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Crispinilla, Ca'lvia

a Roman lady of rank, of the time of the emperor Nero. She partook largely in the general corruption among females of that period. She lived with Nero and his eunuch Porus, and was entrusted with the superintendence of the latter's wardrobe. She is said to have been given to stealing and to have secreted all on which she could lay her hand. Her intercourse with Nero was of such a kind, that Tacitus calls her the instructor of Nero in voluptuousness. In A. D. 68, shortly after the death of Nero, she went to Africa to urge Claudius Macer to take up arms to avenge the death of the emperor. She thus intended to cause a famine at Rome, by preventing grain being imported from Africa. Clodius Macer was put to death by the command of Galba, and the general indignation of the people demanded that Crispinilla also should pay for her guilt with her life, but she escaped the danger by various intrigues and a cunning use of circumstances. Afterwards she rose very high in public favour through her marriage with a man who had been consul; she was spared by Galba, Otho, and Vitellius, and her wealth, together with the circumstance of her having no children, procured her great influence at the time. (Tac. Hist. 1.73; Dion. Cass. 63.12.)


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68 AD (1)
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    • Tacitus, Historiae, 1.73
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