By Anthony A. Barrett
Agrippina the more youthful attained a degree of energy in first-century Rome remarkable for a lady. in line with historic assets, she completed her good fortune by means of plotting opposed to her brother, the emperor Caligula, murdering her husband, the emperor Claudius, and controlling her son, the emperor Nero, via sound asleep with him. glossy students are likely to settle for this verdict. yet in his dynamic biography-the first on Agrippina in English-Anthony Barrett paints a startling new photograph of this influential girl. Drawing at the most up-to-date archaeological, numismatic, and ancient proof, Barrett argues that Agrippina has been misjudged. even supposing she was once formidable, says Barrett, she made her means via skill and backbone instead of by way of sexual attract, and her political contributions to her time appear to have been optimistic. After Agrippina's marriage to Claudius there has been a marked decline within the variety of judicial executions and there has been shut cooperation among the Senate and the emperor; the payment of Cologne, based below her aegis, was once a version of social concord; and the 1st 5 years of Nero's reign, whereas she was once nonetheless alive, have been the main enlightened of his rule. in keeping with Barrett, Agrippina's one genuine failing used to be her dating together with her son, the monster of her personal making who had her murdered in awful and violent situations. Agrippina's effect used to be so lasting, besides the fact that, that for a few a hundred and fifty years after her loss of life no girl within the imperial kin dared think an assertive political position.
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Extra resources for Agrippina: Sex, Power, and Politics in the Early Empire (Roman Imperial Biographies)
Her only comfort was her mother Scribonia, still unmarried since her divorce from Augustus, who offered voluntarily to accompany her daughter. Following vociferous and repeated popular demands for her return, Augustus lightened the punishment somewhat five years later, allowing her to move to Rhegium on the mainland, but the sentence of exile remained in force. Her situation grew worse with Tiberius’ accession. The modest allowance made by her father was stopped and she was reduced to destitution.
12 Agrippina was the daughter of probably the most admired Roman of his age, Germanicus, and she similarly had no scruples about constantly exploiting the connection, even though her father died before he could have had any practical influence over her. Co-existent with the relatively advanced position of Roman women and the history of their gradual, albeit partial, emancipation was another attitude that has more to do with myth than truth, and which went beyond the simple idea that a woman should commit herself to the welfare of her children.
He nagged her about her friends, her bold language, her clothes, even about her habit of removing prematurely grey hairs. He also tried to keep her under rigid supervision, informing even the most respectable young men who called on her that they were not welcome in the emperor’s home. Augustus’ attempts to safeguard his daughter’s 18 FAMILY virtue met with inevitable failure. 25 Julia reportedly had long nursed a passion for the taciturn Tiberius and their marriage at first was fairly harmonious.