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After the death of Augustus, the Julio-Claudian Dynasty took a sharp decline. The muddled familial ties and contentious succession decisions led to bad leadership, and their reputation is generally negative.
But what if Augustus had a biological son? What if he was never forced to adopt several boys before eventually settling on Tiberius as his successor? What if there was no reason for the constant adoptions, murders, and remarriages that plagued the early Roman Emperors?
Point of Divergence
The main POD is that Augustus actually has a biological son named Lucius. Lucius survives until the death of Augustus, and becomes Emperor by filial succession. Tiberius, as a result, never becomes Emperor, and the disasterous Julio-Claudian Dynasty never occurs. But in the end, will this change be for better or for worse? How will this small twist of fate rewrite history?