Original Research

Tacitus se uitbeelding van Agrippina Minor

M. Dircksen
Literator | Vol 20, No 1 | a455 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v20i1.455 | © 1999 M. Dircksen | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 26 April 1999 | Published: 26 April 1999

About the author(s)

M. Dircksen, Skool vir Tale en Kunste: Latyn en Antieke Kultuur, Potchefstroomse Universiteit vir CHO, South Africa

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Tacitus’ portrayal of Agrippina Minor
Ancient historiography has more in common with the historical novel than with modem historiography. The Annals of Tacitus should be seen as an artistic, narrative text which demands active participation by the reader in the process of interpretation. A narratological analysis of Tacitus' description of the life and death of Agrippina, mother of the emperor Nero, reveals a serious ethical reflection on the atrocities committed by the imperial family. Agrippina is characterised as an exceptionally strongwilled woman who had an immense influence on the Roman Empire while she was the wife of the emperor Claudius and mother of his successor, Nero. On the other hand, her typically female character traits are accentuated from which the reader has to infer that it was precisely the fact that she was a woman which made her authoritative position intolerable.


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Crossref Citations

1. Agrippina as prima donna: The reception of Agrippina, mother of Nero, in Handel’s opera Agrippina
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