Our last article dwelled in the world of ancient Rome, and how despite the chauvinist ways of this civilization some women achieved significant importance. This is particularly true in the case of these two women. Aggripina (yes, both had the same name) as they gave birth to emperors of Rome.
Agrippina the Elder lived from 14 BC to 33 AD. She was the granddaughter of Augustus and the wife of the beloved general Germanicus.
Germanicus and Agrippina had six children who lived to be adults, including Nero (not the emperor), Drusus, Gaius (later known as Caligula, emperor), Drusilla, Livilla, and Agrippina the Younger. Agrippina went with Germanicus on his campaigns, this is how Gaius got the nickname Caligula, which means Little Boots.
After Tiberius became emperor, he became jealous of Germanicus’ popularity, who was preferred by many for the position. It was believed by many that it was on Tiberius’ orders that Germanicus was poisoned in Antioch. Agrippina believed her husband had certainly been murdered, but the truth was never found out.
She made her dislike of Tiberius clear, and Tiberius didn’t trust her so he had her elder sons Nero and Drusus arrested and then sentenced to death. Tiberius then banished Agrippina exiled and eventually died of starvation.
Her youngest son Caligula was not only spared by Tiberius, but brought to live with him and eventually achieved Emperor status.
Agrippina the Younger, daughter of Agrippina the Elder, lived from 15 to 59 AD. Around age 13, she married Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus.
Agrippina and Ahenobarbus had a son named Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus, who would later be called Nero and
eventually become emperor. When Caligula became emperor, he gave Agrippina, along with her sisters Drusilla and Livilla, many privileges and honors.
As Caligula became dangerous, the sisters became involved in a plot to assassinate him, but it was discovered, and they were exiled. When Claudius was made the emperor, he brought his nieces Agrippina and Livilla back from exile. After Claudius’ wife Messalina died, Pallas advised him to marry Agrippina.
They married, which was controversial in Rome, where it was not considered acceptable for a man to marry his niece. Agrippina then worked to eliminate anyone who threatened her or Nero’s position
After Claudius was dead, Nero became emperor, and Agrippina began exercising power through her son. Nero eventually began to resent his mother for the control she had over him. After many failed elaborate attempts on Agrippina’s life, Nero eventually resorted to the tried and true method of the stabbing. When the assassins came to kill Agrippina, she told them to stab her in her womb.