Bad Ancient: Was Livia the Ultimate Evil Stepmother?

Livia Drusilla’s life and how she was written about have fascinated readers for centuries. But when it comes to trying to find the evidence that takes account for all Livia’s facets, some accounts of Livia have had more sway than others. In our latest article for Bad Ancient, we explore the claim “Livia was a clever and dangerous political agent who eliminated those who stood in her way. Her ultimate goal: ensuring her son Tiberius succeeded Augustus.”

Was Livia the kind of woman who would kill? Was she really ambitious in the way that some sources suggest? We delve into the evidence to take a closer look at this incredible woman.

Looking for more on Livia? Tune into our episode on Livia and her representation. You might also enjoy seeing her in context, by checking out our two part series on Augustus, and his sexual life!

Livia Drusilla, wife of Emperor August. Marble, the Roman head (ca. 50 AD) was added in the 18th century to the antique body.
The Louvre Museum Department of Greek, Etruscan and Roman Antiquities, ground floor, room 23.
© Marie-Lan Nguyen / Wikimedia Commons

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