Chapter

“Did You Hear About Agrippa?”

Andrew Pettinger

in The Republic in Danger

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199601745
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741524 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199601745.003.0011

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This chapter proposes a solution to the question: who ordered the killing of Agrippa? Rumour that Agrippa and Augustus were reconciled shortly before the latter’s death is shown to belong to AD 16, not AD 14. The rumour was invented by supporters of the pseudo-Agrippa, i.e. Clemens. It is argued that neither Augustus nor Tiberius nor Livia gave the order to execute Agrippa. The order came instead from Augustus’ chief political operative Sallustius Crispus, who was in Rome when Augustus died. Tiberius’ decision not to have a senatorial inquiry left him without a workable defence. Rumour that Tiberius was complicit therefore affected his approach to the succession: he wanted to show that supreme power was his by universal consent, not murder.

Keywords: Agrippa; Augustus; Livia; Tiberius; Sallustius Crispus; Clemens; execution; succession

Chapter.  6766 words. 

Subjects: Classical History

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