Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa

Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa

Overview
Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa (c.
Circa
Circa , usually abbreviated c. or ca. , means "approximately" in the English language, usually referring to a date...

 63 BC – 12 BC) was a Roman statesman and general. He was a close friend, son-in-law, lieutenant and defense minister to Octavian, the future Emperor Caesar Augustus
Augustus
Augustus ;23 September 63 BC – 19 August AD 14) is considered the first emperor of the Roman Empire, which he ruled alone from 27 BC until his death in 14 AD.The dates of his rule are contemporary dates; Augustus lived under two calendars, the Roman Republican until 45 BC, and the Julian...

. He was responsible for most of Octavian’s military victories, most notably winning the naval Battle of Actium
Battle of Actium
The Battle of Actium was the decisive confrontation of the Final War of the Roman Republic. It was fought between the forces of Octavian and the combined forces of Mark Antony and Cleopatra VII. The battle took place on 2 September 31 BC, on the Ionian Sea near the city of Actium, at the Roman...

 against the forces of Mark Antony
Mark Antony
Marcus Antonius , known in English as Mark Antony, was a Roman politician and general. As a military commander and administrator, he was an important supporter and loyal friend of his mother's cousin Julius Caesar...

 and Cleopatra VII of Egypt
Cleopatra VII of Egypt
Cleopatra VII Philopator was the last pharaoh of Ancient Egypt.She was a member of the Ptolemaic dynasty, a family of Greek origin that ruled Egypt after Alexander the Great's death during the Hellenistic period...

.

He was the son-in-law of the Emperor Augustus, father-in-law of the Emperor Tiberius
Tiberius
Tiberius , was Roman Emperor from 14 AD to 37 AD. Tiberius was by birth a Claudian, son of Tiberius Claudius Nero and Livia Drusilla. His mother divorced Nero and married Augustus in 39 BC, making him a step-son of Octavian...

, maternal grandfather of the Emperor Caligula
Caligula
Caligula , also known as Gaius, was Roman Emperor from 37 AD to 41 AD. Caligula was a member of the house of rulers conventionally known as the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Caligula's father Germanicus, the nephew and adopted son of Emperor Tiberius, was a very successful general and one of Rome's most...

, and maternal great-grandfather of the Emperor Nero
Nero
Nero , was Roman Emperor from 54 to 68, and the last in the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Nero was adopted by his great-uncle Claudius to become his heir and successor, and succeeded to the throne in 54 following Claudius' death....

.

Agrippa was born between 23 October and 23 November in 64–62 BC, in an uncertain location.
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Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa (c.
Circa
Circa , usually abbreviated c. or ca. , means "approximately" in the English language, usually referring to a date...

 63 BC – 12 BC) was a Roman statesman and general. He was a close friend, son-in-law, lieutenant and defense minister to Octavian, the future Emperor Caesar Augustus
Augustus
Augustus ;23 September 63 BC – 19 August AD 14) is considered the first emperor of the Roman Empire, which he ruled alone from 27 BC until his death in 14 AD.The dates of his rule are contemporary dates; Augustus lived under two calendars, the Roman Republican until 45 BC, and the Julian...

. He was responsible for most of Octavian’s military victories, most notably winning the naval Battle of Actium
Battle of Actium
The Battle of Actium was the decisive confrontation of the Final War of the Roman Republic. It was fought between the forces of Octavian and the combined forces of Mark Antony and Cleopatra VII. The battle took place on 2 September 31 BC, on the Ionian Sea near the city of Actium, at the Roman...

 against the forces of Mark Antony
Mark Antony
Marcus Antonius , known in English as Mark Antony, was a Roman politician and general. As a military commander and administrator, he was an important supporter and loyal friend of his mother's cousin Julius Caesar...

 and Cleopatra VII of Egypt
Cleopatra VII of Egypt
Cleopatra VII Philopator was the last pharaoh of Ancient Egypt.She was a member of the Ptolemaic dynasty, a family of Greek origin that ruled Egypt after Alexander the Great's death during the Hellenistic period...

.

He was the son-in-law of the Emperor Augustus, father-in-law of the Emperor Tiberius
Tiberius
Tiberius , was Roman Emperor from 14 AD to 37 AD. Tiberius was by birth a Claudian, son of Tiberius Claudius Nero and Livia Drusilla. His mother divorced Nero and married Augustus in 39 BC, making him a step-son of Octavian...

, maternal grandfather of the Emperor Caligula
Caligula
Caligula , also known as Gaius, was Roman Emperor from 37 AD to 41 AD. Caligula was a member of the house of rulers conventionally known as the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Caligula's father Germanicus, the nephew and adopted son of Emperor Tiberius, was a very successful general and one of Rome's most...

, and maternal great-grandfather of the Emperor Nero
Nero
Nero , was Roman Emperor from 54 to 68, and the last in the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Nero was adopted by his great-uncle Claudius to become his heir and successor, and succeeded to the throne in 54 following Claudius' death....

.

Early life


Agrippa was born between 23 October and 23 November in 64–62 BC, in an uncertain location. His father was perhaps called Lucius Vipsanius Agrippa
Lucius Vipsanius Agrippa
Lucius Vipsanius Agrippa was the father of Roman politician and general Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, distinguished Roman woman Vipsania Polla, and another Lucius Vipsanius Agrippa....

. He had an elder brother whose name was also Lucius Vipsanius Agrippa, and a sister named Vipsania Polla
Vipsania Polla
Vipsania Polla was the daughter of Lucius Vipsanius Agrippa, and sister to another Lucius Vipsanius Agrippa and Roman General and Politician Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa...

. The family had not been prominent in Roman public life. However, Agrippa was about the same age as Octavian
Augustus
Augustus ;23 September 63 BC – 19 August AD 14) is considered the first emperor of the Roman Empire, which he ruled alone from 27 BC until his death in 14 AD.The dates of his rule are contemporary dates; Augustus lived under two calendars, the Roman Republican until 45 BC, and the Julian...

 (the future emperor Augustus), and the two were educated together and became close friends. Despite Agrippa's association with the family of Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
Gaius Julius Caesar was a Roman general and statesman and a distinguished writer of Latin prose. He played a critical role in the gradual transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire....

, his elder brother chose another side in the civil wars
Caesar's civil war
The Great Roman Civil War , also known as Caesar's Civil War, was one of the last politico-military conflicts in the Roman Republic before the establishment of the Roman Empire...

 of the 40s BC, fighting under Cato
Cato the Younger
Marcus Porcius Cato Uticensis , commonly known as Cato the Younger to distinguish him from his great-grandfather , was a politician and statesman in the late Roman Republic, and a follower of the Stoic philosophy...

 against Caesar in Africa
Battle of Thapsus
The Battle of Thapsus took place on April 6, 46 BC near Thapsus . The Republican forces of the Optimates, led by Quintus Caecillius Metellus Scipio, clashed with the veteran forces loyal to Julius Caesar.-Prelude:...

. When Cato's forces were defeated, Agrippa's brother was taken prisoner but freed after Octavian interceded on his behalf.

It is not known whether Agrippa fought against his brother in Africa, but he probably served in Caesar's campaign of 46–45 BC against Gnaeus Pompeius
Gnaeus Pompeius
Gnaeus Pompeius should not be confused with his father, Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, known as "Pompey the Great."Gnaeus Pompeius , also known as Pompey the Younger , was a Roman politician and general from the late Republic .Gnaeus Pompeius was the elder son of Pompey the Great Gnaeus Pompeius should...

, which culminated in the Battle of Munda
Battle of Munda
The Battle of Munda took place on March 17, 45 BC in the plains of Munda, modern southern Spain. This was the last battle of Julius Caesar's civil war against the republican armies of the Optimate leaders...

. Caesar regarded him highly enough to send him with Octavius in 45 BC to study in Apollonia
Apollonia, Illyria
Apollonia was an ancient Greek city in Illyria, located on the right bank of the Aous river . Its ruins are situated in the Fier region, near the village of Pojani, in modern-day Albania...

 with the Macedonian legion
Roman legion
A Roman legion normally indicates the basic ancient Roman army unit recruited specifically from Roman citizens. The organization of legions varied greatly over time but they were typically composed of perhaps 5,000 soldiers, divided into maniples and later into "cohorts"...

s, while Caesar consolidated his power in Rome. It was in the fourth month of their stay in Apollonia that the news of Julius Caesar's assassination
Assassination
To carry out an assassination is "to murder by a sudden and/or secret attack, often for political reasons." Alternatively, assassination may be defined as "the act of deliberately killing someone, especially a public figure, usually for hire or for political reasons."An assassination may be...

 in March 44 BC reached them. Agrippa and another friend, Quintus Salvidienus Rufus
Salvidienus Rufus
Quintus Salvidienus Rufus was a Roman general and one of the closest advisors of Octavian during the early years of his political activity.Despite his humble origin he was one of Octavian’s best friends, together with Marcus Agrippa. Salvidienus and Agrippa were with Octavian at Apollonia at the...

, advised Octavius to march on Rome with the troops from Macedonia, but Octavius decided to sail to Italy with a small retinue. After his arrival, he learnt that Caesar had adopted him as his legal heir. Octavius at this time took Caesar's name, but is referred to by modern historians as "Octavian" during this period.

Rise in power


After Octavian's return to Rome, he and his supporters realized they needed the support of legions. Agrippa helped Octavian to levy troops in Campania
Campania
Campania is a region in southern Italy. The region has a population of around 5.8 million people, making it the second-most-populous region of Italy; its total area of 13,590 km² makes it the most densely populated region in the country...

. Once Octavian had his legions, he made a pact with Mark Antony
Mark Antony
Marcus Antonius , known in English as Mark Antony, was a Roman politician and general. As a military commander and administrator, he was an important supporter and loyal friend of his mother's cousin Julius Caesar...

 and Lepidus
Marcus Aemilius Lepidus (triumvir)
Marcus Aemilius Lepidus , was a Roman patrician who rose to become a member of the Second Triumvirate and Pontifex Maximus. His father, Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, had been involved in a rebellion against the Roman Republic.Lepidus was among Julius Caesar's greatest supporters...

, legally established in 43 BC as the Second Triumvirate
Second Triumvirate
The Second Triumvirate is the name historians give to the official political alliance of Octavius , Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, and Mark Antony, formed on 26 November 43 BC with the enactment of the Lex Titia, the adoption of which marked the end of the Roman Republic...

. Octavian and his consular colleague Quintus Pedius
Quintus Pedius
Quintus Pedius was a Roman who lived during the late Roman Republic. Pedius was the son of a Marcus or Quintus Pedius and nephew or great nephew of the Roman dictator Julius Caesar....

 arranged for Caesar's assassins to be prosecuted in their absence, and Agrippa was entrusted with the case against Gaius Cassius Longinus
Gaius Cassius Longinus
Gaius Cassius Longinus was a Roman senator, a leading instigator of the plot to kill Julius Caesar, and the brother in-law of Marcus Junius Brutus.-Early life:...

. It may have been in the same year that Agrippa began his political career, holding the position of Tribune of the Plebs, which granted him entry to the Senate
Roman Senate
The Senate of the Roman Republic was a political institution in the ancient Roman Republic, however, it was not an elected body, but one whose members were appointed by the consuls, and later by the censors. After a magistrate served his term in office, it usually was followed with automatic...

.
In 42 BC, Agrippa probably fought alongside Octavian and Antony in the Battle of Philippi
Battle of Philippi
The Battle of Philippi was the final battle in the Wars of the Second Triumvirate between the forces of Mark Antony and Octavian and the forces of Julius Caesar's assassins Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus in 42 BC, at Philippi in Macedonia...

. After their return to Rome, he played a major role in Octavian's war against Lucius Antonius
Lucius Antonius (brother of Mark Antony)
Lucius Antonius was the younger brother and supporter of Mark Antony, a Roman politician.Lucius was son of Marcus Antonius Creticus, son of the rhetorician Marcus Antonius Orator executed by Gaius Marius' supporters in 86 BC, and Julia Antonia, a cousin of Julius Caesar...

 and Fulvia Antonia, respectively the brother and wife of Mark Antony, which began in 41 BC and ended in the capture of Perusia
Perusia
The ancient Perusia, now Perugia, first appears in history as one of the 12 confederate cities of Etruria. It is first mentioned in the account of the war of 310 or 309 BC between the Etruscans and the Romans...

 in 40 BC. However, Salvidienus remained Octavian's main general at this time. After the Perusine war, Octavian departed for Gaul
Roman Gaul
Roman Gaul consisted of an area of provincial rule in the Roman Empire, in modern day France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and western Germany. Roman control of the area lasted for less than 500 years....

, leaving Agrippa as urban praetor in Rome with instructions to defend Italy against Sextus Pompeius
Sextus Pompeius
Sextus Pompeius Magnus Pius, in English Sextus Pompey , was a Roman general from the late Republic . He was the last focus of opposition to the Second Triumvirate...

, an opponent of the Triumvirate who was now occupying Sicily
History of Sicily
The history of Sicily has seen Sicily usually controlled by greater powers—Roman, Vandal, Byzantine, Islamic, Norman, Hohenstaufen, Catalan, Spaniard—but also experiencing short periods of independence, as under the Greeks and later as the Emirate then Kingdom of Sicily...

. In July 40, while Agrippa was occupied with the Ludi Apollinares
Ludi Apollinares
The Ludi Apollinares were solemn games held annually by the ancient Romans in honor of the god Apollo. The tradition goes that at the first celebration hereof, they were suddenly invaded by the enemy, and obliged to take to their arms...

 that were the praetor's responsibility, Sextus began a raid in southern Italy. Agrippa advanced on him, forcing him to withdraw. However, the Triumvirate proved unstable, and in August 40 both Sextus and Antony invaded Italy (but not in an organized alliance). Agrippa's success in retaking Sipontum from Antony helped bring an end to the conflict. Agrippa was among the intermediaries through whom Antony and Octavian agreed once more upon peace. During the discussions Octavian learned that Salvidienus had offered to betray him to Antony, with the result that Salvidienus was prosecuted and either executed or committed suicide. Agrippa was now Octavian's leading general.
In 39 or 38 BC, Octavian appointed Agrippa governor of Transalpine Gaul, where in 38 he put down a rising of the Aquitani
Aquitani
The Aquitani were a people living in what is now Aquitaine, France, in the region between the Pyrenees, the Atlantic ocean and the Garonne...

ans. He also fought the Germanic tribes, becoming the next Roman general to cross the Rhine after Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
Gaius Julius Caesar was a Roman general and statesman and a distinguished writer of Latin prose. He played a critical role in the gradual transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire....

. He was summoned back to Rome by Octavian to assume the consulship
Roman consul
A consul served in the highest elected political office of the Roman Republic.Each year, two consuls were elected together, to serve for a one-year term. Each consul was given veto power over his colleague and the officials would alternate each month...

 for 37 BC. He was well below the usual minimum age of 43, but Octavian had suffered a humiliating naval defeat against Sextus Pompey and needed his friend to oversee the preparations for further warfare. Agrippa refused the offer of a triumph
Roman triumph
The Roman triumph was a civil ceremony and religious rite of ancient Rome, held to publicly celebrate and sanctify the military achievement of an army commander who had won great military successes, or originally and traditionally, one who had successfully completed a foreign war. In Republican...

 for his exploits in Gaul – on the grounds, says Dio, that he thought it improper to celebrate during a time of trouble for Octavian. Since Sextus Pompeius had command of the sea on the coasts of Italy, Agrippa's first care was to provide a safe harbor for his ships. He accomplished this by cutting through the strips of land which separated the Lacus Lucrinus
Lucrinus Lacus
Lucrinus Lacus, or Luctrin Lake is a lake of Campania, southern Italy, about three kilometres to the south of Lake Avernus....

 from the sea, thus forming an outer harbor, while joining the lake Avernus
Lake Avernus
Lake Avernus is a volcanic crater lake located in the Avernus crater in the Campania region of southern Italy, around northwest of Pozzuoli. It is near the volcanic field known as the Campi Flegrei and comprises part of the wider Campanian volcanic arc...

 to the Lucrinus to serve as an inner harbor. The new harbor-complex was named Portus Julius
Portus Julius
Portus Julius was the home port for the Roman western imperial fleet, the classis Misenensis, named for nearby Cape Miseno...

 in Octavian's honour. Agrippa was also responsible for technological improvements, including larger ships and an improved form of grappling hook
Grappling hook
A grappling hook is an anchor with multiple hooks , attached to a rope; it is thrown, dropped, sunk, projected, or fastened directly by hand to where at least one hook may catch and hold. Generally, grappling hooks are used to temporarily secure one end of a rope. They may also be used to dredge...

. About this time, he married Caecilia Pomponia Attica
Caecilia Attica
Pomponia Caecilia Attica or Caecilia Pomponia Attica , was the daughter of Cicero's Epicurean friend and eques, knight Titus Pomponius Atticus. Her mother, Caecilia Pilea/Pilia , daughter of Pileus/Pilius, was a maternal granddaughter of Marcus Licinius Crassus, a member of the First Triumvirate...

, daughter of Cicero
Cicero
Marcus Tullius Cicero , was a Roman philosopher, statesman, lawyer, political theorist, and Roman constitutionalist. He came from a wealthy municipal family of the equestrian order, and is widely considered one of Rome's greatest orators and prose stylists.He introduced the Romans to the chief...

's friend Titus Pomponius Atticus
Titus Pomponius Atticus
Titus Pomponius Atticus, born Titus Pomponius , came from an old but not strictly noble Roman family of the equestrian class and the Gens Pomponia. He was a celebrated editor, banker, and patron of letters with residences in both Rome and Athens...

.

In 36 BC, Octavian and Agrippa set sail against Sextus. The fleet was badly damaged by storms and had to withdraw; Agrippa was left in charge of the second attempt. Thanks to superior technology and training, Agrippa and his men won decisive victories at Mylae and Naulochus
Battle of Naulochus
The naval Battle of Naulochus was fought on 3 September 36 BC between the fleets of Sextus Pompeius and Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, off Naulochus, Sicily...

, destroying all but seventeen of Sextus' ships and compelling most of his forces to surrender. Octavian, with his power increased, forced the triumvir Lepidus into retirement and entered Rome in triumph. Agrippa received the unprecedented honor of a naval crown
Naval crown
The Naval Crown was a gold crown surmounted with the prows of ships. It was a Roman military award, given to the first man who boarded an enemy ship during a naval engagement....

 decorated with the beaks of ships; as Dio remarks, this was "a decoration given to nobody before or since".

Life in public service


Agrippa participated in smaller military campaigns in 35 and 34 BC, but by the autumn of 34 he had returned to Rome. He rapidly set out on a campaign of public repairs and improvements, including renovation of the aqueduct
Aqueduct
An aqueduct is a water supply or navigable channel constructed to convey water. In modern engineering, the term is used for any system of pipes, ditches, canals, tunnels, and other structures used for this purpose....

 known as the Aqua Marcia
Aqua Marcia
The Aqua Marcia was the longest of the 11 aqueducts that supplied the city of ancient Rome. The still-functioning Acqua Felice from 1586 runs on long stretches along the route of the Aqua Marcia....

 and an extension of its pipes to cover more of the city. Through his actions after being elected in 33 BC as one of the aedile
Aedile
Aedile was an office of the Roman Republic. Based in Rome, the aediles were responsible for maintenance of public buildings and regulation of public festivals. They also had powers to enforce public order. There were two pairs of aediles. Two aediles were from the ranks of plebeians and the other...

s (officials responsible for Rome's buildings and festivals), the streets were repaired and the sewers were cleaned out, while lavish public spectacles were put on. Agrippa signalized his tenure of office by effecting great improvements in the city of Rome, restoring and building aqueduct
Aqueduct
An aqueduct is a water supply or navigable channel constructed to convey water. In modern engineering, the term is used for any system of pipes, ditches, canals, tunnels, and other structures used for this purpose....

s, enlarging and cleansing the Cloaca Maxima
Cloaca Maxima
The Cloaca Maxima is one of the world's earliest sewage systems. Constructed in Ancient Rome in order to drain local marshes and remove the waste of one of the world's most populous cities, it carried an effluent to the River Tiber, which ran beside the city....

, constructing baths and porticos, and laying out gardens. He also gave a stimulus to the public exhibition of works of art. It was unusual for an ex-consul to hold the lower-ranking position of aedile, but Agrippa's success bore out this break with tradition. As emperor, Augustus would later boast that "he had found the city of brick but left it of marble", thanks in part to the great services provided by Agrippa under his reign.

Marcus Agrippa: unsung water-man


The Roman water system in the early empire can be said to be the product of one man: Marcus Agrippa. Though he constructed only three of the six aqueducts existing at that time, he so improved and extended the others that his contributions may have outweighed the original construction. A careful reading of Frontinus suggests that he believed that Rome had Agrippa to thank for the good state of the aqueducts. We find ample mention of Agrippa's building activities in the ancient sources, for example in Strabo
Strabo
Strabo, also written Strabon was a Greek historian, geographer and philosopher.-Life:Strabo was born to an affluent family from Amaseia in Pontus , a city which he said was situated the approximate equivalent of 75 km from the Black Sea...

 (5.3.8 and 13.1.19), Pliny the Elder
Pliny the Elder
Gaius Plinius Secundus , better known as Pliny the Elder, was a Roman author, naturalist, and natural philosopher, as well as naval and army commander of the early Roman Empire, and personal friend of the emperor Vespasian...

(Nat. His. 36.102, 104-108 and 121) and Dio Cassius
Dio Cassius
Lucius Cassius Dio Cocceianus , known in English as Cassius Dio, Dio Cassius, or Dio was a Roman consul and a noted historian writing in Greek...

 (49.43, 53.27, 54.29, 55.8 and 56.24)....
...Among his many accomplishments are the reconditioning of the sewers, building public bathes in the Campus Martius, building the Pantheon
Pantheon, Rome
The Pantheon ,Rarely Pantheum. This appears in Pliny's Natural History in describing this edifice: Agrippae Pantheum decoravit Diogenes Atheniensis; in columnis templi eius Caryatides probantur inter pauca operum, sicut in fastigio posita signa, sed propter altitudinem loci minus celebrata.from ,...

 and setting up the naval base Portus Julius at Cumae. It is perhaps suggestive of the respect in which he was held, that Hadrian
Hadrian
Hadrian , was Roman Emperor from 117 to 138. He is best known for building Hadrian's Wall, which marked the northern limit of Roman Britain. In Rome, he re-built the Pantheon and constructed the Temple of Venus and Roma. In addition to being emperor, Hadrian was a humanist and was philhellene in...

 had the Pantheon inscription bearing Agrippa's name installed when he rebuilt it. He also established a permanent Roman navy and put an end to the Mediterranean pirate bands, commanded the fleet at Actium and fought in nearly every major battle of his time. Agrippa was also responsible for the construction of two aqueducts, an accomplishment matched by no other individual, and apparently at his own expense see Dio Cassius (49.43.1). Though his involvement with the aqueducts is well documented, further research is still needed to assess quantitatively as well as qualitatively exactly what his contribution was, not only in Rome, but wherever he contributed to the water supply. Certainly there is evidence that he was an innovator as well as an administrator.

In a sense, the Empire's aqueduct system was an extension of Agrippa's ideas. The later aqueducts offered some innovation in construction, but the system within the city remained very much the same as it was in Agrippa's day. This is not to say that branches were not added, or water was not delivered to dry areas and baths; on the contrary, the system expanded beyond control. However, the methods of storage, delivery and measurement were those known before Agrippa or introduced by him. We find much evidence of Agrippa's building activities (Strabo 5.3.8 and 13.1.19; Pliny Nat. His. 36.102, 104-108 and 121; Dio 49.43, 53.27, 54.29, 55.8 and 56.24). However, his water planning deserves more recognition. He built the foundation for imperial administration of Rome's aqueduct system, which was never entirely superseded. The city's needs for water increased with steady growth and new tastes in monumental architecture that used water more, and more for decorative purposes such as fountains. Later lines introduced by Claudius
Claudius
Claudius , was Roman Emperor from 41 to 54. A member of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, he was the son of Drusus and Antonia Minor. He was born at Lugdunum in Gaul and was the first Roman Emperor to be born outside Italy...

 and Trajan
Trajan
Trajan , was Roman Emperor from 98 to 117 AD. Born into a non-patrician family in the province of Hispania Baetica, in Spain Trajan rose to prominence during the reign of emperor Domitian. Serving as a legatus legionis in Hispania Tarraconensis, in Spain, in 89 Trajan supported the emperor against...

 were of much higher elevation and greater capacity but while they distributed water all over Rome, our evidence concerning their delivery indicates that they functioned as general and not specialized lines serving a wide variety of uses. While the Claudian aqueducts dwarfed all earlier lines in their height and volume (Pliny HN 36.122), quickly becoming the master part of the entire system, they and the Aqua Traiana
Aqua Traiana
thumb|240px|Route of Aqua Traiana shown in red.thumb|240px|Route of Aqua Traiana within ancient Rome.The Aqua Traiana was a 1st-century Roman acqueduct built by Emperor Trajan and inaugurated on 24 June 109 AD...

 appear to have been built to provide an overall supplement to existing aqueducts rather than to replace the distribution plan Agrippa had devised (Evans, 1982:411).

A final accomplishment of Agrippa's worth mentioning: Frontinus credits him with the invention of a new system of measuring water, the quinaria. This is the system that continued to be used for at least several hundred years. Though it is inadequate by today's standards, it is probable that it was better than the previous system.

From the thesis of Evan J. Dembskey on The aqueducts of Ancient Rome

Agrippa's father-in-law Atticus, suffering from a serious illness, committed suicide in 32 BC. According to Atticus' friend and biographer Cornelius Nepos
Cornelius Nepos
Cornelius Nepos was a Roman biographer. He was born at Hostilia, a village in Cisalpine Gaul not far from Verona. His Gallic origin is attested by Ausonius, and Pliny the Elder calls him Padi accola...

, this decision was a cause of serious grief to Agrippa.

Antony and Cleopatra


Agrippa was again called away to take command of the fleet when the war with Antony and Cleopatra broke out. He captured the strategically important city of Methone
Methoni, Messenia
Methoni is a village and a former municipality in Messenia, Peloponnese, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Pylos-Nestoras, of which it is a municipal unit. Its name may be derived from Mothona, a mythical rock. It is located 11 km south of Pylos and...

 at the southwest of the Peloponnese
Peloponnese
The Peloponnese, Peloponnesos or Peloponnesus , is a large peninsula , located in a region of southern Greece, forming the part of the country south of the Gulf of Corinth...

, then sailed north, raiding the Greek coast and capturing Corcyra (modern Corfu
Corfu
Corfu is a Greek island in the Ionian Sea. It is the second largest of the Ionian Islands, and, including its small satellite islands, forms the edge of the northwestern frontier of Greece. The island is part of the Corfu regional unit, and is administered as a single municipality. The...

). Octavian then brought his forces to Corcyra, occupying it as a naval base. Antony drew up his ships and troops at Actium
Actium
Actium was the ancient name of a promontory of western Greece in northwestern Acarnania, at the mouth of the Sinus Ambracius opposite Nicopolis, built by Augustus on the north side of the strait....

, where Octavian moved to meet him. Agrippa meanwhile defeated Antony's supporter Quintus Nasidius in a naval battle at Patrae. Dio relates that as Agrippa moved to join Octavian near Actium, he encountered Gaius Sosius
Gaius Sosius
Gaius Sosius was a Roman general and politician.Gaius Sosius was elected quaestor in 66 BC and praetor in 49 BC. Upon the start of the civil war, he joined the party of the Senate sometimes called optimates by modern scholars...

, one of Antony's lieutenants, who was making a surprise attack on the squadron of Lucius Tarius, a supporter of Octavian. Agrippa's unexpected arrival turned the battle around.

As the decisive battle approached, according to Dio, Octavian received intelligence that Antony and Cleopatra planned to break past his naval blockade and escape. At first he wished to allow the flagships past, arguing that he could overtake them with his lighter vessels and that the other opposing ships would surrender when they saw their leaders' cowardice. Agrippa objected that Antony's ships, although larger, could outrun Octavian's if they hoisted sails, and that Octavian ought to fight now because Antony's fleet had just been struck by storms. Octavian followed his friend's advice.

On September 2 31 BC, the Battle of Actium
Battle of Actium
The Battle of Actium was the decisive confrontation of the Final War of the Roman Republic. It was fought between the forces of Octavian and the combined forces of Mark Antony and Cleopatra VII. The battle took place on 2 September 31 BC, on the Ionian Sea near the city of Actium, at the Roman...

 was fought. Octavian's victory, which gave him the mastery of Rome and the empire, was mainly due to Agrippa. As a token of signal regard, Octavian bestowed upon him the hand of his niece Claudia Marcella Major in 28 BC. He also served a second consulship with Octavian the same year. In 27 BC, Agrippa held a third consulship with Octavian, and in that year, the senate also bestowed upon Octavian the imperial title of Augustus
Augustus (honorific)
Augustus , Latin for "majestic," "the increaser," or "venerable", was an Ancient Roman title, which was first held by Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus , and subsequently came to be considered one of the titles of what are now known as the Roman Emperors...

.

In commemoration of the Battle of Actium, Agrippa built and dedicated the building that served as the Roman Pantheon
Pantheon, Rome
The Pantheon ,Rarely Pantheum. This appears in Pliny's Natural History in describing this edifice: Agrippae Pantheum decoravit Diogenes Atheniensis; in columnis templi eius Caryatides probantur inter pauca operum, sicut in fastigio posita signa, sed propter altitudinem loci minus celebrata.from ,...

 before its destruction in 80. Emperor Hadrian
Hadrian
Hadrian , was Roman Emperor from 117 to 138. He is best known for building Hadrian's Wall, which marked the northern limit of Roman Britain. In Rome, he re-built the Pantheon and constructed the Temple of Venus and Roma. In addition to being emperor, Hadrian was a humanist and was philhellene in...

 used Agrippa's design to build his own Pantheon, which survives in Rome. The inscription of the later building, which was built around 125, preserves the text of the inscription from Agrippa's building during his third consulship. The years following his third consulship, Agrippa spent in Gaul, reforming the provincial administration and taxation system, along with building an effective road system
Via Agrippa
The term Via Agrippa, describes any stretch of the network of Roman roads in Gaul that were built by Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, to whom Octavian entrusted the reorganization of the Gauls. In all, the Romans built of roads in Gaul.-Agrippa's project:...

 and aqueducts.

Late life


Agrippa's friendship with Augustus seems to have been clouded by the jealousy of Augustus' nephew Marcus Claudius Marcellus
Marcus Claudius Marcellus (Julio-Claudian dynasty)
Marcus Claudius Marcellus was the eldest son of Octavia Minor, sister of Augustus, and Gaius Claudius Marcellus Minor, a former consul...

, which was probably fomented by the intrigues of Livia
Livia
Livia Drusilla, , after her formal adoption into the Julian family in AD 14 also known as Julia Augusta, was a Roman empress as the third wife of the Emperor Augustus and his adviser...

, the third wife of Augustus, who feared his influence over her husband. Traditionally it is said the result of such jealousy was that Agrippa left Rome, ostensibly to take over the governorship of eastern provinces – a sort of honorable exile, but he only sent his legate
Legatus
A legatus was a general in the Roman army, equivalent to a modern general officer. Being of senatorial rank, his immediate superior was the dux, and he outranked all military tribunes...

 to Syria, while he himself remained at Lesbos
Lesbos Island
Lesbos is a Greek island located in the northeastern Aegean Sea. It has an area of with 320 kilometres of coastline, making it the third largest Greek island. It is separated from Turkey by the narrow Mytilini Strait....

 and governed by proxy, though he may have been on a secret mission to negotiate with the Parthia
Parthia
Parthia is a region of north-eastern Iran, best known for having been the political and cultural base of the Arsacid dynasty, rulers of the Parthian Empire....

ns about the return of the Roman legions standards which they held. On the death of Marcellus, which took place within a year of his exile, he was recalled to Rome by Augustus, who found he could not dispense with his services. However, if one places the events in the context of the crisis in 23 BC it seems unlikely that, when facing significant opposition and about to make a major political climb down, the emperor Augustus would place a man in exile in charge of the largest body of Roman troops. What is far more likely is that Agrippa's 'exile' was actually the careful political positioning of a loyal lieutenant in command of a significant army as a backup plan in case the settlement plans of 23 BC failed and Augustus needed military support.

It is said that Maecenas advised Augustus to attach Agrippa still more closely to him by making him his son-in-law. He accordingly induced him to divorce Marcella and marry his daughter Julia the Elder
Julia the Elder
Julia the Elder , known to her contemporaries as Julia Caesaris filia or Julia Augusti filia was the daughter and only biological child of Augustus, the first emperor of the Roman Empire. Augustus subsequently adopted several male members of his close family as sons...

 by 21 BC, the widow of the late Marcellus, equally celebrated for her beauty, abilities, and her shameless profligacy. In 19 BC, Agrippa was employed in putting down a rising of the Cantabri
Cantabri
The Cantabri were a pre-Roman Celtic people which lived in the northern Atlantic coastal region of ancient Hispania, from the 4th to late 1st centuries BC.-Origins:...

ans in Hispania
Hispania
Another theory holds that the name derives from Ezpanna, the Basque word for "border" or "edge", thus meaning the farthest area or place. Isidore of Sevilla considered Hispania derived from Hispalis....

 (Cantabrian Wars
Cantabrian Wars
The Cantabrian Wars occurred during the Roman conquest of the modern provinces of Cantabria, Asturias and León, against the Asturs and the Cantabri. They were the final stage of the conquest of Hispania.-Antecedents:...

). He was appointed governor of the eastern provinces a second time in 17 BC, where his just and prudent administration won him the respect and good-will of the provincials, especially from the Jewish
Jews
The Jews , also known as the Jewish people, are a nation and ethnoreligious group originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. The Jewish ethnicity, nationality, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation...

 population. Agrippa also restored effective Roman control over the Cimmerian Chersonnese (modern-day Crimea
Crimea
Crimea , or the Autonomous Republic of Crimea , is a sub-national unit, an autonomous republic, of Ukraine. It is located on the northern coast of the Black Sea, occupying a peninsula of the same name...

) during his governorship.

Agrippa’s last public service was his beginning of the conquest of the upper Danube River region, which would become the Roman province of Pannonia
Pannonia
Pannonia was an ancient province of the Roman Empire bounded north and east by the Danube, coterminous westward with Noricum and upper Italy, and southward with Dalmatia and upper Moesia....

 in 13 BC. He died at Campania
Campania
Campania is a region in southern Italy. The region has a population of around 5.8 million people, making it the second-most-populous region of Italy; its total area of 13,590 km² makes it the most densely populated region in the country...

 in 12 March of 12 BC at the age of 51. His posthumous son, Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa Postumus, was named in his honor. Augustus honored his memory by a magnificent funeral and spent over a month in mourning. Augustus personally oversaw all of Agrippa's children’s educations. Although Agrippa had built a tomb for himself, Augustus had Agrippa's remains placed in Augustus' own mausoleum, according to Dio 54.28.5.

Legacy




Agrippa was also known as a writer, especially on the subject of geography
Geography
Geography is the science that studies the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of Earth. A literal translation would be "to describe or write about the Earth". The first person to use the word "geography" was Eratosthenes...

. Under his supervision, Julius Caesar's dream of having a complete survey
Surveying
See Also: Public Land Survey SystemSurveying or land surveying is the technique, profession, and science of accurately determining the terrestrial or three-dimensional position of points and the distances and angles between them...

 of the Empire made was carried out. He constructed a circular chart, which was later engraved on marble by Augustus, and afterwards placed in the colonnade built by his sister Polla. Amongst his writings, an autobiography, now lost, is referred to.

Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, along with Gaius Maecenas
Gaius Maecenas
Gaius Cilnius Maecenas was a confidant and political advisor to Octavian as well as an important patron for the new generation of Augustan poets...

 and Octavian, was a central person in the establishing of the Principate
Principate
The Principate is the first period of the Roman Empire, extending from the beginning of the reign of Caesar Augustus to the Crisis of the Third Century, after which it was replaced with the Dominate. The Principate is characterized by a concerted effort on the part of the Emperors to preserve the...

 system of emperors, which would govern the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 up until the Crisis of the Third Century
Crisis of the Third Century
The Crisis of the Third Century was a period in which the Roman Empire nearly collapsed under the combined pressures of invasion, civil war, plague, and economic depression...

 and the birth of Dominate
Dominate
The Dominate was the "despotic" latter phase of government in the ancient Roman Empire from the conclusion of the Third Century Crisis of 235–284 until the formal date of the collapse of the Western Empire in AD 476. It followed the period known as the Principate...

 system. His grandson Gaius is known to history as the Emperor Caligula
Caligula
Caligula , also known as Gaius, was Roman Emperor from 37 AD to 41 AD. Caligula was a member of the house of rulers conventionally known as the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Caligula's father Germanicus, the nephew and adopted son of Emperor Tiberius, was a very successful general and one of Rome's most...

, and his great-grandson Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus would rule as the Emperor Nero
Nero
Nero , was Roman Emperor from 54 to 68, and the last in the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Nero was adopted by his great-uncle Claudius to become his heir and successor, and succeeded to the throne in 54 following Claudius' death....

.

Marriages and issue


Agrippa had several children through his three marriages:
  • By his first wife, Caecilia Attica
    Caecilia Attica
    Pomponia Caecilia Attica or Caecilia Pomponia Attica , was the daughter of Cicero's Epicurean friend and eques, knight Titus Pomponius Atticus. Her mother, Caecilia Pilea/Pilia , daughter of Pileus/Pilius, was a maternal granddaughter of Marcus Licinius Crassus, a member of the First Triumvirate...

    , he had a daughter, Vipsania Agrippina
    Vipsania Agrippina
    Not to be confused with Agrippina the Elder, Agrippa's daughter by Julia the Elder.Vipsania Agrippina was the daughter of Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa from his first wife Pomponia Caecilia Attica, granddaughter of Cicero's friend and knight Titus Pomponius Atticus. Her maternal grandmother was a...

    , who was to be the first wife of the Emperor Tiberius
    Tiberius
    Tiberius , was Roman Emperor from 14 AD to 37 AD. Tiberius was by birth a Claudian, son of Tiberius Claudius Nero and Livia Drusilla. His mother divorced Nero and married Augustus in 39 BC, making him a step-son of Octavian...

    , and who gave birth to a son, Drusus the Younger.
  • By his second wife, Claudia Marcella
    Claudia Marcella
    Claudia Marcella was the name of the two daughters of Octavia Minor, the sister of Emperor Augustus, by her first husband, the consul Gaius Claudius Marcellus Minor. According to Suetonius, they were known as The Marcellae sisters. The sisters were born in Rome...

     Major, he may have had a daughter, whose existence remains unclear, but this hypothetical figure is referred to as "Vipsania Marcella
    Vipsania Marcella
    Vipsania Marcella Agrippina or Marcellina was the only daughter to Roman statesman Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa from his second wife Claudia Marcella Major. She was the first grandchild to Octavia Minor and first great-niece to Roman Emperor Augustus.About 14 BC, she married the Roman general and...

    "
  • By his third wife, Julia the Elder
    Julia the Elder
    Julia the Elder , known to her contemporaries as Julia Caesaris filia or Julia Augusti filia was the daughter and only biological child of Augustus, the first emperor of the Roman Empire. Augustus subsequently adopted several male members of his close family as sons...

     (daughter of Augustus
    Augustus
    Augustus ;23 September 63 BC – 19 August AD 14) is considered the first emperor of the Roman Empire, which he ruled alone from 27 BC until his death in 14 AD.The dates of his rule are contemporary dates; Augustus lived under two calendars, the Roman Republican until 45 BC, and the Julian...

    ), he had five children: Gaius Caesar
    Gaius Caesar
    Gaius Julius Caesar , most commonly known as Gaius Caesar or Caius Caesar, was the oldest son of Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa and Julia the Elder...

    , Julia the Younger
    Julia the Younger
    Julia the Younger or Julilla , Vipsania Julia Agrippina, Iulilla, Julia, Augustus' granddaughter, or Julia Caesaris Minor, was a Roman noblewoman of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. She was the first daughter and second child of Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa and Julia the Elder...

    , Lucius Caesar
    Lucius Caesar
    Lucius Julius Caesar , most commonly known as Lucius Caesar, was the second son of Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa and Julia the Elder. He was born between 14 of June and 15 July 17 BC with the name Lucius Vipsanius Agrippa, but when he was adopted by his maternal grandfather Roman Emperor Caesar...

    , Agrippina the Elder
    Agrippina the elder
    Vipsania Agrippina or most commonly known as Agrippina Major or Agrippina the Elder was a distinguished and prominent granddaughter of the Emperor Augustus. Agrippina was the wife of the general, statesman Germanicus and a relative to the first Roman Emperors...

     (wife of Germanicus
    Germanicus
    Germanicus Julius Caesar , commonly known as Germanicus, was a member of the Julio-Claudian dynasty and a prominent general of the early Roman Empire. He was born in Rome, Italia, and was named either Nero Claudius Drusus after his father or Tiberius Claudius Nero after his uncle...

    , mother of the Emperor Caligula
    Caligula
    Caligula , also known as Gaius, was Roman Emperor from 37 AD to 41 AD. Caligula was a member of the house of rulers conventionally known as the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Caligula's father Germanicus, the nephew and adopted son of Emperor Tiberius, was a very successful general and one of Rome's most...

     and Empress Agrippina the Younger
    Agrippina the Younger
    Julia Agrippina, most commonly referred to as Agrippina Minor or Agrippina the Younger, and after 50 known as Julia Augusta Agrippina was a Roman Empress and one of the more prominent women in the Julio-Claudian dynasty...

    ), and Agrippa Postumus
    Agrippa Postumus
    Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa Postumus , also known as Agrippa Postumus or Postumus Agrippa, was a son of Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa and Julia the Elder. His maternal grandparents were Roman Emperor Augustus and his second wife Scribonia.Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa Postumus was born on June 26, 12 BC, the...

     (a posthumous son).

Descendants


Through his numerous children, Agrippa would become ancestor to many subsequent members of the Julio-Claudian dynasty
Julio-Claudian Dynasty
The Julio-Claudian dynasty normally refers to the first five Roman Emperors: Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula , Claudius, and Nero, or the family to which they belonged; they ruled the Roman Empire from its formation, in the second half of the 1st century BC, until AD 68, when the last of the line,...

, whose position he helped to attain, as well as many other reputed Romans.

(by Caecilia Attica
Caecilia Attica
Pomponia Caecilia Attica or Caecilia Pomponia Attica , was the daughter of Cicero's Epicurean friend and eques, knight Titus Pomponius Atticus. Her mother, Caecilia Pilea/Pilia , daughter of Pileus/Pilius, was a maternal granddaughter of Marcus Licinius Crassus, a member of the First Triumvirate...

)
1. Vipsania Agrippina I
Vipsania Agrippina
Not to be confused with Agrippina the Elder, Agrippa's daughter by Julia the Elder.Vipsania Agrippina was the daughter of Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa from his first wife Pomponia Caecilia Attica, granddaughter of Cicero's friend and knight Titus Pomponius Atticus. Her maternal grandmother was a...

, 36 BC-20 AD, had at least 6 children by 2 husbands (1 by Tiberius
Tiberius
Tiberius , was Roman Emperor from 14 AD to 37 AD. Tiberius was by birth a Claudian, son of Tiberius Claudius Nero and Livia Drusilla. His mother divorced Nero and married Augustus in 39 BC, making him a step-son of Octavian...

, at least 5 by Gaius Asinius Gallus
Gaius Asinius Gallus
Gaius Asinius Gallus Saloninus was an ambitious Roman Senator with family connections to the Julio-Claudian house. Asinius Gallus was consul in 8 BC, and proconsul of Asia in 6 BC/5 BC. He was a friend of Emperor Augustus and opposed Emperor Tiberius. He introduced measures to the senate to...

)
A. Drusus Julius Caesar, 13 BC-23 AD, had 3 children
I. Julia Caesaris
Julia (daughter of Drusus the Younger)
Julia Drusi Caesaris Filia was the daughter of Drusus Julius Caesar and Livilla and granddaughter to the Roman Emperor Tiberius.-Chronology:At the time of Emperor Augustus' death in 14 Julia was ill...

, 5 AD-43 AD, had at least 1 child
a. Rubellius Plautus
Rubellius Plautus
Gaius Rubellius Plautus was a Roman noble and a political rival of Emperor Nero. Through his mother Julia, he was a relative of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. He was the grandson of Drusus , and the great-grandson of Tiberius and his brother Drusus...

, 33 AD-62 AD, may have had several children
II. Tiberius Julius Caesar (?Nero) 'Gemellus'
Tiberius Gemellus
Tiberius Julius Caesar Nero Gemellus, known as Tiberius Gemellus was the son of Drusus and Livilla, the grandson of the Emperor Tiberius, and the cousin of the Emperor Caligula. Gemellus is a nickname meaning "the twin"...

, 19 AD-37 AD or 38 AD, died without issue
III. Germanicus Julius Caesar (?Nero) II 'Gemellus', 19 AD-23 AD, died young
B. Gaius Asinius Pollio, died 45 AD, children unknown
C. Marcus Asinius Agrippa
Marcus Asinius Agrippa
Marcus Asinius Agrippa was Roman consul in 25 AD, and died at the end of the following year, 26 AD. He was also the half-brother of Julius Caesar Drusus, the natural son of the Emperor Tiberius. According to Tacitus, he was descended from a family more illustrious than ancient, and did not...

, died 26 AD
D. (?Gnaeus) Asinius Saloninus, died 22 AD
E. Servius Asinius Celer, died before mid-47 AD, had 1 child
a. Asinia Agrippina
F. (?Lucius) Asinius Gallus


(by Julia Caesaris
Julia the Elder
Julia the Elder , known to her contemporaries as Julia Caesaris filia or Julia Augusti filia was the daughter and only biological child of Augustus, the first emperor of the Roman Empire. Augustus subsequently adopted several male members of his close family as sons...

)
2. Gaius Julius Caesar
Gaius Caesar
Gaius Julius Caesar , most commonly known as Gaius Caesar or Caius Caesar, was the oldest son of Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa and Julia the Elder...

, 20 BC – AD 4, died without issue
3. Vipsania Julia (Julia the Younger)
Julia the Younger
Julia the Younger or Julilla , Vipsania Julia Agrippina, Iulilla, Julia, Augustus' granddaughter, or Julia Caesaris Minor, was a Roman noblewoman of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. She was the first daughter and second child of Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa and Julia the Elder...

, 19 BC – AD 28, had two children;
A. Aemilia Lepida (fiancee of Claudius)
Aemilia Lepida (fiancee of Claudius)
For other women with this name, see Aemilia Lepida.Aemilia Lepida was a noble Roman woman and matron. She was the eldest daughter and first born child of Julia the Younger and consul Lucius Aemilius Paullus. Her father was of a distinguished and ancient patrician family...

, 4 BC – AD 53, had five children;
I. Marcus Junius Silanus Torquatus, 14 – 54, had one child;
a. Lucius Junius Silanus Torquatus
Lucius Junius Silanus Torquatus
In the 1st century, lived two noblemen uncle and nephew, that shared the name Lucius Junius Silanus Torquatus who were two descendants of Roman Emperor Augustus....

 the younger, 50–66, died young
II. Junia Calvina
Junia Calvina
Junia Calvina was a noble Roman woman. She was the first born daughter and among the children of Aemilia Lepida and Marcus Junius Silanus Torquatus, a member of the Junii Silani, a family of Ancient Rome. Her maternal grandparents were the princess Julia the Younger and consul Lucius Aemilius...

, 15–79, died without issue
III. Decimus Junius Silanus Torquatus
Decimus Junius Silanus Torquatus
Decimus Junius Silanus Torquatus was a Roman noble who lived in the Roman Empire during the 1st century. He served as a consul in 53...

, d. 64 without issue
IV. Lucius Junius Silanus Torquatus
Lucius Junius Silanus Torquatus
In the 1st century, lived two noblemen uncle and nephew, that shared the name Lucius Junius Silanus Torquatus who were two descendants of Roman Emperor Augustus....

 the elder, d. 49 without issue
V. Junia Lepida
Junia Lepida
Junia Lepida was a Roman noble woman that lived during the Roman Empire in the 1st century. Lepida was the second born daughter and was among the children born of Aemilia Lepida and Marcus Junius Silanus Torquatus, a member of the Junii Silani, a family of Ancient Rome...

, ca 18–65, issue unknown
B. Unnamed illegitimate son (by Decimus Junius Silanus), d. AD 8 (ordered to be exposed by Augustus)
4. Lucius Julius Caesar
Lucius Caesar
Lucius Julius Caesar , most commonly known as Lucius Caesar, was the second son of Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa and Julia the Elder. He was born between 14 of June and 15 July 17 BC with the name Lucius Vipsanius Agrippa, but when he was adopted by his maternal grandfather Roman Emperor Caesar...

, 17 BC – AD 2, died without issue
5. Vipsania Agrippina II (Agrippina the Elder)
Agrippina the elder
Vipsania Agrippina or most commonly known as Agrippina Major or Agrippina the Elder was a distinguished and prominent granddaughter of the Emperor Augustus. Agrippina was the wife of the general, statesman Germanicus and a relative to the first Roman Emperors...

, 14 BC – AD 33, had six children;
A. Nero Julius Caesar
Nero Caesar
Nero Julius Caesar Germanicus was a close relative of the Roman Emperors of the Julio-Claudian dynasty.Nero was born around AD 6, to Germanicus and Agrippina the Elder. His paternal grandparents were Nero Claudius Drusus and Antonia Minor, daughter of Mark Antony and Octavia Minor...

, 6–30, died without issue
B. Drusus Julius Caesar, 7–33, died without issue
C. Gaius Julius Caesar, bef. AD 12 – bef. AD 12
D. Gaius Julius Caesar (Caligula)
Caligula
Caligula , also known as Gaius, was Roman Emperor from 37 AD to 41 AD. Caligula was a member of the house of rulers conventionally known as the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Caligula's father Germanicus, the nephew and adopted son of Emperor Tiberius, was a very successful general and one of Rome's most...

, 12–41, had one child;
I. Julia Drusilla
Julia Drusilla
Julia Drusilla was the only child and daughter of Roman Emperor Gaius and of his fourth and last wife Milonia Caesonia....

, 39–41, died young
E. Julia Agrippina
Agrippina the Younger
Julia Agrippina, most commonly referred to as Agrippina Minor or Agrippina the Younger, and after 50 known as Julia Augusta Agrippina was a Roman Empress and one of the more prominent women in the Julio-Claudian dynasty...

, 15–59, had one child;
I. Nero Claudius Caesar (Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus)
Nero
Nero , was Roman Emperor from 54 to 68, and the last in the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Nero was adopted by his great-uncle Claudius to become his heir and successor, and succeeded to the throne in 54 following Claudius' death....

, 37–68, had one child;
a. Claudia Augusta
Claudia Augusta
Claudia Augusta was the only daughter of the Roman Emperor Nero by his second wife Roman Empress Poppaea Sabina. She was born in Antium on 21 January 63....

, Jan. 63 – April 63; died young
F. Julia Drusilla, 16–38, died without issue
G. Julia Livilla
Julia Livilla
Julia Livilla was the youngest child of Germanicus and Agrippina the Elder and the youngest sister of the Emperor Caligula.-Life:Livilla was the youngest great granddaughter of Emperor Augustus, great-niece and adoptive granddaughter...

, 18–42, died without issue
H. Tiberius Julius Caesar, ? – ? (either born before Nero Caesar
Nero Caesar
Nero Julius Caesar Germanicus was a close relative of the Roman Emperors of the Julio-Claudian dynasty.Nero was born around AD 6, to Germanicus and Agrippina the Elder. His paternal grandparents were Nero Claudius Drusus and Antonia Minor, daughter of Mark Antony and Octavia Minor...

, between Drusus Caesar and Gaius Caesar (Caligula)
Caligula
Caligula , also known as Gaius, was Roman Emperor from 37 AD to 41 AD. Caligula was a member of the house of rulers conventionally known as the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Caligula's father Germanicus, the nephew and adopted son of Emperor Tiberius, was a very successful general and one of Rome's most...

 or between Gaius Caesar (Caligula)
Caligula
Caligula , also known as Gaius, was Roman Emperor from 37 AD to 41 AD. Caligula was a member of the house of rulers conventionally known as the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Caligula's father Germanicus, the nephew and adopted son of Emperor Tiberius, was a very successful general and one of Rome's most...

 and Julia Agrippina)
?I. Son (name unknown), ? – ?
6. Agrippa Postumus
Agrippa Postumus
Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa Postumus , also known as Agrippa Postumus or Postumus Agrippa, was a son of Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa and Julia the Elder. His maternal grandparents were Roman Emperor Augustus and his second wife Scribonia.Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa Postumus was born on June 26, 12 BC, the...

, 12 BC – AD 14, died without issue


There have been some attempts to assign further descendants to a number of the aforementioned figures, including two lines of Asinii descended from Gaius Asinius Pollio and Marcus Asinius Agrippa
Marcus Asinius Agrippa
Marcus Asinius Agrippa was Roman consul in 25 AD, and died at the end of the following year, 26 AD. He was also the half-brother of Julius Caesar Drusus, the natural son of the Emperor Tiberius. According to Tacitus, he was descended from a family more illustrious than ancient, and did not...

 respectively. A daughter (and further descendants) named Rubellia Bassa to Julia
Julia (daughter of Drusus the Younger)
Julia Drusi Caesaris Filia was the daughter of Drusus Julius Caesar and Livilla and granddaughter to the Roman Emperor Tiberius.-Chronology:At the time of Emperor Augustus' death in 14 Julia was ill...

, who may have been a daughter of Gaius Rubellius Blandus
Gaius Rubellius Blandus
Gaius Rubellius Blandus was a suffect consul of ancient Rome, a grandson of Rubellius Blandus of Tibur . Blandus' family were from the Equestrian class.-Career:...

 by an earlier marriage. And, finally, a series of descendants from Junia Lepida
Junia Lepida
Junia Lepida was a Roman noble woman that lived during the Roman Empire in the 1st century. Lepida was the second born daughter and was among the children born of Aemilia Lepida and Marcus Junius Silanus Torquatus, a member of the Junii Silani, a family of Ancient Rome...

 and her husband, Gaius Cassius Longinus. However, it must be noted that all of these lines of descent are extremely hypothetical and lack any evidence to support a connection to the descendants of Agrippa.

Drama


Marcus Agrippa, a highly fictionalised character based on Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa's early life, is part of the BBC-HBO-RAI television series Rome
Rome (TV series)
Rome is a British-American–Italian historical drama television series created by Bruno Heller, John Milius and William J. MacDonald. The show's two seasons premiered in 2005 and 2007, and were later released on DVD. Rome is set in the 1st century BC, during Ancient Rome's transition from Republic...

. He is played by Allen Leech
Allen Leech
Allen Leech is an Irish stage, television and film actor, best known for his role as Marcus Agrippa in the 2007 HBO television series Rome, and his role as chauffeur Tom Branson in ITV 2010 television series Downton Abbey....

. The series creates a romantic relationship between Agrippa and Octavian's sister Octavia Minor
Octavia Minor
Octavia the Younger , also known as Octavia Minor or simply Octavia, was the sister of the first Roman Emperor, Augustus , half-sister of Octavia the Elder, and fourth wife of Mark Antony...

, for which there is no historical evidence.

A fictionalized version of Agrippa in his later life played a prominent role in the 1976 BBC Television
BBC Television
BBC Television is a service of the British Broadcasting Corporation. The corporation, which has operated in the United Kingdom under the terms of a Royal Charter since 1927, has produced television programmes from its own studios since 1932, although the start of its regular service of television...

 series I, Claudius
I, Claudius (TV series)
I, Claudius is a 1976 BBC Television adaptation of Robert Graves' I, Claudius and Claudius the God. Written by Jack Pulman, it proved one of the corporation's most successful drama serials of all time...

. Agrippa was portrayed as a much older man, though he would have only been 39 years old at the time of the first episode (24/23 BC). He was played by John Paul
John Paul (actor)
John Paul was a British actor.He is best known for his television roles, particularly as Dr Spencer Quist in Doomwatch and Marcus Agrippa in I, Claudius , both for BBC Television....

. Agrippa is also one of the principal characters in the British/Italian joint project Imperium: Augustus
Imperium: Augustus
Imperium: Augustus is a 2003 joint British-Italian production, and part of the Imperium series. It tells of the life story of Octavian and how he became Augustus...

 featuring flashbacks
Flashback (narrative)
Flashback is an interjected scene that takes the narrative back in time from the current point the story has reached. Flashbacks are often used to recount events that happened before the story’s primary sequence of events or to fill in crucial backstory...

 between Augustus and Julia about Agrippa, which shows him in his youth on serving in Caesar's army up until his victory at Actium and the defeat of Cleopatra. He is portrayed by Ken Duken
Ken Duken
Ken Duken is a German actor.Ken Duken is the third child of film and stage actress Christina Loeb; his father is a doctor. Duken never attended a drama school but took courses in drama, including under James Reynold...

.

Agrippa appears in several of the Cleopatra films. He is normally portrayed as an old man rather than a young one. Among the people to portray him are Philip Locke
Philip Locke
Philip Locke was an English actor.He is possibly best known for his role as villainous SPECTRE underling Vargas in the 1965 James Bond film Thunderball...

, Alan Rowe
Alan Rowe
Alan Rowe was a New Zealand-born English actor, perhaps best known for his appearances on the British science fiction programme Doctor Who.-Career:...

 and Andrew Keir
Andrew Keir
Andrew Keir was a Scottish actor, who rose to prominence featuring in a number of films from Hammer Film Productions in the 1960s. He was also active in television, and particularly in the theatre, in a professional career that lasted from the 1940s to the 1990s...

.

Agrippa appears as a pivotal character in the novel 'Hand of Isis' by Jo Graham.

Literature


Agrippa is a character in William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon"...

's play Antony and Cleopatra
Antony and Cleopatra
Antony and Cleopatra is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written sometime between 1603 and 1607. It was first printed in the First Folio of 1623. The plot is based on Thomas North's translation of Plutarch's Lives and follows the relationship between Cleopatra and Mark Antony...

 and also a main character in the early part of Robert Graves
Robert Graves
Robert von Ranke Graves 24 July 1895 – 7 December 1985 was an English poet, translator and novelist. During his long life he produced more than 140 works...

 novel I, Claudius. He is a main character in the later two novels of Colleen McCullough
Colleen McCullough
Colleen McCullough-Robinson, , is an internationally acclaimed Australian author.-Life:McCullough was born in Wellington, in outback central west New South Wales, in 1937 to James and Laurie McCullough. Her mother was a New Zealander of part-Māori descent. During her childhood, her family moved...

's Masters of Rome
Masters of Rome
Masters of Rome is a series of historical fiction novels by author Colleen McCullough set in ancient Rome during the last days of the old Roman Republic; it primarily chronicles the lives and careers of Gaius Marius, Lucius Cornelius Sulla, Pompeius Magnus, Gaius Julius Caesar, and the early...

 series. He is a featured character of prominence and importance in the historical fiction novel Cleopatra's Daughter by Michelle Moran
Michelle Moran
Michelle Moran is an American novelist. She was born in California's San Fernando Valley. She took an interest in writing from an early age, purchasing Writer's Market and submitting her stories and novellas to publishers from the time she was twelve...

. He also features prominently in John Edward Williams
John Edward Williams
John Edward Williams was an American author, editor and professor. He was best known for his novels Stoner and Augustus.-Life:...

' historical novel Augustus
Augustus (novel)
Augustus is a 1973 novel by John Williams. It won the National Book Award.In epistolary form, the novel tells the story of Augustus, emperor of Rome, from his youth through old age.-National Book Award:...

.

Further reading