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Iulius Caesar (1), Drusus, only surviving son of Tiberius and Vipsania, c. 13 BCE–23 CE

John Percy Vyvian Dacre Balsdon and Barbara Levick

in Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Classics


Published online March 2016 | e-ISBN: 9780199381135 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780199381135.013.3392

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Drusus Iulius Caesar (1), (c. 13 bce–23 ce), only surviving son of the later emperor *Tiberius, by Vipsania. Originally Nero Claudius Drusus, he became a Caesar in 4 ce, on Tiberius' adoption by *Augustus. He married *Iulius Caesar Germanicus' sister *Livia Iulia (Livilla). He succeeded in suppressing the mutiny of the Pannonian legions after Augustus' death in 14 ce, was consul in 15, and did well in *Illyricum 17–20, celebrating an ovation. His relations with Germanicus were friendly, despite mischief-makers. Germanicus' death (19) made him Tiberius' sole prospective successor: after his second consulship (21) he received tribunician power (22); his death in the next year opened the succession question. His taste for the games made him popular, though he is reported dissolute and violent. He had quarrelled with *Sejanus, and when Sejanus fell (31) it was alleged that Livilla, who was said to have been Sejanus’ mistress and may recently have married him, had poisoned him. His surviving twin son Tiberius *Iulius Caesar Nero ‘Gemellus’ was set aside by *Gaius (1) as *princeps iuventutis, then put to death; his last known male descendant (through his daughter Iulia) was *Rubellius Plautus, killed on *Nero's orders in 62.

Article.  272 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Roman History

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