Source One

Roman Coin: Silver Denarius (old Roman currency, meaning small silver coin), AD 54 Depicting Emperor Nero and Agrippina the YoungerThis coin displays how much power and authority Agrippina actually held. Roman coins usually showed the head of the current emperor at the time, however, it was rarely seen that a woman's head would also be brandished, not only on the coin, but next to an emperor. The coin reveals to historians that Agrippina had great influence over Nero, as the coin portrays the two, as equal rulers. The fact that Nero and Agrippina are both facing each other, could also suggest that they had a fiery and almost pugnacious relationship and did not agree on all things, as they are 'facing each other off'.

Source Two

"she was very clever in making the most of opportunities...partly by fear and partly by favours, she won the devotion." - Dio Cassius

Quote said by Dio Cassius, a consul and historian of the Roman Empire, quoted at the time, in his Epitome of Book LXI
This quote discloses to historians that Agrippina was not only a power-hungry woman, but also a strategic and diplomatic figure. Agrippina didn't let any opportunities pass, and ensured that every action she made, gave her more supremacy and reign. This quote also implies that Agrippina was a terrifying, formidable character, who some of the time, got her way by intimidating others. However, Agrippina's actions and manipulations, bestowed her with the affections of men such as C. Sallustius Passienus Crispus, and the Emperor Claudius.

Source Three

"she could give her son the empire, but not endure him as emperor". - Tacitus Annals

Quoted by Tacitus, a Roman historian and senator, stated at the time, in one of his two remaining works, the Annals
This statement describing Agrippina, reveals that she was able to achieve the hardest of tasks, of making Nero emperor, but she could not endure the seemingly easy task of tolerating his manner and approach. Agrippina did all she could to get her son on the throne, but ironically in the end, it was her own interfering and controlling actions which resulted in her death. This quote also suggests that Agrippina was so focused on reaching ultimate power, that even those closest to her could not stand her influence.


Source One portrays Agrippina as an authoritative and influential woman, who seemed equally powerful as her son, the Emperor Nero, but also displays some dispute between the two. The Roman general public must have viewed Agrippina as a strong, competent and commanding figure, as they only saw things from the outside, and were unaware of her schemes and plots. Source Two and Three on the other hand, were opinions of two famous historians who were alive at the time, and had an intricate understanding of the conspiracy surrounding Agrippina. Source Two reveals no negative feelings regarding Agrippina, rather it portrays her as a clever, enticing woman. In contrast, Source Three depicts Agrippina as a person who could not undertake the simplest of tasks. From powerful and influential, to strategic and charming, to incompetent and ironic, all three sources provide a different perspective of Agrippina the Younger.