Wiggum said:I'll put it to you in brief terms:
Ambition: Learnt from mother her family was to rule the Empire. Attempted to achieve this by two ways, 1) marry the emperor and 2) get her son, Nero, to be heir. Achieved both.
Influence: Before her marriage to Claudius, you could say she had influence on the populace through her popularity, daughter of Germanicus. Never really influenced any of her two husbands before Claudius. During Messalina's "reign", still had strong influence yet kept a low profile for obvious reasons. Whilst married to Claudius, her influence on Claudius was comparable to Messalina's and evident by rewarding her supporters with high ranking jobs (eg Burrus as Praetorian Prefect). Aparently during Claudius' last years, she totally dominated Claudius with her influence. As co-regent still retained a great amount of influence and carried that into Nero's sole reign. When Nero had the affair, was the starting point of the fall of Agrippina, as some her supporters, eg Burrus, saw more opportunity with Nero than Agrippina.
I'll tell you about the role when i'm not that tired to think. It's pretty basic stuff but it'll do.
hope this helps!
Assess the power and influence of Agrippina the Younger in Julio-Claudian family. (10)
"Daughter," "Sister", "Niece," "Wife," "Mother". Each of these headings, defines Agrippina by her relationship to the main in power?" (Anthony Barrett). This depicts the way Agrippina gained power and influence in Rome. By having incestuous relationships with most of her male family members. It was the perfect plan as a stepping stone to supreme authority she yearned for.
Agrippina?s father was Germanicus, who was popular amongst the armies in the Roman Empire. He was also from the blood line of Augustus and thus Agrippina had already established a name for herself since her birth. "she derived prominence from her famous military father" (E.A Judge). Her mother, Agrippina the elder, was an head strong woman who Agrippina the Younger looked up too? "The techniques of the two women were very similar. Both cultivated the military?" (Bauman)
This establishes that Agrippina?s parents were a major factor in her life even though they weren?t around for most of it. Her father died when she was four years old and her mother died sometime after in prison. Her father had given her prestige and her mother had shaped her cunning personality.
When Gaius (her brother) became emperor he offered Agrippina as well as her sisters, the highest honours a woman could ever have in Rome. "?[received] the privileges of the Vestals" (Barrett). They were allowed to watch the public games from the imperial seats, be included in the annual vows of allegiance to the emperor and have their figures appearing on the coins. This increased Agrippina?s status dramatically because if Gaius, the emperor respected her, ultimately the majority of people of Rome would.
After reclaiming a grand amount of wealth after the death of her second husband Pallas she married Claudius, her own uncle who was emperor at the time. This was "?a stepping-stone to supremacy." (Tacitus) because Claudius was the highest respected authority figure in Rome. Thus, being wife to him gave her absolute influence. She could use her cunning wit to have her way with Claudius and hence managed to totally dominate him. She made him perform ruthless behavior including the death of a woman Claudius had considered as pretty. The ancient historian Tacitus believed that "?complete obedience was accorded to a woman" This further portrays the influence Agrippina was creating for herself in Rome thanks to her Julio-Claudian descent.
She had Claudius adopt her son Nero so he would become heir the throne and not Claudius? own son Brittanicus.
? When Claudius died Nero became emperor.
? deemed by Nero "Best of Mothers"
? picture appeared on the emperor?s side of the coin
? involved in political affairs including meetings of the senate
? killed off any political rivals
Sorry about the unfinished adequate ending but i hope you get the idea
Sasky said:Hey BB, I don't study Agrippina, but I know how difficult it can be to scrounge around for some notes. I'm taking excerpts from the Ancient History Revision Guides-pg.99-100-others specified (and believe me, they're extremely helpful in almost all subjects), so here goes:
Agrippina (Ag) had two important ambitions and she achieved them both. Her son Nero became emeror of Rome and she became the most influential and powerful woman of her time. Her official title was Ag. Augusta, (wife) of the Divine Claudius, mother of Nero Caesar, by decree of the Senate. THe following are Ag's achievements for Nero:
- She convinced Cladius to adopt Nero and place him before his own son
- She had Seneca appointed as his tutor
- She elimated rivals
- She saw Nero made emperor
The following are Ag's achievements for herself:
- Honours and prestige
Honours given to Ag early in N's reign (pg. 95)
- Made priestess of the deified Claudius
- Given two lictors
- Appeared on coins with Nero
- Rode together in her litter
- Recived various embassies
- Sent letters to influential pepople such as govenors and kings
- Suetonius and Cassius Dio both mention that Ag controlled N's public and private affairs
- A rear door was installed so Ag could stand behind a curtain and listen to discussions in the Senate
Honours and privileges given by Gaius to Ag and her sisters(pg.92):
- 3 sisters appear on reverse side of coin
- Given seats in imperial closure at games
- Included in annual vows of allegiance to the emperor
- Included in preamble to proposals submitted to the Senate
- Incl in annual vow for the emperor's safety
- Made honorary Vestal Virgins
Ancient and modern interpretations of Ag:
All the ancient historians we use for our information about Ag were men (e.g. Tacitus, Suetonius and Cassius Dio). In Roman society there were very strict ideas about how women should behave. They were to be loyal, dutiful and to abide by the decisions of their fathers and husbands without question.
- Portrayed Octavia, Antonia and especially Ag I as good examples of Roman matrons.
- Ag II was not portrayed in this way, instead seeing her as acting in a scandalous way, actually dominating the government.
- Livia, Messalina, Ag II and Poppaea Sabina were shown as ruthless women dominating their unfortunate and docile husbands.
- he wrote this because he wanted to undermine the Principate and the Julio-Claudian dynasty
- Concentrated on court intrigue
- A great deal of his work must be regarded as gossip
The conclusion from ancient sources is that Ag was a wicked woman and a dominating mother who involved herself in schemes to marry and murder Claudius just so Nero could become emperor.
The modern historians questions whether the ancient interpretation is an accurate portryal.
- Ag did not act as a traditional Roman woman
- She certainly exerted great influence, which was unusual
- Her achievements show that she did have a degree of political power
- She must be evaluated in the context of her time
- She would have realised she could not rule in her own right
- Yet it was acceptable for her to try to achieve the best position for her son
- The methods she used were similar to those used by others in the imperial family
Ag had two definate ambitions and she achieved both. In this sense, she is considered a strong, successful and much admired and respected Roman woman.
Voila. C'est fini. Anway BB, tell me if it helped or if you need me to dig up some more - good luck!!!
If you have any to add i can append to the information so far, please PM me or post on here.Caratacus said:A.
From A.A. Barret, Agrippina, Mother of Nero, 1996
The Death of Claudius
The popular image of Agrippina the murderer is based almost entirely on her supposed role in one incident:
• The death of Claudius, allegedly by poisoned mushroom
• The evidence for murder here is very slender
The sources vary in constructing a motive
• Tacitus suggests that the murder was a remark of Claudius that he was ‘fated to endure the sine of his wives, then to punish them’
• Narcissus is supposed to have alerted Claudius to Agrippina's crimes (as he had with Messalina)
• This seems implausible, another attempt to depict Claudius' ‘passive’ role
• Cassius Dio claims that by 54 Claudius had become aware of Agrippina's ‘actions’ and angered by them
• What the ‘actions’ were is not specified
• Suetonius says that near the end of his life Claudius began to repent his marriage to Agrippina and the adoption of Nero
An opportunity for murder is supposed to have occurred in October 54 when the protective Narcissus went off to the hot springs at Sinuessa
• Yet this seems unlikely if he was as Tacitus claims concerned for Claudius' safety
The ancient sources agree that Agrippina was guilty of murder
• She is supposed to have used the services of Locusta, a professional poisoner
• Claudius is supposed to have been poisoned while banqueting by poison in a dish of mushrooms on the night of October 12th
• Tacitus and Suetonius agree that the physician Xenophon helped with the murder
But the fact that a murder charge is made is not in itself significant
• Such accusations followed the deaths of most members of the Julio-Claudian family
• Claudius had suffered ill-health since childhood
• He ate and drank to excess
• It is not surprising that he died at the age of 64
The report of Claudius' death was supposedly kept secret for a while
• Britannicus, and Claudius’ daughters Antonia and Octavia were detained
• Agrippina refused admission to the palace and issued regular bulletins hoping for Claudius' recovery
• The reason for the delay according to Tacitus and Suetonius was to keep the main body of praetorians in the dark until the preparations for Nero's succession were completed
• This is plausible, but does not fit well with the idea that Claudius was the victim of a premeditated murder
Finally all was ready and the death was made public
• Before the news had time to sink in the succession of Nero was fait accompli
G. Ferrero, Women of the Caesars, 1911:
1. Tacitus' story of Agrippina poisoning Claudius is ridiculous. Even Tacitus merely says that 'many believe' the story to be true.
2. Tacitus says that Agrippina poisoned Claudius because he was favouring Britannicus. But there was no certainty that the senate would choose either on Claudius' death: Nero was only 17 and Britannicus only 13.
3. The charge of poisoning, like all the others brought against the Augustan family, seems unlikely. From the point of view of the interests of the Julio-Claudians, Claudius died much too soon. Tacitus tells us that Agrippina kept the death of Claudius secret for many hours and pretended that doctors were trying to save him when in reality he was already dead, dum res firmando Neronis imperio componuntur (while matters were being arranged to assure the empire to Nero). If everything had to be hurried through at the last moment, Agrippina herself must have been taken by surprise by the sudden death of Claudius. She therefore cannot be held responsible for having caused it.
4. When Claudius died, Agrippina must have understood that since the family of Augustus had no full-grown man as candidate for the principate, there was grave danger that the senate might refuse to confer supreme power on either Nero or Britannicus.
5. The only answer to this would be to present one of the two youths to the Praetorian Guards and have him proclaimed head of the armies. This would force the senate to proclaim him head of the empire, as in the case of Claudius.
6. Nero was chosen by Agrippina because he was older. It was a bold move to ask the senate to make a seventeen-year-old emperor; it would have been folly to ask them to accept a thirteen-year-old.