The political situation in 26 A.D. - Tiberius Claudius Nero.
March 21st, 2002
Received by H.
My dear brother, in accordance with what I mentioned last time, today we will focus on the great political scenario around Jesus’ history. This is a quite general message, and it has nothing to do with religion, but I think it is important for you to get that information, for then you will be able to understand better the reason why certain events occurred.
As you know, Jesus was born during the Roman emperor Augustus’s reign. However, his public life and death happened when Tiberius occupied the throne in Rome. Well, in fact, this is not 100% correct, and I will explain you why. Anyway, I think it is important to dedicate some words to the situation in Rome, because it had much to do with the Master’s destiny.
Tiberius Claudius Nero, the son of Tiberius Claudius Nero and Livia Drusilla, was born in the year 42 B.C. His father, a fanatical republican, had fought against the triumvirate of Octavianus (the later emperor Augustus), Aemilus Lepidus (who was his wife’s relative) and Marcus Antony. This is the reason why he had to flee from Rome together with his family. The young boy would spend some time in a sort of exile, hidden in Sicily.
When the family finally returned to Rome, Tiberius’ father, put under pressure by Octavianus, was forced to divorce his wife, and he died a few years later. Octavianus married Livia Drusilla, and so Tiberius became the emperor's stepson.
The boy was educated according to the custom among Roman aristocracy in the military art. He really turned out to be a very capable general. Perhaps his most notable achievement was the recovery of the Roman legionary eagles from the Parthians, who had captured them in their continuous wars against Rome.
Tiberius was 22 years old when he married Vipsania Agrippina, and had a son with her. It was a very happy marriage. But when Vipsania was pregnant with Tiberius’ second son, the emperor Augustus commanded their divorce and forced his stepson to marry his daughter Julia. It would be this woman’s third marriage. Tiberius obeyed grudgingly, and resigned himself to this new marriage, of which no children would be born, and which would be very unhappy. Augustus did not even allow him to see to his former wife, Vipsania.
Years later, Augustus would order Julia’s expulsion from Rome because of her many scandalous love affairs. Tiberius divorced her of course and never married again.
The relationship between Augustus and his stepson worsened. Tiberius served the emperor in several military campaigns with much success, but finally, in the year 6 of our era, he refused to assume the command of the Roman troops in the east. Augustus became enraged and had him sent into exile on the island of Rhodes. From there, his stepson sent multiple petitions to the emperor to allow him to return to Rome, but they were all denied. Tiberius, thus resigned, awaited every day the arrival of a ship that would bring him Augustus’ order, commanding him to commit suicide.
One day, the ship indeed arrived, but the order was different: Augustus called him to return to Rome. Augustus had chosen his grandsons Gaius and Lucius as his possible heirs, but both died. This is the reason why he adopted Tiberius, in spite of their differences.
The emperor’s death led the Senate to offer Tiberius the succession. He refused at the beginning, but finally he accepted. It was not a maneuver to appear as a humble man who had to be asked, even implored to accept. He was honest and really did not want the power.
But once he held the power, Tiberius took advantage of the situation: He “cleaned” the Senate, restricted its rights and cemented his position. Throughout his life the phantom of intrigues would pursue him, justifiably or unjustifiably. Governing as the emperor was a nightmare for Tiberius.
I don’t want to overload this message with data and details, I only want to highlight that Tiberius hated life in Rome, which was full of intrigues, and that he distrusted everyone. Well, not everyone, because one man had won his confidence: the chief of the praetorians, the emperor’s personal guard Lucius Aelius Sejanus.
When Sejanus had demonstrated his loyalty on several occasions, Tiberius took a significant decision: he would retire from Rome, settle down on the island of Capri, and he would leave all power in hands of Sejanus. And so he did. Nevermore would he return to Rome. He even refused to attend the funeral of his mother. I will dedicate another message to Sejanus. Here I will only mention that he would eventually betray Tiberius, and he would pay for that with his life.
The retirement of Tiberius to Capri happened in the year 26, exactly in the year when Jesus was baptized by John, when he resuscitated Taddi in Naym, and when he had his famous conversation with Nicodemus.
Tiberius tried only twice to return to Rome, but in both occasions, when he was already close, he turned around and headed back south. Finally, in the year 37, Tiberius died in the town of Missenium, in southern Italy, in a luxurious country villa that once had belonged to the famous Lucius Licinius Lucullus, the rich man renowned through his opulent banquets.
I believe that this it is enough on Tiberius. The important thing is that he left all power in hands of Lucius Aelius Sejanus. And this character we will analyze in our next message.
See you soon, my friend. Have a good day, filled with blessings.
© Copyright is asserted in this message by Geoff Cutler 2013