Option J: Focus of Study

Option J: Focus of Study

Personalities in their times: Option J- Focus of Study;

Agrippina the Younger played an influential role during the reign of two (if not three) successive emperors.  As such, her presentation on official imperial media – predominately through statues and on coins, highlights the expected role and ideal image of the leading imperial female.  Alternatively, due to this perception of power and influence disseminated through this media, Agrippina the Younger has garnered a negative portrayed in the literary tradition.  She was primarily seen as a ruthless, controlling, domineering and violent women who killed one emperor (Claudius) and attempted to kill another (Nero).  However, this representation of Agrippina the Younger needs to be mediated, and her role in the development of the power of the imperial woman needs to be addressed.  Below is a list of resources related to: (i) general biographical information; (ii) the different sources narrating on Agrippina the Younger’s life and her role in imperial politics and archaeological sources; (iii) her position during the reigns of successive emperors, Caligula, Claudius and Nero; and (iv) limitations and drawbacks on the ancient source material.


Background and rise to prominence:


Key features and developments, and Evaluation:


Ancient Source Material: Drawbacks and Limitations:

Source Material

There are three main literary sources that related the life of Agrippina the Younger: Tacitus, Suetonius and Cassius Dio.  All three authors are hostile of Agrippina the Younger, her acts and her memory.


Image: Bust of Agrippina the Younger in the National Museum in Warsaw 
https://womeninantiquity.wordpress.com/2018/11/27/agrippina-the-younger/

Back to the top of this page