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Tiberius Claudius Drusus Nero Germanicus
CommonName:     Claudius
Full Name:  Tiberius Claudius Drusus Nero Germanicus
Reign:  41-54 AD
Title:  Emperor
Born:  10 BC
Died:  54 AD
Relationship:  Son of Nero Claudius Drusus
    Claudius's father was that Drusus with whom Livia was six months pregnant when Augustus decided that he could not live without her. Drusus was a commander of some distinction, although very much in the shade of his brother Tiberius. Drusus had three children, namely Germanicus, father of Caligula; Livilla; and Claudius.
    Tiberius Claudius Drusus, to which the name of Germanicus was later added, suffered from poor health and probably from infantile paralysis as well. Like many in similar situations he devoted himself to study. His historical works, whether on Etruscan or Punic history or, of course, Roman, would be useful nowadays, but they are lost.
    Claudius was the first emperor chosen by the Praetorians. When they had disposed of Caligula, the assassins and the Senate hesitated regarding what they were to do next, and the soldiers began to loot the palace. One of the trifles they found was Claudius, who they carried off to their camp. They proclaimed him emperor, and he in turn promised them a payment of 150 aurei. The troops had spoken, and the would-be republic lacked the means to argue.
    Once installed he proved to be a competent administrator. He also directed the conquest of Britain and the annexation of Thrace, which had been set up under client kingdoms. He instituted valuable judicial reforms, although some of his reforms - adding three letters to the alphabet, for example - seem trivial and pedantic. He had, in fact, turned out to be a much better ruler than anyone had any right to expect.
    In one department only did his sense fail him completely. He married four times, and all turned out to be unsatisfactory: Urgulanilla, divorces for scandalous behavior and suspicion of worse; Paetina, for unknown offenses; Messalina, whose name is a by-word for all sorts of vice and scandal; and finally Agrippina, his niece, mother of Nero, who poisoned him.
    The general consensus of ancient authors was that Claudius died of poisoning administered on the orders of Agrippina. This poison either involved toxic mushrooms or wild gourds; the first is described by Suetonius, and the second by Seneca in his Apocolocynthosis, i. e. "deification by means of gourds". In any event she was clearing the way for Nero.
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Claudius I.Quandrans. Grade:VF 41-54AD, TI CLAUDIUS CAESAR AVG, DVR under scales held by hand above Rev. PON M TR P IMP COS DES IT. Around large S. C. SEAR 641