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Key information:


Birthdate: January 30, 59 or 58 BCE.

(Cassius Dio, Roman History, 58.2)

Birthplace: Unknown.

Reign: Livia married Octavian, who would go on to become emperor Augustus, in a ceremony in 38 BCE. After his death in 14 CE, she was granted the honorary title “augusta” and inherited one-third of his estate. 

(Tacitus, Annals, 5.1) (Suetonius, Life of Augustus, 101)


Tiberius Claudius Nero (43 BCE – 38 BCE)

(Tacitus, Annals, 5.1)

Augustus (38 BCE – 14 AD)

(Tacitus, Annals, 5.1) (Cassius Dio, Roman History, 48.44)


Tiberius (son by Tiberius Claudius Nero)

(Velleius Paterculus, Roman History, 2.75)

Drusus the Elder (son by Tiberius Claudius Nero)

(Cassius Dio, Roman History, 48.44) (Suetonius, Life of Claudius, 1)

Death: Livia died of natural causes on September 28, 29 CE. She lived to be 86 years old.

(Cassius Dio, Roman History, 58.2) (Suetonius, Life of Tiberius, 51)

Head of Livia in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, January 2020
Statue of Livia as a priestess, from Herculaneum Theatre, in the National Archaeological Museum of Naples, October 12th 2018
Statue of Livia as Ceres, Copenhagen Glyptotek, Copenhagen, September 18th 2019

Famous facts and dates

Livia was married to Augustus for over fifty years. She had unparalleled access to the emperor, and he regularly took her advice and guidance on issues of administration.
(Tacitus, Annals, 1.3) (Cassius Dio, Roman History, 58.2)
Some Roman historians report that Livia may have played a role in the death of Augustus and his heirs, as she wanted her son Tiberius to inherit the throne. However, it is difficult to determine whether these are facts or simply rumors.
(Tacitus Annals 1.5-6) (Cassius Dio, Roman History, 53.33 & 56.30)
Livia was deified by emperor Claudius, her grandson, in 42 CE.
(Suetonius, Life of Claudius, 11)

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Cite this page as: Darius Arya, The American Institute for Roman Culture, “Livia” Ancient Rome Live. Last modified 08/13/2021.


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