More on the Great Riot My job has kept me busy for a while but here is a brief update. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Tiberius Gemellus was only in his teens, when he became Emperor but he had a fierce devotion to his Cousin Caligula according Caligula’s hagiography. Thus, it was no surprise that Tiberius was prepared to go on a rampage of vengeance once he became Emperor. According to the most reliable accounts, Tiberius had been taken outside the city by some of Caligula’s surviving bodyguards and servants. There he had been sheltered at the army camp for the 3rd Roman legion. Once safely in the camp Tiberius gave orders that the Legion should immediately enter Rome and punish those responsible for the death of his Cousin. Traditionally no Roman army could enter the city without the permission of the Roman Senate or the Emperor. But the murder of Caligula apparently also effected the officers of the 3rd legion. Despite the fact of Caligula’s conversion to Christianity he was still considered affectionately as “little boots,” by many in the Roman army and had during his reign done nothing to disenfranchise the army. The murder of Caligula was considered a crime by the Senate against the people of Rome and the Empire. However, it should be noted that there was probably a political motive involved in what happened next. The Senate was not popular with many in the Army and the thought of weakening its power in favor of an Emperor more sympathetic to the needs of the military may have played a role in the decisions. By nightfall the 3rd legion was entering Rome and making its way to the Senate. When the Senate was reached Tiberius ordered that all the Senate should be gathered and forced to convene. The troops spread out and soon the Roman Senators – those who had not been lynched by the vengeful mob – were gathered before Tiberius. Tiberius demanded that he be acclaimed Emperor before them. Literally at spear point the Roman Senate declared Tiberius Gemellus to be Emperor of Rome. Tiberius then ordered the arrest of the entire Roman Senate on charges of regicide. He also ordered the arrest of his nephew Claudius once he learned he had been acclaimed Emperor by the Senate. In the meantime Tiberius sent the troops into the parts of the city that were still burning to aid as they could and put an end to the rioting. Orders were given that any who were actively instigating the riots were to be arrested.By the next morning several hundred individuals, many of them priests in the temples had been arrested. Meantime the fires that had been set as a result of the riots would continue to burn for several days despite the attempts by Tiberius and his men to extinguish them. A full ¼ of the city was destroyed by the time the fires died down due to the coming of a rainstorm. But while the storm may have put out the fires a whole new one was about to rage as the trials began.