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Empress Valeria Messalina

Roman Empress Messalina

Each figure is individually painted by hand. Painting will vary from pictures shown here. These figures are not intended for children.

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Product Description

Valeria Messalina was the third wife of Emperor Claudius and was the most infamous woman of Roman history. Her abuses of power and debaucheries were so excessive and outrageous that it remains remarkable that Claudius remained unaware of her conduct as long as was the case. Claudius' chief of staff Narcissus was aware of Messalina's unsavory activities but like others around the emperor was afraid to speak out for fear of her reprisals.
Messalina exercised an unhealthy influence over Claudius and he mistakenly conferred upon her authority which she used to eliminate all who might disclose her licentious conduct. Her lovers ranged from gladiators, actors to wastrels. Anyone who turned down her advances or was in a position to disclose her improprieties were accused of treason against the emperor and executed.
Her passion for Gaius Silius, one of the handsomest men in Rome, proved her undoing. After forcing him to divorce his wife she lived openly with him. She decided to celebrate a bigamous marriage with Silius after which they planned to kill Claudius and seize the throne. When Narcissus became aware of this "wedding" and the attendant plans his opportunity had finally come to eliminate this dangerous woman. Claudius was informed of the entire plot. A Praetorian Guard tribune executed Messalina in the Gardens of Lucullus. Emperor Claudius ordered that all mention of her name in documents and monuments be obliterated.

Additional Information

Item Number 6298
Weight 0.3700
Inventory Type 54mm
Limited Edition No
Descriptor Cards 2011-00205

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