Marcus Valerius Messala Barbatus

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Marcus Valerius Messala Barbatus (also found as Barbatus Messala in Suetonius)[1] was a politician at the beginning of the Roman Empire; he was notably consul in AD 20. He was also the father of empress Messalina, the wife of the Emperor Claudius.


Messala was consul for the year 20 with Marcus Aurelius Cotta Maximus Messalinus as his colleague.[2]


Messala was the son of Claudia Marcella Minor and Marcus Valerius Messalla Appianus.[3][4] Marcella was the daughter of Octavia the Younger, the sister of Augustus and great-niece of Julius Caesar. Through his mother Messala was related to the Julio-Claudian Dynasty. Messala also had a sister, Claudia Pulchra, who married Publius Quinctilius Varus.

Messala later married his cousin, Domitia Lepida the Younger, and together they became the parents of Valeria Messalina, wife of the Emperor Claudius.[5][1]


  1. ^ a b Suetonius, Claudius, xxvi. 2.
  2. ^ Fasti Arvales, fragments c & g; Fasti Ostienses, fragment Ce
  3. ^ Ronald Syme, Augustan Aristocracy (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1986), p.147.
  4. ^ Lightman, A to Z of Ancient Greek and Roman Women, p. 205
  5. ^ Prosopographia Imperii Romani V 141.


  • W. Eck, Prosopographia Imperii Romani, Pars VIII, Fasciculus 2, Berlin, 2015 (PIR² V 141)

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Political offices
Preceded by
Roman consul
with M. Aurelius Cotta Maximus Messalinus
Succeeded by