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(TV Series)

(1976)

Quotes

Caligula: [Livia is on her deathbed] I hear you're dying, great grandmother.

Livia: You won't forget your promise, will you?

Caligula: To make you a goddess? And what makes you think that a filthy, smelly old woman like you could become a goddess? I don't need you anymore, you see, great grandmother. My secret will die with you. You are going to stew in hell forever and ever. Let me tell you something: Thrasyllus has made another prophecy. Told Tiberius. He said, "One who is going to die soon will become the greatest god the world has ever known. No temples will be dedicated to anyone but him in the whole Roman world, not even to Augustus." Do you know who that one is? Me. *Me*. I shall become the greatest god of all. And I shall look down on you suffering all the torments of hell, and I shall say, "Leave her there. Leave her there forever and ever and ever."

[he kisses her]

Caligula: Goodbye, great grandmother.

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Claudius: Why do you allow Caligula to act like that?

Livia: Because it amuses me. And because he will be the next emperor of Rome.

[Claudius stares]

Livia: You don't believe me?

Claudius: If you say so, grandmother. You know I don't concern myself with higher politics. Still, what about Castor? And Caligula has two older brothers.

Livia: Castor is ill and Thrasyllus says he won't recover. He also says Tiberius will choose Caligula to succeed him.

Claudius: Why?

Livia: Vanity. Tiberius wants to be loved, at least after his death if not before. And the best way to ensure that...

Claudius: Is to have someone worse to follow him. He's certainly no fool.

Livia: He's the biggest fool in my family. I had always thought that that was you... but I think now I was wrong.

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Claudius: What do you think it means?

Herod: I would think it means that she wishes you to dine with her. I'd take my own wine if I were you.

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Livia: You wanted to know the truth and you called it a 'small' condition.

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[of Livia]

Claudius: We haven't even spoken for seven years. Did you know the last time she spoke to me was when Caligula burned the house down? Even then all she said was, "If you haven't got a bucket, piss on it."

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[Claudius just drank three cups of wine at Livia's dinner]

Caligula: Staking it all on one throw, Uncle Claudius?

Livia: Hold your tongue. That was a very polite gesture of confidence in me and was much appreciated.

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Claudius: What about my father, who was your son? And Germanicus, who was my brother? Did you poison them?

Livia: No. Your father died of his wounds, and Placina poisoned Germanicus without instructions from me. But I had marked them both down for death. They were both infected with that infantile disorder known as "Republicanism."

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[about her horoscope]

Livia: It's a present from Tiberius, isn't that nice of him? Of course, what he *really* wanted to know is how much longer I'm going to live.

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Claudius: Grandmother, after all these years, you didn't invite me to dinner just to tell me this.

Livia: The wine has made you bolder.

Claudius: You said you kept in with Caligula because he is to be the next emperor.

Livia: Lost your stutter as well.

Claudius: But if by then you're dead, what difference can it make?

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Claudius: Grandmother... who killed Marcellus?

[Long pause]

Livia: I did. The empire needed Agrippa more then it needed Marcellus. And then I poisoned Agrippa later because I knew that his wife was in love with Tiberius, but if Tiberius married her Augustus would make him emperor. My son botched that up of course...

Claudius: And Julia's sons by Agrippa, how did they die?

Livia: Gaius I had poisoned while he was in Syria.

Claudius: You have a long reach.

Livia: The empire is very large, I need one. Lucius was drowned in a boating accident arranged by his friend Platius.

Claudius: And... Postumus?

[pause]

Livia: You were really fond of him weren't you?

Claudius: [quietly] Yes, grandmother.

Livia: He was useless. I had to get rid of Postumus; he was a threat to Tiberius. Besides, he knew I had his mother banished.

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Livia: [as Claudius is leaving] Wait. Here.

[gives him a scroll]

Livia: That is a collection of Sibylline verses rejected from the official book.

Claudius: Why are you giving it to me?

Livia: Because it predicts that you will, one day, be Emperor.

[Claudius stares at her for a moment, then guffaws hysterically]

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Antonia: [to Claudius] You blockhead.

Herod: No. He's not a blockhead. It's WE who are the blockheads. If Sejanus had come to us with a proposal like that we would have given him his marching orders. But Claudius knows better. Claudius sways and bends with each little wind that blows.

Agrippina: By which you mean he's weak and cowardly.

Herod: Perhaps. But at least he's still here.

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[Preparing to make love]

Sejanus: You'll have to behave from now on. And if you don't, I'll lock you in a room without any clothes, and visit you every day.

Livilla: You'd get tired.

Sejanus: Then I'd send my guards to stand in for me.

Livilla: How many?

Sejanus: Three or four.

Livilla: I might not like them.

Sejanus: You'd be forced.

Livilla: I'd struggle and scream.

Sejanus: To no use.

Livilla: You'd like that, wouldn't you?

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Livia: Tiberius wants to be loved, at least after his death if not before. And the best way to insure that...

Claudius: ...is to have someone worse to follow him. Yes, naturally. He's certainly no fool.

Livia: He's the biggest fool in my family. I've always thought that that was you. But I think now... I was wrong.

Claudius: [Claudius pauses, crafting a response] Grandmother, after all these years you didn't invite me to dinner just to tell me this.

Livia: Wine has made you bold, hasn't it.

Claudius: You said you kept in with Caligula because he was to be the next emperor.

Livia: Lost your stutter too I see.

Claudius: But if by then you're dead, what difference can it make to you?

Livia: Oh, it makes a lot of difference. And that's really why you're here.

[Pleadingly]

Livia: I want to be a goddess, Claudius.

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See also

Trivia | Goofs | Crazy Credits | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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