A Woman In Ancient Roman Times.

1084 words - 4 pages

ASSESS THE METHODS AGRIPPINA USED TO GAIN POWER AND AUTHORITYA woman in Ancient Roman times never wielded much power especially when it came to politics, however Agrippina was one of the few exceptions to this. Through the coarse of her life, Agrippina showed herself to be extremely power-hungry, especially for a woman. To gain the power and political influence that she so desired, Agrippina used many methods, such as family background and ancestry, seduction, marriage and assassination. All these methods helped her to gain popularity, elevate her status and silence any opponents, thus helping her gain immense power and authority.Firstly, one of the methods used by Agrippina to gain power and authority was the use of her family background and ancestry. She was the only remaining descendant of Germanicus and Agrippina the Elder, sister to the previous Emperor Calligular, and then wife to Claudius the current emperor. This alone would have been impressive, however Agrippina also had a direct lineage back to Augustus. This placed her in a unique position as it provided her the chance to use these family ties and background to promote her popularity and increase her influence over political matters. Germanicus had been a much loved figure among the Roman people as he had been a charismatic leader. Agrippina made use of this popularity for her father by promoting the fact that she was related to him. This gave her favour among the people because they believed that she showed some of her father's good qualities. Agrippina also highlighted the fact that she was directly related to Augustus, thus claiming to be part of the imperial family. This helped to elevate her status and thus increase her authority. Overall, Agrippina used her family background to elevate her position and gain her favour among the people.Secondly, Agrippina used the method of seduction to help gain power and influence. Suetonius implies that Agrippina seduced Claudius, as her privilege to caress him had a "noticeable effect on his passions ... the wedding took place without delay." This statement implies that Agrippina used seduction to convice Claudius to marry her. However, this was not the first time that she had resorted to this tactic. Various sources all state that Agrippina used seduction as a means of influencing men and by this, gaining greater power and authority. It is believed that Agrippina carefully chose who she would sleep with so that each would have some political benefit for her. Sextus Afranius Burrus was an example of such, where Agrippina slept with him so as to gain his favour, and thus gain the favour of the Praetorian Guard. This method allowed Agrippina the chance to used her natural feminine charms to influence men to do as she desired and thus to help elevate her power and authority.Thirdly, Agrippina also used marriage and assassination as methods of gaining power and political influence. This can be shown in her second marriage to C Sallustius...

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