Agrippina the Younger
Agrippina was one of the most influential women of her time. She had achieved powers and honours, previously unachievable by Roman women. Even Livia, wife of the great Augustus Caesar, did not hold the range of powers bestowed on Agrippina herself. The reason behind her power is her use of her incredible linage to impose herself upon the political scene. Part of the reason behind Agrippina’s power was her close proximity to some of the most powerful men in the ancient world, she was the great-granddaughter of the great Augustus: who also had achieved a deified status, daughter of Germanicus: said to be the reincarnation of Apollo himself, sister of an emperor (Caligula), wife of an emperor (Claudius), and mother of an emperor (Nero). She used this impeccable family bloodline to secure power in both the Senate and in Roman society, but was she the evil temptress and nymphomaniac the ancient sources made her out to be?
Agrippina held immeasurable and unprecedented power for a woman of the time period, even outstripping the great Livia, wife of Augustus. Her power, according to the written evidence provided by men such as Tacitus, Suetonius and Cassius Dio, was a mix of several different components:
• Proximity to powerful male members of Roman politics/society
• Her lineage/bloodline, and
• Her charm, beauty and sexual allure
These factors supposedly enabled Agrippina to climb both the social and political ladders in Roman society with relative ease, influence high ranking men throughout the Roman Empire, and acquire information and support for her son Nero in his political career. Her relentless ambition to secure her son's emperorship and to gain as much power as emperor gives her a legendary status.
Agrippina is, according to the historical record and, accountable for the deaths of no less than eleven people, she is also accused of having at least ten lovers during her lifetime, 3 of which were close family (brother, uncle, and...