Sorry folks. I messed up the first file. Here’s the correct episode.
Tiberius suddenly declared he wanted to withdraw from public life.
Something happened. Behind the closed doors of the imperial court, there must have been an argument, and Tiberius lost it.
He said he was tired.
OH POOR YOU.
He wanted to live a private life and go to Rhodes to study.
People just laughed and said “sure sure”.
But he went on a hunger strike and refused to eat anything for four days before Augustus finally gave in.
Augustus publicly condemned Tiberius for being a pussy and neglecting his duties of state.
Instead of setting out for the provinces as a Roman commander, with all of the pomp and ceremony that came with it, Tiberius instead left Rome quietly with only a few friends.
But news arrived that Augustus was ill again!
Was it real or just fake news?
Was Augustus trying to fake him out?
Tiberius stuck around a few days waiting to see if it got worse.
It didn’t, and he thought the optics of it were pretty bad, like he was waiting around in the hope that Augustus might die and that would change his plans.
“I don’t want all of this responsibility! Unless the old man dies, then, of course, I’d LOVE to be your new emperor.”
So he set sail for Rhodes, stopping along the way at the Greek island of Paros where he bought a statue of Vesta to be placed in the temple of Concord.
He had been to Rhodes on one of his earlier trips to the East and enjoyed himself.
He found himself a small house, without all the usual paraphernalia of the villa of a great Roman, and took to wandering into the town and chatting with the townsfolk, studying philosophy and “snacking on fish”.
Tiberius’s withdrawal must have been a great political shock.
It was almost without precedent in Roman political life: only the very old or the politically isolated withdrew from politics, and Tiberius was neither.
For a Roman man of his status, involvement in political life was not a career choice—it was part of his identity.
Withdrawal from that life was a rejection of the fundamental social values of Rome and its hierarchy.
Especially for a Claudian to live with the Greeks.
It could be read or justified as a reaction to a state so corrupt that there was no place there for the good man.
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