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Claudius

Emperor

Born: 10 B.C.
Died: 54 A.D. (possibly poisoned)
Birthplace: Ancient Rome
Best known as:

Roman emperor and star of the book I, Claudius

Name at birth: Tiberius Claudius Drusus Nero Germanicus

Claudius was the fourth emperor of Rome, following Augustus, Tiberius and the infamous Caligula. Because he stammered and had a clubfoot, Claudius was lightly regarded until he was made emperor after Caligula's murder in the year 41. (According to legend, members of the Praetorian Guard installed Claudius on the throne after finding him cowering behind a palace curtain.) Despite his reputation as a feeble man, Claudius proved to be a sturdy emperor; he is particularly remembered for conquering and colonizing Britain, and for improving the civil administration of Rome. Claudius died in 54 A.D. under mysterious circumstances; many historians believe he was poisoned by his wife, Agrippina, so that her son Nero would become emperor.

Extra credit:

Claudius gained new fame when historian Robert Graves published his landmark historical novel I, Claudius in 1934. The book was made into a popular BBC miniseries of the 1970s, with actor Derek Jacobi playing Claudius... Claudius was the nephew of Tiberius and the brother of the soldier Germanicus.

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