Gnaeus Julius Agricola (40-93 AD) is a man for our times. Facing the capriciousness of imperial power, he, a successful provincial Roman governor, chose to withdraw from public administration. Yet, by protecting his family, Agricola did not shirk politics. On the contrary, he retreated to the founding cell of any polity, the family, which buttresses and at the same time limits the state. By doing so, Agricola reached greatness despite living under bad emperors.