*Special Episode* – Totalus Rankium and the Partial Historians on Tiberius

We return to the fray with the most excellent Rob and Jaime to tackle Dr Radness’ favourite emperor. How will Tiberius fare against the criteria of Totalus Rankium? We’re about to find out!

How great is Tiberius? Tune in to find out!

How are we judging Tiberius?

Oooo better not to ask me, Dr G, author of this post, because I’m too much of an Augustan fan-girl to answer this question. Okay, okay, here’s how it will work. We’ll discuss Tiberius’ life and career and at the end of the conversation we’ll apply the Totalus Rankium system to form a holistic judgement of the imperial man himself.

Here are the categories:

  • Fights Maximus – an emperor’s fighting capacity
  • Opprobrium Crazium – their average level of insanity / taking things just too far
  • Succesus Ultimus – how successful were they (all things considered)?
  • Image Facius – were they attractive? Yes, this is the sexy category

An Origin Story

Like many people, Tiberius rises from humble beginnings. We’ll explore the nature of his childhood and consider how this may have influenced his character and disposition (a very Suetonian approach if we do say so ourselves). We’re on the search for clues that may help us better understand the complex influences on his life.

Tiberius Imperator

Some argue that Tiberius is the first emperor of Rome because he is the first to ‘inherit’ the legal privileges and concessions that secured Augustus’ rule. This is important as it reveals the tenuous nature of the imperial project in these early stages. The differences between Augustus and Tiberius are revealed the moment Tiberius becomes emperor.

Part of the challenge when examining his rule is the underlying consideration: what makes a good emperor?

We’ll consider some of Tiberius’ achievements and also some of the more controversial aspects of his rule in this collaborative episode. You just never know what controversy is in the wind when we’re talking about Tiberius!

Tiberius imperator
Obverse: TI[berivs] CAESAR DIVI AVG[vsti] F[ilivs] AVGVSTS (Caesar Augustus Tiberius, son of the Divine Augustus), laureate head right, parallel ribbons
Reverse: PONTIF[ex] MAXIM[us], Livia (as Pax) seated right, feet on footstool, holding sceptre and branch; ornate legs, one line below.
Catalogue: RIC I 30; Lyon 154; RSC 16a. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

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

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