There’s little information about this year. In Rome it would have been known as year 769 Ab urbe condita, the 769th year since the founding of Rome.
The Emperor Augustus has been dead for two years and Tiberius is getting to grip to his new position of master of all he surveys. His beady eye was everywhere.
This year was also termed as the year of the consuls Sisenna Statilius Taurus. There’s not a lot known about the consul but several years later his son seems to have been accused of sorcery and committed suicide.
The other consul of this year was called Lucius Scribonius Libo. He was married to the grand-daughter of Pompey the Great. Possibly a bad choice of wife. He was accused of plotting against Tiberius. After a trial, where he was presumably found innocent, he was stabbed to death by Tiberius. Allegedly.
Another death was that of a man called Clemens who claimed to be Agrippa, the grandson of Augustus. He marched on Rome but Tiberius captured and tortured him. It is said that Tiberius asked him, “How did you become Agrippa?” and Clemens replied “The same way you became Caesar.” Possibly a bad choice of words.
In the north of Europe Tiberius’s nephew Germanicus was busy fighting against the Germans. Germanicus died fairly young. He may have got on the wrong side of, you’ve guessed it, Tiberius and he died in mysterious circumstances. His son became Emperor, the scary Caligula. His younger brother, Claudius also became Emperor and a star of stage and screen.
Germanicus also got involved in the endemic warfare between Rome and its great rival the Parthian Empire. The King of Kings in 16 CE was Artabanus III. He was possibly almost as nasty a character as Tiberius. Both lived long and prospered.
Further east, the Kushan empire was expanding across Afghanistan into India. The King in the year 16 was called Heraios. The culture of the Kushan appears to have been a real melange, with influences from Iran, India, the steppes and the Hellenistic world. This coin shows something of this.
It could almost be Greek but the king’s deformed head is a trait of the Kushan people. I think there’s something a little Tudor about it.
In Mesoamerica the Zapotec empire was flourishing with its main centre at modern day Monte Albán.
Next up – and here’s where I had to get a calculator to check my numbers – is the year 984 BCE. A year of trousers.