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Sunday, 4 May 2014


Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus was born at the Sanctuary of the Three Gauls in what is now Lyon, France on August 1, 10 BC. He was the first Roman Emperor to be born outside Italy.
His uncle was the second Emperor Tiberius and Mark Antony was one of his grandfathers.

He had a stammer as well as a limp when walking, and his family kept him from public office until he was 38.

Derek Jacobi, who played the title role in the acclaimed BBC series I, Claudius, has a Stammering Day birthday on October 22nd.

On January 24, 41 AD, his nephew Caligula was assassinated by a broad-based conspiracy. There is no evidence that Claudius had a direct hand in the assassination, although it has been argued that he knew about the plot — particularly since he left the scene of the crime shortly before his nephew was murdered
After a night of negotiation, Claudius was accepted as Roman Emperor on January 25, 41 AD by the Senate as Caligua was being transported to his burial ground in his hearse.

Gratus proclaims Claudius emperor. by Lawrence Alma-Tadema. c. 1871.

In 43 AD, Claudius sent four legions, totaling about 20,000 men,  plus about the same number of auxiliaries, to invade Britain . Eleven tribes of South East Britain surrendered to Claudius and the Romans prepared to move further west and north. The Romans established their new capital at Camulodunum and Claudius returned to Rome to celebrate his victory

Claudius liked to feast on stuffed kidneys and guinea fowl in a hazelnut crust and fish sauce.

Claudius married four times. His third wife Messalina was regularly unfaithful to him. She put on a blonde wig and a toga in a contest with a local prostitute to see who could get the most clients in a night. Claudius then had her executed.

Marie-Lan Nguyen (2011) Wikipedia Commons

Claudius wrote copiously throughout his life. His major works included the history of Augustus' reign, an Etruscan history and eight volumes on Carthaginian history, as well as an Etruscan dictionary and a book on dice playing. Finally, he wrote an eight-volume autobiography

Claudius was the last person known to have been able to read Etruscan. His first wife was Etruscan.

Claudius was poisoned by his wife Agrippina with amanita mushrooms and died in the early hours of October 13, 54. Agrippina's son by a previous relationship, Nero, had been named as his heir.

Source Food For Thought by Ed Pearce

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