Agrippina the Elder - Wikipedia
The ancient sources have a complex relationship with Agrippina. . the helpless heroine, Ottone, the archetypal hero, and Nero, the ambitious social climber. The stories about the sexual relationship developed as a way of explaining both Agrippina's extraordinary power and prominence as well as. It took a few years and another marriage before Agrippina was in a position to make her move, but when Claudius's wife Messalina was.
Caligula, his wife Milonia Caesonia and their daughter Julia Drusilla were murdered on January 24, Agrippina's paternal uncle, Claudiusbrother of her father Germanicusbecame the new Roman Emperor. Livilla returned to her husband, while Agrippina was reunited with her estranged son. After the death of her first husband, Agrippina tried to make shameless advances to the future emperor Galbawho showed no interest in her and was devoted to his wife Aemilia Lepida.
On one occasion, Galba's mother-in-law gave Agrippina a public reprimand and a slap in the face before a whole bevy of married women. Lucius became more wealthy despite his youth shortly after Gaius Sallustius Crispus Passienus divorced Lucius' aunt, Domitia Lepida the Elder Lucius' first paternal aunt so that Crispus could marry Agrippina.
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They married, and Crispus became a step-father to Lucius. Crispus was a prominent, influential, witty, wealthy and powerful man, who served twice as consul. He was the adopted grandson and biological great-great-nephew of the historian Sallust. Little is known on their relationship, but Crispus soon died and left his estate to Nero. In the first years of Claudius' reign, Claudius was married to the infamous Empress Valeria Messalina.
Julia Agrippina | Roman patrician | omarcafini.info
Although Agrippina was very influential, she kept a very low profile and stayed away from the imperial palace and the court of the emperor. Messalina was Agrippina's second paternal cousin. Among the victims of Messalina's intrigues were Agrippina's surviving sister Livilla, who was charged with having adultery with Seneca the Younger.
Seneca was later called back from exile to be a tutor to Nero.Handel : AGRIPPINA Voi che udite il mio lamento
Messalina considered Agrippina's son a threat to her son's position and sent assassins to strangle Lucius during his siesta. The assassins fled in terror when they saw a snake suddenly dart from beneath Lucius' pillow—but it was only a sloughed-off snake-skin in his bed, near his pillow. In 47, Crispus died, and at his funeral, the rumor spread around that Agrippina poisoned Crispus to gain his estate.
After being widowed a second time, Agrippina was left very wealthy. Later that year at the Secular Gamesat the performance of the Troy Pageant, Messalina attended the event with her son Britannicus.
Agrippina was also present with Lucius. Agrippina and Lucius received greater applause from the audience than Messalina and Britannicus did.
Many people began to show pity and sympathy to Agrippina, due to the unfortunate circumstances in her life. Agrippina wrote a memoir that recorded the misfortunes of her family casus suorum and wrote an account of her mother's life. Rise to power[ edit ] After Messalina was executed in 48 for conspiring with Gaius Silius to overthrow her husband, Claudius considered remarrying for the fourth time.
Around this time, Agrippina became the mistress to one of Claudius' advisers, the former Greek freedmanMarcus Antonius Pallas. At that time Claudius' advisers were discussing which noblewoman Claudius should marry. Claudius had a reputation that he was easily persuaded. In more recent times, it has been suggested that the Senate may have pushed for the marriage between Agrippina and Claudius to end the feud between the Julian and Claudian branches.
Claudius made references to her in his speeches: When Claudius decided to marry her, he persuaded a group of senators that the marriage should be arranged in the public interest. In Roman society, an uncle Claudius marrying his niece Agrippina was considered incestuous, and obviously immoral.
This marriage caused widespread disapproval. This was a part of Agrippina's scheming plan to make Lucius the new emperor. Her marriage to Claudius was not based on love, but on power.
Agrippina the Younger: Unofficial First Empress of the Roman Empire
She quickly eliminated her rival Lollia Paulina. Shortly after marrying Claudius, Agrippina charged Paulina with black magic. Paulina did not receive a hearing. Her property was confiscated. She left Italy and, on Agrippina's orders, committed suicide. In the months leading up to her marriage to Claudius, Agrippina's maternal second cousin, the praetor Lucius Junius Silanus Torquatuswas betrothed to Claudius' daughter Claudia Octavia. This betrothal was broken off in 48, when Agrippina, scheming with the consul Lucius Vitellius the Elderthe father of the future Emperor Aulus Vitelliusfalsely accused Silanus of incest with his sister Junia Calvina.
Agrippina did this hoping to secure a marriage between Octavia and her son. Consequently, Claudius broke off the engagement and forced Silanus to resign from public office.
Silanus committed suicide on the day that Agrippina married her uncle, and Calvina was exiled from Italy in early Calvina was called back from exile after the death of Agrippina. Towards the end of 54, Agrippina would order the murder of Silanus' eldest brother Marcus Junius Silanus Torquatus without Nero's knowledge, so that he would not seek revenge against her over his brother's death. She also was a stepmother to Claudia AntoniaClaudius' daughter and only child from his second marriage to Aelia Paetinaand to the young Claudia Octavia and BritannicusClaudius' children with Valeria Messalina.
Agrippina removed or eliminated anyone from the palace or the imperial court who she thought was loyal and dedicated to the memory of the late Messalina. She also eliminated or removed anyone who she considered was a potential threat to her position and the future of her son, one of her victims being Lucius' second paternal aunt and Messalina's mother Domitia Lepida the Younger. In 49, Agrippina was seated on a dais at a parade of captives when their leader the Celtic King Caratacus bowed before her with the same homage and gratitude as he accorded the emperor.
Agrippina the Younger - Wikipedia
In 50, Agrippina was granted the honorific title of Augusta. She was only the third Roman woman Livia Drusilla and Antonia Minor received this title and only the second living Roman woman the first being Antonia to receive this title. Also that year, Claudius had founded a Roman colony and called the colony Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensis or Agrippinensium, today known as Cologneafter Agrippina who was born there.
This colony was the only Roman colony to be named after a Roman woman. In 51, she was given a carpentum which she used. One particularly pervasive rumour developed after Agrippina began to lose influence over Nero, as he began to pay more attention to his comely courtier Poppaea Sabina.
Agrippina allegedly dressed herself up to the nines and propositioned her son as he lay in a drunken stupor after a long liquid lunch. Whether this actually occurred, now, or whether it was invented to fit their character, I am not sure. The fact that our ancient historians do not believe such tales should give us pause. The purpose of rumour Sociological studies of rumours have shown that they develop in situations when people do not have good information to explain current events.
The rumour that Nero started the fire of Rome can be explained as an attempt by people to make sense of a confused, traumatic situation during which little or no official information about what actually happened was available. The sight of the Domus Aurea being built so soon after the fire undoubtedly fanned the flames of rumour, pointing the finger at the emperor himself. Our ancient sources are clear about the fact that they are reporting rumours and innuendo.
Suetonius, the biographer of Nero, reports that the emperor was merely thought to have desired his mother, but was persuaded not to act on his feelings. Similarly Tacitus reveals that, while some believed in the rumour that Nero started the fire, there were also those who did not.
If our ancient authors knew these stories were just rumours, why did they record them? There are various reasons for this. There was certainly a tradition in ancient historiography of reporting different versions of events and allowing the reader to make up their own minds.
The stories are also very entertaining: So she set her sights on Claudius. Unlike Livia, Agrippina did not use private, feminine influence over her husband to get things done, she acted on her own and sat with him in public as an equal partner in ruling. She even founded a town at the place of her birth in Germany and named it after herself: Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium.
Today we know it as the city of Cologne.
She horrified the male Roman elite with the brazenness of her rule and she ignored them unless she could make use of them. Within her marriage, she persuaded her husband to adopt her son from her first marriage, he took the name Nero at this time, and then convinced Claudius to make Nero his primary heir over his younger, biological, son Britannicus.
Not too long after the adoption, Claudius died amid strong rumours that Agrippina had poisoned him. Nero was just 17 when he ascended to the throne and so she was effectively his regent, placing her as the senior partner.
Both their faces are depicted on coinage, and in several they are facing one another, their heads of equal size and equal importance. In a remarkable sculpture, Agrippina is depicted as the personification of fertile Rome, crowning her young son. Frieze of Agrippina as Rome crowning Nero from Aphrodisias.
But such an arrangement could not last forever. As Nero grew up and came to understand his position as emperor, Agrippina also came to understand fully how limited she was as a woman in the Roman world.