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International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

ti-be'-ri-us (Tiberios):

1. Name and Parentage:

The 2nd Roman emperor; full name Tiberius Claudius Nero, and official name as emperor Tiberius Caesar Augustus; born November 16, 42 B.C. His father-of the same name-had been an officer under Julius Caesar and had later joined Antony against Octavian (Augustus). His mother was Livia, who became the 3rd wife of Augustus; thus Tiberius was a stepson of Augustus.

2. Early Life and Relation to Augustus:

Much of his early life was spent in successful campaigning. Although the ablest of the possible heirs of Augustus, Tiberius was subjected to many an indignity, Augustus accepting him as his successor only when every other hope failed. When Julia, daughter of Augustus, became a widow for the second time (12 B.C.), Tiberius was obliged to marry her (11 B.C.) in order to become protector of the future emperors. For this purpose he was compelled to divorce his wife, Vipsania Agrippina, who had borne him a son, Drusus. Julia brought Tiberius nothing but shame, and for her immorality was banished by her father (2 B.C.). Tiberius was consul in 12 B.C., and received the proconsular authority, 9 B.C. He carried on successful wars in Pannonia, Dalmatia, Armenia and Germany. He retired in disgust to voluntary exile at Rhodes where he spent several years in study. In 2 A.D., he returned to Rome, and lived there in retirement, 2-4 A.D. On June 27, 4 A.D., Tiberius and Agrippa Postumus were adopted by Augustus. From this date on Tiberius came more and more into prominence, receiving the tribunician power for 10 years.

3. Reign:

In 13 A.D. (or according to Mommsen 11 A.D.) Tiberius was by a special law raised to the co-regency. Augustus died August 19, 14 A.D., and Tiberius succeeded. A mutiny in the Rhine legions was suppressed by Germanicus. The principal events of his reign (see also below) were the campaigns of Germanicus and Drusus, the withdrawal of the Romans to the Rhine, the settlement of the Armenian question, the rise and fall of Sejanus, the submission of Parthia. In 26 A.D., Tiberius retired to Capreae, where rumor attributed to him every excess of debauchery. On March 16, 37 A.D., Tiberius died at Misenum and was succeeded by Caius.

4. Administration:

On the whole, Tiberius followed the conservative policy of Augustus and maintained the "diarchy." But he approached nearer to monarchy by receiving supreme power for an indefinite period. He went beyond Augustus in practically excluding the people from government by transferring the right of election from the comitia of the people to the senate, leaving to the people the right merely to acclaim the nominees of the senate, and further by imposing laws upon the people without their counsel or discussion. He established a permanent praetorian camp at Rome-a fact of great importance in later Roman history. The administration of Tiberius was that of a wise, intelligent statesman with a strong sense of duty. The civil service was improved, and officers were kept longer at their posts to secure efficiency. Taxes were light on account of his economy. Public security increased. He paid attention to the administration of justice and humane laws were placed on the statute-book.

5. Character:

Though Tiberius was unpopular, he left the empire in a state of prosperity and peace. Of his character the most opposite views are held. His fame has suffered especially from his suspecting nature, which extended the law of majestas to offenses against his person and encouraged delation, which made the latter part of his reign one of terror. The tyranny of Sejanus, too, has been laid upon his shoulders, and he has been accused of the wildest excesses in his retreat at Capreae-a charge which seems to be refuted by the fact that no interruption to his wise administration took place. His character has been blackened most by Tacitus and Suetonius. But on nearer criticism Tiberius's character will appear in better light. No doubt, toward the close of his reign he degenerated, but his cruelties affected only the upper classes. He was called a tyrant and was refused deification after death, and Augustus was said to have prophesied "Alas for the Roman people who shall be ground under such slow jaws." Tiberius was stern and taciturn, critical with himself and, soured by his own disappointments, was suspicious of others. Pliny the Elder calls him "the gloomiest of men." Much of his unpopularity was due to his inscrutability, to the fact that people could not understand him or penetrate into the mystery of his motives. He rarely took counsel with anyone. His life was frugal and modest-a rebuke to the contemporary dissipation. He felt contempt for the inanities of court life and was supremely indifferent to public opinion, but actuated by a strong sense of duty.

6. Tiberius and the New Testament:

The reign of Tiberius is memorable as that in which fell our Lord's public ministry, death and resurrection. It also witnessed the preaching of John the Baptist (Luke 3:1), the conversion of Paul and perhaps his first preaching, the martyrdom of Stephen and the first Christian persecution (by the Jews). Tiberius is mentioned by name only once in the New Testament (Luke 3:1): "the 15th year of the reign (hegemonia) of Tiberius." The question is, From what date is this to be reckoned-the date of Tiberius's co-regency, 13 (or 11) A.D., or from his accession, 14 A.D.? He is the "Caesar" mentioned in the Gospels in connection with Jesus' public ministry (Mark 12:14 and parallel's; John 19:12, 15). Herod Antipas built Tiberias in honor of Tiberius (Josephus, Ant, XVIII, ii-iii). It is unlikely that Tiberius ever heard anything about Christianity; it had not risen as yet into prominence. Early Christian writers wished to represent Tiberius, if not friendly to the new faith, at least as condemning the action of Pilate. According to one apocryphal tradition, Tiberius actually summoned Pilate to Rome to answer for crucifying Jesus. It is true that Pilate was sent to Rome by the governor of Syria to answer to a charge of unjustifiable cruelty, but Tiberius died before Elate reached Rome.

7. Tiberius and the Jews:

Under Tiberius Palestine was governed by Roman procurators. Toward the Jews in Italy, Tiberius showed some intolerance. In 19 A.D. all the Jews were expelled from Rome according to Josephus (Ant., XVIII, iii, 5), from Italy according to Tacitus (Ann. ii.85), and 4,000 Jewish freedmen were deported to Sardinia to reduce bands of brigands. Philo attributes this severity to Sejanus, and says that after Sejanus' fall Tiberius, recognizing that the Jews had been persecuted without cause, gave orders that officials should not annoy them or disturb their rites. They were therefore probably allowed to return to Rome (see Schurer, III, 60 f, 4th edition).


(a) Ancient literature, as modern, is divided on its estimate of Tiberius; Tacitus Annals i-vi; Dio Cassius Rom. Hist. xivi-xivii, and Suetonius Tib. painting him in the darkest colors, while Velleius Paterculus II gives the other side.

(b) Of modern literature it is enough to cite on opposite sides: J. C. Tarver, Tiberius the Tyrant, 1902; Ihne, Zur Ehrenrettung des K. Tib., 1892, and the moderate estimate of Merivale, Romans under the Empire.

S. Angus

5086. Tiberios -- Tiberius, a Roman emperor
... Tiberius, a Roman emperor. Part of Speech: Noun, Masculine Transliteration: Tiberios
Phonetic Spelling: (tib-er'-ee-os) Short Definition: Tiberius Definition ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/5086.htm - 6k

2804. Klaudios -- Claudius, the name of an Emperor, also an army ...
... Klaudios Phonetic Spelling: (klow'-dee-os) Short Definition: Claudius Definition:
(a) Claudius, the fourth of the Roman Emperors, Tiberius Claudius Caesar ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/2804.htm - 6k


How Tiberius was Affected when Informed by Pilate Concerning ...
... Book II. Chapter II."How Tiberius was affected when informed by Pilate
concerning Christ. 1. And when the wonderful resurrection ...
/.../pamphilius/church history/chapter ii how tiberius was affected.htm

In the Fifteenth Year of Tiberius Cæsar and under the Pontificate ...
/.../the life and times of jesus the messiah/chapter xi in the fifteenth.htm

After the Death of Tiberius, Caius Appointed Agrippa King of the ...
... Book II. Chapter IV."After the Death of Tiberius, Caius appointed Agrippa King
of the Jews, having punished Herod with Perpetual Exile. ...
/.../pamphilius/church history/chapter iv after the death of.htm

The Death of Salome. The Cities which Herod and Philip Built. ...
... Pilate Occasions Disturbances. Tiberius Puts Agrippa Into Bonds But Caius Frees
Him From Them, And Makes Him King. Herod Antipas Is Banished. ...
/.../chapter 9 the death of.htm

In the Latter Days of the Emperor Tiberius, in the Consulship of ...
... Chap. II. In the latter days of the Emperor Tiberius, in the consulship
of Ruberius Geminus and� In the latter days of the Emperor ...
/.../of the manner in which the persecutors died/chap ii in the latter.htm

Of the Navigation of King Agrippa to Rome, to Tiberius Caesar; and ...
... CHAPTER 6. Of The Navigation Of King Agrippa To Rome, To Tiberius Caesar; And Now
Upon His Being Accused By His Own Freed-Man, He Was Bound; How Also He, Was ...
/.../josephus/the antiquities of the jews/chapter 6 of the navigation.htm

Chronology of the Life of Christ
... baptism. Now, as Luke mentions, "the word of God came to John" in the fifteenth
year of the authority [76] of Tiberius Caesar. The ...
/.../ramsay/was christ born in bethlehem/chapter 10 chronology of the.htm

From the Departure of Marath Mary from the World, and the Birth ...
... letters came from Abgar, the king of the city of Edessa, to Sabina the procurator
[2954] who had been appointed by Tiberius the emperor, and as far as the ...
//christianbookshelf.org/unknown/the decretals/vi from the departure of.htm

Preaching of the Apostle Thaddæus at Edessa; Copy of Five Letters ...
... Abgar was pleased to write to the Emperor Tiberius a letter in these words:". Abgar's
letter to Tiberius. ... Answer from Tiberius to Abgar's letter. ...
/...//christianbookshelf.org/unknown/the decretals/viii preaching of the apostle.htm

The Tradition of the Church Prior to that of the Heresies.
... For the teaching of our Lord at His advent, beginning with Augustus and Tiberius,
was completed in the middle of the times of Tiberius. [3689]. ...
/.../clement/the stromata or miscellanies/chapter xvii the tradition of the.htm

Hitchcock's Bible Names Dictionary

the son of Tiber

Smith's Bible Dictionary

(in full, Tiberius Claudius Nero), the second Roman emperor, successor of Augustus, who began to reign A.D. 14 and reigned until A.D. 37. He was the son of Tiberius Claudius Nero and Livia, and hence a stepson of Augustus. He was born at Rome on the 18th of November, B.C. 45. He became emperor in his fifty-fifth year, after having distinguished himself as a commander in various wars, and having evinced talents of a high order as an orator and an administrator of civil affairs. He even gained the reputation of possessing the sterner virtues of the Roman character, and was regarded as entirely worthy of the imperial honors to which his birth and supposed personal merits at length opened the way. Yet, on being raised to the supreme power, he suddenly became, or showed himself to be a very different man. His subsequent life was one of inactivity, sloth and self-indulgence. He was despotic in his government, cruel and vindictive in his disposition. He died A.D. 37, at the age of 78, after a reign of twenty-three years. Our Saviour was put to death in the reign of Tiberius.

ATS Bible Dictionary

Claudius Drusus Nero, the second emperor of Rome, was the son of Livia, and stepson of Augustus; and being adopted by that emperor, he succeeded to his throne, A. D. 14. He was at first moderate and just, but soon became infamous for his vices and crimes, and died A. D. 37, after a cruel reign of twenty-two and a half years. It was in the fifteenth year of his reign that John the Baptist commenced his ministry; and the crucifixion of Jesus took place in the third or fourth year after, Luke 3:1. This emperor is several times casually mentioned under the title of Caesar, Luke 20:22-25; 23:2; John 19:12. His subjects were commanded to pay divine worship to his images.

Easton's Bible Dictionary
Tiberius Caesar

I.e., as known in Roman history, Tiberius Claudius Nero, only mentioned in Luke 3:1. He was the stepson of Augustus, whom he succeeded on the throne, A.D. 14. He was noted for his vicious and infamous life. In the fifteenth year of his reign John the Baptist entered on his public ministry, and under him also our Lord taught and suffered. He died A.D. 37. He is frequently referred to simply as "Caesar" (Matthew 22:17, 21; Mark 12:14, 16, 17; Luke 20:22, 24, 25; 23:2; John 19:12, 15).

Tiberius (1 Occurrence)
... Easton's Bible Dictionary Tiberius Caesar. Ie, as known in Roman history ... 19:12,
15). Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia. TIBERIUS. ti-be'-ri ...
/t/tiberius.htm - 15k

Caesar (25 Occurrences)
... The Caesars referred to in the New Testament are Augustus (Luke 2:1), Tiberius
(3:1; 20:22), Claudius (Acts 11:28), and Nero (Acts 25:8; Philippians 4:22). ...
/c/caesar.htm - 16k

Aretas (1 Occurrence)
... Aretas, taking advantage of the complications of the times on account of the death
of the Emperor Tiberius (AD 37), took possession of Damascus (2 Corinthians ...
/a/aretas.htm - 11k

Lysanias (1 Occurrence)
... li-sa'-ni-as (Lusanias): Mentioned in Luke 3:1 as tetrarch of Abilene in the 15th
year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, and thus fixing the date of the ...
/l/lysanias.htm - 7k

Tiber'i-us (1 Occurrence)
Tiber'i-us. Tiberius, Tiber'i-us. Tibhath . Multi-Version Concordance
Tiber'i-us (1 Occurrence). ... Tiberius, Tiber'i-us. Tibhath . Reference Bible.
/t/tiber'i-us.htm - 6k

Pontius (4 Occurrences)
... punishments inflicted by Nero upon the Christians, tells us that Christ, from whom
the name "Christian" was derived, was put to death when Tiberius was emperor ...
/p/pontius.htm - 36k

... Philip died after reigning 37 years, in the 20th year of Tiberius-August 19,
786/33-787/34 (Ant., XVIII, iv, 6). There is also a coin of Philip from his 37th ...
/c/chronology.htm - 74k

Pilate (60 Occurrences)
... punishments inflicted by Nero upon the Christians, tells us that Christ, from whom
the name "Christian" was derived, was put to death when Tiberius was emperor ...
/p/pilate.htm - 53k

... Christus, the founder of that name, was put to death as a criminal by Pontius Pilate,
procurator of Judea, in the reign of Tiberius; but the pernicious ...
/n/nero.htm - 41k

Tarsus (5 Occurrences)
... of Tarsus were Nestor, a representative of the Academy, and tutor of Marcellus,
Augustus' nephew and destined successor, and of Tiberius, Plutiades and Diogenes ...
/t/tarsus.htm - 30k

Bible Concordance
Tiberius (1 Occurrence)

Luke 3:1 Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene,



Tiberius Caesar: An Important Emperor of Rome

Related Terms

Caesar (25 Occurrences)

Aretas (1 Occurrence)

Lysanias (1 Occurrence)

Tiber'i-us (1 Occurrence)

Pontius (4 Occurrences)


Pilate (60 Occurrences)


Tarsus (5 Occurrences)

Rome (12 Occurrences)

Reign (468 Occurrences)

Judea (50 Occurrences)

Libertines (1 Occurrence)

Lysanius (1 Occurrence)

Lysa'ni-as (1 Occurrence)

Gamaliel (7 Occurrences)

Gallio (3 Occurrences)

Illyricum (1 Occurrence)

Iturea (1 Occurrence)

Iturae'a (1 Occurrence)

Ituraea (1 Occurrence)

Fifteenth (18 Occurrences)

Tiber'i-as (2 Occurrences)

Tiberias (3 Occurrences)

Traconitis (1 Occurrence)

Tetrarch (5 Occurrences)

Trachoni'tis (1 Occurrence)


Dor (7 Occurrences)

Philadelphia (2 Occurrences)

Praetorian (2 Occurrences)

Pudens (1 Occurrence)

Cesar (20 Occurrences)


Claudia (1 Occurrence)

Claudius (3 Occurrences)

Caiaphas (9 Occurrences)

Agabus (2 Occurrences)

Abile'ne (1 Occurrence)

Abilene (1 Occurrence)

Augustus (4 Occurrences)

Smyrna (2 Occurrences)

Sardis (3 Occurrences)

Rule (291 Occurrences)



Region (96 Occurrences)

New (1850 Occurrences)

Trachonitis (1 Occurrence)

Judaea (45 Occurrences)

Sidon (35 Occurrences)

Money (284 Occurrences)

Herod (45 Occurrences)

Sadducees (14 Occurrences)

Guard (185 Occurrences)

Macedonia (23 Occurrences)

Dispersion (4 Occurrences)

Governor (78 Occurrences)

Brother (402 Occurrences)

Empire (8 Occurrences)

Philip (37 Occurrences)

Ruler (329 Occurrences)

John (154 Occurrences)

Damascus (58 Occurrences)

Persecution (22 Occurrences)

Roman (26 Occurrences)

Testament (13 Occurrences)


Baptist (16 Occurrences)

Government (20 Occurrences)

Simon (75 Occurrences)

Galilee (73 Occurrences)

Jesus (10891 Occurrences)

Christ (573 Occurrences)

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