Even the aristocrats of ancient Rome, mired in idle and dissolute life, were shocked by her behavior! She became known as the most depraved and dissolute, sensual and insatiable woman in world history – Messalina.
Thanks to ancient historians, the name Messalina has become an epithet for describing depraved and sexually obsessed women. Her behavior is mostly characterized as offensive and shameful, and she is described as a cruel, greedy, and foolish nymphomaniac. Tacitus and Suetonius most frequently mention her in their works. They both write that under the fictitious name Lycisca, Messalina either owned one of the Roman brothels or came there as a prostitute to satisfy her lust.
They also describe how Messalina arranged a competition with the famous Roman prostitute Scylla: who could serve more men. Starting in the evening, Scylla stopped in the morning, having taken 25 men for the night. Messalina continued on until she had serviced 50 clients.
History knew many depraved women, and no one was surprised by dissolute behavior in Rome at that time, but Messalina’s insatiable sexual appetite even shocked the jaded Roman society. The townspeople were most outraged that Messalina, who had lost her virginity at the age of thirteen, flaunted her debauchery, immensely proud of it.
All of the above not only happened during the time of Caligula, but also later, when Claudius became emperor. For about 40 years, Messalina bore him a daughter, Claudia Octavia, and in 41 AD, a son and heir, to whom Claudius gave the cognomen Britannicus in honor of his planned campaign in Britain.
Historians in the biographies of Messalina showed remarkable unanimity: in their opinion, Messalina did not miss a single handsome man. And for a long time, she got away with everything wonderfully.
Claudius passionately condemned and exposed the debauchery of the court nobility, but did not know what was happening in his own home. His close associates did not dare to open his eyes, fearing the wrath of the cunning woman. After all, although Claudius ruled the Roman Empire, Messalina ruled the emperor himself with undisputed power. Once, for example, the beauty fell in love with the first among the Roman actors Menester. The handsome man tried to avoid the honor of being the emperor’s wife’s lover. Then Messalina complained to Claudius that some actress dared not obey her will, without specifying the details.