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“To Tiberius with the Tiber!!”
“Oh, it's easy. You just get really pissed-up and then thrown into a swimming pool wearing a red cloak”
“Everybody may love Me, but nobody loved Tiberius”
Tiberius (Latin: Imperator Tiberius Grumpus Caesar Peteria O'Toolius Augustus; November 16, 42 BC – March 16, AD 37), was
First Citizen Roman Emperor from 14 AD to 37 AD. Personally chosen as heir by his step-father, the Emperor Augustus for his gleaming white teeth, manly physique and playful character; his reign was to be one of lots of fun parties which were so exciting that not to attend was treasonous.
Tiberius was an outgoing, energetic child who never failed to enliven those in his company with his quick wit and infectious, braying, laugh. "I have never known", said Augustus, "a child to so enjoy the lighter and playful side of life. One time he stole two of my legions and hid them somewhere in the palace. I kept appealing to him "Tiberius, give me back my legions!" but he never let on where they were and I had to raise more at enormous personal expense. The scamp!". Tiberius suffered terribly from facial pimples in his youth but he soon got rid of these by inventing vitamin C. His spotty complexion did not continue into middle-age and to claim that it did is treason.
Augustus loved Tiberius' crazy jokes and comedic antics, but felt that his stepson's real genius would lie in military command. He sent the young man to the German frontier where he planned to have Tiberius quell the violent and aggressive peoples who had settled there and thus make the empire safe. Tiberius attempted to channel the urges of these barbarians with laughter and arranged for the formation of a "Northern Marches Comedy Festival" in which Tiberius would compere some of the empire's finest comedic talent. Unfortunately this bold move failed because the barbarian peoples of Germania were found to have no sense of humour. At all. This deficiency continues to this day.
After Augustus died (and, man, did he hang around for a bit) Tiberius finally succeeded him as ruler of the world and the moon. Annoyingly, Tiberius was now in his fifties and all that naughty naked body-bouncing he'd been looking forward to and that is a right of Roman Emperors was difficult oweing to viagra not being invented for another 2000 years. This really annoyed Tiberius and his jolly demeanour was frequently replaced by his being a grumpy old sourpuss. Tiberius tried to keep up his good mood by throwing regular partys which the leading Senators and the Consuls were expected to attend. Despite the lavish banquets and Tiberius' booking of popular musicians and poets the partys weren't all that popular since most of the Romans in attendance wanted to get back to work and, y'know, stop the Thracians raiding over the border and stuff. Tiberius took this personally and, in a fit of pique at one party, had all those who weren't clearly having fun arrested and charged with treason. After he'd had them executed, he inherited all their estates. He liked this, since not only was it an easy income but it paid for more and more partys! These "treason trials" kept the imperial treasury full and were prosecuted with the help of Tiberius' new (and only) friend Sejanus, commander of the Praetorian Guard, who unexpectedly decided to become the emperor's "best and most definitely trustworthy chum" and who could "definitely be trusted, definitely, especially with various official powers!".
In his capacity as Pontifus Maximus and along with Sejanus, Tiberius had the senate approve a long list of treasonable offences:
Treasonable offences under Tiberius
- Having unevenly-sized feet.
- Possessing a treasonous nose.
- Being a jew on a Monday.
- Being morose in a wineshop.
- Farting twice in the space of ten minutes.
- Failing to robot-dance on the entrance of the Emperor or a Consul.
- Having more than 150,000 sesterces in savings.
- Failing to attend one of Caesar's parties on reception of invite.
- Failing to enjoy one of Caesar's parties.
- Making innappropriate comments about the musical acts hired by Caesar such as "not really my thing" or "I preferred his early stuff".
- Failing to appreciate how much money and time Caesar has put into his parties.
- Owning a ginger wig with the intent to wear.
- Staring intently in the direction of Caesar.
Tiberius kept on partying, the Roman legal system kept on prosecuting and the Praetorians kept on executing. By the latter part of his reign, the Emperor had saved up a billion in sisterti and arranged for the "progressive harp" musical collective Rosa Floyius to play a spectacular show at the Circus Maximus which he arranged to end with the group being torn to pieces by his angriest lions. Having decided that, with this, his reign had reached its peak, Tiberius announced his withdrawal from public life to the senate:
|And I say to all five of you in this August body, I feel the time is right to withdraw from public life and semi-retire to my new party-villa on Capri. I will of course be having a really big party to celebrate the villa-warming which you are all invited to! *groan from Senator Julius Sternius followed by his quick marching from the senate chamber and execution* I expect you all to be there. After this, I will take my Praetorian to keep me company and act as bouncers and expect the senate to deal with all the boring stuff like wars and administration. Although I'm still emperor! Don't any of you fuckers try anything! Not that there are many of you left to try anything. I know I've been a little free and easy with the executions but omelettes and eggs and all that. Actually, you might want to arrange to repopulate this place a bit. Lot of empty seats these days. Anyway, these are the words of Tiberius Caesar. Hail me!|
- -Tiberius' famous final speech to the Roman senate.
Self-imposed Party-exile on Capri
Tiberius spent his final days living it large on Capri with wine, food and the company of his "little fishies". There were many scandalous rumours in Rome about the sexual depravity the emperor indulged himself in on Capri but, alas, due to the continuing non-invention of viagra they were untrue.
The emperor kept in touch with what was going-on in Rome through his old friend Sejanus who regularly informed him that everyone was planning to overthrow him. It was only when he received a sealed message reading "OMG! ROME FULL OF TRAITORS!! U R GOING TO BE OVERTHROWN! THIS CAN ONLY BE PREVENTED BY ENTRUSTING ALL YOUR POWERS IN ME SO I CAN KILL THE TRAITORS! LOL! XOX SEJ" that it occured to the old man that Sejanus might be having him for a fool. So he posted a sealed message of his own to the senate reading "OMG! SEJANUS IS A TRAITOR! PLEASE CUT HIS HEAD OFF! T". He sourly pointed-out to the subsequent messenger from Rome that there was no need to bring Sejanus' head to him, especially since it had gone all mouldy.
Whilst Tiberius was in Capri he was joined by his jolly, party-loving nephew Caligula and so took to the boy that he named him his heir by way of a joke that he eventually started taking seriously. Everyone who knew Caligula was appalled because they knew the boy was a bit of a bastard but Tiberius was in the mood to say "Bollocks To Them All..The Tall, the Fat, the Thin. Bollocks" - and sang this, in the form of a song, to his attendants and slaves. They were unable to do anything as the old man pranced around in front of them, finishing off with a half-hour lyre solo.
Annoyed that the old goat was still going strong at the age of 78, Caligula persuaded the emperor's bodyguard 'Rocky' Macro to stuff a fluffy duvet over Tiberius's head to finish him off. Macro duly carried out the request and left Caligula a clear run at becoming the next emperor.
The rest is history (thanks, Tiberius).
Hang on! What happened to those legions he hid?