4th Roman emperor, from AD 41 to 54 / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus[lower-alpha 2] (/ˈklɔːdiəs/; Latin: [tɪˈbɛriʊs ˈklau̯diʊs ˈkae̯sar au̯ˈɡʊstʊs gɛrˈmaːnɪkʊs]; 1 August 10 BC – 13 October AD 54) was Roman emperor, ruling from AD 41 to 54. A member of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, Claudius was born to Drusus and Antonia Minor at Lugdunum in Roman Gaul, where his father was stationed as a military legate. He was the first Roman emperor to be born outside Italy.

Grey bust
Roman emperor
Reign24 January 41 – 13 October 54
Born1 August 10 BC
Lugdunum, Gaul
Died13 October AD 54 (aged 63)
Rome, Italy
Tiberius Claudius Drusus (birth)
Tiberius Claudius Nero Germanicus[lower-alpha 1]
Regnal name
Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus
FatherNero Claudius Drusus
MotherAntonia the Younger

As he had a limp and slight deafness due to sickness at a young age, he was ostracized by his family and was excluded from public office until his consulship (which was shared with his nephew, Caligula, in 37). Claudius's infirmity probably saved him from the fate of many other nobles during the purges throughout the reigns of Tiberius and Caligula, as potential enemies did not see him as a serious threat. His survival led to his being declared emperor by the Praetorian Guard after Caligula's assassination, at which point he was the last adult male of his family.

Despite his lack of experience, Claudius was an able and efficient administrator. He expanded the imperial bureaucracy to include freedmen, and helped restore the empire's finances after the excesses of Caligula's reign. He was also an ambitious builder, constructing new roads, aqueducts, and canals across the Empire. During his reign the Empire started its successful conquest of Britain. Having a personal interest in law, he presided at public trials, and issued edicts daily. He was seen as vulnerable throughout his reign, particularly by elements of the nobility. Claudius was constantly forced to shore up his position, which resulted in the deaths of many senators. Those events damaged his reputation among the ancient writers, though more recent historians have revised that opinion. Many authors contend that he was murdered by his own wife, Agrippina the Younger. After his death at the age of 63, his grand-nephew and legally adopted step-son, Nero, succeeded him as emperor.

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