- How does Tacitus depict the relationship between Agrippina and Nero?
- Discuss the use of language and style. How does Tacitus portray Agrippina? How does he portray Nero? What kind of language does he use? Why?
- How far is Agrippina's behaviour normal/abnormal in the context of Roman society?
- How far is this portrait of Agrippina a literary construct?
- What is the role of the other female figures (Poppaea, Acte, Acerronia) in these chapters? Are they just bit players or do they also have significance in the narrative?
- What is Tacitus trying to say about the role of women in imperial society?
- Should you feel sympathy for Agrippina? What about the other female figures in this story?
Background and Commentaries
Other Ancient Texts
- The ever-reliable John D. Clare has a piece on The ever-reliable John D. Clare has a piece on the death of Agrippina and on the sources for Agrippina. Particularly worth reading for what he has to say about the use of sources.
- An alternative take on Agrippina presented as a dating show.
Books and Plays
- R. DeMaria (1978) Empress of Rome.
Agrippina Crowning Nero
Sebasteion (c. AD 45); Aphrodisias Museum.
© John D. Clare.