Do you remember learning about theRoman emperor Nero? Well, have you ever wondered how he acquired the throne?Agrippina the Younger, Nero’s mother, played a key role in her son’sachievement of success and wealth. As a compelling political influencer andpowerful person in ancient Rome, Agrippina the Younger was an important womanin history that you might’ve not even known about. Rolesof women in ancient Rome during the rule of Germanicus slightly differed fromother cultures’ vision of an “ideal” woman.
Women in ancient Rome were expectedto have their lives mainly revolve around family life and status, but couldalso consider other hobbies and interests. Many girls were educated from ayoung age alongside boys, and were taught social behavior and etiquette.Students were also taught both Greek and Latin, and were encouraged to takepart in multiple activities and sports. Although, once children were formallyof age, the differences between male and female lifestyle became moreprominent. Women were taught to take pride in their domestic lives andachievements, rather than showing off their intellectual skill and talents.
Womenin ancient Rome were also not allowed to vote or partake in political ordeals. Agrippinathe Younger was born into the ruling family of the Roman empire in 15 A.D. Adaughter to Germanicus and Agrippina the Elder, Agrippina the Younger and herfamily were often in the spotlight of society, as her father Germanicus was afamous general of Rome and son to the emperor Tiberius. Agrippina herself wasnot very well known until her adult life, but recognized herself as prominentin Roman life and society since her youth. This was mainly brought on by herbrother Caligula’s success after he succeeded his grandfather for the throne. Bythe time Caligula was in power, his only two brothers had already passed, so hehad his remaining siblings, Agrippina and 2 other sisters, put under highhonors.
Although, two years into his rule, Agrippina the Younger, her sisters,and all three of their husbands were caught plotting against Caligula. Theywere stripped of their high honors, access to anyone in Rome, and exiled to anisland in the Tyrrhenian sea. Even though Agrippina and the other main suspectswere banished from Rome, Caligula was assassinated two years later. Thesuccessor, Agrippina the Younger’s uncle Claudius, removed the charges, and theexiled sisters returned home. Despitethe fact that Agrippina had gotten into trouble with the government before, sherefused to be silenced upon her return to Rome. After Caligula’s cruel andunfavorable rule, Agrippina believed she could rule better and wiser.
Shefought for many years to get either her or her son Nero on the throne, butfound no good opportunities. That was, until, Claudius’ wife was executed fortreason. Agrippina saw a chance and took it, stepping in and becoming heruncle’s wife. This put Agrippina the Younger in a position of power with easyaccess to the throne. Unlike many other famous wives from history, Agrippinadidn’t whisper in her husband’s ear, but went out, alongside her son, andbecame a political influencer; a role that was a male job in that time ofancient Rome.
She then convinced Claudius to not only adopt her son Nero, butput him in line before Claudius’ biological son. Months later Claudius died ofan unknown illness, and Agrippina and Nero had a perfect opportunity to seizethe throne.