Loquis: Messalina, the Empress of Suburra

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Messalina, the Empress of Suburra


Published on:  2019-07-01 09:36:00

  Famous people of Rome

Daughter of Domizia Lèpida and Marco Valerio Messalla Barbato, was born into a patrician family, related to the Julio-Claudian dinasty. When Caligula ascended the throne, she was already one of the most desired women in Rome for her beauty. To marry Claudius, a man older than she was thirty, stammering, lame and at his third marriage, he had two sons: after January 24 in 1941, the Praetorians killed Calìgola, she and her husband Claudius were elected emperors of Rome: Young and restless, Messalina did not much like court life, but instead led a transgressive and unruly existence in the brothels of Suburra, under the false name of Licisca. According to the story of Pliny the Elder once challenged in the race the most famous prostitute of the time and won it Messalina fell in love with Gaius Silio, and while the emperor Claudius was in Ostia, during a Dionysiac palace party the two lovers mimicked their marriage. Narcissus, Claudius (perhaps fearful that his rival wanted to succeed him on the throne) decreed their death.

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