Quick Facts on Livia
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Etymology & Historical Origin - Livia
Among English-speakers Livia is most commonly considered a diminutive of Olivia; however, there is a dintinct and separate etymological source for this name not related to Olivia. Livia is essentially the feminine form of an Old Roman family name “Livius” dating back to the Roman Republic in the centuries before Christ. The Livius family name is probably of ancient Etruscan origin with unknown meaning (since the Etruscan language is now extinct). However, others speculate that Livius could be derived from either the Latin “liveo” meaning “to envy, begrudge” or from the Latin “lividus” meaning “bluish”. In any case, women who were born into the Livius families were given the name Livia. One such notable name bearer was Livia Drusilla (58 B.C.-29 A.D.) the wife of Emperor Augustus (Octavian). She was also the mother of Emperor Tiberius, the grandmother of Claudius, the great-grandmother of Caligula and the great-great-grandmother of Nero. Quite a line of Emperors were born from Livia’s line! But she was much more than an ancestral artifact; rather, Livia Drusilla was perhaps the most powerful and prominent woman in all of ancient Rome. According to legend, Emperor Augustus fell instantly in love upon meeting the married-not-to-mention-pregnant Livia. Not to worry, the Emperor was married to another woman himself, but since he made the rules he had the power to quickly arrange for any desired divorces which is exactly what Augustus did. Livia brought to this new marriage her own three children and Augustus had one daughter with his previous wife; the couple would stay married for the next 50 years and have no children of their own. By all accounts, Livia was a trusted advisor to her husband, a role model for women in Rome, a beacon of family-values, and a privately ambitious go-getter. It’s because of the latter ambitions that Livia is often portrayed in a Machiavellian light – cunning, shrewd and scheming. It’s been postulated that Livia had various heirs of Augustus’ killed to remove the competition and ensure the succession of her own son Tiberius (Augustus’ step-son). We like the feisty ancient gals, so more power to Livia! The Roman’s loved her and her grandson Claudius formally deified her after her death so she really couldn’t have been all that bad. After the Classical Era the name Livia fell off the map, especially since there was no important Christian saint associated with this name (which generally made for a popular name in the Middle Ages). It seems Livia’s revival is really recent, like 21st century recent. Even though some parents may be using Livia as a short form of the ever-popular Olivia, it really is a stand-apart name in its own right, and it’s also become quite cosmopolitan. You can find Livia on the charts in Brazil (Lívia), Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Hungary, Sweden and the Netherlands. It also sees so-so usage in France, Norway, Canada, Australia and the United States. In other words, you can find this “enviable” name on four different continents. That’s pretty cosmopolitan cool in our book!
Popularity of the Name Livia
Probably because Livia sounds so much like Lydia we expected to see this old-fashioned sounding name on the American charts for at least a couple centuries. Not so. Not even close. Livia just appeared on the charts in 2004 and even still the name didn’t really stick until 2008. Not only that, but Livia is still residing near the bottom of the Top 1000 list of girl’s names in the United States. American audiences may have first been introduced to the name Livia in 1999 thanks to the hit HBO series “The Sopranos”. The show’s creator used the name Livia Soprano for protagonist Tony Soprano’s overbearing, vengeful mother (to whom he probably owes much of his therapy). We love that the character is named Livia (presumably after Livia Drusilla who was known to manipulate her own son Emperor Tiberius). In our opinion Livia is an undiscovered gem and parents looking for something original hope it stays that way. The name is sweetly old-fashioned, chalk full of charm, wickedly ambitious and makes us pea-green with "envy". The name is advancing up the charts so get ahead of the trend if you like it. This one’s a keeper.
Popularity of the Girl Name Livia
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Livia
Literary Characters of the Baby Name Livia
Livia We cannot find any significant literary characters with the first name Livia.
Popular Songs on Livia
Livia - We cannot find any popular or well-known songs featuring the name Livia.
Children's Books on the Baby Name Livia
Livia Chatto Saves the World (Jennifer Pendragon) - Fourteen year old Livia Chatto is unhappy. Her comfortable family life in London is about to change forever, when her parents decide in order to save their marriage they must move away and ‘start over’ somewhere new. That ‘somewhere’ turns out to be running a cafe in Knebberton, two hundred and sixty miles up North! One day whilst clearing tables in the cafe, Livia finds a journal belonging to Christopher Noble Horley, who Livia thinks is a creep and to be avoided at all costs. She puts the journal away fully expecting Christopher to return for it. However when he doesn’t Livia’s curiosity gets the better of her and she begins to read the journal. One line leaps out at her – ‘the world as we know it is going to end on 12/12/12 at 12:12 pm’. When she finally catches up with Christopher, she soon learns that he isn’t all that he seems to be. He is in fact an Earthbound Watcher working for the Galatic Federation. With time fast running out, Livia and Christopher embark on an amazing journey to hunt down the ‘alien infiltrators’ who are intent on destroying the world, and then to bring them to justice before the Galatic Federation’s ruling council.Recommended for ages 11-14.
Famous People Named Livia
Famous People Named Livia - Livia Drusilla (Empress and Augusta of ancient Rome)
Children of Famous People Named Livia
Famous People Who Named Their Daughter Livia - We cannot find any celebrities or famous people who have named their child Livia.
Livia - Girl Baby Name - Historic Figures
Livia - We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Livia.
Personality of the Girl Name Livia
The number Eight personality has everything to do with power, wealth and abundance. Somehow, this personality has been blessed on the material plane, but their authoritative and problem-solving traits provide evidence that their good fortunes are not just the luck of the lottery. They are well earned. This is the personality of CEOs and high-ranking military personnel. Eights are intensely active, hard-driving individuals. Success is only meaningful to them after a job well-done. They are remarkable in their ability to see the larger picture right down to the smallest details, and organize a strategy around success. They then have the ability to direct a group around them toward any goal, and realize individual potential to get the most out of their team.
Variations of the Baby Name - Livia