This thesis is concerned with the foundations of Livia’s position in the Roman state. They are delineated by an investigation of important events of her life, the diverse privileges given to her, and the patterns that were established to enable subjects to express their loyalty to her and the imperial power. The study is based on a multifarious collection of material including literary texts, inscriptions, statues, coins, and gems. The material is organized, both theoretically and methodologically, according to the three principal roles Livia performed, viz. mater/uxor, patrona, and diva. The focus is on analysing how the content and enactment of these roles were transformed as a consequence of the development of the principate and Livia’s increasing status within it. The thesis has, therefore, a chronological structure and spans a hundred years, from Livia’s birth in 58 BCE up until her deification in 42 CE.
The three roles provide the structure of this study and are discussed in one chapter each. In the concluding chapter they are placed side by side and a comprehensive view is taken of their chronological progression so as to present a thorough analysis of the stages in the formation of Livia’s position. A picture emerges of how female imperiality became a constituent part of the early principate, and how Livia was established as its princeps femina.