Anthony A. BARRETT, Agrippina, Mother of Nero. Londres, Batsford, 1 vol. 16 χ 24 cm, XXI p., 19 fig. Prix: 25 £. ISBN Evil and. In this study, the author uses the latest numismatic, historical and archaeological evidence to reveal the true character behind the legend of Agrippina and to. : Agrippina: Sex, Power, and Politics in the Early Empire ( ): Anthony A. Barrett: Books.

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Barrett impresses readers again by capturing the life of this remarkable woman: She had, of course, self-interested motives for such loyalty, since the accomplishments of Claudius were also her own, and since her status as the priestess of the deified emperor gave her one of the few forms of institutionalized authority that a Roman woman could hold.

Dan rated it it was amazing Jun 01, One of these appendices, however, “The Decline in Agrippina’s Power,” pp.

The way she made use of the system of rotations and promotions ensured that the Praetorians remained loyal to herself and her son. Agrippina’s impact was so lasting, however, that for some years after her death no woman in the imperial family dared assume an assertive political role.

She thus got rid of potential opponents without making unnecessary enemies. Tacitus Stephan Schmal No preview available – Barrrett printing quality is pretty poor – the pictures are gathered in one section of plates, which is usually done to allow for photo-quality paper, but not this time – meaning that details on coins, sculptures etc.

Agrippina: Sex, Power, and Politics in the Early Empire by Anthony A. Barrett

Agrippina’s impact was so lasting, however, that for some years after her death no woman in the imperial family dared assume an assertive political role. Moreover, as a technical detail, the professional reader will not be content with the way inscriptions are printed in the list of sources p. Refresh and try again. Revealing the true figure behind the propaganda and the political machinations of which she was capable, he assesses the impact of her marriage to the emperor Claudius, on the country and her family.

The ancient sources attribute the deaths to Agrippina and Nero, but Barrett knows better. As the wife of Claudius, she had received more open acknowledgments of a formal role in government than any woman before her: Barrett No preview available – My library Help Advanced Book Search.

Overall, this was helpful in understanding how anti-woman Roman culture was, to a degree that I hadn’t even fathomed before reading. After Agrippina’s marriage to Claudius there was a marked decline in the number of judicial executions and there was close cooperation between the Senate and the emperor; the settlement of Cologne, founded under her aegis, was a model of social harmony; and the first five years of Nero’s reign, while she was still alive, were the most enlightened of his rule.


Barrett is the author of biographies of Livia, Agrippina, and Caligula. Although some of the charges that the ancient authors level against her, such as poisoning and incest, are by their very nature unproven and unprovable, Agrippina never showed signs of any higher ideological goal than the acquisition and retention of power for herself and her family.

Selected pages Title Page. Barrett Snippet view – Being already the author of a biography of CaligulaA.

Anthony A. Barrett – | Jason Halliday –

One of the merits of the book is the thorough analysis of the stereotypical description of women such as Livia, Messalina and Agrippina in ancient historiography. Firstly, this is very dense reading. Project MUSE promotes the anthoby and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide.

There have always been politicians, usually men, whose conduct is most agdippina by any standard. There are so many different names and relations and Roman terms that it is very slow going, while keeping the relations straight is next to impossible without constant reference to family trees. Project MUSE Mission Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide.

Paperback antuony, pages. The last appendix is a well-balanced analysis of the partly controversial evidence on the final days of Agrippina.

Agrippina: Sex, Power, and Politics in the Early Empire

According to ancient sources, she achieved her success by plotting against her qnthony, the emperor Caligula, murdering her husband, the emperor Claudius, and controlling her son, the emperor Nero, by sleeping with him.

Ladyloulou rated it it was amazing Aug 18, I thought Barrett did a good job of not going too far with any crazy interpretations or assertions and used ancient sources effectively agriopina support his opinions. Barrett suggests another plausible scenario: Observing in the preface p. Mother of Nero Roman Imperial Biographies. If you would like to authenticate using a different subscribed institution that supports Shibboleth authentication or have your own login and password to Project MUSE, click ‘Authenticate’.

All in all, I think the author does well with this task though this book is not easily approachable unless you have a good knowledge of Roman History. In fact, watching Barrett shadowbox became at arippina as interesting as learning about the imperial family itself. Claudius knew, after the treasonable conspiracies of Messalina, that he was vulnerable to attempted coups, and needed a partner in power.


Kate Degelau-Pierce rated it really liked it Feb 20, Barrett jumps from ancient author to author and while he tries his best to explain all of the historical characters, it is very hard to follow if you don’t know your Britannicus from your Germanicus. I agreed with most the author’s assertions and he helped me better understand people like Claudius who I never knew what to make of after only reading ancient sources about him. As is well known, after the mysterious shipwreck episode on the bay of Baiae, Agrippina was soon assassinated at Bauli, in the luxurious villa once owned by Hortensius Hortalus.

A very informative and readable study. In this dynamic new biography – the first on Agrippina in English – Professor Barrett uses the latest archaeological, numismatic and historical evidence to provide a close and detailed study of her life and career. Barrett makes such an observation regarding the disgrace and exile of Julia, the daughter of Augustus: There is a family tree at the start of the book — it is quite confusing should have been placed in several pages, given all the overlaps among prominent families but thank heavens it is there, as I relied on that, and my memories of watching “I, Claudius” in childhood, to keep track of the people discussed.

Agrippina’ s public image was also much promoted under Claudius’ reign: He studied at the Universities of Oxford, Durham and Toronto and has written extensively in the field of classical antiquity. In this respect, Barrett acknowledges that Agrippina was the product of her society: Although she was ambitious, says Barrett, she made her way through ability and determination rather than by sexual allure, and her political contributions to her time seem to have been positive.

Discussing the death of Claudius, he asks ‘why a skilled poisoner would not simply have provided a poisonous species of mushroom rather than an edible one that had been tampered with,’ notes that Claudius ‘had suffered ill-health from childhood,’ and leaves the impression that he probably died a natural death.

Sex, Power, and Politics in the Early Empire. Josh rated it liked it Sep 16,