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Narcissus


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Freedman secretary for correspondence to Claudius, acquiring 400 million sesterces and great political influence. He went to Gaul in ad 43 to embark the invasion force for Britain and received quaestoria ornamenta in 48 for exposing Valeria Messallina, with whom he had collaborated in removing threats to Claudius. The limits of his power appeared when he was given command of the praetorians for one day only. It was weakened by the Messallina affair, involving the deaths of leading men, and eclipsed by that of Antonius Pallas, whose ally Iulia Agrippina married Claudius (Narcissus favoured another bride), and who obtained praetoria ornamenta. On Claudius' death in 54 he was immediately forced to kill himself.

Subjects: Classical Studies.


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