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Tiberius and the Senate

Awkward relationship
Lacked authority, Julian blood, common charm resulting in senate seeing him as suspicious
and mysterious
Poor communication
Tiberius early encounters with the senate were disastrous for their relationship, a spirit of
fear, suspicion and hostility was thus early implanted in their dealings - Shotter

Positive
Attempted to co rule
Upheld their traditional rights and dignity
Wanted the senate to be an independent body
o Extended duties of senate
o Senate became court of treason
o Senate became the only legislative body after AD14
o Tried to please senate by transferring election of magistrates from Comitia to Senate
Hoped they would have loved him for it
Senate would now officially decide all positions and would not have to
spend money buying votes of the people.
Genuinely sought senates aid and advice.
o Asking for advice in every matter that concerned national revenue Tacitus
Encouraged freedom of discussions Tacitus
Believed entire senate had a right to propose their view
Treated senate with great respect
o Stood up when greeting senate
o Presented himself on an equal level
o Attended meetings and debates like any ordinary senator
o Tiberius made a habit of always allowing the consuls initiative, as though the
republic still existed Tacitus.
o Never overrode the electoral system
Refused to have temple built in his honour
Refused titles such as Pater Patriae and Imperator so not to offend
Discouraged flattery
Assisted individuals to meet the financial qualifications of the senatorial group
Sparing in the number of men admitted into Senate
Abolished the Consilium of Augustus- instead established a council of friends and group of
20 men chosen from the senate to advise him on administrative matters.
Appointed men based on merit.
Eliminated the small group in the senate which discussed matters before being brought to
the senate as a whole.
o Believed this was in their favour but actually decreased the efficiency of the senate
Most important business was transacted in the Senate








Negative
Attitude of the senate was one of increasing servility and subservience
the Tiberian senate usually behaved like a subservient but malevolent rubber stamp.
Salmon
though at first the senate showed some real independence, it soon realised the risk of
encroaching too far. Scullard
o Evident in the appointment of the African General
Tiberius could not get a decision from the senate who were waiting for
Tiberius opinion
Tiberius states oh men fit to be slaves.
As reign progressed, Tiberius became increasing frustrated with the senate.
Disliked by the senators as they thought him unpredictable and unreasonable
Senate had lost the habit of governing after Augustus rule. All they received was work not
power. Unable to function independently anymore.
Tiberius had tried and failed, and his failure was made irremediable by his retirement to
Capraea Scullard
Retired to the island due to his dislike of the senate and their inability to
Left the government in the hands of Sejanus the praetorian prefect as he retired to Capraea.

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