previous next


The crime of poisoning which became common under the Empire, and even earlier, as is clear from the oration of Cicero for Cluentius. Several names of women have obtained an infamous immortality by reason of their skill as poisoners, among them Locusta, who poisoned Claudius at the desire of his wife Agrippina, and Britannicus, to please Nero. Poisoning was much resorted to by expectant heirs and by unfaithful wives. Mayor in his note on Juv.i. 70 has collected notices of the Roman causes célèbres that turn on charges of poisoning. By a law of Sulla , passed in B.C. 82 (lex Cornelia de Sicariis et de Veneficis), persons concerned in poisoning were punished by confiscation of property and deportatio in insulam. In later times, those of lower rank were thrown to wild beasts. On poisons for abortion, see Abortio.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: