Thursday, June 30, 2011


We close out the first half of the year with a sad reason for the day's "As Seen On TV" showcase.....


'I, Claudius'

Margaret Tyzack

From Wikipedia:
Antonia Minor (PIR2 A 885), also known as Antonia the Younger or simply Antonia (31 January 36 BC - September/October AD 37) was the younger of two daughters of Roman politician Mark Antony and Octavia Minor.

Antonia is one of the most prominent Roman women. She is celebrated for her virtue and beauty. She was the youngest daughter to Octavia Minor and Mark Antony and was also the favorite niece of her mother’s younger brother, Rome’s first Emperor Augustus.

She was born in Athens, Greece and after 36 BC was brought to Rome by her mother and her siblings. Antonia never had the chance to know her father, Mark Antony, who divorced her mother in 32 BC and committed suicide in 30 BC. She was raised by her mother, her uncle and her aunt, Livia Drusilla. Due to inheritances, she owned properties in Italy, Greece and Egypt. She was a wealthy and influential woman who often received people, who were visiting Rome. Antonia had many male friends and they included wealthy Jew Alexander the Alabarch and Lucius Vitellius, a consul and father of future Emperor Aulus Vitellius.

In 16 BC, she married the Roman general and consul Nero Claudius Drusus. Drusus was the stepson of her uncle Augustus, second son of Livia Drusilla and brother of future Emperor Tiberius. They had several children, but only three survived: the famous general Germanicus, Livilla and the Roman Emperor Claudius.
Antonia was the grandmother of the Emperor Caligula, the Empress Agrippina the Younger and through Agrippina, great-grandmother and great-aunt of the Emperor Nero. Drusus died in June 9 BC in Germany, due to complications from injuries he sustained after falling from a horse. After his death, although pressured by her uncle to remarry, she never did.

Antonia would often offer Caligula advice, but he once told her, "I can treat anyone exactly as I please!". Caligula was rumored to have had his young cousin Gemellus beheaded, to remove him as a rival to the throne. This act was said to have outraged Antonia, who was grandmother to Gemellus as well as to Caligula.

Having had enough of Caligula’s anger at her criticisms and of his behavior, she committed suicide. Suetonius’s Caligula, clause 23, mentions how he might have poisoned her.

When his grandmother Antonia asked for a private interview, he refused it except in the presence of the prefect Macro, and by such indignities and annoyances he caused her death; although some think that he also gave her poison. After she was dead, he paid her no honour, but viewed her burning pyre from his dining-room.
When Claudius became emperor after his nephew’s assassination in 41 AD, he gave his mother the title of Augusta. Her birthday became a public holiday, which had yearly games and public sacrifices held. An image of her was paraded in a carriage.

We're featuring Antonia today because the actress who portrayed her in 'I, Claudius', Dame Margaret Tyzack, has passed away.....
Good night and may God bless.


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