Claudius (/ˈklɔːdiəs/; Latin:
Claudius Caesar Augustus
Germanicus; 1 August 10 BC – 13 October 54 AD) was Roman
emperor from 41 to 54. A member of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, he was
the son of Drusus and Antonia Minor. He was born at
Lugdunum in Gaul,
the first (and until Trajan, the only)
Roman Emperor to be born
outside Italy. Because he was afflicted with a limp and slight
deafness due to sickness at a young age, his family ostracized him and
excluded him from public office until his consulship, shared with his
Caligula in 37.
Claudius' infirmity probably saved him from the fate of many other
nobles during the purges of Tiberius's and Caligula's reigns;
potential enemies did not see him as a serious threat. His survival
led to his being declared Emperor by the
Praetorian Guard after
Caligula's assassination, at which point he was the last man of his
Despite his lack of experience,
Claudius proved to be an able and
efficient administrator. He was also an ambitious builder,
constructing many new roads, aqueducts, and canals across the Empire.
During his reign the Empire began the conquest of Britain (if the
earlier invasions of Britain by Caesar and Caligula's aborted attempts
are not counted). Having a personal interest in law, he presided at
public trials, and issued up to twenty edicts a day. He was seen as
vulnerable throughout his reign, particularly by elements of the
Claudius was constantly forced to shore up his position;
this resulted in the deaths of many senators. These events damaged his
reputation among the ancient writers, though more recent historians
have revised this opinion. Many authors contend that he was murdered
by his own wife. After his death in 54 AD (at age of 63), his
grand-nephew, step-son, and adopted son
Nero succeeded him as Emperor.
His 13-year reign (slightly longer than Nero's) would not be surpassed
by any successors until that of Domitian, who reigned for 15 years.
He was a descendant of the
Octavii Rufi (through Gaius Octavius),
Julii Caesares (through Julia Minor and Julia Antonia), and the
Claudii Nerones (through
Claudius Drusus); he was a great-nephew
Augustus through his full sister Octavia Minor, a nephew of
Tiberius through his father Drusus, Tiberius' brother, an uncle of
Caligula and finally a great-uncle of
Nero through Caligula's father
and Nero's grandfather Germanicus, his brother.
1 Family and early life
1.1 Public life
Caligula (41 AD)
2 As Emperor
2.1 Expansion of the Empire
2.2 Judicial and legislative affairs
2.3 Public works
Claudius and the Senate
2.4.1 Plots and coup attempts
2.5 Secretariat and centralization of powers
2.6 Religious reforms
2.7 Public games and entertainments
3 Marriages and personal life
3.1 Plautia Urgulanilla
3.2 Aelia Paetina
3.3 Valeria Messalina
3.4 Agrippina the Younger
4 Claudius' affliction and personality
5 Scholarly works and their impact
7 After death
7.1 Divine honours
7.2 Views of the new regime
7.3 Flavian and later perspectives
7.4 Views of ancient historians
8 In modern literature, film and radio
10 See also
13 External links
Family and early life
Roman imperial dynasties
27 BC – 14 AD
Julio-Claudian family tree
Year of the Four Emperors
Claudius was born on 1 August 10 BC at
Lugdunum (modern Lyon, France).
He had two older siblings,
Germanicus and Livilla. His mother,
Antonia, may have had two other children who died young.
His maternal grandparents were
Mark Antony and Octavia Minor,
Augustus' sister, and he was therefore the great-great grandnephew of
Julius Caesar. His paternal grandparents were Livia, Augustus'
third wife, and
Claudius Nero. During his reign, Claudius
revived the rumor that his father Drusus was actually the illegitimate
son of Augustus, to give the appearance that
Augustus was Claudius'
In 9 BC, his father Drusus unexpectedly died on campaign in Germania,
possibly from illness.
Claudius was then left to be raised by his
mother, who never remarried. When Claudius' disability became evident,
the relationship with his family turned sour. Antonia referred to him
as a monster, and used him as a standard for stupidity. She seems to
have passed her son off on his grandmother
Livia for a number of
Livia was a little kinder, but nevertheless often sent him short,
angry letters of reproof. He was put under the care of a "former
mule-driver" to keep him disciplined, under the logic that his
condition was due to laziness and a lack of will-power. However, by
the time he reached his teenage years his symptoms apparently waned
and his family took some notice of his scholarly interests.
In 7 AD,
Livy was hired to tutor him in history, with the assistance
of Sulpicius Flavus. He spent a lot of his time with the latter and
the philosopher Athenodorus. Augustus, according to a letter, was
surprised at the clarity of Claudius' oratory. Expectations about
his future began to increase.
His work as a budding historian damaged his prospects for advancement
in public life. According to Vincent Scramuzza and others, Claudius
began work on a history of the Civil Wars that was either too truthful
or too critical of Octavian—then reigning as
Augustus Caesar. In
either case, it was far too early for such an account, and may have
only served to remind
Claudius was Antony's descendant.
His mother and grandmother quickly put a stop to it, and this may have
convinced them that
Claudius was not fit for public office. He could
not be trusted to toe the existing party line.
When he returned to the narrative later in life,
Claudius skipped over
the wars of the second triumvirate altogether. But the damage was
done, and his family pushed him into the background. When the Arch of
Pavia was erected to honor the Imperial clan in 8 BC, Claudius' name
Germanicus after his elevation to
Claudii Nerones on the adoption of his brother) was
inscribed on the edge—past the deceased princes, Gaius and Lucius,
and Germanicus' children. There is some speculation that the
inscription was added by
Claudius himself decades later, and that he
originally did not appear at all.
Augustus died in 14 AD,
Claudius — then 23 — appealed to his
Tiberius to allow him to begin the cursus honorum. Tiberius, the
new Emperor, responded by granting
Claudius consular ornaments.
Claudius requested office once more and was snubbed. Since the new
Emperor was no more generous than the old,
Claudius gave up hope of
public office and retired to a scholarly, private life.
Despite the disdain of the Imperial family, it seems that from very
early on the general public respected Claudius. At Augustus' death,
the equites, or knights, chose
Claudius to head their delegation. When
his house burned down, the Senate demanded it be rebuilt at public
expense. They also requested that
Claudius be allowed to debate in the
Tiberius turned down both motions, but the sentiment remained.
During the period immediately after the death of Tiberius' son,
Claudius was pushed by some quarters as a potential heir. This
again suggests the political nature of his exclusion from public life.
However, as this was also the period during which the power and terror
of the commander of the Praetorian Guard, Sejanus, was at its peak,
Claudius chose to downplay this possibility.
After the death of Tiberius, the new emperor
Caligula (the son of
Claudius' brother Germanicus) recognized
Claudius to be of some use.
Claudius his co-consul in 37 in order to emphasize the
memory of Caligula's deceased father Germanicus. Despite this,
Caligula relentlessly tormented his uncle: playing practical jokes,
charging him enormous sums of money, humiliating him before the
Senate, and the like. According to
Claudius became very
sickly and thin by the end of Caligula's reign, most likely due to
stress. A possible surviving portrait of
Claudius from this period
may support this.
Caligula (41 AD)
A coin of Herod of Chalcis, showing him with his brother Agrippa of
Judaea crowning Claudius. British Museum.
On 24 January 41,
Caligula was assassinated in a broad-based
conspiracy involving the Praetorian commander
Cassius Chaerea and
several senators. There is no evidence that
Claudius had a direct hand
in the assassination, although it has been argued that he knew about
the plot — particularly since he left the scene of the crime shortly
before his nephew was murdered. However, after the deaths of
Caligula's wife and daughter, it became apparent that Cassius intended
to go beyond the terms of the conspiracy and wipe out the Imperial
Detail from A
Roman Emperor 41AD, c. 1871.
Claudius Emperor, 1867.
Two drastically different oil paintings by
Lawrence Alma-Tadema of
Claudius' being proclaimed Emperor by
Gratus of the Praetorian Guard.
In the chaos following the murder,
Claudius witnessed the German guard
cut down several uninvolved noblemen, including many of his friends.
He fled to the palace to hide. According to tradition, a Praetorian
Gratus found him hiding behind a curtain and suddenly declared
him princeps. A section of the guard may have planned in advance
to seek out Claudius, perhaps with his approval. They reassured him
that they were not one of the battalions looking for revenge. He was
spirited away to the Praetorian camp and put under their protection.
The Senate quickly met and began debating a change of government, but
this eventually devolved into an argument over which of them would be
the new princeps. When they heard of the Praetorians' claim, they
Claudius be delivered to them for approval, but he
refused, sensing the danger that would come with complying. Some
historians, particularly Josephus, claim that
directed in his actions by the Judaean King Herod Agrippa. However, an
earlier version of events by the same ancient author downplays
Agrippa's role so it remains uncertain. Eventually the Senate was
forced to give in and, in return,
Claudius pardoned nearly all the
This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help
improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.
Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (October 2015)
(Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Claudius issued this denarius type to emphasize his clemency after
Caligula's assassination. The depiction of the goddess Pax-Nemesis,
representing subdued vengeance, would be used on the coins of many
Claudius took several steps to legitimize his rule against potential
usurpers, most of them emphasizing his place within the Julio-Claudian
family. He adopted the name "Caesar" as a cognomen, as the name still
carried great weight with the populace. In order to do so, he dropped
the cognomen "Nero" which he had adopted as paterfamilias of the
Claudii Nerones when his brother
Germanicus was adopted out.[citation
needed] As Pharaoh of Egypt,
Claudius adopted the royal titulary
Tiberios Klaudios, Autokrator Heqaheqau Meryasetptah, Kanakht
Tiberius Claudius, Emperor and ruler of rulers,
beloved of Isis and Ptah, the strong bull of the stable moon on the
Claudius had never been formally adopted either by
his successors, he was nevertheless the grandson of Augustus' sister
Octavia, and so he felt that he had the right of family. He also
adopted the name "Augustus" as the two previous emperors had done at
their accessions. He kept the honorific "Germanicus" to display the
connection with his heroic brother. He deified his paternal
Livia to highlight her position as wife of the divine
Claudius frequently used the term "filius Drusi" (son of
Drusus) in his titles, in order to remind the people of his legendary
father and lay claim to his reputation.
Claudius was the first Emperor proclaimed on the initiative of
Praetorian Guard instead of the Senate, his repute suffered at the
hands of commentators (such as Seneca). Moreover, he was the first
Emperor who resorted to bribery as a means to secure army loyalty and
rewarded the soldiers of the
Praetorian Guard that had elevated him
with 15,000 sesterces.
Augustus had both left gifts
to the army and guard in their wills, and upon Caligula's death the
same would have been expected, even if no will existed. Claudius
remained grateful to the guard, however, issuing coins with tributes
to the Praetorians in the early part of his reign.
Pliny the Elder
Pliny the Elder noted, according to the 1938 Loeb Classical Library
translation by Harris Rackham, "..many people do not allow any gems in
a signet-ring, and seal with the gold itself; this was a fashion
Claudius Cæsar was emperor."
Expansion of the Empire
Under Claudius, the Empire underwent its first major expansion since
the reign of Augustus. The provinces of Thrace, Noricum, Pamphylia,
Judea were annexed (or put under direct rule) under various
circumstances during his term. The annexation of Mauretania, begun
under Caligula, was completed after the defeat of rebel forces, and
the official division of the former client kingdom into two Imperial
provinces. The most far-reaching conquest was the conquest of
Bronze head of
Claudius found in the
River Alde at Rendham, near
Saxmundham, Suffolk (British Museum). Potentially taken from the
Temple of Claudius
Temple of Claudius in
Colonia Victricensis during the Boudican
In 43 AD,
Aulus Plautius with four legions to Britain
(Britannia) after an appeal from an ousted tribal ally. Britain was an
attractive target for
Rome because of its material wealth –
particularly mines and slaves. It was also a haven for Gallic rebels
and the like, and so could not be left alone much longer. Claudius
himself traveled to the island after the completion of initial
offensives, bringing with him reinforcements and elephants. The latter
must have made an impression on the Britons when they were displayed
in the large tribal centre of Camulodunum, modern day Colchester. The
Roman colonia of Colonia Claudia Victricensis was established as the
provincial capital of the newly established province of
Camulodunum, where a large Temple was dedicated in his honour.
He left after 16 days, but remained in the provinces for some time.
The Senate granted him a triumph for his efforts. Only members of the
Imperial family were allowed such honours, but
lifted this restriction for some of his conquering generals. He was
granted the honorific "Britannicus" but only accepted it on behalf of
his son, never using the title himself. When the Briton general
Caractacus was captured in 50 AD,
Claudius granted him clemency.
Caractacus lived out his days on land provided by the Roman state, an
unusual end for an enemy commander.
Claudius conducted a census in 48 that found 5,984,072 Roman
citizens (adult males with Roman citizenship; women, children,
slaves, and free adult males without
Roman citizenship were not
counted), an increase of around a million since the census conducted
at Augustus' death. He had helped increase this number through the
foundation of Roman colonies that were granted blanket citizenship.
These colonies were often made out of existing communities, especially
those with elites who could rally the populace to the Roman cause.
Several colonies were placed in new provinces or on the border of the
Empire to secure Roman holdings as quickly as possible.
Judicial and legislative affairs
Claudius personally judged many of the legal cases tried during his
reign. Ancient historians have many complaints about this, stating
that his judgments were variable and sometimes did not follow the
law. He was also easily swayed. Nevertheless,
detailed attention to the operation of the judicial system.
He extended the summer court session, as well as the winter term, by
shortening the traditional breaks.
Claudius also made a law requiring
plaintiffs to remain in the city while their cases were pending, as
defendants had previously been required to do. These measures had the
effect of clearing out the docket. The minimum age for jurors was also
raised to 25 in order to ensure a more experienced jury pool.
Claudius also settled disputes in the provinces. He freed the island
Rhodes from Roman rule for their good faith and exempted
taxes. Early in his reign, the
Jews of Alexandria
Jews of Alexandria sent him
two embassies at once after riots broke out between the two
communities. This resulted in the famous "Letter to the Alexandrians",
which reaffirmed Jewish rights in the city but also forbade them to
move in more families en masse. According to Josephus, he then
reaffirmed the rights and freedoms of all the Jews in the Empire.
One of Claudius's investigators discovered that many old Roman
citizens based in the modern city of
Trento were not in fact
citizens. The Emperor issued a declaration, contained in the
Tabula clesiana, that they would be considered to hold citizenship
from then on, since to strip them of their status would cause major
problems. However, in individual cases,
Claudius punished false
assumption of citizenship harshly, making it a capital offense.
Similarly, any freedmen found to be laying false claim to membership
Roman equestrian order
Roman equestrian order were sold back into slavery.
Numerous edicts were issued throughout Claudius' reign. These were on
a number of topics, everything from medical advice to moral judgments.
A famous medical example is one promoting yew juice as a cure for
snakebite. Suetonius wrote that he is even said to have thought of
an edict allowing public flatulence for good health. One of the
more famous edicts concerned the status of sick slaves. Masters had
been abandoning ailing slaves at the temple of Aesculapius on Tiber
Island to die instead of providing them with medical assistance and
care, and then reclaiming them if they lived.
Claudius ruled that
slaves who were thus abandoned and recovered after such treatment
would be free. Furthermore, masters who chose to kill slaves rather
than take care of them were liable to be charged with murder.
Claudius embarked on many public works throughout his reign, both in
the capital and in the provinces. He built two aqueducts, the Aqua
Claudia, begun by Caligula, and the Anio Novus. These entered the city
in 52 AD and met at the Porta Maggiore. He also restored a third, the
Porta Maggiore aqueduct in Rome
He paid special attention to transportation. Throughout
Italy and the
provinces he built roads and canals. Among these was a large canal
leading from the
Rhine to the sea, as well as a road from
Germany – both begun by his father, Drusus. Closer to Rome, he
built a navigable canal on the Tiber, leading to Portus, his new port
just north of Ostia. This port was constructed in a semicircle with
two moles and a lighthouse at its mouth. The construction also had the
effect of reducing flooding in Rome.
The port at Ostia was part of Claudius' solution to the constant grain
shortages that occurred in winter, after the Roman shipping season.
The other part of his solution was to insure the ships of grain
merchants who were willing to risk travelling to Egypt in the
off-season. He also granted their sailors special privileges,
including citizenship and exemption from the Lex Papia-Poppaea, a law
that regulated marriage. In addition, he repealed the taxes that
Caligula had instituted on food, and further reduced taxes on
communities suffering drought or famine.
The last part of Claudius' plan was to increase the amount of arable
land in Italy. This was to be achieved by draining the Fucine lake,
which would have the added benefit of making the nearby river
navigable year-round. A tunnel was dug through the lake bed, but
the plan was a failure. The tunnel was crooked and not large enough to
carry the water, which caused it to back up when opened. The resultant
flood washed out a large gladiatorial exhibition held to commemorate
the opening, causing
Claudius to run for his life along with the other
spectators. The draining of the lake continued to present a problem
well into the Middle Ages. It was finally achieved by the Prince
Torlonia in the 19th century, producing over 160,000 acres
(650 km2) of new arable land.  He expanded the Claudian
tunnel to three times its original size.
Claudius and the Senate
Obverse of Claudius' denarius
Reverse of Claudius' denarius with "S C" meaning "Senatus consultum"
Because of the circumstances of his accession,
Claudius took great
pains to please the Senate. During regular sessions, the Emperor sat
among the Senate body, speaking in turn. When introducing a law, he
sat on a bench between the consuls in his position as holder of the
Tribune (the Emperor could not officially serve as a Tribune
of the Plebes as he was a Patrician, but it was a power taken by
previous rulers). He refused to accept all his predecessors' titles
(including Imperator) at the beginning of his reign, preferring to
earn them in due course. He allowed the Senate to issue its own bronze
coinage for the first time since Augustus. He also put the Imperial
provinces of Macedonia and Achaea back under Senate control.
Claudius set about remodeling the Senate into a more efficient,
representative body. He chided the senators about their reluctance to
debate bills introduced by himself, as noted in the fragments of a
If you accept these proposals, Conscript Fathers, say so at once and
simply, in accordance with your convictions. If you do not accept
them, find alternatives, but do so here and now; or if you wish to
take time for consideration, take it, provided you do not forget that
you must be ready to pronounce your opinion whenever you may be
summoned to meet. It ill befits the dignity of the Senate that the
consul designate should repeat the phrases of the consuls word for
word as his opinion, and that every one else should merely say 'I
approve', and that then, after leaving, the assembly should announce
In 47 he assumed the office of censor with Lucius Vitellius, which had
been allowed to lapse for some time. He struck the names of many
senators and equites who no longer met qualifications, but showed
respect by allowing them to resign in advance. At the same time, he
sought to admit eligible men from the provinces. The Lyon Tablet
preserves his speech on the admittance of Gallic senators, in which he
addresses the Senate with reverence but also with criticism for their
disdain of these men. (He even jokes about how the Senate had admitted
members from beyond
Gallia Narbonensis (Lyons, France), i.e. himself).
He also increased the number of Patricians by adding new families to
the dwindling number of noble lines. Here he followed the precedent of
Lucius Junius Brutus
Lucius Junius Brutus and
Nevertheless, many in the Senate remained hostile to Claudius, and
many plots were made on his life. This hostility carried over into the
historical accounts. As a result,
Claudius reduced the Senate's power
for the sake of efficiency. The administration of Ostia was turned
over to an Imperial Procurator after construction of the port.
Administration of many of the empire's financial concerns was turned
over to Imperial appointees and freedmen. This led to further
resentment and suggestions that these same freedmen were ruling the
Plots and coup attempts
Several coup attempts were made during Claudius' reign, resulting in
the deaths of many senators.
Appius Silanus was executed early in
Claudius' reign under questionable circumstances.
Shortly after, a large rebellion was undertaken by the Senator
Vinicianus and Scribonianus, the governor of Dalmatia and gained quite
a few senatorial supporters. It ultimately failed because of the
reluctance of Scribonianus' troops, which led to the suicide of the
Many other senators tried different conspiracies and were condemned.
Claudius' son-in-law Pompeius Magnus was executed for his part in a
conspiracy with his father
Crassus Frugi. Another plot involved the
consulars Lusiius Saturninus, Cornelius Lupus, and Pompeius Pedo.
In 46, Asinius Gallus, the grandson of Asinius Pollio, and Titus
Statilius Taurus Corvinus were exiled for a plot hatched with several
of Claudius' own freedmen.
Valerius Asiaticus was executed without
public trial for unknown reasons. The ancient sources say the charge
was adultery, and that
Claudius was tricked into issuing the
Claudius singles out Asiaticus for special
damnation in his speech on the Gauls, which dates over a year later,
suggesting that the charge must have been much more serious.
Asiaticus had been a claimant to the throne in the chaos following
Caligula's death and a co-consul with the
Titus Statilius Taurus
Corvinus mentioned above. Most of these conspiracies took place before
Claudius' term as Censor, and may have induced him to review the
Senatorial rolls. The conspiracy of
Gaius Silius in the year after his
Censorship, 48, is detailed in the section discussing Claudius' third
wife, Messalina. Suetonius states that a total of 35 senators and 300
knights were executed for offenses during Claudius' reign.
Needless to say, the responses to these conspiracies could not have
helped Senate-emperor relations.
Secretariat and centralization of powers
Claudius was hardly the first emperor to use freedmen to help with the
day-to-day running of the Empire. He was, however, forced to increase
their role as the powers of the princeps became more centralized and
the burden larger. This was partly due to the ongoing hostility of the
Senate, as mentioned above, but also due to his respect for the
Claudius did not want free-born magistrates to have to serve
under him, as if they were not peers.
The secretariat was divided into bureaus, with each being placed under
the leadership of one freedman. Narcissus was the secretary of
correspondence. Pallas became the secretary of the treasury. Callistus
became secretary of justice. There was a fourth bureau for
miscellaneous issues, which was put under Polybius until his execution
for treason. The freedmen could also officially speak for the Emperor,
as when Narcissus addressed the troops in Claudius' stead before the
conquest of Britain.
Since these were important positions, the senators were aghast at
their being placed in the hands of former slaves. If freedmen had
total control of money, letters, and law, it seemed it would not be
hard for them to manipulate the Emperor. This is exactly the
accusation put forth by the ancient sources. However, these same
sources admit that the freedmen were loyal to Claudius.
He was similarly appreciative of them and gave them due credit for
policies where he had used their advice. However, if they showed
treasonous inclinations, the Emperor did punish them with just force,
as in the case of Polybius and Pallas' brother, Felix. There is no
evidence that the character of Claudius' policies and edicts changed
with the rise and fall of the various freedmen, suggesting that he was
firmly in control throughout.
Regardless of the extent of their political power, the freedmen did
manage to amass wealth through their positions.
Pliny the Elder
Pliny the Elder notes
that several of them were richer than Crassus, the richest man of the
Portrait of Claudius, National Archaeological Museum of Spain
Claudius, as the author of a treatise on Augustus' religious reforms,
felt himself in a good position to institute some of his own. He had
strong opinions about the proper form for state religion. He refused
the request of Alexandrian
Greeks to dedicate a temple to his
divinity, saying that only gods may choose new gods. He restored lost
days to festivals and got rid of many extraneous celebrations added by
Caligula. He re-instituted old observances and archaic language.
Claudius was concerned with the spread of eastern mysteries within the
city and searched for more Roman replacements. He emphasized the
Eleusinian mysteries which had been practiced by so many during the
Republic. He expelled foreign astrologers, and at the same time
rehabilitated the old Roman soothsayers (known as haruspices) as a
replacement. He was especially hard on Druidism, because of its
incompatibility with the Roman state religion and its proselytizing
Claudius opposed proselytizing in any religion, even in those regions
where he allowed natives to worship freely. The results of all these
efforts were recognized even by Seneca, who has an ancient Latin god
Claudius in his satire.
Main article: Claudius' expulsion of Jews from Rome
It is also reported that at one time he expelled the Jews from Rome,
probably because the Jews within the city caused continuous
disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus.
Public games and entertainments
According to Suetonius,
Claudius was extraordinarily fond of games. He
is said to have risen with the crowd after gladiatorial matches and
given unrestrained praise to the fighters.
Claudius also presided
over many new and original events. Soon after coming into power,
Claudius instituted games to be held in honor of his father on the
latter's birthday. Annual games were also held in honour of his
accession, and took place at the Praetorian camp where
first been proclaimed Emperor.
Claudius organised a performance of the Secular Games, marking the
800th anniversary of the founding of Rome.
Augustus had performed the
same games less than a century prior. Augustus' excuse was that the
interval for the games was 110 years, not 100, but his date actually
did not qualify under either reasoning.
Claudius also presented
naval battles to mark the attempted draining of the Fucine Lake, as
well as many other public games and shows.
At Ostia, in front of a crowd of spectators,
Claudius fought a killer
whale which was trapped in the harbour. The event was witnessed by
Pliny the Elder:
A killer whale was actually seen in the harbour of Ostia, locked in
combat with the emperor Claudius. She had come when he was completing
the construction of the harbour, drawn there by the wreck of a ship
bringing leather hides from Gaul, and feeding there over a number of
days, had made a furrow in the shallows: the waves had raised up such
a mound of sand that she couldn't turn around at all, and while she
was pursuing her banquet as the waves moved it shorewards, her back
stuck up out of the water like the overturned keel of a boat. The
Emperor ordered that a large array of nets be stretched across the
mouths of the harbour, and setting out in person with the Praetorian
cohorts gave a show to the Roman people, soldiers showering lances
from attacking ships, one of which I saw swamped by the beast's
waterspout and sunk. — "Historia Naturalis" IX.14–15.
Claudius also restored and adorned many public venues in Rome. At the
Circus Maximus, the turning posts and starting stalls were replaced in
marble and embellished, and an embankment was probably added to
prevent flooding of the track.
Claudius also reinforced or
extended the seating rules that reserved front seating at the Circus
Pompey's Theatre after it had been
destroyed by fire, organising special fights at the re-dedication
which he observed from a special platform in the orchestra box.
Marriages and personal life
Suetonius and the other ancient authors accused
Claudius of being
dominated by women and wives, and of being a womanizer.
Claudius married four times, after two failed betrothals. The first
betrothal was to his distant cousin Aemilia Lepida, but was broken for
political reasons. The second was to
Livia Medullina, which ended with
Medullina's sudden death on their wedding day.
Plautia Urgulanilla was the granddaughter of Livia's confidant
Urgulania. During their marriage she gave birth to a son, Claudius
Drusus. Drusus died of asphyxiation in his early teens, shortly after
becoming engaged to Junilla, the daughter of Sejanus.
Claudius later divorced Urgulanilla for adultery and on suspicion of
murdering her sister-in-law Apronia. When Urgulanilla gave birth after
Claudius repudiated the baby girl, Claudia, as the father
was allegedly one of his own freedmen. This action made him later the
target of criticism by his enemies.
Soon after (possibly in 28),
Claudius married Aelia Paetina, a
relative of Sejanus, if not Sejanus's adoptive sister. During their
Claudius and Paetina had a daughter, Claudia Antonia. He
later divorced her after the marriage became a political liability,
although Leon (1948) suggests it may have been due to emotional and
mental abuse by Paetina.
Some years after divorcing Aelia Paetina, in 38 or early 39, Claudius
married Valeria Messalina, who was his first cousin once removed and
closely allied with Caligula's circle. Shortly thereafter, she gave
birth to a daughter, Claudia Octavia. A son, first named Tiberius
Claudius Germanicus, and later known as Britannicus, was born just
after Claudius' accession.
This marriage ended in tragedy. The ancient historians allege that
Messalina was a nymphomaniac who was regularly unfaithful to Claudius
Tacitus states she went so far as to compete with a prostitute to
see who could have the most sexual partners in a night — and
manipulated his policies in order to amass wealth. In 48, Messalina
married her lover
Gaius Silius in a public ceremony while
Sources disagree as to whether or not she divorced the Emperor first,
and whether the intention was to usurp the throne. Scramuzza, in his
biography, suggests that Silius may have convinced
Claudius was doomed, and the union was her only hope of retaining rank
and protecting her children. The historian
Tacitus suggests that
Claudius's ongoing term as Censor may have prevented him from noticing
the affair before it reached such a critical point. Whatever the
case, the result was the execution of Silius, Messalina, and most of
Agrippina the Younger
Claudius did marry once more. The ancient sources tell that his
freedmen put forward three candidates, Caligula's third wife Lollia
Paulina, Claudius's divorced second wife
Aelia Paetina and Claudius's
niece Agrippina the Younger. According to Suetonius, Agrippina won out
through her feminine wiles.
The truth is probably more political. The attempted coup d'état by
Messalina had probably made
Claudius realize the weakness
of his position as a member of the Claudian but not the Julian family.
This weakness was compounded by the fact that he did not yet have an
obvious adult heir,
Britannicus being just a boy.
Agrippina was one of the few remaining descendants of Augustus, and
her son Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus (the future Emperor Nero) was one
of the last males of the Imperial family.
Coup attempts could rally
around the pair and Agrippina was already showing such ambition. It
has been suggested that the Senate may have pushed for the marriage,
to end the feud between the Julian and Claudian branches. This
feud dated back to Agrippina's mother's actions against
the death of her husband
Germanicus (Claudius's brother), actions
Tiberius had gladly punished. In any case,
Agrippina and later adopted the newly mature
Nero as his son.
Nero was married to Claudius' daughter Octavia, made joint heir with
the underage Britannicus, and promoted;
Augustus had similarly named
Postumus Agrippa and his stepson
Tiberius as joint
Tiberius had named
Caligula joint heir with his
Tiberius Gemellus. Adoption of adults or near adults was an
old tradition in Rome, when a suitable natural adult heir was
unavailable as was the case during Britannicus' minority.
have previously looked to adopt one of his sons-in-law to protect his
Faustus Cornelius Sulla Felix, who was married to Claudius's daughter
Claudia Antonia, was only descended from Octavia and Antony on one
side – not close enough to the Imperial family to prevent
doubts (although that did not stop others from making him the object
of a coup attempt against
Nero a few years later). Besides which, he
was the half-brother of
Valeria Messalina and at this time those
wounds were still fresh.
Nero was more popular with the general public
as the grandson of
Germanicus and the direct descendant of Augustus.
Claudius' affliction and personality
Claudius depicted as the Roman god Jupiter
The historian Suetonius describes the physical manifestations of
Claudius' affliction in relatively good detail. His knees were
weak and gave way under him and his head shook. He stammered and his
speech was confused. He slobbered and his nose ran when he was
excited. The Stoic Seneca states in his
Apocolocyntosis that Claudius'
voice belonged to no land animal, and that his hands were weak as
However, he showed no physical deformity, as Suetonius notes that when
calm and seated he was a tall, well-built figure of dignitas. When
angered or stressed, his symptoms became worse. Historians agree that
this condition improved upon his accession to the throne. Claudius
himself claimed that he had exaggerated his ailments to save his
Modern assessments of his health have changed several times in the
past century. Prior to World War II, infantile paralysis (or polio)
was widely accepted as the cause. This is the diagnosis used in Robert
Claudius novels, first published in the 1930s. Polio does not
explain many of the described symptoms, however, and a more recent
theory implicates cerebral palsy as the cause, as outlined by
Tourette syndrome has also been considered a
As a person, ancient historians described
Claudius as generous and
lowbrow, a man who sometimes lunched with the plebeians. They also
paint him as bloodthirsty and cruel, overly fond of gladiatorial
combat and executions, and very quick to anger;
acknowledged the latter trait, and apologized publicly for his
temper. According to the ancient historians he was also overly
trusting, and easily manipulated by his wives and freedmen. But at
the same time they portray him as paranoid and apathetic, dull and
Claudius' extant works present a different view, painting a picture of
an intelligent, scholarly, well-read, and conscientious administrator
with an eye to detail and justice. Thus,
Claudius becomes an enigma.
Since the discovery of his "Letter to the Alexandrians" in the last
century, much work has been done to rehabilitate
determine where the truth lies.
Scholarly works and their impact
Claudius wrote copiously throughout his life. Arnaldo Momigliano
states that during the reign of Tiberius – which covers the
peak of Claudius' literary career – it became impolitic to
speak of republican Rome. The trend among the young historians was to
either write about the new empire or obscure antiquarian subjects.
Claudius was the rare scholar who covered both.
Besides the history of Augustus' reign that caused him so much grief,
his major works included Tyrrhenica, a twenty-book Etruscan history,
and Carchedonica, an eight-volume history of Carthage, as well as
an Etruscan dictionary. He also wrote a book on dice-playing. Despite
the general avoidance of the Republican era, he penned a defense of
Cicero against the charges of Asinius Gallus. Modern historians have
used this to determine the nature of his politics and of the aborted
chapters of his civil war history.
The Claudian letters.
He proposed a reform of the
Latin alphabet by the addition of three
new letters, two of which served the function of the modern letters W
and Y. He officially instituted the change during his censorship but
they did not survive his reign.
Claudius also tried to revive the old
custom of putting dots between successive words (Classical Latin was
written with no spacing). Finally, he wrote an eight-volume
autobiography that Suetonius describes as lacking in taste. Since
Claudius (like most of the members of his dynasty) harshly criticized
his predecessors and relatives in surviving speeches, it is not
hard to imagine the nature of Suetonius' charge.
None of the works survive but live on as sources for the surviving
histories of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Suetonius quotes Claudius'
autobiography once and must have used it as a source numerous times.
Tacitus uses Claudius' arguments for the orthographical innovations
mentioned above and may have used him for some of the more antiquarian
passages in his annals.
Claudius is the source for numerous passages
of Pliny's Natural History.
The influence of historical study on
Claudius is obvious. In his
speech on Gallic senators, he uses a version of the founding of Rome
identical to that of Livy, his tutor in adolescence. The speech is
meticulous in details, a common mark of all his extant works, and he
goes into long digressions on related matters. This indicates a deep
knowledge of a variety of historical subjects that he could not help
but share. Many of the public works instituted in his reign were based
on plans first suggested by
Julius Caesar. Levick believes this
emulation of Caesar may have spread to all aspects of his
His censorship seems to have been based on those of his ancestors,
Claudius Caecus, and he used the office to put
into place many policies based on those of Republican times. This is
when many of his religious reforms took effect, and his building
efforts greatly increased during his tenure. In fact, his assumption
of the office of Censor may have been motivated by a desire to see his
academic labors bear fruit. For example, he believed (as most Romans
did) that his ancestor
Appius Claudius Caecus
Appius Claudius Caecus had used the censorship
to introduce the letter "R" and so used his own term to introduce
his new letters.
A statue of
Claudius in the Vatican museum.
The consensus of ancient historians was that
Claudius was murdered by
poison – possibly contained in mushrooms or on a
feather – and died in the early hours of 13 October 54 AD.
Nearly all implicate his final wife, Agrippina, as the instigator.
Claudius had become more combative in the months leading
up to his death. This carried on to the point where
lamented his bad wives, and began to comment on Britannicus'
approaching manhood with an eye towards restoring his status within
the imperial family. Agrippina had motive in ensuring the
Britannicus could gain power.
Some implicate either his taster Halotus, his doctor Xenophon, or the
Locusta as the administrator of the fatal
substance. Some say he died after prolonged suffering following a
single dose at dinner, and some have him recovering only to be
poisoned again. Among contemporary sources, Seneca the younger
ascribed the emperor's death to natural causes, while
spoke of rumors on his poisoning.
In modern times, some authors have cast doubt on whether
murdered or merely succumbed to illness or old age. Some modern
scholars claim the near universality of the accusations in ancient
texts lends credence to the crime. Claudius' ashes were interred
Mausoleum of Augustus
Mausoleum of Augustus on 24 October 54 AD, after a funeral in
the manner of Augustus.[further explanation needed]
Already, while alive, he received the widespread private worship of a
living Princeps and was worshipped in
Britannia in his own temple
Claudius was deified by
Nero and the Senate almost immediately.
Those who regard this homage as cynical should note that, cynical or
not, such a move would hardly have benefited those involved, had
Claudius been "hated", as some commentators, both modern and historic,
characterize him. Many of Claudius' less solid supporters quickly
became Nero's men. Claudius' will had been changed shortly before his
death to either recommend
Britannicus jointly or perhaps just
Britannicus, who would have been considered an adult man according to
Roman law only a few months later.
Views of the new regime
Agrippina had sent away Narcissus shortly before Claudius' death, and
now murdered the freedman. The last act of this secretary of letters
was to burn all of Claudius' correspondence — most likely so it
could not be used against him and others in an already hostile new
regime. Thus Claudius' private words about his own policies and
motives were lost to history. Just as
Claudius had criticized his
predecessors in official edicts (see below),
Nero often criticized the
deceased Emperor and many of Claudius' laws and edicts were
disregarded under the reasoning that he was too stupid and senile to
have meant them.
Apocolocyntosis reinforces the view of
Claudius as an
unpleasant fool and this remained the official view for the duration
of Nero's reign. Eventually
Nero stopped referring to his deified
adoptive father at all, and realigned with his birth family. Claudius'
temple was left unfinished after only some of the foundation had been
laid down. Eventually the site was overtaken by Nero's Golden
Flavian and later perspectives
The Flavians, who had risen to prominence under Claudius, took a
different tack. They were in a position where they needed to shore up
their legitimacy, but also justify the fall of the Julio-Claudians.
They reached back to
Claudius in contrast with Nero, to show that they
were good associated with good. Commemorative coins were issued of
Claudius and his son Britannicus, who had been a friend of the Emperor
Titus was born in 39,
Britannicus was born in 41). When Nero's
Golden House was burned, the
Temple of Claudius
Temple of Claudius was finally completed
on the Caelian Hill.
However, as the
Flavians became established, they needed to emphasize
their own credentials more, and their references to
Instead, he was lumped with the other emperors of the fallen dynasty.
His state cult in
Rome probably continued until the abolition of all
such cults of dead Emperors by
Maximinus Thrax in 237–238. The
Feriale Duranum, probably identical to the festival calendars of every
regular army unit, assigns him a sacrifice of a steer on his birthday,
Kalends of August. And such commemoration (and consequent
feasting) probably continued until the Christianization and
disintegration of the army in the late 4th century.
Views of ancient historians
The main ancient historians Tacitus, Suetonius, and
Cassius Dio all
wrote after the last of the
Flavians had gone. All three were senators
or equites. They took the side of the Senate in most conflicts with
the Princeps, invariably viewing him as being in the wrong. This
resulted in biases, both conscious and unconscious. Suetonius lost
access to the official archives shortly after beginning his work. He
was forced to rely on second-hand accounts when it came to Claudius
(with the exception of Augustus' letters, which had been gathered
earlier). Suetonius painted
Claudius as a ridiculous figure,
belittling many of his acts and attributing the objectively good works
to his retinue.
Tacitus wrote a narrative for his fellow senators and fitted each of
the emperors into a simple mold of his choosing. He wrote of
Claudius as a passive pawn and an idiot in affairs relating to the
palace and often in public life. During his censorship of 47-8 Tacitus
allows the reader a glimpse of a
Claudius who is more statesmanlike
(XI.23-25), but it is a mere glimpse.
Tacitus is usually held to have
'hidden' his use of Claudius' writings and to have omitted Claudius'
character from his works. Even his version of Claudius' Lyons
tablet speech is edited to be devoid of the Emperor's personality. Dio
was less biased, but seems to have used Suetonius and
sources. Thus the conception of
Claudius as the weak fool, controlled
by those he supposedly ruled, was preserved for the ages.
As time passed,
Claudius was mostly forgotten outside of the
historians' accounts. His books were lost first, as their antiquarian
subjects became unfashionable. In the 2nd century, Pertinax, who
shared his birthday, became emperor, overshadowing commemoration of
In modern literature, film and radio
The best known fictional representation of the Emperor
I, Claudius and
Claudius the God
Claudius the God (published in 1934 and
1935) by Robert Graves, both written in the first-person to give the
reader the impression that they are Claudius' autobiography. Graves
employed a fictive artifice to suggest that they were recently
discovered, genuine translations of Claudius' writings. Claudius'
extant letters, speeches, and sayings were incorporated into the text
(mostly in the second book,
Claudius the God), to add authenticity.
In 1937, director
Josef von Sternberg
Josef von Sternberg attempted a film version of I,
Charles Laughton as Claudius. However, the lead actress
Merle Oberon suffered a near-fatal car accident and the movie was
never finished. The surviving reels were featured in the BBC
documentary The Epic That Never Was (1965). The motion picture rights
for a new film eventually passed to producer Scott Rudin.
Graves's two books were the basis for a British television adaptation
I, Claudius, produced by the BBC. The series starred
Derek Jacobi as
Claudius and was broadcast in 1976 on BBC2. It was a substantial
critical success, and won several BAFTA awards. The series was later
broadcast in the United States on
Masterpiece Theatre in 1977. The
1996 7-VHS release and the later DVD release of the television series,
include The Epic That Never Was documentary.
A radio adaptation of the Graves novels by
Robin Brooks and directed
by Jonquil Panting, was broadcast in six one-hour episodes on BBC
Radio 4 beginning 4 December 2010. The cast featured Tom Goodman-Hill
Derek Jacobi as Augustus,
Harriet Walter as Livia, Tim
Tiberius and Samuel Barnett as Caligula.
In 2011, it was announced rights for a miniseries adaptation passed to
HBO and BBC2. Anne Thomopoulos and Jane Tranter, producers of the
Rome miniseries, are attached to the new I,
The 1954 film
Demetrius and the Gladiators
Demetrius and the Gladiators also portrayed him
sympathetically, played by Barry Jones.
In the 1960 film Messalina,
Claudius is portrayed by Mino Doro.
Freddie Jones portrayed
Claudius in the 1968 British
television series The Caesars.
The 1975 TV
Up Pompeii! (based on the Frankie Howerd
sit-com Up Pompeii!) featured
Cyril Appleton as Claudius.
In the 1979 motion picture Caligula, where the role was performed by
Claudius is depicted as an idiot, in contrast to
Robert Graves' portrait of
Claudius as a cunning and deeply
intelligent man, who is perceived by others to be an idiot.
The 1985 made-for-television miniseries A.D. features actor Richard
Kiley as Claudius. Kiley portrays him as thoughtful, but willing to
cater to public opinion as well as being under the influence of
In the 2004 TV film Imperium: Nero,
Claudius is portrayed by Massimo
There is also a reference to Claudius' suppression of a coup in the
movie Gladiator, though the incident is entirely fictional.
Claudius and his contemporaries appear in the
historical novel The Roman by Mika Waltari. Canadian-born science
A. E. van Vogt
A. E. van Vogt reimagined Robert Graves' Claudius
story, in his two novels
Empire of the Atom and The Wizard of Linn.
Ancestors of Claudius
10. Marcus Livius Drusus Claudianus
22. Aufidius Lurco
24. Marcus Antonius Orator
12. Marcus Antonius Creticus
6. Mark Antony
Julius Caesar III
13. Julia Antonia
3. Antonia Minor
28. Gaius Octavius
14. Gaius Octavius
7. Octavia Minor
30. Marcus Atius
15. Atia Balba Caesonia
31. Julia Minor
Julio-Claudian family tree
Temple of Claudius, Colchester
Temple of Claudius, Rome
^ Classical Latin spelling and reconstructed Classical Latin
pronunciation of the name of Claudius:
TIBERIVS CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVGVSTVS GERMANICVS
IPA: [tɪ'bɛ.ri.ʊs 'klau̯.di.ʊs 'kae̯.sar au̯'gʊs.tus
^ Claudius' regal name has an equivalent English meaning of "Tiberius
Claudius Caesar, the Majestic Ruler, Conqueror of the Germans".
^ Dio Hist. LX 2
^ Suet. Claud. 2. Suet Claud. 4 indicates the reasons for choosing
this tutor, as outlined in Leon (1948).
^ a b Suet. Claud. 4.
^ Scramuzza (1940) p. 39.
^ a b Stuart (1936).
^ Dio Rom. Hist. LX 2. Suhr (1955) suggests that this must refer to
Claudius came to power.
^ Major (1992)
^ a b
Josephus Antiquitates Iudiacae XIX. Dio Rom. Hist. LX 1.3
Josephus Ant. Iud. XIX.
Josephus Bellum Iudiacum II, 204–233.
^ "Claudius". The Royal Titulary of Ancient Egypt. Retrieved March 12,
^ Suetonius, Claud. 10
^ "Coin, Museum No. R1874,0715.4".
British Museum Online Collection.
Retrieved 26 February 2018.
^ Harris Rackham (1938). "Pliny The Elder, Natural History". Loeb
^ Pliny 5.1–5.2, Cassius Dio, 60.8, 60.9
^ Scramuzza, Chap. 9
^ "Head of the Emperor Claudius". British Museum.
^ a b Crummy, Philip (1997) City of Victory; the story of
Britain's first Roman town. Published by
Trust (ISBN 1 897719 04 3)
^ Scramuzza, Chap. 7, p. 142
^ Suet. Claud. 15. Dio Rom. Hist. LXI 33.
^ a b Scramuzza (1940), Chap. 6
Josephus Ant. Iud. XIX.5.3 (287).
^ Scramuzza (1940), Chap. 7, p.129
^ Scramuzza (1940), Chap. 7
^ Suetonius, Claud. 16
^ Suetonius, Claud. 32
^ Suetonius, Claud. 51
Tacitus Ann. XII 57
^ Scramuzza (1940), Chap. 9, pp. 173–4
^ English translation of Berlin papyrus by W.D. Hogarth, in Momigliano
^ Suet. Claud. 29.
^ a b Tac. Ann. XII 65. Seneca Ad Polybium.
^ Pliny Natural History 134.
^ Seneca Apocolo. 9.
^ There is some debate about what actually happened. It is reported by
Suetonius and in Acts (18:2),
Cassius Dio minimizes the event and
Josephus—who was reporting on Jewish events—does not mention it at
all. Some scholars hold that it didn't happen, while others have only
a few missionaries expelled for the short term.
^ Suet. Claud. 12
^ Suet. Claud. 11
^ a b c d Suet. Claud. 21
^ Translation of Pliny's Historia Naturalis
^ Humphrey, John, Roman circuses: arenas for chariot racing,
University of California Press, 1986, pp. 100-101
^ Tac. Ann. XI 10. Also Dio Rom. Hist. LXI 31, and Pliny Nat. Hist. X
^ Scramuzza (1940) p. 90. Momigliano (1934) pp. 6–7.
Levick (1990) p. 19.
^ Tac. Ann. XI. 25, 8.
^ Farquhar, Michael (2001). A Treasure of Royal Scandals, p.212.
Penguin Books, New York. ISBN 0-7394-2025-9.
^ Suet. Claud. 26.
^ a b Scramuzza (1940) pp. 91–92. See also Tac. Ann. XII 6, 7;
Suet. Claud. 26.
^ Levick (1990) p. 70. See also Scramuzza (1940) p. 92.
^ Oost (1958).
^ a b Suet. Claud. 30.
^ Seneca Apocolo. 5, 6.
^ Suet. Claud. 31.
^ Suet. Claud. 38.
^ Leon (1948).
^ Burden, George. The Imperial Gene Archived 11 June 2001 at the
Wayback Machine., The Medical Post, 16 July 1996. Retrieved 24 June
^ Murad, Ali (2010). "A Neurological Mystery from History: The Case of
Claudius Caesar". Journal of the History of the Neurosciences. 19 (3):
221–7. doi:10.1080/09647040902872775. PMID 20628951.
^ Suet. Claud. 5, 21, 40; Dio Rom. Hist. LX 2, 5, 12, 31.
^ Suet. Claud. 34, 38.
Tacitus Ann. XII 20.
^ Suet. Claud. 29. Dio Rom. Hist. LX 2, 8.
^ Suet. Claud. 35, 36, 37, 39, 40. Dio Rom. Hist. LX 2, 3.
^ Momigliano (1934) pp. 4–6.
^ The Oxford Companion to Classical Literature, 1937 p.107
^ Suet. Claud. 41.
^ See Claudius' letter to the people of Trent (linked below), in which
he refers to the "obstinate retirement" of Tiberius. See also Josephus
Ant Iud. XIX, where an edict of
Claudius refers to Caligula's "madness
and lack of understanding."
^ See Momigliano (1934) Chap. 1, note 20 (p. 83). Pliny
credits him by name in Book VII 35.
^ Levick (1978).
^ Ryan (1993) refers to the historian Varro's account of the
^ cf. Tac. Ann. XII 66-67.
^ Suet. Claud. 43
^ Accounts of his death: Suet. Claud. 43, 44. Tac. Ann. XII 64,
Josephus Ant. Iud. XX 148, 151. Dio Rom. Hist. LX 34. Pliny
Natural History II xxiii 92, XI lxxiii 189, XXII xlvi 92.
^ Suet. Claud. 44
Josephus Antiquities of the Jews 19:67; 20:148
^ Scramuzza (1940) pp. 92–93 says that tradition makes every emperor
the victim of foul play, so we can't know if
Claudius was truly
murdered. Indeed, the Emperor appears to have been seriously ill since
at least 53 AD. Levick (1990) pp. 76–77. raises the possibility
Claudius was killed by the stress of fighting with Agrippina over
the succession, but concludes that the timing makes murder the most
^ Levick (1990); also as opposed to the murder of Augustus, which is
only found in
Tacitus and Dio where he quotes Tacitus. Suetonius, an
inveterate gossip, doesn't mention it at all.
^ Gradel I. Emperor worship and Roman religion. Clarendon Press,
Oxford, 2002. ISBN 978-0-19-927548-9
^ a b Levick (1990)
^ Gradel I. Emperor worship and Roman religion. Clarendon Press,
Oxford, 2002. ISBN 978-0-19-927548-9 p. 356–341
^ Hekster, Olivier (2008). "
Rome and Its Empire, AD 193-284".
^ Gradel I. Emperor worship and Roman religion. Clarendon Press,
Oxford, 2002. ISBN 978-0-19-927548-9 p.367
^ Scramuzza, p. 29
^ Vessey (1971)
^ Griffin (1990). Ann. XI 14 is often thought to be a good example:
the digression on the history of writing is actually Claudius' own
argument for his new letters, and fits in with his personality and
Tacitus makes no explicit attribution - and so there
exists the possibility that the digression is Tacitus' own work or
derivative of another source
Claudius p. 194
I, Claudius (2009) – Synopsis". Retrieved 21 January
^ I, Claudius, 1977-11-06, retrieved 2016-04-14
Baldwin, B. (1964). "Executions under Claudius: Seneca's Ludus de
Morte Claudii". Phoenix 18 (1): 39–48. JSTOR 1086911
Griffin, M. (1990). "
Claudius in Tacitus". Classical Quarterly 40 (2):
482–501. JSTOR 639107
Levick, B.M. (1978). "Claudius: Antiquarian or Revolutionary?"
American Journal of Philology, 99 (1): 79–105.JSTOR 293870
Levick, Barbara (1990). Claudius. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Leon, E.F. (1948). "The Imbecillitas of the Emperor Claudius",
Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association,
79 79–86.JSTOR 283354
McAlindon, D. (1957). "
Claudius and the Senators", American Journal of
Philology, 78 (3): 279–286.JSTOR 292122
Major, A. (1992). "Was He Pushed or Did He Leap? Claudius' Ascent to
Power", Ancient History, 22 25–31.
Malloch, S. J. V. (2013). The Annals of Tacitus, book 11. Cambridge
(in French) Minaud, Gérard, Les vies de 12 femmes d'empereur romain -
Devoirs, Intrigues & Voluptés, Paris, L'Harmattan, 2012, ch. 2,
La vie de Messaline, femme de Claude, p. 39–64 ; ch. 3, La
vie d'Agrippine, femme de Claude, p. 65–96.
Momigliano, Arnaldo (1934). Claudius: the Emperor and His Achievement
Trans. W.D. Hogarth. Cambridge: W. Heffer and Sons.
Oost, S.V. (1958). "The Career of M. Antonius Pallas", American
Journal of Philology, 79 (2): 113–139.JSTOR 292103
Osgood, Josiah (2010).
Claudius Caesar : image and power in the
early Roman empire. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Ruth, Thomas De Coursey (1916). The problem of Claudius: Some aspects
of a character study. Johns Hopkins University.
Ryan, F.X. (1993). "Some Observations on the Censorship of Claudius
and Vitellius, AD 47–48", American Journal of Philology, 114 (4):
Scramuzza, Vincent (1940). The Emperor
Claudius Cambridge: Harvard
Stuart, M. (1936). "The Date of the Inscription of
Claudius on the
Arch of Ticinum" American Journal of Archaeology 40 (3):
Suetonius (1979). The Twelve Caesars. Robert Graves, trans. London:
Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-044072-0.
Suhr, Elmer G. (1955). "A Portrait of Claudius". American Journal of
Archaeology. 59 (4): 319–322. doi:10.2307/500799.
Vessey, D.W.T.C. (1971). "Thoughts on Tacitus' Portrayal of Claudius"
American Journal of Philology 92 (3) 385–409.JSTOR 292801
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Claudius.
Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article
Life of Claudius
Tacitus on the second half of Claudius' reign, book 11
Tacitus on Claudius' last years, book 12
Cassius Dio's account of Claudius' reign, part I
Cassius Dio's account, part II
The works of Josephus
Apocolocyntosis of the Divine Claudius
Claudius' Letter to the Alexandrians
Extract from first half of the Lyons Tablet
Second half of the Lyons Tablet
Tacitus' version of the Lyons Tablet speech
Edict confirming the rights of the people of Trent. Full Latin text
Biography from De Imperatoribus Romanis
Claudius I at BBC History
Born: 1 August 10 BC Died: 13 October 54
Gnaeus Acerronius Proculus, and
Gaius Petronius Pontius Nigrinus
Suffect consul of the Roman Empire
Aulus Caecina Paetus, and
Gaius Caninius Rebilus
Gnaeus Sentius Saturninus
Consul of the Roman Empire
with Gaius Caecina Largus (42)
Lucius Vitellius II (43)
Titus Statilius Taurus,
and Gaius Sallustius
Marcus Junius Silanus Torquatus,
and Gaius Terentius Tullius Geminus
Consul of the Roman Empire
Lucius Vitellius III
Aulus Vitellius, and
Lucius Vipstanus Publicola Messalla
Camerinus Antistius Vetus,
and Marcus Suillius Nerullinus
Consul of the Roman Empire
with Servius Cornelius Scipio Salvidienus Orfitus
Faustus Cornelius Sulla Felix,
and Lucius Salvius
Roman and Byzantine emperors
27 BC – 235 AD
Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus
Caracalla with Geta
Macrinus with Diadumenian
Gordian I and Gordian II
Pupienus and Balbinus
Philip the Arab
Philip the Arab with Philip II
Decius with Herennius Etruscus
Trebonianus Gallus with Volusianus
Saloninus and Valerian II
Carinus and Numerian
Tetricus I with
Tetricus II as Caesar
Diocletian (whole empire)
Diocletian (East) and
Diocletian (East) and
Maximian (West) with
Galerius (East) and
Constantius Chlorus (West) as Caesares
Galerius (East) and
Constantius Chlorus (West) with Severus (West) and
Maximinus II (East) as Caesares
Galerius (East) and Severus (West) with
Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great (West)
Maximinus II (East) as Caesares
Galerius (East) and
Maxentius (West) with
Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great (West)
Maximinus II (East) as Caesares
Galerius (East) and
Licinius I (West) with Constantine the Great
Maximinus II (East) as Caesares
Licinius I (West) and
Maximinus II (East) with Constantine the Great
(Self-proclaimed Augustus) and Valerius Valens
Licinius I (East) and
Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great (West) with
Constantine II, and
Crispus as Caesares
Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great (whole empire) with son
Crispus as Caesar
Decentius as Caesar
Constantius II with Vetranio
Valentinian the Great
Magnus Maximus with Victor
Theodosius the Great
Constantine III with son
Petronius Maximus with Palladius
Leo I the Thracian
Zeno (first reign)
Basiliscus with son Marcus as co-emperor
Zeno (second reign)
Anastasius I Dicorus
Justinian the Great
Tiberius II Constantine
Maurice with son Theodosius as co-emperor
Constantine IV with brothers
Tiberius and then Justinian
II as co-emperors
Justinian II (first reign)
Justinian II (second reign) with son
Tiberius as co-emperor
Leo III the Isaurian
Leo IV the Khazar
Michael I Rangabe
Michael I Rangabe with son Theophylact as co-emperor
Leo V the Armenian
Leo V the Armenian with Symbatios-Constantine as junior emperor
Michael II the Amorian
Basil I the Macedonian
Leo VI the Wise
Constantine VII Porphyrogennetos
Romanos I Lekapenos
Romanos I Lekapenos with sons Christopher, Stephen and Constantine as
Nikephoros II Phokas
John I Tzimiskes
Zoë (first reign) and Romanos III Argyros
Zoë (first reign) and Michael IV the Paphlagonian
Michael V Kalaphates
Zoë (second reign) with Theodora
Zoë (second reign) and Constantine IX Monomachos
Constantine IX Monomachos
Constantine IX Monomachos (sole emperor)
Michael VI Bringas
Isaac I Komnenos
Constantine X Doukas
Romanos IV Diogenes
Michael VII Doukas
Michael VII Doukas with brothers Andronikos and Konstantios and son
Nikephoros III Botaneiates
Alexios I Komnenos
John II Komnenos
John II Komnenos with Alexios Komnenos as co-emperor
Manuel I Komnenos
Alexios II Komnenos
Andronikos I Komnenos
Isaac II Angelos
Alexios III Angelos
Alexios IV Angelos
Nicholas Kanabos (chosen by the Senate)
Alexios V Doukas
Empire of Nicaea
Theodore I Laskaris
John III Doukas Vatatzes
Theodore II Laskaris
John IV Laskaris
Michael VIII Palaiologos
Andronikos II Palaiologos
Andronikos II Palaiologos with
Michael IX Palaiologos
Michael IX Palaiologos as co-emperor
Andronikos III Palaiologos
John V Palaiologos
John VI Kantakouzenos
John VI Kantakouzenos with
John V Palaiologos
John V Palaiologos and Matthew
Kantakouzenos as co-emperors
John V Palaiologos
Andronikos IV Palaiologos
John VII Palaiologos
Andronikos V Palaiologos
Manuel II Palaiologos
John VIII Palaiologos
Constantine XI Palaiologos
Italics indicates a co-emperor, while underlining indicates an
ISNI: 0000 0001 0792 3260
BNF: cb120494712 (data)