Gnaeus Calpurnius Piso
belonged to a prominent senatorial family allied to the imperial
household by Julius Caesar's marriage to
Calpurnia, the daughter of Lucius Calpurnius Piso. Gnaeus was himself a
close friend of Tiberius & served as
co-consul with him in 7 BCE.
Shortly after Tiberius became emperor
he appointed Piso governor of Syria (ca 16 CE).
Seneca characterized him as
an autocrat who was swift to execute anyone who defied him.
When Tiberius' adopted heir, Germanicus,
was made vice-regent of the eastern provinces (17 CE) Piso
became his rival. When Germanicus
died suddenly (19 CE) rumors spread
that he had been poisoned by Piso's
wife. Piso was recalled to stand trial for Germanicus' murder before the
Senate. But after professing his loyalty to Tiberius, Piso committed
suicide. This only increased public suspicions that Piso had acted on
instructions from Tiberius himself.
References: Seneca De
Caesars: Tiberius 52.
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