Monday, October 13, 2008


This Day in the Long History of Romans Poisoned by their Wives

On this day in 54, the Emperor Titus Claudius Nero Germanicus, Claudius, died after being twice poisoned by his fourth wife (and his niece) Agrippina (Caligula's sister) who was mother to his successor, the horrible Nero. The amazing life of this Emperor is the subject of an extraordinary historical novel, I, Claudius and its sequel, Claudius the God by Robert Graves, as well as a very well received BBC series based on the first novel.

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Funny you should mention it. Amy is on the hunt for a successor to the great series Rome and ordered the first 3 episodes of I, Claudius from Netflix. We watched the first episode over the weekend. To say time has not been kind to it would be to spare the rod - it was excruciating! Brian Blessed (bless 'im) was woefully miscast as Augustus while Sian Phillips did her best to be devious but paled besides Polly Walker's delicious rendition of Atia (albeit historically inaccurate, I gather). At the time (1976) it seemed a wonderful show, and I, Mark, looked forward enthusiastically to the weekly episodes. Perhaps the books are more ageless?
I, Claudius remains my very favorite historical novel. Sorry about the BBC thing. I never saw it. I knew it couldn't compare to the book.
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