Emperor Tiberius Caesar
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Quotes for
Emperor Tiberius Caesar (Character)
from Caligula (1979)

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Caligula (1979)
Tiberius: Do you prefer nymphs to satyrs?
Caligula: I like both, Lord.
Tiberius: One needs both, yes, to keep healthy.

Tiberius: Do you think this boy has been drinking?
Caligula: I think he has, Caesar.
Tiberius: So do I. Macro? Bring him more wine!

Tiberius: Serve the state, Caligula, though the people in it are wicked beasts.
Caligula: But they love you, lord.
Tiberius: Oh, no... they FEAR me... and that is much better.

Tiberius: It is fate that rules us, Little Boots, not any god.
Caligula: You are a god.
Tiberius: No, I'm NOT! Not even when I'm dead.
Caligula: Julius Caesar and Augustus Caesar, they are gods.
Tiberius: So says the senate, and so the people prefer to believe. Such myths are useless.

Nerva: Tiberius, you were wise once.
Tiberius: Don't taunt me! I am old.
Nerva: I've watched you grow into a monster! One by one, I've seen you murder your whole family, your friends, the noblest men in Rome.
Caligula: That is treason!
Nerva: No, it's the truth.
Tiberius: I am and always have been surrounded by enemies. In my own family, in the senate... You are cruel!
Nerva: Honest old men can sometimes see the future. So, from the evils past, and the evils yet to come, I now choose to escape.

Tiberius: Oh, yes, I am a true moralist, and stern as any Cato. Fate chose me to govern swine, in my old age, I have become a swineherd.

[seeing Nerva has cut his wrists]
Tiberius: Cretins... why did you permit him to do it?
[to two slaves looking on]
Tiberius: Bind his wrists... BIND HIS WRISTS!
[to Nerva]
Tiberius: You must not go, you must not leave me, you are my friend, my only friend.
Nerva: I've lived too long, Tiberius, I hate my life.
Tiberius: [to the two slaves] Leave us! Both of you!
Nerva: The man to choose the hour of his own death is the closest he will ever come to tricking fate. And fate decrees that when you die, Macro will kill me.
Tiberius: I'll arrest him, have him executed!
Nerva: You can't, he controls you. Anyway, even with Macro dead,
[looking at Caligula]
Nerva: how could I go on living with this... reptile?
Tiberius: [to Caligula] You will respect my friend always, won't you, reptile?

Tiberius: Do you think this boy has drunk enough wine?
Caligula: I think he's drunk enough, Lord.
Tiberius: So do I!
[stabs the drunk man with a sword]
Tiberius: Now he is happy.

Tiberius: If someone else had become emperor, I would've been killed... As you will be!
[Tiberius quickly walks away as Caligula realizes]
Caligula: Will be?
[Caligula runs after Tiberius]
Caligula: Will be, Grandfather?
Tiberius: Would be, if you were not my heir.

[Caligula is having a nightmare about Tiberius]
Tiberius: A brother kills a brother who's killed his father who's killed his son. Fate. And then someone will kill Caligula!

Tiberius: I am mercy. A viper in Rome's bosom.

Tiberius: Rome is a republic and you and I are playing citizens. More confection. That's the best of my stallions. Serve the state, Caligula, although the people in it are wicked beasts.

Tiberius: They fear me. And that is much better.

Tiberius: When Rome was just a city and we were just citizens, we're known to one another. And we were frugal, good, disciplined and dignified. The Romans I rule are not like we were. They lust for power and pleasure. Money the wives of other men.

Tiberius: Every senator believes himself to be a potential Caesar, therefore every senator is guilty of treason. In thought, if not indeed.The Senate is the natural enemy of any Caesar, Little Boots.They offer to prove any law I made before I made it. I said: 'What if I go mad? What then?' No answer. They were born to be slaves.

Tiberius: I know everything that is said and done. And thought. The setting sun and the rising moon. Gemellus, lovely boy. And too young to betray me. Perhaps not too young.

Tiberius: Another brother is enough envy. Brother kills a brother who's killed his father who's killed his son.

The Robe (1953)
Emperor Tiberius: When it comes, this is how it will start. Some obscure martyr in some forgotten province, then madness. Infecting the legions, rocking the empire, then the finish of Rome.

Emperor Tiberius: After forty years with Julia, my approaching death holds few terrors for me.

Emperor Tiberius: Tell me, what was your impression of Pilate?
Marcellus Gallio: It's not my place to...
Emperor Tiberius: I'm asking you. Did you find him capable?
Marcellus Gallio: Yes sire, he's considered a good administrator.
Emperor Tiberius: Stern, as befits a Roman governor?
Marcellus Gallio: I'm sure of that, sire.
Emperor Tiberius: Just?
Marcellus Gallio: I - I can't say.
Emperor Tiberius: Why not? Surely you can give me some sort of an answer? Tell me, tribune - what happened out there?

Emperor Tiberius: For your sake I interfered, when my wife wanted to give you to Caligula. For your sake I brought your tribune back from Palestine. For your sake, I now free you from him.
Diana: Sire, I have no wish to be free.
Emperor Tiberius: Have you gone mad too?
Diana: He had everything then. He could have had me too. I wanted him, but I wasn't sure that I loved him. Now I am sure.
Emperor Tiberius: I see it my duty to forbid you to see him again. As a child you were wise, but now you reason like a woman - foolishly.

Emperor Tiberius: Tribune Gallio, you are a Roman officer. I command you to gain control over yourself.

Imperium: Augustus (2003) (TV)
Tiberius: I'll find Iullus and kill him!
Julia: No, you won't. You'll go back to the boarder and continue playing "soldier" or I'll have father throw you in prison as a deserter.

Tiberius: My duty is to maintain authority over Rome's legions; you undermine that with your adultery which you don't even attempt to conceal. I can not live with that!
Julia: Then do us both a favour and fall on your sword!

Tiberius: Mother, no! I'm your son, *not* Augustus', as Julia is his daughter, *not* yours.
Livia: Exactly, which is why you must marry Julia!
Tiberius: I don't love her, and she doesn't love me either.
Livia: Love has nothing to do with it.
Tiberius: I love my wife. I always have.
Livia: Yes, Tiberius. You told me that when you married the stupid little thing, but she is of no use to us. You will divorce her, and marry Julia. Do that, and you'll be emperor.
Tiberius: I don't want to be emperor!
Tiberius: Besides, there are Gaius and Lucius, Julia and Agrippa's boys. They come before me.
Livia: They're weak children...
Livia: They may die.
Tiberius: Mother, you wouldn't...
Livia: Wouldn't what?
[Long pause]
Livia: I was just saying they've always had colds and fevers. They *may* die.

Julia: Tiberius! I was not informed that you were returning to Rome.
Tiberius: You mean "warned"?
Julia: Why should I need to be "warned"?
Tiberius: The northen boarder is as far away as your father could send me, but reports of your affair with Iullus arrive regulary... In explisite detail.

[to Augustus on Julia]
Tiberius: People call you a god, but they a wrong. You destroy everything you love!

"I, Claudius: Poison Is Queen (#1.5)" (1976)
[on Augustus' will]
Livia: He's altered his will
[Tiberius gawps]
Livia: What's the matter? Cat got your tongue? Ha, that took your breath away, didn't it.
Tiberius: How do you know?
Livia: I know; I make it my business to know.

[Livia has told Tiberius about the will]
Tiberius: Whose he changed it in favour of?
Livia: Whose d'you think?
Tiberius: Germanicus?
Livia: HA. Trust you to get it wrong. I must have been nodding when I gave birth to you.
Tiberius: I wonder sometimes mother if you ever did anything so natural as giving birth. In whose favour has he altered the will-?
Livia: POSTUMUS. Whose d'you think?
Livia: Augustus went to Corsica, didn't it occur to you be might stop off to visit your stepson?
Tiberius: Well why should he? What does he know that he didn't know before? What could he know?
Tiberius: [Grimly] What is there to know?
Livia: He's a senile old man. How am I to know what causes him to change his mind? But he has and so much the worse for you, my baby, if I can't change it back.

Tiberius: Don't bother on my account. I'm sick of it. Gods know I've done my best; he's never liked me, never. Thirty years I've run his errands for him; I've fought on his bloody frontiers, collected his taxes- Never once has he put his hand on my shoulder and said "Thank you, what would I have done without you?" He sends me off again and doesn't even give me a goodbye, just "Get on your horse and ride." Well, damn him. I retired before once and I can do it again; let his precious grandson run his empire for him. I'm sick to death of it.
[Long pause]
Livia: So, when do you leave?

[to Livia, genuinely confused about the change in Emperor's Augustus' will]
Tiberius: Why? What could have caused him to change it? What does he know now that he didn't know then? What could he know?
[has epiphany and says in accusatory tone]
Tiberius: *What* is there to know?

Livia: I wouldn't travel too fast if I were you.
Tiberius: Why not?
Livia: Well, you won't have so far to come back if anything happens to him.

"I, Claudius: Reign of Terror (#1.8)" (1976)
Tiberius: I will make you my successor, Gaius Caligula. Rome deserves you.
Caligula: Is that a joke, uncle?
Tiberius: Not yet, but it will be.

[Tiberius is asking questions about Macro]
Tiberius: Do you know him personally?
Caligula: No, but I've slept with his wife several times.

Tiberius: My dear, You look like a Greek tragedy.
Agrippina: And you look like a Roman farce.

"I, Claudius: A Touch of Murder (#1.1)" (1976)
[on Marcellus]
Tiberius: Frankly, I wouldn't have thought you'd care whether he lived or died.
Livia: Oh I care very much whether he lives or dies.

Livia: Tell me, what do you think of Julia?
Tiberius: Nothing. Why?
Livia: Nobody could accuse you of being devious. She thinks very well of you.
Tiberius: What's that supposed to mean.
Livia: Nothing. She likes you, that's all. Always has.
Tiberius: Mother, I'm a happily married man. Julia doesn't interest me. She wouldn't interest me even if you hung her naked from the ceiling above my bed.
Livia: She might even do that if I asked her.

[on Livia's plan to have Tiberius marry Julia]
Tiberius: Anyway, where does all this get us? There's not only Marcellus, there's Agrippa too. And August prefers both of them to me.
Julia: [Screams off stage] No, *no*.
Tiberius: Ye gods, what's that?
Livia: It sounds as though there is now only Agrippa

"I, Claudius: Waiting in the Wings (#1.3)" (1976)
Drusus: A man should keep himself clean, not have slaves do it.
Tiberius: And how's he supposed to scrape his own back?
Drusus: He gets his brother to do it.
Tiberius: If he hasn't got a brother?
Drusus: He gets his son.
Tiberius: If he hasn't got a son?
Drusus: Gets his friend.
Tiberius: And if he hasn't got a friend?
Drusus: Then he should go and hang himself.
Tiberius: I've tried it. Better to have a slave scrape your back.

[of his mother Livia]
Tiberius: They say a snake bit her once. And died.

Tiberius: Let me go, you fat drunken cow!
Julia: Fat? Fat? If I'm fat, I'm fat where a woman should be fat, not skinny like a boy!

Ben-Hur (1959)
Tiberius Caesar: [Tiberius Caesar sees Judah Ben-Hur, in Arrius' chariot] This man riding beside you, who is he?
Quintus Arrius: The man who saved me, divine Emperor, to return and serve you.
Tiberius Caesar: Is that all you know of him?
Quintus Arrius: No. He was accused of an attack on the governor of Judea. But he was innocent.
Tiberius Caesar: If not, there is a strange inconsistency in this man, who tries to kill my governor, yet saves the life of my Consul. Come tomorrow, and we will talk of him.

"The Caesars: Caligula (#1.5)" (1968)
[On telling Tiberius he's going to kill himself]
Tiberius: You're my oldest friend.
Proculus: That's just it Tiberius, I don't want to be your *oldest* friend.

"I, Claudius: Old King Log (#1.13)" (1976)
[on his last day before the Senate, Claudius sees the ghosts of his family and predecessors]
Augustus: Well done, Claudius, emperor after all. Who would have thought it, eh?
Livia: You're a fool, boy, you always were. People might say it's not your fault. Well, if it's not your fault, whose is it then?
Antonia: Your nose is still dripping, Claudius, still dripping.
Tiberius: Wasn't worth it, was it? I could have told you that.
Caligula: Uncle Claudius, I wasn't the Messiah after all, would you believe that? Could have knocked me over with a feather then they told me that.

"I, Claudius: Some Justice (#1.6)" (1976)
Tiberius: Has it ever occurred to you, mother, that it's you they hate and not me?
Livia: There is nothing in this world that occurs to you that does not occur to me first. That is the affliction I live with.