Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa

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Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa

Bust of Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa from the Forum of Gabii, currently in the Louvre, Paris
Born 23 October/November 63 BC
Uncertain, possibly Istria or Asisium[1]
Died 12 BC
Campania
Allegiance Roman Empire
Years of service 45 BC – 12 BC
Rank General
Commands held Roman army
Battles/wars

Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa (c. 63 BC – 12 BC) was a general of the Roman Empire and a statesman. He was a close friend and brother-in-law of Augustus.

Biography[change | edit source]

Agrippa was born between 23 October and November 63-62 BC in an uncertain location. The city of Arpinum claims him, along with Cicero. His father was named Lucius Vipsanius Agrippa (a fact known from the Pantheon inscription). He had an elder brother whose name was also Lucius Vipsanius Agrippa and a sister named Vipsania Polla (Dio 55.8). The family had not been prominent in Roman public life. He first married the daughter of Cicero's friend T. Pomponius Atticus, by whom he had probably two daughters - Vipsania Maior and Vipsania Minor - the wives of P. Quinctillius Varus and Tiberius respectively (see Nepos Atticus 19 and the Cologne papyrus of Agrippa's funeral oration, cited by Sir Ronald Syme in The Augustan Aristocracy, 153). By his second marriage to Claudia Marcella (oldest daughter of Octavia) he probably had a single surviving daughter. His third wife, Julia (daughter of Augustus) bore him three sons and two daughters: Gaius (born 20 BC), Julia the Younger, Lucius (born 17 BC), Agrippina the Elder (born ca. 15 BC), and Postumus Agrippa - the last of whom was born in 12 BC after the death of Agrippa. Agrippa died in March 12 BC (Dio 54.28). Agrippa's more famous descendents stem from his daughter Agrippina, including his grandson Caligula and great-grandson Nero.

Career[change | edit source]

He fought in Caesar's Civil War in the 40s BC, rendering valuable aid to Caesar Octavian against Lucius Antonius. Later services include his defeat of Sextus Pompey at Naolochus, Antony and Cleopatra at Actium, and the fall of Egypt. Later he completed of the conquest of Spain and fought in the North and East. For his valuable services he held three consulships (37, 28, 27 BC) and acquired Tribunicia Potestas in 18 BC and renewed in 13, making him Augustus' unofficial co-emperor. He died at the height of his power in March 12 BC.

References[change | edit source]

  1. Reinhold, p. 9; Roddaz, p. 23.