Messalina, Or Messallina, the name of two Roman empresses, who lived in the 1st century of the Christian era.
Valeria, daughter of M. Valerius Messala Barbaras, and third wife of Claudius, to whom she was married before his accession to the empire. She was equally profligate and cruel. Many members of the most illustrious families of Rome were sacrificed to her fears, her jealousy, or her hatred. Among her noblest victims were the two Julias, one the daughter of Germanicus, the other of Drusus, son of Tiberius, who had excited her jealousy or envy; C. Appius Silanus, who had wounded her vanity by rejecting her advances; and Justus Catonius, whose offence was privity to her guilt. For a long time Claudius was blind to her infidelity; but when, during his absence at Ostia, she contracted a public marriage with Caius Silius, a handsome youth for whom she had conceived a violent passion, he caused her to be put to death. The sentence was executed in A. D. 48, by a praetorian tribune, in the gardens of Lucullus. By Claudius she was the mother of two children, Britan-nicus and Octavia.
Statilia, the third wife of the emperor Nero, whom she survived, and the granddaughter of T. Statilius Taurus, who had been consul in A. D. 11. She was first married to Atticus Vestinus, but the tyrant caused her husband to be put to death, and espoused her in 66.