To What Extent Did the Praetorian Guard Impact the Principate of Tiberius

One of most influential individual on Tiberius reign as Princeps would be Sejanus who incidentally was the prefect of the Praetorian Guard. Which was a loyal group of military troops to act as personal loyal bodyguards to the Princeps as was established in Augustus’s reign. Sejanus who manipulated Tiberius into decisions such as leaving Rome to the isle of Capri as well as acting as a catalyst for Tiberius’s hatred and his spiral of the ‘reign of terror’ Tacitus describes in his Annals but also murdered many of the next in line for the role of Princeps such as Drusus Tiberius’s own son. Sejanus was not the only individual in the Praetorian Guard that influenced Tiberius’s principate but Naevius Sutorius Marco who Tiberius appointed to take over from Sejanus in fact smothered Tiberius too death in his old age.

Tiberius’s most trusted advisor in the early reign of his Principate over the Roman Empire was Sejanus. Sejanus became close to Tiberius before his appointment to Princeps. Through Sejanus’s fathers senior equestrian status he gained the role of sole commander of the Praetorian Guard. As Tiberius got older Sejanus was more free to speak more openly and unguardedly. Tiberius appreciated Sejanus as he was very different from the servile senate that he would spend most of his day with and made Sejanus to be a valued companion of Tiberius’s.

Tacitus describes Sejanus’s ultimate political aims as reducing the influence of those who might overpower the emperor and resulted in Sejanus taking action against protesters against Tiberius’s Principate such as Agrippina who rallied for her two sons to overthrow Tiberius as well as eliminating future heirs such as Tiberius’s son Drusus. Sejanus also aimed to grow Tiberius’s dependence on him significantly and was done through becoming Tiberius’s socius laborum ‘the partner of my labours’. By helping Tiberius with the immense administration policies he was required to look over and approve as the Senate did not trust...