Messalina: Section 1 translation


Messalina burned with new and almost mad love. For she had been so inflamed with love for Gaius Silius, the most handsome of Roman youth, that she drove Junia Silana, a noble woman, out of marriage with him and had an adulterer who was unencumbered. Nor was Silius unaware of the scandal or danger: but he understood that, if he refused, death would be certain and, if he agreed, there was some hope of hiding the crime; and at the same time he would receive great rewards. Therefore he decided to ignore the future and enjoy the present. She comes repeatedly to his house, not secretly but with many companions, she is always with him when he goes out, she gives him money and honours; finally the slaves, freedmen, belongings of the emperor were often seen at the house of her lover. But Claudius was unaware of the state of his marriage.