Still, some modern historians have since argued that Claudius’ death could have been an accident caused by him unknowingly eating an Amanita phalloides—a highly toxic strain of mushroom also known as “Death Cap.”. To be fair, given how Caligula treated Claudius all those years, we can’t be too surprised if he really did get involved. 30. His survival led to him being declared Emperor by the Praetorian Guard after Caligula’s assassination, at which point he was the last man of his family. When other family members were perceived as threats, Claudius was deemed an idiot who couldn’t harm anyone. That was the year he ordered a census be taken of his empire. Explore eight surprising facts about the life of Rome’s fourth emperor. 18. After his death in 54 AD, his grand-nephew, step-son, and adopted son Nero succeeded him as Emperor. Given that Augustus was the patriarch of Claudius’s family and may have even been emperor when Claudius wrote that defense, we have to congratulate Claudius for having the nerve! He would later marry four times, with each match seemingly more ill fated than the one that preceded it. His first wife was Plautia Urgulanilla, with whom he had a long. 14. During the reign of Emperor Tiberius, Claudius was kept out of the public spotlight. Claudius married Valeria Messalina after some years, but this marriage too ended in divorce because of his wife’s many sexual affairs. It should surprise nobody to hear that Claudius’s reign bore witness to several attempted coups. Through his father, Claudius was the nephew of Emperor Tiberius. In the case of Plautia Urgulanilla, Claudius accused her of adultery and repudiated his daughter by her on the grounds that she was not biologically his.
Claudius Really Did Exaggerate his Limp and Stammer to Survive Being ambitious is a sure way to get killed in I, Claudius. Claudius had one daughter from his second marriage and two children from his third marriage. He soon divorced Urgulanilla for adultery, and soon took another wife, Aelia Paetina. Several provinces were added to the empire, including Lycia, Thrace, Noricum, and Judea. No clan is left untouched, and even families that seem happy and normal on…. While his brother was the golden boy of Rome, Claudius was definitely the black sheep. Then, in 48 AD, Messalina married another man while she was still allegedly married to Claudius. Every single historical source we have names Nero as the man behind the killing. According to an account by Pliny the Elder, when a killer wale became stuck in the city’s harbor, Claudius had the creature ensnared in nets, “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.”. It might surprise you to know that while Claudius was being snubbed from real power by his own family, the public was remarkably sympathetic towards him. The circumstances of his death are still unclear. His own mother supposedly called him “a monstrosity of a human being, one that nature began and never finished,” and his sister is said to have prayed that Rome would never have to endure him becoming its emperor. During the reign of Emperor Tiberius, the Roman Senate insisted that Claudius be allowed to debate within the senate. © 2020 A&E Television Networks, LLC. While Claudius was shunted into the shadows by his family, his siblings were seemingly destined for great things. 1. One was Gaius Caesar, the grandson of Emperor Augustus, and Emperor Tiberius’s biological son, Drusus Julius Caesar. The Roman historian called Suetonius wrote that Caligula regularly ordered dinner guests to pelt Claudius with “the stones of olives and dates.”. He was a descendant of the Octavii Rufi, Julii Caesareas, and the Claudii Nerones; he was a great-nephew of Augustus through his full sister Octavia Minor. Based on a surviving portrait of him from this time, he grew incredibly thin during this time, with historians blaming it on stress or a poor lifestyle forced upon him by Caligula.
Thanks for your time! He is even said to have joined in with the rest of the audience in counting aloud as gold pieces were paid to the victors. Take a look below for 30 more fun and interesting facts about Claudius. Finally, Claudius had two more children (Claudia Octavia and Tiberius Claudius Caesar Britannicus) with Valeria Messalina. When he wasn’t distracting himself with drink and games of chance, Claudius spent long hours immersed in books and academic study. We can only assume that Claudius’s ghost had a particularly good laugh at the sight of those tables turning. 28. Claudius abandoned his political aspirations and filled his days with drinking, gambling and womanizing until A.D. 37, when his nephew Caligula assumed the imperial purple. Do you question the accuracy of a fact you just read? 4. Tutors including Livy and Sulpicius Flavus were hired to teach him history. Born to Nero Claudius Drusus and Antonia Minor at Lugdunum in Roman Gaul, where his father was stationed as a military legate, he was the first Roman emperor to be born outside Italy. He only became Emperor because the conspirators never thought he would be capable, and in this post, you’ll discover the ultimate list of facts about Claudius, one of the most vulnerable Roman Emperors in history! Kyle Climans has been a published writer since 2011.
When his house accidentally burned down, the Senate once again went to bat for him and urged for funds from the government to be spent building him a new home. We’re always looking for your input!
FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. Instead, Nero had her killed, which only contributed to his reputation disintegrating amongst the Romans. The troops who arrived at her refuge offered her the chance to take her own life.
Despite his attempts to pursue politics just like everyone else in his family, Tiberius ensured that Claudius was only ever given low positions.
Messalina also used her marriage to Claudius to build her own power, and she even went after other members of the imperial family. Claudius Drusus was the eldest son of Claudius, born in 16 AD, long before his father ever became emperor. Claudius was born on August 1, 10 BC. These symptoms have caused historians to hypothesize that Claudius either suffered from Tourette’s syndrome or cerebral palsy.
Many authors contend that he was murdered by his own wife. He was married four times, and had been betrothed twice before. However, it’s worth pointing out that there was another level to that aspect of Claudius. Claudius never forgot which faction of the Romans made him emperor in the first place. 22. Catherine of Aragon is now infamous as King Henry VIII’s rejected queen—but few people know her even darker history.
Claudius and Aelia Paetina had a daughter together named Claudia Antonia.
In 43 AD, he undertook a military campaign for the conquest of Britain. 23. Granted, the truth was a bit less impressive than it sounds. According to this census, the Roman Empire consisted of 5,984,072 citizens—though obviously, the actual number would have been much higher if he’d included the rest. 4. Both of Claudius’s first two marriages ended in divorce. Drusus the Elder led many successful military campaigns in the name of the Roman Empire. Copyright © 2020 Tons Of Facts. 21. He completed the Roman annexation of Britain. 26. 20. Catherine of Aragon was King Henry VIII’s first wife and longest-lasting Queen of England. Claudius was born on August 1, 10 BC. This ambitious novel is written as though it was an autobiography of Claudius, though it also includes a history of the Roman Empire from the assassination of Julius Caesar to the death of Claudius. He was just a year old when his father died. The emperor swore he would never marry again, yet only a year later he wed the beautiful Agrippina, his niece. History was his primary subject, and he wrote dozens of books covering the histories of the Etruscans, Carthage, and the republic of Rome. Through his mother, he was the grandson of Mark Antony, the former rival of Emperor Augustus. Ever the egotist, Nero had Antonia executed for trumped-up treason charges. Her stepmother, Agrippina the Younger, persuaded Claudius to engage Octavia to her son, Nero. He was the youngest child of Nero Claudius Drusus and Antonia Minor. This killed any chance of Nero and Octavia’s marriage from working out, and Nero became especially violent towards her. 25. Having a personal interest in law, he presided at public trials, and issued up to 20 edicts per day. Claudius was constantly forced to shore up his position; this resulted in the deaths of many senators. He was also inclined towards philosophy. Claudius’s decision to invade Britain (43) and his personal appearance at the climax of the expedition, the crossing of the Thames and the capture of Camulodunum (Colchester), were prompted by his need of popularity and glory.
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