Despite Tacitus’ insinuations to the contrary, Cn. Calpurnius Piso (cos. 7 b.c.e.) was no friend and loyal supporter of Emperor Tiberius. The emperor offered Piso the command of Syria in an effort to win over the political support of this prestigious-but-recalcitrant senator. As a safeguard should Piso attempt something treacherous in this powerful command, Tiberius gave Piso the province at a time when Germanicus Caesar—the emperor’s loyal adopted son and heir—would be in the East resolving a number of economic problems in the eastern provinces. Thus Piso was not sent to watch the prince, but to be watched by him.
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