Cover image for Agrippina : the most extraordinary woman of the Roman world
Title:
Agrippina : the most extraordinary woman of the Roman world
ISBN:
9781643130781
Edition:
1st Pegasus books hardcover ed.
Physical Description:
xxix, 274 pages : genealogical table ; 24 cm.
Contents:
Introduction: History and fiction -- A very brief history of Rome -- Chapter one: Daughter. Julia Agrippina Minor ; Return to Rome ; Agrippina the Elder ; The first husband -- Chapter two: Sister. Gaius Caligula ; Gaius Caesar Augustus and his sisters ; Agrippina mater ; The incest ; The plot ; The exile -- Chapter three: Niece. The return to Rome ; The situation in Rome ; The second marriage ; The emperor's niece ; Messalina and Agrippina -- Chapter four: Wife. A masculine tyranny ; Agrippina Augusta ; Empress of Rome ; Mother and stepmother ; Ruling the empire -- The murderer -- Chapter five: Mother. The empress regent ; The first crisis ; The second crisis ; The disappearance ; The murder ; Afterwards.
Personal Subject:
Genre:
Summary:
In her own time, she was recognized as a woman of unparalleled power. Beautiful and intelligent, she was portrayed as alternately a ruthless murderer and helpless victim, the most loving mother and the most powerful woman of the Roman empire, using sex, motherhood, manipulation, and violence to get her way, and single-minded in her pursuit of power for herself and her son, Nero. This book follows Agrippina as a daughter, born in Cologne, to the expected heir to Augustus's throne; as a sister to Caligula who raped his sisters and showered them with honors until they attempted rebellion against him and were exiled; as a seductive niece and then wife to Claudius who gave her access to near unlimited power; and then as a mother to Nero--who adored her until he had her assassinated. Through senatorial political intrigue, assassination attempts, and exile to a small island, to the heights of imperial power, thrones, and golden cloaks and games and adoration, Agrippina scaled the absolute limits of female power in Rome. Her biography is also the story of the first Roman imperial family--the Julio-Claudians--and of the glory and corruption of the empire itself. --
Holds:

Available:*

Library
Material Type
Call Number
Item Available
Copies
Status
Searching...
Book 921 AGRIPPINA 0 1
Searching...

On Order

Summary

Summary

In her own time, she was recognized as a woman of unparalleled power. Beautiful and intelligent, she was portrayed as alternately a ruthless murderer and helpless victim, the most loving mother and the most powerful woman of the Roman empire, using sex, motherhood, manipulation, and violence to get her way, and single-minded in her pursuit of power for herself and her son, Nero.This book follows Agrippina as a daughter, born in Cologne, to the expected heir to Augustus's thro≠ as a sister to Caligula who raped his sisters and showered them with honors until they attempted rebellion against him and were exiled; as a seductive niece and then wife to Claudius who gave her access to near unlimited power; and then as a mother to Nero--who adored her until he had her assassinated.Through senatorial political intrigue, assassination attempts, and exile to a small island, to the heights of imperial power, thrones, and golden cloaks and games and adoration, Agrippina scaled the absolute limits of female power in Rome. Her biography is also the story of the first Roman imperial family--the Julio-Claudians--and of the glory and corruption of the empire itself.


Author Notes

Emma Southon has a PhD in Ancient History from the University of Birmingham and researches subjects of sex, the family, gender, and religion. She holds a long running obsession with the bad guys of the Roman empire, blogs at Agrippinilla.com, and tweets at @NuclearTeeth. She lives in England.


Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

This remarkable biography from historian Southon (Marriage, Sex, and Death) follows Agrippina the Younger (15-59 CE), who, "as the daughter of an Imperator, the sister, niece, wife and mother of emperors... was never paralleled." Her father was the admired Germanicus, her brother the emperor Caligula, her uncle and second husband Claudius, her son Nero. She was the first woman to assume the role of empress when she married Claudius, and she broke all customs: though she could not enter the senate or speak in public, she sat beside Claudius, negotiated diplomatically, appeared on coins, wrote her memoirs (a thing not done by women in those days), and donned the symbolic gold cape. She was possibly murdered (perhaps by her son Nero) at 43. Southon points out that "there is no objective, capital T truth about Agrippina," because of the "glaring, crippling problems" with the source material on Agrippina's life: the historical record is not "truthful in the way that you or I might conceive of truth" as it was recorded dismissively by sexist historians of the time and was written at least 50 years after Agrippina died. Southon delivers her research and speculations with enormous wit, a feminist outlook, and charming vulgarity. This sassy biography will rope in even those who think they're not interested in ancient Rome. (Aug.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Booklist Review

Agrippina the sister of one emperor, wife of another, and mother of a third is one of the most important female figures in the Julio-Claudian Roman Empire, and yet what we've known about her up-to-now is based on the lives of those powerful men as recounted by male historians who brought their own biases to their writing. The daughter of a popular general and his commanding wife, Agrippina was thrust into the limelight when her brother Caligula became emperor. She suffered a fall when she was implicated in a plot to murder him, but her exile ended when her uncle Claudius became emperor and, eventually, Agrippina's third husband. Much has been made of Agrippina's political machinations on behalf of Nero, the son who would become emperor and ultimately kill her, but Southon highlights the power Agrippina wielded on her own behalf, as well, something unheard of for a woman in the Roman Empire. There's nothing dry about this sharp, rollicking biography, except the delightful humor Southon peppers throughout its pages. With references to Turner & Hooch, Liam Gallagher, and Monty Python mingled with feminist observations about the deep misogyny of Roman culture, Southon makes a powerful case for why Agrippina's life is worthy of close examination and admiration today.--Kristine Huntley Copyright 2019 Booklist


Table of Contents

Introduction: History and Fictionp. xv
A Very Brief History of Romep. xxiii
Chapter 1 Daughterp. 1
Julia Agrippina Minorp. 3
Return to Romep. 15
Agrippina the Elderp. 21
The First Husbandp. 29
Chapter 2 Sisterp. 39
Gaius Caligulap. 41
Gaius Caesar Augustus and his Sistersp. 45
Agrippina Materp. 53
The Incestp. 59
The Plotp. 63
The Exilep. 75
Chapter 3 Niecep. 79
The Return to Romep. 81
The Situation in Romep. 85
The Second Marriagep. 89
The Emperor's Niecep. 99
Messalina and Agrippinap. 109
The Aftermathp. 115
Chapter 4 Wifep. 125
A Masculine Tyrannyp. 127
Agrippina Augustap. 135
Empress of Romep. 147
Mother and Stepmotherp. 153
Ruling the Empirep. 169
The Murdererp. 185
Chapter 5 Motherp. 193
The Empress Regentp. 195
The First Crisisp. 207
The Second Crisisp. 217
The Disappearancep. 231
The Murderp. 237
Afterwardsp. 247
Extra Bitsp. 251
Dramatis Personaep. 253
Timelinep. 259
Glossaryp. 263
Further Readingp. 269
Acknowledgementsp. 273
Patronsp. 275