Julius Agricola

Gnaeus Julius Agricola (0040 - 0093)

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General Gnaeus Julius (Julius) Agricola aka Governor of Britain
Born in Fréjus, Francemap
Son of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
[spouse(s) unknown]
[children unknown]
Died in Gallia Narbonensismap
Profile last modified | Created 9 May 2011
This page has been accessed 539 times.

Biography

Father: Lucius Julius Graecinus, Roman Senator

Mother: Julia Procilla

Child: Julia, wife of Gaius Cornelius Tacitus (056 - aft 117)[1]

Gnaeus Julius Agricola ( 13 June 40 – 23 August 93) was a Gallo-Roman general responsible for much of the Roman conquest of Britain. Written by his son-in-law Tacitus, the De vita et moribus Iulii Agricolae is the primary source for most of what is known about him,[2] along with detailed archaeological evidence from northern Britain.[3]

Agricola was appointed to the command of the Legio XX Valeria Victrix, stationed in Britain, in place of Marcus Roscius Coelius, who had stirred up a mutiny against the governor, Marcus Vettius Bolanus. Britain had suffered revolt during the year of civil war, and Bolanus was a mild governor. Agricola reimposed discipline on the legion and helped to consolidate Roman rule. In 71, Bolanus was replaced by a more aggressive governor, Quintus Petillius Cerialis, and Agricola was able to display his talents as a commander in campaigns against the Brigantes in northern England.[4]

Agricola was recalled from Britain in 85, after an unusually long tenure as governor. Tacitus claims Domitian ordered his recall because Agricola's successes outshone the Emperor's own modest victories in Germany. He re-entered Rome unobtrusively, reporting as ordered to the palace at night. The relationship between Agricola and the Emperor is unclear; on the one hand, Agricola was awarded triumphal decorations and a statue (the highest military honours apart from an actual triumph)[5]; on the other, Agricola never again held a civil or military post, in spite of his experience and renown. He was offered the governorship of the province of Africa, but declined it, whether due to ill health or (as Tacitus claims) the machinations of Domitian. In 93, Agricola died on his family estates in Gallia Narbonensis aged fifty-three. Rumours circulated attributing the death to a poison administered by the Emperor Domitian, but no positive evidence for this was ever produced.[6]

Sources

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tacitus
  2. Tacitus, Agricola; Dio Cassius (Roman History 66.20) and three inscriptions found in Britain (including the Verulamium Forum inscription) also make reference to Agricola.
  3. Hanson, W.S. (1991), Agricola and the conquest of the north (2nd edn), London: Batsford.
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnaeus_Julius_Agricola
  5. William Roy, The Military Antiquities of the Romans in Britain, 1793
  6. D.B. Campbell, "The consulship of Agricola", Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 63 (1986), pp. 197-200, for the possible dates. Agricola 24


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Images: 1
Statue in Bath, England
Statue in Bath, England

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