Messalina: The Life and Times of Rome’s Most Scandalous Empress by Honor Cargill-Martin


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ISBN: 9781801102605 Category: Tags: , ,


This is the story of Messalina – third wife of Emperor Claudius and one of the most notorious women to have inhabited the Roman world. The image of the Empress Messalina as a sexually insatiable schemer, derived from the work of Roman historians such as Tacitus and Suetonius, has taken deep root in the Western imagination. The stories they told about her – of nightly visits to a brothel and a twenty-four-hour sex competition with a prostitute – have defined the empress’s legacy, but her real story is much more complex. In this book, Honor Cargill-Martin reappraises one of the most slandered female figures of ancient history, and finds a woman who succeeded in asserting herself in the overwhelmingly male world of imperial Roman politics.

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