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 newest archaeological, numismatic and historic proof to supply an in depth and designated learn of her existence and profession. He indicates how Agrippina's political contribution to her time turns out in truth to were confident, and that after she is judged through her achievements she calls for admiration. Revealing the genuine determine in 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 kinfolk. ultimately, he uncovered her one actual failing - her dating together with her son, the monster of her personal making to whom, in bad and violent situations, she may finally fall victim.

From Library Journal
Classics pupil Barrett (Caligula, S. & S., 1991) has utilized sleek historiography to the topic of 1 of the main well-known, fairly, notorious ladies of the traditional world?the daughter of Germanicus, sister of Caligula, spouse of Claudius, and mom of Nero, who finally killed her. He doesn't exonerate Agrippina the more youthful (15-59 A.D.) loads as supply believable reasons 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 layout, he avoids leaving such familial impressions with the reader. Barrett works from the basis that during a monarchical patriarchy the single venues to energy for the bold lady have been extralegal. Agrippina's tale is a story of the 1st century of the empire, from the adoption of Octavius to the various debts of her sensational loss of life. this can be a significant booklet, with copious notes and appendixes. good instructed for educational libraries with classics and women's stories collections.?Clay G. Williams, Ferris kingdom Univ., monstrous Rapids, Mich.
Copyright 1996 Reed company info, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews
One of history's such a lot infamous monsters is rehabilitated as a politically profitable girl whose energy and acceptance in first-century Rome fell sufferer to Roman sexism. Barrett (Classics/Univ. of British Columbia; Caligula, 1990) starts off with a short historical past of strong Roman ladies ahead of Agrippina, together with her great-grandmother Livia, spouse of the 1st Roman emperor, Augustus. a lot of this part is overly established, studying every now and then like a recap of I, Claudius. yet this history earnings value as soon as Agrippina the more youthful makes her visual appeal. Barrett persuasively argues that Roman chroniclers have been not able to determine Agrippina or her predecessors other than during the stereotype of the politically bold lady: a seductive poisoner with out feel of ethical bounds. by way of rigorously weighing the ancient checklist, making an allowance for the distorting energy of misogynist folklore, the writer disputes such commonplaces because the concept that Agrippina murdered her husband, Claudius, and slept along 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 merely 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 used to be celebrated as a simply comeuppance demonstrates the endurance of the ``age-old resentment of robust and impressive women.'' notwithstanding Barrett attracts no modern analogies, the reader could simply accomplish that. regardless of the high-mindedness of his primary subject, the writer is often alert to the pleasures of ``juicy anecdote[s]'' (such as Agrippina's meant incest together with her brother Caligula), and recounts them in complete, if merely to discredit them. A scholarly but obtainable biography that mostly succeeds in changing Grand Guignol with whatever extra pleasant: the tragedy of a average chief born woman in a society afraid to be led by means of girls. (illustrations, now not obvious) (History e-book membership choice) -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus affiliates, LP. All rights reserved.

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

About the Author
Anthony Barrett is Professor of Classics on the collage 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 info for Agrippina: Sex, Power, and Politics in the Early Empire

Sample text

This is the kind of behaviour that evoked special dread in republican writers, and in critics of Agrippina and of her mother – the presumption of a woman who would seek to command the loyalty of the troops. The writer Florus describes her as gladio cincta virilis militiae (‘girt with the sword of a man’s [or, her husband’s] campaign’). Dio, who may well have been using Octavian’s memoirs, says that the future emperor took particular offence at her military posturing (which might well have stood in stark contrast to his own reputation as something of a poltroon).

The writer Florus describes her as gladio cincta virilis militiae (‘girt with the sword of a man’s [or, her husband’s] campaign’). Dio, who may well have been using Octavian’s memoirs, says that the future emperor took particular offence at her military posturing (which might well have stood in stark contrast to his own reputation as something of a poltroon). The poet Martial later excuses the raunchy character of his own verses with an epigram supposedly by Octavian. The poem suggests that Fulvia is battling out of sexual frustration, and she challenges him with the taunt ‘aut futue aut pugnemus’ (‘either screw me or let’s fight’).

11 After a show of reluctance, Tiberius, at the age of 55, took Augustus’ place. In Rome the first dramatic change to catch attention was in the status of his mother.

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