I Am Livia - Phyllis T. Smith

An enjoyable reading so far, only a note or.. better, a doubt: it's strange how Tiberius Nero and Livia's father are reacting during the times of Octavianus's blacklist. This period was immediately preceding the new "imperial" era and the high corruption in the Republic was one of the pretexts of Octavianus to propose a new policy.

Livia suggests to Tiberius the possibility of turning in his favour the relationship with a friend of Marcus Antonius (who wrote the blacklist with Octavianus). Even if he's loyal to the opposite part and this would be a betrayal, this is clearly the most rapid solution to avoid death. Tiberius...

- seems to fall from the sky. I hope that his reaction meant more that he was dismayed because Livia - a woman - suggested it to him, and not because of the suggestion itself. It would be naive for a person involved in politics. The corruption was tangible, even Cicero (who phraised so much the traditional roman moral) was involved in corruption, imagine a person who took part at the conspiracy against Caesar. A questionable reaction.

- paradoxally shows that he couldn't do it because of his dignity. This is interesting, I don't want to make a critic because I don't know much about Tiberius Nero, but is this sens of heroism apt to the historical context? I mean, he's not a stoic and exceptional figure like Cato. Romans were very involved in this kind of political ethic, but if even them arrived to need a "restorative" figure like Octavianus, it means that all this sense of dignity was not so present in the senate and in the members of the Republic of those times.


I studied this specific period the last year so I have to retrieve some informations to be sure at 100 % of what I'm saying. But this is maybe the only point that casts doubts about the historical side so far, the rest seemed in line without discreprancies. :)