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At work, and realized I hit preview instead of post on my home computer. - Southpaw Ben

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An Heir is Dead

Contributed by David Verne

Lucius Casesar has been sent to complete his military training in Hispania, while his older brother and co-heir Gaius is leading soldiers in Armenia. On his way to Hispania he gets sick and dies on August 20 in Massalia, current day Marseille, France. His death leaves Gaius as the only heir for the Empire, but there is a backup if necessary. Augustus' stepson, Tiberius, has been in self-imposed retirement on Rhodes for eight years, probably linked to his unhappy marriage to an unfaithful wife and a wish to not get assassinated by political opponents. Tiberius is allowed to return to Rome by Augustus as a private citizen, possibly through the urging of Tiberius' mother Livia Drusilla. [1] [2]

My Take by David Verne
A death from sickness may seem like something that just randomly happens, but when dealing with Rome many angles must be considered. Even though they wrote more then a hundred years after these events, historians Tacitus and Cassius Dio suspected foul play with Lucius' death. They believed that Livia was scheming to kill both Lucius and Gaius to clear the path for her son, Tiberius, to take the throne. Power struggles are nothing new, and in the later Empire an emperor will be lucky to die a natural death. The Founding Fathers of our country tried to prevent power struggles, but they happen all the same, though not as bad as Rome's.

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References

  1. Lucius Caesar.
  2. Tiberius.

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