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Lucius Aelius Sejanus
Sejanus
(June 3, 20 BC – October 18, AD 31), commonly known as Sejanus
Sejanus
(/sɪˈdʒeɪnəs/),[1] was an ambitious soldier, friend and confidant of the Roman Emperor
Roman Emperor
Tiberius. An equestrian by birth, Sejanus
Sejanus
rose to power as prefect of the Roman imperial bodyguard, known as the Praetorian Guard, of which he was commander from AD 14 until his death in AD 31. While the Praetorian Guard
Praetorian Guard
was formally established under Emperor Augustus, Sejanus
Sejanus
introduced a number of reforms which saw the unit evolve beyond a mere bodyguard, into a powerful and influential branch of the government involved in public security, civil administration and ultimately political intercession; these changes would have a lasting impact on the course of the Principate. During the 20s, Sejanus
Sejanus
gradually accumulated power by consolidating his influence over Tiberius
Tiberius
and eliminating potential political opponents, including the emperor's son Drusus Julius
Julius
Caesar. When Tiberius
Tiberius
withdrew to Capri
Capri
in AD 26, Sejanus
Sejanus
was left in control of the administration of the empire. For a time the most influential and feared citizen of Rome, Sejanus
Sejanus
suddenly fell from power in AD 31, the year his career culminated with the consulship. Amidst suspicions of conspiracy against Tiberius, Sejanus
Sejanus
was arrested and executed, along with his followers.

Contents

1 Family 2 Rise to power

2.1 Praetorian prefect 2.2 Feud with Drusus 2.3 Consolidation of power

3 Downfall

3.1 Denunciation 3.2 Execution and aftermath

4 Legacy

4.1 Praetorian Guard 4.2 Historiography 4.3 Literary interpretations

5 Sources 6 References 7 Further reading 8 External links

Family[edit] Sejanus
Sejanus
was born in 20 BC at Volsinii, Etruria, into the family of Lucius Seius Strabo.[2][3] The Seii were Romans of the equestrian class (or knights), the lower of the two upper social classes of the Roman Republic
Roman Republic
and the early Roman Empire. Sejanus' grandfather maintained relations with senatorial families through his marriage with Terentia, a sister of the wife of Gaius Maecenas, who was one of Emperor Augustus' most powerful political allies.[3]:p. 76 Strabo married into equally illustrious families. He may have married a daughter of Quintus Aelius Tubero, allying himself with the more prestigious Aelian gens.[3]:p. 76 Lucius Seius Tubero, who became suffect consul in AD 18, was probably his son.[3]:p. 76 Strabo's last wife was Cosconia Gallita, sister of Servius Cornelius Lentulus Maluginensis (suffect consul in AD 10) and Publius Cornelius Lentulus Scipio (suffect consul in AD 2) and perhaps half-sister of Quintus Junius Blaesus (suffect consul in AD 10).[3]:p. 76 Sejanus
Sejanus
could have been a child of this marriage. He was later adopted into the Aelian gens by Gaius Aelius Gallus, and by Roman custom became known as Lucius Aelius Seianus or simply as Sejanus.[3] The adoptive family of Sejanus
Sejanus
counted two consuls among their ranks: Quintus Aelius Tubero (consul in 11 BC) and Sextus Aelius Catus (consul in AD 4), who was the father of Aelia Paetina, the second wife of the future Emperor Claudius. Sejanus' uncle, Junius Blaesus, distinguished himself as a military commander; he became proconsul of Africa in AD 21 and earned triumphal honors by crushing the rebellion of Tacfarinas.[4] According to the ancient historian Tacitus, Sejanus
Sejanus
was also a former favourite of the wealthy Marcus Gavius Apicius, whose daughter may have been Sejanus' first wife Apicata.[2] With Apicata, Sejanus
Sejanus
had two sons, Strabo and Capito Aelianus, and a daughter, Junilla.[5][3] Rise to power[edit] Praetorian prefect[edit] It is likely that Sejanus' father Strabo came to the attention of Augustus
Augustus
through his father's connection with Maecenas. Sometime after 2 BC,[6][better source needed] Strabo was appointed prefect of the Praetorian Guard, one of the two most powerful positions a Roman knight could attain in the Empire. This office he carried on dutifully and without incident until the death of Augustus
Augustus
in AD 14. Little is known about the life Sejanus
Sejanus
led prior to this date, but according to Tacitus, he accompanied Gaius Caesar, adopted son of Augustus, during his campaigns in Armenia in 1 BC.[2] Upon the accession of Tiberius
Tiberius
in AD 14, Sejanus
Sejanus
was appointed prefect of the Praetorian Guard
Praetorian Guard
as the colleague of his father Strabo, and began his rise to prominence. The Praetorian Guard
Praetorian Guard
was an elite unit of the Roman army
Roman army
formed by Augustus
Augustus
in 27 BC, with the specific function to serve as a bodyguard to the emperor and members of the imperial family.[7][better source needed] Much more than a guard however, the Praetorians also managed the day-to-day care of the city, such as general security and civil administration.[8][better source needed] Furthermore, their presence served as a constant reminder to the people and the Senate of the substantial armed force which served as the basis for the imperial power.[9][better source needed] Augustus
Augustus
was careful however to uphold the republican veneer of this regime, and only allowed nine cohorts to be formed (one fewer than in a normal Roman legion), which were inconspicuously scattered across various lodging houses in the city, and commanded by two prefects.[10][better source needed] When Strabo was assigned to the governorship of Egypt in AD 15, Sejanus
Sejanus
became the sole commander of the Praetorians and instigated reforms that helped shape the guard into a powerful tool of the principate.[11][12][better source needed] In AD 20 the scattered encampments inside the city were centralized into a single garrison just outside Rome[13][14] and the number of cohorts was increased from nine to twelve,[15][better source needed] one of which now held the daily guard at the palace. The practice of joint leadership between two prefects was abandoned, and Sejanus
Sejanus
himself appointed the centurions and tribunes.[13] With these changes in effect, Sejanus
Sejanus
now commanded the complete loyalty of a force of around 12,000 soldiers, all of which were at his immediate disposal. The facade of Augustus
Augustus
was no longer maintained, and Tiberius
Tiberius
openly displayed the strength of the guard at parades.[16] Feud with Drusus[edit]

Bust of Drusus the Younger (Drusus Julius
Julius
Caesar), son of Tiberius. In a conspiracy that involved his own wife Livilla, Drusus was poisoned in AD 23 by agents of Sejanus.

In his capacity of Praetorian prefect, Sejanus
Sejanus
quickly became a trusted advisor to Tiberius. By AD 23, he exerted a considerable influence over the decisions of the emperor, who referred to Sejanus as "Socius Laborum" (my partner in my toils).[13] By this time he had been raised to the rank of praetor, a position which was not normally granted to Romans of the equestrian class.[11] A statue had been erected in his honor in the Theatre of Pompey,[17] and in the Senate, his followers were advanced with public offices and governorships.[13] However this privileged position caused resentment among the senatorial class and the imperial family, in particular earning him the enmity of Tiberius' son Drusus Julius
Julius
Caesar. The history of Sejanus
Sejanus
and Drusus dated back to at least AD 15. That year a mutiny had broken out among legions posted in Pannonia
Pannonia
and Germania. While his adopted son Germanicus
Germanicus
restored order in Germania, Tiberius' biological son Drusus was sent to quell the uprising in Pannonia, accompanied by Sejanus
Sejanus
and two Praetorian cohorts.[18] In part due to what the soldiers believed to be bad omens, Drusus quickly managed to restore stability in the army, and publicly put the chief instigators to death. The camp was purged of mutineers by the Praetorians and the legions returned to the winter barracks.[19] Despite this success, the following years witnessed a growing animosity between Drusus and Sejanus. Since the accession of Tiberius, Drusus had been systematically groomed as the successor of his father, successfully commanding legions in Illyricum in AD 18,[20] and sharing the consulship with Tiberius
Tiberius
in AD 21.[21] In practice it was still Sejanus
Sejanus
who was the second man in the empire and he was ambitious to further expand his power. As early as AD 20, Sejanus
Sejanus
had sought to solidify his connection with the imperial family, by betrothing his daughter Junilla to the son of Claudius, Claudius
Claudius
Drusus.[22] At the time the girl was only 4 years old but the marriage was prevented, when the boy accidentally died a few days later of asphyxiation.[23] When this failed, it seems Sejanus
Sejanus
turned his attention toward eliminating Drusus. By AD 23 the enmity between the two men had reached a critical point. During an argument Drusus had struck the prefect with his fist,[5] and he openly lamented that "a stranger was invited to assist in the government while the emperor's son was alive".[24] With Tiberius
Tiberius
already in his sixties, there was a real possibility of Drusus succeeding his father in the near future. To secure his position, Sejanus
Sejanus
secretly plotted against Drusus and seduced his wife Livilla.[5] With her as an accomplice, Drusus was slowly poisoned and died of seemingly natural causes on September 13, AD 23.[25] Consolidation of power[edit]

Bust of Emperor Tiberius
Tiberius
(Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen). During the twenties Tiberius
Tiberius
became increasingly disillusioned with Roman politics, and eventually withdrew to the island of Capri, leaving the administration largely in the hands of Sejanus.

The loss of his son was a major blow to Tiberius, personally and politically. Over the years he had grown increasingly disillusioned with the position of princeps and by sharing the tribunician powers with Drusus in AD 22 had prepared to relent some of his responsibilities in favour of his son.[26] With these hopes now dashed, Tiberius
Tiberius
left his administration more than ever in the care of Sejanus
Sejanus
and looked toward the sons of Germanicus
Germanicus
( Nero
Nero
Caesar, Drusus Caesar and Caligula) as possible heirs.[25] Germanicus
Germanicus
had died in AD 19, in somewhat suspicious circumstances in Syria.[27] Following his death, his wife Agrippina the Elder
Agrippina the Elder
returned to Rome
Rome
with their six children and became increasingly involved with a group of senators who opposed the growing power of Sejanus. Her relations with Tiberius
Tiberius
became increasingly fraught, as she made it clear that she believed that he was responsible for the death of Germanicus.[28] The climate was further poisoned by the hatred that Tiberius' mother Livia Drusilla
Livia Drusilla
(the widow of Augustus) felt for her, since Agrippina's ambition, to be the mother of emperors and thus Rome's first woman, was an open secret.[29] To Sejanus, Agrippina's sons Nero
Nero
Caesar, Drusus Caesar
Drusus Caesar
and Caligula
Caligula
were a threat to his power.[29] Sejanus
Sejanus
again attempted to marry into the Julio-Claudian family. Having divorced Apicata two years earlier, he requested marriage with Drusus's widow Livilla
Livilla
in AD 25, possibly with an eye towards placing himself, as an adopted Julian, in the position of a potential successor.[30] The emperor denied this request, warning Sejanus
Sejanus
that he was in danger of overstepping his rank.[31] Alarmed by this sudden denigration, Sejanus
Sejanus
changed his plans and began to isolate Tiberius from Rome. By fueling his paranoia towards Agrippina and the Senate, he induced the emperor to withdraw to the countryside of Campania, which he did in AD 26, and finally to the island of Capri, where he lived until his death in AD 37.[32] Guarded by the Praetorians, Sejanus
Sejanus
easily controlled all information that passed between Tiberius and the capital.[33] Despite the withdrawal of Tiberius
Tiberius
from Rome's political scene, the presence of Livia seems to have checked Sejanus' overt power for a time. According to Tacitus, her death in AD 29 changed all that.[34] Sejanus
Sejanus
began a series of purge trials of senators and wealthy equestrians in the city, removing those capable of opposing his power as well as extending the imperial (and his own) treasury. Networks of spies and informers brought the victims to trial with false accusations of treason, and many chose suicide over the disgrace of being condemned and executed.[35] Among those who perished were Gaius Asinius Gallus, a prominent senator and opponent of Tiberius
Tiberius
who was linked to Agrippina's faction.[36] Agrippina and two of her sons, Nero and Drusus were arrested and exiled in AD 30, and later starved to death in suspicious circumstances.[37] Only Caligula, the last remaining son of Germanicus, managed to survive the purges of Sejanus, by moving to Capri
Capri
with Tiberius
Tiberius
in AD 31.[38] Downfall[edit] Denunciation[edit] In AD 31, despite his equestrian rank, Sejanus
Sejanus
shared the consulship with Tiberius
Tiberius
in absentia,[39] and finally became betrothed to Livilla. Tiberius
Tiberius
had not been seen in Rome
Rome
since AD 26 and senators and equestrians courted Sejanus's favour as if he were Emperor.[40] His birthday was publicly observed and statues were erected in his honour.[40] With most of the political opposition crushed, Sejanus felt his position was unassailable. The ancient historian Cassius Dio wrote:

Sejanus
Sejanus
was so great a person by reason both of his excessive haughtiness and of his vast power, that, to put it briefly, he himself seemed to be the emperor and Tiberius
Tiberius
a kind of island potentate, inasmuch as the latter spent his time on the island of Capreae.[41]

Through years of crafty intrigues and indispensable service to the emperor, Sejanus
Sejanus
had worked himself up to become the most powerful man in the Empire. But suddenly, at the end of AD 31, he was arrested, summarily executed and his body unceremoniously cast down the Gemonian stairs. What caused his downfall is unclear:[42][better source needed] ancient historians disagree about the nature of his conspiracy, whether it was Tiberius
Tiberius
or Sejanus
Sejanus
who struck first and in which order subsequent events occurred.[43] Modern historians consider it unlikely that Sejanus
Sejanus
plotted to seize power and if he had planned so at all, rather might have aimed at overthrowing Tiberius
Tiberius
to serve as a regent to Tiberius
Tiberius
Gemellus, son of Drusus or possibly Gaius Caligula.[43] Unfortunately the relevant section pertaining to this period in the Annals of Tacitus
Tacitus
has been lost. According to Josephus, it was Antonia, the mother of Livilla, who finally alerted Tiberius
Tiberius
to the growing threat Sejanus
Sejanus
posed (possibly with information provided by Satrius Secundus), in a letter she dispatched to Capri
Capri
in the care of her freedman Pallas.[44] According to Juvenal, a letter was sent from Capri
Capri
with the orders to execute Sejanus
Sejanus
without a trial.[45] Further details concerning Sejanus' fall are provided by Cassius Dio, writing nearly 200 years later in his Roman History. It appears that, when Tiberius
Tiberius
heard to what extent Sejanus
Sejanus
had already usurped his authority in Rome, he immediately took steps to remove him from power. However, he realised that an outright condemnation could provoke Sejanus
Sejanus
to attempt a coup.[35] Instead, Tiberius
Tiberius
addressed a number of contradictory letters to the Senate, some of which praised Sejanus
Sejanus
and his friends and some of which denounced them. Tiberius
Tiberius
variously announced that he would arrive in Rome
Rome
the next day or that he was at the point of death.[46] He stepped down as consul, forcing Sejanus
Sejanus
to do the same[47] and conferred an honorary priesthood upon Caligula, rekindling popular support for the house of Germanicus.[48] The ensuing confusion was successful in alienating Sejanus
Sejanus
from many of his followers. With the intentions of the emperor no longer clear, it was now deemed a safer course of action at Rome
Rome
to withdraw from overt support to Sejanus
Sejanus
until the matter was clearly settled.[48] When it became clear to Tiberius
Tiberius
that support for Sejanus
Sejanus
was not as strong as the emperor had feared, his next step was to choose Naevius Sutorius Macro, previously prefect of the vigiles (Roman police and fire department), to replace Sejanus
Sejanus
and effect his downfall.[49][better source needed][50] On October 18, AD 31, Sejanus
Sejanus
was summoned to a Senate meeting by a letter from Tiberius, ostensibly to bestow the tribunician powers upon him. At dawn, he entered the Senate; but while the letter was being read, Macro assumed control of the Praetorian Guard
Praetorian Guard
and members of the vigiles led by Graecinius Laco surrounded the building.[50] The senators at first congratulated Sejanus
Sejanus
but when the letter, which first digressed into completely unrelated matters, suddenly denounced him and ordered his arrest, he was immediately surrounded and escorted to prison.[51] Execution and aftermath[edit]

In AD 31, Sejanus
Sejanus
was arrested and condemned to death. The Senate issued damnatio memoriae on him. His statues were destroyed and his name obliterated from all public records. The above coin from Augusta Bilbilis has the words L. Aelio Seiano erased.

That same evening the Senate convened at the Temple of Concord
Temple of Concord
and summarily condemned Sejanus
Sejanus
to death. He was led from prison and strangled. His body was cast onto the Gemonian stairs, where the crowd tore it to pieces.[52] Riots ensued, in which crowds hunted and killed anyone they could link to Sejanus. The Praetorians also resorted to looting, when they were accused of having conspired with the former prefect.[53] Following the issue of damnatio memoriae by the Senate, his statues were torn down and his name obliterated from all public records. On October 24, Sejanus' eldest son Strabo was arrested and executed.[43] Upon learning of his death, Apicata committed suicide (October 26), after addressing a letter to Tiberius, claiming that Drusus had been poisoned with the complicity of Livilla.[52][54] The accusations were further corroborated by confessions from Livilla's slaves, who, under torture, admitted to having administered the poison to Drusus.[55] Enraged upon learning the truth, Tiberius
Tiberius
soon ordered more killings. Livilla
Livilla
committed suicide or was starved to death by her mother Antonia Minor.[52] The remaining children of Sejanus, Capito Aelianus and Junilla, were executed in December of that year.[3][56] According to ancient historians, because there was no precedent for the capital punishment of a virgin, Junilla was raped first, with the rope around her neck.[52][56] Their bodies were thrown down the Gemonian stairs. At the beginning of the following year, damnatio memoriae was also passed on Livilla.[57] Although Rome
Rome
at first rejoiced at the demise of Sejanus, the city quickly plunged into more extensive trials, as Tiberius
Tiberius
persecuted all those who could in any way be tied to the schemes of Sejanus
Sejanus
or had courted his friendship.[58] The Senatorial ranks were purged; the hardest hit were those families with political ties to the Julians.[43] Even the imperial magistracy was not exempted from Tiberius' wrath.[59] Arrests and executions were now supervised by Naevius Sutorius Macro, who succeeded Sejanus
Sejanus
as the Prefect of the Praetorian Guard.[60] The political turmoil continued until the death of Tiberius
Tiberius
in AD 37, after which he was succeeded by Caligula. Most historical documentation of Tiberius' revenge is given by Suetonius
Suetonius
and Tacitus; their portrayal of a tyrannical, vengeful emperor has been challenged by several modern historians. Edward Togo Salmon wrote that,

In the whole twenty two years of Tiberius' reign, not more than fifty-two persons were accused of treason, of whom almost half escaped conviction, while the four innocent people to be condemned fell victims to the excessive zeal of the Senate, not to the Emperor's tyranny.[61][full citation needed]

Legacy[edit] Praetorian Guard[edit] The reforms of Sejanus
Sejanus
most significantly included the founding of the Castra Praetoria, which established the Praetorian Guard
Praetorian Guard
as the powerful political force, for which it is primarily known today.[62] Henceforth the Guard was at the disposal of the emperors, and the rulers were equally at the mercy of the Praetorians.[63][better source needed] The reality of this was seen in AD 31, when Tiberius
Tiberius
was forced to rely upon the vigiles against the soldiers of his own guard.[50] Although the Praetorian Guard proved faithful to the aging Tiberius, their potential political power had been made clear.[64][better source needed] The power Sejanus
Sejanus
attained in his capacity as prefect proved Maecenas right in his prediction to Augustus, that it was dangerous to allow one man to command the guard.[65] Cassius Dio notes that after Sejanus, no other prefect except Gaius Fulvius Plautianus, who commanded the Guard under Septimius Severus, would rise to such influence.[66] Following his death, the Guard began to play an increasingly ambitious and bloody role in the Empire. They assassinated emperors, bullied their prefects or turned on the people of Rome. In AD 41 Caligula
Caligula
was killed by conspirators from the senatorial class and from the Guard. The Praetorians placed Claudius on the throne, daring the Senate to oppose their decision.[67] In the late 1st century, a calculated uprising of Praetorians against Emperor Nerva, led by Casperius Aelianus, forced Nerva
Nerva
to adopt the more popular Trajan
Trajan
as his son and successor. While it is unproven that Sejanus
Sejanus
intended to overthrow Tiberius, later prefects of the Guard did aspire to become emperor. Upon the suicide of Emperor Nero
Nero
in AD 68, the Guard prefect Gaius Nymphidius Sabinus attempted to have himself declared emperor, on the pretence that he was the illegitimate son of Caligula. The attempt failed and Sabinus was killed by his soldiers. In the early 3rd century, Plautianus was executed after a failed conspiracy against Septimius Severus. According to sources[citation needed], the downfall of Plautianus was largely due to suspicion of Severus' son Caracalla, who was later murdered and replaced by his Praetorian prefect
Praetorian prefect
Marcus Opellius Macrinus. Historiography[edit] With the exception of Velleius Paterculus, ancient historians have universally condemned Sejanus, although accounts differ regarding the extent to which Sejanus
Sejanus
was manipulated by Tiberius
Tiberius
or the other way around.[2][68][69][43] Suetonius
Suetonius
Tranquillus asserts that Sejanus
Sejanus
was merely an instrument of Tiberius, to hasten the downfall of Germanicus and his family and that he was quickly disposed of once he ceased to be useful.[70] Tacitus, on the other hand, attributes much of the decline of Tiberius' rule after AD 23 to the corrupting influence of Sejanus, although he is generally also harsh on Tiberius.[71] Among the writers who fell victim to the regime of Sejanus
Sejanus
and its aftermath, were the historians Aulus Cremutius Cordus and Velleius Paterculus and the poet Phaedrus. Cordus was brought to trial in AD 25 by Sejanus, under accusations of treason. He was charged for having eulogized Marcus Junius Brutus
Marcus Junius Brutus
and spoken of Gaius Cassius Longinus
Gaius Cassius Longinus
as the last of the true Romans, which was considered an offence under the Lex Maiestatis; the Senate ordered the burning of his writings.[72][73] His fall is elaborated upon by Seneca the Younger, in his letter to Cordus' daughter Marcia To Marcia, On Consolation. Seneca tells us that her father most likely incurred Sejanus' displeasure for criticising him because he had commissioned a statue of himself.[17] We also know from this source that Cordus starved himself to death.[17] Marcia was instrumental in saving her father's work so that it could be published again under Caligula.[73] Phaedrus was suspected of having alluded to Sejanus
Sejanus
in his Fables and received some unknown punishment short of death (Cf. Fables I.1, I.2.24, and I.17).[74] Velleius Paterculus
Velleius Paterculus
was a historian and contemporary of Sejanus, whose two-volume The Roman History details a history of Rome
Rome
from the fall of Troy
Troy
until the death of Livia Augusta in AD 29. In his work he praised Tiberius
Tiberius
and Sejanus, even defending the latter's high position in the government, despite not ranking higher than equestrian.[75] How much of Paterculus' writing is due to genuine admiration, prudence or fear remains an open question, but it has been conjectured that he was put to death as a friend of Sejanus.[76][citation needed] Literary interpretations[edit] Sejanus' fall is depicted in the section in Juvenal's Satire X on the emptiness of power.[77] This reviews the destruction of his statues after the damnatio memoriae judgment and reflects on the fickleness of public opinion. The dramatist Ben Jonson
Ben Jonson
borrowed from the poem for some passages in his Sejanus: His Fall.[78] The play is seen as a topical reference to the fall of the former royal favourite, Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, executed for treason two years before. Sejanus
Sejanus
is also a leading figure in another Roman history play of about this time, the anonymous Tragedy of Claudius
Claudius
Tiberius
Tiberius
Nero (1607).[79] Making contemporary political points in this way through reinterpretation of distant historical episodes was now common. In 17th century France, the fall of the powerful Cardinal Mazarin
Cardinal Mazarin
was celebrated in a political pamphlet that also drew parallels with the career of Sejanus, L'Ambitieux ou le portraict d'Aelius Sejanus
Sejanus
en la personne du Cardinal Mazarin
Cardinal Mazarin
(Paris, 1642). In England other royal favourites were seen in these terms too. George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham, is the target of an anonymous manuscript Roman tragedy, The Emperor’s Favourite.[80] The prudent need for anonymity, is suggested by the arrest of Sir John Eliot, who was sent to the Tower of London for his outspoken criticism of the Duke in the 1626 parliament, comparing him to Sejanus.[81] Following Buckingham’s death in 1628, when it was safer to do so, a translation of a history by Pierre Matthieu was published under the title, The Powerful Favourite, the life of Aelius Sejanus.[82] This was followed in 1634 by another translation, Sir Thomas Hawkins' Politicall Observations upon the Fall of Sejanus, which had originally been titled Della peripetia di fortuna (Of Changes of Fortune) by its author, Giovanni Battista Manzini.[83][84] Later in the century Anthony Ashley Cooper, 1st Earl of Shaftesbury, was the target of the four-page political pamphlet Sejanus, or The popular favourite, now in his solitude, and sufferings, signed with the pseudonym Timothy Tory (1681).[85] The story of Sejanus, with reference to the Earl's imprisonment in the Tower on a charge of treason, is interpreted as an argument for absolute monarchy, direct rule without the intermediary of politicians.[86] The name of Sejanus
Sejanus
continued to be pressed into political service during the 18th century. Prime Minister Robert Walpole
Robert Walpole
was attacked in 1735 in the course of a popular skit, C----- and country: A play of seven acts...the whole concluding with the grand masque, call'd, The downfall of Sejanus; its authorship is attributed to 'a masquerader' and in the printed version the masque precedes the play, although it is performed last. This gives the clue of how to take what is to follow and consists of a conversation between Punch and the Hangman, opening with the question 'Is this same Sejanus
Sejanus
to go out of the World like a Man, or to die the Death of a mad Dog? For he has lived like a sad One, from the first Day that the Emperor Tiberius
Tiberius
took him into Favour.'[87] A subtler attack on a later prime minister occurred in 1769 when Jonson's Sejanus
Sejanus
was reissued under the title of The Favourite. This was prefaced with a tongue-in-cheek dedication to Lord Bute, denying that there can be any comparison between the conduct of Sejanus
Sejanus
and that of his lordship.[88] Elsewhere in Europe there were other dramatic adaptations of the story. They included Jean de Magnon's rhyming tragedy, Sejanus
Sejanus
(1647) and Henri van der Zande's De dood van Elius Sejanus
Sejanus
of Spiegel voor der vorsten gunstelingen (The death of Sejanus, a mirror for the favourites of princes, Amsterdam 1716).[89][90] Later there was another recycling of Jonson's tragedy in England by the Irish actor Francis Gentleman. Abridged and ‘improved’ by some additions of his own, he published his Sejanus, a tragedy: as it was intended for the stage (1752), when he could not get it acted.[91] Later plays include a 5-act tragedy by A.Arterton (1875) and the privately printed Sejanus: A Tragedy in Five Acts by P. J. A. Chaulk (1923) A later fictional treatment of the historical episode, appeared as the first story of Edward Maturin's Sejanus, and Other Roman Tales (New York 1839).[92] It also figures in Robert Graves' I, Claudius (1934).[93] The novel was given new life when it was adapted for television as I, Claudius
Claudius
in 1976; in this Antonia sends the letter of accusation to Tiberius
Tiberius
via Claudius, after discovering her daughter is plotting with Sejanus
Sejanus
(Patrick Stewart). The Caesars (1968) was an earlier television series which featured Sejanus. Pontius Pilate
Pontius Pilate
was a nominee of Sejanus
Sejanus
and implicated in the latter's anti-Jewish policies; this encouraged the inclusion of Sejanus
Sejanus
in novels dealing with the circumstances of Jesus Christ's crucifixion.[94] The first of these was Miles Gerald Keon's Dion and the Sibyls: A Classic Christian Novel, published in London in 1866, and by the Catholic Publication Society in New York in 1872.[95] Later examples include Paul L. Maier's Pontius Pilate
Pontius Pilate
(Grand Rapids MI 1968)[96] and Chris Seepe's The Conspiracy to Assassinate Jesus Christ (Toronto 2012).[97] The aim of some later novels has been to concentrate as much on local colour as on the story. This was true of William Percival Crozier's historical romance The Fates Are Laughing (1945), set during the fall of Sejanus
Sejanus
and the reign of Caligula, written by a classicist with an eye for detail.[98] It is equally true of some recent detective novels set in Roman times. David Wishart's Sejanus
Sejanus
(London, 1998), features Marcus Corvinus and James Mace's Empire Betrayed: Tribune Cursor and the Fall of Sejanus
Sejanus
(2013) a military colleague, Aulus Nautius Cursor.[99] Sources[edit]

Tacitus, Cornelius (1942) [109]. Hadas, Moses, ed. The Complete Works of Tacitus. The Annals (From the Passing of the Divine Augustus) [1876]…. Church, Alfred John & Brodribb, William Jackson (transl.). New York, NY: The Modern Library. ASIN B0006APTTQ. Retrieved April 4, 2017.  See digital versions at Wikisource, MIT, and Perseus (Tufts University). A further edition, see Tacitus, Cornelius (1942). Bryant, Sara, ed. The Complete Works of Tacitus. The Annals…. Church & Brodribb (transl.). New York, NY: Perseus/Random House.  Bingham, Sandra J. (1997). The Praetorian Guard
Praetorian Guard
in the Political and Social Life of Julio-Claudian Rome
Rome
(PDF) (Ph.D. Dissertation). Vancouver, BC and Ottawa, ON: The University of British Columbia and National Library of Canada. ISBN 0612271064. Retrieved April 4, 2017. [better source needed] Dio Cocceianus, Cassius (1924). Foster, Herbert Baldwin, ed. Roman History. Loeb Classical Library, Vol. VII, Books 56–60. Cary, Earnest (transl.). London, New York: William Heinemann, Harvard University Press. ISBN 0674991931. Retrieved April 4, 2017.  See digital versions at Wikisource, Penelope (The University of Chicago), and Perseus (Tufts University). Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius, Latin text with English translation.[full citation needed] Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews
Antiquities of the Jews
Book XVIII, Chapter 6 English translation.[full citation needed] Seneca the Younger, Essays To Marcia On Consolation English translation.[full citation needed] Juvenal
Juvenal
Satires, 10th Satire Latin text.[full citation needed]

References[edit]

^ Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (11th ed.). Springfield, Massachusetts: Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. 2003. p. 1503.  ^ a b c d Tacitus, Annals IV.1 ^ a b c d e f g h Adams, Freeman (1955). "The Consular Brothers of Sejanus". The American Journal of Philology. 76 (1): 70–76. doi:10.2307/291707. JSTOR 291707.  ^ Tacitus, Annals III.72, III.73 ^ a b c Tacitus, Annals IV.3 ^ According to the Bingham dissertation, while the Guard had been formally established by Augustus
Augustus
in 27 BC, the first prefects were not appointed until 2 BC. See Bingham, p. 39. ^ Bingham, p. 30. ^ Bingham, p. 238. ^ Bingham, p. 232. ^ Bingham, pp. 231, 40. ^ a b Cassius Dio, Roman History LVII.19 ^ Bingham, p. 43. ^ a b c d Tacitus, Annals IV.2 ^ Syme believes Tacitus
Tacitus
delayed mention of these reforms until the year 23 for stylistic reasons. The actual date the Castra Praetoria was founded may have been AD 20. See Syme, Ronald (1958). Tacitus. Vol. 1. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. p. 424. ISBN 0198143273.  ^ Bingham, p. 50. ^ Cassius Dio, Roman History LVII.22 ^ a b c Seneca the Younger, Essays, To Marcia On Consolation XXII.4–6 ^ Tacitus, Annals I.24 ^ Tacitus, Annals I.29, I.30 ^ Tacitus, Annals II.44, II.62 ^ Tacitus, Annals III.31 ^ Tacitus, Annals III.29 ^ Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Claudius
Claudius
27 ^ Tacitus, Annals IV.7 ^ a b Tacitus, Annals IV.8 ^ Tacitus, Annals III.56 ^ Tacitus, Annals II.72 ^ Tacitus, Annals IV.52, IV.53, IV.54 ^ a b Tacitus, Annals IV.12 ^ Tacitus, Annals IV.39 ^ Tacitus, Annals IV.40 ^ Tacitus, Annals IV.57, IV.67 ^ Tacitus, Annals IV.41 ^ Tacitus, Annals V.3 ^ a b Cassius Dio, Roman History LVIII.4 ^ Cassius Dio, Roman History LVIII.3 ^ Tacitus, Annals, VI.23 – VI.25 ^ Tacitus, Annals VI.3 ^ Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius
Tiberius
65 ^ a b Cassius Dio, Roman History LVIII.1 ^ Cassius Dio, Roman History LVIII.5 ^ Bingham, p. 66. ^ a b c d e Boddington, Ann (January 1963). "Sejanus. Whose Conspiracy?". The American Journal of Philology. 84 (1): 1–16. doi:10.2307/293155. JSTOR 293155.  ^ Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews
Antiquities of the Jews
XVIII.6.6 ^ Juvenal, Satire X.67–72 ^ Cassius Dio, Roman History LVIII.6 ^ Cassius Dio, Roman History LVIII.7 ^ a b Cassius Dio, Roman History LVIII.8 ^ Bingham, p. 63. ^ a b c Cassius Dio, Roman History LVIII.9 ^ Cassius Dio, Roman History LVIII.10 ^ a b c d Cassius Dio, Roman History LVIII.11 ^ Cassius Dio, Roman History LVIII.12 ^ A recovered fragment of the Fasti Ostienses, shows that Cassius Dio erred in his account on the deaths of Sejanus' family (Dio, LVIII.11). The eldest son Strabo was executed (October 24) and the remaining children were executed sometime in December. See Freeman, Adams (1955), op. cit., for the Latin inscription. ^ Tacitus, Annals IV.11 ^ a b Tacitus, Annals V.9 ^ Tacitus, Annals VI.2 ^ Tacitus, Annals VI.19 ^ Tacitus, Annals VI.10 ^ Tacitus, Annals VI.29 ^ Salmon, Edward Togo. A History of the Roman World From 30 B.C. to A.D. 138. p. 183. [full citation needed] ^ Durry, Marcel (1938). Les Cohortes Prétoriennes. Paris: Editions De Boccard. p. 156.  ^ Bingham, p. 234f. ^ Bingham, p. 65f. ^ Cassius Dio, Roman History LII.24 ^ Cassius Dio, Roman History LVIII.14 ^ Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Claudius
Claudius
10 ^ Seneca the Younger, Essays, To Marcia On Consolation ^ Philo, On the Embassy to Gaius XXIV ^ Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius
Tiberius
55 ^ Tacitus, Annals III.7, VI.51 ^ Tacitus, Annals IV.34–35 ^ a b Seneca the Younger, Essays, To Marcia On Consolation I.2–4 ^ Phaedrus, Fables Book III, preface ^ Velleius Paterculus, Roman History, II.127–128 II.127–128 ^ "Syme (1972), p. 265"[full citation needed] is cited here, but this is impossible to independently connect to a specific work of Ronald Syme. ^ "A.S.Kline translation, lines 56–113". Poetryintranslation.com. Retrieved 2013-12-25.  ^ Brodersen, G. L.; Selden, J. (1 January 1953). "Seventeenth-Century Translations of Juvenal". Phoenix. 7 (2): 57–76. doi:10.2307/1086137. JSTOR 1086137.  ^ "Online introduction and text". Extra.shu.ac.uk. Retrieved 2013-12-25.  ^ Siobhan C. Keenan, “Staging Roman History, Stuart Politics, and the Duke of Buckingham: The Example of The Emperor’s Favourite Early Theatre 14.2 (2011) ^ John Forster, Lives of Eminent British Statesmen, London 1836, p.42ff ^ Volume 1, Google Books ^ Google Books ^ Siobhan C. Keenan, "Staging Roman History, Stuart Politics, and the Duke of Buckingham: The Example of The Emperor’s Favourite", Early Theatre 14.2 (2011) ^ Google Books ^ W. Thomas, Wilfrid Laurier University 2006, The Crafting of Absalom and Achitophel: Dryden’s Pen for a Party, pp.52–7 ^ Masquerader (1735). C----- and Country. A Play of Seven Acts (In which will be revived, the Entertaining Scene of the Blundering Brothers. To which is Added, The Comical Humours of Punch. The Whole concluding with the Grand Masque, call'd The Downfall of Sejanus). London, ENG: T. Monger. Retrieved April 5, 2017.  ^ Jonson, Ben (1770). The Favourite.  ^ Magnon, Jean (1647). Sejanus.  ^ Zande, Henri van der (1716). De dood van Elius Sejanus
Sejanus
of Spiegel voor der vorsten gunstelingen.  ^ See the preface, pp.v-xiii ^ "pp.1–55 Web archive text". Archive.org. Retrieved 2013-12-25.  ^ Graves, Robert (2006-08-03). "Chapters 21-7". I, Claudius. ISBN 9780141911748.  ^ Gary DeLashmutt, Sejanus
Sejanus
and the Chronology of Christ's death, Xenos Christian Fellowship ^ Keon, Miles Gerald (1872). Dion and the Sibyls.  ^ Maier, Paul L (1972). Pontius Pilate. ISBN 9780825497216.  ^ "Background and sample chapters". Theconspiracytoassassinatejesuschrist.com. Retrieved 2013-12-25.  ^ Full text at the University of Florida libraries ^ Author's summary

Further reading[edit]

Bingham, Sandra (2013). The Praetorian Guard: A History of Rome's Elite Special
Special
Forces. New York: I.B. Tauris. ISBN 1845118847.  Boddington, Ann (January 1963). "Sejanus. Whose conspiracy?". American Journal of Philology. 84 (1): 1–16. doi:10.2307/293155. JSTOR 293155.  Syme, Ronald (1956). "Seianus on the Aventine". Hermes. Franz Steiner Verlag. 84 (3): 257–66. JSTOR 4474933. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sejanus.

Wikisource
Wikisource
has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Sejanus, Lucius Aelius.

Sejanus, biography at xenos.org

Political offices

Preceded by Lucius Seius Strabo Praetorian prefect 14–31 Succeeded by Naevius Sutorius Macro

Preceded by Lucius Naevius Surdinus, and Gaius Cassius Longinus as Suffect consul Consul of the Roman Empire 31 with Tiberius
Tiberius
Caesar Augustus
Augustus
V Succeeded by Faustus Cornelius Sulla Lucullus, and Sextus Tedius Valerius Catullus as Suffect consul

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 13551480 LCCN: n50005907 GND: 11879607

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