Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Tiberius, fully Tiberius Claudius Nero NULL

Roman Emperor, Second Emperor of Rome

"Let them hate me, provided they respect my conduct. "

"I shall always be consistent and never change my ways so long as I am in my senses; but for the sake of precedent the Senate should beware of binding itself to support the acts of any man, since he might through some mischance suffer a change. "

"Power has no limits. "

"To have command is to have all the power you will ever need. To have all the power you will ever need, is to have the world in the palm of your hand."

"It is the duty of a good shepherd to shear his sheep, not to skin them. "

"A good shepherd shears his sheep, he doesn't flay them."

"Conscript Fathers, I have often said it both now and at other times, that a good and useful prince, whom you have invested with so great and absolute power, ought to be a slave to the senate, to the whole body of the people, and often to individuals likewise: nor am I sorry that I have said it. I have always found you good, kind, and indulgent masters, and still find you so."

"As soon as the funeral of Augustus was over, a temple and divine worship were forthwith decreed him. The Senate then turned their instant supplications to Tiberius, to fill his vacant place; but received an abstruse answer, touching the greatness of the Empire and his own distrust of himself; he said that "nothing but the divine genius of Augustus was equal to the mighty task: that for himself, who had been called by him into a participation of his cares, he had learnt by feeling them, what a daring, what a difficult toil was that of government, and how perpetually subject to the caprices of fortune: that in a State supported by so many illustrious patriots they ought not to cast the whole administration upon one; and more easy to be administered were the several offices of the Government by the united pains and sufficiency of many.""

"In a free state there should be freedom of speech and thought."

"In a free state, both the tongue and the mind ought to be free."

"Let me repeat, gentlemen, that a right-minded and true-hearted statesman who has had as much sovereign power placed in his hands as you have placed in mine should regard himself as the servant of the Senate; and often of the people as a whole; and sometimes of private citizens, too. I do not regret this view, because I have always found you to be generous, just, and indulgent masters."

"My Lords, if I know what to tell you, or how to tell it, or what to leave altogether untold for the present, may all the gods and goddesses in Heaven bring me to an even worse damnation than I now daily suffer!"

"Pray assign me any part in the government you please; but remember that no single man can bear the whole burden of Empire ? I need a colleague, or perhaps several colleagues."

"Towards Livia, too, exorbitant was the flattering court of the Senate. Some were for decreeing her the general title of Mother; others the more particular one of Mother Of Her Country; and almost all moved, that to the name of Tiberius should be added, The Son Of Julia: Tiberius urged in answer, that "public honors to women ought to be warily adjudged, and with a sparing hand; and that with the same measure of moderation he would receive such as were presented to himself.""

"What to write to you, Conscript Fathers, or how to write, or what not to write at this time, may all the gods and goddesses pour upon my head a more terrible vengeance than that under which I feel myself daily sinking, if I can tell."

"If So-and-so challenges me, I shall lay before you a careful account of what I have said and done; if that does not satisfy him, I shall reciprocate his dislike of me."

"Fear of this possibility in particular led Tiberius to ask the senate for any part in the administration that it might please them to assign him, saying that no one man could bear the whole burden without a colleague, or even several colleagues."