Agrippina the Younger
15 CE - 59 CE
Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus
37 CE - 68 CE
The strong-willed Agrippina Minor was the younger sister of Caligula, and upon his death, her reluctant uncle Claudius took the throne. He was remembered as a just ruler, a commissioner of public works, eventually worthy of deification. But after several ruinous marriages, Agrippina gained favor with her uncle—and eschewing the restrictions of former incest laws, they were married under the disapproving eye of Rome at large. Upon the recognition of her son Nero as his heir and successor, you can guess what happened soon after. Whoever the culprit, poisoned mushrooms took Claudius’s life, and Nero, just 17 years old, took the throne.
Soon enough, the relationship between mother and son drastically deteriorated over control of Rome. The standard embarrassing scoldings escalated to political assassinations of respective allies, culminating in Agrippina’s banishment, and, according to Tacitus and Cassius Dio, death on her son’s orders.
Nero, like Caligula, was the subject of many infamous rumors. It seems true, however, that Rome suffered enormously in the years following Agrippina’s death. The Great Fire of Rome burned through heavily populated residential districts of Rome. Instead of rebuilding them, Nero commissioned much of the land for his colossal residence, the Domus Aurea, as well as a colossus of his own visage—the namesake of the Colosseum itself. While playing of the fiddle during the fire was likely a legend, he did fancy himself a great performer. Eventually, his ego caught up to him—he had “neither friend nor foe left” as he fled the city, very much alone. Many were conflicted in this hunt—he was the last of the lineage of Augustus, after all, and if he’d known this, perhaps he wouldn’t have mortally wounded himself. He died in the arms of his pursuers, and Rome damned his memory. The Julio-Claudian Dynasty was ended, and another civil war to fill the vacuum followed.
-Inktober Day XVI-
#Rome #nero #Black #power #dynasty #alone #lonely #sadness #solitude #fire #mother #mom #son #inktober #inktoberday16 #inktober2018