Briefly describe the family background of Agrippina the Younger.
Julia Agrippina was born on 6th November in 18 AD as a free woman into very strong and powerful bloodline. By the time of her death she was direactly related to three emperors: She was Caligula's sister, wife and niece of Claudius and mother of Nero.
It is agreed by both modern and ancient sources that her family background was indeed a very strong and powerful one. Tacitus describes Agrippina's background as "exceptionally illustrious" and "indisputable", S. Perowne composes a similar statement, "her pedigree was impeccable". M. Grant believes it was her family background which built the foundations for her ruthlessness and determination in achieving political power "she grew up in an appalling atmosphere of malevolence, suspicion and criminal violence.".
Agrippina was the eldest of six children of Germanicus and Agrippina the Elder. Many sources, particularly modern scholars believe Germanicus and Agrippina had significant influence on Agrippina II and that they had many characteristics in common.
Germanicus" military campaigns in the east brought him and his family into public popularity. E.A. Judge believes that Agrippina "derived prominence from her famous military father." Bauamn highlights similarities between Agrippina and her mother "the techniques of the two women were very similar. Both cultivated the military, both had links with nobility." .
Agrippina was also part of a very strong family of Julio-Claudian women closely related to Augustus. The Julio-Claudian women included : Livia the wife of Augustus, Julia his daughter, Agrippina the elder his grand-daughter and Octavia his daughter. All these women, particularly Agrippina the Younger rose to great prominence and power through there membership to the "first" political family of Rome. .
Explain the significance of Agrippina's marriage to Claudius.
Agrippina's marriage to Claudius and her actions afterwards had significant effects mostly on the imperial family and society as a whole.