Monday, December 16, 2013

Valeria Messalina

The third wife of the Roman Emperor Claudius. Valeria was married to Claudius at the time of his nephew Caligula's assassination and her husband was installed as the successor to the throne. She was only sixteen when their union took place in 38 AD, and bore him two children.

Valeria found great freedom and power in her role as Rome's empress, but was not particularly fond of her aging husband. She began numerous affairs behind his back, and at one point is said to have dressed as a prostitute and challenged the leading woman in the trade to a contest to see who could service the most men.

In 48 AD she turned her attention to her favorite lover, a well-connected man named Caius Silius, and decided that she would much rather have him at her side than her unpopular and dull husband. The two soon began a plot to murder the Emperor. Valeria convinced Claudius that a fortune-teller had forseen that her husband would die, and proposed a plan that he "temporarily" divorce her so that she could take another husband who would surely be victim of the fate. Claudius agreed to this, and Valeria staged a grand public marriage ceremony to Silius.

Word of his wife's true intentions soon reached the ear of Claudius, and though heart-broken, he ordered the execution of both his wife and her lover. It is said that Valeria was given the opportunity to commit suicide, but lacked the courage to do so and was promptly beheaded.


Messalina is a vinyl doll approx. 10" tall. She wears a red chiffon gown with gold cord trimmings. A gold metal and faux ruby ornament is worn on her chest, and strands of faux pearls and gold beads encircle her wrists and ankles as well as a cord that hangs from her belt.

Her headdress is made with metallic gold netting and accented with a strand of faux pearls around her hair.

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