The Caesars: Might and Madness Head of Caesar statue in red and orange colors


Four Thursdays • 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. • Mackey Auditorium

February 8 • March 8, 22 • April 12

Instructor: Judge Luis Cardenas         Coordinator: Len Leventhal

Augustus: 30 B.C. to 14 A.D.

Feb 8 and March 8

Augustus restored peace, order and prosperity to the Roman world wracked by decades of civil war. He created a new political constitution in the guise of protecting the old republican system. In reality, it was the beginning of imperial rule destined to last 1500 years. We take an in-depth look at who he was and the complicated nature of his family. In addition to building a palace for himself and future emperors, he embarked on adorning Rome with numerous architectural achievements. Never a great military leader, he relied on competent generals and admirals to strengthen and protect the empire. In 9 A.D., a catastrophic reversal occurred in the Teutoburg Forest of Germany, changing the course of history and the relationship of the Roman government with the barbarian nations to the north. After 44 years as the first emperor of the Roman Empire, he died in bed surrounded by family.

Tiberius: 14 A.D. to 37 A.D.

March 22 and April 12

By the time Augustus passed away, there were only a few Julian-Claudian heirs to the throne. Whether by natural attrition or by the hand of Livia, only her son Tiberius remained as the candidate to be Caesar. Tiberius became the second emperor of the Roman Empire. Sadly, his reputation as grouchy and mean-spirited tarnished his legacy. Competent and hard-working, he proved to be an able and accomplished administrator of the vast empire. But his relationship with the senate was difficult due to his prickly personality. Lacking the charm and charisma of Augustus, he eventually exiled himself to Capri, off the coast of Italy, and spent the last 11 years of his reign in seclusion. The infamous Sejanus, Praetorian Prefect, attempted to mount a coup against Tiberius that almost succeeded. Tiberius lived a long life, passing away in the year 37 A.D. As a dying act of vengeance against the Roman people, he designated Caligula as his heir.