Talk:Agrippina the Younger

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search


A Winner of the August 2004 West Dakota Prize

This entry has won the West Dakota Prize for successfully employing the expression "legend states" in a complete sentence.

A Winner of the March 2005 West Dakota Prize

This entry is one of only seventeen that have won the March 2005 West Dakota Prize for successfully employing the expression "legend states" in a complete sentence. --Wetman 08:22, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Too bad the sentence is no longer in the article.QueenofRods (talk) 04:24, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

First Comments[edit]

She was a terrible woman, but she was so for a reason like many other women in that period of time. I have to say however that I'm impressed with her will to live, how many times Nero had to try and kill her, and she was a survivor? Quite impressive if you think of it.--Camblunt100 09:21, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

I agree. As nasty as she supposedly was, she was quite a woman and very interesting. --Sophie-Lou 11:25, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

In 50 AD, wasn't she given the title of Augusta by Claudius? I'm sure I read that somewhere. --Sophie-Lou 11:25, 7 May 2006 (UTC)


who Brittanicus and why was he killed

Britannicus was the son of Claudius and Messalina (though in the Masterpiece Theatre rendering of "I Claudius/Claudius The God" Claudius has suspicions that Britannicus was actually fathered by Caligula.) Britannicus was the natural heir to the throne before Claudius adopted Nero. Nero and Britannicus were to be Claudius' joint heirs upon Claudius' demise. When Nero fell out of favor with his mother, Agrippina Minor, she retaliated by threatening that Britannicus was the true heir to the throne. Nero responded by having Britannicus poisoned.

Legend states...[edit]

So what is the source of the legend about Agrippinilla's death? It doesn't appear in this form in Suetonius or Tacitus. Gdr 13:29, 7 October 2005 (UTC)

Dear User, Tacitus' story is very complex. Her death is not clear. Probably her loyal defenders put her on safe (I think in Germany, where she founded the city of Cologne, whom real name is Colonia Agrippinensis).

Number of wives[edit]

Wasn't Messalina Claudius's third wife? I thought I would check before I changed it, but Im pretty sure Urgulania and Sejanus's relative (forget the name) count. -- 21:41, 5 November 2005 (UTC)

Messalina was his third wife. Agrippina was his fourth. --Sophie-Lou 11:22, 7 May 2006 (UTC)


  • Dante puts her in hell for killing Claudius (Inferno XXXII)
This is not supported by the text on Wikisource (trans. Longfellow) nor in any other translation I've read (I only speak English but I've perused the current Italian text from time to time). Can someone give the canto, line number and (if applicable) translator to support this? Ellsworth 22:50, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

This absurd statement is completely false. Just one of many lies about Agrippina's memory. Dante never put Agrippina in Inferno. Agrippina never killed Claudius, who was probably killed by Seneca's party.

Her demise[edit]

From the article Quinquatria

At the Quinquatria in 59, Nero invited his mother, Agrippina the Younger, to his villa near Baiae, in an attempt to assassinate her. His old tutor, Anicetus, whom he had raised to be captain of the fleet of Misenum, had undertaken to construct a vessel which could be sunk, without exciting suspicion. Agrippina landed at Bauli, between Baiae and Cape Misenum, and completed her journey in a litter. After the banquet, when night had fallen, she was induced to return to Bauli in the vessel which had been prepared for her destruction. But the mechanism did not work as planned, and Agrippina succeeded in swimming to shore, from which she proceeded to her villa on the Lucrine lake. Nero soon after succeeded in his goal, however, with further help from Anicetus.[5]

If this is true, why not copy it here, with additions to how Nero finally killed her ?

Chris CII

Dear Chris, Tacitus' story is very complex. Her death is not clear. Probably her loyal defenders put her on safe (I think in Germany, where she founded the city of Cologne, whom real name is Colonia Agrippinensis).

-- Hmm. Tacitus' story is pretty straightforward and leaves no room for magical escapes to Germany. But leaving that aside and turning to the main text: Where do "four attempts" come from? After the collapsing boat trick didn't work, Nero sent soldiers right away (Tac. Ann. 14.1-9). This could count as two separate attempts (one of which successful), but... ? --Frippo 01:50, 1 February 2007 (UTC)


This article is not at all neutral and needs serious editing. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 18:22, 31 December 2006 (UTC).

This article is simply ridicolous. Especially ridicolous is the "child-like" allegation: "Agrippina did not reject murder as a way to win her battles", while it's cruel to affirm she murdered her husband Claudius, without quoting Barrett's studies and Racine's interpretation in "Britannicus". See Italian version for a good article.

Agreed -- I'm glad that a lot of the ideas in this discussion aren't reflected in the main article, but the article is still in need of some serious cleanup in both content and English style, and citations are needed for just about everything. I will start by removing the following sentence from the introduction: "This gave her a near mystical status and Tacitus tells that 'Her exceptionally illustrious birth is indisputable.'" I'm not sure where "near mystical status" comes from and the alleged quotation does not appear in Tacitus. I'm also deleting the bit about being resentful of male primogeniture; the sources depict her as avid for power and behaving as a co-ruler, but some sort of hatred of the patriarchy is anachronistic -- not to mention that the sentence as written grammatically suggests that "with her ... demise, [she grew] resentful," which is nonsense. More is necessary, but not tonight. --Frippo 01:32, 1 February 2007 (UTC)


Agrippina did not help found the colonia at modern-day Cologne until the year 50, when she was already the wife of Claudius -- not in her "early life." I'm not sure where this stuff about helping Rome's brave boys comes from.

She certainly as a member of the Julio-Claudian family and most especially as the daughter of Germanicus had great popularity among the army, however. It's just not linked to helping veterans in her youth. --Frippo 01:41, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Sentence sense?[edit]

I've read this a couple of times, but it still doesn't make sense. From the "Return from exhile" section: When Agrippina returned from exile, Messalina realised that Agrippina’s son was a threat to her son’s position, Messalina had sent assassins to strangle Lucius during his siesta. The assassins left in terror, when the snake suddenly darted from beneath Nero’s pillow; but was a slaughed snake-skin in his bed; near his pillow. "Slaughed"? Should that be "slaughtered"? Or something else completely? Why is "pillow" repeated? Can anyone re-write this so it makes more sense? -CaptainJae 20:31, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

It's misspelled, should be sloughed. That said it doesn't make much sense. And on the subject of making sense, wth is with all the "hads"? They are way over-used in my opinion. For example, immediately after the above quote (which I note has been fixed): "In 47 Crispus had died" What is that? I mean, okay, yes, I know, it's a tense (the exact name for the tense escapes me atm) but why is it being used in almost every other sentence? It's an extremely rare tense in normal English, and makes the article read poorly. Maybe it was someone's attempt to get rid of passive voice (which, imo, would actually be preferable). That sentence should read either "...Crispus died" or, if we don't know for certain that he died in 47, something more like "...Crispus was dead" (which, now that I look at it, isn't even passive). I guess what's most annoying is that this construction seems to be violating parallelism with other nearby verbs.-- 22:54, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

Update: I've finally traced the source of all the had's to the edit by Anriz. They did not exist prior to this (major) edit, and do not appear to have been altered since then. However, they are completely and totally unnecessary. I'll try to get them all in one edit so it can be easily reverted if necessary. I doubt that it will be. -- 23:18, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

Update 2: Well... I tried. But I'm not familiar enough with the subject matter to resolve a lot of the ambiguities in the text. There should be a lot fewer past perfects in the sections up to Empress of Rome. But that isn't the only problem with the massive changes introduced in the edit mentioned above. Oh, and yes, I am the previous editor, I just hadn't logged in yet. Also, the edit above does not appear to cite any sources, which is especially worrisome given the large amount of new content it introduced. --Wlerin 23:46, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

It reads much better now - Thanks to whoever tackled it! -CaptainJae (talk) 04:11, 23 February 2008 (UTC)


There are a lot of facts in this article and yet there is very little source material quoted to back up these facts. Could someone who knows their stuff please add at least some links to quotes from classical authors to prove some of the facts. It's very easy to just say stuff about Agrippina the Younger but you need to be able to prove it.

I am unaware of who penned the above note, but I propose, after 7 days, to go through the article removing items of unsourced material. If they are sourced, they may be reinstated of course, but I believe I will be following WIki-policy in "cleansing" unsourced materials. -- SockpuppetSamuelson (talk) —Preceding undated comment was added at 13:46, 13 October 2008 (UTC).

This was written quite some time ago, but the problem still remains. Though I think it isn't so much a lack of sources as sloppy sourcing. An entire section will be written based on Suetonius' Twelve Caesars, for example, with the first paragraph citing one chapter and the rest none, even though much of the material comes from multiple different chapters in that same work. I'm not sure how to improve this, without dramatically inflating the number of citations. There's probably a wiki policy, but I am woefully unfamiliar with them.--Wlerin (talk) 06:52, 26 October 2012 (UTC)

Image copyright violation...maybe...[edit]

Looking at the aureus photo...considering its photographic occurred to me to check the copyright [1]. The justification includes:

"Coin from CNG coins, through Wildwinds.

Credit the source as "CNG coins (".

which seems to imply, reasonably enough, that CNG Coins wishes to be recognized as the source of the photo. That sourcing, however, does not happen in the three Wiki article pages this photo is used. Further (correct me here where I go wrong), adding the credit CNG Coins stipulates would be: a) An inadmissible advertising plug, and b) Irrelevant to satisfying Wiki policy, because the image has not been released into the public domain.

Does anyone have a keen insight into the Wiki policy on this? Piano non troppo (talk) 03:01, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

Reign of Caligula[edit]

What is the origin of the extraordinary piece of information that Caligula forced Agrippina and Livilla to dive for sponges to make a living while they were in exile? This is simply ridiculous. According to Barrett’s biography of Agrippina, there were at least two villas on the island, one of them apparently quite luxurious (p. 69). Barrett says that Agrippina would have been relatively comfortable, and she would have enjoyed a large staff. He says: “Her main problem, shared by all imperial exiles, would have been boredom.” He does mention some strange kind of shellfish that flourished in the waters of the area, but there’s certainly no suggestion that Agrippina had to dive for it! As for the suggestion that she learnt to swim well at this time, it appears that Agrippina was a good swimmer, as she was able to swim to safety after the shipwreck which nearly killed her, but the comment that she may have learnt to swim while in exile is pure speculation. Anna Lowenstein ([[User talk:|talk]]) 16:05, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

I second that--and what is the source for the paragraphs describing her funeral? Also terrible syntax, grammar and punctuation:

After Agrippina's death, Nero viewed her corpse and commented how beautiful she was. Her body was cremated that night on a dining couch; during the funeral, Nero was witless, speechless and scared. When the news spread that Agrippina had died, the Roman army, senate and various people sent him letters of congratulations that he had murdered his mother.

During his reign, her grave was not covered or enclosed. Her household later on gave her a modest tomb in Misenum. Nero would have his mother’s death on his conscience. He felt so guilty he would have nightmares about his mother. He even saw his mother’s ghost and got Persian magicians to scare her away. Years before she died, Agrippina had visited astrologers to ask about her son’s future. The astrologers predicted that her son would become emperor and would kill her. She replied ‘Let him kill me, provided he becomes emperor’.

Amy od (talk) 14:54, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

Seeing that no one else has done it, I've now removed the detail about diving for sponges, and also the assertion that Agrippina learnt to swim well at this time. Basically, the whole article needs to be thoroughly edited, but at least that gets rid of the worst inaccuracy. Anna Lowenstein (talk) 15:44, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

Agrippina's name[edit]

Agrippina's names are listed at the beginning of the article, including the form "Agrippinilla". I have already removed this once, but someone has put it back. As far as I know, Agrippina is never referred to as Agrippinilla in any historical source, but only in Robert Grave's novel "I, Claudius". I see no reason to include this name in an article about the historical Agrippina. I have removed it a second time, and if anyone wants to put it back, would they please give the reference, if one exists, or else put it under the heading "In later literature". Anna Lowenstein —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:00, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

agrippina's succession[edit]