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Minor White in Connecticut, 1973 / John J. Weiss
© jjweiss 1973/2014

Minor White and Me

“There was an interminable pause. Then Minor cleared his throat once more and asked, ‘When can you start?’” More»

Karen1

Art Experts Take to Twitter for Ask a Curator Day on Wednesday, September 17

Five Getty curators are on tap for a live Twitter Q&A this Wednesday. More»

FallGarden1

Never-Ending Summer in the Central Garden

Long live summer. More»

Google Summer of Code Intern Palash Oswal (left) at an week-long Arches community workshop held in the UK this summer.

Google Summer of Code Pairs Up with Arches Project

Two Google-sponsored interns combine their interests in cultural heritage and tech development to work on this open-source software system More»

Old Couple / John Currin
Artwork © John Currin. Photo: Robert McKeever

Long Looks from Island to Island

Two paintings of lovers, decades and centuries apart. More»

    Featured Story

    SITI Company rehearses Persians

    Aeschylus’s Persian Queen: An Actor’s Craft

    Bringing alive an ancient queen. More»

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        All Hail Tiberius, Least Media-Savvy of the Roman Emperors

        Tiberius was proclaimed Roman emperor on September 17 in AD 14, exactly 2,000 years ago.

        He was also a bit wacko. “He was the least media-savvy emperor you could imagine,” says curator David Saunders, who has been in charge of this bronze portrait of Tiberius which leaves us on September 22. He point to this description found in the writings of Cassius Dio:

        Tiberius was a patrician of good education, but he had a most peculiar nature. He never let what he desired appear in his conversation, and what he said he wanted he usually did not desire at all. On the contrary, his words indicated the exact opposite of his real purpose; he denied all interest in what he longed for, and urged the claims of what he hated. He would exhibit anger over matters that were far from arousing his wrath, and make a show of affability where he was most vexed…In short, he thought it bad policy for the sovereign to reveal his thoughts; this was often the cause, he said, of great failures, whereas by the opposite course, far more and greater successes were attained.

        Moreover, David tells us, “Tiberius’s accession itself was a farrago: Tiberius sort-of feigning reluctance, the Senate bullying him, he being all, ‘Well, if-I-have-to,’ and in the end—according to Suetonius—saying he’ll do it as long as he can retire.”

        Suetonius is full of great, albeit spurious, anecdotes about poor old Tiberius, David reports. “When someone addressed him as ‘My Lord,’ it is said, Tiberius gave warning that no such insult should ever again be thrown at him.”

        Happy accession, My Lord!

        Portrait Head of Tiberius (“The Lansdowne Tiberius”), early 1st century A.D., Roman. The J. Paul Getty Museum

        Statue of Tiberius (detail), Roman, A.D. 37, Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Napoli e Pompei – Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli, Laboratorio di Conservazione e Restauro. Currently on view at the Getty Villa following conservation and study.

        09/17/14

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