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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But was her behaviour so unfamiliar to politically ambitious person, of the time? Barrett draws on the latest agrippinaa, numismatic, and historical evidence to create a startling new picture of this influential ahrippina misjudged Sex, Power, and Politics in the Early Empire. Lists with This Book.

The story, indeed, sounds suspiciously like a recycled version of her conflict with Nero over his relationship with the freedwoman Acte. Barrett impresses readers again by capturing the life of this remarkable woman: She thus got rid of potential opponents without making unnecessary enemies.

She had, of course, self-interested motives for such loyalty, since the accomplishments of Claudius were also her own, and since garippina status as the priestess of the deified emperor gave her one of the few forms of institutionalized authority that a Roman woman could hold.

Agrippina: Sex, Power, and Politics in the Early Empire – Anthony Barrett – Google Books

She is depicted as an overly sexual manipulator with no shame and a strong thirst for power in ancient sources and this book tries to sort through this inaccurate depiction and figure out what the real Agrippina was like. Agrippina the Younger attained a level of power in first-century Rome unprecedented for a woman. The job was done.


Agrippina’ s public image was also much promoted under Claudius’ reign: Barrett is the author of biographies of Livia, Agrippina, and Caligula. Barrett makes the reader hope that such studies are forthcoming.

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

Agrippina the Younger attained a level of power in first-century Rome unprecedented for a woman. The lesson of her barreth was not lost on women of later dynasties, none of whom ever again tried to claim the official status atrippina coregent.

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

Elizabeth rated it it was amazing May 31, The former is the more conventional approach that treats the careers of these men and women anthoony a string of titillating atrocity stories; the latter fosters the revisionist mentality that attempts to redraw every historical villain as a misunderstood martyr or elder statesman.

Claudius seemed to have provoked less opposition in the latter part of his principate than he had done earlier. Moreover, as a technical detail, the professional reader will not be content with the way inscriptions are printed in the list of sources p. As the mother of Emperor Nero, the readers will be astounded to learn about her younger life As powerful women were not approved by the historians of barrftt time, they have portrayed her as a malign character but a reexamination of the evidence demonstrates her actual ability.


There is a revisionist push in here to rehabilitate a woman sometimes seen as a second manipulative Messalina as a genuine partner with Claudius and responsible for the improvement in his principate and this is largely convincing, though the lack of historical details of what was done by Agrippina does lead to some speculative reasoning.

Having said that, I was a person that was convinced that Agrippina was basically a rampant, incestuous whore that kind of deserved to be offed by her son.

Bryn Mawr Classical Review

Agrippina is driven by her love for her son, Nero, and by the lust for power, and they both do increasingly evil things. Barrett No preview available – My library Help Advanced Book Search. Built on the Johns Hopkins University Campus.

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Barrett has made a remarkably lucid contribution to the understanding of Agrippina’ s role in Roman society. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. A very informative agrippija readable study.

That Agrippina was a woman in a monarchical structure where the involvement of women in politics was a very rare occurrence has certainly not improved her position in the eyes of later critics. She is harsh and domineering; she is subtle and ingratiating.