Night of the Living Agrippa
In Response To: Re: Junius, Jannaeus, and John ()

Thanks Ron, "life goes on, long after the thrill of living is gone".

I don't quite know what to make of this Agrippa Posthumous. Why did his family find him so loathsome? Was it something about him, or his biological father (whoever that might have been)? Figuring out actual relationships in the Roman period is taking our game to the next level. First we must find out who the various individuals are and their various major identities, then maybe we have a chance of deducing paternity.

The cultural taboo against polygamy in Rome posed a special challenge to the royal family. Jerusalem shared much of the same anti-kingship and anti-incest sentiments, but at least kings were permitted multiple marriages. To circumvent Roman mores, the "holy family" resorted to even more elaborate naming schemes. This allowed the family reproduction business to go on as usual, sisters could breed with their brothers, fathers with daughters, and even mothers with sons.

A good example of this is Nero. His mother was barren for nine years by her husband. Suddenly she has a child and is at a loss for what to name him. Jokingly, it is suggested that he be called "Claudius" (after the biological father). Agrippina pretends to be offended and names her son after the paternal line of her legal husband (Domitius Ahenobarbus). Later, Nero marries his step-sister Octavia, the daughter of Claudius and Messalina, who is in all likelihood his actual half-sister.