Brill’s New Pauly Supplements II - Volume 7 : Figures of Antiquity and their Reception in Art, Literature and Music

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Messalina
(2,124 words)

(Valeria Messalina)

A. Historical dimension

M. (c. AD 20–48) was the third wife of the Roman emperor Claudius, who became famous, or notorious for her debauched lifestyle and for fomenting intrigues at court. A granddaughter of Augustus' sister Octavia, she was married to Claudius, some 30 years her senior, before he acceded to the throne (AD 39/40). The marriage produced a daughter, Octavia (later the wife of Nero) and a son, Britannicus.

M. was said to have used freedmen and secretaries as accomplices to manipulate the emperor and satisfy her desires. She incit…

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Simonis, Annette, “Messalina”, in: Brill’s New Pauly Supplements II - Volume 7 : Figures of Antiquity and their Reception in Art, Literature and Music, English edition by Chad M. Schroeder (2016). Original German-language edition: Historische Gestalten der Antike: Rezeption in Literatur, Kunst und Musik. Herausgegeben von Peter von Möllendorf, Annette Simonis und Linda Simonis. Serie: Der Neue Pauly Supplemente 2. Staffel, herausgegeben von Manfred Landfester und Helmuth Schneider, vol. 7. Stuttgart, Germany. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH (2013). Consulted online on 22 May 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2468-3418_bnps7_SIM_004679>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160217



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