'Death of Messalina' Oil on canvas, c. 1704 by Francesco Solimena
Messalina enters history with a reputation as a ruthless, predatory and sexually insatiable Roman Empress. When the Emperor Claudius was informed that she had gone so far as to marry her latest lover, the Senator Gaius Silius, he ordered her death. Messalina was offered the choice of suicide, but too frightened to stab herself she was killed by the arresting officer.
"In his fifty-six years he was at times many things, including a fugitive, prisoner, rising politician, army leader, legal advocate, rebel, dictator – perhaps even a god – as well as a husband, father, lover and adulterer. Few fictional heroes have ever done as much as Caius Julius Caesar." - Adrian Goldsworthy