Marcus Valerius Messalla Messallinus

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Marcus Valerius Messalla Messallinus[1][2] (c.36 BC–after 21) was a Roman Senator who had a distinguished career.[3]

Family Background & Early Life[edit]

Messallinus was born and raised in Rome. He was oldest son[4] of the famous Roman Senator, orator and literacy patron Marcus Valerius Messalla Corvinus[5][6][7] whom he resembled in character, from wife Calpurnia. Messallinus had two sisters Valeria Messalina who married the Roman Senator Titus Statilius Taurus III, another sister called Valeria who married the Roman consul Marcus Lollius.[8] From his father’s second marriage,[9] his younger paternal half-brother was the Roman Senator Marcus Aurelius Cotta Maximus Messalinus.[10] Messallinus was the great-uncle of Roman empress Lollia Paulina who was the third wife of Roman emperor Caligula and a relation to Roman empress Statilia Messalina, the third wife of Roman emperor Nero.

Career[edit]

In 21 BC,[11] Messallinus was chosen as one of the Priests in charge of the Sibylline Books.[12] He served as a consul in 3 BC.[13]

In 6, Messallinus served as a Governor in Illyricum.[14] During his time in Illyricum, he served with Tiberius with distinction in a campaign against the Pannonians and Dalmatians[15] in the uprising of the Great Illyrian Revolt with the Legio XX Valeria Victrix. Messallinus with the half-filled Legio XX Valeria Victrix, defeated the Pannonii led by Bato the Daesitiate and prevented spread of the uprising. For his defeat over Bato, Messallinus was rewarded with a triumphal decoration (ornamenta triumphalia) and a place in the procession during Tiberius’ Pannonian triumph in 12, four years after the death of his father.[16]

Messallinus suggested to Roman emperor Tiberius an oath of allegiance should be sworn to him yearly. He also suggested two golden statues be placed in two temples, in celebration of Rome's foreign victories and in memory of Germanicus, which Tiberius rejected.

Literature[edit]

The Latin Poem Tibullus in his Elegy 2.5, celebrates the induction of Messallinus in the priestly college in charge of the Sibylline Books in 21 BC and also predicts a future triumph for the then young Messallinus as he imagines his father proudly witnessing the event (Elegy 2.5.119-20):

Then let my Messalla sponsor entertainment for the crowd.
And, as father, applaud when the chariot passes by.

In 13 BC, the Latin Poem Ovid published a three-book collection titled Epistulae ex Ponto (Letters from the Black Sea) also in elegiacs but addressed to named individuals, among them is Messallinus (1.7, 2.2). He is also addressed in Ovid’s Tristia (4.4).[17]

Family & Issue[edit]

According to the French Historian Christian Settipani, Messallinus married the Claudia Marcella Minor, one of the nieces of the Roman emperor Augustus.[18] Marcella bore Messallinus a daughter called Valeria Messalla born ca. 10 BC, who later married the praetor of 17, Lucius Vipstanus Gallus.[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ whose name is also spelt as Messalinus
  2. ^ Gagarin, The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome: Academy Bible, p.131
  3. ^ Juster, Elgies: With parallel Latin text, p.119
  4. ^ Juster, Elgies: With parallel Latin text, p.119
  5. ^ Juster, Elgies: With parallel Latin text, p.119
  6. ^ Paterculus, Paterculus: The Tiberian Narrative, p.66
  7. ^ Gagarin, The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome: Academy Bible, p.131
  8. ^ Genealogy of M. Lollius by D.C. O’Driscoll
  9. ^ Syme, Augustan Aristocracy, p. 230
  10. ^ Paterculus, The Roman History, p.127
  11. ^ Tibullus, The Complete Poems of Tibullus: An En Face Bilingual Edition, p.16
  12. ^ Tibullus, The Complete Poems of Tibullus: An En Face Bilingual Edition, p.22
  13. ^ Juster, Elgies: With parallel Latin text, p.119
  14. ^ Juster, Elgies: With parallel Latin text, p.119
  15. ^ Juster, Elgies: With parallel Latin text, p.119
  16. ^ Juster, Elgies: With parallel Latin text, p.p.119-120
  17. ^ Gagarin, The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome: Academy Bible, p.131
  18. ^ Settipani, Continuité gentilice et continuité sénatoriale dans les familles sénatoriales romaines à l'époque impériale
  19. ^ Settipani, Continuité gentilice et continuité sénatoriale dans les familles sénatoriales romaines à l'époque impériale

Sources[edit]

  • Marcus Velleius Paterculus - 2.112.1-2
  • Tacitus - The Annals of Imperial Rome
  • Suetonius - The Lives of the Twelve Caesars
  • Cassius Dio, 55.30.1-5.
  • A. Tibullus, The Complete Poems of Tibullus: An En Face Bilingual Edition, University of California Press, 2012
  • A. M. Juster, Elegies: With parallel Latin text (Google eBook), Oxford University Press, 2012
  • Velleius Paterculus – Translated with Introduction and Notes by J.C. Yardley & A.A. Barrett, The Roman History, Hackett Publishing, 2011
  • M. Gagarin & E. Fantham, The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome: Academy Bible, Oxford University Press, 2009
  • V. Paterculus, Paterculus: The Tiberian Narrative, Cambridge University Press, 2004
  • C. Settipani, Continuité gentilice et continuité sénatoriale dans les familles sénatoriales romaines à l'époque imperiale, 2000
  • R. Syme, The Augustan Aristocracy, Oxford University Press, 1989
  • Genealogy of M. Lollius by D.C. O’Driscoll
Preceded by
Gaius Calvisius Sabinus and Lucius Passienus Rufus
Consul of the Roman Empire with Lucius Cornelius Lentulus
3 BC
Succeeded by
Augustus and Marcus Plautius Silvanus