never naughty antonia

..julie... i've been mighty curious about mater of claudius, antonia minor {would that make her antonia II ? Possibly first antonia expired before attaining adulthood]. All the julio--claudians were great chums of herods, but particularly close was antonia minor.

Schwartz, in his book on agrippa I of herod line, declares there was GOSSIP in rome that antonia minor was NOT mother of caligula, a fellow who was raised, for years and years, alongside agrippa I of herod family. They seem to have thought of themselves as metaphorical brothers, so perhaps we are to go the whole nine yards and see them as literal brothers ... or half-brothers. If agrippa I was not actually raised in antonia's house, he was definitly under her patronage in the years of his youth spent in rome.

antonia minor was seen in rome as THE respected and revered proto-type of the virtues of roman matronhood, so it's difficult to think of her canoodling with anyone beyond her husband. Yet, we have wikipedia telling us her very special friend, during widowhood, was one jewish freedman, tiberius drusus alexander. Why bring up a former slave... even one who might have grown enormously rich ?

with claudius having so MANY physical disabilities and possibly also cognitive disabilities, it might seem 'natural' that hoi--polloi would WHISPER, 'such a frightful being could not have emerged from the womb of the wonderful, wonderful antonia minor.'

IF baby claudius was born to mother of agrippa I, it might also seem 'natural' taht herod frau would not wish to raise the disabled infant she had borne.

Would one suppose that claudius' birth defects were result of centuries of in--breeding among egyptian rulers ?

In any event, we have agrippa I just 'accidentally' visiting rome when caligula is murdered. Thus, herod chap is just in time to see that claudius is raised to imperial throne. Anotehr 'accident' emperor claudius enlarges territory ruled by agrippa I and makes his brother of agrippa I ruler of another middle-eastern territory.

isn't it odd that claudius' birth takes place in lyon, not too far from sites of exile of TWO herod clan fellows... herod antipas and archelaus. The husband of antonia minor perishes soon afterward. Was he no longer needed as a 'beard' ? I'd love to have one of the two herods as father of claudius, but i do not BELIEVE the dates jibe. Maybe someone can help on this score. Archelaus exiled to locale near vienne. Some tomes aver that herod antipas was exiled to lyon, but it was probably town known as lugdunum covenarum, farther west of lyon.

Tantalizing to wonder, then, who ruled whom ? Was the 'world ruler' stumbling, stammering caligula ? OR was it wily, astute, quick-witted agrippa II in jerusalem ? And, were the two in truth brothers or half-brothers ?

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Antonia Major and Minor