History has portrayed Livia Drusilla, the third and much beloved wife of Caesar Augustus, as a conniving, Borgia-like criminal, maintaining that Livia killed or incapacitated Augustus’ descendants through his previous wife to promote the political career of her son by a former husband. Author Robert Graves, in his novel, I, Claudius, based his fictitious rendering of Livia upon this malevolent representation. The book and the British Broadcasting Corporation adaptation of it for television perpetuated the image of Livia as a devious dynastic murderess in the popular mind.
I, Livia: The Counterfeit Criminal aspires to correct the misconception, and present an accurate assessment of this much-maligned woman. The study’s comfortably readable style is intended for general audiences.
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