Locusta (fl. 54 CE)

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Locusta (fl. 54 ce)

Roman poisoner. Name variations: Lucusta. Flourished around 54 ce; executed in 68 or 69 ce; said to be of Gallic origin.

Locusta was a professional poisoner living in Rome around 54 ce. Juvenal speaks of her as the means for ridding wives of unwanted husbands, while Tacitus claims she was "long reckoned as among the instruments of government." Locusta was employed by Agrippina the Younger to prepare poison for the emperor Claudius. For providing Nero with his own supply of poison in a golden casket and aiding in his schemes against Britannicus, Locusta was richly rewarded with estates. She was executed under orders of Galba in 68 or 69, during his reign.