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Is there any historical evidence for Caesar Tiberius (commonly referred to Tiberius Caesar) having a co-regency with his predecessor Caesar Augustus? I have read (in a book that I don't remember the title nor author) that some believe there was a co-regency. In an article from Answers In Genesis (see Conclusion), the author writes

[S]ome have postulated a co-regency (joint rule) of Tiberius and Augustus during the last few years of Augustus’s reign. However, there is no reliable ancient historical evidence for such co-regency.

[emphasis mine]

Is there "no reliable ancient historical evidence" for a co-regency of Tiberius and Augustus? Is there any evidence at all?

For a little background, Caesar Augustus was the first Emperor of the Roman Empire. He succeeded the dictator Caesar Julius (commonly referred to as Julius Caesar) and was succeeded by Caesar Tiberius. Some claim Tiberius was co-regent with Augustus for a couple years prior to Augustus' death. A co-regency is the situation where a monarchical position (such as king, queen, emperor or empress), normally held by only a single person, is held by two or more.

The article mentioned is about when Jesus Christ died. I shall explain why a co-regency of Tiberius and Augustus is important to Christian apologetics. Had there been a co-regency, Jesus could have started His ministry as early as AD 26 or 27, allowing for AD 30 to be the date of Jesus' death. Had there been no co-regency, His ministry would have started at about AD 29, putting His death around AD 33.

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    No, because a Republic does not have a regent. Augustus had powers and honors, but not an office (except when he held traditional offices like consul). After Augustus's death, Tiberius began ending the fiction that Rome was still a Republic.
    – C Monsour
    Commented May 11, 2019 at 14:48

2 Answers 2

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It depends precisely what is meant by "co-regency". I will try to outline the widely accepted facts.

According to historian Beth Severy, Augustus in 4 CE announced his intention that Tiberius should inherent his title as emperor. Augustus adopted Tiberius as a son and give him a triumph and "a special grant of imperium". Over the following decade:

For the most part, Tiberius led the empire's military campaigns, while Augustus administered the city of Rome. The various problems which arose in this period were handled by both men in a way that reinforced the role of their family in the state.

In 12 CE, there was some sort of ceremony that implied recognition of Tiberius as "co-princeps". This is described by Suetonius.

Then, according to Wikipedia, after Augustus' death in 14 CE:

The Senate convened on 18 September, to validate Tiberius's position as Princeps and, as it had done with Augustus before, extend the powers of the position to him. These proceedings are fully accounted by Tacitus. Tiberius already had the administrative and political powers of the Princeps, all he lacked were the titles—Augustus, Pater Patriae, and the Civic Crown (a crown made from laurel and oak, in honor of Augustus having saved the lives of Roman citizens).

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  • I expanded it. You can adjust your answer accordingly if you see a need to do so Commented Apr 19, 2017 at 17:50
  • @AChildofGod, you may find this relevant: hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/19215/…
    – Brian Z
    Commented Apr 19, 2017 at 17:54
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    To me at least, the most logical interpretation of "twelfth year of Tiberius Caesar" without any other contextual clues would be 26 CE.
    – Brian Z
    Commented Apr 19, 2017 at 18:00
  • I will have to look into Tertullian and Theodor Mommsen along with the coin mentioned in the second answer. Commented Apr 19, 2017 at 18:01
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I don't recall which historian it was, but I believe it was Cassius Dio, who said that Tiberius shared authority with Augustus to carry out the census. As I recall, Tiberius had all the same authority as Augustus himself, minus some of the titles. But it was only during Augustus' final year, and only for the purpose of the census. He wasn't co-emperor or anything like that. He was granted authority to a specific purpose.

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    It will strengthen your answer if you can remember which historian it was and include a source or two in support. Commented Aug 19, 2022 at 14:38

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