Episode 9 – Tiberius’ Life Part II – Sexual and Otherwise

In this episode, we tackle the issues Tiberius faced in his career as he tried to fill the political shoes of Augustus.

Perhaps an impossible task, but one nevertheless that had be tackled. As we move further away from the period of Augustus’ rule, it is clear that there is a sharp distinction to be made between the character of Augustus and that of his adopted son.

In order to consider the topic in more detail, we consider the following questions in regard to Tiberius’ leadership:

  • What style characterised his rule?
  • What troubles did he face and how did he address them?
  • And what about those stories of sexual deviancy?

A taste of the literary material on the last question:

Suetonius Life of Claudius:

“On retiring to Capri he devised a pleasance for his secret orgies: teams of wantons of both sexes, selected as experts in deviant intercourse and dubbed analists, copulated before him in triple unions to excite his flagging passions. Its bedrooms were furnished with the most salacious paintings and sculptures, as well as with an erotic library, in case a performer should need an illustration of what was required. Then in Capri’s woods and groves he arranged a number of nooks of venery where boys and girls got up as Pans and nymphs solicited outside bowers and grottoes: people openly called this “the old goat’s garden,” punning on the island’s name.”

Those answers and more are tucked into this listening feast. Hear it all by clicking below:

Tiberius’ Life – Part II

Emperor Tiberius. Marble, 37 CE. Held in the Vatican Museums – Museo Chiaramonti. Image © Marie-Lan Nguyen / Wikimedia Commons

Interested in learning more? Our esteemed colleague, Dr Andrew Pettinger explores some of the political issues of this time period: The Republic in Danger: Drusus Libo and the Succession of Tiberius


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Drs R and G laugh and spar their way through the ancient Roman world!

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