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Agrippina
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Classics scholar Barrett (Caligula, S. & S., 1991) has applied modern historiography to the subject of one of the most famous, rather, infamous women of the ancient world‘the daughter of Germanicus, sister of Caligula, wife of Claudius, and mother of Nero, who eventually killed her. He does not exonerate Agrippina the Younger (15-59 A.D.) so much as give plausible explanations for her behavior and put her actions in a proper perspective. His chapters are cleverly, insightfully arranged around her relationships; but despite potential repetition with this format, he avoids leaving such familial impressions with the reader. Barrett works from the premise that in a monarchical patriarchy the only venues to power for the ambitious woman were extralegal. Agrippina's story is a narrative of the first century of the empire, from the adoption of Octavius to the varying accounts of her sensational death. This is a wonderful book, with copious notes and appendixes. Well recommended for academic libraries with classics and women's studies collections.‘Clay G. Williams, Ferris State Univ., Big Rapids, Mich.

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