Poppaeus Sabinus was continued in his government of the province of
Moesia with the addition of Achaia and Macedonia. It was part of Tiberius’
character to prolong indefinitely military commands and to keep many
men to the end of their life with the same armies and in the same
administrations. Various motives have been assigned for this. Some
say that, out of aversion to any fresh anxiety, he retained what he
had once approved as a permanent arrangement; others, that he grudged
to see many enjoying promotion. Some, again, think that though he
had an acute intellect, his judgment was irresolute, for he did not
seek out eminent merit, and yet he detested vice. From the best men
he apprehended danger to himself, from the worst, disgrace to the
State. He went so far at last in this irresolution, that he appointed
to provinces men whom he did not mean to allow to leave Rome.

I can hardly venture on any positive statement about the consular
elections, now held for the first time under this emperor, or, indeed,
subsequently, so conflicting are the accounts we find not only in
historians but in Tiberius’ own speeches. Sometimes he kept back the
names of the candidates, describing their origin, their life and military
career, so that it might be understood who they were. Occasionally
even these hints were withheld, and, after urging them not to disturb
the elections by canvassing, he would promise his own help towards
the result. Generally he declared that only those had offered themselves
to him as candidates whose names he had given to the consuls, and
that others might offer themselves if they had confidence in their
influence or merit. A plausible profession this in words, but really
unmeaning and delusive, and the greater the disguise of freedom which
marked it, the more cruel the enslavement into which it was soon to
plunge us.