This article examines the women of I Claudius. I did a search to see what happened to the cast beyond Jacobi, Hurt and Stewart. I came across this.
I saw this miniseries in the 1990s as a rerun. Its unforgettable. I thought the entire point was that all these folks were really horrible people even Claudius. He manipulated people to think him slow witted, granted its was how he survived but he was easily manipulated and had his wife executed.
In retrospect I doubt if women then had as much power as shown in the series. It was the women especially the mothers who kept their concentration on the family staying in power while the men did not. Livia made sure her husband’s opponents were eliminated usually poison while Augustus just wanted to expand Roman rule and go on adventures, Caligulas mother and Nero’s mother manipulated Tiberius and Claudius to make their son’s heirs would rule. Caligula thought of nothing but his own ego and sexual gratification. Tiberius was highly paranoid.
Was the series misogynistic? Yes but I had more respect for them overall then the men. Overall they concentrated on how to keep the family in power at all costs.
I do not know the reality. Was Livia really a killer poisoning all who threatened Augustus or at least all she could. Was both the mothers of Caligula and Nero solely responsible for their sons taking powe? Were the men so easily manipulated and well blind to whats in front of them to put very mentally unstable young men as their heirs? I am not sure if Caligula and Nero were mentally ill or consumed by ego, entitlement and sexual appetite.