Agrippina the Elder

Reece Period attributed: Period 2

Obverse image of a coin of Agrippina the Elder

Member of the Julio-Claudians dynasty.

Coins for this issuer were issued from -14 until 33.

Agrippina was born in Athens, Greece. In AD 5 she married Germanicus, her second cousin and step-grandson of the Emperor Augustus.

Agrippina had nine children by Germanicus, three of whom died in infancy; the surviving six were:

  • Nero Caesar
  • Drusus Caesar
  • Gaius (Caligula, future Emperor)
  • Agrippina the Younger, mother of Emperor Nero
  • Julia Drusilla
  • Julia Livilla

She was regarded by her peers as a woman of the highest character, moral but arrogant and ambitious for herself and her family. In Tacitus' Annals 6.25 he commented:

...could not endure equality and loved to domineer with her masculine aspirations was far removed from the frailties of women...

On the surface it appears that she was a victim of tyranny; dig deeper and she had done much to provoke her fate.

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Record: BERK-6C41FC
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: ROMAN
Description: A copper-alloy Roman sestertius o…
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Record: DEV-EEA7E1
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: ROMAN
Description: Roman copper alloy sestertius of the empr…
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Other resources about Agrippina the Elder

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Information from Wikipedia

  • Preferred label: Agrippina the Elder
  • Full names:
    • Agrippina the Elder
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  • Definition: Vipsania Agrippina (also, in Latin, Agrippina Germanici, "Germanicus' Agrippina"; c. 14 BCAD 33), commonly referred to as Agrippina the Elder, was a prominent member of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. She was the daughter of Marcus Agrippa (who was a close supporter of Rome's first emperor, Augustus) and Augustus' daughter, Julia the Elder. At the time of her birth, her brothers, Lucius and Gaius, were the adoptive sons of Augustus, and were his heirs until their deaths in AD 2 and 4, respectively. Following their deaths, her cousin Germanicus was made the adoptive son of Tiberius as part of Augustus' succession scheme in the adoptions of AD 4 (in which Tiberius was adopted by Augustus). As a result of the adoption, Agrippina was wed to Germanicus in order to bring him closer to the Julian family. Agrippina the Elder is known to have traveled with Germanicus throughout his career, taking her children wherever they went. In AD 14, Germanicus was deployed in Gaul as a governor and general, and, while there, the late Augustus sent her son Gaius to her unspecified location. Agrippina liked to dress him in a little soldiers' outfit (complete with boots) for which Gaius earned the nickname "Caligula" ("little soldier's boots"). After three years in Gaul, they returned to Rome, and her husband was awarded a triumph on 26 May AD 17 to commemorate his victories. The following year, Germanicus was sent to govern over the eastern provinces. While Germanicus was active in his administration, the governor of Syria Gnaeus Calpurnius Piso began feuding with him. During the feud, her husband died of illness on 10 October AD 19. Germanicus was cremated in Antioch, Turkey, and she transported his ashes to Rome where they were interred at the Mausoleum of Augustus. Agrippina was vocal in claims of her husband being murdered in order to promote Tiberius' son, Drusus Julius Caesar, ("Drusus the Younger") as heir. Following the model of her stepgrandmother Livia, she spent the time following Germanicus' death supporting the cause of her sons Nero and Drusus Caesar. This put her and her sons at odds with the powerful Praetorian prefect Lucius Aelius Sejanus who would begin eliminating their supporters with accusations of treason and sexual misconduct in AD 26. Her family's rivalry with Sejanus would culminate with her and Nero's exile in AD 29. Nero was exiled to Pontia and she was exiled to the island of Pandateria, where she would remain until her death by starvation in AD 33.
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  • Birth place: Athens, Greece in the Roman era
  • Death place: Ventotene
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