VALERIA MESSALINA

Statue of Valeria Messalina.
[1]Photo taken from the article https://espresso.repubblica.it/visioni/2016/04/29/news/la-macchina-del-fango-contro-messalina-1.263243

Valeria Messalina was born in 20 AD. C. She was the third wife of the Roman emperor Claudius and great-granddaughter of Augustus’ sister. Early sources claim that Messalina was allied with Claudius’ freed secretaries to dominate the emperor and satisfy his greed and lust.

In 42, Messalina allegedly had Claudius sentenced to death a senator, Appius Silanus. This increased tensions between the emperor and the Senate, and paved the way for a reign of terror in which many senators were executed after being denounced by Messalina. However, when she killed another free secretary of Claudius, Polybius, the other freedmen turned against her.

Finally, she died at the age of 28 at the hands of the general secretary, Narcisus, who leaves getting her killed after convincing Claudi that she and her lover, Cayo Silio, had gone through a public wedding ceremony and were conspiring to seize power.

ORIGIN OF THE LEGEND

How did the black legend about Cleopatra begin? Who were the contemporaries in charge of disseminating it? Why are they interested in sharing these reasonings?

donesilallegendanegra.cat/en/origin-of-the-legend/(s’obre en una pestanya nova)

THE LEGEND THROUGH THE CENTURIES

Who were in charge of continuing the transmission of the black legend? By what means did they do it? How successful has the legend been to the present day?