Tuesday, 23 January 2018
Gloom Girls Project: Julia Agrippina Minor
This is a project about ladies, maidens and queens who are just pure evil. It's the opposite to my "Golden Girl Project" series that I made years ago on this blog. Golden Girls is all about ladies of light. As with the "Golden Girls", although I shall focus on real historical figures, some won't be. Each post will focus on one such gloomy girl.
Julia Agrippina Minor
A Roman empress named Agrippina Minor or Agrippina the Younger, born 6th November CE 15. Her first name was Julia and she many siblings including her brother Caligula. Daughter of Germanicus and Agrippina the Elder. She grew up near the river Rhine in a Roman military camp. During her early childhood she lived in the wilds of Germany with her family and as a little girl, she was eager to explore forests alone but wasn't allowed to. She was sent to live with her grandmother Antonia in Rome so that her parents could carry out State trips to other countries.
After the death of her father, her uncle Tiberius became Roman emperor. He arranged for the teenager Julia Agrippina to marry Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus, who was not particularly who she wanted. An extravagant wedding in the city was held with a feast, music, dancing and celebration. She soon had a son called Lucius Dominitus Ahenobarbus. Her uncle Tiberius soon died and then her brother Caligula became emperor. Caligula gave his sisters the gift of certain powers that made them go places that were once restricted. Coins were made in their images and they were included in many official events. That didn't last.
In Rome there was a ravage of illness and disease that claimed one of Caligula's sisters, called Drusilla. After she died, Caligula went over the edge. Drusilla and Caligula had incest so her death caused him to go darker and darker. Agrippina, her other sister Luvilla, and Marcus Lepidus, the widower of Drusilla conspired to kill Caligula. It failed. Caligula had Marcus Lepidus executed, while he banished his sisters to the Pontine islands. Agripinna's husband died.
The Pontine islands are small and remote rocks and that was where Agrippina and Luvilla stayed in exile until Caligula died. The sisters came to live there and often wandered the islands during misty twilights and along the stony beaches. Agrippina's uncle Claudius became the emperor and the sisters were allowed to return to Rome.
Claudius was married to the seductress Valeria Messalina who was both beautiful and cruel. Messalina threatened to kill the son of Agrippina who regarded the boy as a threat to her own son's position in the seat of power. Agrippina remarried and when her second husband died, she became extremely wealthy. Some suspected that she poisoned her second husband.
Messalina was soon executed for plotting to overthrow Claudius and later Claudius married his niece Agrippina, to the shock of everyone in Rome. Agrippina wanted to marry her uncle only so that she and her son would be powerful. She had anyone killed who she regarded as a threat. She then killed Claudius. After the death of Claudius, he was given godlike status and Agrippina was the priestess. Her son grew up and eventually became the emperor Nero. He soon turned on his own mother. After Agrippina's death, Nero displayed her body in an open coffin because he regarded her as incredibly beautiful. The ghost of Agrippina haunted Nero and she frightened him to the death.