Agrippina the Younger

Reece Period attributed: Period 2

Obverse image of a coin of Agrippina the Younger

Member of the Julio-Claudians dynasty.

Coins for this issuer were issued from 15 until 59.

Agrippina the Younger (sometimes called Agrippanilla) was born in AD 15 to Germanicus and Agrippina the Elder. At age 13 she married Gn. Domitius Ahenobarbus; she bore him one child, the future emperor Nero (named Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus).

During the reign of her brother Gaius, Agrippina first enjoyed the special honors he bestowed upon his three sisters. However, after the death of their pregnant sister Drusilla, Gaius treated the two remaining sisters very poorly - some sources report that he forced them to dive for sponges.

The emperor Claudius married Agrippina, his niece, after the death of his third wife (Messalina). She set about angling for her son to become Claudius' heir, although he already had a natural son named Britannicus. Nero was three years older than Britannicus, and achieved far greater honours. Once she guaranteed this succession, it is reported that Agrippina poisoned Claudius in a dish of fancy mushrooms.

Agrippina sought even greater power through Nero. At first, he treated her well and allowed her contributions to rule; in AD55, however, he dismissed her guards and told her to leave the palace. She survived a number of assassination attempts, including a boat that purposely collapsed with her in it. She swam to shore; soldiers followed her to her home and killed her there.

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