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Latera'nus, Plau'tius

was one of the lovers of Messallina, the wife of the emperor Claudius, and was in consequence condemned to death by the emperor in A. D. 48; but pardoned, says Tacitus, on account of the brilliant services of his uncle, by whom the historian probably means A. Plautius, the conqueror of Britain. Lateranus was deprived of his rank as a senator, to which, however, he was restored on the accession of Nero, in A. D. 56. Ten years afterwards (A. D. 66), although consul elect, he took part in the celebrated conspiracy of Piso against Nero, actuated, says the historian, by no private wrongs, but by love for the state. He met death with the greatest firmness, refusing to disclose the names of any of the conspirators, and not even upbraiding the tribune, who executed him in the place where slaves were put to death, with being privy to the conspiracy, though such was the case. The first blow not severing his head from his body, he calmly stretched it out again. (Tac. Ann. 11.30, 36, 13.11, xv 49, 60; Arrian, Epictet. Dissert. 1.1.)

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