Marcus Valerius Messalla Corvinus was a politician, writer, orator, and patron of poets, active at the time of the late Republic and Augustan Principate. He was reputedly one of the most eloquent men of his day. Descended from an ancient patrician family which could boast many distinguished ancestors, he was thus destined for a prominent political career from the outset. His career was eventful, as it spanned a period of civil war and the creation of the Principate.

Political Career

Both the dates of Messalla’s birth and death have been disputed: most likely he was born in 64 BCE and died in either 8 or 13 CE. His father was M. Valerius Messalla Niger, the consul of 61 BCE, and his mother was Palla. Messalla is …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are not a subscriber, please click here to read about membership. All our articles have been written recently by experts in their field, more than 95% of them university professors.

Mitchell, Hannah. "Messalla Corvinus". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 January 2014
[, accessed 06 July 2015.]