Augustus and the Problem of Succession

Problems, Solutions, Candidates/Sources, Acceptance

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  • Couldn't make it seem like a monarchy
  • Powers were granted to him, not his family
  • No laws of succession in place
  • Could lead to Civil War
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  • Adpots Grandsons Gaius and lucius and his stepson Tiberius
  • Gave additional powers so they would seem the natural choice
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  • Marcellus - Virgil feels had he lived he would have been an ideal ruler
  • Gaius and Lucius - Paterculus 'at first his foray proved successful...he was seriously wounded...only about a year after his brother Lucius Caesar had died'
  • Gaius and Lucius - Tacitus' he had adopted Agrippa's sons Gaius and Lucius and before they had even laid aside their boy's togas, he had been shamelessly eager...for them to be names Principles Luventutis'
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  • Tiberius Nero - Paterculus 'Tiberius Nero's return from Rhodes...led to an incredible outpouring of national rejoicing'
  • Tiberius Nero - Suetonius 'an outstanding General and the only one capable of defending Rome against her enemies'
  • Tiberius Nero - Tacitus 'appointed...neither to personal affection nor regard for national interest...he intended to heighten his own glory'
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  • Tiberius succeed him
  • No Civil War


  • Problems with every candidate, Gaius and Lucius died, Tiberius had a sadistic streak
  • Tacitus writes that upon Augs death, many had hoped for freedom or Civil War
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