Agrippina the Younger was the great-granddaughter of Augustus, the first Roman Emperor. Her parents were general, Germanicus, and Agrippina the Elder. Her brother was Emperor Caligula, and her sisters were Drusilla and Livilla. She was born at Ara Ubiorum (modern-day Cologne) on 6 November 15 C.E. In 28. A.D. at the age of 13, she was married to Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus, who was around 30. Domitius was a nobleman and a very wealthy one.
In 37, A.D. Tiberius died, and Caligula ascended the throne. Agrippina gave birth to Nero within the same year. As emperor, Caligula gave Agrippina the Younger and her sisters the honor of Vestal Virgins. After Caligula accused her and her sister for plotting to kill him they were banished to the island of Ponti.
After Caligula was assassinated in 41 A.D., Agrippina the Younger and Livilla’s exile ended. When her husband died, Agrippina married Gaius Sallustius Passienus Crispus. He was a very wealthy man but the marriage was short-lived. The ancient sources claim that Agrippina poisoned him, but there is no evidence for this.
After Passenius’s death, Agrippina the Younger set her sights on a much more glamourous prize. She wanted to be married to the Emperor of Rome. However, there was an obstacle in her way–Messalina. Messalina was the third wife of Emperor Claudius. When Messalina realized Agrippina’s ambitions, she became very jealous. Nevertheless, after a while, Messalina got out of the way, because she had plotted to kill her husband to put her lover on the throne.
Because of Agrippina’s imperial lineage, she made a great candidate for the throne. The only setback was that Agrippina was Claudius’s niece. This was considered incestuous in the Roman law. Claudius asked the Senate to change the law so that he could marry her, which they agreed to because of Agrippina’s imperial bloodline. In 49. A.D. Agrippina the Younger and Claudius were married. As his wife, she became Claudius’s political partner. They both had common interests. She influenced Claudius to adopt Nero and choose him over his own son, Britannicus, as his successor. She made Seneca, who was also her lover, a tutor to Nero because they had the same ideals. She persuaded Nero to marry Claudius’s daughter, Octavia to make Nero’s status as heir secure. The only obstacle in her way for Nero to become Emperor was Claudius himself. In 54 A.D., Claudius died at the age of 64. It was said that Agrippina may have poisoned Claudius with a deadly mushroom, but this is not proven. He may have died of natural causes.
Agrippina was shrewd in finances and had an effective administration during Caligula’s and Claudius’ reign. Agrippina was also a Jewish sympathizer and was interested in Jewish affairs. Her greatest accomplishment was recalling Seneca from exile. She helped him financially and encouraged him to complete his many works on philosophy. She was a brilliant political partner to Claudius and tried to make sure that Nero would govern his empire well. Sadly, Nero did not realize his mother’s good intentions until after he killed her.
I love mushrooms and I always try to sneak them into food. Especially wild ones that have a distinctive taste and aroma. I made this chicken dish couple weekends ago and it was perfect, comfort family meal. Plus, the fact that you only need one pan for everything!
- 3 chicken breasts, skinless, boneless, cut as butterfly
- 1 tomato, cut in cubes
- 1 yellow and 1 orange bell pepper, sliced
- 1 onion, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 40 gr. dried wild mushrooms, soaked in hot water
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 4 basil leaves, chopped
- A small bunch of parsley, chopped
- ¼ cup light cream
- ½ cup white wine
- ⅔ cup chicken broth
- 50 gr. cream cheese
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup grated cheese, use whatever you have handy as long as it melts easily
- Olive oil for sautéing
- In an oven pour couple of tbsp of olive oil and sauté the chicken breasts in medium high heat.
- Sauté two minutes per side and then remove and set aside.
- In the same skillet add couple of tbsp of olive oil and sauté the onions and the peppers until they start to soften.
- Add the mushrooms after draining them and continue to sauté for a minute.
- Pour the wine and let boil until it is almost evaporated.
- Pour the broth and return the breasts to the skillet.
- Salt and pepper and add the tomato cubes.
- Lower heat to medium and let boil for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Whisk the cream with the cream cheese and pour it on top.
- Add the basil leaves, dried basil and the parsley and spread the cup of cheese.
- Let boil for 5 minutes and then turn on the broiler.
- Broil for about 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted completely and taken a nice golden color.
- Remove let rest for 5 minutes and serve.
- 3 στήθη κοτόπουλου, χωρίς δέρμα, χωρίς κόκαλα, κομμένα πεταλούδα
- 1 ντομάτα κομμένη σε κύβους
- 1 κίτρινη και 1 πορτοκαλί πιπεριά, κομμένες σε φέτες
- 1 κρεμμύδι, κομμένο σε φέτες
- 2 σκελίδες σκόρδο ψιλοκομμένες
- 40 γρ. αποξηραμένα άγρια μανιτάρια, σε ζεστό νερό
- 1 κ.γ. ξερό βασιλικό
- 4 φύλλα βασιλικού, ψιλοκομμένα
- Ένα μικρό ματσάκι μαϊντανό, ψιλοκομμένο
- ¼ φλ. κρέμα γάλακτος light
- ½ φλ. λευκό κρασί
- ⅔ φλ. ζωμό κοτόπουλου
- Αλάτι και πιπέρι
- 50 γρ. Τυρί κρέμα
- 1 φλ. τριμμένο τυρί, χρησιμοποιήστε ό, τι έχετε στο ψυγείο αρκεί να λιώνει εύκολα
- Ελαιόλαδο για το σοτάρισμα
- Σε ένα φούρνο ρίξτε δύο κουταλιές της σούπας ελαιόλαδο και σοτάρετε τα στήθη κοτόπουλου σε μέτρια υψηλή θερμοκρασία.
- Σοτάρετε δύο λεπτά ανά πλευρά και στη συνέχεια βγάλτε τα και βάλτε τα στην άκρη.
- Στο ίδιο τηγάνι προσθέστε δύο κουταλιές της σούπας ελαιόλαδο και σοτάρετε τα κρεμμύδια και τις πιπεριές μέχρι να αρχίσουν να μαλακώνουν.
- Προσθέστε τα μανιτάρια αφού τα σταργγίσετε και συνεχίστε να σοτάρετε για ένα λεπτό.
- Ρίξτε το κρασί και αφήστε να βράσει μέχρι να εξατμιστεί σχεδόν όλο.
- Ρίξτε το ζωμό και επιστρέψτε τα στήθη στο τηγάνι.
- Αλατοπιπερώστε και προσθέστε τους κύβους ντομάτας.
- Χαμηλώστε τη φωτιά σε μέτρια και αφήστε να βράσει για 10 έως 15 λεπτά.
- Χτυπήστε την κρέμα με το τυρί κρέμα και ρίξτε τα από πάνω.
- Προσθέστε τα φύλλα βασιλικού και το μαϊντανό και απλώστε το τυρί.
- Αφήστε να βράσει για 5 λεπτά και στη συνέχεια ανάψτε το γκριλ.
- Ψήστε για περίπου 5 λεπτά ή μέχρι το τυρί έχει λιώσει εντελώς και να πάρει ένα ωραίο χρυσό χρώμα.
- Αφαιρέστε αφήστε το να ξεκουραστεί για 5 λεπτά και σερβίρετε.