Postumus Agrippa

From Academic Kids

Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa Postumus, (12 BC-14 AD) also known as Agrippa Postumus or Postumus Agrippa, was the grandson of Roman Emperor Augustus and was named after his father Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa. His mother was Julia Caesaris.

In 12 BC, when his father died, Augustus adopted his two older brothers, Gaius and Lucius, as his sons and heirs. He ostensibly did not adopt Postumus as a sign of respect for his old friend Marcus (so that he would have one son left to carry on his family).

Although there is little clear contemporary account of him, virtually all Roman historians agree that he was considered a rude and brutish sort, with only Tacitus paying him any sympathy. (Though even that is slight: [He was] the young, physically tough, indeed brutish, Agrippa Postumus. Though devoid of every good quality, he had been involved in no scandal.) In any case, there has never been a clear consensus on why it happened, but sometime around 6 or 7 AD Augustus banished him to the small island of Planasia. Tacitus suggests that he was always disliked and shunned by the Lady Livia, as he stood in the way of her son Tiberius succeeding to the throne after Augustus. However, Tacitus is well acknowledged for being excessively bitter and unfair to most of the Julio-Claudians, and his sources from the period are thought to be very poor and indirect. Robert Graves's work I, Claudius suggests that through Livia's influence, Augustus grew to dislike him, and Graves even creates a fictional incident in which Postumus is framed by Livia and her grandaughter Livilla for rape charges against the latter. (It should also be noted that I, Claudius has done considerable damage to the public perception of Livia's image; modern historians disagree with the idea of a Livian succession conspiracy.)

In any case, Postumus's banishment did ensure Tiberius's priority as Augustus's heir. Tacitus alone gives an account of how Augustus paid a highly covert visit to the island in 13 to apologize to his grandson and give him notice of plans to return him to Rome. Augustus was accompanied by a trusted friend, Fabius Maximus, and swore him to secrecy about the matter; Maximus then told his wife, Marcia, who inadvertently mentioned it to Livia. Maximus was soon found dead, and Marcia subsequently claimed she was responsible for his death. It is dubious whether this tale has any veracity. Regardless of Augustus's supposed visit, the emperor died the following year without having removed Postumus from Planasia, and very shortly after his death Postumus was executed by his guards. Inconsistent accounts of who ordered the death existed almost from the start, when Tiberius immediately and publicly disavowed the act upon being notified of it. While some suggested that Augustus himself may have ordered it via secret instructions in his will not to let Postumus survive him, it is more likely that either Tiberius or Livia (with or possibly without Tiberius's knowledge) gave the order, taking advantage of the confusing initial political situation upon Augustus's Postumus nl:Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa Postumus ja:アグリッパ・ポストゥムス pl:Agrypa Postumus


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