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(1887) [MARC] Author: Viktor Rydberg Translator: Alfred Corning Clark With: Hans Anton Westesson Lindehn
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Full resolution (JPEG) - On this page / på denna sida - The Roman Emperors in Marble - 1. Julius Caesar and Augustus

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THE ROMAN EMPERORS IN MARBLE. I3
than a half century’s life together, he fell asleep in her
arms. His eye, even in death, sought hers; the last
words he uttered, were :
" Livia, remember our happy
married life !
" Can a beloved and faithful wife win higher
praise? Even stern Tacitus gives the best of testimony
to the private life of the empress. And nevertheless,
the most terrible suspicions cleave to her. Were they
true, Augustus would have harbored at his hearth and
heart a spirit from the bottomless pit, in the being he
believed to be the model of a virtuous woman. Augus-
tus was surrounded by a blooming family ; but a mys-
terious demoniac power had secretly made its way over
his threshold, and one after another of those he loved
fell a victim to early death, or to a fate that made death
a boon to be wished for.
At last, he might have cried, in the words of the
Northern bard :
" Stripped of my kin, as the fir of its
branches." Rumor says it was she, who, while she en-
compassed Augustus with tender care, removed his
sister’s son and his own son-in-law, the young and prom-
ising Marcellus, and his daughter’s sons, Lucius and
Caius Caesar, as well as finally mixed poison for her own
husband, to make way to the throne for Tiberius. In
the Lateran Museum there is a portrait of her ; but the
cold beauty of that countenance discloses to posterity
nothing of that which it hid from those around her.
The spade has brought to light the walls up on the Pala-
tine within which she suckled Tiberius and betrayed his
father, to give herself up to xA-ugustus. These walls, like
those of her villa out on the Campagna, are brilliant
with gay colors still ; but frightful stories haunt the one
spot as well as the other, and the pilgrim leaves them
with dark misgivings. Near Livia’s country-house, was

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