From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [1]

The Emperor Tiberius belonged to the family of the Claudii Nerones, a branch of the patrician gens Claudia which separated from the original family about the middle of the 3rd cent. b.c. His father, Tiberius Claudius Nero, son of another Tiberius, appears in history in 54 b.c. as desirous to prosecute A. Gabinius for extortion. He made overtures in Asia for the hand of Cicero’s daughter Tullia in 50, but her betrothal to Dolabella had already taken place in Rome. In 48 he distinguished himself as quaestor and admiral of the fleet to Julius Caesar in the Alexandrian war. Later he was elected pontifex (46) and praetor (42). Having taken up arms against Octavian (40), he had to flee to Sicily with his young wife Livia Drusilla and his scarcely two-year-old son, the future Emperor. Later he removed to Sparta, and on returning to Rome with M. Antonius in 39 he was included in the general amnesty. Soon afterwards Octavian made Livia’s acquaintance and prevailed upon Nero to give her up to him (38), though at the time she was expecting the birth of her second son, Drusus, which took place in Octavian’s house. Thus it came about that the Claudian house supplied so many of the early Emperors. For Tiberius, having been brought to Octavian’s house at the age of four, may be said to have known no other father: his own died not later than 33. Octavian’s passion for Livia did not imply the treatment of her sons as his own. Circumstances alone forced him to this decision.

Tiberius was born on 16th Nov. 42 (Suet. Tib . 5) in a house on the Palatine Hill in Rome. He made successful appearances in the law-courts in his early youth, and was given two commissions, one connected with the corn supply and the other with the inspection of the barracoons of Italy. He was a tribunus militum (colonel) in the expedition against the warlike Cantabri of N.W. Spain (25), and afterwards in the East placed the diadem on the head of Tigranes, king of Armenia (20). He also recovered from the Parthians the standards they had captured from Crassus in 53 (Hor. Od. IV. xv. 4-8). In 16 Angustus and Tiberius went to Gaul, and on 1st Aug. of the following year Tiberius and Drusus were victorious over the Raeti and Vindelici. In 15 Tiberius’ son Drusus and nephew Germanicus were born. [Tiberius’ wife was Agrippina, the daughter of the great general, Augustus’ right-hand man, Agrippa, and granddaughter of T. Pomponius Atticus, Cicero’s correspondent. After the birth of the child Tiberius was compelled by Augustus to divorce his wife and to marry Julia (11), Augustus’ own daughter by his wife Scribonia. Julia had been married in 25 to young Claudius Marcellus, who died in 23. She became the wife of Agrippa († 12) in 21, and bore him two sons, Gaius (20) and Lucius (17). In the latter year Augustus adopted these two grandsons of his as his own sons. Julia’s profligacy, scarcely to be wondered at, led to her banishment in 2.] Tiberius’ first consulship was passed in Rome in 13, and in the next year he succeeded Agrippa as governor of Pannonia, where he conducted campaigns in 11 and 10. In the following year Tiberius’ brother Drusus, who had been co-operating in Germany with his brother in Pannonia, met his death, and Tiberius brought the body to Rome, on which occasion he triumphed over the Dalmatians and Pannonians. In 8 he was victorious over the Sugambri and other German tribes, and celebrated his triumph in 7. In 6 he received for the first or (according to some) the second time the tribunicia potestas for five years. This was one of the most important elements of the Imperial power. On receiving it he was sent on an important mission to the East, but retired for some years to Rhodes, whence he did not return to Rome till a.d. 2. The death of Lucius on 20th Aug. a.d. 2 and of Gaius on 21st Feb. a.d. 4 forced Augustus at last to adopt Tiberius. First Tiberius was compelled to adopt as his son Germanicus, son of Drusus, and then Augustus adopted both as his own sons. At the same time the imperium proconsulare and tribunicia potestas were conferred on Tiberius, the latter either for five or for ten years. In this year he defeated the Cherusci, and for some years afterwards was engaged in almost continuous warfare, particularly in the country to the N.E. and the E. of the Adriatic. He triumphed in a.d. 9, but returned then to Pannonia and afterwards to the Rhine. In a.d. 12 he was in sole command there, and in a.d. 13 he triumphed for victories in Pannonia and had his proconsulare imperium and tribunicia potestas renewed without limit of time. On 19th Aug. a.d. 14, the day of the death of Augustus, he succeeded to the Empire.

Tiberius had shown himself a most capable general and had led for the most part a very strenuous life. For some years he had been colleague in the Empire, but the tyrannical manner in which Augustus had treated him, joined to his obvious unwillingness to adopt him, must have embittered one who was fully conscious of the splendid services he had rendered to the Empire. The period of Tiberius’ sole rule makes melancholy reading, not entirely due to the gloom and suspicion cast over him by the genius of Tacitus. Tiberius seems to have been by nature fonder of retirement and study than of anything else, and despite his military achievements proved a bad ruler. In his reign began the encouragement of informers ( delatores ), who made life dangerous for all with birth, position, or wealth. Tiberius’ naturally melancholy and morose disposition had developed into suspicion.

Few political events of importance took place during the reign. During the rule of Augustus, the popular elective assembly had gradually ceased to have any real voice in the elections, and at the very beginning of Tiberius’ reign its electoral powers were transferred to the Senate. In a.d. 17 Cappadocia and Commagene were annexed. The chief literary events of the reign were the publication in a.d. 14 of the Astronomica of Manilius, ‘the one Latin poet who excels even Ovid in verbal point and smartness’ (A. E. Housman, M. Manilii Astronomicon , i. [London, 1903] p. xxi), the death of Ovid and of Livy in 17, the publication of the history of Velleius Paterculus in 30, and in this reign and the next the publication of Phaedrus’ Fables . The reign was distinguished by military operations. At the very beginning of it there were serious mutinies of the troops in Pannonia and Germany, and Germanicus, the adopted son of the Emperor, proved so brilliant a general as to arouse the Emperor’s jealousy. In a.d. 15 the troops were exposed to terrible risks in the campaign against the German general Arminius (modern Hermann). In the next year Germanicus advanced to the Elbe and returned by sea to the Rhine. The project of the Elbe frontier was, however, abandoned and Germanicus was recalled. He triumphed on 26th May 17, and was then sent to the East. About the same time a rising took place in Africa under a native, Tacfarinas, which was not subdued for many years. A serious disagreement between Germanicus and Piso, the governor of Syria, was followed by the death of the former on 10th October 19. Piso, under strong and perhaps justifiable suspicion of complicity in the death of Germanicus, was compelled by his own troops to leave Syria, and, being next year charged with this crime and with treason, committed suicide. The year 21 saw the rising of Julius Floras and Julius Sacrouir in Gaul. Their defeat was celebrated by the erection of the still-existing arch at Arausio (Orange). In the same year Arminius was assassinated.

In the year 21 the moroseness of Tiberius took a serious turn, and he retired to Campania. It was a new thing for the Emperor to leave Rome except for military or administrative purposes, and, though technically it meant no loosening of his hold on the helm of State, practically it was bound to have that effect. In 22 the tribunicia potestas was conferred on his son Drusus, who, however, died in the following year. His death is attributed by Tacitus to L. aelius Seianus, prefect of the praetorian guard, a man of inordinate ambition, who aimed at the purple. In 26 Tiberius finally left Rome, and from this date the office of praefectus urbi (governor of Rome) became a permanent institution of the Empire. The Emperor settled at Capreae (Capri), the island off the Campanian coast, where he lived for the rest of his days. There Seianus was accustomed to consort with him. The Senate was servile to both: Agrippina († 33), the widow of Germanicus, and her son Nero were exiled; another son, Drusus, was imprisoned (and executed in 33). The way was thus paved for Seianus’ promotion to the imperium proconsulare in 31. But his ambition had overleapt itself. At last his Imperial master’s jealousy was aroused against him, and he, his family, and his adherents were put to death. Tiberius himself died on 16th March 37.

It was in this drab and gloomy reign that the light of the gospel first shone forth. For the historian Luke tells us that it was in the 15th year of the rule of Tiberius Caesar that ‘the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias’ ( Luke 3:1-2). In spite of the elaborate synchronisms of the historian the question what date is really intended is not easy to answer. The best solution seems to be that of W. M. Ramsay ( Was Christ born at Bethlehem? , London, 1898, p. 199 ff.) that a.d. 25-26 is intended, Luke having counted from the time when Tiberius began to rule as colleague of Augustus with equal power in all provinces of the Empire (end of a.d. 11). Neither Jesus nor (so far as we know) any of the apostles came into personal contact with Tiberius. The nearest approach made by Jesus to the Imperial throne was on the occasion when He was tried before the Emperor’s procurator , or agent, Pilate (Pontius Pilatus). Pilate obtained this appointment in 26. In 36, being accused of maladministration, he was sent to Rome by L. Vitellius, governor of Syria. Tertullian ( Apol . 21) states, what is intrinsically probable, that Pilate sent a report of the trial of Jesus to Tiberius. He also ( ib. 5) alleges that Tiberius himself proposed to the Senate the enrolment of Jesus among the gods, and that, on the proposal being rejected, he himself remained of the same opinion, and threatened persecutors of Christians with trial. These statements are now regarded as historically valueless, and may have been taken from some apocryphal work, possibly the original Acts of Pilate , known to Justin ( Apol . I. xxxv. 9, xlviii. 3). Some, however, are of opinion that Justin is referring to official documents, and this is certainly the more natural interpretation to put upon his language. Tertullian, in that case, is probably borrowing from Justin. A supposed letter from Pilate to Tiberius or Claudius contained in the apocryphal Acts of Peter and Paul ( Acta Apostolorum Apocrypha , ed. R. A. Lipsius and M. Bonnet, i. [Leipzig, 1891] 196 ff.), and the so-called Acts of Pilate ( Gospel of Nicodemus ) (C. de Tischendorf, Evangelia Apocrypha 2, Leipzig, 1876; F. C. Conybeare, in Studia Biblica , iv. [Oxford, 1896] 59-132; E. Hennecke, Neutestamentliche Apokryphen , Tübingen, 1904, p. 74 ff.), is now generally dated in the 4th or 5th cent. and regarded as of no value as history. The reference to a certain Tiberius’ proconsulship (of Africa) in Tertullian ( Apol . 9) can hardly have anything to do with the Emperor of that name (cf. J. S. Reid in the Class. Rev . xxviii. [1914] 27).

Literature.-The ancient authorities are Tacitus, Ab Excessu Diui Augusti Libri , i-vi.; Suetonius, Tiberius  ; Dio Cassius, Velleius Paterculus, etc. Modern works are the Histories of Rome by V. Duruy, History of Rome , 6 vols., London, 1884-86; H. F. Pelham, Outlines of Roman History 5, do., 1909; J. B. Bury, Student’s History of the Roman Empire , do., 1893; T. Mommsen, The Provinces of the Roman Empire , translationW. P. Dickson, 2 vols., do., 1909; H. Schiller, Geschichte der römischen Kaiserzeit , i. [Gotha, 1883] 248-303; H. Furneaux’s edition of the Annals of Tacitus2 [Oxford, 1896], 100-160; A. Viertel, Tiberius und Germanicus  : eine historische Studie , Göttingen, 1901; A. von Domaszewski, Geschichte der römischen Kaiser , 2 vols., Leipzig, 1909, i. 251-319; chronology of principal events by J. S. Reid in J. E. Sandys’ Companion to Latin Studies 2, Cambridge, 1913, p. 136 f.; an English monograph on Tiberius, J. C. Tarver, Tiberius the Tyrant , London, 1902; J. S. Reid, article‘Tiberius,’ in Encyclopaedia Britannica 11. For Tiberius’ father see F. Münzer in Pauly-Wissowa[Note: auly-Wissowa Pauly-Wissowa’s Realencyklopädie.], iii. 2777 f., and for Seianus, P. von Rohden, ib. i. 529 ff.

A. Souter.

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [2]

Tiberias Claudius Nero, Augustus' step-son and successor as emperor. Reigned A.D. 14 to 37. Son of Tiberias Claudius Nero and Livia. Born at Rome, Nov. 16, 45 B.C. Fifty-five years old at his accession, having already shown ability as a commander, an orator, and an administrator. Horace celebrates his and his brother Drasus' exploits (Odes, 4:4,14). Henceforth slothful, self-indulgent, cruel, and despotic. Died at 78 after a 23 years' reign. Tacitus (Annals 1 to 6) describes vividly his dissimulation and vindictiveness. In speaking of Nero he says: "in order to remove the rumour of his having set fire to Rome, Nero shifted the charge on others, and inflicted the most refined punishments on those whom the populace called Christians, and who were hated for their scandalous doings.

The author of the name, Christ, in the reign of Tiberias was visited with capital punishment by the governor Pontius Pilate." In  Luke 3:1 John the Baptist's (six months senior to our Lord) ministry is set down in the 15th year of Tiberias' "principate" ( Hegemonia ). Augustus admitted Tiberias to share the empire two or three years before his own death, so that "the 15th year" is to be dated from the co-partnership at the end of A.U.C. 764. The 15th year will thus be the end of 779, and our Lord's birth 749 or 750, which agrees with Herod's death some time after Christ's birth. The Christian era fixed by Dionysius Exiguus in the sixth century places Christ's birth in the year 754.

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [3]

TIBERIUS , whose designation as Emperor was Tiberius Cæsar Augustus, was the son of Tiberius Claudius Nero (a Roman noble) and Livia, whose second husband was the Emperor Augustus. He was born b.c. 42 and died a.d. 37. Augustus, as he grew old, appointed in succession four of his relatives as co-regents, or marked them out as his intended successors. It was clear that he did not desire the succession of his stepson Tiberius, who was reserved, morose, and unlovable. The successive deaths of his nominees compelled him to fall back upon Tiberius, who in a.d. 11 was made co-emperor. Three years later he succeeded to the purple. It is probable that the ‘thirteenth year’ in   Luke 3:1 runs from the first of these dates, and thus means a.d. 25 26. Tiberius was an able general and a competent Emperor, but the unhappy experiences of his early life made him suspicious and timorous, and he put many of his rivals or supposed rivals to death. In his later years he was much under the influence of a villainous schemer Sejanus. He spent these years in retirement at Capri.

A. Souter.

Smith's Bible Dictionary [4]

Tibe'rius. (In full, Tiberius Claudius Nero). The second Roman emperor, successor of Augustus, who began to reign A.D. 14, and reigned until A.D. 37. He was the son of Tiberius Claudius Nero and Livia, and hence, a stepson of Augustus. He was born at Rome on the 18th of November, B.C. 45. He became emperor in his fifty-fifth year, after having distinguished himself as a commander in various wars, and having evidenced talents, of a high order as an orator, and an administrator of civil affairs.

He even gained the reputation of possessing the sterner virtues of the Roman character, and was regarded as entirely worthy of the imperial honors, to which his birth, and supposed personal merits, at length, opened the way. Yet, on being raised to the supreme power, he suddenly became, or showed himself to be a very different man. His subsequent life was one of inactivity, sloth and self-indulgence. He was despotic in his government, cruel and vindictive in his disposition. He died A.D. 37, at the age of 78, after a reign of twenty-three years. Our Saviour was put to death, in the reign of Tiberius.

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [5]

Claudius Drusus Nero, the second emperor of Rome, was the son of Livia, and stepson of Augustus; and being adopted by that emperor, he succeeded to his throne, A. D. 14. He was at first moderate and just, but soon became infamous for his vices and crimes, and died A. D. 37, after a cruel reign of twenty-two and a half years. It was in the fifteenth year of his reign that John the Baptist commenced his ministry; and the crucifixion of Jesus took place in the third or fourth year after,  Luke 3:1 . This emperor is several times casually mentioned under the title of Caesar,  Luke 20:22-25;  23:2;  John 19:12 . His subjects were commanded to pay divine worship to his images.

People's Dictionary of the Bible [6]

Tiberius ( Tî-Bç'Ri-Ŭs ).  Luke 3:1. Tiberius Claudius Nero, the second Roman emperor, from a.d. 14 until a.d. 37. He was the son of Tiberius Claudius Nero and Livia, and hence a stepson of Augustus. He was despotic in his government, cruel and vindictive in his disposition. He died a.d. 37, at the age of 78, after a reign of 23 years. Our Saviour was put to death in the reign of Tiberius.  John 19:12;  John 19:15.

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [7]

( Τιβέριος ) , in full, Tiberius Claudius Nero Casesar the Roman emperor, successor of Augustus, who began to reign A.D. 14, and reigned until 37. He was the son of Tiberius Claudius Nero and Livia, and hence a stepson of Augustus. He was born at Rome Nov. 16, B.C. 45. He became emperor in his fifty-fifth year, after having distinguished himself as a commander in various wars, and having evinced talents of a high order as an orator and an administrator of civil affairs; His military exploits and those of Drusus, his brother, were sung by Horace (Carm. 4:4,14). He even gained the reputation of possessing the sterner virtues of the Roman character, and was regarded as entirely worthy of the -imperial honors to which his birth and supposed personal merits at length opened the way. Yet on being raised to the supreme power, he suddenly became, or showed himself to be, a very different man. His subsequent life was one of inactivity, sloth, and self-indulgence. He was despotic in his government, cruel and vindictive in his disposition. He gave up the affairs of the State to the vilest favorites, while he himself wallowed in the very kennel of all that was low and debasing. The only palliation of his monstrous crime and vices which can be offered is that his disgust of life, occasioned by his early domestic troubles, may have driven him at last to despair and insanity. Tiberius died at the age of seventy-eight, after a reign of twenty-three years. The ancient writers who supply most -of our knowledge respecting him are Suetonius, Tacitus (who describes his character as one of studied dissimulation and hypocrisy from the beginning), Annal. ch. 1-vi; Veil. Paterc. 2, 94, etc.; and Dion Cass.; ch. 46-48. See Smith, Dict. of Gr. and Romans Biog. s.v.; and the monographs on Tiberius in German by Freytag (Berl. 1870) and Stahr (ibid. 1873), and in English by Beesley (Lond. 1878).

It will be seen that the Savior's public life, and some of the introductory events of the apostolic age, must have fallen within the limits of his administration. The memorable passage in Tacitus (Annal. 15; 44) respecting the origin of the Christian sect places the crucifixion of the Redeemer under Tiberius: "Ergo abolendo rumori (that of his having set fire to Rome) Nero subdidit reos, et qusesitissimis pcenis affecit, quos per flagitia invisos vulgus Christianos appellabat. Auctor nominis ejus Christus Tiberio imperitante per procuratorem Pontium Pilatum supplicio affectus erat" (see the monographs cited by Volbeding, Index Programmatum, p. 95; (See Chrestus) ).

In  Luke 3:1 he is termed Tiberius Caesar; John the Baptist, it is there said, began his ministry in The Fifteenth Year of his reign ( Ἡγεμονία ). This chronological notation is an important one in determining the year of Christ's birth and entrance on his public work. SEE Jesus Christ Augustus admitted Tiberius to a share in the empire two or three years before his own death; and it is a question, therefore, whether The Fifteenth Year of which Luke speaks should be reckoned from the time of the co-partnership or from that when Tiberius began to reign alone. The former is the computation justified by other data. (See Chronology). The other passages in which he is mentioned under the title of Caesar offer no points of personal allusion, and refer to him simply as the emperor ( Matthew 22:17 sq..;  Mark 12:14.sq.;  Luke 20:22 sq.;  Luke 23:2 sq.;  John 19:12 sq.). (See Cesar).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [8]

tı̄ - bē´ri - us ( Τιβέριος , Tibérios ):

1. Name and Parentage:

The 2nd Roman emperor; full name Tiberius Claudius Nero, and official name as emperor Tiberius Caesar Augustus; born November 16,42 BC. His father - of the same name - had been an officer under Julius Caesar and had later joined Antony against Octavian (Augustus). His mother was Livia, who became the 3wife of Augustus; thus Tiberius was a stepson of Augustus.

2. Early Life and Relation to Augustus:

Much of his early life was spent in successful campaigning. Although the ablest of the possible heirs of Augustus, Tiberius was subjected to many an indignity, Augustus accepting him as his successor only when every other hope failed. When Julia, daughter of Augustus, became a widow for the second time (12 BC), Tiberius was obliged to marry her (11 BC) in order to become protector of the future emperors. For this purpose he was compelled to divorce his wife, Vipsania Agrippina, who had borne him a son, Drusus. Julia brought Tiberius nothing but shame, and for her immorality was banished by her father (2 BC). Tiberius was consul in 12 BC, and received the proconsular authority, 9 BC. He carried on successful wars in Pannonia, Dalmatia, Armenia and Germany. He retired in disgust to voluntary exile at Rhodes where he spent several years in study. In 2 AD, he returned to Rome, and lived there in retirement, 2-4 AD. On June 27,4 AD, Tiberius and Agrippa Postumus were adopted by Augustus. From this date on Tiberius came more and more into prominence, receiving the tribunician power for 10 years.

3. Reign:

In 13 Ad (or according to Mommsen 11 AD) Tiberius was by a special law raised to the co-regency. Augustus died August 19,14 AD, and Tiberius succeeded. A mutiny in the Rhine legions was suppressed by Germanicus. The principal events of his reign (see also below) were the campaigns of Germanicus and Drusus, the withdrawal of the Romans to the Rhine, the settlement of the Armenian question, the rise and fall of Sejanus, the submission of Parthia. In 26 AD, Tiberius retired to Capreae, where rumor attributed to him every excess of debauchery. On March 16,37 AD, Tiberius died at Misenum and was succeeded by Caius.

4. Administration:

On the whole, Tiberius followed the conservative policy of Augustus and maintained the "diarchy." But he approached nearer to monarchy by receiving supreme power for an indefinite period. He went beyond Augustus in practically excluding the people from government by transferring the right of election from the comitia of the people to the senate, leaving to the people the right merely to acclaim the nominees of the senate, and further by imposing laws upon the people without their counsel or discussion. He established a permanent praetorian camp at Rome - a fact of great importance in later Roman history. The administration of Tiberius was that of a wise, intelligent statesman with a strong sense of duty. The civil service was improved, and officers were kept longer at their posts to secure efficiency. Taxes were light on account of his economy. Public security increased. He paid attention to the administration of justice and humane laws were placed on the statute-book.

5. Character:

Though Tiberius was unpopular, he left the empire in a state of prosperity and peace. Of his character the most opposite views are held. His fame has suffered especially from his suspecting nature, which extended the law of majestas to offenses against his person and encouraged delation , which made the latter part of his reign one of terror. The tyranny of Sejanus, too, has been laid upon his shoulders, and he has been accused of the wildest excesses in his retreat at Capreae - a charge which seems to be refuted by the fact that no interruption to his wise administration took place. His character has been blackened most by Tacitus and Suetonius. But on nearer criticism Tiberius's character will appear in better light. No doubt, toward the close of his reign he degenerated, but his cruelties affected only the upper classes. He was called a tyrant and was refused deification after death, and Augustus was said to have prophesied "Alas for the Roman people who shall be ground under such slow jaws." Tiberius was stern and taciturn, critical with himself and, soured by his own disappointments, was suspicious of others. Pliny the Elder calls him "the gloomiest of men." Much of his unpopularity was due to his inscrutability, to the fact that people could not understand him or penetrate into the mystery of his motives. He rarely took counsel with anyone. His life was frugal and modest - a rebuke to the contemporary dissipation. He felt contempt for the inanities of court life and was supremely indifferent to public opinion, but actuated by a strong sense of duty.

6. Tiberius and the New Testament:

The reign of Tiberius is memorable as that in which fell our Lord's public ministry, death and resurrection. It also witnessed the preaching of John the Baptist ( Luke 3:1 ), the conversion of Paul and perhaps his first preaching, the martyrdom of Stephen and the first Christian persecution (by the Jews). Tiberius is mentioned by name only once in the New Testament ( Luke 3:1 ): "the 15th year of the reign (ἡγεμονία , hēgemonı́a ) of Tiberius." The question is, From what date is this to be reckoned - the date of Tiberius's co-regency, 13 (or 11) AD, or from his accession, 14 AD? He is the "Caesar" mentioned in the Gospels in connection with Jesus' public ministry ( Mark 12:14 and parallel's;   John 19:12 ,  John 19:15 ). Herod Antipas built Tiberias in honor of Tiberius (Josephus, Ant. , Xviii , ii-iii). It is unlikely that Tiberius ever heard anything about Christianity; it had not risen as yet into prominence. Early Christian writers wished to represent Tiberius, if not friendly to the new faith, at least as condemning the action of Pilate. According to one apocryphal tradition, Tiberius actually summoned Pilate to Rome to answer for crucifying Jesus. It is true that Pilate was sent to Rome by the governor of Syria to answer to a charge of unjustifiable cruelty, but Tiberius died before Elate reached Rome.

7. Tiberius and the Jews:

Under Tiberius Palestine was governed by Roman procurators. Toward the Jews in Italy, Tiberius showed some intolerance. In 19 Ad all the Jews were expelled from Rome according to Josephus ( Ant. , Xviii , iii, 5), from Italy according to Tacitus ( Ann . ii. 85), and 4,000 Jewish freedmen were deported to Sardinia to reduce bands of brigands. Philo attributes this severity to Sejanus, and says that after Sejanus' fall Tiberius, recognizing that the Jews had been persecuted without cause, gave orders that officials should not annoy them or disturb their rites. They were therefore probably allowed to return to Rome (see Schurer, III, 60 f, 4th edition).


( a ) Ancient literature, as modern, is divided on its estimate of Tiberius; Tacitus Annals i-vi; Dio Cassius Rom . Hist. xivi-xivii, and Suetonius Tib . painting him in the darkest colors, while Velleius Paterculus 2 gives the other side. ( b ) Of modern literature it is enough to cite on opposite sides: J. C. Tarver, Tiberius the Tyrant , 1902; Ihne, Zur Ehrenrettung des K. Tib ., 1892, and the moderate estimate of Merivale, Romans under the Empire .

The Nuttall Encyclopedia [9]

Second Roman emperor, born at Rome; was of the Claudian family; became the step-son of Augustus, who, when he was five years old, had married his mother; was himself married to Agrippina, daughter of Agrippa, but was compelled to divorce her and marry Augustus's daughter Julia, by whom he had two sons, on the death of whom he was adopted as the emperor's successor, whom, after various military services in various parts of the empire, he succeeded A.D. 14; his reign was distinguished by acts of cruelty, specially at the instance of the minister Sejanus, whom out of jealousy he put to death; given up to debauchery, he was suffocated in a fainting fit by the captain of the Prætorian Guards in A.D. 37, and succeeded by Caligula; it was during his reign Christ was crucified.