Agrippina - How she gained and lost power in Rome

Essay by maryyHigh School, 12th gradeB+, March 2009

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Agrippina the Younger, born in 15 AD in Germany to Germanicus and Agrippina the Elder, not only became one of the most powerful Julio-Claudian woman in Roman history with extensive family connections , but her position within Roman politics was perhaps one the most dominant any woman has ever achieved. As a woman, she was unable to directly control the throne; Agrippina is credited for gaining this privilege through the men in her life, namely Claudius and Nero. She was able to become the driving force behind the throne through her illustrious bloodline, distinctive personality and remarkable determination. Although experiencing ultimate power and influence, her downfall came about due to her overbearing nature and the same freedmen who had helped her achieve her goals of authority in the Roman society.

It can be safe to say that Agrippina was not fixated on a particular aspiration for herself or her son during the period from AD 37 to AD 59.

Due to changes in circumstances, opportunities and unforseen outcomes, Agrippina adapted to them. Nevertheless the 'adaptations' were not always for the best of herself, son or for the restoration of Roman aristocratic traditions. They varied, as did the nature of Agrippina's actions. It is blatant that at the beginning her interests were focused on achieving these traditions and yet at the same time committed crimes and demoralising acts to ensure her son's accession. Being a descendent of Augustus and the daughter of Germanicus and with these family connections wielded immense power, control and status, which would promote her selfish desire for emperorship through Claudius and Nero. Barrett states that the presence of this Julian blood fuelled the political ambition of Agrippina. Although the prospects of her becoming a ruler was slim due the fact she was a woman, the thought...