I, Claudius

Season 1 Episode 5

Poison is Queen

Aired Unknown Oct 11, 1976 on BBC Two



  • Trivia

    • Nitpick: When Augustus tells Fabius Maximus that he's seen an omen of his coming death, an eagle circling the Temple of Agrippa and then landing on the "A" of the Temple's dedication, Fabius tells him that Augustus can't be sure of his interpretation of the augury because he's not an expert. But Augustus, like most of the pre Christian Emperors of Rome, was also Pontifex Maximus, the chief priest of Rome. As such he would be very familiar with interpreting auguries, and ought to be considered an expert on the subject.

  • Quotes

    • Livia: I must have been nodding when I gave birth to you.
      Tiberius: I sometimes wonder, mother, whether you ever did anything so natural as giving birth.

    • Tiberius: (to Livia, in reference to Augustus) Are you drinking because he nearly died, or because he didn't?

    • Livia: (telling Claudius he mustn't give a public reading of his new book) I won't have you making a laughing stock of my family!
      Claudius: I'm buh..buh..buh...buh...better when I'm rehearsed.
      Livia: So's a trained monkey, but he still looks and sounds every inch a monkey.

    • Augustus: (to Postumus) There are places in the world where they've made a God out of me. My own family have made me a fool.

    • Claudius I'm not allowed in the Senate.
      Livia: No. Neither am I. They won't allow me in because I'm a woman and they won't allow you in because you're a fool. And that's strange, when you come to think of it, because it's filled with nothing but old women and fools.

    • Tiberius: {About Claudius} That grandson of your could wreck the Empire simply by strolling through it.

    • Postumus: (To Augustus) You've made mistakes and you think a few tears will put them right. Well bravo, congratulations, you still have tears to shed! Well, how many tears do you think you'd have left if you'd sat on this rock day after day for four solid years pouring them into the sea. How many? My God, you've come to the wrong place, father, to show us you've got tears. Even the stones weep here.

    • {Augustus is visiting Postumus after the latter has been in exile for four years}
      Augustus: How thin you look. How pale.
      Postumus: What did you expect - a fat jolly man full of laughs and jokes?

    • Germanicus: {About Livia} Between reading so many letters and arranging so many rapes, when does she ever sleep?

  • Notes

    • This episode is set 14 A.D. This year sees the death of Augustus, and Tiberius begins his reign as emperor.

    • Patrick Stewart, (Capt. Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation) playing Sejanus, first appears in this episode.

  • Allusions