Infobox Military Person
name= Lucius Aelius Sejanus
lived=20 BC – 31
caption= Roman As depicting Tiberius, struck in 31,
Augusta Bilbilis. The reverse reads "Augusta Bilbilis Ti(berius) Caesare L(ucius) Aelio Seiano", marking the consulship of Sejanus in that year.
serviceyears= 14 BC – 31
laterwork= Consul of the Roman Empire in 31
Lucius Aelius Seianus (20 BC – October 18, 31 AD), commonly known as Sejanus, was an ambitious soldier, friend and confidant of the
Roman Emperor Tiberius. An equestrian by birth, Sejanus rose to power as prefect of the Roman imperial bodyguard, known as the Praetorian Guard, of which he was commander from 14 AD until his death in 31.
While the Praetorian Guard was formally established under emperor
Augustus, 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; changes which would have a lasting impact on the course of the Principate.
During the 20s, Sejanus gradually accumulated power by consolidating his influence over Tiberius and eliminating potential political opponents, including the emperor's son,
Julius Caesar Drusus. When Tiberius withdrew to Capriin 26, Sejanus was left in control of the entire state mechanism as de factoruler of the empire. For a time the most influential and feared citizen of Rome, Sejanus suddenly fell from power the same year his career culminated with the consulship in 31. Amidst suspicions of conspiracy against the emperor, Sejanus was arrested and executed, along with his followers.
Sejanus was born in 20 BC at
Volsinii, Etruria, to the family of Cosconia Lentuli Maluginensis and Lucius Seius Strabo.Tacitus, "Annals" ] cite journal | last = Adams | first = Freeman | title = The Consular Brothers of Sejanus. | journal = The American Journal of Philology | volume = 76 | pages = 70–76 | date = 1955 | accessdate=2007-07-23 | doi = 10.2307/291707] The Seii were Romans of the equestrian class (or knights), one of the two upper social classes of the Roman Republicand the early Roman Empire. Officially the equestrians were only the second tier of the elite, behind the patricianor senatorial class. Sejanus' grandfather however 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.Adams, 76]
Strabo himself married into equally illustrious families. His first wife was Aelia, the daughter of
Quintus Aelius Tubero, a marriage by which he allied himself with the more prestigious Aelian gens. By Aelia, he had one son, Lucius Seius Tubero, who became suffect consul in 18. After her death, he married Cosconia Lentuli Maligunensis Gallita, sister of Servius Cornelius Lentulus Maluginensis (suffect consul in 10) and Publius Cornelius Lentulus Scipio (suffect consul in 2), and half sister of Quintus Junius Blaesus(suffect consul in 10). With Cosconia, Strabo had one son, Lucius Seius, who was later adopted into the Aelian gens by Aelius Gallus, and by Roman custom became known as Lucius Aelius Seianus, or simply Sejanus.
The adoptive family of Sejanus counted two consuls among their family: the aforementioned Quintus Aelius Tubero (consul in 11 BC), and
Sextus Aelius Catus(consul in 4), who was the father of Aelia Paetina, future wife of Claudius. Sejanus' uncle Junius Blaesus distinguished himself as a military commander who became proconsulof Africa in 21, and earned triumphal honors by crushing the rebellion of Tacfarinas. [Tacitus, "Annals" , ]
According to the ancient historian
Tacitus, Sejanus was also a former favourite of the wealthy Apicius, whose daughter may have been Sejanus' first wife Apicata. With Apicata, he had three children,Tacitus, "Annals" ] two sons and one daughter: Strabo, Capito Aelianus and Junilla.
Rise to power
It is likely that Sejanus' father Strabo came to the attention of Augustus through his father's connection with Maecenas. Sometime after 2 BC, [While the Guard had been formally established by Augustus in 27 BC, the first prefects were not appointed until 2 BC. See Bingham, p39] he 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 the emperor in 14. Little is known about the life Sejanus led prior to this date, but according to Tacitus, he accompanied Gaius Caesar, adopted grandson of Augustus, during his campaigns in Armenia in 1 BC. It was upon the accession of Tiberiusin 14, that Sejanus was appointed prefect of the Praetorian Guard as the colleague of his father Strabo, and began his rise to prominence.
The Praetorian Guard was an elite unit of the
Roman armyformed by Augustus in 27 BC, with the specific function to serve as a bodyguardto the emperor and members of the imperial family. [Bingham, p30] 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. [Bingham, p238] 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. [Bingham, p232] Augustus was careful however to uphold the republican veneer of this regime, and only allowed nine cohorts to be formed (one less than in a normal Roman legion), which were inconspicuously scattered across various lodging houses in the city, and commanded by two prefects. [Bingham, p231, 40]
When Strabo was assigned to the governorship of Egypt in 15, Sejanus became the sole commander of the Praetorians and instigated reforms that helped shape the guard into a powerful tool of the
principate.Cassius Dio, "Roman History" [http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Cassius_Dio/57*.html#19 LVII.19] ] [Bingham, p43] In 20 the scattered encampments inside the city were centralized into a single garrison just outside RomeTacitus, "Annals" ] [Syme believes Tacitus delayed mention of these reforms until the year 23 for stylistic reasons. The actual date the Castra Praetoria was founded may have been 20 AD. See Syme, Ronald (1958). "Tacitus", Volume 1, p424, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-814327-3] and the number of cohorts was increased from nine to twelve, [Bingham, p50] one of which now held the daily guard at the palace. The practice of joint leadership between two prefects was abandoned, and Sejanus himself appointed the centurionsand tribunes. With these changes in effect, 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 was no longer maintained, and Tiberius openly displayed the strength of the guard at parades. [Cassius Dio, "Roman History" [http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Cassius_Dio/57*.html#22 LVII.22] ]
Feud with Drusus
In his capacity of Praetorian prefect Sejanus quickly became a trusted advisor to Tiberius. By 23 he already exerted a considerable influence over the decisions of the emperor, who referred to Sejanus as "my partner in my toils". 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. A statue had been erected in his honor in the Theatre of Pompey,Seneca the Younger, "Essays", To Marcia On Consolation [http://www.stoics.com/seneca_essays_book_2.html#%E2%80%98MARCIAM1 XXII.4-6] ] and in the Senate his followers were advanced with public offices and governorships. However this privileged position caused resentment among the senatorial class and the imperial family, in particular earning him the enmity of Julius Caesar Drusus, Tiberius' son.
The history of Sejanus and Drusus dated back to at least 15 AD. That year a
mutinyhad broken out among legions posted in Pannoniaand Germania. While his adopted son Germanicusrestored order in Germania, Tiberius' own son Drusus was sent to quell the uprising in Pannonia, accompanied by Sejanus and two Praetorian cohorts.Tacitus, "Annals" ] In part due to what the soldiers believed to be bad omens, Drusus quickly managed to restore the 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. [Tacitus, "Annals" , ] 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 18, [Tacitus, "Annals" , ] and sharing the consulship with Tiberius in 21. [Tacitus, "Annals" ] In practice however it was still Sejanus who was the second man in the empire, and he was ambitious to further expand his power. As early as 20, Sejanus had sought to solidify his connection with the imperial family by betrothing his daughter Junilla to the son of
Claudius, Claudius Drusus. [Tacitus, "Annals" ] At the time the girl was only 4 years old but the marriage was nonetheless prevented when the boy accidentally died a few days later of asphyxiation. [Suetonius, "The Lives of Twelve Caesars", Life of Claudius [http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Suetonius/12Caesars/Claudius*.html#27 27] ]
When this failed it seems Sejanus turned his attention toward eliminating Drusus. By 23 the enmity between the two men had reached a critical point. During an argument Drusus had struck the prefect with his fist,Tacitus, "Annals" ] and he openly lamented that "a stranger was invited to assist in the government while the emperor's son was alive".Tacitus, "Annals" ] With Tiberius already in his sixties, there was a real possibility of Drusus succeeding his father in the near future. To secure his position Sejanus secretly plotted against him and succeeded in seducing his wife
Livilla. With her as an accomplice Drusus was slowly poisoned and died of seemingly natural causes on September 13, 23.Tacitus, "Annals" ]
Consolidation of power
The loss of his son was a major blow to Tiberius, both 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 22 had prepared to relent some of his responsibilities in favour of his son. [Tacitus, "Annals" ] With these hopes now dashed, Tiberius left his administration more than ever in the care of Sejanus, and looked toward the sons of
Germanicusas possible future heirs.
Germanicus himself had died in 19 in somewhat suspicious circumstances in Syria. [Tacitus, "Annals" ] Following his death, his wife Agrippina returned to Rome with their five children and became increasingly involved with a group of senators who opposed the growing power of Sejanus. Her relations with Tiberius became increasingly fraught as she made it clear that she believed that he was responsible for the death of Germanicus. [Tacitus, "Annals" , , ] The climate was further poisoned by the hatred that Tiberius' mother Livia Augusta felt for her, since Agrippina's ambition, to be the mother of emperors and thus Rome's first woman, was an open secret.Tacitus, "Annals" ] To Sejanus personally, Agrippina's sons Nero, Drusus and Gaius Caligula were considered a direct threat to his power.
Meanwhile, Sejanus again attempted to marry into the Julio-Claudian family. Having divorced Apicata two years earlier he requested marriage with Livilla in 25, possibly with an eye towards placing himself, as an adopted Julian, in the position of a potential successor. [Tacitus, "Annals" ] The Emperor denied this request, warning Sejanus that he was in danger of overstepping his rank. [Tacitus, "Annals" ] Alarmed by this sudden denigration, Sejanus changed his plans and began to isolate Tiberius from Rome. By fueling his
paranoiatowards Agrippina and the Senate he induced the emperor to withdraw to the countryside of Campania, which he did in 26, and finally to the island of Capri, where he would spend the remainder of his life until his death in 37. [Tacitus, "Annals" , ] Guarded by the Praetorians, Sejanus easily controlled all information that passed between Tiberius and the capital. [Tacitus, "Annals" ]
Despite the withdrawal of 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 29 changed all that.Tacitus, "Annals" ] 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.Cassius Dio, "Roman History" [http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Cassius_Dio/58*.html#4 LVIII.4] ] Among those who perished were Asinius Gallus, a prominent senator and opponent of Tiberius who was linked to Agrippina's faction.Cassius Dio, "Roman History" [http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Cassius_Dio/58*.html#3 LVIII.3] ] Agrippina herself and two of her sons, Nero and Drusus were arrested and exiled in 30, and later starved to death in suspicious circumstances. [Tacitus, "Annals", – ] Only Gaius (aka Caligula), as the last remaining son of Germanicus, managed to survive the purges of Sejanus by moving to Capri with Tiberius in 31. [Tacitus, "Annals" ]
In 31, despite his equestrian rank, Sejanus shared the consulship with Tiberius
in absentia, [Suetonius, "The Lives of Twelve Caesars", Life of Tiberius [http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Suetonius/12Caesars/Tiberius*.html#65 65] ] and finally became betrothed to Livilla. The emperor had not been seen in Rome since 26. Sejanus was de facto ruler of the Roman Empire, and senators and equestrians openly courted his favour as if he were such.Cassius Dio, "Roman History" [http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Cassius_Dio/58*.html#1 LVIII.1] ] His birthdaywas publicly observed and statues were being erected in his honour. With most of the political opposition crushed, Sejanus felt his position was unassailable. As the ancient historian Cassius Diodescribes:
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 a kind of island potentate, inasmuch as the latter spent his time on the island of Capreae. [Cassius Dio, "Roman History" [http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Cassius_Dio/58*.html#5 LVIII.5] ]
Through years of crafty intrigues and indispensable service to the emperor, Sejanus had worked himself up to become the most powerful man in the empire. By the end of 31, he would be arrested, summarily executed and his body unceremoniously cast down the
Gemonian stairs. Exactly what caused his sudden downfall is unclear: [Bingham, p66] ancient historians disagree about the nature of his conspiracy, whether it was Tiberius or Sejanus who struck first, and in which order subsequent events transpired.cite journal | last = Boddington | first = Ann | title = Sejanus. Whose Conspiracy? | journal = The American Journal of Philology | volume = 84 | issue = 1 | pages = 1–16 | date = January 1963| accessdate=2007-07-23 | doi = 10.2307/293155] Modern historians consider it unlikely that Sejanus plotted to seize the imperial power for himself and, if he had planned so at all, rather might have aimed at overthrowing Tiberius to serve as a regentto Tiberius Gemellus, son of Drusus, or possibly even Gaius Caligula. Unfortunately the relevant section pertaining to this period in the "Annals" of Tacitus has been lost. According to Josephushowever, it was Antonia, the mother of Livilla, who finally alerted Tiberius to the growing threat Sejanus posed (possibly with information provided by Satrius Secundus), in a letter she dispatched to Capri in the care of her freedmanPallas. [Josephus, "Antiquities of the Jews" ]
Further details concerning Sejanus' fall are provided by Cassius Dio, writing nearly 200 years after the facts in his "Roman History". It appears that, when Tiberius heard to which extent Sejanus had already usurped his authority in Rome, he immediately took steps to remove him from power, but realised that an outright condemnation could provoke Sejanus in attempting a coup against him. Instead he addressed a number of contradictory letters to the Senate, some of which praised Sejanus and his friends, others which suddenly denounced them. Alternatingly, Tiberius announced he would arrive in Rome the very next day, or claimed he was at the point of death. [Cassius Dio, "Roman History" [http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Cassius_Dio/58*.html#6 LVIII.6] ] He stepped down as consul, thereby forcing Sejanus to do the same, [Cassius Dio, "Roman History" [http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Cassius_Dio/58*.html#7 LVIII.7] ] and conferred an honorary priesthood upon Caligula, which rekindled popular support for the house of Germanicus.Cassius Dio, "Roman History" [http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Cassius_Dio/58*.html#8 LVIII.8] ] The ensuing confusion was successful in alienating 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 to withdraw from overt support to Sejanus until the matter was clearly settled.
When it became clear to Tiberius that support for Sejanus was not as strong as he had feared, his next step was to choose
Naevius Sutorius Macro, who had previously been prefect of the vigiles(Roman police and fire department), [Bingham, p63] to replace Sejanus and accomplish his downfall.Cassius Dio, "Roman History" [http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Cassius_Dio/58*.html#9 LVIII.9] ] On October 18, 31, 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, and members of the vigiles led by Graecinius Lacosurrounded the building. The senators at first congratulated 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. [Cassius Dio, "Roman History" [http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Cassius_Dio/58*.html#10 LVIII.10] ]
Execution and aftermath
The same evening, the Senate convened at the
Temple of Concordand summarily condemned Sejanus to death. He was led from prison, strangled and his body cast onto the Gemonian stairs, where the crowd tore it to pieces.Cassius Dio, "Roman History" [http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Cassius_Dio/58*.html#11 LVIII.11] ] Riots ensued in which mobs hunted down and killed anyone they could link to the terror regime of Sejanus. The Praetorians in turn resorted to lootingwhen they were accused of having conspired with their former prefect. [Cassius Dio, "Roman History" [http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Cassius_Dio/58*.html#12 LVIII.12] ] Following an 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. Upon learning of his death, Apicata committed suicide on October 26, after addressing a letter to Tiberius claiming that Drusus had been poisoned, with the complicity of Livilla. [A recovered fragment of the Fasti Ostiensis confirms that Cassius Dio erred in his account on the deaths of Sejanus' family (Dio, [http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Cassius_Dio/58*.html#11 LVIII.11] ). The eldest son Strabo was executed on October 24, Apicata committed suicide on October 26, and the remaining children were executed sometime in December. See Freeman, Adams (1955), The Consular Brothers of Sejanus] " for the Latin inscription.] The accusations were further corroborated by confessions from Livilla's slaves, who admitted to having administered the poison to Drusus.Tacitus, "Annals" ]
Enraged upon learning the truth, Tiberius soon ordered more executions. Livilla herself committed suicide or, as legend would have it, was forcibly starved to death by her own mother Antonia. The remaining children of Sejanus, Capito Aelianus and Junilla were executed in December of that year.Tacitus, "Annals" ] According to ancient historians, because there was no precedent for the capital punishment of a
virgin, Junilla was violated before her execution, with the rope around her neck. Their bodies were likewise thrown down the Gemonian stairs. At the beginning of the following year, "damnatio memoriae" was passed on Livilla. [Tacitus, "Annals" ]
Although Rome at first rejoiced at the demise of Sejanus, the city quickly plunged into more extensive trials, as Tiberius relentlessly persecuted all those who could in any way be tied to the schemes of Sejanus or had courted his friendship.Tacitus, "Annals" ] The Senatorial ranks were decimated; the hardest hit were those families with political ties to the Julians. Even the imperial magistracy was not exempted from Tiberius' wrath.Tacitus, "Annals" ] Arrests and executions were now supervised by Naevius Sutorius Macro. [Tacitus, "Annals" ] The political turmoil would continue until the death of Tiberius in 37, after which he was succeeded by Gaius Caligula.
Augustus's death on August 19 of the year 14 AD marked the end of Praetorian calm, the only time the Praetorian Guard did not use its military strength to play a part in the politics of Rome to force its own agenda. Augustus would be the sole emperor to command their complete loyalty. The reforms of Sejanus, most significantly the founding of the Castra Praetoria, essentially established the Praetorian Guard as the powerful political force for which it is primarily known today. [ cite book | last = Durry | first = Marcel | title = Les Cohortes Prétoriennes | year = 1938 | location = Paris | publisher = Editions De Boccard | pages = p156] Henceforth the entire Guard was at the disposal of the emperors, but the rulers were now equally at the mercy of the Praetorians. [Bingham, p234-235] The reality of this was seen in 31 when Tiberius was forced to rely upon the vigiles against the soldiers of his own guard. Although the Praetorian Guard proved faithful to the aging Tiberius, their potential political power had been made clear. [Bingham, p65-66]
The power Sejanus attained in his capacity as prefect proved
Maecenasright in his prediction to Augustus that it was dangerous to allow one man to command the guard. [Cassius Dio, "Roman History" [http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Cassius_Dio/52*.html#24 LII.24] ] 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. [Cassius Dio, "Roman History" [http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Cassius_Dio/58*.html#14 LVIII.14] ] Nevertheless, following his death the guard began to play an increasingly ambitious and bloody role in the Empire. With the right amount of money, or at will, they assassinated emperors, bullied their own prefects, or turned on the people of Rome. In 41 Caligula was killed by conspirators from the senatorial class and from the Guard. The Praetorians placed Claudiuson the throne, daring the Senate to oppose their decision. [ Suetonius, "The Lives of Twelve Caesars", Life of Claudius [http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Suetonius/12Caesars/Claudius*.html#10 10] ] In the late 1st century, a calculated uprising of Praetorians against emperor Nerva, led by Casperius Aelianus, forced Nerva to adopt the more popular Trajanas his son and successor.
While it is unlikely Sejanus ever did intend to overthrow and replace Tiberius, later prefects of the Guard did aspire to become Emperor themselves. Upon the suicide of emperor
Neroon 68, the Guard prefect Gaius Nymphidius Sabinusattempted to have himself declared emperor, on the pretense that he was the illegitimate son of Caligula. The attempt failed and Sabinus was killed by his own soldiers. In the early 3rd century, Plautianus was executed after a failed conspiracy against Septimius Severus. According to sources, the downfall of Plautianus was largely due to suspicion of Severus' son Caracalla, who was himself later murdered and replaced by his Praetorian prefect Marcus Opellius Macrinus.
With the exception of
Velleius Paterculus, ancient historians have been universally condemning of Sejanus, [Seneca the Younger, "Essays", [http://www.stoics.com/seneca_essays_book_2.html#%E2%80%98MARCIAM1 To Marcia On Consolation] ] [Philo, "On the Embassy to Gaius" [http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/yonge/book40.html#XXIV XXIV] ] although accounts differ to which extent Sejanus was manipulated by Tiberius or the other way around. Suetonius Tranquilius asserts that 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. [ Suetonius, "The Lives of Twelve Caesars", Life of Tiberius [http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Suetonius/12Caesars/Tiberius*.html#55 55] ] Tacitus, on the other hand, attributes much of the decline of Tiberius' rule after 23 to the corrupting influence of Sejanus, although he is generally also harsh on Tiberius himself. [Tacitus, "Annals" , ]
Among the writers of the time which fell victim to the regime of Sejanus and its aftermath were the historians
Aulus Cremutius Cordus, Velleius Paterculusand the poet Phaedrus. Cordus was brought to trial in 25 by Sejanus under accusations of treason. He was charged for having eulogized Brutus and spoken of Cassius as the last of the true Romans, [Tacitus, "Annals" ] which was considered an offence under the "Lex Maiestas", and the Senate ordered the burning of his writings.Seneca the Younger, "Essays", To Marcia On Consolation [http://www.stoics.com/seneca_essays_book_2.html#%E2%80%98MARCIAM1 I.2-4] ] His fall is elaborated upon by Seneca the Younger, in his letter to Cordus' daughter Marcia "To Marcia, On Consolation". Seneca however tells us that her father most likely incurred Sejanus' displeasure for critizising him, because he had commissioned a statue of himself. We also know from this source that Cordus starved himself to death. Marcia was instrumental in saving her father's work, so that it could be published again under Caligula. Phaedruswas suspected of having alluded to Sejanus in his "Fables", and received some unknown punishment short of death (Cf. Fables I.1, I.2.24, and I.17). [Phaedrus, "Fables" [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.02.0119&query=book%3D%233 Book III, preface] ] Velleius Paterculus was a historian and contemporary of Sejanus whose two-volume "The Roman History" details a history of Rome from the fall of Troyuntil the death of Livia Augusta in 29. In his work he praises both Tiberius and Sejanus, even defending the latter's high position in the government despite his equestrian rank. [Velleius Paterculus, "Roman History" [http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Velleius_Paterculus/2D*.html#127 II.127-128] ] 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. [Cruttwell, C.T. (1877). "A History of Roman Literature". Oxford, Book 3, chapter 1.]
Sejanus in later literature
The rise and fall of Sejanus have been the subject, or partial subject, of several noted works in literature, including two 17th century plays and 20th century novels:
*"" (1603), a play by
*"The Tragedy of Claudius Tiberius Nero" (1607), a play by an anonymous contemporary of Jonson.
I, Claudius" (1934), novel by Robert Graves, as well as the subsequent 1976 television adaptation. In television series, he is played by Patrick Stewart. The book had earlier been adapted as "The Caesars" for Granada TVin 1968 with Barrie Inghamas Sejanus.
*"Sejanus" (1998), the third novel in the
Marcus Corvinusseries by David Wishart.
*cite journal | last = Adams | first = Freeman | title = The Consular Brothers of Sejanus. | journal = The American Journal of Philology | volume = 76 | pages = 70–76 | date = 1955 | accessdate=2007-07-23 | doi = 10.2307/291707
*cite journal | last = Boddington | first = Ann | title = Sejanus. Whose Conspiracy? | journal = The American Journal of Philology | volume = 84 | issue = 1 | pages = 1–16 | date = January 1963| accessdate=2007-07-23 | doi = 10.2307/293155
*cite book |last=Bingham |first=Sandra J. |title=The praetorian guard in the political and social life of Julio-Claudian Rome |origyear=1997 |url=http://amicus.collectionscanada.ca/s4-bin/Main/ItemDisplay?coll=19&itm=24141235&rsn=S_WWWymaKWJQUZ |format=PDF |accessdate=2007-05-23 |year=1999 |publisher=National Library of Canada |location=Ottawa |isbn=0-612-27106-4
Tacitus, "Annals" , English translation
Cassius Dio, "Roman History" [http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Cassius_Dio/57*.html#19 Book 57.19] and [http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Cassius_Dio/58*.html 58] , English translation
Suetonius, "The Lives of Twelve Caesars", [http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Suetonius/12Caesars/Tiberius*.html Life of Tiberius] , Latin text with English translation
Josephus, " Antiquities of the Jews" English translation
Seneca the Younger, "Essays" [http://www.stoics.com/seneca_essays_book_2.html#%E2%80%98MARCIAM1 To Marcia On Consolation] English translation
Juvenal"Satires", [http://www.thelatinlibrary.com/juvenal/10.shtml 10th Satire] Latin text
* [http://www.xenos.org/essays/sejanus.htm Sejanus, biography at xenos.org]
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Sejānus — Sejānus, Lucius Älius, aus Volsinii, Sohn des römischen Ritters Sejus Strabo, kam durch Adoption in die Aelia gens; er stand schon als Jüngling im Rufe großer Unsittlichkeit, indem er sich dem Schlemmer Apicius ergeben haben sollte, u. wurde dann … Pierer's Universal-Lexikon
Sejānus — Sejānus, Lucius Älius, der allmächtige Günstling des röm. Kaisers Tiberius, der als Befehlshaber der Prätorianer, die er 23 n. Chr. in einem ständigen Lager in der Stadt vereinigte, eine Zeitlang fast ausschließlich die Geschicke Roms lenkte. Um… … Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon
Sejanus — Sejānus, Lucius Älius, aus Volsinii, röm. Ritter, Befehlshaber der Prätorianer und Günstling des Kaisers Tiberius; herrschte, nachdem der Kaiser 26 n. Chr. Rom für immer verlassen hatte, beinahe unumschränkt und suchte den Kaiserthron zu… … Kleines Konversations-Lexikon
Sejanus — Sejanus, Aelius, röm. Ritter, geb. zu Volsinii, war unter Kaiser Tiberius Kommandant der Prätorianer und gewann dessen ganzes Vertrauen. Er trachtete nun selbst nach dem Throne, verführte die Schwiegertochter des Kaisers, so daß sie ihren Gemahl … Herders Conversations-Lexikon
Sejanus — biographical name Lucius Aelius died A.D. 31 Roman conspirator … New Collegiate Dictionary
Sejanus — Lucius Aelius Seianus (* um 20 v. Chr. in Volsinii, Etrurien; † 18. Oktober 31 in Rom), deutsch Sejan, war ein Prätorianerpräfekt im römischen Kaiserreich und eine Zeit lang der einflussreichste Bürger Roms. Seianus wurde bei der Thronbesteigung… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Sejanus — /si jay neuhs/, n. Lucius Aelius /ee lee euhs/, d. A.D. 31, Roman politician, commander of praetorian guard, and conspirator in the reign of Emperor Tiberius. * * * … Universalium
Sejanus — /si jay neuhs/, n. Lucius Aelius /ee lee euhs/, d. A.D. 31, Roman politician, commander of praetorian guard, and conspirator in the reign of Emperor Tiberius … Useful english dictionary
Sejanus His Fall — Sejanus His Fall, a 1603 play by Ben Jonson, is a tragedy about Lucius Aelius Seianus, the favorite of the Roman emperor Tiberius. It was possibly an allegory of James I and his corrupt court.The play was entered into the Register of the… … Wikipedia
SEJANUS Aelius — vit, de quo multa Sueton. in Tiberio, et Iuveval. Sat. 10 Eius historia paucis sic habet. Vulsinô Tuseiae urbe natus, ex Seio Strabone, equite; adhuc iuvenis admodum Caii Caesaris, Augusti nepotis, fortunam sequutus est, postea in Tiberii gratiam … Hofmann J. Lexicon universale