In this major new history series for, Catharine Edwards explores the dramatic stories of women who tasted power at the summit of the Roman empire across four centuries. These women were PR weapons and fashion role models. Patrons and matchmakers. Politicians and plotters. Everything from murderers to murder victims, and from pagan goddesses to Christian saints. Their lives were bursting with scandal and scarred by violence. Ancient writers claimed that Livia, the remarkable wife of RomeGÇÖs first emperor, was a serial poisoner. The notorious Messalina was damned as GÇ£the whore empressGÇ¥ and met a violent death. As did her rival Agrippina, who killed her husband Claudius and was then murdered by her son Nero. Other characters include a former slave who was an emperorGÇÖs mistress for decades, a tragic Jewish queen, an empress from Syria who saw her son murdered in her arms - by his brother - and the mother who may have influenced a decision which changed the history of the world. To tell these dramatic stories, CATHARINE EDWARDS travels across the Roman world, from the heart of the empire to its eastern fringes in Jerusalem and its northern outposts here in Britain. In three programmes, she offers a compelling new perspective on this vast empire. It suggests that women could pull the strings of power - but only at great personal risk...
Empresses of Ancient Rome
Mother, Murderers and Mistresses