By M. C. Hall
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Extra info for Christmas (Little World Holidays and Celebrations)
This of course highlighted the falseness of Tiberius’ position – or, as some would have it, his malicious hypocrisy. Many assumed that the purpose of this hypocritical show was to trap senators into indiscretions which could later be used against them. In the end, therefore, the discussions achieved nothing beyond a decided sourness in the relations between Tiberius and the senate. He did not receive his acclamation, for, as Tacitus shows, Tiberius became emperor simply by tiring of these exchanges and letting the consular motion proceed.
Even so, Tiberius made none of these criticisms or anxieties public, though, as often in such circumstances, he was unable to conceal them. Instead, presumably to avoid confrontation with his adopted son, he reluctantly allowed the campaigning across the Rhine to continue. In the event, Tiberius’ misgivings were completely vindicated; despite Germanicus’ obvious conviction that success could be won at no great cost, little was achieved, and losses were incurred both at the hands of the enemy and as a result of atrocious weather conditions.
In one case, Tiberius was contemptuously dismissive of the charges, announcing that ‘injuries done to gods are for gods to avenge’ and that ‘Augustus had not been decreed a place in heaven so that this could be used to ruin his former fellow citizens’. In this, Tiberius acted in a clear-headed and fair-minded way. But shortly afterwards a similar charge found the princeps so incensed against the accused that he tried to stampede the senate into voting for his condemnation. It took a very strong-minded senator and friend of the princeps, Cnaeus Piso, to point out the impossibility of the position in which the senate was thus placed.
Christmas (Little World Holidays and Celebrations) by M. C. Hall