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Statilia Messalina

Roman empress
The basics
About
Date of birth
Date of death Rome, Province of Rome, Lazio, Italy
Family
Spouse: Marcus Iulius Vestinus Atticus Nero
Father: Titus Statilius Taurus
The details
Biography

Statilia Messalina (c. AD 35 – after AD 68) was a Roman patrician woman, a Roman Empress and third wife to Roman Emperor Nero.

Family Background

The ancient sources say little of her family; however, Suetonius states that she was a great-great-granddaughter of Titus Statilius Taurus, a Roman General who won a triumph and was twice consul. She was the daughter of Titus Statilius Taurus Corvinus who was consul in 45 AD and who was involved in a plot against the Emperor Claudius in 46 AD or a daughter of the sister of Corvinus, Statilia Messallina. Her family is related to Valeria Messalina, one of the daughters of Roman Senator, Marcus Valerius Messalla Corvinus who served as consul in 31 BC.

Life

Her first husband was the consul Marcus Julius Vestinus Atticus to whom she may have borne a son (who died in 88). Around 65, she became Nero's mistress. After the death of the emperor's second wife Poppaea Sabina, Vestinus was forced to commit suicide in 66, so Nero could marry Statilia.

Although witty and scheming, she was far less flamboyant than her predecessor and kept a rather low profile in the public eye. She was one of the few of Nero's courtiers who survived the fall of his reign. After Nero's death, Otho promised that he would marry her, before his suicide in 69.

Ancient

  • Tacitus
  • Suetonius
  • Juvenal
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