Livia, Domina of Rome
Sophie (age 7) and Ellie (age 5) tell the story of Livia, the most powerful woman in the early Roman Empire.
The Roman Republic is falling. Generals fight to be in charge. Eventually Julius Caesar wins out. Meanwhile, Livia is born to a rich and powerful Roman family. She has a perfect childhood and is married to her older cousin. They have a baby. Then Julius Caesar is murdered to stop him becoming King. Rome is split by civil war. Caesar’s nephew, Octavian, hunts down the murderers of Caesar and anyone supporting them and kills them. Livia’s father is also killed. After more fighting, Livia is forced to flee with her husband. She barely escapes Octavian’s soldiers.
Eventually, there is peace and Livia and her husband can go back to Rome.
Livia meets Octavian. Astonishingly they fall in love. They agree to get divorced from their partners. They get married. Livia’s old husband even gives Livia away at the wedding.
Octavian changes his name to Augustus and becomes Emperor of Rome.
They lead a relatively simple life. Livia is the perfect wife for Octavian. She is from an old family and that reassures the people of Rome that they can get back to the good old days. She is portrayed as the perfect wife. However, they have no children.
Augustus has children from his previous marriage. He loves them and helps to raise them, but they die. Livia persuades him that her son. Tiberius, from her earlier marriage should become Emperor after him. Augustus is not sure. However, when he realises what a good general Tiberius is, he agrees.
Augustus then dies and Tiberius becomes Emperor.
People in Rome still love Livia. They call her the mother of the nation. This makes Tiberius jealous. Even though she is his own mother and helped him become Emperor he is still jealous of her. Livia keeps giving Tiberius advice on how to be a good Emperor. This really annoys Tiberius and they have lots of arguments. Eventually he goes to live on a remote island. He is still Emperor but spends most of his time playing silly games.
When Livia died of old age she is mourned by Rome as one of the greatest women ever.
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