Claudius, by his full name Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Gemanicus (1 August 10 BC - October 13, 54) was the fourth Roman emperor of the Iulio-Claudian dynasty; reigned from 41 to 54.
Son of General Drusus (brother of Tiberius) and Antonia Minor, younger brother of General Gemanicus, born in Lugdunum (Lyon), Claudius does not participate until he ascends on the throne, because of a more subtle health and congenital infirmities, at political life, preferring a retired existence, devoted to the study. He is proclaimed Emperor by the Pretorians to the assassination of his nephew Caligula and then recognized by the Senate. During his reign begins the construction of a defensive system of fortifications on the Rhine and the Danube, the provinces benefit from good administration and rich urban activity (roads, aqueducts, ports). The granting of Roman citizenship to the inhabitants of cities outside Italy, attracts the hostility of senatorial circles.
During the reign of Claudius begins the conquest of Britannia, which becomes the westernmost province of the Roman Empire. In 44 Judea and 46 Thrace are transformed into Roman provinces. After the execution of Messina, the third wife, in 48, charged by Narcissus for plot, Claudius marries Agrippina Minor Iulia in 49 and adopts her son, Nero, who will follow him to the throne. Dies poisoned by his new wife.
Image of Claudius
Claudius is proclaimed Emperor
Caligula's death provoked chaos in Rome, and Claudius, 50, was named Emperor. Born in Lyon on August 1, 10, he was married from noble parents, his father Drusus being the son of Livia, the wife of Augustus, and his mother, Antonia, was Marc Antoniu's daughter. He was kept away from the eyes of the world, being infirm. He moved spasmodically, spoke with difficulty, and saliva flowed, having cerebral palsy, not affecting his mental faculties. He was named Senator and consul of Caligula, being taken out of obscurity. Mom to characterize him as a human monster and did not love him. Claudius consoled himself with drinks, gambling and women. He studied history and wrote books on Etruscan and Carthaginian history, as well as an autobiography.
He dealt with Caligula's assassins, taking revenge on Cassius Chaire, the instigator, and Julius Lupus, Caeson's killer. Sabinus was released, but he immediately committed suicide from his loyalty to his plot comrades.
Claudius took precautions not to end his predecessor. He won popular popularity by canceling treason trials, burning criminal files, destroying large amounts of poisoning by Caligula, returning many of the assets confiscated by Caligula, and repealing his legislation on the legacy left to the Emperor. None of the emperor's visitors were allowed to wear weapons in his presence. These measures did not give him complete protection, Claudius being the target of many attempts at assassination.
At a public audience of the emperor, it was discovered that Gnaeus Nonius, a Roman knight, had a dagger. Claudius was also attacked by a hunting knife near the Mars Temple. Fear pushed him to act quickly and mercilessly whenever he felt threatened. 35 senators and 300 knights were executed, many of them falling victim to the emperor's wives and liberties, who benefited from his fear to manipulate him. Appius Silanus, recalled from Spain to marry Lepida Comedy, was executed after Claudius accused him of trying to kill him. A rumor states that Appius refused to divide the bedding with Messina, by plotting revenge death. Shortly after the revolt of the governor of Dalmatia, many senators were found guilty and executed. Mesallina amplifies Claudius' fears and weaknesses, manipulating him, exterminating his rivals, including some of the senators to whom he has brought lying accusations, and Iulia Livilla, Caligula's sister. He had lovers both important senators, either actors, and Claudius either ignores or tolerates.
In 48, Messina married Caius Silisu, fiercely, when Claudius brought sacrifices to the gods at Ostia. When he heard the news, believing that a state coup was being prepared, Claudius, with the help of his secretary, Narcissus, ordered the execution of the two. Claudius also had a fiancé and three wives: Aemilia Lepida, with whom he broke off his engagement; Livia Medullina who died on the wedding night; Plautia Urgulantilla whom she divorced on the grounds of adultery and Aelia Paetina, whom she divorced. He had four children: Claudius Drusus who was drowned with a pear, Claudia, who was disinherited when he was a child, Antonia, Britannicus, the son of Messina, who was neglected by the emperor after his wife's plot.
The most influential dignitaries were imperial liberals, former slaves, that Narcissus, the chief secretary; Pallas-the head of the finance cabinet; Callistus Chief of Chancellery. Focused on centralization and avoided an open conflict with the Senate, he was interested in justice and finance, being present daily in court courts, solving trials. He gave unpredictable sentences as a fruit of whims. He was a great amateur fighting among the gladiators, known for his cruelty and thirst for blood. He made bad jokes in public, and in the year 47 he organized the Secular Games, marking the 800th anniversary of the foundation of Rome.
It has completed two aqueducts: Aqua Claudia, 69 km, and Anio Novus, 87 km. He faced the problem of supplying the grain and the rage of the crowd hungry in the foray, being rescued by the imperial guard. He initiated two huge civil engineering projects: drained Fucine Lake to get more arable land, offered work to 30,000 men for 11 years, and built a new deep-water portus, Portus, at the mouth of shedding of the Tiber, near Ostia, for the grain to be brought faster when the grains were brought on small boats in the port of Puteoli.
He entrusted command of the invasion forces of Britain to Aulus Plautius. Claudius went to Gaul and set up a safe bridgehead, spending 16 days on the island. After a short stay in Britain, Claudius returned to Rome, organizing a magnificent triumph. He waged wars in Mauretania and Crimea, Armenia and the Rhine. He joined Britain, Thrace, Licia, Mauretania and Noricum. He granted Roman citizenship to many provincial residents. He accepted some gaelic leaders in the senate.
In 49, he married Caligula's sister, Agrippina, who turned out to be a strong and intriguing young woman. In the 50s, she and Pallas convinced Claudius to adopt Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus-Nero, the heir to the title of Princeps Iuventutis. Agrippina fired Lusius Geta and Rufrius Crispinus, the pretor's perfection, replacing him with the Afranisu Burrus dock. Agrippina decided to kill the Emperor, and so seriously ill, to secure her son Nero's throne, and contacted Locusta, a poison expert. Halostus, the royal cook's taster, dropped poison on a mushroom, and gourmet Claudius blushed. He started diarrhea, and Agrippina, to make sure, put the doctor in a second dose of poison, with a feather that he put in his throat to stimulate his vomit. Claudius died on the night of October 12-13, 54, leaving his stepfather, Nero, to take over the throne. A few years later, he told a banquet "that for Claudius, the mushrooms were the food of the gods, so Claudius became a god through a mushroom.