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.

Agrippa's place of birth is not known for sure. It may have been the city of Arpinum. His father was callled Lucius Vipsanius Agrippa (we know this from an inscription on the Pantheon). He had an elder brother, and a sister named Vipsania Polla. The family had not been prominent in Roman public life.

Wives and children[change | change source]

Agrippa first married Caecilia Attica, the daughter of Cicero's friend T. Pomponius Atticus. They a daughter – Vipsania Agrippina, and perhaps another: 'Vipsania Minor'. The daughters became the wives of P. Quinctillius Varus and Tiberius respectively.[2]

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 child was born in 12 BC after the death of Agrippa. Agrippa died in March 12 BC.[3] Agrippa's more famous descendents stem from his daughter Agrippina: they include his grandson Caligula and great-grandson Nero.

Career[change | change source]

Agrippa fought in Caesar's Civil War (49–45 BC), giving help to 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). He became Tribune of the plebs 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 | change source]

  1. Reinhold, p. 9; Roddaz, p. 23.
  2. see Nepos Atticus 19 and the Cologne papyrus of Agrippa's funeral oration, cited by Sir Ronald Syme in The Augustan Aristocracy, 153.
  3. Dio 54.28