It stands furthermore upon record how Agrippina did charge the fair Lollia with the crime of having interrogated the oracle of Apollo Clarius, to understand if she should be at any time married to the Emperor Claudius; for which cause she was first banished, and thereafter put to a shameful and ignominious death. But, saith Panurge, let us do better.
Among the latter was the wealthy Lollia Paulina, against whom she trumped up an accusation of sorcery and treason, upon which her wealth was confiscated, but her life spared by the Emperor, who banished her from Italy. This half-vengeance was not enough for the mother of Nero.
He was, however, unable to persist in this resolution; for he began immediately to think of another wife; and even of taking back Paetina, whom he had formerly divorced: he thought also of Lollia Paulina, who had been married to Caius Caesar.
At the death of Messalina she was a widow; and Claudius, her uncle, entertaining a design of entering again into the married state, she aspired to an incestuous alliance with him, in competition with Lollia Paulina, a woman of beauty and intrigue, who had been married to C. Caesar.
Lollia Paulina, who was married to a man of consular rank in command of an army, he suddenly called from the province where she was with her husband, upon mention being made that her grandmother was formerly very beautiful, and married her; but he soon afterwards parted with her, interdicting her from having ever afterwards any commerce with man.
Eunoe, queen of Mauritania, and at Rome, to Posthumia, the wife of Servius Sulpitius; to Lollia, the wife of Gabinius to Tertulla, the wife of Crassus, and even to Mutia, wife to the great Pompey: which was the reason, the Roman historians say, that she was repudiated by her husband, which Plutarch confesses to be more than he knew; and the Curios, both father and son, afterwards reproached Pompey, when he married Caesar's daughter, that he had made himself son-in-law to a man who had made him cuckold, and one whom he himself was wont to call AEgisthus.
Yet some of these accounts seem a little incredible even when ascribed to a madman. However that may be, Livia Orestilla, Lollia Paulina, Milonia Caesonia are figures without relief, shades and ghosts of empresses, no one of whom had time enough even to occupy the highest post. In vain the people expected that there would appear in the imperial palace a worthy successor to Livia.
Says one who lived at the time: "I have seen Lollia Paulina covered with emeralds and pearls gleaming all over her head, hair, ears, neck, and fingers to the value of over £300,000." If Rome is the eternal city, it is eternal in this respect at least as much as in any other.
An allusion in his work to Lollia Paulina has given rise to the opinion that he was admitted to the court of Caligula, but the grounds for this conclusion are manifestly insufficient. His nephew states that he composed his treatise On Doubtful Words to escape the jealousy of Nero, who suspected him of less unambitious pursuits.
What figures from the Comédie Humaine of Roman society of the first century throng the pages of Tacitus Sejanus, Arruntius, Piso, Otho, Bassus, Caecina, Tigellinus, Lucanus, Petronius, Seneca, Corbulo, Burrus, Silius, Drusus, Pallas, and Narcissus; and those tragic women of the Annals imperious, recklessly daring, beautiful or loyal Livia, Messalina, Vipsania, the two Agrippinas, mothers of Caligula and of Nero, Urgulania, Sabina Poppaea, Epicharis, Lollia Paulina, Lepida, Calpurnia, Pontia, Servilia, and Acte!