Germanicus (15-19)

1. Germanicus Caesar of Rome was born on 14 May 0015 B.C. He died on 9 October 0019. He married Vipsania Agrippina Major of Rome.


Germanicus Caesar, a Roman general and provincial governor in the reign of Tiberius. The name Germanicus, the only one by which he is known in history, he inherited from his father, Nero Claudius Drusus, the famous general, brother of Tiberius and stepson of Caesar Augustus. His mother was the younger Antonia, daughter of Marcus Antonius and niece of Augustus, and he married Agrippina, the granddaughter of the same emperor. It was natural, therefore, that he should be regarded as a candidate for the purple. Augustus, it would seem, long hesitated whether he should name him as his successor, and as a compromise required his uncle Tiberius to adopt him, though Tiberius had a son of his own. Of his early years and education little is known. That he possessed considerable literary abilities, and that these were carefully trained, we gather, both from the speeches which Tacitus puts into his mouth, and from the reputation he left as an orator, as attested by Suetonius and Ovid, and from the extant fragments of his works.

At the age of twenty he served his apprenticeship as a soldier under Tiberius, and was rewarded with the triumphal insignia for his services in crushing the revolt in Dalmatia and Pannonia. In AD 11 he accompanied Tiberius in his campaign on the Rhine, undertaken, in consequence of the defeat of Varus, with the object of securing the German frontier. In 12 he was made consul, and increased his popularity by appearing as an advocate in the courts of justice, and by the celebration of brilliant games. Soon afterwards he was appointed by Augustus to the important command of the eight legions on the Rhine. The news of the emperor's death (14 AD) found Germanicus at Lugdunum (Lyons), where he was superintending the census of Gaul. Close upon this came the report that a mutiny had broken out among his legions on the lower Rhine. Germanicus hurried back to the camp, which was now in open insurrection. The tumult was with difficulty quelled, partly by well-timed concessions, for which the authority of the emperor was forged, but chiefly owing to his personal popularity. Some of the insurgents actually proposed that he should put himself at their head and secure the empire for himself, but their offer was rejected with indignation. In order to calm the excitement Germanicus determined at once on an active campaign. Crossing the Rhine, he attacked and routed the Marsi, and laid waste the valley of the Ems. In the following year he marched against Arminius, the conqueror of Vanes, and performed the last rites over the remains of the Roman soldiers that still lay there unburied, erecting a barrow to mark the spot. Arminius, however, favored by the marshy ground, was able to hold his own, and it required another campaign before he was finally defeated. A masterly combined movement by land and water enabled Germanicus to concentrate his forces against the main body of the Germans encamped on the Weser, and to crush them in two obstinately contested battles. A monument erected on the field proclaimed that the army of Tiberius had conquered every tribe between the Rhine and the Elbe. Great, however, as the success of the Roman arms had been, it was not such as to justify this boastful inscription; we read of renewed attacks from the barbarians, and plans of a fourth campaign for the next summer.

But the success of Germanicus had already stirred the jealousy and fears of Tiberius, and he was reluctantly compelled to return to Rome. On the 26th of May 17 he celebrated a triumph. The enthusiasm with which he was welcomed, not only by the populace, but by the emperor's own praetorians, was so great that the earliest pretext was seized to remove him from the capital. He was sent to the East with extraordinary powers to settle a disputed succession in Parthia and Armenia. At the same time Gnaeus Calpurnius Piso, one of the most violent and ambitious of the old nobility, was sent as governor of Syria to watch his movements. Germanicus proceeded by easy stages to his province, halting on his way in Dalmatia, and visiting the battlefield of Actium, Athens, Ilium, and other places of historic interest. At Rhodes he met his coadjutor Piso, who was seeking everywhere to thwart and malign him. When at last he reached his destination, he found little difficulty in effecting the settlement of the disturbed provinces, notwithstanding Piso's violent and persistent opposition. At Artaxata Zeno, the popular candidate for the throne, was crowned king of Armenia. To the provinces of Cappadocia and Commagene Roman governors were assigned; Parthia was conciliated by the banishment of the dethroned king Vonones.

After wintering in Syria Germanicus started for a tour in Egypt. The chief motive for his journey was love of travel and antiquarian study, and it seems never to have occurred to him, until he was warned by Tiberius, that he was thereby transgressing an unwritten law which forbade any Roman of rank to set foot in Egypt without express permission. On his return to Syria he found that all his arrangements had been upset by Piso. Violent recriminations followed, the result of which, it would seem, was a promise on the part of Piso to quit the province. But at this juncture Germanicus was suddenly attacked at Epidaphne near Antioch by a violent illness, which he himself and his friends attributed to poison administered by Plancina, the wife of Piso, at the instigation of Tiberius. Whether these suspicions were true is open to question; it seems more probable that his death was due to natural causes. His ashes were brought to Rome in the following year (20) by his wife Agrippina, and deposited in the grave of Augustus. He had nine children, six of whom, three sons and three daughters, survived him, amongst them the future emperor Gaius and the notorious Agrippina, the mother of Nero. The news of his death cast a gloom over the whole empire. Nor was Germanicus unworthy of this passionate devotion. He had wiped out a great national disgrace; he had quelled the most formidable foe of Rome. His private life had been stainless, and he possessed a singularly attractive personality. Yet there were elements of weakness in his character which his short life only half revealed: an impetuosity which made him twice threaten to take his own life; a superstitious vein which impelled him to consult oracles and shrink from bad omens; an amiable dilettantism which led him to travel in Egypt while his enemy was plotting his ruin; a want of nerve and resolution which prevented him from coming to an open rupture with Piso until it was too late.

He possessed considerable literary abilities; his speeches and Greek comedies were highly spoken of by his contemporaries. But the only specimen of his work that has come down to us is him, although some consider Domitian the author), together with scholia, of the Phaenomena of Aratus, which is superior to those of Cicero and Avienus. A few extant Greek and Latin epigrams also bear the name Germanicus.

Father: Nero Claudius Drusus (Roman general)
Mother: Antonia (dau. of emperor Mark Antony).


Vipsania Agrippina Major of Rome was the daughter of Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa of Rome (63-12) and Julia Major of Rome (39-14). She and Germanicus Caesar of Rome had the following children:



Julia Agrippina Minor of Rome ( - )


Caligula (Gaius) ( - )

Second Generation

2. Julia Agrippina Minor of Rome, daughter of Germanicus Caesar of Rome and Vipsania Agrippina Major of Rome, married Tiberius Claudius Nero EMPEROR OF ROME.


Tiberius Claudius Nero EMPEROR OF ROME, son of Nero Claudius Germanicus Drusus (38-9) and Antonia Minor of Rome (36-37), was born in 0010 B.C. He died on [Julian] 13 October 0054. He and Julia Agrippina Minor of Rome had the following children:



Genvissa of Britain QUEEN OF BRITAIN ( - )




3. Caligula (Gaius) was the child of Germanicus Caesar of Rome and Vipsania Agrippina Major of Rome.

Third Generation

4. Genvissa of Britain QUEEN OF BRITAIN, daughter of Tiberius Claudius Nero EMPEROR OF ROME and Julia Agrippina Minor of Rome, married Gweirydd of Siluria KING OF BRITAIN.


This link has as the source for its claims the writings of Geoffrey of Monmouth. Earlier sources do not mention her.

The citing is as follows:

He (Claudius) therefore proposed peace to him (Arvirargus), promising to give him his own daughter, if only he would recognize that the kingdom of Britain was under the sway of Rome. His nobles persuaded Arvirargus to abandon his plans for battle and to accept the proposals of Claudius. Their argument was that it could be no disgrace for him to submit to the Romans, since they were the acknowledged overlords of the whole world. Arvirargus was swayed by these arguments and by others of a similar nature. He accepted their advice and submitted to Claudius. Claudius soon sent to Rome for his daughter. With the help of Arvirargus he subdued the Orkneys and the other islands in that neighbourhood.

At the end of that winter the messengers returned with Claudius' daughter and handed her over to her father. The girl's name was Genvissa (= Genuissa). Her beauty was such that everyone who saw her was filled with admiration. Once she had been united with him in lawful marriage, she inflamed the King with such burning passion that he preferred her company to anything else in the world. As a result of this Arvirargus made up his mind to give some special mark of distinction to the place where he had married her. He suggested to Claudius that the two of them should found there a city which should perpetuate in times to come the memory of so happy a marriage. Claudius agreed and ordered a town to be built which should be called Kaerglou or Gloucester. Down to our own day it retains its site on the bank of the Severn, between Wales and Loegria. Some, however, say that it took its name from Duke Gloius, whom Claudius fathered in that city and to whom he granted control of the duchy of the Welsh after Arvirargus.


Gweirydd of Siluria KING OF BRITAIN (also known as Arvigarus) was the son of Cymbeline KING OF THE CATUVELLAUNI ( - ). He and Genvissa of Britain QUEEN OF BRITAIN had the following children:



Marius of Siluria "Meurig" KING OF BRITAIN ( -c. 125). Marius was born. He died circa 0125.


5. Nero EMPEROR OF ROME was the son of Tiberius Claudius Nero EMPEROR OF ROME and Julia Agrippina Minor of Rome.