Prospoioumenē

Brian_Blessed_and_Siân_Phillips_as_Augustus_and_Livia

Καὶ αὐτῆς ἄλλα τε καλῶς εἰρημένα ἀποφθέγματα φέρεται, καὶ ὅτι γυμνούς ποτε ἄνδρας ἀπαντήσαντας αὐτῇ καὶ μέλλοντας διὰ τοῦτο θανατωθήσεσθαι ἔσωσεν, εἰποῦσα ὅτι οὐδὲν ἀνδριάντων ταῖς σωφρονούσαις οἱ τοιοῦτοι διαφέρουσι. πυθομένου τέ τινος αὐτῆς πῶς καὶ τί δρῶσα οὕτω τοῦ Αὐγούστου κατεκράτησεν, ἀπεκρίνατο ὅτι αὐτή τε ἀκριβῶς σωφρονοῦσα, καὶ πάντα τὰ δοκοῦντα αὐτῷ ἡδέως ποιοῦσα, καὶ μήτε ἄλλο τι τῶν ἐκείνου πολυπραγμονοῦσα, καὶ τὰ ἀφροδίσια αὐτοῦ ἀθύρματα μήτε ἀκούειν μήτε αἰσθάνεσθαι προσποιουμένη. τοιαύτη μὲν ἡ Λιουία ἐγένετο…
(Cassius Dio, Hist. 58.2.5)

Among the many excellent utterances of hers that are reported are the following. Once, when some naked men met her and were to be put to death in consequence, she saved their lives by saying that to chaste women such men are no whit different from statues. When someone asked her how and by what course of action she had obtained such a commanding influence over Augustus, she answered that it was by being scrupulously chaste herself, doing gladly whatever pleased him, not meddling with any of his affairs, and, in particular, by pretending neither to hear of nor to notice the favourites that were the object of his passion. Such was the character of Livia. (tr. Earnest Cary)

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