'Domina' Is Bringing The Story Of The Most Powerful Woman In Ancient Rome To Life

By Meghan Dillon··  3 min read
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'Domina' Is Bringing The Story Of The Most Powerful Woman In Ancient Rome To Life

Historical dramas are some of my favorite shows, so I’m looking forward to the new series “Domina.”

Shows like The Tudors and The Borgias (I’m still not over how it ended) are some of my all-time favorites, and who doesn’t love The Crown? Many historical dramas tend to take place in Medieval Europe or World War II, so we’re rarely given a glimpse into ancient history. Sky Atlantic is changing that with their new drama set in Ancient Rome, Domina.

What Is Domina about?

Domina takes place right after the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 BC. It tells the story of the royal family from the perspective of the women behind the most powerful men in Rome. The main focus is on Livia Drusilla, wife to Emperor Augustus and the first Empress of Rome. It follows her “journey from a naïve young girl whose world crumbles in the wake of Julius Caesar’s assassination, to Rome’s most powerful and influential Empress, driven by a deep desire to avenge her father and secure power for her sons. Livia and her peers navigate their way through a brutal society by means of strategy, conspiracy, seduction, and murder.” 

Creator Simon Burke believes the family drama in the show will remind viewers of the current drama surrounding the British royal family. He says, “As with our own royal family, there is a constant tension between private and public life. But in those times, politics was a life and death affair, so the stakes were rather higher.”

Burke describes the show as “A political drama, but told from the point of view of the wives, the daughters, the mothers, the sisters, and the mistresses at a time when policy came to be made in the bedroom, and not the Senate of Rome.”

Who Is in Domina?

Polish-Italian actress and model Kasia Smutniak stars as Livia, and speaks highly of her character. She said, “As a frontrunner in defending women’s rights, she was a tough woman who was both feared and cherished and was strong enough to seal the fate of the Roman Empire.”

You will also see plenty of familiar faces sprinkled throughout the cast. Nadia Parkes of The Spanish Princess plays a young Livia, Game of Thrones’ Liam Cunningham is Livia’s father, The Witcher’s Colette Dalal Tchantcho is Livia’s closest confidante, and legendary Italian-American actress Isabella Rossellini is one of Livia’s many enemies.

Catch it Live

The 10-part political period epic Domina will air on Sky Atlantic in the UK on May 14 and will stream on the British streaming service, NOW, on the same date. Domina will air in other European countries through the Sky Network and is set to air via NBCUniversal in other countries. The release date in the U.S. is currently unknown.


Closing Thoughts

We rarely see historical dramas about Ancient Rome, which is a shame because its history is fascinating. Domina will change that by telling the story of Livia Drusilla, one of the most interesting and powerful women in Roman history.

If you’re in the mood for a period film, then check out our recommendations.

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