As a result, he was secluded, a fact that kept him safe. Having no public duties to perform, Claudius was free to pursue his interests and read and write, including material written in Etruscan. He first held public office at the age of 46 when his nephew Caligula became emperor in 37 A.
Wives of Claudius
Claudius became emperor shortly after his nephew was assassinated by his bodyguard, on January 24, A. Cassius Dio writes also Book LX :.
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After the murder of Gaius the consuls despatched guards to every part of the city and convened the senate on the Capitol, where many and diverse opinions were expressed; for some favoured a democracy, some a monarchy, and some were for choosing one man, and some another. Meanwhile some soldiers who had entered the palace for the purpose of plundering found Claudius hidden away in a dark corner somewhere.
At first the soldiers, supposing that he was some one else or perhaps had something worth taking, dragged him forth; and then, on recognizing him, they hailed him emperor and conducted him to the camp. Afterwards they together with their comrades entrusted to him the supreme power, inasmuch as he was of the imperial family and was regarded as suitable.
Hence he yielded, albeit with apparent reluctance. He was in his fiftieth year.
In line with a goal Caesar had failed to meet, Claudius resumed the Roman attempt to conquer Britain. Using a local would-be ruler's request for help as an excuse to invade, with four legions in A. Dio Cassius continues with a summary of Claudius' involvement on the scene and the Senate awarded title Brittanicus, which he passed down to his son.
When the message reached him, Claudius entrusted affairs at home, including the command of the troops, to his colleague Lucius Vitellius, whom he had caused to remain in office like himself for a whole half-year; and he himself then set out for the front. Thereupon he won over numerous tribes, in some cases by capitulation, in others by force, and was saluted as imperator several times, contrary to precedent; 5 for no man may receive this title more than once for one and the same war.
He deprived the conquered of their arms and handed them over to Plautius, bidding him also subjugate pthe remaining districts. Domitius Ahenobarbus Nero , in A. There were several reasons for this. Furthermore, Britannicus' mother, Messalina, had never made it to the rank of Augusta, as that was a role that had been reserved for women who were not the wives of currently reigning emperors, but Nero's mother was made Augusta, a title that implied power.
Nero Claudius Drusus - Wikipedia
In addition, Nero was Claudius' great-nephew, because his mother, Claudius' last wife, Agrippina, was also Claudius' niece. To marry her despite the close familial relationship, Claudius had received special senatorial approval.
In addition to the other points in Nero's favor, Nero was betrothed to Claudius' daughter, Octavia, a now sibling relationship that had also required special finagling. Bound to Agrippina, first as the promoter of her marriage, then as her paramour, he still urged Claudius to think of the interests of the State, and to provide some support for the tender years of Britannicus. Claudius also would do well to strengthen himself with a young prince who could share his cares with him. It was noted by learned men, that no previous example of adoption into the patrician family of the Claudii was to be found; and that from Attus Clausus there had been one unbroken line.
A law was passed, adopting him into the Claudian family with the name of Nero. Agrippina too was honoured with the title of Augusta. A feather was then slipped down his throat so he would throw up. The philosopher Lucius Annaeus Seneca, also known as Seneca the Younger, had been banished by Claudius and a decade after his death Seneca produced a work of satire mocking the late emperor.
Apocolocyntosis, from a 9th century manuscript of the Abbey library of Saint Gall.
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Basically, as he lay dying, Seneca the Younger is suggesting that the last act of the Emperor Claudius was a desperate attempt to fart. Seneca, part of double-herm in Antikensammlung Berlin. One is for Claudius and one each for his two friends, Augurinus and Baba, which many modern historians believe mean urine and feces. The chord on each spindle is cut and Claudius finally dies, letting out a thunderous fart as he does so.