1.72‑81 Intrigues in Rome.

  1. Triumphal honors went to Aulus Caecina, Lucius Apronius & Caius Silius for their work under Germanicus. Tiberius refused the title of “Father of the Country” even though the Senate had approved it. He felt he was already in a precarious situation, it wouldn’t be good to tempt fate by giving himself another title. He had revived the old law of treason only known in ancient times. Other matters were like betrayal of the army or seditious stirring up of the people, or a corrupt act of impairing the majesty of the Roman people. But Augustus used the law for inquiries to libelous writings provoked by the licentious freedom Cassius Severus had defamed men with. Tiberius was consulted by Pompeius Macer to think about whether these laws should be revived. He said the laws needed to be revived.

  2. Some cases arose concerning this matter: Falanius & Rubrius, Roman knights. Falanius had allowed an unsavory character into the house of the votaries of Augustus. He also sold his gardens which included a statue of newly divine Augustus. Rubrius was accused of violating the divinity of Augustus by perjury. Tiberius had doubts whether or not Augustus’s place as a god was assured but he saw nothing that any of what these characters did to be technically illegal or against the Roman religion.

  3. Granius Marcells, proconsul of Bithynia (NW Turkey) was accused of treason by his quaestor, Caepio Crispinus, supported by Romanus Hispo. Crispinus wormed himself into the confidence of a vindictive prince & set an example of how to blackmail someone. He alleged that Marcellus had made disrespectful remarks about Tiberius. All he had to do was say something true that Tiberius was sensitive about in order for the accusation to be believed. Hispo also said that Marcellus had put his own statue higher than Tiberius’s & had the head cut off of Augustus’s bust. Tiberius flew into a frenzy over this. This was a first indicator that freedom was starting to disappear. In voting matters, Senators would ask how Tiberius was going to vote so they would know how to vote.

  4. Tiberius would sit in on the Praetor’s tribunal at the end of the table. He would not take the lead on it but would interject constantly in the process of it. It may have promoted justice but it also chipped away at freedom. Pius Aurelius complained that the nearby aqueduct & the roads were ruining the foundation on his house. The Praetors didn’t want to help him but Tiberius felt sorry for him & gave him so money of his own. Ex-praetor, Propertius Celer wanted to be excused from his Senatorial duties due to his poverty. Tiberius gave him 1 million sesterces (250000 denarii). Tiberius told others in the same situation to go to the Senate to prove their case.

  5. That year, the Tiber flooded with rain in the city. The subsidence caused destruction & death. Asinius Gallus proposed consulting the Sibylline books (Oracle writings) to figure out how to deal with it. Tiberius refused, wanting the books to be kept a divine secret. They decided to confine the river leaving it up to engineers to figure out. Achaia & Macedonia complained of financial burdens. They asked to be under direct imperial rule instead of a proconsular government. Drusus put on a blood gladiator show using his own name for it, as well as Germanicus’s, his brother. Drusus reveled in the blood while Tiberius wanted nothing to do with it. He may have just not wanted to be in crowds. He may have been too gloomy or he feared being compared to Augustus.

  6. Many soldiers died in a tumult at the theater. The actors had insulted magistrates & the soldiers went after them, causing a riot in the process. The Senate debated the topic & wanted to give praetors the power to scourge the actors publicly. Haterius Agrippa, the people’s tribune, opposed it with a veto – he was censured by Asinius Gallus without any input from Tiberius on the subject. Haterius Agripp prevailed because there had been an instance where Augustus had said that actors should be exempted from the scourge but the crowds should be put in check. Laws were passed fixing actors’ pay & doing patrolling of the crowds. No Senator would be allowed into a pantomime player’s house & Roman soldiers were not to crowd around any performance. The actors were confined to giving performances in agreed upon venues.

  7. The Spaniards asked for permission to erect a temple to Augustus, setting a precedent for other provinces. Romans asked for the removal of the 1% sales tax. Tiberius responded that the government wouldn’t be able to meet the demands of the earlier mutinies if it was not in place. In order to do away with the tax, they’d have to allow the conditions of the military to continue as they were. All the concessions were taken back.

  8. Arruntius & Ateius proposed restraining inundations of the Tiber & lakes by diverting the courses of the Tiber & its tributaries. Many villages complained that diverting the rivers would destroy their communities. In the end, they decided to allow the Tiber River god as he wanted to because it would offend him to change his courses.

  9. Poppaeus Sabinus continued ruling Moesia (in the Balkans) & added Achaia & Macedonia to its rule. Tiberius often kept military governors on longer, often until their death with the same armies. Some said he did it because he didn’t like promoting people. Some said he thought that changing his mind would make him look weak. Some said he had an irresolute will.

  10. The first consular elections under Tiberius were held. He announced the candidates but did not mention their names. The public were left to guess who was who by the clues he gave them in listing their accomplishments. Generally candidates were not listed unless they asked him to list them. Even then, most possible candidates were reluctant to put their names forward due to lack of confidence in their ability to influence anyone.

 

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