I, Claudius: What Shall We Do About Claudius?
August 22, 2017 8:28 PM - Season 1, Episode 3 - Subscribe
Rome, AD 9. Three Roman legions have been massacred in Germania at the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest. Tiberius and Germanicus are dispatched to exact revenge. While Claudius is in the library researching his family's history he is advised by the historian Pollio to play up his infirmities to enhance his place in his family as a harmless fool, and thus no threat to anyone. Augustus has determined that Postumus will succeed him as Emperor, but Livia overhears this.
In the peristyle as Augustus picks a fresh fig for Postumus, a disembodied voice mysteriously echoes "Poison". Augustus lectures Postumus on his rakish behavior. As Augustus' only surviving grandson and intended successor, Postumus needs to be cognisant of his responsibilities. When Postumus asks about Tiberius, Augustus says he adopted Tiberius out of respect for his mother (an amazing woman), but in his estimation Tiberius lacks the right stuff to rule. Livia overhears this conversation and undetected withdraws with a stony gaze. She then summons her granddaughter Livilla to her chambers. In a masterful piece of manipulation, Livia coldly accuses Livilla of adultery with Postumus and threatens her with a fate like Julia's. Livilla hysterically confesses, promising never to see him again. Now with Livilla in her clutches, Livia comforts her with grandmotherly affection and ego strokes. Livilla returns the flattery, remarking that Livia was once the most beautiful woman in the world. Ever modest, Livia admits she was but one of two, the other in Egypt didn't last as long. Asking Livilla if she can speak to her as a grown up woman, Livia gives Livilla a crash course in real politik. Outlining her own efforts to stave off civil war and to secure political stability for Rome, Livia asks Livilla if she wants her husband, Castor to become emperor. Livilla eagerly answers "Yes". Livia tells her that for this to happen, his father Tiberius must succeed Augustus. When Livilla naively asks about Postumus, Livia, praises her new protege, "you've put your finger on it, as always we come back to Postumus."