30 Fun And Interesting Facts About Claudius

Claudius was Roman Emperor from 41 to 54 AD. 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 Roman Emperor to be born outside Italy. Take a look below for 30 more fun and interesting facts about Claudius.

1. 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 nephew Caligula in 37.

2. Claudius’ infirmity probably saved him from the fate of many other nobles during the purges of Tiberius‘s and Caligula’s reigns; potential enemies didn’t see him as a serious threat.

3. 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.

4. Despite his lack of experience, Claudius proved to be an able and efficient administrator.

5. He was an ambitious builder, constructing many new roads, aqueducts, and canals across the Empire.

6. During his reign, the Roman Empire began the conquest of Britain.

7. Having a personal interest in law, he presided at public trials, and issued up to 20 edicts per day.

8. He was seen as vulnerable throughout his reign, particularly by elements of the nobility.

9. 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.

10. Many authors contend that he was murdered by his own wife.

11. After his death in 54 AD, his grand-nephew, step-son, and adopted son Nero succeeded him as Emperor.

12. His 13 year reign wouldn’t be surpassed by any successors until that of Domitian, who reigned for 15 years.

13. 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.

14. His father died while he was very young, so Claudius was raised by his mother.

15. Claudius was a sickly child who developed a limp and slight deafness following an illness.

16. He was clumsy and unattractive.

17. As he reached his adolescence, it became evident that he was an intelligent young man with interests in scholarly pursuits.

18. Tutors including Livy and Sulpicius Flavus were hired to teach him history. He was also inclined towards philosophy.

19. Claudius was interested in scholarly pursuits and was a prolific writer. His major literary works include an Etruscan history, eight volumes on Carthaginian history, an Etruscan dictionary and a book on dice playing.

20. As the emperor, Claudius gained much fame and respect for vastly expanding the Roman Empire.

21. In 43 AD, he undertook a military campaign for the conquest of Britain. The campaign was successful and Britain became a province of the Roman Empire.

22. Claudius was widely worshiped as a living Princeps and was worshiped in Britannia in his own temple in Camulodunum.

23. Upon his death, he was deified by his successor Nero and the Senate almost immediately.

24. Several ancient authors have accused Claudius of being a womanizer and being easily manipulated by women.

25. He was married four times, and had been betrothed twice before.

26. His first wife was Plautia Urgulanilla, with whom he had a long.

27. He soon divorced Urgulanilla for adultery, and soon took another wife, Aelia Paetina. This marriage too ended in divorce.

28. Claudius married Valeria Messalina after some years, but this marriage too ended in divorce because of his wife’s many sexual affairs.

29. His fourth and last marriage was to Agrippina the Younger.

30. Claudius had one daughter from his second marriage and two children from his third marriage.

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