TIBERIUS had been summoned to Rome several years before
the emperor's death, for Augustus little suspected what
a bad man his stepson really was. He even adopted
Tiberius as his own son and successor, and gave him the
titles of Cæsar and emperor. These were given to him,
however, only upon condition that he would, in his
turn, adopt his nephew Germanicus.
This young man was as good and true as Tiberius was bad
and deceitful. As he was very brave indeed, he was
given the command of the Roman legions stationed on the
Rhine; and here he soon won the affections of all of
Tiberius had a bad motive for nearly everything that
 he did; and he had sent his nephew to the Rhine because
of the hatred that he felt towards the young man. He
hoped that in this dangerous position Germanicus would
soon die like Varus; for the Germans, encouraged by
their one victory, were constantly trying to win more.
On one occasion, while Germanicus was absent for a short
time, the Roman legions revolted. The young general,
fearing for the safety of his wife, Agrippina, and
his children, sent them all away. Now it seems that
those rude men had taken a great fancy to his youngest
child, who was only three years old. The boy, too, was
fond of the soldiers, and wore little boots like
theirs; and on account of these he was known by the name
To have their little favorite back among them once
more, the revolted soldiers humbly came and begged
Germanicus to forgive them. He did so freely, but took
advantage of their new resolutions of good conduct to
lead them against the Germans. After a few victories,
the Roman army came to the very spot where Varus and
his legions had so treacherously been slain; and here
Germanicus paused with his men.
The bones of the dead Romans were piously collected and
buried under a great mound, upon which Germanicus laid
the first sod. Then, while his soldiers were thirsting
to avenge their countrymen's death, he led them on
further and further, until they met and defeated
In the mean while, Tiberius had begun his reign. He
pretended at first that he did not want the imperial
crown; but he secretly bribed the senators to get down
on their knees before him and implore him to accept it.
 The new emperor, unlike most Romans, took no delight in
chariot races, pantomimes, or shows of any kind. These
amusements, however, were constantly taking place, and
the people thronged into the circuses to see the fun.
Very often the benches were overcrowded; and on one
occasion a theater at Fidenæ gave way under the
great weight, and twenty thousand persons were killed.
Tiberius was jealous of the victories won by
Germanicus, and of the affection which his soldiers had
for him; so the young commander was summoned home soon
after his victory over Arminius. Germanicus returned
as a victorious general, and the senate awarded him a
magnificent triumph, in which Thusnelda, the wife of
Arminius, preceded his car with her children.
Triumph of Germanicus.
In memory of this triumph, a coin was struck in Rome,
bearing on one side the name and picture of Germanicus,
and on the other his return from Germany with the
broken ensigns of Varus. The inscription around it
was, in Latin, "The return of good luck." This coin,
like many others thus struck for special occasions, is
very rare and precious, and can be seen only in the