By Anthony A. Barrett

Agrippina the more youthful attained a degree of strength in first-century Rome unparalleled for a girl. during this first biography of Agrippina in English, Anthony A. Barrett attracts at the newest archaeological, numismatic, and historic proof to create a startling new photograph of this influential and misjudged woman.
According to historical resources, she accomplished her good fortune via plotting opposed to her brother, the emperor Caligula, murdering her husband, the emperor Claudius, and controlling her son, the emperor Nero, through slumbering with him. even if she used to be bold, Barrett argues that she made her approach via skill and backbone instead of via sexual attract, and that her political contributions to her time appear to have been optimistic.

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She was also quite ‘bohemian’ and considered any behaviour socially acceptable if her own personal inclinations recommended it. She shocked her father by her roué young friends and her provocative style of dress. Augustus, who had pretensions to old-fashioned morality and austerity, was not well suited to be the father of an independent and highly spirited daughter. He nagged her about her friends, her bold language, her clothes, even about her habit of removing prematurely grey hairs. He also tried to keep her under rigid supervision, informing even the most respectable young men who called on her that they were not welcome in the emperor’s home.

The sources place great emphasis on the moral aspect of Julia’s conduct and Tacitus comments on the excessive punishment meted out to her, observing that Augustus overstepped the mild penalties of earlier times and even the penalties prescribed by his own laws in classing sexual misconduct as sacrilege and treason. Thus he almost warns us against inferring from the excessive penalties that the charges concealed political misconduct. 30 But many scholars insist that the claims of sexual misconduct by members of the Julio-Claudian family were largely specious devices to conceal serious political threats, and that charges of adultery or moral depravity could be used to eliminate dangerous claimants or their supporters.

The novelty of his situation made itself apparent when he came to consider what would happen after his death. 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.

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