Vipsania Marcella

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Vipsania Marcella Agrippina or Marcellina or Vipsania Tertia (born 27 BC or later) was perhaps the only daughter of Roman statesman Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa by 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. If she truly had the name Marcella, there is no way that she was a daughter of Agrippa's first wife, Caecilia Attica. She and her elder sisters Vipsania Agrippina were married off to Q. Haterius (cos. 5 BC), Publius Quinctilius Varus (cos. 13 BC) and Tiberius (also cos. 13 BC) respectively.[2] Nepos Att. 19 records the birth of Tiberius's future wife before the death of Atticus. She and Haterius had a son, Q. Haterius Agrippa, who was consul in AD 22 at a youthful age (probably the legal minimum 33 with a ten-year dispensation as a grandson of Agrippa).

Some mistakenly think Vipsania Tertia married 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 Vipsania Tertia, and the date of her death is unknown.

In popular culture[edit]

In Robert Graves' books, I, Claudius and Claudius the God, Vipsania 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 secretly to instigate Agrippa's poisoning.

References[edit]

  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.