I figure it's about time I get this up and posted.
As many of you know, one of my major collecting endeavors for the past three years has been to assemble a "One of Every Emperor" collection, starting with Julius Caesar and terminating (for now) at Justinian. Some time into building the collection, I decided to expand my criteria to collect at least one of every title, e.g.
1) As Caesar or a similar junior position under a senior Emperor 2) As Augustus or senior emperor 3) As Divus, or other posthumous issue
All emperors (and usurpers) and their wives are in scope of this collection, as are the miscellaneous minor members, particularly of the Julio-Claudian family. When possible, I attempt to keep everything imperial; however, as anyone intimately familiar with Roman coinage knows, sometimes it is required to go provincial for the sake of rarity or cost savviness.
This set is very much still a work in progress, as I consider this to be a lifelong endeavor. It is, however, complete enough to begin posting.
For those who followed my original thread, you will see some familiar faces, but most of my coins have been upgraded, and a significant number of holes have been filled. I have much stricter standards this time around, although the greatest emphasis is still on portraiture.
Julius Caesar AR Denarius February-March 15, 44 BC Laureate head of Caesar right in priest's veil, CAESAR DICT PERPETVO Venus Verticordia standing left, holding Victory and staff set on shield, P SEPVLLIVS MACER
Born in July 100 BC, Julius Caesar hailed from the Patrician gens Julia, an old but unremarkable family line. In 85 BC, his life was shaken when his father died suddenly, followed by his uncle (Gaius Marius) losing the civil war to Sulla. Although his life was apparently never in grave danger, Sulla stripped Caesar of most of his fortune and ejected him from his office as high priest of Jupiter.
Caesar enlisted in the army, returning to Rome with honors but no money in 78 BC upon Sulla's death. There he began a career in law, and was noted for his oratory skills. He was granted the office of Tribune and then Quaestor in 69 BC, then Pontifex Maximus in 63 BC. He sought and won the Consulship in 59 BC, where he allied with fellow Populares, Crassus and Pompey, to form what is now known as the First Triumvirate. Caesar's successful but unorthodox and highly controversial laws sought to protect the common citizens of Rome from the abusive tendencies of the Senate and aristocracy. Seeking to be rid of him, the Senate appointed Caesar governor of a sparsely populated province in northern Italy, but his allies managed to secure him the governorship of northern Italy and southern Gaul on a five year term, granting him immunity from persecution for his actions as consul. In command of four legions and desperate for cash, Caesar launched an unprecedented conquest into Celtic Gaul, conquering the entire region of over 300 tribes over the next eight years. The political climate in Rome had meanwhile soured, and the Triumvirate ended with Crassus dead and Pompey now an opponent of Caesar. In 50 BC, Caesar was ordered to lay down his command and return to Rome for trial, whereupon Caesar famously brought his Legio XIII over the Rubicon and marched on Rome - an act of high treason. Apparently working on bad intel regarding the size of the force at Caesar's command, Pompey fled from Italy, and his allies were rounded up and defeated or switched sides. Caesar was granted the Dictatorship in 48 BC, but resigned after eleven days and was elected Consul again, with Mark Antony as his colleague and second in command. After a near-defeat in Dyrrhachium, Caesar turned the tide of the war at Pharsalus, driving Pompey to Egypt, where he was murdered. Caesar became involved in an Egyptian civil war between Cleopatra VII and her brother Ptolemy XIII. Caesar and Cleopatra were victorious, and formed a close political alliance as well as one of the most famous romantic affairs of history.
Caesar returned triumphant to Rome in 47 BC, and began sweeping reforms, effectively crippling the Senate while concentrating power for himself. He surrounded himself and filled vacant Senatorial seats with his personal and political allies, and accepted the appointment as Dictator for a term of ten years, with indefinite tribunician powers. He began to appear on coinage in late 45 or early 44 BC, and many in the Senate feared he was attempting to revert Rome back to the old Kingdom. This seemed to be confirmed around February 44 BC when Caesar accepted an indefinite term as Dictator (DICTATOR PERPETVO). Led by Brutus, the concerned factions within the Senate conspired to murder Caesar. On March 15th, 44 BC, Caesar was coaxed from his home by his supposed friends, was led to the Forum, and there was stabbed twenty-three times by at least sixty conspirators, including Brutus, whom Caesar reportedly address in Greek - "You too, my child?" The assassination of Caesar led to outrage felt from the Senate to the common people--although the assassins were all granted amnesty, Caesar's death sparked the final war of the Roman Republic.
Augustus AE As, Antioch mint IMP AVGVST TR POT, Laureate head right SC within wreath
Born in 63 BC, Octavian was born into the wealthy gens Octavia, and enjoyed political prominence as the biological grand-nephew of Julius Caesar (his maternal grandmother was Julia, sister of Caesar.) Octavian's father died when he was four years old, and his mother re-married to Lucius Marcius Philippus, another prominent aristocrat. Philippus was a caring stepfather, but concentrated on his political career rather than on Octavian, who was raised primarily by his grandmother Julia. He came of age in the midst of Caesar's civil war, and achieved recognition in 46 BC when his ship wrecked off the coast of Hispania, but he managed to rally the survivors and cross through enemy territory to his great-uncle's camp. He was adopted by Julius Caesar as his son and heir, much to the displeasure of Mark Antony.
Upon the death of Caesar in 44 BC, Octavian was recognized by Caesar's veteran troops, who declared loyalty to the young man. Seen by the Senate as naive and possible to maniuplate, Octavian gained aristocratic support against Mark Antony, although the two joined forces along with Lepidus against Caesar's assassins. The Second Triumvirate was successful in both purging the Senate of all who had supported the assasination of Caesar, and rounding up and defeating all of Caesar's assasins in 42 BC. Following the victory against the renegate general Sextus Pompey in 36 BC, the Triumvirate shattered. Lepidus was forced to step down and retreat into exile, and relations soured as the rivalry between Octavian and Antony deepened. When Antony divorced Octavia, sister of Octavian, in favor of an affair with Cleopatra, Roman favor shifted to Octavian. Antony was declared a public enemy in 32 BC, and war commenced. Antony and Cleopatra were defeated at the Battle of Actium on September 2, 31 BC, and the last of their forces rounded up and defeated by August 1, 30 BC, whereupon both Antony and Cleopatra committed suicide--this is retrospectively given as the end of the Roman Republic and of the Hellenistic age. Eleven days later, Octavian had Cleopatra's teenaged son, Caesarion (alleged biological son of Julius Caesar) quietly murdered. With the exception of Marcus Antonius Antyllus, all of Antony's children were spared.
Victorious and now unopposed, Octavian realized the need to not follow in his adoptive father's footsteps and make a hasty power-grab. He spent the next three years exercising his influence over his hand-picked Senate to introduce a series of constitutional reforms. In 27 BC, he made a grand show of relinquishing power to the Senate, but established himself both as Augustus (Venerable), and as the Princeps, or First Citizen. Per his reforms, he maintained de facto control over the Senate and the military. He won over public opinion through feigned shows of reluctance to accept the powers granted to him by the Senate, and also used his now vast personal fortune to undertake massive renovation and building projects throughout Rome. His rule marked peace and prosperity following half a century of nearly constant civil wars and unrest. His seemingly effortless campaigns of conquest simultaneously replenished his fortune, paid his troops, boosted public faith in the Principate, and provided a defensive buffer around the established Roman territories. The only significant military defeat of Augustus' time was the Battle of Teutoburg Forest in 9 BC, in which three legions were nearly annihilated by their German foes.
His first true crisis came during a near-fatal illness in early 23 BC, which sparked doubts about how the Principate would be carried on in the event of Augustus' death, or if it would be carried on at all. Augustus had been grooming his nephew Marcus Claudius Marcellus for the position, but at the last minute feeling he was not up to the task, gave his signet ring to his general and friend Agrippa (signalling that the armies were to give him their loyalty) and entrusted his co-consul Piso with his documents and thus rule over the provinces under his direct control. Augustus did recover however, only to face a new challenge in the "Marcus Primus Affair," in which the former governor of Macedonia (a Senate-controlled province over which Augustus had no authority) waged war on a Roman ally, claiming he had received a secret order from Augustus himself. This enraged many within the Senate, who feared Augustus was attempting to subvert their authority. Augustus was able to diffuse the situation, but as a result had to step down from accepting further consulships (except in 5 and 2 BC) to keep the Senate placated. At the same time, however, he did receive the perpetual position of Tribune of the Plebs, which granted him unlimited authority to convene a meeting of the Senate, challenge its laws, and speak first at all Senatorial meetings.
With the unexpected death of Agrippa in 12 BC, Augustus had to move quickly to establish a new plan of succession. He ordered his stepson Tiberius to divorce his wife and take Agrippa's widow (Julia, Augustus' daughter) in marriage, and began to groom Tiberius for the office of Princeps. Six years later, for unspecified reasons, Tiberius withdrew from public life, and Augustus then turned to his grandsons by Agrippa and Julia, Gaius and Lucius. He personally oversaw their education, but both boys died suddenly and unexpectedly in 2 and 4 AD. Tiberius was recalled to Rome and put back on the track to become Augustus' successor. Tiberius in turn adopted his nephew Germanicus as heir, and all legal preparations were made for a smooth transition of power. Augustus died at age 75 on 19 August 14 while visiting one of his estates in Nola. The exact circumstances of his death are unclear; there were persistent rumors at the time that his wife Livia had him poisoned to ensure he did not find another to succeed ahead of her son. His final public address was "Behold, I found Rome of clay and left her to you of marble." while his final words to his inner circle from his deathbed were "Have I played the part well? Then applaud me as I go!"
Upon his death, Augustus was promptly deified and worshipped as a god within the Roman state religion until its disbandment on orders of Theodosius nearly four hundred years later.
Marcus Agrippa, general and son-in-law of Augustus, died 12 BC
Agrippa AE As M AGRIPPA L COS III, Bare head right S-C, Neptune standing left Struck under Caligula, 37-41 AD
Born in about 63 BC and hailing from a humble Plebian family, Agrippa was educated alongside Octavian, and became one of his closest friends and allies. He advised Octavian to march on Rome following the death of Julius Caesar, and was instrumental in helping to secure the consolidation of Octavian's power. He was nominated as the Tribune of the Plebs in 43 BC, which granted him access to the Senate. During the war with Sextus Pompey, Agrippa was first left to tend to the defense of Italy, and then entrusted with an offensive campaign which, despite initial setbacks, largely crippled Pompey's forces. During the lull in hostilities following the defeat of Pompey, Agrippa was elected an Aedile of the city of Rome, charged with building and maintenance projects. He worked aggressively to erect new buildings and improve sanitation, which helped to bolster public approval of Octavian. Agrippa was again placed in charge of much of the Roman navy upon the outbreak of hostilities with Marc Antony, and successfully defended Octavian's troops from Antony's generals. He provided critical intelligence that helped Octavian to win the Battle of Actium against Antony and Cleopatra; he argued to strike directly, while Octavian's original plan was to let Antony and Cleopatra escape and hope their troops would surrender out of disgust for their leaders' cowardice - Octavian, however, was not aware that Antony's flagships could outrun his own, allowing his enemy to escape and regroup for another attack.
Following the victory at Actium in 31 BC, Octavian worked to consolidate his power within what would become the Roman Empire, and gave his niece to Agrippa in marriage to consolidate their partnership. Possibly due to the schemes and machinations of Livia, Agrippa moved from Rome to the Eastern provinces in 23 BC. That year, Augustus nearly succumbed to an illness, and for a time Agrippa seemed to be the heir presumptive to the Imperium. He was ordered to divorce his wife, Claudia Marcella (a niece of Augustus) and was given the hand of Augustus' daughter, Julia the Elder. It is said that an advisor of Augustus warned, "You have made Agrippa so great that now you must either make him your son-in-law, or kill him." Although it is rumored that they were unhappily married, they had several important children together - Gaius and Lucius (Augustus' preferred heirs until their death around the turn of the first century), Julia the Younger, Agrippina the Elder (mother of Caligula) and Agrippa Postumus. Agrippa was raised to be the near-equal of Augustus in 18 BC, receiving the Tribunicia Potestas, which gave him the authority to veto or overrule motions made by the Senate. He spent his final years in the Eastern provinces, solidifying the Empire's hold and launching a conquest into the Danbue territory. He died of illness in 12BC, aged 51.
Nero Claudius Drusus, Brother of Tiberius, Father of Germanicus & Claudius, Died 9 BC
Nero Claudius Drusus AE Sestertius NERO CLAVDIVS DRVSVS GERMANICVS IMP, bare head left TI CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG P M TR P IMP, Claudius, togate, seated left on curule chair, holding branch; arms lying around; SC in ex. Struck by Claudius, c. 41 AD
Born in 38 BC, Nero Claudius Drusus was the son of Livia and Tiberius Claudius Nero, although Livia divorced her husband to marry Octavian while she was pregnant with Drusus. Octavian acknowledged the parental rights of Tiberius Claudius Nero, who raised Drusus and Tiberius until he died in 33 BC. Following their father's death, both Drusus and Tiberius moved into the household of their mother and stepfather. Drusus entered public service in 19 BC, assisting Tiberius in legislative duties. He married Antonia Minor, daughter of Mark Antony, in 16 BC and they later had two sons (Germanicus and Claudius) and one daughter, Livilla. The following year, Drusus embarked to serve as the governor of Gaul. He initiated campaigns against the Germanic tribes with success, and was the center of much celebration when he returned to Rome in 11 BC. He then returned to resume his campaigns with success, and was granted the Consulship in 9 BC. That same year, he finally achieved the honor of Spoila Opima, granted to a general who defeated an enemy commander in singular combat, being the last of only four Romans awarded that honor. Late in 9 BC however, Drusus fell from his horse en route back from his campaign. He survived the fall, but sustained injuries that he could not recover from. He lingered on for at least a month and then died, Tiberius at his side. His remains were brought back to Rome and his ashes interred at the Mausoleum of Augustus. Many monuments and memorials were erected around Rome and elsewhere (including the famous Drususstein in Germany) both by his soldiers, and to console his mother Livia. Although he does not feature on any coinage in his own time, Nero Claudius Drusus was honored extensively on posthumous coinage when his son Claudius assumed the Principate in 41.
Thanks Bob! I've actually been working on this one quietly for the past year; I was really hoping to have a better Augustus to show off, but alas I just cannot seem to win any of the nice imperials that I want. I'm really hoping to eventually add a nice large Cistophorus, but I've yet to find one that I really love that won't break the banks.
Gaius and Lucius Caesares, Sons of Agrippa, Grandsons of Augustus
Gaius & Lucius Caesares AE16 of Aeolis, Aegae, under Diphilos Phaita, agonothete. AIΓEΩN ΛEYKION, bare head of Lucius Caesar right ΓAION ΔIΦIΛOC ΦAITA AΓΩNOΘETAC, bare head of Gaius Caesar right.
Following the death of Agrippa in 12 BC, his young sons Gaius and Lucius were taken under Augustus' wing to fast-track their way to inherit the purple from their grandfather. Both boys died suddenly, 18 months apart, at the beginning of their careers.
Gaius was the elder brother, born in 20 BC. He was adopted by Augustus following the birth of his brother Lucius in 17 BC, and was largely raised as Augustus' own son, and took part in many public ceremonies. He accompanied Tiberius on a military campaign over the Rhine in 8-7 BC, and was initiated as a Pontifex the following year, allowing him to attend meetings of the Senate. The coinciding Judaean succession crisis and Parthian invasion of Armenia in 5-2 BC gave Gaius the chance to prove his abilities, and the teenaged Gaius was dispatched in 1 BC along with an entourage of advisors. The following year, he was granted the Consulship in absentia, having attained his twentieth year. Gaius successfully negotiated for peace with Phraates IV of Parthia on terms favorable to Rome, returning Armenia as a client state of Rome. The following year, a nationalist Armenian rebellion broke out, and Gaius agreed to negotiate for peace with the leaders of the rebellion. The meeting turned out to be a trap, and he was attacked and wounded. He survived, but struggled to recover--this shattered his resolve and taste for public service. He fell into a depression and announced his withdrawal from public life, and died the following year in 4 AD, aged 23.
Lucius was born in 17 BC, and followed in his older brother's footsteps, three years behind as required by law. When Gaius departed for the East, Lucius was sent to Hispania to complete his military training. En route, he fell ill and died in 2 AD, aged 19.
Although they feature prominently on the "Gaius and Lucius" denarii and aureii of Augustus, their portraits appear on a handful of provincial coins (almost always together), and Gaius' portrait alone features on a denarius issued under Augustus. Sole portrait coins of Gaius are scarce to rare; sole portrait coins of Lucius are rare.
Tiberius AE As TI CAESAR DIVI AVG F AVGVST IMP VIII, bare head left PONTIF MAXIM TRIBVN POTEST XXIIII around large SC Minted 21-22 AD
Born in 42 BC, Rome's second emperor was also its last to have lived for any length during the Roman Republic. Tiberius' mother Livia was pushed to divorce her first husband Tiberius Claudius Nero, who was an avid opponent of Octavian. Smitten upon their first meeting in 39 BC, Octavian divorced his wife Scribonia on the day their daughter Julia was born. Octavian and Livia were married while she was still pregnant with her former husband's son, Drusus. Although Tiberius was marginally involved in the public life of his stepfather, little detail survives.
Following the grave illness and near death of Augustus in 23 BC, Tiberius and his brother Drusus were placed into the Roman political world to provide alternative successors to the already aged Agrippa. Tiberius began his career at age 17, practicing his oratory in the court of law, and also leading military campaigns to secure Rome's borders. Upon the death of Agrippa in 12 BC, Tiberius found himself next in line to inherit the Principate from Augustus. He was forced by Augustus to end his happy marriage with Vipsania Agrippa (Agrippa's daughter from a previous marriage), and to marry Julia the Elder--Augustus' biological daughter and Agrippa's widow, whom Tiberius greatly disliked. This caused Tiberius great emotional anguish, and he is recorded on at least one occasion as following (stalking) his former wife around, weeping while he confessed his undying love for her. These events largely soured his personal relationship with Augustus. Between 12 and 6 BC, Tiberius returned to his military campaigns against the barbarians, and served as consul in 7 BC, then as tribune in 6 BC. It was around this time that Augustus adopted his grandsons Gaius and Lucius, and it became clear that they were the favored heirs of the emperor. This, coupled with his wife's politically damaging public affairs, caused Tiberius to announce his retirement and withdraw to his private estate on Campania. The untimely death of the two young Caesars in 2 and 4 AD, however, forced Tiberius back to the front of the Roman political world as the last suitable heir to Augustus. Their relationship strained at best, the condition for his return was that Tiberius was to adopt his nephew Germanicus as his son an heir. He continued minor military campaigns as Augustus entrusted him with more and more power over the next years, finally making him full co-emperor in 13 AD. Augustus died the following year, and Tiberius, now 56 years old, assumed the sole Principate in 14 AD.
Tiberius today and in ancient times is regarded as a poor, indecisive, and unwilling emperor. He lacked the majesty and charisma of his predecessor, sought to free himself of responsibility at every turn, and ultimately came to let his closest advisors nearly usurp his office. His early reign was characterized by the successes of Germanicus on the field and the ongoing grooming of his son Drusus for co-rule with Germanicus. Germanicus, however fell ill or was assassinated in 19 AD, and Drusus was assassinated in 23 by the machinations of Sejanus, the praetorian prefect of Tiberius. Rather than face the problem, Tiberius withdrew to retirement on his villa, leaving the increasingly tyrannical and scheming Sejanus as the de facto emperor of Rome. Sejanus did finally cross the line, and Tiberius had him summarily executed and nearly successfully erased from history in 31. This was followed by a flurry of treason trials as, from the distant comforts of his villa, Tiberius sought to flush out all who were loyal to Sejanus. Meanwhile, rumors began to circulate about what was going on at the emperor's retirement villa at Capri, with many claiming that Tiberius indulged in horrific sexual perversions focused on young boys, many of whom were executed for no good reason. It is during these final years that his own grandson Tiberius Gemellus and the future Emperor Caligula came to live with the elderly Tiberius, and became his heirs apparent. Tiberius died under uncertain circumstances on 16 March 37; officially from illness, but some contemporary historians maintain that he was smothered when he began to show signs of recovery. He was 78 years old, the oldest age attained by a Roman emperor until the Byzantine empire.
Germanicus, Brother of Claudius, Father of Caligula, Died AD 19
AE 15 Sardes, Lydia Minted under Mnaseas Obv: ΓΕΡΜANIKOΣ ΚΑΙΣΑP, bare head left Rev: ΣΑΡΔΙΑΝΩΝ ΜΝΑΣΕΑΣ, Athena standing, holding spear and patera, resting hand on shield
AE As GERMANICVS CAESAR TI AVG F DIVI AVG N, bare head right TI CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG GERM P M TR P IMP P P around large SC Minted under Claudius
Although he died before he could become emperor, Germanicus occupied a pivotal position at the center of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. The son of Tiberius' brother, Nero Claudius Drusus, and Antonia Minor, daughter of Mark Antony and Octavia, he was groomed from a young age to someday inherit the empire from his uncle Tiberius. He was appointed Quaestor in AD 7, Consul in 12, and then proconsul of Germania and Gaul, controlling eight legions of the Roman army. From there he launched an immensely successful campaign against the Germans from 14 to 16, recovering the lost Legionary Eagles that were captured during the Battle of the Teutoberg Forest. He returned to Rome in AD 17 where he received a triumph, then left to stabilize the Eastern provinces. He came to butt heads against the governor of Syria, Gnaeus Calpurnius Piso, and suddenly fell ill and died on 10 October 19, aged 33. Ancient sources suggest that he may have been poisoned, but no evidence exists one way or another. He was widely regarded even by his contemporaries as the "Roman Alexander" for his spotless and significant military career, business first mentality, and because he died suddenly at the height of his career in his early thirties.
Germanicus was featured in his own time on several provincial coins, but can be found most prominently on posthumous imperial coins issued by his son Caligula or brother Claudius.
Drusus AE As DRVSVS CAESAR TI AVG F DIVI AVG N, bare head left PONTIF TRIBVN POTEST ITER around large SC
Drusus was born in 14 BC, the son of future emperor Tiberius and his first wife, Vipsania Agrippina. Germanicus became his adoptive brother in 4 AD at the instruction of Augustus, and Drusus followed Germanicus through the Cursus Honorium at the same pace, four years behind. Rather than embarking on a military career immediately, Drusus entered politics. He was however sent to quell a rebellion among the legions on the Rhine and in Pannonia in 14 AD. He held the consulship in 15, and became his father's sole heir following the death of Germanicus in 19. Drusus however came to butt heads against Tiberius' power-hungry Praetorian Prefect, Sejanus, and their rivalry spilled over into public knowledge. Ultimately, Sejanus managed to seduce Drusus' wife Livilla, and the two conspired and poisoned Drusus on 14 September 23. For years it was assumed that Drusus had died of natural causes; however after the fall and execution of Sejanus, a written correspondence between Sejanus and Livilla was discovered which detailed the plot.
Well I spotted one of my "lost" children ! I do like your Claudius As of Germanicus After all these years I still don't have one The ones I like always seem to fetch much more than I am inclined to drop
Tiberius Gemellus, Son of Drusus Minor, Died AD 37
Tiberius Gemellus AE16 of Philadelphia, Lydia TIBEΡION CEBACTION, Bare head right NEOKECAΡEIΣ, Winged thunderbolt
Born in 19, Tiberius and his twin brother Germanicus Gemellus ('Gemellus' meaning twin) were the sons of Drusus and his wife Livilla, and the natural grandchildren of Tiberius. Germanicus Gemellus died in infancy, and Tiberius Gemellus probably only survived the systematic purges of Sejanus due to his youth. When at last Sejanus was deposed and the dust had settled, Tiberius Gemellus and his second cousin Gaius (Caligula) were the last two who seemed suitable candidates to inherit the principate. Although Tiberius Gemellus was the closer relative, Tiberius showed more favor to Caligula, both because Caligula was older, and because he apparently suspected that Tiberius Gemellus may have been the biological son of Sejanus, not Drusus (it was discovered years after the death of Sejanus that he had been having a lenghty affair with Drusus' wife Livilla). Tiberius ultimately wrote his wills to divide his estates (and thus the Principate) evenly between Caligula and Gemellus.
When Tiberius died in 37, Caligula was able to out-maneuver Gemellus, and had Tiberius' will nullified, inheriting the empire alone. He adopted Gemellus as his heir, possibly to curtail any claims the latter may have had to sharing the Principate jointly. Caligula fell gravely ill toward the end of 37, and it is claimed by some historians that Gemellus may have been blamed for attempting to poison Caligula, although the degree to which this may have been true is unknown. According to Suetonius, Gemellus was in chronically bad health and regularly took cough syrup - this odor was detected on his breath, and he was accused of taking antidote in order to poison the emperor with a shared meal or drink. Tiberius Gemellus was imprisoned, and then forced to throw himself on his sword in the traditional Roman ritual suicide sometime around the turn of the year 38. He was 18 years old.