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Drusus the younger


In the summer of 15 BC Vipsania Agrippina, wife of Tiberius, was at Antium when she gave birth to Nero Claudius Drusus, called Drusus Julius Caesar to distinguish him from his uncle Drusus the Elder.
In the many statues that represent him, the facial features are very reminiscent of those ones of his father Tiberius with whom he spent the first years of childhood until to parental divorce imposed by Augustus in 12 BC. After Drusus lived with her father and his new wife, Julia, and when their marriage failed and her father moved to Rhodes in 6 BC, he was left to live with their stepmother, at least until his father divorced. The mother, Vipsania had meanwhile remarried to Gaius Asinius Gallus and, certainly, was she who pushed the new husband to claim paternity right of Drusus saw that Tiberius was completely uninterested and leaving him in Rome.
Drusus was'nt adopted by Asinius Pollio and when, Tiberius returned to Rome and he was officially adopted by Augustus in 4 AD , his son Drusus became part of the Julio-Claudian family.
Livia the grandmother was no stranger probably to the adoption as well as his marriage, celebrated in the same year, with Livilla, - his cousin as the daughter of Nero Claudius Drusus and Antonia Minor, latter's Augustus nephew -, further bond by which strengthened the chances of his grandson to be among the princeps heirs. Augustus, however, had adopted Tiberius requiring him to take in turn the nephew Germanicus, son of his brother Drusus Major, so that Drusus Minor became second in line of succession.
After the return of Tiberius in Rome, the relationship of the young Drusus with his father was very intense and quite complicated; there are not chronicles that report news on the reaction of Drusus in these events, which, moreover at that time was engaged in military experiences of his cursus honorum. About him know that he had a violent temper, strong and very pragmatic, he loved the military art and gladiatorial games, much to clash with some members of the Praetorian Guard for pure spirit of physical training.
According to Dio Cassius he enjoyed sight of blood and claimed that when watched the gladiatorial games the fighters in the arena had razor sharp weapons so that these swords were called gladi Drusiani; this side of the Drusus character worried his father Tiberius, who sometimes came to call him back. The violent character led him to behave wildy and could not keep from beating not only slaves and servants but also high-ranking people, so much that he earning the nickname of Castor, the Dioscurus famous for how to fight in a fistfight and slaps.
At the beginning of 14 AD , Augustus granted Drusus to participate in elections for the consulship although he was'nt magistrate yet ; in May of that same year the young priest Arvale and when Augustus died in august, nor Tiberius either Germanicus designated heirs were in Rome and, then he was pronouncing the funeral oration to the great emperor.
After the death of Augustus, in view of the onset of winter the legions quartered in Pannonia, VIII Augusta, IX Hispana and XV Apollinaris revolted demanding improvements in pay and the shortens of firm life; that time was still very uncertain because Tiberius had not yet seen the formalization of his succession, and both he and the Senate did not intend to still make concessions to the legionaries. Drusus the younger was sent to Pannonia to gain time, precisely with the task of formally collect the legions required to be transmitted to the Senate. Drusus in Pannonia at first followed the of his father and Senate but seeing that in any case among the legionnaires did not agree He decided to intervene and, according to his nature, made killing the leaders of the rebels, Pescennius and Vibuleno, and ordered find other troublemakers who were killed by their own centurions. One by one all the legions surrendered and having restored order and discipline Drusus returned to Rome where he received the praise of his father ...



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by M.L. ©ALL RIGHTS RESERVED (Ed 1.0 - 24/02/2017)