Marcus Valerius Messalla Niger

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Marcus Valerius Messalla Niger was a senator of the Roman Republic.


He was praetor in the year of Cicero's consulship, 63 BC, and consul in 61 BC,[1] the year in which Publius Clodius profaned the mysteries of the Bona Dea, and Gnaeus Pompeius triumphed for his several victories over the Cilician pirates, Tigranes the Great and Mithridates VI of Pontus. Messalla, as consul, took an active part in the prosecution of Clodius. Messalla was censor in 55 BC.

As an orator, Messalla was thought to be respectable. In 80 BC he was engaged in collecting evidence for the defence in the cause of Sextus Roscius of Ameria. In 62 BC he solicited Cicero to undertake the defence of his kinsman, Publius Cornelius Sulla. In 54 BC he was one of the six orators whom Marcus Aemilius Scaurus retained on his trial.[2]

Marriage and children

Messalla married a woman named Polla, by whom he had a son, Marcus Valerius Messalla Corvinus and two daughters, both named Valeria, who married Quintus Pedius and Servius Sulpicius Rufus, the son of the consul of 51 BC (also named Servius Sulpicius Rufus), respectively.[3]


  1. ^ Julius Caesar (4 April 1996). The Gallic War: Seven Commentaries on The Gallic War with an Eighth Commentary by Aulus Hirtius. Oxford University Press. pp. 531–. ISBN 978-0-19-160566-6.
  2. ^ Cicero, (23 February 2006). On Government. Penguin Books Limited. pp. 379–. ISBN 978-0-14-191253-0.
  3. ^ Syme, R., Augustan Aristocracy, pages 20 and 206.


 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainSmith, William, ed. (1870). "Messalla (6)". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. 2. p. 1050.

Political offices
Preceded by
Decimus Junius Silanus and Lucius Licinius Murena
Consul of the Roman Republic
with Marcus Pupius Piso Frugi Calpurnianus
61 BC
Succeeded by
Lucius Afranius and Quintus Caecilius Metellus Celer
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