Tuesday, August 09, 2011

The Twevle Caesars - page 150, Tiberius

During the period of Tiberius' retirement from Rome he only twice attempted to return. ... On the second occasion he rode up the Appian Way as far as the seventh milestone, but then retreated because of a frightening potent. This was the death of a pet snake which he used to feed with his own hands. When about to do so as usual he found it half eaten by a swarm of ants; and a soothsayer warned him: 'Beware the power of the mob.'

And that sign scared Tiberius back into his self-imposed semi-exile on the island of Capri, a place where he had chosen to live just a few years into his twenty-three-year reign. He preferred living there because he could carry on with his depraved habits out of the watchful eye of his fellow Romans. Tiberius was generally known as being cruel and detached in his later years, and his death -- when it came -- was greeted with cheers by citizens of all classes in Rome. No wonder he was spooked by a sign that some seer said represented the masses destroying him. They wanted to, and he knew it.

Sure, hate me now. My successor is Caligula. See what you think after a few years with him.

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