This is one of five parerga preparatory to a book to be entitled Tiberius on Capri, which will explore the interrelationship between culture and empire, between Tiberius’ intellectual passions (including astrology, gastronomy, medicine, mythology, and literature) and his role as princeps. These five papers do not so much develop an argument as explore significant themes which will be examined and deployed in the book in different contexts. This paper examines the extraordinary but scattered evidence for a contemporary perception of Tiberius as the wise and pious old monarch of folklore.
This paper has now been published in Historia vol. 57 (2008), pp. 408-425.