Emperor Tiberius: His 3 Major Accomplishments As Emperor

Born16th of November, 42 BC
Died16th of March, 37 AD
Famous Quote“It is the duty of a good shepherd to shear his sheep, not to skin them.”
Known ForSuccessful military campaigns in northern Rome, making the Roman state very wealthy, focused upon the diplomacy and strengthening of the domestic Roman state.
Region of WorldRome, Italy, 1st Century AD
Further ReadingThe 10 Major Events That Led To The Fall Of The Roman Republic

Tiberius Caesar Augustus remains one of the most forgotten Roman Emperors. Often the second emperor of Rome is overshadowed by his adoptive father and first emperor of Rome Augustus. However, the Roman Emperor Tiberius has 3 major accomplishments that helped to set the Empire up to become the strongest ancient civilization.

The Roman Emperor Tiberius is known for 3 major accomplishments. First, he was responsible for several large scale building projects in the city of Rome. Second, Tiberius focused upon building up Rome’s economy and frontier fort construction. Third, Tiberius restrained Imperial cult worship and implemented an official imperial cult priesthood called the Sodales Augustales.

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Without further ado, here are the 3 major accomplishments of the Roman Emperor Tiberius.

Tiberius Was Responsible For Several Large Scale Building Projects Around Rome

One of the major accomplishments of Tiberius during his reign as the second Emperor of Rome was starting several large scale building projects.

Tiberius was known for his love of architecture and seclusion. To the average Roman person it would have been rare to see the Emperor as he would either be in the imperial palace in Rome or in his private retreat Villa Jovis near modern day Capri.

This Villa Jovis was the home of Tiberius and his seat of power after 27 AD. It was a massive complex consisting of several terraces and nearly 8 levels of lavish Roman architecture. While the ruins of this villa are all that is left modern computer replications depict a mansion overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.

Modern historians depict this mansion as being a marvel and testament to the masonry of the early Roman Empire.

However, this was not the only massive building project that is attributed to Tiberius. Roman historians such as Cassius Dio attribute the reconstruction of the massive Theater of Pompey to Tiberius as well.

This massive theater would have been able to seat thousands of Romans and was used by the Roman Senate for their meetings. On the walls of the theater would have been elaborate murals and paintings depicting the grandeur of Rome’s mythological founding.

As such one of the main accomplishments of the Roman Emperor Tiberius was his several large scale building projects around Rome.

During His Reign Tiberius Would Build Up Rome’s Economy And Fortify Its Borders

One of the main accomplishments of the Roman Emperor Tiberius was to stop wars of aggression and instead start to focus upon building up Rome’s internal domestic structure.

This was Rome’s central economy and its fortifications.

Tiberius was known to be an efficient manager of state affairs. He would spend nearly nothing and as such slowly start to accumulate wealth in the imperial coffers.

The Roman historian Tacitus depicts Tiberius as a cruel and gloomy man. Modern historians now know that this was far from the truth. While Tiberius was gloomy and did retreat to his seaside villa to let the Empire run in his stead he was a master of preserving and growing wealth.

This was because Tiberius’s use of diplomacy to keep Rome out of unnecessary conflicts ended up saving Rome 3 billion sesterces.

This was the secret of Tiberius. He would carefully ally and manipulate the ambitious rulers of warring states on Rome’s borders. This would keep him and Rome out of direct military conflict.

While this was going on Tiberius would fortify the border with several fortresses and slowly start to scale back out of interfering with politics. This created a situation where Rome’s border allies would fight instead of Rome while Rome was building up its fortifications.

Because there were no direct military conflicts Rome was free to grow its economy. Upon the death of Tiberius this would explain why Rome was so economically powerful under the Emperor Caligula.

As such one of the major accomplishments of the Roman Emperor Tiberius was his focus upon Rome’s economy and its border fortifications.

Tiberius Restrained Imperial Cult Worship And Created The Imperial Priesthood Sodales Augustales

One of the major accomplishments of the Roman Emperor Tiberius was his restraining of Imperial Cult Worship and the formalization of the Imperial Priesthood of the Sodales Augustales.

Under the reign of Augustus the Imperial Cult would begin to form. This cult however was unrestrained and had no formal hierarchy or role within Roman society.

Tiberius fixed this. He refused to be worshiped as a deity by the cult but promoted its practice of worshiping the previous Roman Emperor Augustus. In order to do this however Tiberius would have to first formalize the worship process.

This was done by allowing the worship of the Roman Imperial Cult in only one temple in the far eastern province of Asia. All other temples were not allowed to worship the Imperial Cult until after the death of Tiberius.

Further, in order to worship the Imperial Cult a person had to become a priest. The act of becoming an “Augustales” was simple, you had to have money or be influential.

As such the Roman Imperial cult became a networking agency for influential Romans. This imperial cult would spread across the Roman Empire after the death of Tiberius and help with the Romanization process in the other provinces. Historians have examples of the Imperial Cult helping to Romanize Hispania for example.

As such one of the major accomplishments of the Roman Emperor Tiberius was that he helped to formalize and create the official Imperial Roman Cult. This cult would help spread Roman influence across the ancient world.

Conclusion

There you have it; an entire article dedicated to the 3 major accomplishments of the Roman Emperor Tiberius.

Emperor Tiberius is a hotly contested topic for ancient historians today. This is because he was seen as an awful emperor for much of history due to letting his Praetorian prefect Sejanus control the Empire in his stead. However, recent evidence has indicated that he was actually a pretty good emperor who set Rome up to dramatically expand over the coming century.

Here at The History Ace I strive to publish the best history articles on the internet. If you enjoyed this article consider subscribing to the free newsletter and sharing around the internet.

Further, you can check out some of the other articles below.

Sincerely,

Nick