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Claudius (bronze bust, today in the Museo Arqueológico Nacional de España Madrid)

Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (before Tiberius Claudius Nero Germanicus came to power ; * August 1, 10 BC in Lugdunum, today Lyon ; † October 13, 54 AD ) was the fourth Roman emperor of the Julian-Claudian dynasty . He ruled from January 24, 41 AD until his death in 54. He was born in Lugdunum as the son of Nero Claudius Drusus and Antonia Minor . He was the first Roman emperor to be born outside of Italy.

Claudius was considered a hopeless candidate for the succession in the imperial office: According to tradition, he suffered from physical ailments. Before his nephew Caligula made him consul in 37 , his family excluded him from almost all public appearances and offices. Conversely, this probably spared him the fate that befell numerous other distinguished Romans who fell victim to the political purges during the rule of Tiberius and Caligula. Instead, he could turn to historical studies.

As the last male adult in his family, Claudius surprisingly became his successor after Caligula's murder. He was the first Roman emperor, in whose elevation the military played a major role. Despite his lack of political experience, Claudius proved to be a capable administrator and developed a brisk construction activity. During his reign, with the conquest of Britain, the first territorial expansion of the Roman Empire since the time of Augustus fell.

Emperor Claudius was particularly interested in Roman jurisprudence , for example he presided over public trials and issued up to 20 ordinances a day. During his entire reign, however, he felt threatened by the aristocracy. Numerous senators were executed for various reasons, partly in connection with alleged conspiracies, partly due to the formation of parties and intrigues in the emperor's surroundings.

The ancient historians and biographers describe Claudius before his time as emperor as a neglected, sickly and ridiculous man; as emperor he was characterized as ignorant, weak and malicious. After his death, he was ridiculed and vilified by Seneca . Modern research comes to a more nuanced judgment and also recognizes Claudius as a prudent and capable ruler.


Personality and suffering

Portrait of Claudius in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen
Bust of Claudius from the Via Ostiense Museum, Porta San Paolo , Rome

Claudius suffered from paralysis, possibly the result of a birth trauma, and a noticeable degree of uncontrolled movements and stuttering. The biographer Suetonius , who was not a contemporary of the time, describes in great detail the alleged physical suffering of Claudius: his knees were weak, gave slightly under him, and his head trembled. He stammered and his speech was confused. When he was excited his nose would run and he would drool. However, Suetonius remarked again that he was not physically deformed and that he was not lacking in dignity when he stood or sat. The stoic Seneca , who was temporarily banished by Claudius, expressed in his apocolocyntosis ("gourd"), which mocked the emperor after his death, that the figure and gait of Claudius did not resemble a living being. Symptoms apparently worsened with irritation or stress; however, they improved remarkably after his accession to the throne. Claudius himself claimed as emperor that he had exaggerated his sufferings beforehand in order to protect himself.

The ancient sources also describe Claudius as a generous man who made brittle jokes, laughed uncontrollably and sometimes demonstratively ate lunch with the common people . On the other hand, he is also portrayed as bloodthirsty and cruel, as he was extremely fond of both gladiator fights and executions. For example, he allegedly had torture in his presence and enjoyed watching executions carried out using hideous archaic methods. He publicly apologized for his fits of anger, which he was well aware of. It is unclear how much of these accounts is due to the tyrant topic with which the ancient authors portray the emperor.

In addition, Claudius was said to be extremely trusting and thus easily manipulated by his wives and freedmen. On the other hand, he is described as paranoid, apathetic, stupid, and easily confused. However, other sources testify that Claudius was, on the one hand, an intelligent and well-read scholar and, on the other, a conscientious steward who valued care and justice. Its character is thus contradictory and difficult to determine because the representation of most surviving literary sources is obviously distorted in a hostile manner.

Origin and youth

Statue of Claudius in the Vatican Museum

Claudius was born on August 1, 10 BC. Tiberius Claudius Drusus was born in Lugdunum , supposedly on the anniversary of the dedication of the local Augustus altar . His parents were Drusus and Antonia Minor . Claudius had two older siblings with Germanicus and Livilla . Antonia also had two other children, but they died early. His maternal grandparents were Marcus Antonius and Octavia Minor , the sister of the Emperor Augustus . His paternal grandparents were Augustus' third wife Livia Drusilla and Tiberius Claudius Nero . During his reign, Claudius repeatedly spread rumors that his father Drusus was Augustus' illegitimate son. In the year 9 BC During a campaign in the interior of Germania, Drusus died unexpectedly after falling from a horse. Claudius was raised by his mother, who never remarried. Relationships with his family worsened the more obvious Claudius' suffering became. Antonia described him as a monster that nature began but did not finish. She seems to have given her son to his grandmother Livia for a few years. Livia was hardly any friendlier because she spoke little to him and only criticized him in writing. Believed to be due to laziness and a lack of willpower, he eventually came under the care of a former pack handler for discipline.

After he grew up in this manner, symptoms apparently decreased and his family recognized his interest in history. In the year 7, Titus Livius was called to court with Sulpicius Flavus to teach history to Claudius. From then on he spent a lot of time with Flavus and the philosopher Athenodoros Kananites . According to a letter from Augustus, he was surprised by Claudius' rhetorical skill. The expectations of Claudius regarding his future increased. According to Vincent Scramuzza , however, it was precisely his work as a young historian that destroyed his early political career. He broke off his work on a historical work on the Roman civil wars after Caesar's death after two books because it was politically too explosive. The time for such a historical work was probably too early, because it must have reminded Augustus that Claudius was the descendant of Mark Antony. His mother and grandmother soon put an end to his writing ambitions. The imperial family did not trust him to be at the top of society. When Claudius later devoted himself to his work as a historian, he ignored the civil wars and the second triumvirate .

Even so, Claudius's reputation remained damaged and the family kept him in the background. When the triumphal arch of Pavia was erected in 8 to honor the imperial family, Claudius' name (now Tiberius Claudius Nero Germanicus ) was only inscribed in the margin - behind the late Gaius and Lucius Caesar and the children of Germanicus. Research has speculated that the inscription could have been added decades later by Claudius himself.

When Augustus died in AD 14, Claudius, at the age of 23, appealed to his uncle Tiberius to grant him entry into the cursus honorum , the political career. The new emperor Tiberius awarded Claudius the ornamenta consularia (consular honors), but thwarted a senate resolution that should grant Claudius the right to vote among the consulars. Since Tiberius, like Augustus, did not grant him any public office, Claudius gave up hope of public activity and spent the rest of Tiberius' reign on his estates near Rome and in Campania.

Despite the contempt of the imperial family, Claudius appears to have been respected in public very early on. After the death of Augustus, the Equites elected Claudius several times as their representative. When his house burned down, the Senate called for it to be rebuilt from public spending. There was even a demand that Claudius be allowed to debate in the Senate. Although Tiberius refused, the public attitude towards Claudius did not change. Immediately after the death of Tiberius' son Drusus , Claudius was named as a possible heir by certain Senate factions, making it clear that Claudius had political ambitions despite being excluded from public life. In fact, Claudius was further relegated to his political influence.

After the death of Tiberius, the new emperor Caligula noticed that his uncle Claudius could be politically useful. In 37 he made him his co-consul to commemorate his late father Germanicus. Nevertheless, Claudius was also humiliated by Caligula, who ridiculed him, demanded enormous financial sums from him, or ridiculed him in front of the Senate.

The Principate of Claudius

Taking office

On January 24, 41, Caligula was killed in a widespread conspiracy involving the Praetorian Cassius Chaerea and numerous senators. It has not been established whether Claudius was involved in the assassination attempt, although he must have known about the plot, especially since he had left the scene of the crime shortly before. After the murder of Milonia Caesonia , Caligula's wife, and her daughter, it was obviously necessary to go beyond the conspiracy to exterminate the entire imperial family. In the chaos following the murder of Caligula, Claudius fled to the palace to save his life. According to tradition, Claudius hid behind a curtain, but he was discovered by the Praetorian Gratus and finally proclaimed emperor. Part of the guard may have planned beforehand to elect Claudius as future emperor, possibly even with his consent. These Praetorians assured him that they were not one of the battalions seeking revenge. Claudius was brought to the Praetorian camp and placed under their protection. He attached great importance to protective custody in the Praetorian camp and showed this some time later in a coin that reminded of this process.

Bust of Claudius as Jupiter

The Senate met and began deliberating on the new government, which eventually led to a dispute over who should be the new princeps . In the Senate there was even a proposal to remove the remaining members of the imperial house and restore the republic. When the senators found out that Claudius was an option, they asked him to give them his consent, but Claudius declined because he knew the dangers of consent. The Jewish historian Flavius ​​Josephus reports that Claudius was influenced in his activities by the Jewish king Herod Agrippa . Although an earlier depiction of Josephus downplays the influence of Herod Agrippa in the accession of Claudius to the throne, it is ultimately uncertain in what way Claudius was supported in the accession of Agrippa. Claudius was acclaimed as emperor by the Praetorians . Finally, on January 25, the Senate approved his takeover.

A subsequent amnesty by Claudius, from which only the immediate murderers were excluded, created the conditions for reducing tensions. Although he did not allow the Senate to impose the damnatio memoriae on Caligula, he nonetheless had all of Caligula's statues removed. With the tribunicia potestas and the imperium proconsulare, Claudius received the usual rights of the princeps immediately after taking power.

Claudius took numerous steps to legitimize his rule against potential usurpers by assigning most of them a place in the Julio-Claudian family. He took over the name "Caesar" as a cognomen , which was still very important in the population. Like his two predecessors, he took the name "Augustus". He kept the honorary surname "Germanicus" in order to illustrate his connections to the popular brother. In his politics he tried to underpin his legitimacy through demonstrative ties to Augustus. So deified him immediately after his accession the deceased in 29 Livia to highlight its position as wife of the deified Augustus. He often used the term filius Drusi ("son of Drusus") in his titles to remind the people of his legendary father.

Claudius was the first princeps to be proclaimed emperor not by the Senate but by the Praetorian Guard. By promising every man in the Guard a donation of 15,000 sesterces , he was also the first emperor to secure the loyalty of the army through bribery. Since Tiberius and Augustus had promised gifts of money to the army in their wills, these were probably expected even after Caligula's death, although Caligula's testamentary disposition is not known. Claudius was also grateful to the Praetorians by showing their role in the ascension of the emperor on coins.

Relationship with the Senate

Although the Senate had initially declared Claudius to be an enemy of the state after his acclamation by the Praetorians, Claudius endeavored to facilitate cooperation through concession. So he demonstratively involved the Senate in decisions, abolished the hated majesty trials and deliberately treated the senators like peers. He also tried to achieve this goal by being polite to the Senate; thus he sat among the senators during regular session and spoke only when it was his turn. Many senators were awarded the ornamenta triumphalia by Claudius . The numerous suffect consulates should relax the relationship between him and the Senate, this also includes a second consulate to particularly important senators. Thus, Lucius Vitellius , the Claudius in 47/48 censorship took over, even three times consul. The Roman provinces of Macedonia and Achaea were returned to the Senate. The Senate was also allowed to issue bronze coins for the first time since Augustus.

When expelling senators from the Senate, Claudius was just as considerate as Augustus, as he tried to replace the dismissed senators with suitable men from the provinces at the same time. A bronze plaque found in Lyon in 1528 contains a speech by Claudius in which he expresses the wish to have Gallic aristocrats admitted to the Senate. In this speech - transmitted by Tacitus in an edited version - Claudius expresses himself reverently, but critically, that the Senate despised these provincials. Claudius also increased the number of patricians by adding more families in response to their dwindling numbers in noble society. In this he followed the example of Lucius Junius Brutus and Gaius Julius Caesar .

Despite these measures, many senators remained hostile to Claudius. This enmity was so lasting that Claudius never entered the Senate without a protective force and was forced to reduce the Senate in order to enable effective work. The hatred of many senators found expression in Seneca's apocolocyntosis . As Claudius increasingly centralized power, the Emperor pushed the Senate out of its position of power and instead promoted its well-organized imperial administration. Accordingly, the administration of Ostia was given to a procurator after the port of Ostia was completed. The financial policy was mainly entrusted to chivalrous procurators or freedmen, whom he honored for it. His freedman Pallas received the ornamenta praetoria , an exclusive honor reserved for senators. This policy led to further resentment in the upper class, who suspected that the freedmen ruled the emperor.

During the rule of Claudius there were therefore several coup attempts, as a result of which numerous senators were executed. The senator Gaius Appius Junius Silanus was executed under unclear circumstances at the beginning of Claudius' reign. Shortly afterwards there was a great rebellion of the senators under the leadership of Scribonianus , the governor of Dalmatia , who with his two legions fell away from Claudius. However, the uprising collapsed after a few days because Scribonianus was abandoned by his troops and killed while fleeing. Numerous other senators were executed for various reasons, sometimes in connection with conspiracies, sometimes because of intrigue and local fighting.

Silver denarius of Claudius

Claudius' son-in-law, Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus , was executed along with his father Crassus Frugi for participating in a conspiracy. The consulates Lusius Saturninus, Cornelius Lupus and Pompeius Pedo were involved in another plot. In 46, Asinius Gallus , the grandson of Gaius Asinius Pollio , and Statilius Corvinus were exiled for treason, with numerous freedmen of Claudius participating in the intrigue.

The consul Valerius Asiaticus was accused in 47 of having established connections with Gallic potentates in order to put forward a coup against Claudius. He was accused and convicted by Publius Suillius Rufus in front of Claudius in a quick trial. Claudius allowed him to choose the way of death, whereupon Asiaticus had his wrists cut open. The allegations were scattered by Claudius' wife Messalina , since he did not want to become her lover. Asiaticus was probably involved in Caligula's murder and perhaps had ambitions for the imperial throne himself. Claudius himself could therefore have felt threatened in his power by him, so that he wanted to have him eliminated at a favorable opportunity. In his speech about the Gauls a year later, Claudius speaks of Asiaticus with the greatest contempt.

Grave stone of the freedman Lucius Volusius (Urbanus), probably around the year 48/49 in censorship Claudius and his colleague Lucius Vitellius as Nomenclator had served

Most of these conspiracies rose before Claudius became censor. Since he was able to exclude senators from the Senate through the censorship office, he should have been prompted to take a closer look at the senatorial partisanship. Suetonius reports that a total of 35 senators and over 300 knights were executed for their actions during Claudius' reign. The knights also made most of the sacrifices in the course of the principate. The many conspiracies put additional strain on the relationship between the Senate and the Emperor.

Legal policy

During his reign, Claudius made jurisdiction one of the principal duties of the principate. He judged many legal matters himself during his tenure. As a judge, Claudius is said to have passed unpredictable and arbitrary, sometimes ridiculous judgments. He was also easily influenced. He moved the court holidays to winter. Claudius also passed a law requiring plaintiffs to reside in the city of Rome while their cases were in progress, which previously only the defendants were required to do. These measures should help clarify the process details better. The minimum age for a jury was raised to 25 to ensure that the jury was as experienced as possible. In 53 the senatorial provinces transferred civil jurisdiction in tax matters from the proconsuls to the imperial procurators .

Claudius issued numerous ordinances ranging from medical advice to moral judgments. The two examples are well-known: “ Yew juice is a highly effective remedy against snakebites” and “This year the grape harvest is particularly plentiful, so everyone has to fill their wine jugs well.” His decree on dealing with sick slaves is famous. The slaveholders put ailing slaves at the temple of Aesculapius to die, but they wanted the slaves back if they survived. Claudius decreed that slaves who recovered were free. In addition, slaveholders who preferred to kill slaves rather than care for them were convicted of murderers.

Civil rights policy

An investigator for Claudius discovered that many allegedly long-established Roman citizens residing in what is now Trento did not actually have citizenship . The emperor then announced that they should be considered as holders of civil rights in the future, as a cancellation of their civil rights status would have caused major problems. However, in individual cases Claudius severely punished the illegal presumption of civil rights and pronounced the death penalty. Anyone released who was convicted of holding members of the knighthood in bondage was also sold back into slavery for punishment .

In 48, Claudius conducted a census in which 5,984,072 Roman citizens were counted, an increase of one million over the last census conducted by Augustus. This increased number of citizens can be explained by the fact that several Roman colonies with new citizens were founded and the granting of Roman citizenship to provincials was intensively promoted. Especially the Gauls, Spaniards, Greeks and also the Britons were granted Roman citizenship. Contemporary criticism expressed that Claudius indiscriminately and on a massive scale granted provincials citizenship. Claudius referred to Augustus and Tiberius for awards, but did them far more often than his predecessors. Numerous people in the west and east bore the name Ti. Claudius. Likewise, with Claudius, the granting of civil rights to auxiliary soldiers seems to have finally prevailed after 25 years of service, since the first military diplomas date from the year 52, in which the award of the civitas Romana was documented.

Construction activities

The Porta Maggiore in Rome

During his reign there were numerous famines in the empire caused by a shortage of wheat. Claudius tried to increase agricultural production and improve the institutions responsible for the food supply. He developed a brisk public construction activity, both in the capital and in the provinces. So he took care of the completion of two aqueducts : the Aqua Claudia started by Caligula and the Anio Novus . Both were completed in Rome in AD 52; they met at the Porta Maggiore . Claudius also restored a third aqueduct, the Aqua Virgo .

The emperor paid particular attention to the traffic routes. He had roads and canals built throughout Italy and the provinces. In Italy, the connection to Raetia was expanded, while the Via Claudia to the Adriatic was built. In Rome he built a navigable canal that would connect the Tiber with its new port, Portus Romae . This port city was constructed in a semicircle with two piers and a lighthouse at the opening of the port basin. The artificial system was intended to contain the floods in Rome, but also to improve the grain supply. In addition, the new port should enable grain traders to travel to Egypt outside of the shipping season. In addition to port construction, a more reliable grain supply should also be achieved through an incentive policy aimed at wholesalers and shipowners. Research usually dates the beginning of port construction to 42. The measures for a better grain supply are no longer classified as a reaction to the popular unrest against the emperor in the year 51, but according to the more recent view dated in connection with the port project. Dating from the beginning of his reign, Claudius appears to be a politically prudent and far-sighted ruler. Claudius guaranteed seafarers special privileges, such as citizenship and exemption from the Lex Papia Poppaea , a law that regulated marriage. Claudius also abolished the food tax introduced by Caligula and reduced taxes for communities affected by drought or starvation.

In Italy, he tried to increase the total area of ​​arable land, among other things by draining Lake Fucin - a project that Gaius Iulius Caesar had already tackled. To this end, over a period of eleven years, 30,000 workers built a drainage canal that crossed Monte Salviano by means of a tunnel . Since the tunnels and canals were not designed to be large enough to completely drain off the resulting water, the attempt to convert Italy's largest inland lake into arable land was only partially successful. The expansions of the canal and tunnel system carried out under Trajan and Hadrian and in the Middle Ages by Emperor Friedrich II did not lead to drainage. This was only achieved by Alessandro Torlonia in the 19th century, whose tunnel system was three times the size planned by Claudius.

The buildings of state monuments under Claudius show two changes compared to his predecessors. On the one hand, much more elaborate monuments with rich relief decorations can be found in various places than in the past and, on the other hand, the emperor appears particularly often associated with Augustus. Since it was important for Claudius to legitimize himself dynastically, he consciously placed himself in the footsteps of Augustus.

Religious politics

Claudius based his religious policy on Augustus. In contrast to the self-deification of his predecessor Caligula, Claudius was moderate and sociable in his demeanor and refused all exaggerated homage. Claudius only claimed the usual official titles for himself. He also saw Augustus as his role model in promoting cults and accordingly shared with him the preference for ancient Roman things. Like Augustus, Claudius refused to be worshiped as a god, but allowed as many exceptions as Augustus and Tiberius had done. In his letter to the Alexandrines shortly after his accession to the throne on November 10, 41, he refused a request from the Alexandrian Greeks to dedicate a temple to his divinity, since he was of the opinion that only gods could choose new gods. In doing so, he moved away from the self-deification of Caligula, which had led to massive conflicts between Jews and Greeks.

Some old festivals were also reintroduced by Claudius, while those religious celebrations that Caligula had added were abolished and old customs and languages ​​were reactivated instead. Claudius had the secular games held in 47 on the 800th anniversary of the existence of the city of Rome - only 64 years after they had taken place for the last time, on the grounds that Augustus had organized his secular celebration ahead of time and without waiting for the time stipulated by sacred law. In the year 52 Claudius had a naumachie staged on Lake Fucin , which is considered to be the largest staging of a sea battle in history.

Claudius was concerned about the spread of oriental mystery religions within the city of Rome and tried to replace them with Roman cults. So he promoted the Eleusis mysteries held during the Roman Republic. His conservative religious policy was also reflected in the expulsion of foreign astrologers, where he rehabilitated old Roman fortune tellers in the form of the Haruspices . He acted particularly vigorously with a ban against Druidism . To this day one can only speculate about the reasons for its suppression. Claudius fought proselytism in every religion, even in areas where he allowed the indigenous people to pray freely.

Two sources report various measures taken by Claudius against the Jews living in Rome : According to Cassius Dio , their number had increased so much at the beginning of Claudius' term of office (41) that they could not have been expelled without a tumult. That is why Claudius - in contrast to the expulsion of the Jews under Tiberius in 19 - did not expel them and left them their way of life, but prohibited their meetings. According to Suetonius , Claudius drove the Jews out of Rome who, at Chrestus' instigation, had caused constant unrest. According to the Christian historian Orosius (early 5th century), who refers to Flavius ​​Josephus, this measure took place in the ninth year of Claudius' reign and is therefore usually dated to the year 49. "Chrestus" ("the useful") was a common slave name, but Suetonius was probably unwittingly referring to a conflict among Jews in Rome over the belief of Jewish Christians in Jesus Christ . Because the Roman rulers at that time could not yet differentiate between Jews and Christians and could not pacify their conflict, Claudius now had them driven out together.

He tried to appease the uprisings in Alexandria between Jews and Greeks in his early reign by trying to pacify, on the one hand denying the Jewish population the Alexandrian citizenship, but on the other hand protecting them from the attacks of the Alexandrians and calling on both sides to renounce violence. He also confirmed privileges for all Jewish communities. According to Josephus, he assured the Jews in Rome rights and freedom like all other Jews in the empire.

Expansion and provincial politics

The Roman Empire at the time of Claudius

At the beginning of the reign of Claudius, the Roman Empire was expanded again for the first time since the reign of Augustus. Thrace , Mauritania , Noricum , Pamphylia and Lycia were incorporated into the Roman Empire and came under imperial administration. Claudius gave Judea with Herod Agrippa I again a king; after his death the country was made a province in 44 and placed under a procurator . Although the Roman influence on the eastern border was weakened, there was no military activity in Armenia and Parthia . The deposition of the king of the Bosporan Empire, Mithridates, caused unrest in the whole region until Mithridates himself was decisively defeated in 49. The installation of the Parthian Prince Meherdates , who had lived as a hostage in Rome, turned out to be a failure. There were also no military activities in Germania. Claudius allowed the commander of the Lower Germanic army, Domitius Corbulo , neither to proceed militarily against Germanic tribes on the right bank of the Rhine, nor to station troops there. Claudius also refrained from intervening in the struggle for rule in the Suebian Empire.

For the military successes during his reign, the unsoldier Claudius accepted a total of 27 imperators acclamations , whereby this number was exceeded only by the Roman emperor Constantine II .

Conquest of Britain

Locations of coins of the emperor Claudius

However, the most significant expansion of the Roman Empire at that time was the conquest of Britain . An invasion was expected under Caligula, but it required longer preparation because numerous units, such as legions and around 20,000 auxiliary troops, had to be brought together without weakening other regions. The current occasion was riots in the south of the island, where the Catuvellauni attacked several neighboring tribes and caused the Atrebaten prince Verica to seek protection from the Romans. Another cause is the desire of Claudius to increase his reputation with the Roman army through an extraordinary military action. In addition to these reasons, misconceptions about the island's topography, mineral resources and economic opportunities could also have played a role. Britain was also a safe haven for Gallic rebels. In the year 43 Aulus Plautius was sent by Claudius with four Roman legions to Britain ("Britannia"). Claudius himself brought reinforcements and elephants with him after the end of the initial offensive. After 16 days on the island and the conquest of Camulodunum , Claudius left the new province. The Senate granted him a triumphal procession - an honor that in the meantime was de facto only due to the imperial family. Claudius refused the winning title "Britannicus" and gave it to his son. When the British King Caractacus was captured in 51 after many years of resistance, Claudius was lenient: Caractacus spent the rest of his life on an estate that was made available to him by the Roman Empire - an unusual ending for an enemy military leader, but useful, to pacify the British. Under Claudius Gaul experienced a flourishing economic development; road and town planning played an important role in trade. The decisive factor for this was the British campaign, as Gaul was the starting point for the campaign and provided auxiliary troops.

The imperial court


A cameo from Claudius

Claudius was the first emperor to organize his own administration. Although it did not introduce any legal or formal innovations, the Kaiserhof became the executive center of administration for the first time in practice. The emperor did not entrust personal affairs to the senators or the knights, but to the freedmen who had become civil servants. This enabled the emperor to secure his independence from both groups, the senate and the knighthood, and expand his power in the provinces. The secretariat was divided into offices led by a freedman. As secretary, Narcissus was responsible for the correspondence. Callistus became Secretary for Justice. There was a fourth miscellaneous bureau that Polybius ran until he was executed for treason. The fact that Narcissus instead of Claudius turned to the troops before the conquest of Britain shows that the freedmen could take on important tasks for the emperor. The senators were appalled that such important positions that they previously held were now in the hands of freedmen. By influencing the finances, letters, and laws, it was apparently not very difficult to influence the emperor. Therefore, the ancient historians charged that Claudius was too dependent on his freedmen. On the other hand, they are said to have behaved loyally to Claudius. He was equally understanding of the freedmen and gave them confidence in politics where he needed their advice. However, if they showed treacherous tendencies, they were punished by Claudius, as the example of Polybius shows. Regardless of the extent of their political strength, the freedmen could amass great fortunes. Pliny the Elder notes that some of them were richer than Crassus, who was the richest man at the time of the Roman Republic .


Messalina with her son Britannicus

Claudius' love life was unusual for a high-class Roman. Regarding the love life of the first fifteen emperors, Edward Gibbon remarked that "Claudius was the only one whose taste in love was completely correct" and was thus neither pederasty nor homosexual. Gibbon's view was based on Suetonius' statement that Claudius had a great passion for women but was not interested in men. Suetonius and the other historians used his love life against him. They accused him of being significantly influenced by his wives.

Claudius was engaged twice as a young man, in both cases a marriage did not materialize. The first engagement to his 12-year-old cousin Aemilia Lepida broke up when their mother fell out of favor with Augustus in AD 8. The second engagement to Livia Medullina ended with the sudden death of the bride just before the wedding.

Claudius was married four times. His first marriage was with Plautia Urgulanilla , a granddaughter of Livia's confidante Urgulania . During their marriage, Claudius Drusus was born. Shortly after his engagement to the daughter of Seianus , Drusus died of suffocation in childhood. Claudius later separated from Urgulanilla on account of adultery and suspected murder of her sister-in-law Apronia. When Urgulanilla gave birth to a daughter named Claudia after the divorce, Claudius refused the child because the father was one of the freedmen.

Probably in the year 28 Claudius married Aelia Paetina, a relative of Seianus. With her he had the daughter Claudia Antonia . In the year 31 he separated from her, probably in connection with the fall of Seianus. Before he came to power (around 39/40 AD) he married the 14-year-old Valeria Messalina . She gave birth to Claudius two children: in 40 the daughter Claudia Octavia and shortly after Claudius' assumption of power in 41 the son Tiberius Claudius Germanicus, who became known as Britannicus . The ancient sources describe Messalina as a nymphomaniac who was constantly unfaithful to Claudius. Allegedly, Messalina even tried to compete with a prostitute and wanted to use his politics for her own ends, in order to amass wealth. In 48 she married her lover Gaius Silius in a public ceremony while Claudius was in Ostia . The sources are contradictory as to whether or not she was divorced from the emperor and whether she intended to usurp the throne. The Claudius biographer Vincent Scramuzza says that Silius convinced Messalina that Claudius was doomed and that the connection was her only hope of holding her position and protecting her children, because Agrippina's efforts to protect her son Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus (the later Nero ), the only grandson of Germanicus on the throne, could already be recognized at this point in time. According to Tacitus, Claudius could have been prevented from publicly reprimanding the affair because of his continued activity as a censor ("moral guardian"). Silius and Messalina and most of their circle of friends had 48 executed by Claudius. Claudius made a promise to the Praetorians that if he ever married again they would kill him.

Despite this declaration, Claudius remarried. After briefly considering whether to marry his second wife again or to marry the childless Lollia Paulina , the widow of his predecessor, the choice fell on Agrippina the younger , who won over Claudius because of her feminine charms. But it was probably also a marriage for political reasons. The coup of Silius made the weak position of Claudius clear. His position also became more unstable because Claudius had no adult heir, because Britannicus was still a boy. Agrippina was Augustus' great-granddaughter and, with her eleven-year-old son, brought another emperor's successor into the marriage. This was one of the last male descendants of the imperial family. Since Agrippina was Claudius' niece, connections between uncle and niece were generally no longer regarded as incest by a resolution of the Senate . Vincent Scramuzza argues that the Senate enforced marriage to end the dispute between Julians and Claudians. The dispute went back to the actions of Agrippina the Elder against Tiberius, who blamed the latter for the death of Germanicus. Agrippina was granted honorary rights and de facto power like no princeps wife before. So she was given the name Augusta , and her portrait appeared on Roman imperial coins. From the beginning, Agrippina determinedly prepared her son's succession to the throne. On this occasion, the philosopher Seneca was called back from his exile in Corsica and appointed Nero's tutor.

On February 25, 1950, Domitius was adopted by Claudius and was henceforth called Nero. In 53 Nero was married to Claudius' daughter Octavia. By granting political rights, he was clearly highlighted as his successor. This behavior was a tradition in the Roman monarchy. Tiberius had identified his great-nephew Caligula and his grandson Tiberius Gemellus as successors. This continued the republican tradition of adopting an adult or adolescent when there was no natural inheritance. It has been suggested that Claudius also adopted one of his sons-in-law to protect his own rule, otherwise possible usurpers could have tried to usurp the rule.

Scholarly activity

The letters of Claudius

Claudius was a writer for most of his life. Arnaldo Momigliano explains that it was politically unwise to talk about republican Rome during the reign of Tiberius, which was the height of Claudius's literary activity. Younger writers were more inclined to describe the new order or to write on obscure ancient subjects. Claudius was one of the few scholars who covered both. In addition to the story of the rule of Augustus in a total of 43 books, which often led to hostility, especially from his mother and grandmother, his main works were 20 books on the history of the Etruscans and eight books on the history of Carthage, as well as a treatise on playing dice that he loved very much. Although he generally avoided the treatment of the imperial era, he wrote a very well-read defense for Cicero regarding the punishments against Asinius Gallus.

In modern research there are numerous conjectures as to why Claudius chose these very topics. Momigliano thinks that the interest in Carthage is linked to the memory of the great times of Rome. Barbara Levick sees Claudius as an outsider, who therefore likes to choose outsider topics, as a form of escapism through dealing with distant and also hostile peoples. Claudius is considered to be the first to write a special Carthaginian history.

In addition to his writing activities, he planned to reform the Latin alphabet by adding three new letters. The first - Ɔ ( antisigma ) - corresponded to a mirrored lunar sigma and most likely stood for the sound value of the Greek psi . The second - Ⅎ ( digamma inversum ) - was based on the archaic Greek Digamma , but rotated; he was to identify the sound [⁠ v ⁠] as opposed to [⁠ u ⁠] and [⁠ w ⁠] used (by the letter V). The third - Ⱶ - resembled a half-H and served for the sound between [⁠ u ⁠] and [⁠ i ⁠] , similar to the Greek Ypsilon . He introduced the reform during his censorship, but it failed. Since classical Latin was written without word spacing, he tried to reintroduce the old custom of putting dots between words.

Finally he wrote an eight-volume autobiography, which Suetonius described as "inappropriate, but stylish". None of these works has survived. The loss of the knowledge that Claudius' works must have contained is counted among the worst losses in ancient historiography. The autobiography of Claudius is quoted once by Suetonius, he is likely to have often used it as a source. Pliny the Elder , who often quotes him, ranks him among the most important scholars of his time.


With the exception of Josephus, the closest source in time, who speaks of a mere rumor, all writers present the murder of Claudius by a poisoned mushroom dish as certain, whereby Tacitus, however, conspicuously does not take responsibility for this version himself, but instead relies on an unnamed " Historian of that time ”. One thing is certain: Claudius died in the early hours of October 13, 54. However, the descriptions of the actual process differ greatly. On the one hand, it is said that Claudius' taster, the eunuch Halotus , had the poison mixed with his food, or that Gaius Stertinius Xenophon , his personal physician, was to blame . This is said to have been bribed and then killed the emperor with a peacock feather with poison on the tip. According to Tacitus, the notorious poisoner Lucusta may have been involved in the poisoning of Claudius. Some claim that he died of poisoning from a single dose, while others claim that Claudius vomited the poisoned food and was given poison again. According to tradition, Claudius is said to have had diarrhea symptoms due to the poisoning. With the Apocolocyntosis, Seneca wrote a satire on the death of Emperor Claudius, in which he gave him the last words : vae me, puto, concacavi me! ("Oh dear, I think I screwed myself!") In the mouth, which is to be understood as an allusion to the diarrhea symptoms mentioned.

Unexplained deaths of rulers almost always resulted in unconfirmed murder rumors. In the case of Claudius, most traditions have one thing in common: his third and last wife, Agrippina, is accused of instigating the poisoning in the name of Nero. According to these sources, Agrippina and Claudius fought secretly in the last few months before his death. Claudius is said to have already started to regret his marriage to Agrippina even publicly and thus to consider the growing Britannicus, who still came from the marriage with Messalina, with regard to the question of succession. Claudius' last will is said to have changed again shortly before his death: Either he saw both Nero and Britannicus or only Britannicus as his successors. Agrippina intended to secure the succession for her son from her first marriage, the elder Nero, before Britannicus himself was old enough to be considered the only possible successor.

Many ancient historians today are significantly more skeptical about the ancient tradition of Claudius' death. They doubt the existence of the motive for murder and the plot and assume a natural death or an accident (a poisonous mushroom accidentally got into the food). In truth, Claudius never questioned Nero's successor until the end. In contrast to Nero, he never bestowed Britannicus those honors that would have marked him as his successor, although he would have been old enough for it. The rumors of murder therefore only emerged in retrospect, when Nero had long been considered a bad emperor who was blamed for the elimination of his predecessor. According to another view, Claudius could also have died as a result of a heart attack when he argued with Agrippina about the succession to the throne.

Claudius' full titulature at the time of his death was Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, Pontifex maximus , Tribuniciae potestatis XIV, Consul V, Imperator XXVII, Pater patriae . Nero became his successor. Claudius' ashes were buried in the Augustus mausoleum on October 24th .

Claudius was consecrated as a Divus ("deified") by Nero and by resolution of the Senate . The funeral oration written by Seneca was given by Nero. A short time after Claudius' deification appeared the Apocolocyntosis , also written by Seneca , one of the most vicious satires ever to be written on a ruler. Many of the less loyal followers of Claudius quickly passed over to Nero's camp.


Assessments in antiquity

Nero often criticized the late emperor and disregarded many of Claudius' decisions and orders on the grounds that Claudius was insane. The opinion that Claudius was deranged remained prevalent throughout Emperor Nero's reign. Finally, Nero gave up the reference to his deified adoptive father and orientated himself again to his biological family. A temple intended for the deified Claudius was not completed by Nero and practically destroyed after the death of his mother. The construction site continued to be used as a distribution station for the aqueduct system initiated by Claudius. Nero's negative attitude towards Claudius also affected the Claudius cult in the provinces. Vespasian , who had made significant steps in his career under Claudius, revived the Claudius cult and had his temple rebuilt on Caelius , as it was important for the emerging Flavian dynasty to express continuity by maintaining the state religion. However, when the Flavians had consolidated their rule, they highlighted their own merits without leaning more towards Claudius. Later Titus , Domitian and Trajan refreshed the memory less of Claudius himself than of his government with coins.

The ancient writers Tacitus, Cassius Dio and Suetonius wrote their works only after the death of the last Flavier. All three were senators or knights . The ancient historians often took the position of the Senate in the conflicts between the Senate and the Princeps. Suetonius describes Claudius as a ridiculous person, belittling many of his deeds and assigning the emperor's good deeds to his retinue. Tacitus wrote his history work for his fellow senators and added the individual emperors to a specific representation scheme. In Tacitus Claudius is almost consistently portrayed as a dependent "idiot" who is absolutely submissive to his women and therefore easy to manipulate. His description of the emperor as a complete idiot was also noticeable in the fact that Tacitus did not mention the authorship of Claudius, even where he obviously used the writings of Claudius as a source, but rather falsified the writing style of Claudius.

Cassius Dio, as a later historian, was less biased, but seems to have used Suetonius and Tacitus as sources. So for a long time the opinion of Claudius remained as a complete idiot controlled by those whom he supposedly ruled. Over time, Claudius lost its importance outside of historical representations. His books were lost as soon as their ancient subjects lost popularity. At the end of the 2nd century, the birthday of Emperor Pertinax , who shared his birthday with Claudius, overshadowed every commemoration of Claudius. Then in the 3rd century there was another emperor by his name, Claudius Gothicus (268 to 270). After the death of Claudius Gothicus, he was divinized by the Senate and replaced Claudius in the Roman pantheon . Thus Claudius was largely forgotten at the end of the third century.

The picture in the Middle Ages and in modern times

As early as the 12th century, the British scholar Geoffrey von Monmouth gave in his work "The History of the Kings of Britain" with a rather patriotic tendency a very negative image of Claudius' own military achievements during his invasion of Britain. The French pulpit speaker Jacques Bénigne Bossuet (1627–1704) judged in his “Universal History” about the emperor: “Claudius rules despite his stupidity”. John Adams , second President of the United States of America , came to a similar judgment in his "View on Universal History" of 1795, also describing Claudius as completely devoted to the will of his wives and freedmen:

“Men of limited ability and pitiful minds are good or bad only because they happen to get into the hands of virtuous or diabolical advisors; and to his misfortune the people who led him were utterly rejected and nefarious. Their leader was his wife, Messalina, whose name has almost become a commonplace for depraved characters. "

- John Adams (1795)

This relatively unanimous judgment of the older historiography is also reflected in the Claudius dramas of the Renaissance period. The Elizabethan playwright William Shakespeare (1564–1616), who read the ancient emperor's biographies in the Latin original, designed the character of Polonius in Hamlet based on the characteristics of Emperor Claudius. This becomes particularly clear in that scene in the queen's bedchamber, where Polonius hides behind a curtain and is stabbed by Hamlet, who confuses him with the king Claudius ( Is it the king? ). The tragedies of Thomas May, The Tragedy of Julia Agrippina (1639), as well as Nathanial Richards, The Tragedy of Messalina, Empress of Rome (1640) date from the 17th century, each depicting Claudius as a faithful fool who got through the intrigues of his wives is driven mad, as is clear from the departure of Claudius to Ostia with Richards:

The strong persuasion of thar love I bear
To thee, thou star on earth, my only bliss:
Bear record, heaven, bless thou this parting kiss!
[Exit Claudius ...]
Farewell, my life, my love, my royal fool
Shallow-brain fop, dull ignorance, adieu,
The kindest cuckold woman ever knew. [...]
Rome shall take notice, our incensēd blood,
Like to Medusa's, shall to serpents turn.
“The strong belief in the love I feel
For you, you star on earth, my only treasure:
Be a witness, heaven, bless this kiss goodbye!
[Claudius resigns]
Farewell, my life, my love, my royal fool,
Fatzke with cupped brain, dull narrow-mindedness, adieu,
Nicest of men a woman has ever betrayed [...]
Rome will be a witness, like my excited blood
Giving attention to snakes, like those of Medusa . "

Fiction and Film in the 20th Century

The novels of Robert von Ranke-Graves from 1934, I, Claudius and Claudius the God (German edition in one volume: Ich, Claudius, Kaiser und Gott ) are considered to be the most important fictional account of the Roman Emperor Claudius. Both books are written in the first person to give the reader the impression that it is an autobiography . Graves used fictional elements by stating that translations of Claudius' writings had recently been discovered. To this end, Book I, Claudius, also mentions visiting an oracle. The oracle prophesies that the document will be rediscovered almost 1900 years later. The received letters, speeches and sayings of Claudius were especially incorporated into the second book Claudius the God in order to convey authenticity.

In 1937 the director Josef von Sternberg made an unsuccessful attempt to film the novels of Graves with the film I, Claudius . Charles Laughton was intended for the role of the Roman emperor . Due to a serious accident involving the main actress Merle Oberon , the film was never completed. The remaining film roles were eventually used in the 1965 documentary The Epic That Never Was . The two books by Graves were the basis for a thirteen-part television adaptation produced by the BBC , Ich, Claudius, Kaiser und Gott (in the English original: I, Claudius ). The miniseries starring Derek Jacobi Claudius was broadcast in 1976 and won several BAFTA awards.

In addition to the film adaptations of Graves' books, there have been numerous other cinematic adaptations. The Italian director Tinto Brass shot the scandalous film Caligula (German subtitle Rise and Fall of a Tyrant ) in 1979 . Gore Vidal wrote the script. Giancarlo Badessi played the role of Claudius here . In contrast to the books by Graves, Claudius is clearly portrayed as being poorly well-off, following the non-benevolent ancient sources.

Novels about Claudius and his contemporaries include the historical novel Minutus der Römer by Mika Waltari , as well as the two science fiction novels Empire of the Atom and The Wizard of Linn by the Canadian-born author AE van Vogt , which are based on the portrayal of Graves. A series of books by Simon Scarrow takes place in the time of Claudius and occasionally makes references to the emperor. In addition, Claudius is a minor character in the numerous novels that are about his wives Messalina and Agrippina.

Claudius in historical research

The verdict in research on the specific character of Claudius' reign is by no means uniform. Despite all the divergence in research, there is still agreement that with Claudius a new beginning or at least a very important further development in the administration of the Roman Empire can be established. However, one is uncertain whether these changes are due to Claudius himself or rather to the initiative of his freedmen.

Theodor Mommsen saw Claudius as the "most unsuitable" Princeps, since "was ruled under him, but he himself did not rule". Edmund Groag, on the other hand, assessed Claudius' principate very positively. For him the rule of Claudius's freedmen was one of the best that the Roman Empire had seen. Claudius, on the other hand, was for him a man "without authority, without stability and mental clarity, fearful, talkative, sensual". Arnaldo Momigliano emphasized the achievements of the scholar Claudius and explained the failure of the emperor as a result of the contradiction between his will to rule and the desire for popularity. Despite the contradiction, Claudius set up an administrative center at the court for the first time. Hans-Georg Pflaum saw in Claudius a "half fool" and thus rather drew the "government of Claudius' favorites" responsible for the political measures of that time, by which the freedmen are meant. In the biography of Barbara Levick published in 1990, Claudius was considered to be the first real emperor, since the institutionalized empire began with him.


Suetons Kaiserbiographien, the Roman history of Cassius Dio and Tacitus ' annals provide information about Claudius and his time . It is briefly dealt with in the various late antique breviaries .

In his work Apocolocyntosis , which is laid out as a Menippeian satire , Seneca attacks the recently deceased, probably to take revenge for the injustice suffered under his government. The content is about Claudius leaving life, being declared God and finally going to heaven. There, however, they don't know what to do with him, so that he finally finds himself in the underworld, where he is tried for his offenses.



Web links

Commons : Claudius  - album with pictures, videos and audio files


  1. For the clinical picture cf. Barbara Levick: Claudius. London 1990, pp. 13ff. Modern diagnostic attempts have changed several times over the past century. Before World War II, polio was often thought to be the cause. Robert Graves also uses this diagnosis in his novels about Claudius. Polio does not explain the symptoms described, while another theory assumes infantile cerebral palsy as the cause of Claudius' suffering. See: Ernestine F. Leon: The Imbecillitas of the Emperor Claudius. In: Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association. No. 79, 1948, pp. 79-86, here p. 83.
  2. ^ Suetonius, Claudius 30 .
  3. Seneca, Apocolocyntosis 5.3 .
  4. ^ Suetonius, Claudius 31 .
  5. ^ Suetonius, Claudius 38 .
  6. Sueton, Claudius 5 , 21 , 40 ; Cassius Dio 60, 2 .
  7. ^ Suetonius, Claudius 34.1 .
  8. ^ Suetonius, Claudius 34 , 38 .
  9. ^ Suetonius, Claudius 29 . Cassius Dio 60, 2, 4 .
  10. Suetonius, Claudius 35 , 36 , 37 , 39 , 40 ; Cassius Dio 60, 2, 6 .
  11. ^ Cassius Dio 60, 2, 5 .
  12. ^ Suetonius, Claudius 3 .
  13. ^ Suetonius, Claudius 2 .
  14. On the formation of Claudius see: Barbara Levick: Claudius. London 1990, pp. 11-20.
  15. ^ Suetonius, Claudius 4 .
  16. ^ Suetonius, Claudius 41 . See Vincent Scramuzza: The Emperor Claudius . Cambridge / Massachusetts 1940, p. 39.
  17. M. Stuart: The Date of the Inscription of Claudius on the Arch of Ticinum. In: American Journal of Archeology . No. 40, 1936, pp. 314-322.
  18. ^ Suetonius, Claudius 5 .
  19. ^ Suetonius, Claudius 9.2 .
  20. Cassius Dio 56, 28, 5 ; Suetonius, Nero 6 .
  21. A. Major: Was He Pushed or Did He Leap? Claudius' Ascent to Power. In: Ancient History: Resources for Teachers. No. 22, 1992, pp. 25-31.
  22. Flavius ​​Josephus, Jüdische Antiquities 19,162; Cassius Dio 60, 1st ; Suetonius, Claudius 10 .
  23. Karl Christ: History of the Roman Empire . 6th edition, Munich 2009, p. 215.
  24. Josephus, Jüdische Antiquities 19, 162ff.
  25. Josephus, Jüdischer Krieg 2, 204-233.
  26. Cassius Dio 60, 3.6-4.6; 5.4 .
  27. ^ Suetonius, Claudius 10.4 .
  28. ^ Tacitus : Annals 11, 25 .
  29. Latin text of the tablet from Lyon (on Wikisource) . For the speech see: Werner Riess: The speech of Claudius on the ius honorum of the Gallic notables, research status and perspectives. In: Revue des études anciennes 105, 2003, pp. 211–249.
  30. ^ Tacitus, Annals 11, 24 . Tacitus probably found Claudius' speech in the acta Senatus because he took other sentences from there. E. Huzar: The Erudite Emperor offers a brief comparison of the authentic speech with the text rendering of Tacitus . In: Rise and Fall of the Roman World . II, 32, 1, 1984, pp. 611-650, here pp. 627-632.
  31. D. McAlindon examines the tension between Claudius and the Senate: Senatorial opposition to Claudius and Nero. In: American Journal of Philology No. 77, 1956, pp. 113-132; D. McAlindon: Senatorial Advancement in the Age of Claudius. In: Latomus. No. 16, 1957, pp. 252-262; D. McAlindon Claudius and the senator. In: American Journal of Philology. No. 78, 1957, pp. 279-286.
  32. Tacitus, Annalen 12, 53 .
  33. Vincent Scramuzza: The Emperor Claudius. Cambridge / Massachusetts 1940, p. 48. Counts six attacks on Claudius
  34. CIL 6, 1968
  35. ^ Suetonius, Claudius 29.2 .
  36. Barbara Levick: Claudius. London 1990, pp. 102f.
  37. Cassius Dio 72,6,1.
  38. ^ Suetonius, Claudius 15 .
  39. ^ Tacitus, Annals 11, 25 .
  40. ^ Wilhelm Kierdorf: Claudius. In: Manfred Clauss (Ed.): The Roman Emperors . 4th updated edition. Munich 2010, pp. 67–76, here: p. 73; Seneca, Apocolocyntosis 3.3.
  41. ^ Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum (CIL) XVI 1–3.
  42. Peter Herz: Studies on Roman economic legislation. The food supply. Stuttgart 1988, pp. 90-102.
  43. For example TF Carney: The emperor Claudius and the grain trade. In: DM Kriel (Ed.): Pro munera grates. Studies presented to HL Gonin. Pretoria 1971, pp. 39-57. Catherine Virlouvet: Famines et émeutes à Rome des origines de la république à la mort de Néron. Rom 1985, p. 18. See also Josiah Osgood: Claudius Caesar. Image and power in the early Roman Empire. Cambridge et al. 2011, p. 182.
  44. Katja Kröss: The dating of Claudius' measures in favor of a reliable grain supply. In: Historia 65/2016, pp. 211-219.
  45. ^ Suetonius, Claudius 20, 2 .
  46. ^ Tonio Hölscher : Claudian state monuments in Rome and Italy. New steps to consolidate the principate. In: Volker Michael Strocka (ed.): The reign of Emperor Claudius (41–54 AD): upheaval or episode? International interdisciplinary symposium on the occasion of the centenary of the Archaeological Institute of the University of Freiburg i. Br., 16.-18. February 1991 . Zabern, Mainz 1994, p. 93.
  47. P. Lond. 6, 1912 ( English translation ).
  48. ^ Suetonius, Claudius 21.2 .
  49. See the detailed research discussion with David Alvarez Cineira: The religious policy of the emperor Claudius and the Pauline mission. Herder, Freiburg 1999, pp. 107-115.
  50. ^ Cassius Dio 60, 6, 6.
  51. ^ Suetonius, Claudius 25.4.
  52. Orosius, Historiae adversus paganos 7,6,15 f. ( Latin ).
  53. ^ Helga Botermann: Das Judenedikt des Claudius , Stuttgart 1996, especially pp. 57–71 and 103–140.
  54. Jump up ↑ Josephus, Jüdische Antiquities 19, 279ff.
  55. ^ Josephus, Jüdische Antiquities 19, 287.
  56. ^ Wilhelm Kierdorf: Claudius. In: Manfred Clauss (Ed.): The Roman Emperors . 4th updated edition. Munich 2010, pp. 67–76, here: p. 71.
  57. Karl Christ: History of the Roman Empire . 6th edition, Munich 2009, pp. 217f.
  58. Cassius Dio 60,22,1f.
  59. ^ According to PCR Weaver: Misplaced official to Claudius and Nero. In: Antichthon . No. 13, 1979, pp. 70-102, this process of increasing bureaucratization did not belong to the Vespasian reign.
  60. Tacitus, Annalen 12, 65 .
  61. Pliny, Natural History 23, 134.
  62. ^ Suetonius, Claudius 33 .
  63. ^ Suetonius, Claudius 29.1 .
  64. Cassius Dio 61, 31 ; Pliny, Natural History 10, 172.
  65. Vincent Scramuzza: The Emperor Claudius. Cambridge / Massachusetts 1940, p. 90.
  66. ^ Gerhard Waldherr : Nero. A biography . Regensburg 2005, p. 33.
  67. ^ Tacitus, Annals 11, 25 .
  68. ^ Suetonius, Claudius 26 ; Tacitus, Annals 12, 1 .
  69. However, this only applied to the marriage with the brother's daughter, not the sister, as the lawyer Gaius announced a hundred years later in his Institutiones (I, 62).
  70. Vincent Scramuzza: The Emperor Claudius. Cambridge / Massachusetts 1940, p. 91f. Also Tacitus, Annalen 12, 6, 7 ; Suetonius, Claudius 26 .
  71. ^ SV Oost: The Career of M. Antonius Pallas. In: American Journal of Philology. No. 79, 1958, pp. 113-139.
  72. ^ Arnaldo Momigliano: Claudius. The Emperor and his achievement. Cambridge 1961, p. 4f.
  73. ^ Suetonius, Claudius 33 and 41 f.
  74. ^ Arnaldo Momigliano: Claudius. The Emperor and his achievement. Cambridge 1961, p. 9.
  75. Barbara Levick: Claudius. Batsford, London 1990, p. 25.
  76. Jürgen Malitz : Claudius (FGrHist 276) - the princeeps as a scholar In: Volker Michael Strocka (Ed.): The reign of Emperor Claudius (41–54 AD): upheaval or episode? International interdisciplinary symposium on the occasion of the centenary of the Archaeological Institute of the University of Freiburg i. Br., 16.-18. February 1991 . Mainz 1994, pp. 133-144, here: p. 139 ( online ).
  77. On the Claudian reform of the Latin alphabet in principle Roland Papke: The emperor's new letters. Claudius in Tac. ann. 11:14 and Sen. apocol. 3.4. In: Würzburg Yearbooks for Classical Studies. New Series Volume 12, 1986, pp. 183-196.
  78. ^ Priscian , Institutio de arte grammatica 1, 7, 42.
  79. Priscian, Institutio de arte grammatica 1, 4, 20; Quintilian , Institutio oratoria 1, 7, 26.
  80. ^ Marius Victorinus : Ars Grammatica 1, 4; Also Revilo P. Oliver: The Claudian Letter Ⱶ. In: American Journal of Archeology. No. 53, 1949, pp. 249-257, doi : 10.2307 / 500662 .
  81. ^ Suetonius, Claudius 41 .
  82. Michael Grant: Rome's Caesars. From Julius Caesar to Domitian. Munich 1978, p. 163.
  83. Michael Grant: Rome's Caesars. From Julius Caesar to Domitian. Munich 1978, p. 162.
  84. Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 20.148.
  85. Tacitus, Annalen 12, 67 .
  86. Tacitus, Annalen 12, 66-67 .
  87. ^ Suetonius, Claudius 44 .
  88. Seneca, Apocolocyntosis 4, 3 .
  89. ^ Suetonius, Claudius 43 .
  90. This position is presented in detail, for example, in John Aveline: The Death of Claudius. In: Historia. Historia 53 (2004), pp. 453-475.
  91. Barbara Levick: Claudius. Batsford, London 1990, pp. 76f.
  92. ^ Suetonius, Nero 9
  93. ^ Suetonius, Nero 33 .
  94. Barbara Levick: Claudius. Batsford, London 1990, p. 187.
  95. ^ Suetonius, Vespasian 9 .
  96. Vincent Scramuzza: The Emperor Claudius. Cambridge / Massachusetts 1940, p. 29.
  97. DWTC Vessey: Thoughts on Tacitus' Portrayal of Claudius. In: American Journal of Philology. No. 92, 1971, pp. 385-409.
  98. Michael Hausmann: The reader guidance by Tacitus in the Tiberius and Claudius books of the "Annals". Berlin 2009, p. 440ff.
  99. Miriam Griffin: Claudius in Tacitus. In: Classical Quarterly. No. 40, 1990, pp. 482-501. A section of Annals 11 and 14 is a good example of this. Tacitus gives an excursus on the history of font development. Griffin assumes, however, that Tacitus uses the justification of his letter reform published by Claudius as a source, since his representation has similarities to what is known from the personality and the traditional writings of Claudius. However, Tacitus does not name Claudius as a source.
  100. ^ Geoffrey of Monmouth: The History of the Kings of Britain. Translated into New English by Lewis Thorpe, New York 1966.
  101. ^ Jacques Bénigne Bossuet: Discours sur l'histoire universelle à Monseigneur le Dauphin pour expliquer la suite de la religion et les changemens des empires. Mabre-Cramoisy, Paris 1681, p. 97 ( online ): "Claudius reigne malgré sa stupidité."
  102. ^ John Adams: A View of Universal History. Volume 1, London 1795, p. 228 ( online ): “Men of narrow capacities and feeble minds, are only good or evil, as they happen to fall into the hands of virtuous or vicious guides; and, unhappily for him, his directors were, to the last degree, abandoned and infamous. The chief of these was his wife, Messalina, whose name is almost become a common appellation of abandoned characters ”.
  103. 3rd act, 4th scene . The King of Denmark in Hamlet is called Claudius.
  104. Act 1, scene 3 full text by Richards ; Full text by May .
  105. Werner Eck: The importance of the Claudian reign for the administrative development of the Roman Empire . In: Volker Michael Strocka (ed.): The reign of Emperor Claudius (41–54 AD): upheaval or episode? International interdisciplinary symposium on the occasion of the centenary of the Archaeological Institute of the University of Freiburg i. Br., 16.-18. February 1991 . Mainz 1994, pp. 23–34, here: p. 23.
  106. ^ Theodor Mommsen: Roman Imperial History. Based on the lecture notes by Sebastian and Paul Hensel 1882/86. Edited by Alexander Demandt, Barbara Demandt, Munich 1992, p. 182.
  107. Edmund Groag, RE 3, 2 (1899), col. 2778-2836, here col. 2817.
  108. Edmund Groag, RE 3, 2 (1899), col. 2778-2836, here col. 2835.
  109. ^ Arnaldo Momigliano: Claudius. The Emperor and his achievement. Cambridge 1961, p. 26.
  110. ^ Arnaldo Momigliano: Claudius. The Emperor and his achievement. Cambridge 1961, pp. 24-26, 39-53, 63f.
  111. Hans-Georg Pflaum: The Roman Empire. In: Alfred Heuss, Golo Mann (Ed.): Propylaea World History. Volume 4: Rome. The Roman world. Berlin 1963, pp. 317-426, here p. 336.
  112. Barbara Levick: Claudius. London 1990, p. 41.
predecessor Office successor
Caligula Roman Emperor
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