Claudius in Roman Biography

Clau'dl-us, [Kr. Claude, klod,] or, more fully, Tiberius Claudius Drusus Nero, fourth Emperor of Rome, born at Lyons in 10 i:.c, was the son of Drusus Nero by Antonia Minor, (who was a daughter of Mark Antony,) and was a nephew of the emperor Tiberius, Being feeble in mind and body, he took no part in public affairs during the reign of Tiberius. Caligula, who was his nephew, gave him the office of consul in 37 A.i>. On the death of Caligula, in 41, Claudius was proclaimed emperor by the mutinous soldiers ; and the senate, though they preferred a republic, acquiesced in the choice of the army. His accession, as usual, was signalized by acts of justice and clemency. He recalled exiles, diminished taxes, and built an aqueduct in Rome. The principal military event of his reign was his successful invasion of Britain in person. His wife, the infamous Messalina, acquired an ascendency over him, and caused senators and other innocent persons to be put to death. After she became so shameless as to marry Caius Silius, she was executed, by the order or permission of Claudius. He afterwards married his niece, Agrippina the Younger, who by a former husband had a son, L. Domitius. Having persuaded him to adopt this son, she poisoned Claudius in 54 A.D., when her son, assuming the name of Nero, became emperor. See Suetonius, "Claudius;" Tacitus, "Annates;" Dion Cassius, " Hisuiry."

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