Livia In Ancient Rome

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Livia as history most often knows her as the wife of Augustus for over fifty years from 38 BC her husband’s death in 14 AD it a very long time in view of life expectancy in ancient Rome. They remained married despite the fact that she had no children. Livia’s position as first lady of the imperial household, her own family connections, her confident personality and her private wealth allowed her to exercise power during his lifetime and afterward. All the Julio-Claudian emperors were her direct descendants: Tiberius was her son; Gaius (Caligula) , her great-grandson; Claudius , her grandson; Nero , her great-great-grandson. Livia did not have an impressive pedigree. Her father was adopted as an infant by M. Livius Drusus tribune in 91 BC.…show more content…
During the civil strife that followed the murder of Julius Caesar her first husband Nero had joined the party of the assassins and fought at Philippi. After the Republicans were defeated there, he turned to the party of Mark Antony specifically to Antony’s brother L. Antonius. Pompey was attracting remnants of Rome’s upper class. From there he and Livia and their small son Tiberius moved on to Greece. Amnesty for adherents of Antony allowed them to return to Rome in 39. Octavian , the “rising sun”, needed connections with aristocrats like Nero to provide an aura of Republican respectability to his growing power, and marriage to Livia secured it. She brought to this union not only her Livian and Claudian ancestry but also her two sons Tiberius and Drusus heirs of the distinguished Claudii Neurons. As for Octavian he no longer needed Scribonia because Pompey, with whom she had a family connection,no longer had to be conciliated. The ancient sources do not speculate about Livia’s feelings, but she was probably happy to be joined with a younger man of such overwhelming promise. Nero newly pardoned by Octavian did not have a real choice but he was aware that it did not hurt to bestow his wife on Rome’s ascendant power. Everyone gained by the arrangement.When
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