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Agrippina: “I, Me, Mine”?

Prof. Mary T. Boatwright, Dept. Classical Studies - Duke University
Monday, October 21, 2019
4:30-5:30 PM
2175 - Classics Library Angell Hall Map
Who was Agrippina, what did she do and how was she constrained, and what belonged to her? To write a biography of Agrippina the Younger presents a Roman historian with significant challenges, including the limited number of primary sources, even for this most notorious Roman woman; authors’ clear biases against a woman aiming for power and “sex positive”; and the versions of Agrippina created through time. Just as important are point-of-view and ultimate aim. Carandini assumes the first-person voice in his Io, Agrippina, but the personal voice is at odds with his book’s emphasis on spatial and historical contingency as a way to understand Agrippina. Barrett’s account in Agrippina: Sex, Power, and Politics in the Early Empire offers a thick description of facts relating to her, illuminating the times in which Agrippina lived but doing little to make her come alive. My illustrated lecture covers such issues as well as some important insights gained from investigating a woman who was remarkable for many reasons, not the least of which is the legacy constructed for her by others.
Building: Angell Hall
Event Type: Lecture / Discussion
Tags: Classical Studies, History
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Department of Classical Studies, Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies, Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, Department of History, Interdepartmental Program in Greek and Roman History, Interdepartmental Program in Classical Art and Archaeology