BEHOLD, The Empress of Rome Singing to her Dead Husband!

……not (sorry friends!) Instead, here's a song we wrote illustrating what we think the Roman empress, Livia Drusilla would’ve wanted her deceased husband Augustus to hear. Lyrics are at the end of the post.

PLUG IN for optimal quality (and for da bass mon').


Disclaimer: In no way is this an exact representation of what Livia Drusilla felt or did. This is a very light-hearted take on her eventful life.

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BEFORE YOU CLICK THAT PLAY BUTTON, READ BELOW FOR CONTEXT:

Very seldom do we read about successful women in our history texts. Few were praised and even fewer to the same extents as male rulers were revered. In the case of Livia Drusilla, things were no different. Having been married previously (to Claudius Nero), she had two children (Tiberius and Drusus) under her care when she crossed paths with emperor-to-be Augustus.

Through her marriage with Augustus, she quickly gained a position of even greater influence. This also came with being a personal confidante and advisor to her powerful husband with regards to foreign and domestic affairs. She was able to establish even more connections that would continue to serve her well long after Augustus’s death. Clearly, Livia had well established her path as a woman of power. This was reinforced especially after Augustus died, bestowing on her the title of “Augusta" in his will.

For numerous reasons, her eldest son Tiberius had a turbulent relationship with his step-father, Augustus (and his own mother). In the process of attaining the title of “emperor”, Tiberius was not only forced by his parents to divorce his one true love, but was pushed into consul despite his conflicting beliefs. Thus, it was no surprise that when the opportunity presented itself with Augustus’s passing, he ascended to the throne resentfully.

Surely enough, a woman possessing so much power and influence was not a common sight in Ancient Rome. Livia getting her way with almost everything reaffirmed speculations that not only was she spoilt rotten by her husband, but that she would resort to anything to get what she wanted. Hence, historians (such as Tacitus) and many Romans alike, made her out to be a power-hungry and ambitious mother and wife who was only looking out for her own self-interests. This included the rumour that she poisoned her own husband before he could change the heir to his throne.

Well fret not Livia, for we are here to assist! You may now proceed to press the play button.

 

Terry, Mars, Yong Quan x


Lyrics: 

Not one, took two

But I found you

I mean Nero, he’s cool

But he’s not you

 

I’d stand along

Devoted & true

As not just your wife,

but Advisor too

 

Chorus:

Augustus, my love

How I’ve missed you

Things have been hard

But I’ll make do

 

Cause when you’re in Rome

Do as Romans do

 

It stinks that you’ve passed

From figs, who knew?

Please, the rumours weren’t true

That I killed you

 

Tiberius, that fool

And Tacitus too

I’ll prove I’m not just some mom

But an empress too

 

Chorus:

Augustus my love,

If you only knew

The sorts of lows

That I’ve stooped to

 

Cause when you’re in Rome,

Do as Romans do