Agrippina the Younger was born into
the ruling family of the Roman empire in 15 A.D. A daughter to Germanicus and
Agrippina the Elder, Agrippina the Younger and her family were often in the
spotlight of society, as her father Germanicus was a famous general of Rome and
son to the emperor Tiberius. Agrippina herself was not very well known until
her adult life, but recognized herself as prominent in Roman life and society
since her youth. This was mainly brought on by her brother Caligula’s success
after he succeeded his grandfather for the throne. By the time Caligula was in
power, his only two brothers had already passed, so he had his remaining
siblings, Agrippina and 2 other sisters, put under high honors. Although, two
years into his rule, Agrippina the Younger, her sisters, and all three of their
husbands were caught plotting against Caligula. They were stripped of their
high honors, access to anyone in Rome, and exiled to an island in the
Tyrrhenian sea. Even though Agrippina and the other main suspects were banished
from Rome, Caligula was assassinated two years later. The successor, Agrippina
the Younger’s uncle Claudius, removed the charges, and the exiled sisters
returned home.

            Despite
the fact that Agrippina had gotten into trouble with the government before, she
refused to be silenced upon her return to Rome. After Caligula’s cruel and
unfavorable rule, Agrippina believed she could rule better and wiser. She
fought for many years to get either her or her son Nero on the throne, but
found no good opportunities. That was, until, Claudius’ wife was executed for
treason. Agrippina saw a chance and took it, stepping in and becoming her
uncle’s wife. This put Agrippina the Younger in a position of power with easy
access to the throne. Unlike many other famous wives from history, Agrippina
didn’t whisper in her husband’s ear, but went out, alongside her son, and
became a political influencer; a role that was a male job in that time of
ancient Rome. She then convinced Claudius to not only adopt her son Nero, but
put him in line before Claudius’ biological son. Months later Claudius died of
an unknown illness, and Agrippina and Nero had a perfect opportunity to seize
the throne. 

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