Messalina: Section 4


Latin

non solum rumor interea, sed undique nuntii ad Messalinam contendunt, qui Claudium omnia cognovisse et venire promptum ultioni adferrent. igitur Messalina Lucullianos in hortos, Silius dissimulando metui ad forum digrediuntur. illa tamen, quamquam res adversae consilium eximerent, ire obviam et aspici a marito statim constituit, quod saepe ei fuerat subsidium; misitque ut Britannicus et Octavia in complexum patris irent. atque interim, tribus omnino comitantibus – tam repens erat solitudo – postquam per urbem pedibus ivit, vehiculo, quo purgamenta hortorum eripiuntur, Ostiensem viam intrat. nullam misericordiam civibus commovit quia flagitiorum deformitas praevalebat. et iam erat in aspectu Claudii clamitabatque ut audiret Octaviae et Britannici matrem. Narcissus tamen obstrepuit, Silium et nuptias referens; simul codicillos libidinum indices tradidit, quibus visus Caesaris averteret. nec multo post urbem ingredienti offerebantur liberi, sed Narcissus amoveri eos iussit.

English

Meanwhile not only rumour, but messengers from all directions hurried to Messalina to report that Claudius had found out everything and was coming ready for revenge. Therefore they separated, Messalina to the Gardens of Lucullus, Silius, to disguise his fear, to the Forum. She, however, although the disaster prevented planning, immediately decided to go to meet and be seen by her husband – a ploy which had often been a life-saver for her – and she sent orders that Britannicus and Octavia should go to the embrace of their father. And meanwhile, with three companions in total – so sudden was her desertion – after she went through Rome on foot, in a cart in which garden-refuse is removed, she took the road to Ostia. She aroused no pity from the citizens, because the appalling nature of the scandals carried more weight. And now she was in Claudius’ sight and shouting repeatedly that he listen to the mother of Britannicus and Octavia. Narcissus, however, shouted her down, recalling Silius and their marriage. At the same time he handed over notebooks as proof of her debauchery, with which to distract the attention of Claudius. Not long afterwards his children were presented to him as he was entering Rome but Narcissus ordered them to be removed.

Commentary

Test

non solum rumor interea, sed undique nuntii ad Messalinam contendunt, qui Claudium omnia cognovisse et venire promptum ultioni adferrent. igitur Messalina Lucullianos in hortos, Silius dissimulando metui ad forum digrediuntur. illa tamen, quamquam res adversae consilium eximerent, ire obviam et aspici a marito statim constituit, quod saepe ei fuerat subsidium; misitque ut Britannicus et Octavia in complexum patris irent. atque interim, tribus omnino comitantibus – tam repens erat solitudo – postquam per urbem pedibus ivit, vehiculo, quo purgamenta hortorum eripiuntur, Ostiensem viam intrat. nullam misericordiam civibus commovit quia flagitiorum deformitas praevalebat. et iam erat in aspectu Claudii clamitabatque ut audiret Octaviae et Britannici matrem. Narcissus tamen obstrepuit, Silium et nuptias referens; simul codicillos libidinum indices tradidit, quibus visus Caesaris averteret. nec multo post urbem ingredienti offerebantur liberi, sed Narcissus amoveri eos iussit.