Appius Junius Silanus

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Appius Junius Silanus (died AD 43), whom Cassius Dio calls Gaius Appius Silanus, was consul in AD 28, with Publius Silius Nerva as his colleague.[1] He was accused of majestas in AD 32, but was saved by Celsus, one of the informers.[2]

Shortly after the accession of Claudius, in AD 41, when Silanus was governor of Hispania Tarraconensis, he was recalled to Rome and married to Domitia Lepida, mother of the empress Messalina. He was treated with the greatest of distinction, but having refused the advances of Messalina herself, he was soon put to death by the emperor. Messalina and Tiberius Claudius Narcissus accused him of plotting to assassinate Claudius, and claimed that they had seen Silanus attempting to murder the emperor in their dreams.[3][4][5]

Silanus' relationship to the other Junii Silani is uncertain. According to Ronald Syme, he and the Decimus Junius Silanus who had an affair with Julia the Younger, Marcus Junius Silanus, who was consul in AD 15, were the sons of Gaius Junius Silanus, the consul in AD 10. He is sometimes confused with Marcus Junius Silanus Torquatus, consul in AD 19. His marriage to Domitia was childless.[6]

In television

The 1976 television version of I, Claudius shows him carrying out an actual assassination attempt on Claudius with a dagger, and coming close to succeeding. He was played by Lyndon Brook.

See also


  1. ^ Cooley, Cambridge Manual of Latin Epigraphy, p. 459.
  2. ^ Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, vol. III, p. 821 ("Appius Junius Silanus").
  3. ^ Tacitus, Annales, iv. 68, vi. 9, xi. 29.
  4. ^ Suetonius, "The Life of Claudius", 29, 37.
  5. ^ Cassius Dio, ix. 14.
  6. ^ Syme, The Augustan Aristocracy, pp. 194 ff.


Political offices
Preceded by
Publius Cornelius Lentulus
and Gaius Sallustius Crispus Passienus

as Suffect consuls
Consul of the Roman Empire
with Publius Silius Nerva
Succeeded by
Lucius Junius Silanus
and Gaius Vellaeus Tutor

as Suffect consuls
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