Tuesday, October 07, 2008


This Day in the History of Births of Weird, Forgotten Romans

On this day in 15 BC, Nero Claudius Drusus, also known to historians as Drusus II and Drusus Minor, was born. He was the only child of the Emperor Tiberius and first wife Vipsania Agripinna. Don't pretend you know who he is; he's not the Emperor Nero. Here are bits from wikipedia about Drusus Minor, who was poisoned at age 37 by his cheating wife Livillia.

By 23 it looked as if Drusus, who made no secret of his antipathy towards Sejanus, would succeed Tiberius as emperor. For reasons of self-survival, but also because he may have had designs on the supreme power, Sejanus needed to remove Drusus. Ancient sources (Tacitus, Suetonius, Cassius Dio) concur that with Livilla as his accomplice he poisoned her husband.

Sejanus fell in 31 (October 18). A few days later (October 26) Sejanus' former wife Apicata committed suicide, but not before addressing a letter to Tiberius claiming that Drusus had been poisoned, with the complicity of Livilla. Drusus’ cupbearer Lygdus and Livilla's physician Eudemus were now tortured, and seemed to confirm Apicata’s accusation. By the end of the year Livilla too had perished, supposedly forcibly starved to death by her own mother, Antonia

We have no real concept of how utterly depraved the Romans at the height of the Empire were--no idea despite the great but short series Rome.


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