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How do Suetonius and Tacitus describe him?
- Suetonius says that Germanicus was of "outstanding physical and moral excellence"
- Whilst tacitus maintains that had he lived "he would have equalled Alexander in military renown"
What is the problem with tacitus' depiction of Germanicus
- Tacitus' praise of Germanicus is not substantiated by a close reading of the annals as his actions actually show a great deal of irresponsibility
- Tactitus' motive in describing him in such a favourable light was to blacken the character of Tiberius by contrast
- Also his portrayal of Germanicus may be reflecting the popular legend of him that had grown up around him
Germanicus' activities across the rhine
- Germanicus was in charge of the rhine frontier and he lead his troops across it, perhaps thinking it a way to calm recent disputes, but he didn't have permission from Tiberius and it was against Augustus' military policy
- He had 3 successive campaigns (14,15,16) but they were not major successes, although he did regain varus' lost legions
What happened when Germanicus returned to rome
He was given a triumph in AD17, given maius imperium over the eastern provinces and granted a 2nd consulship with Tiberius in AD 18
Why did Tiberius recall Germanicus from Rome
- Tiberius was being local and rational as to allow him to continue there would have meant disregarding augustan policy
- Tiberius also preferred furthering diplomatic relations by diplomacy, not by force
- However, Tactitus maintains that it was because he was jealous
What does Tacitus tell us about Germanicus' triumph
Says that Tiberius distributed 300 sesterces a head to the population in Germanicus' name, "but people did not believe his affection was sincere"
What were the consequences of Germanicus' death
- Piso was trialed for the murder bur committed suicide before a verdict could be reached
- Made Drusus the likely heir
- Made Agrippina resent Tiberius which made him isolated and more reliant on Sejanus
What did Drusus do after Germanicus' death
- Drusus was now the likely heir
- He returned to rome in AD 20 and was entrusted with the guardianship of Germanicus' sons in an attempt to offer stability for the future
How do we know that Germanicus was popular
Shown by the honours bestowed on him posthumously such as inscriptions and triumphal arches
Disregarding Tacitus' opinion, why might Tiberius have sent Germanicus to sort out the east
- Tiberius was just following Augustan precedent
- Germanicus needed to familiarise himself with leading and diplomacy
- But was also aware that Germanicus would be seeking personal glory, hence why he sent piso to assist and keep an eye on him
What events show that Tiberius was right in thinking that Germanicus needed guidance
- When in the east he breached protocol a number of times
- He flouted the imperial edict regarding egypt
- Released grain from public granaries without permission
Why was Germanicus sent to the east
- Sent on a diplomatic mission to install a pro roman on the Armenian throne
- But Tactitus says that Tiberius "decided to find honourable excuses for the young man's elimination"
- "The eastern troubles, he said, could only be put right by the wisdom of Germanicus "
What was piso doing in the east
- Tiberius arranged for him to take over the province of Syria and to assist and keep an eye on Germanicus
- However Tiberius made a misjudgement and Piso's conduct was not what he wished it to be as he criticised Germanicus at every turn
When was Germanicus born
c16BCE to Drusus and Antonia
Who was his wife
Agrippina (Augustus' granddaughter) with whom he had 9 children
What does Suetonius say about Germanicus and Tiberius' relationship
Says that Tiberius had no paternal feelings for Germanicus
When did Tiberius adopt him
He was forced to adopt him in AD4
How did his bad relationship with Germanicus decrease Tiberius' popularity
- Throughout his principate an atmosphere of suspicion and conflict blighted relations between the princeps and Germanicus
- This made people suspicious of Tiberius and decreased his popularity
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