The Ancient Library

Scanned text contains errors.



Crassus [crassus, otacilius, No. 1], his col­league. But that his contemporaries ascribed to Messalja the principal merit of these events appears from his alone triumphing " De Paeneis et Rege Siculorum Hierone " (Fasti), as well as from the cognomen he obtained on relieving Messana from blockade, which, slightly changed in pronunciation (Messana — Messalla), remained in the Valerian family for nearly eight centuries. A house on the Palatine hill was a more tangible recompence of his services (Ascon. in Pisonian. p. 13, Orelli) ; and his triumph was distinguished by two remarkable monuments of his victory—by a pictorial represent­ation of a battle with the Sicilian and Punic armies, which he placed in the pronaos of the Curia Hos-tilia (Plin. H. N. xxxv. 4. § 7 ; Schol. Bob, in Vatinian. p. 318, Orelli; comp. Liv. xli. 28), and which Pliny regards as one of the earliest encou­ragements to art at Rome—and by a sun-dial, Horologium, from the booty of Catana, which was set up on a column behind the rostra, in the forum. (Varro, ap. Plin. H. N". vii. 60 ; Diet, of Antiq. s. v. Horologium.) Messalla was censor in b. c. 252, when he degraded 400 equites to aera-rians for neglect of duty in Sicily. (Polyb. i. 16, 17 ; Diod. Eclog. xxiii. 5; Zonar. viii. 9 ; Liv. xvi. EpiL; Eutrop. ii. 19 ; Oros. iv. 7 ; Sen. Brev. Vii. 13 ; Macrob. Sat. i. 6 ; Val. Vax, ii, 9.


2. M. valerius M'. f. M. n. messalla, son

probably of the preceding, was consul in b. c. 226. His year of office was employed in organising a general levy of the Italian nations against an ex­pected invasion of the Gauls from both sides of the Alps. (Zonar, viii. 19 ; Oros. iv. 13; Fasti; comp. Polyb. ii. 23.)

3. M. valerius M. p. M\ n. messalla, son -of the preceding, was prefect of the fleet in Sicily in b. c. 210, the ninth year of the second Punic war. He was ordered by M. Valerius Laevinus [laevinus, No. 2], the consul of that year, to effect a landing in Africa. Mesaalla ravaged the neighbourhood of Utica, and returned with his booty and captives to Lilybaeum fourteen days after his departure from Sicily. Laevinus being .directed by the senate to nominate a dictator, named his lieutenant Messalla, but both the senate and people cancelled the appointment. (Liv. xxvii. 5.) He. is probably the same Messalla who was praetor peregrinus in b. c. 194, and consul in 188, In the latter year the province of Liguria and a consular army were assigned him, but he performed nothing memorable, and gave some offence by returning late in the year to hold the next co-mi tia. In B. c. 174 Messalla was legatus in Mace­donia, and in 172 was appointed decemvir sacro-rum, in the room of M. Aemilius Papus, deceased. (Liv. xxxiv. 54, 55, xxxviii. 35, 42, xli. 22, xlii. 28.)

4. M. valerius M. p. M. n. messalla, son of the preceding, was consul in b. c. 161. His consulate was remarkable chiefly for a decree of the senate prohibiting the residence of Greek rhetori­cians at Rome. (Gell. ii. 24, xv. 11; Suet. Clar. Rhet. i.) The " Phormion " and " Eunuch " of Te­rence were first acted in this year. (Titul. PJiorm. et Eunuch. Terentii.) Messalla, having been once degraded by the censors, became himself censor in b. c. 154. (Val. Max. ii..9. § 9.)

5. —'• valerius messalla was a legatus of the. consul P. Rutilius Lupus at the breaking out


of the Marsic or Social War, b. c. 90. (Appiart. B. <7. i. 40.)

6. M. valerius M. p. M. n. messalla, with the agnomen niger, was praetor in the year of Cicero's consulship, b, c. 63, and consul in 61, the year in which Clodius profaned the mysteries of the Bona Dea, and Cn. Pompey triumphed for his several victories over the Cilician pirates, Tigranes and Mithridates. Messalla, as consul, took an active part in the prosecution of Clodius, and tried to elicit from Pompey a public avowal of his opinion and intentions. Cicero's character of Mes­salla (ad Att. i. 14. § 6) must be regarded as a mere party-sketch, heightened by the feelings and circumstances of -the time at which it was drawn. Messalla was censor in b. c. 55, a member of the college of pontifices (pseudo-Cic. Harusp. Resp. 6), and a respectable orator. (Cic. Brut. 70.) In B. c. 80 he was engaged in collecting evidence for the defence in the cause of Sextus Roscius of Ameria (id. pro Sext. Rose. 51) ; in 62 he solicited Cicero to undertake the defence of his kinsman, P. Sulla (id. pro Sutt. 6) ; and in 54 he was one of the six orators whom M. Aemilius Scaurus re­tained on his trial. (Ascon. in Scaurian. p. 20, Orelli), Messalla married a sister of the orator Q. Hortensius (Cic. ad Fam. viii. 2, 4), by whom he had at least one son, No. 7. (Dion Cass, xxxvii. 46 ; Caes. B. G. i. 2 ; Plin. H. N. vii. 26, viii. 36, xxxviii. 2 ; Cic. ad Att. i. 12, 13*

7. M. valerius messalla, son of the pre­ceding, was a successful candidate for the consulship in b.c. 53; but, owing to the disturbances at Rome, and the repeated appointment of interreges, he could not enter upon its functions until half of his official year had expired. (Dion Cass. xl, 17, 45 ; Appian, B. C. ii. 19 ; Plut. Pomp. 54 ; Ascon. ad Milonian. p. 48, Orelli.) Messalla paid high for his election (Cic. ad Att. iv. 16. § 6); his success was anxiously desired by Cicero, who at that time was in daily dread of Clodius (id. ad Quint. Fratr. iii. 1, 2, 5., 8, 9, 16) ; but he was secretly opposed by Cn. Pompey, who disliked Messalla, and wanted to be named dictator himself. (Id, ad Att. iv. 9, 15.) Messalla was prosecuted for bribery at the comitia by Q. Pompeius Rufus, a grandson of Sulla's. Cicero admitted Messalla's guilt, but, in common with the bulk of the sena-torian party, gave him his political support. (Ad Att. iv. 16, ad Quint. Fratr. iii. 2.) He was de­fended by his uncle, Q. Hortensius (Cic. Brut. 96) ; acquitted of direct bribery, but found guilty of transgressing the Lex Licinia de Sodalitiis, that is, of causing and countenancing assemblies or clubs for controlling the elections. (Diet, of Antiq. s. v. Ambitus; Cic. ad Fam. viii. 2,4.) Messalla was stoned by the Clodian mob during his consulate. (Schol. Bob. in Or. de aere aL Milon. p. 343, Orelli.) In B. c. 47 Messalla was with Caesar in the East, and was probably the legatus of that name whom in the African war in the following year a mutinous centurion and his company besieged in Messana. (Auct. B. Afr. 28.) After the battle of Thapsus Messalla was sent to Utica. (Id. 86.) Messalla was in high repute for his skill in augury, on which science he wrote ; and scanty fragments from his treatise are preserved by Gellius (N. A. xiii. 14, 15) and Festus (w. "serpula serpserit" and " vernisera "). Cicero (ad Fam. vi. 18) men* tions letters of Messalia written during the

About | First



page #  
Search this site
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of