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Snippet of Ridiculous History: Emperor Tiberius Was Debauched, Deranged and Probably Not Fun At Parties

Last Played: February 19, 2021
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Ridiculous History uncovers the past of Roman Emperor Tiberius, whose progressive reign turned sour and dark after the death of his son. Tiberius became increasingly paranoid during his reign, murdering anyone who he thought was a threat to him. Emperor Tiberius also went to an island for a short time during his reign, becoming a hermit and acquiring a taste for young boys and girls.
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um, as an avenue, they have potential to be seditious. My last question with that one is did the astrologers see it coming? Is that rude to ask? I don't think they saw it coming. I highly doubt it myself then. And so then, you know, he was seen as being kind of progressive, you know, in terms of some of the laws and the policies that he enacted on seemed to be kind of helping the nation. It was Rome, the empire. That's the word. Helping strengthen their navy. Um, he stopped gladiator events, which obviously were hugely popular, and I'm sure that didn't go over particularly well. But as we know, I mean, it's absolutely barbaric situation where slaves and, you know, prisoners were forced to fight to the death for the amusement of of the people on also mainly the the hierarchy. Andi, he even, like, issued this idea of having a month named after him. So he seemed to have a little bit of humility. He was not into extravagance and all the trappings of the office so started off kind of strong, right? Yeah. Yeah, also good. I will say objectively. Good call on stopping gladiatorial things that there were animals that were hunted to the state of critical endangerment. I'm just pro animals. Anti gladiators, I guess. Yeah, this this seems set like he's clearly authoritarians. He's clearly trying to stop what? He sees his hedonism. Right. Uh, this whole changes. In 80 23 his beloved son Drusus, dies. According to contemporary reports and reports that you know were written long after his reign, this is seen as his his tipping point. Uh, there's ah source called Cassius Dio, who says Tiberius now became increasingly paranoid and bloodthirsty and cruel, and he was showing some signs of what we would call cognitive dissonance today. He would torture slaves to death, and then he would mourn people who died after he ordered their deaths. But then he would resent the people who he didn't purge. Uh, this like, imagine what a minefield that is, because it sounds like he's having some dithering. Some indecision. He's like, Man, I should have killed case. Er, number two. Why are you alive? Number one? I knew it was you. You've committed some weird crime. Uh, this is clearly gonna have some blowback. He becomes incredibly unpopular with the Senate were the people he has to please and with the people, like the actual people of the Roman Empire. Absolutely. I mean, because he's definitely going after some wealthy landholders and people that are very influential with members of the Senate. Um, he's just doling out all of these really harsh punishments and confiscating people's property. And then he just kind of ups and leaves in 26 ce. He's like peace out. You know, I'm gone and he takes off to Capri. It reminds me of that part in the sword in the Stone where Merlin's like, blow me to Bermuda, you know? And then he's out and he's gone and he just pieces out to Bermuda and then kind of comes back at the end to sort of, like, set things right or whatever, or at least let Arthur come into his own that that is not what happens with Tiberius. So he goes to the island of Capri, which is beautiful place. It's still a very swanky destination for the rich and powerful today, but he completely became like this hermit, and he assigned control Thio Lucius, alias staginess, who is the captain of his Praetorian guard on. He gave him this name. So she a slab or, um, which means partner of my labors. Which I guess it's sort of like the idea of what would you call that? Ben? Like, um, what do you call someone that kind of rules in? Well, someone else's. Maybe not doing well. Or like under the weather, like health wise. Yeah. Power behind the throne. You could also say, um, Regent s Region is perfect. Yes, the one I was trying to think of. Eso Tiberias. When he does this, he seems to completely withdraw. I like that. You bring up the phrase hermit. He is Rick loose. He's in the island of Capri, Bay of Naples. But this is where it gets weird. So younger listeners, family listeners be warned this might not be appropriate for everybody, according to a source named Antonius, who is also, um, kind of like a teams kind of questionable coverage. Yeah, Tiberius went nuts in the worst way and became an example of a lot of the things that he originally fought against. Here is an excerpt from, say, Tony as's life of Tiberius, Um, and all the he's referred to Tiberius here. On retiring to Capri, he devised the Pleasants for his secret orgies, teams of Juan tins of both sexes selected as experts and deviant intercourse. And here's my favorite part, dubbed analyst. I first read that analysts, and now I realize that is not what it means. It all that's such a were like nine years old. That's such a weird word, s so they said they copulate id before him in triple unions to excite his flagging passions. It's there's a long quote. You wanna help out with this part? Yeah, it's better. And now this is referring to by the way he built all these villas on. The most elaborate of them was called Villa Joe vis, which I believe translates to the Villa of Jupiter, which was, um, absurdly ostentatious, palatial kind of estate on the island of Capris. Northeast corner. It goes on to say in referring to the bedrooms of Villa Joe vis. Uh, they were furnished with the most salaciousness paintings and sculptures, as well as with an erotic library in case a performer should need an illustration of what was required. Then, in capris, woods and groves, he arranged a number of nooks of vinegary where boys and girls got up as pans and nips solicited outside bowers and grottoes, people openly called this the old goats garden punning on the island's name because of the Romans referred Thio Capri as Goat Island. It's so so, so gross because all right, well, our path is set. Let's keep going. You know, of course, we know that pan The Seder, uh, is the Greek god with the bottom half of a goat. And, uh, I don't know. He's got the hind quarters of a goat and his horns, and these were thought to be, you know, symbolically they were representation of physical desire of sexual passion. And so this is something that story asses definitely leveraging to make Tiberius seem like, ah, super horny old man. But this is this one of the weirdest one. So he completely is not doing his job is Emperor. Instead, according according to this story, he is getting so weird and specific with his pursuits that that he's doing things that probably wouldn't occur to most people in the world at the time. Who else would have thought of training Children, little boys to act as nipping minnows or what he called Tiddler is, I believe, to chase him when he went swimming. Yeah, that's gross. It's It's beyond gross. And just to just to take it one step further. Oh, yeah, They were nipping minnows because he would be swimming. I'm imagining in the nude, and they would swim after him nibbling between his legs s. Oh, yeah. No one from the court was allowed to visit him on Capri. He was in complete quarantine, you know, self imposed with this harem of of young boys and women and girls and just having a good old time. There were even, you know, local fishermen who were in that region. Uh, they were not allowed to fish in the waters of Capri. If they were found to be doing that, they would have held to pay. Yeah, and he turned the place into his own deranged, uh, pleasure island. So how did he get away with this for so long? He was distracting the Senate, which is something a lot of Greek and Roman emperors. Did you know the whole bread and circuses vibes? He was distracting the public by his clearly deteriorating mental state. his sexual deviancy by building statues all over the city and distributing all this propaganda. Right? And he was so busy, though with his weird, fetishistic stuff that he did not notice the same person who was trying to keep in power was, of course, plotting against him. And then when he figured out that treason was in the air, you know, he presumably put some clothes on, right? Uh, maybe dust dried himself off, took off whatever weird costume he had on. And he said, I've got to go to Rome, get you to Rome. And he did that in 80 31. He summoned see Gina's, who is his? His buddy, up until this point to a Senate meeting immediately condemned him to death, accused him of treason. And it's not like they tried him or anything. They just the accusation alone was all it took. Aunt had him executed along with anyone that was associated with him or his plot toe over Take Tiberius, a za ruler. And then, I mean, that wasn't enough. He you know, that paranoia that we described earlier This is really coming into play because he goes on an absolute murder frenzy on did Tacitus, who's another historian, describes it as such. This is while executions were now a stimulus to his fury and he ordered the death of all who were lying in prison under.
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