Tiberius' parents were about as well off as a Roman family could be, kind of like a Classical Age version of the Kennedys, only without the terrible accents. His father, Tiberius Claudius Nero, had not only fought with Julius Caesar, but was also elected Praetor, meaning he was directly beneath the Emperor Augustus himself. Tiberius' mother was the sort of social-climbing debutante bitch who couldn't handle her man being second best, however, so she quickly divorced that worthless piece of crap and married Augustus. So not only was Tiberius born with a silver spoon in his mouth, but thanks to his gold-digging mom, he upgraded to one made of solid diamond-encrusted platinum. Augustus himself didn't have any sons, so he adopted Tiberius and his brother Drusus. Why not? Someone had to run the show after Augustus croaked. As the son of the Emperor, Tiberius quickly became that spoiled little rich brat who received everything he wanted, who never got in trouble, and who everybody completely fucking hated.
Tiberius was pretty much utterly worthless until he got married to Vipsania Agrippina, the daughter of one of Augustus' BFFs. Now that he had a wife, a studio apartment, etc., Tiberius decided that he might want to actually do something with his life instead of sitting around watching Maury, scratching his balls, thinking about how great he is, and eating handfuls of beef jerky right out of the bag. He took command of some badass Legions, marched north, and yadda yadda yadda beat the hell out of the Germans and the Gauls and discovered the source of the Danube River. No biggie. Whatever. After this display of badassery Augustus had such a boner for this guy that he couldn't just settle for having him married to one of his friend's daughters, so the Emperor hooked Tiberius up with his own daughter, Julia the Elder. Hey, I guess it's not really incest if you're adopted (not that they would fucking care anyways). Things were still up in the air as to who was going to run Rome after the Emperor beefed it, and the last thing the Romans wanted was another bloody civil war or the clusterfuck that happened when Alexander died and the diodachi said that all his forts were belong to them. Now that Tiberius was not only Augustus' son, but was also his son-in-law (can I stress enough how messed up this is?) he was a shoo-in for the nomination. Everything was coming up roses for this spoiled douchebag.
There was only one problem, though - Tiberius wanted nothing to do with it. Here's how it went down in the Julian household:
Augustus:: Oh, Tiberius, you sure are swell. Please run Rome when I'm gone.
Tiberius: Whatever dad. I'll take care of that about the same time I learn to properly fucking conjugate the verb possumus in the pluperfect. Leave me alone.
Augustus:: Hahaha, what a sense of humor on this kid. Say, isn't your birthday next month? Why don't I give you your present now. Here.
Tiberius: What the hell is this?
Augustus:: Surprise! You now control half of the Roman world. Take command of my Legions in Greece, conquer the rest of the world, come back a triumphant hero and the people will love you as Emperor when I'm gone.
Tiberius: Yeah, well Caius got socks for his birthday. Do you know how well socks go with sandals? God, why couldn't you have gotten me a cool gift like that?
Augustus:: What a kidder. My little jokester. Haha.
Tiberius: Screw you, dad. I'm gonna go get drunk and nail bitches on Rhodes. Give your shitty gift to Drusus or something. I'm Audi 5000.
So, our hero-ish figure went to the luxurious isle of Rhodes, partied with floozies, snorted X off of dead hookers and got really pissed at his wife for not being OK with them having an "open relationship". He pretty much gave the finger to the prospect of becoming Emperor (and thereby doing an honest day's work just once in his entire lifetime), and moved out of town to do whatever the fuck he wanted. Meanwhile, back in Rome, Augustus' grandsons both died. The Emperor was really fucking old at this point and was scrambling around looking for someone to take over his gig when he died. Tiberius' scheming mother convinced everyone that he would make a good heir to the throne, and right before the old man peaced out, he named you know who as his replacement. Tiberius still didn't want it. He tried to convince the Senate to only give him a part of the Empire to rule, a request that probably involved quite a bit of gesturing towards his crotch, but they insisted. He finally accepted, but that didn't mean he had to actually do anything.
Tiberius took a laissez-faire approach to Emperorship. He didn't pay the armies. They mutinied and someone else took care of the rebellion. When this someone, his nephew Germanicus, came back to Rome as a hero, the new Emperor sent the young man to the eastern frontier and then had him killed just to make sure his free ride would stay intact. Bored with being Emperor, Tiberius moved out to the resort island of Capri to relax in the villas he owned there. One of his head honchos, a dude named Sejanus, took advantage of the Emperor's absence and started picking up the slack around Rome. Tiberius seemed pretty appreciative of his friend lending a helping hand and started referring to him as his equal. Sejanus, being the little ass-kisser that he was, basked in the compliments and kept running the Empire as if it were his own, and Tiberius loved him for it.
Until he got pissed off, that is. Tiberius called Sejanus on the phone:
Tiberius: Hey, CJ, it's TC. What's up?
Sejanus: It's like 4 in the morning man, what's your problem?
Tiberius: Just got done with a drunken orgy, wanted to see how things are going for you?
Sejanus: Fine. Just got done paying off the debt you built up from all your coke parties.
Tiberius: Cool. You know what, you're great. Seriously. You should get a medal or something.
Sejanus: I'm just doing your job, Tiberius. Someone has to.
Tiberius: I know - I'm sure as hell not going to. Hey, tell you what, after work tomorrow, you go to the Senate and I'll make them read a list of good things about you, absolutely free.
Sejanus: Well, I guess you do owe me. I was kind of disappointed with the last 400 statutes you built in my honor.
Tiberius: Hey, it's the least I can do, man. I gotta go though. TTYL.
Sejanus: Bye. –click- Jackass.
Sejanus walked into the Senate the next day and had a bunch of nice things said about him... then a bunch of mediocre things... then some terrible things... and by the time the senate was done reading Tiberius' e-mail, they all thought Sejanus was sexing all of their wives, killing all of their sons, and stealing all of their money. On top of that, he didn't recycle, only used Styrofoam cups, and drove a crappy, environmentally-unfriendly car that only got like five miles to the gallon. Almost immediately he was fucking strangled to death, kicked down the steps of the forum and his corpse was left to rot and be poked at by hobos in a dirty gutter somewhere. Meanwhile, Tiberius was in a hammock in Capri with a cask of expensive wine on one side of him and a couple dozen beautiful ladies on the other.
Even though he was a total bastard, Tiberius was badass because he was a fucking gangster. He wasn't crazy, like Al Pacino in Scarface or Joe Pesci in Goodfellas - overachievers who went balls-out all the fucking time and ended up in an early grave. No, Tiberius did absolutely none of the work and got all of the benefits. He was more like Marlon Brando as Don Corlione in The Godfather. Just because of who he was, he got whatever he wanted, did whatever he wanted, and had sex with whatever he wanted. He ruled most of the known world while barely lifting a finger, spent all day eating fermented grapes on top of piles of money and women, and utterly fucking destroyed anybody who displeased him or even remotely appeared to be a threat to his power. True badasses know to dominate their subjects with an iron fist, but to do it from their couches, surrounded by plasma screen HDTVs and so many hot naked drunk babes that it makes the Girls Gone Wild series look like a recruiting film for Mormon missionaries.