Home Introduction Persons Geogr. Sources Events Mijn blog(Nederlands)
Religion Subjects Images Queries Links Contact Do not fly Iberia
This is a non-commercial site. Any revenues from Google ads are used to improve the site.

Custom Search
Quote of the day: My natural love of my children and that
Do not display Latin text
Annals by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book XI Chapter 26: Fall of Messalina. Marriage with Silius[AD 48]
Next chapter
Return to index
Previous chapter
Messalina, now grown weary of the very facility of her adulteries, was rushing into strange excesses, when even Silius, either through some fatal infatuation or because he imagined that, amid the dangers which hung over him, danger itself was the best safety, urged the breaking off of all concealment. They were not, he said, in such an extremity as to have to wait for the emperor's old age. Harmless measures were for the innocent. Crime once exposed had no refuge but in audacity. They had accomplices in all who feared the same fate. For himself, as he had neither wife nor child, he was ready to marry and to adopt Britannicus. Messalina would have the same power as before, with the additional advantage of a quiet mind, if only they took Claudius by surprise, who, though unsuspicious of treachery, was hasty in his wrath. The suggestion was coldly received, not because the lady loved her husband, but from a fear that Silius, after attaining his highest hopes, would spurn an adulteress, and soon estimate at its true value the crime which in the midst of peril he had approved. But she craved the name of wife, for the sake of the monstrous infamy, that last source of delight to the reckless. She waited only till Claudius set out for Ostia to perform a sacrifice, and then celebrated all the solemnities of marriage.

Event: Fall of Messalina

Iam Messalina facilitate adulteriorum in fastidium versa ad incognitas libidines profluebat, cum abrumpi dissimulationem etiam Silius, sive fatali vaecordia an imminentium periculorum remedium ipsa pericula ratus, urgebat: quippe non eo ventum ut senectam principis opperirentur. insontibus innoxia consilia, flagitiis manifestis subsidium ab audacia petendum. adesse conscios paria metuentis. se caelibem, orbum, nuptiis et adoptando Britannico paratum. mansuram eandem Messalinae potentiam, addita securitate, si praevenirent Claudium, ut insidiis incautum, ita irae properum. segniter eae voces acceptae, non amore in maritum, sed ne Silius summa adeptus sperneret adulteram scelusque inter ancipitia probatum veris mox pretiis aestimaret. nomen tamen matrimonii concupivit ob magnitudinem infamiae cuius apud prodigos novissima voluptas est. nec ultra expectato quam dum sacrificii gratia Claudius