Awesome / I, Claudius

  • The epic backstabbage of Sejanus by Macro (watch here, in all its deliciousness).
  • Four little words from Livia:
  • The sheer fact that Claudius was able to survive Caligula's reign, being at the centre of it all for its entirety. The numerous ways he's able to talk Caligula down from something, or just keep his head, are nothing more than astounding.
  • This speech:
    Claudius: Senators, it is true I'm hard of hearing, but you will find it's not for want of listening. As for speaking, again it's true I have an impediment. But isn't what a man has to say more important than how long he takes to say it? It's true again I have little experience of government, but then have you more? I at least have lived with the imperial family who have ruled this empire, ever since you so spinelessly handed it over to us! I have observed it working more closely than any of you. Is your experience better than that? As for being half-witted, well, what can I say? Except that I have survived to middle age with half my wits while thousands have died with all of theirs intact! Evidently quality of wits is more important than quantity!
  • Livia tries to browbeat Tiberius into releasing Germanicus' killers and Tiberius finally sticks it to her, threatening to have her declared mentally incompetent. Despite all of the terrible things Tiberius has done, one almost feels like cheering for him.
  • Pallas and Narcissus, Claudius' freedmen and senior advisers, orchestrating the execution of Messalina. First, they ask former prostitute Calpurnia, the only woman besides Messalina whom Claudius trusts absolutely, to be the one to tell Claudius that Messalina has divorced him to marry Gaius Silius and persuade him to order the mass arrest of the wedding party. As said mass arrest is taking place, Messalina arrives at the Imperial palace, hoping to sweet talk her way back into Claudius' favour, only for Narcissus to stand in her way and deliver a "Reason You Suck" speech as Pallas orders her confined to her chambers. Finally, the two freedmen slip Messalina's execution warrant into the middle of the papers charging the other conspirators, and get the drunk Claudius to sign them without reading them before sending Praetorian guardsman Geta to carry out the execution. (Though Claudius' reaction to the news is severe Mood Whiplash.)
  • Claudius' Zany Scheme fails, but he manages to get one last win before his death...
    Sibyl: Quite a story, wasn't it? They [Aggrippinilla and Nero] burned your book, you know. All of it.
    (Claudius and Sibyl laugh)