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Get Agrippina: Sex, Power, and Politics in the Early Empire PDF

By Anthony A. Barrett

ISBN-10: 0203012356

ISBN-13: 9780203012352

ISBN-10: 0203145763

ISBN-13: 9780203145760

ISBN-10: 0300078560

ISBN-13: 9780300078565

ISBN-10: 0415208602

ISBN-13: 9780415208604

Agrippina the more youthful attained a degree of strength in first-century Rome unparalleled for a lady. in keeping with old assets, she accomplished her luck by way of plotting opposed to her brother, the emperor Caligula, murdering her husband, the emperor Claudius, and controlling her son, the emperor Nero, through sound asleep with him. glossy students are inclined to settle for this verdict. yet in his dynamic biography-the first on Agrippina in English-Anthony Barrett paints a startling new photo of this influential lady. Drawing at the most up-to-date archaeological, numismatic, and ancient proof, Barrett argues that Agrippina has been misjudged. even if she used to be formidable, says Barrett, she made her method via skill and backbone instead of via 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 used to be nonetheless alive, have been the main enlightened of his rule. in response to Barrett, Agrippina's one genuine failing used to be her dating along with her son, the monster of her personal making who had her murdered in bad and violent conditions. Agrippina's influence was once so lasting, besides the fact that, that for a few a hundred and fifty years after her loss of life no lady within the imperial kinfolk dared suppose an assertive political function.

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Extra info for Agrippina: Sex, Power, and Politics in the Early Empire (Roman Imperial Biographies)

Example text

Livia, like Agrippina, is treated harshly by the literary sources, especially Tacitus. A number of striking parallels emerge in the careers of both. Each was a clever and ambitious woman who won the affections of a princeps and used her position to promote the prospects of her son by the weapons of intrigue and scheming, and even of murder – both are accused of eliminating rivals and husbands. It has often been observed that there was a fundamental difference between them, in that Livia did not earn a reputation for exploiting sex as a political weapon.

To avoid the conflict that would be inevitable if powerful noble families competed for power, Augustus may have thought it desirable for the succession to fall to someone from his own kin. But conveniently for him this noble motive would have coincided with a natural impulse to be succeeded by someone of his own blood line. The fact that he designated as successors a series of adopted, rather than natural, sons might have made his conduct a little easier for traditional Romans to stomach. But it should not be mistaken for deliberate policy.

6 Like some of the republican women before her, Livia became extremely rich, with financial interests in Italy, estates in Asia minor and Egypt, and mines in Gaul. Burrus, the famous prefect of the praetorian guard during Agrippina’s ascendancy, was procurator of one of Livia’s estates. Rank certainly had its privileges and she would have had complete freedom in the administration of her wealth, since she received the exemption from guardianship granted under her husband’s moral legislation to those worthy ladies who had, unlike Livia, actually borne three children.

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Agrippina: Sex, Power, and Politics in the Early Empire (Roman Imperial Biographies) by Anthony A. Barrett


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