The fall of Sejanus in A.D. 31 aroused considerable controversy in the ancient sources and has also continued to do so in modern research. Indeed, questions of Sejanus’ intentions and of the identification of his allies and enemies still remain of great interest. No small part of this speculation concerns Antonia Minor, who is considered by an increasing number of scholars to have provided Tiberius with the critical information which led directly to the fall of Sejanus. In one recent article on.the family connections of Sejanus, it has been suggested that Antonia Minor, as a relative of Sejanus and a figure of no little influence, could have played a significant role not only in his fall but also in his rise to power. The relationship between the two, the subject of much conjecture but little analysis, deserves to be considered in detail.
The following discussion will consist of three parts: I.) the alleged relationship between Antonia and Sejanus before 31, II.) the tradition that stresses Antonia’s importance in the fall of Sejanus, and III.) based on the conclusions of the first two sections, a reconstruction of the process by which Antonia became associated with the events of 31.
It will here be argued that Antonia did not, in all probability, provide Tiberius with the critical information about the intentions of Sejanus. Her importance in the tradition is an invention of the Claudian and Flavian Periods.
Historia: Zeitschrift für Alte Geschichte, Bd. 24, H. 1 (1975)