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Livia Drusilla (58 BCE - 29 CE) was the third wife of emperor Augustus of Rome, mother of emperor Tiberius, and grandmother of emperor Claudius.
She was one of the great women in history who achieved prominence living in the shadow of a strong leader, serving silently as his advisor and confidant.
Supportive of her husband’s reform policies, as well as turning a blind eye to his infidelities, she served the empire as a symbol of the loyal Roman wife, yet behind the scenes at the imperial court, she spent much of her adult life ensuring her son’s future as heir to Augustus’s throne whether he wanted it or not.
The image of Livia as a hearth less serial killer was possibly common at the time because of the Roman idea of the evil step-mother figure. In reality, despite her ambitions for Tiberius and the odd coincidental deaths of Augustus’ heirs, there’s no proof to support the murders. She was brilliant, loved beauty and nature and probably was judged poorly by jealous men of the establishment.
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