Livia Drucilla, Matron or Murderess:
The true power  behind Augustus

Bee English

Lake Travis High School

Was Livia Drucilla, better known as Livia and Emperor Augustus' wife, an upright, wrongly accused matron or a manipulative, cynical, power driven woman who engineered the deaths of numerous Julio-Claudian family members for the personal gain of placing her son Tiberius on the imperial throne? This paper examines Livia's role as first "first lady" through the works of Cassius Dio, Tacitus, Suetonius, Sallust, and other secondary sources to clarify this matter. The paper also takes into account familial, personal, and professional reasons why the aforementioned primary sources held the views that they did about Livia, whether truthful and justified or not. The paper examines the circumstances and deaths of Marcellus, Marcus Agrippa,  Drusus the Elder, grandsons Gaius, Lucius, and Postumus and the mysterious death of Germanicus in Syria. Coincidence or natural death, if such a thing was possible during the Julio-Claudian reign. The paper also elaborates on Livia's use of the imperial seal for "business". This paper makes very interesting conclusions, and furthermore, makes one scrutinize any preconceived ideas about Livia.

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