First English edition of the Nuremberg chronicle: being the Liber chronicarum of Dr. Hartmann Schedel…

Tiberius Claudius Nero, the third Roman emperor, reigned 23 years and some days. He was the son of Livia, the wife of Augustus, as well as the latter’s stepson and heir. He was born of the the aristocratic (patricia) Claudian family, and was surnamed Nero. In childhood he was precocious and crafty. He was nine years of age when his father died. On attaining manhood he married Agrippina, the daughter of Marcus Agrippus. Though not very much disposed to leave his wife (for she was pregnant), he was compelled to marry Julia, the daughter of Augustus. He lost his brother Drusus in Germany, and was given the power of tribune for five years in which he was to conquer that country. Believing that the defeat of Varus resulted from lack of forethought and through negligence, he did not act without counsel and consideration. After the expiration of two years Tiberius marched out of Germany to Rome, where he was given a triumph. Although for some time he refused the sovereignty, and sought to live an honest and industrious life, he finally accepted the office of emperor. When some of his officers advised him to burden the land and the people with tribute and taxes, he replied: It becomes a good shepherd to shear his sheep, but not to swallow them. He suppressed the customs and manners of the Egyptians and the Jews, expelled the sorcerers and soothsayers, and scrupulously did away with turmoil, murder and robbery. For a period of two years after assuming the rule he did not set foot beyond the gates, and in the following year, not beyond the suburbs. However, as he was afterwards deprived of his two sons, namely, Germanicus in Syria and Drusus at Rome, he went to Campania; and as he now embraced the freedom of private life and removed himself from the eyes of the city, he now poured forth his long concealed lust; and because of his excessive drinking of wine, he was considered a drunkard and an alcoholic by the masses. He was of an ungenerous and jealous disposition, and filled with excessive pride. He had no paternal love, either for his natural son Drusus, nor for Germanicus who had been adopted by him. Tiberius had a large strong body, not ill built; his chest and shoulders were broad, and his limbs down to his feet were regular, well proportioned, and white. His hair was long, reaching beyond the nape of his neck, which gave him a barbarian appearance. He had an earnest expression and large eyes, and carried his head erect as he walked. He was often calm and silent. He was very fond of the liberal arts and wrote several poems. At the end of a reign of 23 years, during which he was neither reckoned among the very good nor the very bad, he finally died in the village of Lucullus at the age of seventy-eight. Some say that he died of a mild and enervating poison administered by Caius. The people rejoiced in his death.

Tiberius Claudius Nero Caesar, son of T. Claudius Nero and Livia, was born 42 BCE, before his mother married Augustus. He was tall and strongly made, handsome, and had large eyes. He was carefully educated in Greek and Latin. Though not without military courage, he was timid of character, jealous and suspicious, and cruel in consequence after he acquired power. In later life he indulged his lust in every way imaginable, although he affected a regard to decency and externals. Much against his will Augustus compelled him to divorce Vipsania Agrippina, and to marry Julia, widow of Agrippa and daughter of the emperor. With her Tiberius did not, however, live long in harmony. Augustus employed him in various military campaigns. In 15 Drusus and his brother Tiberius engaged in warfare with Rhaeti. In 13 Tiberius was consul with P. Quintilius. In 11, the same year in which he married Julia, and while his brother Drusus was fighting against the Germans, Tiberius was warring against the Dalmatians and Pannonians. In the year 9 Drusus was mortally wounded by a fall from his horse, and Augustus sent Tiberius to him. Tiberius returned to the war in Germany, and in the year 7 he was consul a second time. In the year 6 he obtained the tribunitia potestas for five years; but in this year he retired with the emperor’s permission to Rhodes, where he spent 7 years. He returned to Rome in 2 CE, his troublesome wife Julia, who had been banished, dying in the meantime. After the death of his two sons, Augustus adopted Tiberius, with the view of leaving him the imperial power; but at the same time he required him to adopt Germanicus, the son of his brother Drusus, though Tiberius had a son Drusus by his wife Vipsania. From the year of his adoption to the death of Augustus, Tiberius was in command of the Roman armies, though he visited Rome occasionally. In the year 12 he was given a triumph at Rome for his German and Dalmatian victories. On the death of Augustus, Tiberius at once went to Rome, taking up the imperial power without opposition, though affecting some reluctance. The death of Germanicus in the east later relieved him of all fear of a rival claimant to the throne. Many believed that Germanicus was poisoned by his order. The tyranny of Tiberius increased, and many distinguished senators were put to death on charges of treason. He gave his complete confidence to Sejanus, who for many years possessed the real government of the state. In 26 Tiberius left Rome, never to return. He withdrew into Campania to escape criticism and to indulge his propensities in private. In order to give still greater secrecy to his conduct, he took up his residence in the island of Capri, a short distance from the Campanian coast. In the meantime his mother Livia died, leaving Tiberius almost entirely without restraint; but he finally turned on Sejanus, whom he caused to be executed and dragged about the streets. For the remainder of his reign, Rome continued to be the scene of tragic occurrences. Tiberius died on the 16th of March in the year 37 at the Villa of Lucallus, in Misenum. He was 78 years of age and had reigned 22 years. He was succeeded by Caius (Caligula), son of Germanicus. Tiberius wrote a brief commentary of his own life, the only book that the emperor Domitian studied; Suetonius made use of it for his life of Tiberius. Tiberius also wrote Greek poems, and a lyric poem on the death of L. Caesar. (The preceding note on Tiberius was excerpted by our translator and indefatigable note gatherer, Walter Schmauch, without attribution—it was a more innocent time—from Smith’s 1870 Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, Vol. 3, pp. 1116-1122 s.v. Tiberius).

This entire paragraph is a massive abridgment of Suetonius’ Life of Tiberius.

Valerius, the Roman procurator sent to Judea by the emperor Tiberius, was the first to begin the sale of the high-priestly office. While procurator he appointed and deposed one high priest after another. First he deposed Annas (Amanum) and put Ismael (Hismaelis) the son of Jabus (Iabi) in his place; but not long afterwards he also deposed the latter, and appointed Eleazar, son of Annas the priest, as high priest. After the expiration of his year he deposed him also, and appointed Simon, son of Cemithis, to the position; but he also remained in office only one year. Having deposed him, Valerius finally appointed Caiaphas (Caypham), a haughty, proud, strange, fortunate and envious man. The evangelist has two of these bishops in mind when he says: Jesus was seized in the garden; and shortly the servants brought him before Annas,[Annas was a high priest of the Jews along with Caiaphas, his son-in-law. He was first appointed to that office by Cyrenius, proconsul of Syria, about 7 or 8 CE, but was afterwards deprived of it. After various changes the office was given to Joseph, also called Caiaphas, son-in-law of Annas, about 25 CE, who continued in office until 36 or 37 CE. But Annas, being his father-in-law, and having great influence and authority, could with propriety be still termed high priest along with Caiaphas. It was before him that Jesus was first taken on the night of the seizure.] the father-in-law of Caiaphas. And Annas sent Jesus to Caiaphas. And when Jesus testified that he was the same as God, Caiaphas said: He has blasphemed God. And to make this confession of Christ appear even more wicked, Caiaphas tore his own garments. Moreover, in order to arouse the people to condemn Jesus, Caiaphas cried, He is guilty of death! By his persuasive speaking (as the sacred history of the Gospel holds) Christ our Lord was condemned to death.[John 18:1; Matt. 26; Mark 24;Luke 22. ]

Jesus Christ suffered in the 5230th year of the world and in the 18th year of the reign of Tiberius while two Roman consuls governed; being in the month which the Hebrews call Nisan, and we call April. To satisfy the envy of the priests, he was sold by Judas, one of his disciples; after which he was seized, accused, and, at the instance of the judge, was mocked and scourged. And they spit in his face and struck him; crowned him with thorns, and finally nailed him to a cross. And they reproached him with bitter words. And when he cried with a loud voice and willingly gave up the Spirit, the earth quaked, the sun darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn asunder. And when Longinus, the soldier, pierced the breast of the deceased with his spear, a mixture of blood and water flowed from the wound; from this the sacrament of the church in general had its beginning and origin. Christ was then taken from the cross and buried, and as Jonah came forth from the belly of the whale, so Jesus rose from the dead out of the bowels of the earth on the third day. He often appeared to his disciples, and in their midst and in their presence he ascended to heaven. And not without reason did Christ suffer at Jerusalem; for this was the city ordained for the sacrifice, in the center of the inhabited world; but he also suffered outside its walls, so that he made the sacrifice of his body not alone for his people, but for the pagans as well.[ John 19:1-42.]