Statilia Messalina, third wife of Nero
|Empress consort of the Roman Empire|
|Tenure||AD 66 – 9 June AD 68|
|Born||c. AD 35|
|Died||after AD 68 (age c. 33 or older)|
|Spouse||Marcus Julius Vestinus Atticus
|House||Julio-Claudian Dynasty (by marriage)|
|Father||Titus Statilius Taurus|
|Roman imperial dynasties|
|Augustus||27 BC – 14 AD|
Julio-Claudian family tree
Year of the Four Emperors
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.
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.
- Lightman, Marjorie and Benjamin A to Z of Ancient Greek and Roman Women Facts on File, Inc. (2008) pg 303 Google Books
- Syme, R., Augustan Aristocracy, p. 377
- Syme, R., Augustan Aristocracy
- Griffin, Miriam, Nero. The End of a Dynasty. Batsford, London, 1984
- Raepsaet-Charlier M.-Th., Prosopographie des femmes de l'ordre sénatorial (Ier-IIe siècles), 2 vol., Louvain, 1987, 360 ff.
- Zanker, P, Fittschen, K., Katalog der römischen Porträts in den Capitolinischen Museen und den anderen kommunalen Sammlungen der Stadt Rom, Mainz am Rhein, 1983, 75, Taf.93.94.
|Empress of Rome