Interesting Questions, Facts and Information
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Interesting Questions, Facts, and Information
|Because Nero was the heir apparent, he killed Britannicus. How did he claim he had passed away?||The Reign of Claudius
By a seizure. Nero poisoned the young Britannicus claiming he had an epileptic seizure at the dinner table.
Gladiatorial combat. Claudius acquired a reputation for liking to look into the eyes of dying men.
Poison. Agrippina hired several chemists to carry out the job of poisoning Claudius.
Octavia. Nero married Octavia in 53 AD sealing his fate as future Emperor.
|Claudius's fourth wife, Agrippina, wanted her son to take the throne and not Britannicus. Who was her son?||The Reign of Claudius
Nero. Agrippina did what ever she could to make her son, Nero, the next emperor. But she soon paid the price for such a wrong decision.
Messalina. Messalina was the first wife to bear Claudius a son. His name was Britannicus.
Hiding behind a curtain. Claudius was found hiding behind his curtain and when a soldier found him, he hailed him as the new Emperor.
|Claudius was considered an embarrassment because of a disability. What do we call this disability today?||The Reign of Claudius
Cerebral Palsy. Claudius's movements were jerky, he had a speech impediment and had a tendency to dribble.
Antonia. Claudius was the son of Drusus who was the brother of Tiberius.
|The death of Claudius through poisoning has many different versions to it, however the accounts do agree on the means. What was it?||The Reign of Claudius
A mushroom. The story indicates that poison was added to a bowl of mushrooms, but in order to pass the food-taster only one mushroom was poisoned. Claudius, who loved them, ate the largest mushroom, which was the one laced with poison. He did not die immediately and a second dose was administered to hasten his death. It is most likely that Agrippina was behind the poisoning to further the cause of her son, Nero. She expected to wield power through her son (who eventually had her killed).
Imperial Freedmen. Imperial Freedmen had always had a degree of power but under Claudius then gained massive power. This was shown in the discussions about Messalina's replacement. Each of the women had the backing of a freedman who wielded influence over Claudius. The freedmen had tremendous political power which they used to back their own candidates for posts in the Senate and the Praetorians. Especially prominent among them were Narcissus and Pallas.
The Senate suffered during Claudius' reign. The Emperor allowed long-haired Gauls into their ranks and took pleasure in trials of Senators and knights. During his reign around 35 Senators where condemned to death and around 200 knights suffered the same fate. Claudius enjoyed holding court behind closed doors, where he was seen as both cruel and ruthless.
|Claudius married in 38CE. He had been married previously, but this wife was to bear him a son. Who was she?||The Reign of Claudius
Valeria Messalina. Valeria Messalina was a young woman (probably in her early 20s) and was married to Claudius for almost a decade. She bore him Britannicus, who became his heir until Nero replaced him in the ageing Emperor's affections. Messalina is portrayed as a woman who used sex and blackmail to dispose of her many competitors. This much is probably true, and she was certainly free with her affections. She wielded tremendous influence over her husband. In 47/48CE she participated in a mock marriage to Gaius Silius. This may well have been a joke at a party, but her enemies (of which she had many) ensured that Claudius learnt of this. Unsurprisingly, he did not see this as very funny and her execution followed shortly.
The other three women were all competitors to become Claudius' new wife. Lollia Paula was childless and backed by the freedman Callistus. She was seen as a good candidate because she did not have children to compete with Britannicus. Aelia Paetina, his previous wife, was promoted by Narcissus and seen as a good prospect because she had already had a daughter with Claudius (proving her fertility). The last, and successful, competitor was Agrippina the Younger. It would be fair to say that she was Messalina's equal in sexual excess and viciousness. She also enjoyed murder as a way of removing obstacles to her (and Nero's) rise to power.
|Claudius realised that he lacked military experience and that this made him weak in the eyes of many Roman soldiers. To compensate he embarked on a major military campaign in 43CE. Where?||The Reign of Claudius
Britain. Claudius was acutely aware that he lacked the necessary military credentials. After disposing of Caligula's assassins he planned a major invasion of Britain. The summer of 43CE saw four legions conquer Britain, marking the first major gaining of territory since Augustus. Claudius himself attended the troops in Britain and partook in a formal triumph when he returned. He was then satisfied that he was seen as a military leader as well as a civil one.
41CE. The murder of Gaius Caligula led a power vacuum in Rome. The Senate initially talked about removing the Emperors as the only male left in the Julio-Claudian dynasty at that time was the cripple Claudius. The Praetorians, happy with the soft and relaxing life in Rome, decided to promote Claudius. Legend has it they found him cowering behind a curtain and they instantly proclaimed him Emperor. It is far more likely that following their deliberations he was brought to the Praetorian camp sometime in the following day. He officially became Emperor in 24/25 Jan 41CE and took the name Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus.
|As with many Roman Emperors, Claudius' name changed during his life. What was he named at birth?||The Reign of Claudius
Tiberius Claudius Drusus. Claudius was born on August 1st 10BCE in Lugdunum (now Lyons) in Gaul. The town's shrine to Augustus was dedicated the same day and this was seen as a good omen for the young child. The death of his father the following year led him to adopt the name Germanicus after his brother was adopted by Tiberius.
Fabius Africanus was one of the two consuls for the year 10BCE.
Claudius Caudex was a figure from 264BCE. It was he who first expelled the Carthaginians from Sicily after crossing the Straits of Messena.
Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus was the father of Nero. A member of a high ranking family his son was later adopted by Claudius and rose to the purple following his death.
|How old was Claudius when he died?||Claudius
64. Claudius was killed by Nero's mother in 54 AD.
|Who was finally banished from the political scene during Claudius' reign?||Claudius
Agrippina. She was banished to an island off the coast of Spain after nagging Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, and Claudius.
His great nephew's mother. He was killed by Agrippina, who was Nero's mother. Nero was adopted as Claudius' great nephew.
|What year did Claudius invade Britain?||Claudius
43 AD. Claudius further expanded Roman control of Britain post-Caligula. He also annexed Thrace during his reign.
|Who was the only man to conduct an assassination attempt on Claudius and fail, later to be exiled?||Claudius
Scribonianus. He was later exiled and killed on the island of Issa. This is the only known assasination attempt on Claudius before Nero's mom killed Claudius. Then Nero's mom proceeded to rule the empire for him until she was killed by some of Nero's men.
|Did Claudius have any blood relationship to Augustus?||Claudius
Yes. He was Augustus' great grandson-in-law. Augustus' sister, Octavia, was the great grandmother of Messallina, Claudius' wife.
|Was Claudius considered the first emperor by some historians?||Claudius
Yes. Some people believe that Augustus and Tiberius were just developing the emperorship and that Caligula was a madman and not considered an emperor. Therefore, they name Claudius the first real emperor.
Caligula. He was a madman who sat around and killed people all day and took credit for conquering Britian although it was never fully conquered until Hadrian's reign.
Tiberius Claudius Drusus Nero Germanicus. It is debated whether he was the first actual emperor. They say that Augustus and Tiberius developed the term emperor while Caligula was just a madman.
Seneca. Despite the widespread popularity which Claudius enjoyed, there was always an element that saw him as an object of ridicule because of his stammer, limp, and facial tic. Seneca wrote a piece entitled "The Pumpkinification of the Divine Claudius" was anything but flattering.
|When Claudius discovered Messalina's plot against him, she immediately fled to a specfic place and took refuge for a short time. What was this place? ||Good Emperor Claudius
The Gardens of Lucullus. Messalina took flight when she realized that her plans were discovered by Claudius. The first place she went to was the Gardens of Lucullus. From there, she attempted to gain asylum in the House of the Vestal Virgins, but they would not admit her. She never left the city and traveled to Capua, nor did she hide in the temple of Jupiter. Narcissus barred her approach to the imperial palace, and he would not permit her to speak with Claudius.
|Claudius displeased the Senate when he revived the office of Censor. What particularly provoked many members of the Senate?||Good Emperor Claudius
It revised the roster of Senate membership. What displeased many Senate members was a revision of the Senate roster. Claudius felt that the time had come to take a look at the Senate as it had become somewhat ineffective. The duties of Censor included taking, as the name implies, a census of the population. Another important duty was the monitoring of Senate membership. Claudius needed no further taxing authority, and a revision of Senate membership would have had no connection with the number of Tribunes. Claudius was liberal about admitting foreigners to Roman citizenship, but no such sweeping proposal was made until the reign of Caracalla.
|What sweeping action did Claudius take when Herod Agrippa assumed greater control in Judea and his other lands?||Good Emperor Claudius
Claudius withdrew Roman legions from the region. For the first time in almost one hundred years, Roman legions were withdrawn from Judea. Herod Agrippa was left with his own military force to protect his lands. Claudius made no donation to the Holy Temple, and the appointment of the Jewish high priest was usually the prerogative of the governor of Syria or the prefect of Judea. After the death of Herod, the Roman legions swiftly returned.
|There is conjecture about Claudius' foreknowledge or part in the assassination plot against Caligula. Of those listed here, which one might be cited as an indication of Claudius' foreknowledge of the plot?||Good Emperor Claudius
He left the theater early, minutes before the assassination. Conjecture has been made along these lines. Was it a coincidence that Claudius departed from the area of the assassination, or had he been warned to leave the area in safety? This will always be a matter of conjecture and theory, and, truthfully, we will never know unless something more comes to light. There is no evidence of any letter from Callistus to Claudius, nor does Herod Agrippa seem to have known about the plot. Unfortunately, none of Claudius' writings have survived, so we do not know what he wrote in his autobiography.
Yes. They were both descended from Octavia, sister of Augustus Caesar. On Messalina's side, she was the daughter of Domitia Lepida, the daughter of Antonia Major, a daughter of Octavia and Mark Antony. Claudius' mother was Antonia Minor, also a daughter of Octavia and Mark Antony.
|Which of Claudius' imperial freedmen took the most active part in exposing Messalina's bigamy and treasonable plans with Gaius Silius?||Good Emperor Claudius
Narcissus. Narcissus was the most active in exposing Messalina's activities. He assumed a protective posture with Claudius during his entire reign. In fact, Claudius granted him Praetorian powers for one day to deal with Messalina. He acted with a terrible vengeance and all those involved with the plot and farcical wedding either executed or exiled. Callitus befriended Claudius late in Caligula's reign, but took no direct part in dealing with Messalina, nor did Pallas. Philo was a Jewish philosopher who lived in Alexandria and had no direct connection with Claudius.