Meanwhile, while Germs was off in Germany fighting Germans…
Tibbo had major problems to deal with.
CASSIUS DIO: Tiberius forbade any man to wear silk clothing and also forbade anyone to use golden vessels except for sacred ceremonies. And when some were at a loss to know whether they were also forbidden to possess silver vessels having any inlaid work of gold, he wished to issue a decree about this, too, but would not allow the word emblema, since it was a Greek term, to be inserted in the decree, even though he could find no native word for inlaid work.
What’s he got against Greek words?
He also has to fight to stop getting his own month.
SUETONIUS: He would not allow an oath to be taken ratifying his acts, nor the name Tiberius to be given to the month of September, or that of Livia to October.
January February March April May June Julius Augustus Tiberius Livia November December.
My birthday would have been on the 10th of Livia.
Suetonius continues: He also declined the forename Imperator, 39 the surname of Father of his Country, and the placing of the civic crown at his door; and he did not even use the title of Augustus in any letters except those to kings and potentates, although it was his by inheritance.41 He held but three consulships after becoming emperor — one for a few days, a second for three months, and a third, during his absence from the city, until the Ides of May.
He so loathed flattery that he would not allow any senator to approach his litter, either to pay his respects or on business, and when an ex-consul in apologizing to him attempted to embrace his knees, he drew back in such haste that he fell over backward. In fact, if anyone in conversation or in a set speech spoke of him in too flattering terms, he did not hesitate to interrupt him, to take him to task, and to correct his language on the spot. Being once called “Lord,” he warned the speaker not to address him again in an insulting fashion. When another spoke of his “sacred duties,” and still another said that he appeared before the senate “by the emperor’s authority,” he forced them to change their language, substituting “advice” for “authority” and “laborious” for “sacred.”
So he’s a simple guy.
At least at first.
He also had a conspiracy to deal with.
M. Scribonius Libo Drusus was charged with plotting against the princeps in 16.
He was the great Grandson of Pompey and cousin of the Caesars.
His aunt was Scribonia, the second wife of Augustus, the mother of Julia, the grandmother of Agrippina.
Now – this is a crazy fucking story.
Apparently, Libo was a bit of a dipshit.
But one thing about Libo – did you hear he missed the boat that day he left the shack?
ANYWAY… Libo was set up by his good friend, the senator Firmius Catus.
Apparently Catus kept whispering in Libo’s ear, telling him “oh you’re so awesome, such a fine specimen, you should be princeps, you should overthrow Tiberius.”
He kept it up until Libo started to agree with him.
Then Catus went to Tiberius to turn Libo in for conspiracy.
What a dirty cunt.
When he had enough evidence, Catus tried to get an audience with Tibbo via Vescularius Flaccus, an equestrian friend of the princeps
Suetonius says this approach happened before Tibbo was even princeps.
Tacitus though says it was after.
It was probably around 14, early on.
But Tibbo, just like Michael Corleone, decided to bide his time.
He said he’d decided to be godfather to Connie’s son.
He also gives Libo a praetorship and invites him over for dinner.
though Suetonius claims that he took certain precautions, providing Libo with a lead knife when they officiated together at a sacrifice and leaning heavily on his arm whenever they walked and talked together.
This goes on until 16.
One of the fortune-tellers whom Libo had consulted and asked to raise the spirits of the dead – which was illegal remember – reported the transaction to L. Fulcinius Trio, the famous prosecutor and friend of Sejanus.
Trio brought a charge before the consuls and the senate was summoned to investigate the matter.
Libo asked his relations to come to his defense.
But they all unfortunately had dentist appointments on the day of the trial, and they just really couldn’t get out of them.
The only person who showed up for him was his brother Lucius.
WHO HAD BEEN A CONSUL THAT YEAR.
Tiberius is of course here for the trial.
He read out the charges, doing his best to be calm and show zero emotion.
According to Tacitus, most of the accusations were ridiculous.
For example – He once asked a fortune-teller if he would be rich enough to pave the Via Appia, what is now the Appian way, as far as Brundisium with money.
But Vibius produced one booklet in Libo’s hand in which the names of members of the imperial family and prominent senators were followed by mysterious and sinister symbols.
Libo denied that the writing was his, and it was decided that his slaves should be tortured to discover the truth.
Since ancestral custom forbade slaves to testify against their master, a device was employed that was already known under the republic: the slaves were bought by the state.
Libo requested an adjournment, which was granted, and on reaching home he sent a last appeal to the princeps by the hand of a maternal relative and Tiberius’ old friend, Sulpicius Quirinius – the Legate of Syria, he of the “Census of Quirinius” mentioned in the Bible, etc.
Tiberius’ only reply was that he should address his prayers to the senate.
Meanwhile soldiers guarded Libo’s house, but in the evening, after trying to persuade his slaves to kill him and failing – because you can imagine what would have happened to them if they did it – Libo summoned up the courage to stab himself.
Next day the prosecution continued in the senate with as much energy as if Libo had still been alive
But – Tiberius declared under oath that, though Libo was guilty, he would have begged for his life to be spared, had he not resorted to this over-hasty suicide.
His estate was split between his accusers, as was the custom of the time.
Praetorships were granted to those who were senators
A resolution decreed the expulsion of fortune-tellers and astrologers from Italy.
TACITUS: One of their number, Lucius Pituanius, was hurled from the Rock. Another, Publius Marcius, was executed, according to ancient custom, by the consuls outside the Esquiline Gate, after the trumpets had been bidden to sound.
What’s the ancient custom?
The condemned man was stripped naked, his head was placed in a forked stick and he was whipped to death.
A shame he banished the fortune-tellers, because they might have warned him that the Christians were coming.