San José State University
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The Timeline of the|
Life of Livia Drusilla,
the Empress of Rome
Livia Drusilla was effectively the first Roman Empress. The dynasty that ruled the early
Roman Empire was hers.
- 91 BCE:Marcus Livius Drusus is elected tribune of Rome. He subsequently adopts
a son whom he names Marcus Livius Drusus Claudianus.
- 58 BCE: Livia Drusilla is born on January 30. Her father is Marcus Livius Drusus Claudianus.
- Livia marries her first cousin Tiberius Claudius Nero.
- 42 BCE: Livia bears her first son Tiberius.
- 38 BCE: While pregnant with her second son Livia divorces her husband and marries Octavian,
who later will become known as
Caesar Augustus. Octavian is effectively the ruler of Rome Livia's second son,
named Nero Caudius Drusus is born.
- 35-33 BCE: Livia's husband Octavian with his general, Agrippa, successfully
fight campaigns in the Balkan Peninsula.
- 28 BCE: A census of the Roman population was conducted. Octavian reduced the size of the
Senate from 1000 members to 800. Octavian was appointed the president of the Senate.
Although Octavian was all powerful he made a determined effort to clothe his rule in the
semblance of republican traditions. Octavian was awarded the name "Augustus" and thereafter
he was referred to as Caesar Augustus.
- 25 BCE: Tribes in the Alps were subdued. The Celtic kingdom of Galatia, in what is now central Turkey
(Anatolia), was annexed by Rome.
- 23 BCE: Octavian fell seriously ill. He had had bouts of sickness before but not as severe
as this one was. The illness may have been typhoid fever.
Marcellus, the husband of Octavian's daughter Julia died. Marcellus was the son of
Octavian's sister Octavia. This left Octavian without
an obvious male heir to his power within his family. His friend Agrippa was the only
man who could maintain the loyalty of the army as his successor. Agrippa already had superior
status to the elected proconsuls of Rome and had been sent to the East as a deputy of
Caesar Augustus to deal with problems there.
- 21 BCE: Agrippa marries Julia.
- c. 17 BCE: Agrippa and Julia had two sons, one born in 20 BCE and the other in 18 BCE.
Augustus eager to have male heirs to whom
he could pass on his power adopted those two sons and renamed them Gaius Caesar and
- 16-15 BCE: Augustus sent his two stepsons (Livia's children from her first marriage),
now grown men, as leaders of a military expedition into what are now Switzerland, Austria
and Bavaria to subdue the Germanic tribes there. They were successful and the Roman Empire
was extended to the upper reaches of the Danube River.
- 12 BCE: Augustus becomes Pontifex Maximus, the chief priest of the Roman religion
after Lepidus, who had been a member of the Triumvirate with Octavian and Mark Antony, dies.
Agrippa also dies. Augustus wanting to ensure that one of his descendants will rule Rome
forces his daughter, the widow of Agrippa, to marry Tiberius, his stepson. Neither of the
pair desired this marriage. Tiberius was already happily married to a daughter of Agrippa. He
nevertheless divorced his wife and married Julia. Tiberius immediately left on a military expedition
to subdue hostile elements in what are now Croatia, Serbia and Hungary.
- 9 BCE: Drusus, Augustus' other stepson, was commanding a Roman expedition across the
Rhine River into what is now Germany and extending Roman control up to the Elbe River.
In the year 9 BCE. Drusus died after being thrown by a horse. Tiberius journeyed to be
by his side and replaced him as the commander of Roman forces in
- 6 BCE: Tiberius was made tribune of the Roman Senate, a position of significant
power. An infant son of Julia and Tiberius dies.
- 5 BCE: Tiberius retires to the Island of Rhodes, allegedly because of the public
attention Augustus was showing in that year to Gaius Caesar, the older of the two sons of Agrippa and Julia
which he had adopted.
This attention indicated that Augustus intended to make Gaius Caesar his heir.
- 2 BCE: Augustus held a public ceremony in the honor of Lucius Caesar, the younger of his adopted sons.
- 2 CE: Lucius Caesar, the younger adopted son of Augustus, dies in West (in the city of Mars where he had been
sent by Augustus. Lucius was about 20 years of age.
Augustus allows Tiberius to return to Rome but banishes Julia to an island off the coast of
Italy. The banishment of Julia was because of her notorious promiscuity. Augustus referred to her
as "a disease of my flesh."
- 4 CE: Gaius Caesar, who had been sent by Augustus to the eastern provinces of the Empire,
died there at an age of about 24.
Augustus adopted Tiberius as his son and heir and conferred powers on Tiberius nearly equal to
his own. Augustus was about 67 years of age and Tiberius was 42. Tiberius in turn adopted
Germanicus, the son of his dead brother Drusus.
- 6 CE: Rome annexed Judaea. Under its king Herod Judaea had been a client state rather
than a province of the Empire.
- 14 CE: Augustus fell ill and died on August 19th. On September 17th the Roman Senate
designated him a god. Tiberius succeeds Augustus as Principate (First Citizen).
Neither held the title of emperor, but were, in effect, the first and second
emperors of the Roman Empire.
As ruler, Tiberius cut off Julia's support and she died of malnutrition.
Livia assumes the name Julia Augusta. She had become a power player in the politics of the Roman
Tiberius ultimately restricts the power of his mother.
- 29 CE: Livia dies.
- 42 CE: Her grandson Claudius, who had become the Emperor of Rome, had Livia declared a goddess.