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Tiberius was born Tiberius Claudius Nero Caesar in Rome on November 16, 42BC. Four years later his mother divorced his father and married the triumvir Octavian, later Emperor Augustus, who had Tiberius carefully educated. In 20BC Tiberius commanded an expedition to Armenia, and he subsequently helped subdue the Rhaetians and fought against the Pannonians (12-9BC). In 11BC Tiberius, at his stepfather's command, dissolved his happy marriage to Vipsania Agrippina (died AD20), daughter of the Roman general Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, and married Augustus's daughter Julia, who was Agrippa's widow. In 6 BC he retired to the island of Rhodes, where he devoted himself to study for seven years.

When Tiberius returned to Rome in AD 2, Julia had been banished for adultery, and within two years the deaths of both the young grandsons of Augustus, Lucius (died AD 2) and Gaius (died AD 4), paved the way for the adoption of Tiberius as heir to the imperial dignity. He was formally adopted by Augustus in AD 4. He then went into active service in northern Germany against the Marcomanni. Tiberius also succeeded in quelling formidable insurrections in Pannonia and Dalmatia, and finally in securing the frontier and taking vengeance upon the Germans, who had annihilated the army of the Roman general Publius Quintilius Varus (died AD 9) in the Teutoburger Wald in AD 9. Accompanied by Germanicus Caesar, who was his nephew and adopted son, Tiberius made two more marches into the heart of Germany, returning to Rome several years later to be accorded a triumph, the highest official tribute that was ...

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