AD 14 ... Tiberius Became Emperor

Yes, we celebrated the 200th anniversary of Augustus' death in August ... but the ascension to the purple of Tiberius, as Augustus' heir, can also be dated to today because of the reform of the calendar.

Although Tiberius became Augustus' heir, he was not always "it" - and Adrian Goldsworthy in his excellent new biography of Augustus points out that there were various heirs at different points, and often no obvious sole heir, suggesting that Augustus perhaps envisioned multiple heirs, perhaps two in the style of the consuls.

Another fascinating point Goldsworthy makes is that whilst adoption by Augustus as his heir sounded good ... it was actually a bit of a demotion for Tiberius from head of the Claudii, a prominent patrician family, to ... one of several adopted sons of an emperor who had already adopted half is relations. I had also been unaware that this highly unusual adult adoption was not Tiberius' first - he had been adopted as a baby after Philippi:

When the husband rebelled, his wife – aged about seventeen – journeyed to join him. She followed him during the rebellion and into exile, avoiding pursuers and living rough. Twice the infant Tiberius’crying was said to have threatened to give them away. In their escape from Sparta, Livia’s hair and dress were scorched by the flames. When the family returned to Rome they were short of money, like many finding it difficult to recover even the quarter share of confiscated property promised to them as part of the Treaty of Misenum. They arranged for Tiberius to be adopted by a wealthy senator eager for a connection with an ancient patrician clan. Politically this may not have been an astute move. Not long before, the man’s brother was suspected of plotting against Caesar. He was arrested and then died in somewhat mysterious circumstances.
Hatchards in London has signed copies of Adrian's book, and again I cannot recommend it highly enough.
Augustus: From Revolutionary to Emperor - hardcover at Amazon UK
Augustus: From Revolutionary to Emperor - Kindle at Amazon UK
Yale hardcover at Amazon US - Augustus: First Emperor of Rome

Tiberius' mother Livia lived on until 28 September AD 29, but hopefully for him spent most of her time at her villa at Prima Porta on the outskirts of Rome. This the villa where the portrait of Augustus on the cover of Adrian's book, known as the Prima Porta Augustus, was found. The villa itself recently opened to the public:
Villa of Livia now open to the public - Lifestyle - ANSA.it

If you enjoyed this video by Adrian Murdoch, check out his book on The Emperors of Rome; Kindle UK, Kindle US, etc

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