The Bad Emperors Of Rome Essay

1874 words - 7 pages

Caring, respectable, valued and honoured are all traits desirable of an emperor. Augustus encompassed all of these and went as far as restoring the Republican government from its once fallen state, but this was all forgotten when Tiberius became emperor. Tiberius was corrupt by power and Rome began to live in an era of destruction. As well, the subsequent emperors, Caligula and Nero followed in the same path, portraying violence and negatively impacting the city of Rome. Their reign caused them to be unpopular as each marginalized pietas, the duty towards the Gods, family, homeland, and followers, which is highly valued by the romans. This can be seen through the actions and behaviours throughout their time as they were destructive towards their families and disrespectful towards the people of the city. Alienation of various sectors also caused unpopularity of these men. Undoubtedly, a barrier was created between each emperor and the SPQR which led to their ultimate fate essentially determined by the people of Rome.

Tiberius Nero Caesar was the first emperor to rule Rome after the death of Augustus. His reign began in 14 AD with a positive start as he was initially well liked by the people and the senate. As Suetonius tells, he put all the power in the hands of the senate; taxes, dealing with soldiers, appointing generals for the management of important wars, were all presented to the senate for review. As well, Tiberius persisted in keeping the peace in Rome from criminals, so he increased the number of military stations. Displaying the values of pietas, Tiberius remained popular in the beginning of his reign, but this took a turn when he began to treat his own family poorly and displayed a lack of respect to the people of Rome. Tiberius never built any monumental structures in dedication to noblemen. He left the Temple of Augustus and Pompey’s Theater unfinished. His accessibility to the people became nonexistent as he declared he would no longer assist anyone. A hatred for his brother Drusus formed and he treated his wife poorly, depriving her of the dowry left to her by her father and forbidding her to go outside of the house or talk to any men. As well, when his mother became very ill, Tiberius showed no priority to visit her. When she died, he refused to attend her funeral establishing a lack of respect and honour for her. Also outlining the betrayal of his family is the starvation of his three grandsons. He destroyed every bit of family he had, thus destroying the support of his followers as well, as Romans did not respect those who could harm their family in such a way. While in Capri, Tiberius was alone enjoying his privacy when a fisherman approached him. Tiberius, being irritated by this disturbance, ordered his face to be mutilated with the claws of the crab from which the fisherman made an offering. The people of Rome were fearful of Tiberius, such that when they were called to trial, they stabbed themselves...

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