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Agrippina, the mother of Nero and Messalina (Lyasca - Wolf Girl) the wife of Claudius. Julia Agrippina, or Julia the Younger, known as Agrippinilla, was born around 9AD. She was the daughter of Germanicus (whose mother was Antonia, the daughter of Marc Antony) and Agrippina (the granddaughter of the Emperor Augustus the Divine). She was the niece and adopted daughter of the Emperor Tiberius, sister of Caligula and the mother of Nero. She was a scion of the Imperial family and was immersed in Court intrigue from the day she was born. She was beautiful, ruthless, domineering, violent and ambitious. Valeria Messalina, though certainly not of low birth, did not emerge from such exalted circles. Even so she was a regular attendee of the parties thrown at the Imperial Palace. This vicious and scheming woman, who was little more than a girl, was to become the most powerful person in Rome, more powerful than the Emperor himself. She certainly thought so. Agrippina's life was one fraught with danger. As a daughter of the Imperial family her life was in the hands of others and was dictated by the requirements of State policy. A series of politically determined marriages followed. However, her life remained fairly conventional until her brother Gaius ascended to the throne as the Emperor Caligula (Little Boot) in 37AD. Caligula, was notoriously fond of his sisters, particularly, Drusilla. He is believed to have had an incestuous relationship with all of his sisters, and certainly enjoyed forcing his sisters to have sex in public with his friends. After Drusilla died, apparently at his own hands after she revealed that she was pregnant with his child, his relationship with his other sisters changed. He no longer trusted them. Accusing them of plotting against him he had them exiled to the Pontine Islands. He then auctioned (something he felt he had a penchant for) all their worldly goods. Agrippina and her sister Livilla, were forced to dive for sponges to make ends meet, and to work for a living. Caligula's reign was short, however. Thought to be insane, he was murdered on 24 January, 41AD, after less than 4 years in power. Caligula had been the victim of a Republican plot and an attempt had been made to murder the entire Imperial family. Despite also killing Caligula's wife and baby daughter they failed to murder his uncle Claudius, who was found cowering behind a curtain in the Imperial Palace and proclaimed Emperor by the Praetorian Guard. Caligula's assassins were hunted down and executed. During his reign Caligula had forced his uncle Claudius to marry Valeria Messalina, 30 years his junior. It was intended as a joke but Claudius very quickly became besotted with her, he was always a slave to his women. She found him physically repulsive with his bad skin, club foot, stammer and tendency to dribble. Even so she bore him two children. She was a licentious, deceitful, and greedy woman, and was determined to rule. If that meant having sex with her monstrous husband then so be it. Upon becoming Emperor, Claudius facilitated the return of his nieces Agrippina and Livilla. Agrippina's own ambitions had not been dimmed by her exile. Unlike her sister who returned to her husband and disappeared into obscurity, Agrippina was determined to remain within the Imperial loop. Even so, realising that as a rival to Messalina her life might be in danger, she kept for a time a low-profile and lived away from the Imperial Palace. In any case, she had other short-term priorities. She had returned to Rome penniless. She immediately and shamelessly made a play for the successful General and future Emperor, Galba. But he was already married, and happily so. Agrippina found her advances spurned and was further humiliated when she was slapped and given a public dressing down by Galba's mother-inlaw. Her uncle Claudius came to her rescue however, when he ordered Gaius Sallutius Crispus, a wealthy ex-Consul to divorce his wife and marry her. In 47AD Crispus died suddenly and mysteriously. It was rumoured that Agrippina had poisoned him. Either way, she inherited his estates and became wealthy in her own right. Meanwhile, Messalina was busy governing Rome. Claudius was often away from the city and during his long absences she ruled with a rod of iron, ruthlessly disposing of anyone who opposed her, or offended her in any way. In 47AD she attended the Secular Games with her son Britannicus. Also present was


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