Agrippina: Sex, Power, and Politics in the Early Empire by Anthony A. Barrett

By Anthony A. Barrett

During this dynamic new biography - the 1st on Agrippina in English - Professor Barrett makes use of the most recent archaeological, numismatic and historic proof to supply a detailed and exact research of her lifestyles and profession. He exhibits how Agrippina's political contribution to her time turns out in truth to were optimistic, and that once she is judged by way of her achievements she calls for admiration. Revealing the genuine determine at the back of the propaganda and the political machinations of which she was once able, he assesses the influence of her marriage to the emperor Claudius, at the state and her kin. eventually, he uncovered her one actual failing - her courting together with her son, the monster of her personal making to whom, in terrible and violent conditions, she may ultimately fall victim.

From Library Journal
Classics student Barrett (Caligula, S. & S., 1991) has utilized sleek historiography to the topic of 1 of the main recognized, quite, notorious ladies of the traditional world?the daughter of Germanicus, sister of Caligula, spouse of Claudius, and mom of Nero, who ultimately killed her. He doesn't exonerate Agrippina the more youthful (15-59 A.D.) rather a lot as provide believable factors for her habit and placed her activities in a formal standpoint. His chapters are cleverly, insightfully prepared round her relationships; yet regardless of power repetition with this structure, he avoids leaving such familial impressions with the reader. Barrett works from the basis that during a monarchical patriarchy the one venues to strength for the bold girl have been extralegal. Agrippina's tale is a story of the 1st century of the empire, from the adoption of Octavius to the various money owed of her sensational dying. this can be a impressive publication, with copious notes and appendixes. good urged for tutorial libraries with classics and women's reports collections.?Clay G. Williams, Ferris nation Univ., immense Rapids, Mich.
Copyright 1996 Reed enterprise details, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews
One of history's such a lot infamous monsters is rehabilitated as a politically profitable girl whose strength and popularity in first-century Rome fell sufferer to Roman sexism. Barrett (Classics/Univ. of British Columbia; Caligula, 1990) starts with a quick background of robust Roman ladies sooner than Agrippina, together with her great-grandmother Livia, spouse of the 1st Roman emperor, Augustus. a lot of this part is overly widely used, examining now and then like a recap of I, Claudius. yet this history profits value as soon as Agrippina the more youthful makes her visual appeal. Barrett persuasively argues that Roman chroniclers have been not able to work out Agrippina or her predecessors other than during the stereotype of the politically formidable girl: a seductive poisoner with out experience of ethical bounds. by means of rigorously weighing the ancient list, considering the distorting energy of misogynist folklore, the writer disputes such commonplaces because the concept that Agrippina murdered her husband, Claudius, and slept together with her son Nero. His Agrippina is a politically adroit consensus-builder whose impression over emperors contributed to the main enlightened parts in their reigns. Her diplomatic ability falters simply within the dealing with of her teenage son--a miscalculation that results in her execution in fifty four a.d. on his orders. That Agrippina's homicide was once celebrated as a simply comeuppance demonstrates the endurance of the ``age-old resentment of robust and bold women.'' notwithstanding Barrett attracts no modern analogies, the reader may perhaps simply achieve this. regardless of the high-mindedness of his imperative subject matter, the writer is usually alert to the pleasures of ``juicy anecdote[s]'' (such as Agrippina's meant incest along with her brother Caligula), and recounts them in complete, if merely to discredit them. A scholarly but available biography that mostly succeeds in exchanging Grand Guignol with whatever extra pleasing: the tragedy of a common chief born woman in a society afraid to be led by way of girls. (illustrations, now not visible) (History ebook membership choice) -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus affiliates, LP. All rights reserved.

'The most useful a part of the booklet is the stock of resource fabric on the finish the place not just the extra commonplace literary proof is catalogued however the cash, statues and inscriptions that includes Agrippina.' - Miriam Griffin, heritage Today

About the Author
Anthony Barrett is Professor of Classics on the college of British Columbia in Vancouver. He studied on the Universities of Oxford, Durham and Toronto and has written generally within the box of classical antiquity.

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Additional resources for Agrippina: Sex, Power, and Politics in the Early Empire

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Tacitus is obliged by the extant record of events to criticize him on specific points of detail, whether a blunder in military strategy in Germany or an absence of judgement in pandering to the demands of the Rhine mutineers following the death of Augustus. 5 In the minds of the general public Germanicus could do no wrong (even when he clearly did) and this spiritual quality was supposedly passed on to his family, to his son Caligula, who was thought to have inherited his father’s sterling character, to his brother Claudius, said to have been the choice of the praetorians as emperor precisely because of his kinship with Germanicus, and to his daughter Agrippina, who was able to combine this kinship with her blood link, through her mother, to Augustus.

Now Mommsen claimed that the principate was incompatible with heredity and that there was an inherent contradiction between the two. He argued that the powers were bestowed on the princeps through a legal process, and were comparable to those held by magistrates. 13 But this may be to take too formal a view of the situation. Despite a traditional antipathy towards the notion of kingship, Romans did make considerable allowance for the principle of heredity in public life. Throughout their history certain family names had constantly reappeared in the record, the Claudii, the Aemilii, the Cornelii and others, families that had almost reserved for themselves the consulate, whose sons, for all intents and purposes, would eventually succeed their fathers in office.

The first three were all sons: Nero, her eldest (not to be confused with her grandson Nero, the future emperor), Drusus (a confusingly popular name of imperial princes) and Gaius (more familiar as the emperor Caligula). Three daughters, the younger Agrippina, Drusilla and Livilla, followed. In the Augustan scheme Agrippina the Elder would provide the required Julian blood link for his ultimate successor. Indeed, she would prove to be the only Augustan descendant of her generation to sustain his hopes.

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