Vipsania Agrippina Major

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Vipsania Agrippina Major

Also Known As: "Vipsania Julia Octavia Agrippina Major DI ROMA", "Vipsania-Agrippina", "Agrippina Germanici"
Birthdate: (47)
Birthplace: Athens, Attica, Greece
Death: October 17, 33 (43-51)
Latina, Lazio, Italy
Place of Burial: Rome, Lazio, Italy
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa and Julia "the Elder"
Wife of Claudius Germanicus Caesar
Mother of Nero Julius-Caesar Germanicus; Drusus Julius Caesar; Caligula, Roman Emperor; Julia Agrippina Minor; Julia Drusilla and 5 others
Sister of Gaius Julius Caesar; Vipsania Julia Agrippina; Lucius Julius Caesar and Marcus Julius-Caesar Agrippa Postumus
Half sister of Tiberillus, infant son of Julia; Vipsania Agrippina and Vipsania Marcella Agrippina

Managed by: Private User
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About Vipsania Agrippina Major

4217576384055059. Augusta Agrippina "The Younger" ROMAN EMPIRE,1601,1746 daughter of Ceasar Germanicus ROMAN EMPIRE and Agrippina "The Elder" ROMAN EMPIRE, was born in 15 and died in 59 at age 44. The cause of her death was Poisoned.

General Notes:

Agrippina was granted the title of Augusta, a rank no wife of an emperor had held before. And she was determined to see her twelve year old son Nero take the place of Britannicus as imperial heir.

She successfully arranged for Nero to be betrothed to Claudius' daughter Octavia. And a year later Claudius adopted him as son.

Then on the night of the 12 to 13 October AD 54 Claudius suddenly died. His death is generally attributed to his scheming wife Agrippina who didn't care to wait for her son Nero inherit the throne and so poisoned Claudius with mushrooms.

Agrippina married Emperor Rome Tiberius Claudius Drusus Nero Germanicus ROMAN EMPIRE 1601,3472 in <, , Lyons, France>. Tiberius was born 1 August 10 B.C. in Palace Augustus, Roma, Italy 3472 and died on 13 October 54 in , , Roma, Italy 3472. The cause of his death was Poisoned with a treated mushroom by his wife, Agrippina.

Agrippina next married Cnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus ROMAN EMPIRE.3472

The child from this marriage was:

                     i.  Nero Claudius Drusus Germanicus ROMAN EMPIRE was born on 15 December 37 in Antium 3472 and died on 9 June 68 in Rome, , Lazio, Italy 3472 at age 30. Another name for Nero was Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus ROMAN EMPIRE.

Agrippina the Elder

  • Spouse: Germanicus
  • Issue
  1. Nero Caesar
  2. Drusus Caesar
  3. Caligula, Roman Emperor
  4. Agrippina the Younger, Roman Empress
  5. Julia Drusilla
  6. Julia Livilla
  • Father Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa
  • Mother Julia the Elder
  • Born 14 BC Athens, Greece; Died 18 October 33 (aged 47) Pandataria; Burial Pandataria, later the Mausoleum of Augustus

8435152768110119. Agrippina "The Elder" ROMAN EMPIRE 1601,1746 was born in 12 B.C. and died in 33 at age 45.

General Notes:

Julia Vipsania Agrippina (circa 14 BC– AD 33), known as Agrippina Major (Agrippina "the Elder"), was one of the most powerful women in the Roman Empire in the early 1st century AD. She was the daughter of Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa by his third wife Julia Caesaris, was grand-daughter of Augustus, wife of Germanicus, and the mother of Agrippina Minor and Caligula.

The place and date of her birth are unknown but by about 5 AD she had married Germanicus, the step-grandson of the Emperor Augustus. The well-regarded Germanicus was a candidate for the succession and had won fame campaigning in Germania and Gaul, where he was accompanied by Agrippina. This was most unusual for Roman wives, as convention required them to stay at home, and earned her a reputation as a model for heroic womanhood. She bore him two daughters in Gaul, a boy and Agrippina Minor in the Rhine frontier.

Agrippina and Germanicus travelled to the Near East in AD 19, incurring the displeasure of the emperor Tiberius. He quarrelled with Gnaeus Calpurnius Piso, the governor of Syria, and died in Antioch in mysterious circumstances. It was widely suspected that Germanicus had been poisoned – perhaps on the orders of Tiberius himself – and Agrippina returned to Rome to avenge his death. She boldly accused Piso of the murder of Germanicus. To avoid public infamy, Piso committed suicide.

From 19 to 29, Agrippina remained in Rome, becoming increasingly involved with a group of senators who opposed the growing power of Tiberius' favourite Sejanus. Her relations with the emperor became increasingly fraught as she made it clear that she believed that he was responsible for the death of Germanicus. Tiberius also evidently feared that she might seek to secure the throne for her own children. In 26, the emperor rejected her request that she be allowed to marry again.

Agrippina and her sons Drusus and Nero Caesar were arrested in 29 on the orders of Tiberius. They were tried by the Senate and Agrippina was banished to the island of Pandataria (now called Ventotene) in the Tyrrhenian Sea off the coast of Campania, where she died on October 18, 33 in suspicious circumstances. The official story was that she had starved herself to death, but it seems equally likely that she was starved on the orders of the emperor. After her death, Tiberius convinced the senate to revoke all her former privileges and declared her birthday to be a day of ill-omen.

Agrippina had nine children by Germanicus, several of whom died young. Drusus died of starvation after being imprisoned in Rome and Nero Caesar either committed suicide or was murdered after his trial in 29. Only two of her children are of historical importance: Agrippina Minor, also known as Agrippina the Younger, and Gaius Caesar, who succeeded Tiberius under the name of Caligula. Despite Tiberius' enmity towards Caligula's elder brothers, he nonetheless made Caligula and his cousin Tiberius Gemellus joint heirs to his property.

Agrippina was regarded by contemporaries as being a woman of the highest character and exemplary Roman morals. There is a portrait of her in the Capitoline Museum at Rome and a bronze medal in the British Museum showing her ashes being brought back to Rome by order of Caligula. 3470

Agrippina married Ceasar Germanicus ROMAN EMPIRE 1601 in <B.C. 12>. Germanicus was born in Lyons, France and died on 24 January 41.

Nieta del Emperador Augusto, madre de Caligula el Emperador y Agripina la menor (madre de Neron), Fue una noble considerada como ejemplo de las virtudes Romanas, tras la misteriosa muerte de Germanico su marido, busco auxilio en Tiberio, pero este poco hizo por hacer jusicia, esto la hizo sospechar de Tiberio y lo acuso publicamente de la muerte de su marido. Fue acusada de conspiracion y exiliada en la isla de Pandataria donde se le dejo morir de hambre.

Agrippina the Elder

Vipsania Agrippina, most commonly known as Agrippina Major or Agrippina the Elder (Major Latin for the elder, Classical Latin: AGRIPPINA•GERMANICI, 14 BC – 17 October AD 33), was a distinguished and prominent Roman woman of the first century CE. Agrippina was the wife of the general and statesman Germanicus and a relative to the first Roman Emperors.

She was the second granddaughter of the Emperor Augustus, sister-in-law, stepdaughter and daughter-in-law of the Emperor Tiberius, mother of the Emperor Caligula, maternal second cousin and sister-in-law of the Emperor Claudius and the maternal grandmother of the Emperor Nero.

Family and early life

Agrippina was born as the second daughter and fourth child to Roman statesman and Augustus’ ally Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa and Julia the Elder. Agrippina’s mother Julia was the only natural child born to Augustus from his second marriage to noblewoman Scribonia.

Her father’s marriage to Julia was his third marriage. From Agrippa’s previous two marriages, Agrippina had at least two half-sisters: Vipsania Agrippina and Vipsania Marcella Agrippina (although Suet. Div. Aug. 63 implies more). Vipsania Agrippina was Agrippa’s second child from his first marriage to Pomponia Caecilia Attica (known from Nep. Att. 19.) She became Tiberius's first wife and was the mother of his natural son Drusus Julius Caesar.

Vipsania Agrippina later married senator and consul Gaius Asinius Gallus Saloninus after Tiberius was forced to divorce her and marry Julia the Elder. Less well known is Agrippa’s oldest daughter - Vipsania Marcella. She was the first wife Publius Quinctilius Varus. Agrippa likely had more children, some of whom did not survive, from his second marriage to Augustus’ niece and (paternal) cousin to Julia the Elder, Claudia Marcella Major. No son is attested, but a daughter is possibly the mother of Dec. Haterius Agrippa (cos. AD 22, called a relative of Germanicus by Tac. Ann. 2.49).

Her mother’s marriage to Agrippa was her second marriage, as Julia the Elder was widowed from her first marriage, to her paternal cousin Marcus Claudius Marcellus and they had no children. From the marriage of Julia and Agrippa, Agrippina had four full-blood siblings: a sister Julia the Younger and three brothers: Gaius Caesar, Lucius Caesar and Agrippa Postumus. Agrippina was born in Athens, as in the year of her birth Agrippa was in that city completing official duties on behalf of Augustus. Her mother and her siblings had traveled with Agrippa. Later Agrippina’s family returned to Rome.

In 12 BCE, Agrippina’s father died. Augustus had forced his first stepson Tiberius to end his happy first marriage to Vipsania Agrippina to marry Julia the Elder. The marriage of Julia and Tiberius was not a happy one. In 2 BC Augustus exiled Agrippina’s mother on the grounds that she had committed adultery, thereby causing a major scandal. Julia was banished for her remaining years and Agrippina never saw her again. Tiberius had left Rome for the Greek island of Rhodes ca. 6 BC allegedly to avoid any scandal. In his absence, Augustus arranged the divorce between Tiberius and Julia and sent word of it to Rhodes.

With her siblings, Agrippina was raised in Rome by her maternal grandfather and maternal step-grandmother Livia Drusilla. Livia was the first Roman Empress and was Augustus’ second (or third) wife (Augustus briefly had a child bride). Livia had two sons by her first marriage to praetor Tiberius Nero: the future emperor Tiberius and the general Nero Claudius Drusus.

According to Suetonius, as a member of the imperial family, Agrippina was expected to display frugality, chastity and domesticity, all traditional virtues for a noble Roman woman. Agrippina and Augustus had a close relationship.

Life with Germanicus

Between 1 BC-5, Agrippina married her second maternal cousin Germanicus. Germanicus was the first son born to Antonia Minor and Nero Claudius Drusus. Antonia Minor was the second daughter born to Octavia Minor and triumvir Mark Antony, hence Antonia’s maternal uncle was Augustus. Germanicus was a popular general and politician. Augustus ordered Tiberius to adopt Germanicus as his son and heir. Germanicus was always favored by his great uncle and hoped that he would succeed Tiberius, who had been adopted by Augustus as his heir and successor. Agrippina and Germanicus were devoted to each other. She was a loyal, affectionate wife, who supported her husband. The Roman historian Tacitus states that Agrippina had an ‘impressive record as wife and mother’.

Agrippina and Germanicus in their union had nine children, of whom three died young. The six children who survived to adulthood were the sons: Nero Caesar, Drusus Caesar and Caligula (Gaius Julius Caesar Germanicus) and the daughters Agrippina the Younger (Julia Agrippina), Julia Drusilla and Julia Livilla. Caligula would become future Roman Emperor. Agrippina the Younger would become a future Roman Empress and mother to the later Emperor Nero. Their children were born at various places throughout the Roman Empire and Agrippina acquired a well-deserved reputation for successful childbearing. Eventually Agrippina was proud of her large family and this was a part of the reason she was popular with Roman citizens.

According to Suetonius who had cited from Pliny the Elder, Agrippina had borne to Germanicus, a son called Gaius Julius Caesar who had a lovable character. This son died young. The child was born at Treveri, near the village of Ambitarvium, just before the junction of the Moselle River and the Rhine River (modern Koblenz, Germany). At this spot, there were local altars inscribed as a dedication to Agrippina: “IN HONOR OF AGRIPPINA’S PUERPERIUM”.

Germanicus was a candidate for future succession and had won fame campaigning in Germania and Gaul. During the military campaigns, Agrippina accompanied Germanicus with their children. Agrippina’s actions were considered unusual as for a Roman wife, because a conventional Roman wife was required to stay home. Agrippina had earned herself a reputation as a heroic woman and wife. During her time in Germania, Agrippina had proved herself to be an efficient and effective diplomat. Agrippina had reminded Germanicus on occasion of his relation to Augustus.

A few months before Augustus’ death in 14, the emperor wrote and sent a letter to Agrippina mentioning a child who must be future emperor Caligula because at that time, no other child had this name.

The letter reads:

Yesterday I made arrangements for Talarius and Asillius to bring your son Gaius to you on the eighteenth of May, if the gods will. I am also sending with him one of my slaves, a doctor who as I have told Germanicus in a letter, need not be returned to me if he proves of use of you. Goodbye my dear Agrippina! Keep well on the way to your Germanicus!

Agrippina and Germanicus travelled to the Middle East in 19, incurring the displeasure of Tiberius. Germanicus quarreled with Gnaeus Calpurnius Piso, the governor of Syria and died in Antioch in mysterious circumstances. It was widely suspected that Germanicus had been poisoned, perhaps on the orders of Tiberius, with Agrippina believing he was assassinated. Agrippina was in grief when Germanicus died. She returned with her children to Italy with Germanicus’ ashes. The Roman citizens had great sympathy for Agrippina and her family. She returned to Rome to avenge his death and boldly accused Piso of the murder of Germanicus. According to Tacitus (Annals 3.14.1), the prosecution could not prove the poisoning charge, but other charges of treason seemed likely to stick and Piso committed suicide.

Time in Rome, downfall and posthumous honors

From 19 to 29, Agrippina lived on the Palatine Hill in Rome. Her remaining children were raised between her, Livia Drusilla and Germanicus’ mother Antonia Minor. Agrippina had become lonely, distressed, physically ill and many of her relatives had died. Agrippina had a hasty, uncomfortable relationship with Tiberius and possibly with Tiberius’ mother Livia. She became involved in politics in Tiberius’ imperial court, became an advocate for her sons to succeed Tiberius, and opposed Tiberius’ natural son and natural grandson Tiberius Gemellus for succession.

She was unwise in her complaints about Germanicus’ death to Tiberius. Tiberius took Agrippina by her hand and quoted the Greek line: “And if you are not queen, my dear, have I then done you wrong?”

Agrippina became involved in a group of Roman Senators who opposed the growing power and influence of the notorious Praetorian Guard Lucius Aelius Sejanus. Tiberius began to distrust Agrippina. In 26, Agrippina requested Tiberius to allow her to marry her brother-in-law, Roman Senator Gaius Asinius Gallus Saloninus. However, Tiberius didn’t allow her to marry Saloninus, because of political implications the marriage could have.

Tiberius carefully staged to invite Agrippina to dinner at the imperial palace. At dinner, Tiberius offered Agrippina an apple[3] as a test of Agrippina’s feelings for the emperor. Agrippina had suspected that the apple could be poisoned and refused to taste the apple. This was the last time that Tiberius invited Agrippina to his dinner table. Agrippina later stated that Tiberius tried to poison her.

In 29, Agrippina and her sons Nero and Drusus, were arrested on the orders of Tiberius. Tiberius falsely accused Agrippina of planning to take sanctuary besides the image of Augustus or with the Roman Army abroad. Agrippina and her sons were put on trial by the Roman Senate. She was banished on Tiberius’ orders to the island of Pandataria (now called Ventotene) in the Tyrrhenian Sea off the coast of Campania. This was the island where her mother was banished.

In prison at Pandataria, Agrippina protested violently. On one occasion, Tiberius ordered a guard to flog her. During the flogging Agrippina would lose an eye. Refusing to eat, Agrippina was force-fed but later starved herself to death. Tacitus however leaves open the possibility that she was deprived of nourishment while in prison and her death was not voluntary. Be that as it may, she expired on 17 October 33. Agrippina’s son Drusus died of starvation while imprisoned in Rome and Nero committed suicide soon after the trial. The notorious guard Sejanus was murdered in 31 on the orders of Tiberius. Tiberius suspected Sejanus of plotting to overthrow the emperor.

After her death, Tiberius slandered her name and had the senate declare that her birth date was a date of bad omen.

In March 37, Tiberius died and Agrippina’s remaining son Caligula succeeded as emperor. After Caligula delivered Tiberius’ eulogy, Caligula sailed to Pandataria and the Pontine Islands and returned with the ashes of his mother and brother Nero. Caligula returned with their ashes in urns in his own hands.

As proof of devotion to his family, Caligula arranged the most distinguished soldiers available to carry the urns of his mother and two brothers in two biers at noon in Rome, when the streets were at their busiest, to the Mausoleum of Augustus. A bronze medal on display in the British Museum shows Agrippina’s ashes being brought back to Rome by Caligula.

Caligula had a posthumous struck of his mother Agripinna the Elder, a Sestertii Bronze coin minted at Rome (Struck under Gaius (Caligula), 37-41 AD) The image with the draped bust of Agrippina right, wearing hair in long plait. Text around AGRIPPINA M F GERMANICI CAESARIS a covered carriage of the carpentum on the reverse. The perfection and beauty of this specific striking was a work of art created under Caligula by the finest artisans of the Rome ($8.6m. This specimen of Agrippina Senior (the Elder) being one of the world’s most remarkable and valuable coins. Front cover of 'Women of the Caesars')

Caligula appointed an annual day each year in Rome, for people to offer funeral sacrifices to honor their late relatives. As a dedication to Agrippina, Caligula set aside the Circus Games to honor the memory of his late mother. On the day that the Circus Games occurred, Caligula had a statue made of Agrippina’s image to be paraded in a covered carriage at the Games.

After the Circus Games, Caligula ordered written evidence of the court cases from Tiberius’ treason trials to be brought to the Forum to be burnt, first being the cases of Agrippina and her two sons.

The historians

According to Suetonius, Caligula nursed a rumor that Augustus and Julia the Elder had an incestuous union from which Agrippina the Elder had been born. According to Tacitus, Agrippina’s eldest daughter Agrippina the Younger had written memoirs for posterity. One memoir was an account of her mother’s life. A second memoir was about the fortunes of her mother’s family and the last memoir recorded the misfortunes (casus suorum) of the family of Agrippina and Germanicus. Unfortunately these memoirs are now lost.


Agrippina is regarded in ancient and modern historical sources as a Roman Matron with a reputation as a great woman, who had an excellent character and had outstanding Roman morals. She was a dedicated, supporting wife and mother who looked out for the interests of her children and the future of her family.

Her personality and conduct did however receive a certain amount of criticism. Her practice of accompanying Germanicus on campaigns was considered inappropriate, and her tendency to take command in these situations was viewed with suspicion as subversively masculine. Tacitus described her as “determined and rather excitable” - "Agrippina knew no feminine weaknesses. Intolerant of rivalry, thirsting for power, she had a man's preoccupations". Throughout her life, Agrippina always prized her descent from Augustus, upbraiding Tiberius for persecuting the blood of his predecessor; Tacitus, in writing of the occasion, believed this behaviour to be part of the beginning of "the chain of events leading to Agrippina's end."


She was the first Roman woman of the Roman Empire to have travelled with her husband to Roman military campaigns; to support and live with the Roman Legions. Agrippina was the first Roman matron to have more than one child from her family to reign on the Roman throne. Apart from being the late maternal grandmother of Nero, she was the late paternal grandmother of Princess Julia Drusilla, the child of Caligula. Through Nero, Agrippina was the paternal great-grandmother of Claudia Augusta, (Nero's only child through his second marriage to Poppaea Sabina).

From the memoirs written by Agrippina the Younger, Tacitus used the memoirs to extract information regarding the family and fate of Agrippina the Elder, when Tacitus was writing The Annals. There is a surviving portrait of Agrippina the Elder in the Capitoline Museums in Rome.

Agrippina is a featured figure on Judy Chicago's installation piece The Dinner Party, being represented as one of the 999 names on the Heritage Floor. She was played by Fiona Walker in the 1976 TV serial I, Claudius.

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Vipsania Agrippina Major's Timeline

Athens, Attica, Greece
Age 19
Age 20
August 31, 12
Age 26
Antium (present-day Anzio)
August 31, 12
Age 26
November 6, 15
Age 29
Rome, Roma, Italy
September 16, 16
Age 30