Vipsania Marcella

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Vipsania Marcella Agrippina or Marcellina (born 27 BC) was perhaps the only daughter to Roman statesman Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa from his second wife Claudia Marcella Major.[1] If so, she was the first grandchild to Octavia Minor and first great-niece to Roman Emperor Augustus. However it is more likely that she was the oldest daughter of Agrippa by his first wife, Caecilia Attica. She and her younger sister were married off to Publius Quinctilius Varus and Tiberius respectively.[2] Nepos Att. 19 records the birth of Tiberius's future wife before the death of Atticus.

Some date her marriage to Varus c. 14 BC. This hypothesis is rebutted by Reinhold,[3] One theory is that she later married Marcus Aemilius Lepidus.[4] If so, then a son of hers is recovered from a dedication inscription in the basilica Aemilia.[4]

Tacitus hints that she did not die in childbirth or of natural causes. He states that Agrippa's children were either killed in battle, starved to death or poisoned.[5] However, this may have just applied to Agrippa's children by Julia the Elder, Augustus' daughter. Tacitus makes no specific comment on Marcellina. The date of her death is uncertain.

In popular culture[edit]

In Robert Graves' books, I, Claudius and Claudius the God, she committed suicide for unexplained reasons, and later Roman Empress Livia Drusilla claimed she had killed herself over guilt for committing incest with her father, in order to secretly instigate Agrippa's poisoning.


  1. ^ Suet., Aug. 63.1.
  2. ^ Meyer Reinhold, “M. Agrippa's Son-in-Law P. Quinctilius Varus,” CPh 67 (1972), 119-21).
  3. ^ Marcus Agrippa's Son-in-Law P Quinctilius Varus, in CPh 67 (1972), pp. 119-121.
  4. ^ a b R. Syme, The Augustan Aristocraty, Oxford, 1986, p. 125.
  5. ^ Tac., Ann. III 19.3.