Claudius 41AD Rare Big Authentic Ancient Roman Coin Minerva Wisdom Cult i42211

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Seller: Top-Rated Seller highrating_lowprice (20,907) 100%, Location: Rego Park, New York, Ships to: Worldwide, Item: 231316199983 Item: i42211 Authentic Ancient Coin of: Claudius - Roman Emperor : 41-54 A.D. - Bronze As 27mm (10.66 grams) Rome mint 41-50 A.D. Reference: RIC 100, BMC 149, BN 180, S 639 TICLAVDIVSCAESARAVGPMTRPIMP - Bare head left. No legend - Minerva advancing right, holding javelin and round shield; S C across fields. You are bidding on the exact item pictured, provided with a Certificate of Authenticity and Lifetime Guarantee of Authenticity. Minerva (Etruscan: Menrva) was the Roman goddess of wisdom and sponsor of arts, trade, and defense. She was born from the godhead of Jupiter with weapons. From the 2nd century BC onwards, the Romans equated her with the Greek goddess Athena . She was the virgin goddess of music, poetry , medicine , wisdom , commerce , weaving , crafts , magic .2] She is often depicted with her sacred creature, an owl usually named as the "owl of Minerva",which symbolizes that she is connected to wisdom. Etruscan Menrva Stemming from an Italic moon goddess *Meneswā ('She who measures'), the Etruscans adopted the inherited Old Latin name, *Menerwā, thereby calling her Menrva . It is assumed that her Roman name, Minerva, is based on this Etruscan mythology , Minerva was the goddess of wisdom, war, art, schools and commerce. She was the Etruscan counterpart to Greek Athena . Like Athena, Minerva was born from the head of her father, Jupiter (Greek Zeus). It is possible that such a goddess was "imported" to both Greece and Italy from beliefs originating in the Near East during the extreme antiquity. The very few extant Lemnian inscriptions suggest that the Etruscans may have originated in Asia Minor , in which case subsequent syncretism between Greek Athena and Italic Minerva may have been all the easier. By a process of folk etymology , the Romans could have confused the phones of her foreign name with those of the root men- in Latin words such as mens meaning "mind", perhaps because one of her aspects as goddess pertained to the intellectual. The word mens is built from the Proto-Indo-European root *men- 'mind' (linked with memory as in Greek Mnemosyne /μνημοσύνη and mnestis/μνῆστις: memory, remembrance, recollection, Manush in Sanskrit meaning mind ). Cult in Rome Menrva was part of a holy triad with Tinia and Uni , equivalent to the Roman Capitoline Triad of Jupiter-Juno-Minerva. Minerva was the daughter of Jupiter. As Minerva Medica, she was the goddess of medicine and doctors. As Minerva Achaea, she was worshipped at Luceria in Apulia where votive gifts and arms said to be those of Diomedes were preserved in her temple. A head of "Sulis-Minerva" found in the ruins of the Roman baths in Bath In Fasti III, Ovid called her the "goddess of a thousand works." Minerva was worshipped throughout Italy, though only in Rome did she take on the warlike character shared by Athena. Her worship was also taken out to the empire — in Britain, for example, she was conflated with the local wisdom goddess Sulis . The Romans celebrated her festival from March 19 to March 23 during the day which is called, in the neuter plural, Quinquatria , the fifth after the Ides of March, the nineteenth, an artisans ' holiday . A lesser version, the Minusculae Quinquatria, was held on the Ides of June, June 13, by the flute-players , who were particularly useful to religion. In 207 BC, a guild of poets and actors was formed to meet and make votive offerings at the temple of Minerva on the Aventine hill. Among others, its members included Livius Andronicus . The Aventine sanctuary of Minerva continued to be an important center of the arts for much of the middle Roman Republic . Minerva was worshipped on the Capitoline Hill as one of the Capitoline Triad along with Jupiter and Juno, at the Temple of Minerva Medica , and at the "Delubrum Minervae" a temple founded around 50 BC by Pompey on the site now occupied by the church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva facing the present-day Piazza della Minerva. Universities and educational establishments As patron goddess of wisdom, Minerva frequently features in statuary, as an image on seals, and in other forms, at educational establishments, including: A statue of Minerva is located in the centre of La Sapienza University , the largest university of Rome . A statue of Minerva is located in the main review pit at the Yale School of Architecture . Minerva is featured in the University at Albany's logo. The catalogue of books and other materials in the University Library at the University at Albany campus is called the "Minerva Catalog". Minerva is also mentioned in UAlbany's Alma Mater: "Wisdom's duty heeds thy call, Ever in Minerva's thrall," Minerva is the goddess of Kappa Kappa Gamma and can be seen, with her owl, on their crest. Minerva as a bronze head bust over the main entrance of the Main Library of the University of California, Berkeley . Raised-relief image of Minerva on a Roman gilt silver bowl, 1st century BC The Minerva head has been associated with the Chartered Society of Designers since its inception in 1930 and has been redefined several times during the history of the Society by notable graphic designers. The current logo was established in 1983. Minerva is the symbol of the University of Porto . Athena is the patron goddess of Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania . Minerva is displayed in front of Columbia University 's Low Memorial Library as "Alma Mater." Above the entrance to the University of Vienna main building, there is a sculpture work titled "The Birth of Minerva". A statue of Minerva adorns the library at the United States Military Academy Minerva is the name of a language school in Ruse, Bulgaria . Minerva is the name of a female residence at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa . Minerva is displayed to the East of University of North Carolina at Greensboro 's Elliot University Center as a statue. The SUNY Potsdam campus in Potsdam, NY is home to multiple statues of Minerva and a cafe named after her. Statue of Minerva on the Alte Brücke in Heidelberg Temple of Minerva in Sbeitla , Tunisia Minerva is featured on the seals and logos of many institutions of higher learning: the University of Louisville official seal the University of South Carolina official seal the University of North Carolina at Greensboro official seal. UNCG also has a Minerva statue , donated by the Class of 1953. University of Lincoln . An emblem of Minerva's head is represented in the logo for this UK University. There is a tradition within the Lincoln Rugby Union team where it is thought that they are Knights of Minerva, with each match being fought and won in her honour. University at Albany, The State University of New York . Minerva is pictured in the university's logo. "Minerva, the Roman goddess of wisdom has been the institution's enduring symbol." Minerva is still venerated by seniors and their 'torch bearers' during a pre-graduation ritual called "Torch Night" there. the University of Alabama the University of Virginia Union College, New York . Union College has also used Minerva as the name of their new academic and social "Third Space" program, the Minerva House System. UFRJ , the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil . Escola Politécnica da USP, Polytechnic School of the University of São Paulo , in Brazil . Ghent University , in Belgium An 1817 French Empire mantel clock depicting Minerva. Purchased by James Monroe for the White House. American Academy of Arts & Sciences , in Cambridge, Mass. The seal's principal figure is Minerva - a symbol appropriate for an organization created in the midst of the American Revolution and dedicated to the cultivation of every art and science to "advance the interest, honour, dignity, and happiness of a free, independent, and virtuous people." Heidelberg University , Germany's most ancient university (1386), features depictions of Minerva (or Pallas Athene) in the Old University's assembly hall (1785) as well as over the door of the New University building (1931). Max Planck Society , Germany. Leiden University , Minerva is presented in the centre of the great seal of the most ancient University in the Netherlands (1575). Minerva is the name and the patroness of the most ancient student-association of Leiden and was established in 1819. Minerva decorates the keystone over the main entrance to the Boston Public Library beneath the words, "Free to all." BPL was the original public-financed library in America and, with all other libraries, is the long-term memory of the human race. The annual prize for the best Politics student in Liverpool Hope University in the UK is called the Minerva Prize, both because of the association with wisdom and knowledge and because there is a statue of Minerva on the dome of Liverpool Town Hall, the seat of local politics in the city. Minerva is the Goddess of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. Fraternity Brothers are known as Loyal Sons of Minerva. Minerva is the name of a remote learning facility at Bath Spa University in England, UK. Minerva is featured on the seal of the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma. Minerva is featured on the seal of the "Escuela Comercial Cámara de Comercio", in Mexico, founded in 1923. A statue of Minerva stands in the entrance to Main Building at Wells College in Aurora, NY. On the last day of spring semester classes, graduating seniors kiss Minerva's feet for luck and lifelong wisdom. Minerva was the only statue that survived the 1888 fire of old Main Building. Minerva is the patroness of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro , Brazil. Minerva is featured in the emblem of Ballarat Clarendon College , Australia, as derivative of the emblem of Clarendon Ladies' College. Minerva is featured in the logo of The Mac.Robertson Girls' High School , Australia. Minerva is featured in the logo of Kelvinside Academy , Glasgow, Scotland Minerva is featured on the seals of many schools and colleges: on that of Union College in Schenectady, NY, the motto is (translated from the French) "Under the laws of Minerva, we are all brothers." Minerva is the patroness of the Union Philosophical Society of Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The Yale School of Architecture in New Haven, Connecticut, features a Roman marble statue of Minerva in its 4th floor atrium. The Minerva head is displayed outside The Natural History Museum, Bergen, Norway The seal for the University of Louisville includes a large head of Minerva. McGill University 's web interface is called Minerva. Milne Library at SUNY Geneseo has a statue of Minerva in their lobby. Minerva is the name of the managed learning environment at the University of Sheffield Medical School Minerva is the name of the main file server at Keystone College Minerva is on the crest of the Girls Day School Trust A statue of Minerva appears on top of the Minerva Building at Dumfries Academy , Dumfries, Scotland. The symbol of Hornsby Girls High School, Australia, is the "Torch of Knowledge" and words of the school song include "Minerva by our southern seas her sacred groves replanted, with whispering gums to woo the breeze that flows o'er lands enchanted; with ageless hills she rimmed her bower, her sunlit shrine of learning, and here we keep through shine and shower the Torch of Knowledge burning..." (NOTE on Australianisms: gums here means "gum trees" (eucalyptus), not a part of the mouth). Here you can see a model of the Torch is still used in events. Minerva is a supercomputer at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City on the Upper East Side. One of the highest positions awarded among the Elder Worthy Sisters of Nu Kappa Beta, the sister sorority of Nu Kappa Phi in the University of Nueva Caceres in Naga City, Province of Camarines Sur, Republic of the Philippines, is the title Minerva. The Worthy Sister who wins this title by majority vote of the present Elders in special gatherings is deemed to be the epitome of all the essential attributes exalted by the sisterhood which are Scholarship, Leadership, Character and Loyalty. The Seal of California Medal of Honor The Minerva head has been associated with the Chartered Society of Designers since its inception in 1930 and has been redefined several times during the history of the Society by notable graphic designers. The current logo was established in 1983. The Seal of California depicts the Goddess Minerva having sprung full grown from the brain of Jupiter. This was interpreted as analogous to the political birth of the State of California without having gone through the probation period of being a Territory.[citation needed] In the early 20th century, Manuel José Estrada Cabrera , President of Guatemala , tried to promote a "Cult of Minerva" in his country; this left little legacy other than a few interesting Hellenic style "Temples" in parks around Guatemala . According to John Robison's Proofs of a Conspiracy (1798), the third degree of the Bavarian Illuminati was called Minerval or Brother of Minerva, in honour of the goddess of learning. Later, this title was adopted for the first initiation of Aleister Crowley 's OTO rituals. Minerva is the logo of the world famous German "Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science" (Max-Planck-Gesellschaft) The Minerva was a prominent Belgian luxury automobile manufactured from 1902 until 1938. The helmet of Minerva serves as the crest of the distinctive unit insignia for Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Minerva is displayed on the Medal of Honor , the highest military decoration awarded by the United States government. A large mosaic of Minerva is the focal art piece in the great room of the U.S. Library of Congress . Minerva Institute of Management& Technology Dehradun, Uttarakhand. (India)an institute of Professional courses like- Animation & Multimedia, Fashion Technology and Mass Communication was established in 2009 affiliated to Uttarakhand Teacnical University. The Minerva Ward is an elderly care rehab ward at the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases, it opened in January 2013 Public monuments, places and modern culture The Minerva Roundabout in Guadalajara, Mexico The statue of Minerva atop Writers' Building , Kolkata , India. A small Roman shrine to Minerva (the only one still in situ in the UK) stands in Handbridge , Chester . It sits in a public park, overlooking the River Dee . Minerva circle is one of the famous and busiest circles in Bangalore , India. It gets its name from an eponymous movie theatre that used to be located there. The Minerva Roundabout in López Mateos Guadalajara, Mexico , Vallarta, López Cotilla, Agustín Yáñez and Golfo de Cortez avenues, features the goddess standing on a pedestal, surrounded by a large fountain, with an inscription which says "Justice, wisdom and strength guard this loyal city". Minerva is displayed as a statue in the Minneapolis Central Library in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota . Minerva is displayed as a statue in Pavia , Italy, near the train station, and is considered as an important landmark in the city. A statue of Minerva stands atop the dome of the Mitchell Library in Glasgow , Scotland . A seven foot statue of Minerva stands at the highest point in Brooklyn , overlooking New York Harbor , located in Green-Wood Cemetery . A bronze statue of Minerva lies in monument square Portland, Maine . "Our Lady of Victories Monument" dedicated 1891, Richard Morris Hunt and Franklin Simmons . In the Harry Potter series, J.K Rowling named a leading female character Minerva McGonagall in light of the Goddess. Indeed the character's main trait was that of wisdom - a clear inspiration from the Goddess. Also, like Minerva (who had the ability to transform into an owl), the character of McGonagall had the ability to transfigure into a cat. Also, like Minerva's other trait as a goddess of war, Minerva McGonagall is shown to be a good and courageous soldier, actually dueling Tom Marvolo Riddle himself.f. In the Percy Jackson & The Olympians and The Heroes of Olympus series by Annabeth Chase Rick Riordan , one of the main characters in both series and has appeared in a few of the books, usually as Athena. She appears in her aspect as Minerva in The Mark of Athena . Philadelphia disc jockey Pierre Robert owns a VW Micro-bus named Minerva. In the Assassin's Creed series, Minerva, along with Juno and Tinia appear; these three were likely chosen since they were worshiped together as a triad in n Rome . Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (1 August 10 BC – 13 October AD 54) (Tiberius Claudius Drusus from birth to AD 4, then Tiberius Claudius Nero Germanicus from then until his accession) was the fourth Roman Emperor , a member of the Julio-Claudian dynasty , ruling from 24 January AD 41 to his death in AD 54. Born in Lugdunum in Gaul (modern-day Lyon , France ), to Drusus and Antonia Minor , he was the first Roman Emperor to be born outside Italia . He was reportedly afflicted with some type of disability, and his family had virtually excluded him from public office until his consulship with his nephew Caligula in AD 37. This infirmity may have saved him from the fate of many other Roman nobles during the purges of Tiberius ' and Caligula's reigns; potential enemies did not see him as a serious threat to them. His very survival led to his being declared emperor (reportedly because the Praetorian Guard insisted) after Caligula's assassination, at which point he was the last adult male of his family. Despite his lack of political experience, Claudius proved to be an able administrator and a great builder of public works. His reign saw an expansion of the empire, including the conquest of Britain . He took a personal interest in the law, presided at public trials, and issued up to 20 edicts a day; however, he was seen as vulnerable throughout his rule, particularly by the nobility. Claudius was constantly forced to shore up his position. This resulted in the deaths of many senators . Claudius also suffered setbacks in his personal life, one of which may have led to his murder. These events damaged his reputation among the ancient writers, though more recent historians have revised this opinion. // Family and early life Claudius was born on 1 August 10 BC, in Lugdunum , Gaul, on the day of the dedication of an altar to Augustus . His parents were Nero Claudius Drusus and Antonia , and he had two older siblings named Germanicus and Livilla . Antonia may have had two other children who died young, as well. His maternal grandparents were Mark Antony and Octavia Minor , Caesar Augustus' sister, and as such he was the great-great grandnephew of Gaius Julius Caesar . His paternal grandparents were Livia , Augustus' third wife, and Tiberius Claudius Nero . During his reign, Claudius revived the rumor that his father Drusus was actually the illegitimate son of Augustus, to give the false appearance that Augustus was Claudius' paternal grandfather. In 9 BC, Drusus unexpectedly died on campaign in Germania, possibly from illness. Claudius was then left to be raised by his mother, who never remarried. When Claudius' disability became evident, the relationship with his family turned sour. Antonia referred to him as a monster, and used him as a standard for stupidity. She seems to have passed her son off on his grandmother Livia for a number of years.[1] Livia was little kinder, and often sent him short, angry letters of reproof. He was put under the care of a "former mule-driver"[2] to keep him disciplined, under the logic that his condition was due to laziness and a lack of will-power. However, by the time he reached his teenage years his symptoms apparently waned and his family took some notice of his scholarly interests. In AD 7, Livy was hired to tutor him in history, with the assistance of Sulpicius Flavus. He spent a lot of his time with the latter and the philosopher Athenodorus . Augustus, according to a letter, was surprised at the clarity of Claudius' oratory.[3] Expectations about his future began to increase. Ironically, it was his work as a budding historian that destroyed his early career. According to Vincent Scramuzza and others, Claudius began work on a history of the Civil Wars that was either too truthful or too critical of Octavian.[4] In either case, it was far too early for such an account, and may have only served to remind Augustus that Claudius was Antony's descendant. His mother and grandmother quickly put a stop to it, and this may have proved to them that Claudius was not fit for public office. He could not be trusted to toe the existing party line. When he returned to the narrative later in life, Claudius skipped over the wars of the second triumvirate altogether. But the damage was done, and his family pushed him to the background. When the Arch of Pavia was erected to honor the imperial clan in AD 8, Claudius' name (now Tiberius Claudius Nero Germanicus after his elevation to paterfamilias of Claudii Nerones on the adoption of his brother) was inscribed on the edge—past the deceased princes, Gaius and Lucius , and Germanicus' children. There is some speculation that the inscription was added by Claudius himself decades later, and that he originally did not appear at all.[5] Gratus proclaims Claudius emperor. Detail from A Roman Emperor 41AD, by Lawrence Alma-Tadema . Oil on canvas, c. 1871. When Augustus died in AD 14, Claudius — then 23 — appealed to his uncle Tiberius to allow him to begin the cursus honorum . Tiberius, the new emperor, responded by granting Claudius consular ornaments. Claudius requested office once more and was snubbed. Since the new emperor was not any more generous than the old, Claudius gave up hope of public office and retired to a scholarly, private life. Despite the disdain of the imperial family, it seems that from very early on the general public respected Claudius. At Augustus' death, the equites , or knights, chose Claudius to head their delegation. When his house burned down, the Senate demanded it be rebuilt at public expense. They also requested that Claudius be allowed to debate in the senate. Tiberius turned down both motions, but the sentiment remained. During the period immediately after the death of Tiberius' son, Drusus , Claudius was pushed by some quarters as a potential heir. This again suggests the political nature of his exclusion from public life. However, as this was also the period during which the power and terror of the Praetorian Sejanus was at its peak, Claudius chose to downplay this possibility. After the death of Tiberius the new emperor Caligula (the son of Claudius' brother Germanicus ) recognized Claudius to be of some use. He appointed Claudius his co-consul in AD 37 in order to emphasize the memory of Caligula's deceased father Germanicus. Despite this, Caligula relentlessly tormented his uncle: playing practical jokes, charging him enormous sums of money, humiliating him before the Senate, and the like. According to Cassius Dio , as well a possible surviving portrait, Claudius became very sickly and thin by the end of Caligula's reign, most likely due to stress.[6] Reign Accession as emperor On 24 January, AD 41, Caligula was assassinated by a broad-based conspiracy (including Praetorian commander Cassius Chaerea and several Senators ). 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.[7] However, after the deaths of Caligula's wife and daughter, it became apparent that Cassius intended to go beyond the terms of the conspiracy and wipe out the imperial family. In the chaos following the murder, Claudius witnessed the German guard cut down several uninvolved noblemen, including many of his friends. He fled to the palace to hide. According to tradition, a Praetorian named Gratus found him hiding behind a curtain and suddenly declared him princeps .[8] A section of the guard may have planned in advance to seek out Claudius, perhaps with his approval. They reassured him that they were not one of the battalions looking for revenge. He was spirited away to the Praetorian camp and put under their protection. The Senate quickly met and began debating a change of government, but this eventually devolved into an argument over which of them would be the new Princeps . When they heard of the Praetorians' claim, they demanded that Claudius be delivered to them for approval, but he refused, sensing the danger that would come with complying. Some historians, particularly Josephus ,[9] claim that Claudius was directed in his actions by the Judean King Herod Agrippa . However, an earlier version of events by the same ancient author downplays Agrippa's role[10] — so it is not known how large a hand he had in things. Eventually the Senate was forced to give in and, in return, Claudius pardoned nearly all the assassins. Claudius took several steps to legitimize his rule against potential usurpers, most of them emphasizing his place within the Julio-Claudian family. He adopted the name "Caesar" as a cognomen — the name still carried great weight with the populace. In order to do so, he dropped the cognomen "Nero" which he had adopted as paterfamilias of the Claudii Nerones when his brother Germanicus was adopted out. While he had never been adopted by Augustus or his successors, he was the grandson of Octavia, and so felt he had the right. He also adopted the name "Augustus" as the two previous emperors had done at their accessions. He kept the honorific "Germanicus" in order to display the connection with his heroic brother. He deified his paternal grandmother Livia in order to highlight her position as wife of the divine Augustus. Claudius frequently used the term "filius Drusi" (son of Drusus) in his titles, in order to remind the people of his legendary father and lay claim to his reputation. Because he was proclaimed emperor on the initiative of the Praetorian Guard instead of the Senate — the first emperor thus proclaimed — Claudius' repute suffered at the hands of commentators (such as Seneca ). Moreover, he was the first Emperor who resorted to bribery as a means to secure army loyalty. Tiberius and Augustus had both left gifts to the army and guard in their wills , and upon Caligula's death the same would have been expected, even if no will existed. Claudius remained grateful to the guard, however, issuing coins with tributes to the praetorians in the early part of his reign. Expansion of the empire Under Claudius, the empire underwent its first major expansion since the reign of Augustus. The provinces of Thrace , Noricum , Pamphylia , Lycia , and Judea were annexed under various circumstances during his term. The annexation of Mauretania , begun under Caligula, was completed after the defeat of rebel forces, and the official division of the former client kingdom into two imperial provinces. [11] The most important new expansion was the conquest of Britannia .[12] In AD 43, Claudius sent Aulus Plautius with four legions to Britain (Britannia) after an appeal from an ousted tribal ally. Britain was an attractive target for Rome because of its material wealth — particularly mines and slaves . It was also a haven for Gallic rebels and the like, and so could not be left alone much longer. Claudius himself traveled to the island after the completion of initial offensives, bringing with him reinforcements and elephants. The latter must have made an impression on the Britons when they were used in the capture of Camulodunum . He left after 16 days, but remained in the provinces for some time. The Senate granted him a triumph for his efforts, as only members of the imperial family were allowed such honors. Claudius later lifted this restriction for some of his conquering generals. He was granted the honorific "Britannicus" but only accepted it on behalf of his son, never using the title himself. When the British general Caractacus was captured in AD 50, Claudius granted him clemency . Caractacus lived out his days on land provided by the Roman state, an unusual end for an enemy commander. Claudius conducted a census in AD 48 that found 5,984,072 Roman citizens,[13] an increase of around a million since the census conducted at Augustus' death. He had helped increase this number through the foundation of Roman colonies that were granted blanket citizenship . These colonies were often made out of existing communities, especially those with elites who could rally the populace to the Roman cause. Several colonies were placed in new provinces or on the border of the empire in order to secure Roman holdings as quickly as possible. Judicial and legislative affairs Claudius personally judged many of the legal cases tried during his reign. Ancient historians have many complaints about this, stating that his judgments were variable and sometimes did not follow the law.[14] He was also easily swayed. Nevertheless, Claudius paid detailed attention to the operation of the judicial system. He extended the summer court session, as well as the winter term, by shortening the traditional breaks. Claudius also made a law requiring plaintiffs to remain in the city while their cases were pending, as defendants had previously been required to do. These measures had the effect of clearing out the docket. The minimum age for jurors was also raised to 25 in order to ensure a more experienced jury pool.[15] Claudius also settled disputes in the provinces. He freed the island of Rhodes from Roman rule for their good faith and exempted Troy from taxes. Early in his reign, the Greeks and Jews of Alexandria sent him two embassies at once after riots broke out between the two communities. This resulted in the famous "Letter to the Alexandrians", which reaffirmed Jewish rights in the city but also forbade them to move in more families en masse. According to Josephus , he then reaffirmed the rights and freedoms of all the Jews in the empire.[16] An investigator of Claudius' discovered that many old Roman citizens based in the modern city of Trento were not in fact citizens.[17] The emperor issued a declaration that they would be considered to hold citizenship from then on, since to strip them of their status would cause major problems. However, in individual cases, Claudius punished false assumption of citizenship harshly, making it a capital offense. Similarly, any freedmen found to be impersonating equestrians were sold back into slavery.[18] Numerous edicts were issued throughout Claudius' reign. These were on a number of topics, everything from medical advice to moral judgments. Two famous medical examples are one promoting Yew juice as a cure for snakebite,[19] and another promoting public flatulence for good health.[20] One of the more famous edicts concerned the status of sick slaves. Masters had been abandoning ailing slaves at the temple of Aesculapius to die, and then reclaiming them if they lived. Claudius ruled that slaves who recovered after such treatment would be free. Furthermore, masters who chose to kill slaves rather than take the risk were liable to be charged with murder.[21] Public works The Porta Maggiore in Rome Claudius embarked on many public works throughout his reign, both in the capital and in the provinces. He built two aqueducts , the Aqua Claudia , begun by Caligula , and the Anio Novus . These entered the city in AD 52 and met at the famous Porta Maggiore . He also restored a third, the Aqua Virgo . He paid special attention to transportation. Throughout Italy and the provinces he built roads and canals. Among these was a large canal leading from the Rhine to the sea, as well as a road from Italy to Germany — both begun by his father, Drusus. Closer to Rome, he built a navigable canal on the Tiber , leading to Portus , his new port just north of Ostia . This port was constructed in a semicircle with two moles and a lighthouse at its mouth. The construction also had the effect of reducing flooding in Rome. The port at Ostia was part of Claudius' solution to the constant grain shortages that occurred in winter, after the Roman shipping season. The other part of his solution was to insure the ships of grain merchants who were willing to risk traveling to Egypt in the off-season. He also granted their sailors special privileges, including citizenship and exemption from the Lex Papia-Poppaea , a law that regulated marriage. In addition, he repealed the taxes that Caligula had instituted on food, and further reduced taxes on communities suffering drought or famine . The last part of Claudius' plan was to increase the amount of arable land in Italy. This was to be achieved by draining the Fucine lake , which would have the added benefit of making the nearby river navigable year-round. [22] A tunnel was dug through the lake bed, but the plan was a failure. The tunnel was crooked and not large enough to carry the water, which caused it to back up when opened. The resultant flood washed out a large gladiatorial exhibition held to commemorate the opening, causing Claudius to run for his life along with the other spectators. The draining of the lake was revisited many times in history, including by emperors Trajan and Hadrian , and Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II in the Middle Ages . It was finally achieved by the Prince Torlonia in the 19th century, producing over 160,000 acres (650 km2) of new arable land.[23] He expanded the Claudian tunnel to three times its original size. Claudius and the Senate Because of the circumstances of his accession, Claudius took great pains to please the Senate. During regular sessions, the emperor sat among the Senate body, speaking in turn. When introducing a law, he sat on a bench between the consuls in his position as Holder of the Power of Tribune (The emperor could not officially serve as a Tribune of the Plebes as he was a Patrician , but it was a power taken by previous rulers). He refused to accept all his predecessors' titles (including Imperator ) at the beginning of his reign, preferring to earn them in due course. He allowed the Senate to issue its own bronze coinage for the first time since Augustus. He also put the imperial provinces of Macedonia and Achaea back under Senate control. Claudius set about remodeling the Senate into a more efficient, representative body. He chided the senators about their reluctance to debate bills introduced by himself, as noted in the fragments of a surviving speech: If you accept these proposals, Conscript Fathers, say so at once and simply, in accordance with your convictions. If you do not accept them, find alternatives, but do so here and now; or if you wish to take time for consideration, take it, provided you do not forget that you must be ready to pronounce your opinion whenever you may be summoned to meet. It ill befits the dignity of the Senate that the consul designate should repeat the phrases of the consuls word for word as his opinion, and that every one else should merely say 'I approve', and that then, after leaving, the assembly should announce 'We debated'.[24] In AD 47 he assumed the office of Censor with Lucius Vitellius , which had been allowed to lapse for some time. He struck the names of many senators and equites who no longer met qualifications, but showed respect by allowing them to resign in advance. At the same time, he sought to admit eligible men from the provinces. The Lyons Tablet preserves his speech on the admittance of Gallic senators, in which he addresses the Senate with reverence but also with criticism for their disdain of these men. He also increased the number of Patricians by adding new families to the dwindling number of noble lines. Here he followed the precedent of Lucius Junius Brutus and Julius Caesar . Nevertheless, many in the Senate remained hostile to Claudius, and many plots were made on his life. This hostility carried over into the historical accounts. As a result, Claudius was forced to reduce the Senate's power for efficiency. The administration of Ostia was turned over to an imperial Procurator after construction of the port. Administration of many of the empire's financial concerns was turned over to imperial appointees and freedmen. This led to further resentment and suggestions that these same freedmen were ruling the emperor. Several coup attempts were made during Claudius' reign, resulting in the deaths of many senators. Appius Silanus was executed early in Claudius' reign under questionable circumstances. Shortly after, a large rebellion was undertaken by the Senator Vinicianus and Scribonianus , the governor of Dalmatia and gained quite a few senatorial supporters. It ultimately failed because of the reluctance of Scribonianus' troops, and the suicide of the main conspirators. Many other senators tried different conspiracies and were condemned. Claudius' son-in-law Pompeius Magnus was executed for his part in a conspiracy with his father Crassus Frugi. Another plot involved the consulars Lusiius Saturninus, Cornelius Lupus, and Pompeius Pedo. In AD 46, Asinius Gallus , the grandson of Asinius Pollio , and Statilius Corvinus were exiled for a plot hatched with several of Claudius' own freedmen. Valerius Asiaticus was executed without public trial for unknown reasons. The ancient sources say the charge was adultery , and that Claudius was tricked into issuing the punishment. However, Claudius singles out Asiaticus for special damnation in his speech on the Gauls, which dates over a year later, suggesting that the charge must have been much more serious. Asiaticus had been a claimant to the throne in the chaos following Caligula's death and a co-consul with the Statilius Corvinus mentioned above. Most of these conspiracies took place before Claudius' term as Censor , and may have induced him to review the Senatorial rolls. The conspiracy of Gaius Silius in the year after his Censorship, AD 48, is detailed in the section discussing Claudius' third wife, Messalina . Suetonius states that a total of 35 senators and 300 knights were executed for offenses during Claudius' reign.[25] Needless to say, the necessary responses to these conspiracies could not have helped Senate-emperor relations. The Secretariat and centralization of powers Claudius was hardly the first emperor to use freedmen to help with the day-to-day running of the empire. He was, however, forced to increase their role as the powers of the Princeps became more centralized and the burden larger. This was partly due to the ongoing hostility of the senate, as mentioned above, but also due to his respect for the senators. Claudius did not want free-born magistrates to have to serve under him, as if they were not peers. The secretariat was divided into bureaus, with each being placed under the leadership of one freedman. Narcissus was the secretary of correspondence. Pallas became the secretary of the treasury. Callistus became secretary of justice. There was a fourth bureau for miscellaneous issues, which was put under Polybius until his execution for treason. The freedmen could also officially speak for the emperor, as when Narcissus addressed the troops in Claudius' stead before the conquest of Britain. Since these were important positions, the senators were aghast at their being placed in the hands of former slaves. If freedmen had total control of money, letters, and law, it seemed it would not be hard for them to manipulate the emperor. This is exactly the accusation put forth by the ancient sources. However, these same sources admit that the freedmen were loyal to Claudius.[26] He was similarly appreciative of them and gave them due credit for policies where he had used their advice. However, if they showed treasonous inclinations, the emperor did punish them with just force, as in the case of Polybius and Pallas' brother, Felix . There is no evidence that the character of Claudius' policies and edicts changed with the rise and fall of the various freedmen, suggesting that he was firmly in control throughout. Regardless of the extent of their political power, the freedmen did manage to amass wealth through their positions. Pliny the Elder notes that several of them were richer than Crassus , the richest man of the Republican era.[27] Religious reforms Claudius, as the author of a treatise on Augustus' religious reforms, felt himself in a good position to institute some of his own. He had strong opinions about the proper form for state religion. He refused the request of Alexandrian Greeks to dedicate a temple to his divinity, saying that only gods may choose new gods. He restored lost days to festivals and got rid of many extraneous celebrations added by Caligula. He reinstituted old observances and archaic language. Claudius was concerned with the spread of eastern mysteries within the city and searched for more Roman replacements. He emphasized the Eleusinian mysteries which had been practiced by so many during the Republic. He expelled foreign astrologers, and at the same time rehabilitated the old Roman soothsayers (known as haruspices ) as a replacement. He was especially hard on Druidism , because of its incompatibility with the Roman state religion and its proselytizing activities. It is also reported that at one time he expelled the Jews from Rome, probably because the appearance of Christianity had caused unrest within the Jewish community.[28] Claudius opposed proselytizing in any religion, even in those regions where he allowed natives to worship freely. The results of all these efforts were recognized even by Seneca, who has an ancient Latin god defend Claudius in his satire.[29] Public games and entertainments According to Suetonius, Claudius was extraordinarily fond of games. He is said to have risen with the crowd after gladiatorial matches and given unrestrained praise to the fighters [30] . Claudius also presided over many new and original events. Soon after coming into power, Claudius instituted games to be held in honor of his father on the latter's birthday.[31]. Annual games were also held in honor of his accession, and took place at the Praetorian camp where Claudius had first been proclaimed emperor.[32]. Claudius performed the Secular games , marking the 800th anniversary of the founding of Rome. Augustus had performed the same games less than a century prior. Augustus' excuse was that the interval for the games was 110 years, not 100, but his date actually did not qualify under either reasoning.[32] Claudius also presented naval battles to mark the attempted draining of the Fucine lake, as well as many other public games and shows. At Ostia, in front of a crowd of spectators, Claudius fought a killer whale which was trapped in the harbor. The event was witnessed by Pliny the Elder : A killer whale was actually seen in the harbor of Ostia, locked in combat with the emperor Claudius. She had come when he was completing the construction of the harbor, drawn there by the wreck of a ship bringing leather hides from Gaul, and feeding there over a number of days, had made a furrow in the shallows: the waves had raised up such a mound of sand that she couldn't turn around at all, and while she was pursuing her banquet as the waves moved it shorewards, her back stuck up out of the water like the overturned keel of a boat. The emperor ordered that a large array of nets be stretched across the mouths of the harbor, and setting out in person with the Praetorian cohorts gave a show to the Roman people, soldiers showering lances from attacking ships, one of which I saw swamped by the beast's waterspout and sunk. — "Historia Naturalis" IX.14-15.[33] Claudius also restored and adorned many of the venues around Rome. The old wooden barriers of the Circus Maximus were replaced with ones made of gold-ornamented marble.[32] A new section of the Circus was designated for seating the senators, who previously had sat among the general public.[32] Claudius rebuilt Pompey's Theater after it had been destroyed by fire, throwing special fights at the rededication which he observed from a special platform in the orchestra box.[32] Death, deification, and reputation The general consensus of ancient historians was that Claudius was murdered by poison — possibly contained in mushrooms or on a feather — and died in the early hours of 13 October, AD 54. Accounts vary greatly. Some claim Claudius was in Rome[34] while others claim he was in Sinuessa.[35] Some implicate either Halotus , his taster, Xenophon , his doctor, or the infamous poisoner Locusta as the administrator of the fatal substance.[36] Some say he died after prolonged suffering following a single dose at dinner, and some have him recovering only to be poisoned again.[34] Nearly all implicate his final wife, Agrippina, as the instigator. Agrippina and Claudius had become more combative in the months leading up to his death. This carried on to the point where Claudius openly lamented his bad wives, and began to comment on Britannicus' approaching manhood with an eye towards restoring his status within the imperial family.[37] Agrippina had motive in ensuring the succession of Nero before Britannicus could gain power. In modern times, some authors have cast doubt on whether Claudius was murdered or merely succumbed to illness or old age.[38] Some modern scholars claim the universality of the accusations in ancient texts lends credence to the crime.[39] History in those days could not be objectively collected or written, so sometimes amounted to committing whispered gossip to parchment, often years after the events, when the writer was no longer in danger of arrest. Claudius' ashes were interred in the Mausoleum of Augustus on 24 October, after a funeral in the manner of Augustus. Claudius was deified by Nero and the Senate almost immediately.[40] Those who regard this homage as cynical should note that, cynical or not, such a move would hardly have benefited those involved, had Claudius been "hated", as some commentators, both modern and historic, characterize him. Many of Claudius' less solid supporters quickly became Nero's men. Claudius' will had been changed shortly before his death to either recommend Nero and Britannicus jointly or perhaps just Britannicus, who would have been considered an adult man according to Roman law only in a few months. Agrippina had sent away Narcissus shortly before Claudius' death, and now murdered the freedman. The last act of this secretary of letters was to burn all of Claudius' correspondence—most likely so it could not be used against him and others in an already hostile new regime. Thus Claudius' private words about his own policies and motives were lost to history. Just as Claudius has criticized his predecessors in official edicts (see below), Nero often criticized the deceased emperor and many of Claudius' laws and edicts were disregarded under the reasoning that he was too stupid and senile to have meant them.[41] This opinion of Claudius, that he was indeed an old idiot, remained the official one for the duration of Nero's reign. Eventually Nero stopped referring to his deified adoptive father at all, and realigned with his birth family. Claudius' temple was left unfinished after only some of the foundation had been laid down. Eventually the site was overtaken by Nero's Golden House.[42] The Flavians , who had risen to prominence under Claudius, took a different tack. They were in a position where they needed to shore up their legitimacy, but also justify the fall of the Julio-Claudians. They reached back to Claudius in contrast with Nero, to show that they were good associated with good. Commemorative coins were issued of Claudius and his son Britannicus—who had been a friend of the emperor Titus . When Nero's Golden House was burned, the Temple of Claudius was finally completed on Caelian Hill.[42] However, as the Flavians became established, they needed to emphasize their own credentials more, and their references to Claudius ceased. Instead, he was put down with the other emperors of the fallen dynasty. The main ancient historians Tacitus , Suetonius , and Cassius Dio all wrote after the last of the Flavians had gone. All three were senators or equites. They took the side of the Senate in most conflicts with the princeps, invariably viewing him as being in the wrong. This resulted in biases, both conscious and unconscious. Suetonius lost access to the official archives shortly after beginning his work. He was forced to rely on second-hand accounts when it came to Claudius (with the exception of Augustus' letters which had been gathered earlier) and does not quote the emperor. Suetonius painted Claudius as a ridiculous figure, belittling many of his acts and attributing the objectively good works to his retinue.[43] Tacitus wrote a narrative for his fellow senators and fitted each of the emperors into a simple mold of his choosing.[44] He wrote Claudius as a passive pawn and an idiot—going so far as to hide his use of Claudius as a source and omit Claudius' character from his works.[45] Even his version of Claudius' Lyons tablet speech is edited to be devoid of the emperor's personality. Dio was less biased, but seems to have used Suetonius and Tacitus as sources. Thus the conception of Claudius as the weak fool, controlled by those he supposedly ruled, was preserved for the ages. As time passed, Claudius was mostly forgotten outside of the historians' accounts. His books were lost first, as their antiquarian subjects became unfashionable. In the second century, Pertinax , who shared his birthday, became emperor, overshadowing commemoration of Claudius.[46] Marriages and personal life Claudius' love life was unusual for an upper-class Roman of his day. As Edward Gibbon mentions, of the first fifteen emperors, "Claudius was the only one whose taste in love was entirely correct"—the implication being that he was the only one not to take men or boys as lovers. Gibbon based this on Suetonius' factual statement that "He had a great passion for women, but had no interest in men."[47] Suetonius and the other ancient authors used this against Claudius. They accused him of being dominated by these same women and wives, of being uxorious , and of being a womanizer . Claudius married four times. His first marriage, to Plautia Urgulanilla , occurred after two failed betrothals (The first was to his distant cousin Aemilia Lepida , but was broken for political reasons. The second was to Livia Medullina , which ended with the bride's sudden death on their wedding day). Urgulanilla was a relation of Livia's confidant Urgulania . During their marriage she gave birth to a son, Claudius Drusus. Unfortunately, Drusus died of asphyxiation in his early teens, shortly after becoming engaged to the daughter of Sejanus . Claudius later divorced Urgulanilla for adultery and on suspicion of murdering her sister-in-law Apronia. When Urgulanilla gave birth after the divorce, Claudius repudiated the baby girl, Claudia, as the father was one of his own freedmen. Soon after (possibly in AD 28), Claudius married Aelia Paetina , a relation of Sejanus. They had a daughter, Claudia Antonia . He later divorced her after the marriage became a political liability (although Leon (1948) suggests it may have been due to emotional and mental abuse by Aelia). In AD 38 or early 39, Claudius married Valeria Messalina , who was his first cousin once removed and closely allied with Caligula's circle. Shortly thereafter, she gave birth to a daughter Claudia Octavia . A son, first named Tiberius Claudius Germanicus, and later known as Britannicus , was born just after Claudius' accession. This marriage ended in tragedy. The ancient historians allege that Messalina was a nymphomaniac who was regularly unfaithful to Claudius — Tacitus states she went so far as to compete with a prostitute to see who could have the most sexual partners in a night[48] — and manipulated his policies in order to amass wealth. In AD 48, Messalina married her lover Gaius Silius in a public ceremony while Claudius was at Ostia . Sources disagree as to whether or not she divorced the emperor first, and whether the intention was to usurp the throne. Scramuzza, in his biography, suggests that Silius may have convinced Messalina that Claudius was doomed, and the union was her only hope of retaining rank and protecting her children.[49] The historian Tacitus suggests that Claudius's ongoing term as Censor may have prevented him from noticing the affair before it reached such a critical point.[50] Whatever the case, the result was the execution of Silius, Messalina, and most of her circle.[51] Claudius made the Praetorians promise to kill him if he ever married again. Despite this declaration, Claudius did marry once more. The ancient sources tell that his freedmen pushed three candidates, Caligula's former wife Lollia Paulina , Claudius's divorced second wife Aelia, and Claudius's niece Agrippina the younger . According to Suetonius, Agrippina won out through her feminine wiles.[52] The truth is likely more political. The coup attempt by Silius probably made Claudius realize the weakness of his position as a member of the Claudian but not the Julian family. This weakness was compounded by the fact that he did not have an obvious adult heir, Britannicus being just a boy. Agrippina was one of the few remaining descendants of Augustus, and her son Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus (later known as Nero) was one of the last males of the imperial family. Future coup attempts could rally around the pair, and Agrippina was already showing such ambition. It has been suggested in recent times that the Senate may have pushed for the marriage to end the feud between the Julian and Claudian branches.[53] This feud dated back to Agrippina's mother's actions against Tiberius after the death of her husband Germanicus, actions which Tiberius had gladly punished. In any case, Claudius accepted Agrippina, and later adopted the newly mature Nero as his son. Nero was made joint heir with the underage Britannicus, married to Octavia and heavily promoted. This was not as unusual as it seems to people acquainted with modern hereditary monarchies. Barbara Levick notes that Augustus had named his grandson Postumus Agrippa and his stepson Tiberius joint heirs.[54] Tiberius named his great-nephew Caligula joint heir with his grandson Tiberius Gemellus . Adoption of adults or near adults was an old tradition in Rome when a suitable natural adult heir was unavailable. This was the case during Britannicus' minority. S.V. Oost suggests that Claudius had previously looked to adopt one of his sons-in-law to protect his own reign.[55] Faustus Sulla , married to his daughter Antonia , was only descended from Octavia and Antony on one side — not close enough to the imperial family to prevent doubts (that didn't stop others from making him the object of a coup attempt against Nero a few years later). Besides which, he was the half brother of Messalina , and at this time those wounds were still fresh. Nero was more popular with the general public as the grandson of Germanicus and the direct descendant of Augustus. Claudius' affliction and personality The historian Suetonius describes the physical manifestations of Claudius' affliction in relatively good detail.[56] His knees were weak and gave way under him and his head shook. He stammered and his speech was confused. He slobbered and his nose ran when he was excited. The Stoic Seneca states in his Apocolocyntosis that Claudius' voice belonged to no land animal, and that his hands were weak as well;[57] however, he showed no physical deformity, as Suetonius notes that when calm and seated he was a tall, well-built figure of dignitas .[56] When angered or stressed, his symptoms became worse. Historians agree that this condition improved upon his accession to the throne.[58] Claudius himself claimed that he had exaggerated his ailments to save his own life.[59] The modern diagnosis has changed several times in the past century. Prior to World War II , infantile paralysis (or polio) was widely accepted as the cause. This is the diagnosis used in Robert Graves ' Claudius novels , first published in the 1930s. Polio does not explain many of the described symptoms, however, and a more recent theory implicates cerebral palsy as the cause, as outlined by Ernestine Leon.[60] Tourette syndrome is also a likely candidate for Claudius' symptoms.[61] As a person, ancient historians described Claudius as generous and lowbrow, a man who sometimes lunched with the plebeians .[62] They also paint him as bloodthirsty and cruel, overly fond of both gladiatorial combat and executions, and very quick to anger (though Claudius himself acknowledged the latter trait, and apologized publicly for his temper).[63] To them he was also overly trusting, and easily manipulated by his wives and freedmen.[64] But at the same time they portray him as paranoid and apathetic, dull and easily confused.[65] The extant works of Claudius present a different view, painting a picture of an intelligent, scholarly, well-read, and conscientious administrator with an eye to detail and justice. Thus, Claudius becomes an enigma. Since the discovery of his "Letter to the Alexandrians" in the last century, much work has been done to rehabilitate Claudius and determine where the truth lies. Scholarly works and their impact Claudius wrote copiously throughout his life. Arnaldo Momigliano [66] states that during the reign of Tiberius — which covers the peak of Claudius' literary career — it became impolitic to speak of republican Rome. The trend among the young historians was to either write about the new empire or obscure antiquarian subjects. Claudius was the rare scholar who covered both. Besides the history of Augustus' reign that caused him so much grief, his major works included an Etruscan history and eight volumes on Carthaginian history, as well as an Etruscan Dictionary and a book on dice playing. Despite the general avoidance of the imperatorial era, he penned a defense of Cicero against the charges of Asinius Gallus. Modern historians have used this to determine both the nature of his politics and of the aborted chapters of his civil war history. He proposed a reform of the Latin alphabet by the addition of three new letters , two of which served the function of the modern letters W and Y. He officially instituted the change during his censorship, but they did not survive his reign. Claudius also tried to revive the old custom of putting dots between different words (Classical Latin was written with no spacing). Finally, he wrote an eight-volume autobiography that Suetonius describes as lacking in taste.[67] Since Claudius (like most of the members of his dynasty) heavily criticized his predecessors and relatives in surviving speeches,[68] it is not hard to imagine the nature of Suetonius' charge. The Claudian letters Unfortunately, none of the actual works survive. They do live on as sources for the surviving histories of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Suetonius quotes Claudius' autobiography once, and must have used it as a source numerous times. Tacitus uses Claudius' own arguments for the orthographical innovations mentioned above, and may have used him for some of the more antiquarian passages in his annals. Claudius is the source for numerous passages of Pliny's Natural History .[69] The influence of historical study on Claudius is obvious. In his speech on Gallic senators, he uses a version of the founding of Rome identical to that of Livy, his tutor in adolescence. The detail of his speech borders on the pedantic, a common mark of all his extant works, and he goes into long digressions on related matters. This indicates a deep knowledge of a variety of historical subjects that he could not help but share. Many of the public works instituted in his reign were based on plans first suggested by Julius Caesar . Levick believes this emulation of Caesar may have spread to all aspects of his policies.[70] His censorship seems to have been based on those of his ancestors, particularly Appius Claudius Caecus , and he used the office to put into place many policies based on those of Republican times. This is when many of his religious reforms took effect and his building efforts greatly increased during his tenure. In fact, his assumption of the office of Censor may have been motivated by a desire to see his academic labors bear fruit. For example, he believed (as most Romans) that his ancestor Appius Claudius Caecus had used the censorship to introduce the letter "R" [71] and so used his own term to introduce his new letters. In literature and film Probably the most famous fictional representation of the Emperor Claudius were the books I, Claudius and Claudius the God (released in 1934 and 1935) by Robert Graves , both written in the first-person to give the reader the impression that they are Claudius' autobiography . Graves employed a fictive artifice to suggest that they were recently discovered, genuine translations of Claudius' writings. Claudius' extant letters, speeches, and sayings were incorporated into the text (mostly in the second book, Claudius the God) in order to add authenticity. In 1937 director Josef von Sternberg made an unsuccessful attempt to film I, Claudius , with Charles Laughton as Claudius. Unfortunately, the lead actress Merle Oberon suffered a near-fatal accident and the movie was never finished. The surviving reels were finally shown in the documentary The Epic That Never Was in 1965, revealing some of Laughton's most accomplished acting. The motion picture rights have been obtained by Scott Rudin , with a theatrical release planned for 2010. Graves's two books were also the basis for a thirteen-part British television adaptation produced by the BBC . The series starred Derek Jacobi as Claudius and Patrick Stewart as Sejanus, and was broadcast in 1976 on BBC2 . It was a substantial critical success, and won several BAFTA awards. The series was later broadcast in the United States on Masterpiece Theatre in 1977. The DVD release of the television series contains the "The Epic that Never Was" documentary. Claudius has been portrayed in film on several other occasions, including in the 1979 motion picture Caligula , the role being performed by Giancarlo Badessi in which the character was depicted as an idiot, in complete contrast to Robert Graves ' portrait of Claudius as a cunning and deeply intelligent man. In the parody Gore Vidal's Caligula , which advertises itself as a remake of the original film, Claudius is portrayed by Glenn Shadix . On television, the actor Freddie Jones became famous for his role as Claudius in the 1968 British television series The Caesars while the 1985 made-for-television miniseries A.D. features actor Richard Kiley as Claudius. There is also a reference to Claudius' suppression of one of the coups against him in the movie Gladiator , though the incident is entirely fictional. In literature, Claudius and his contemporaries appear in the historical novel The Roman by Mika Waltari . Canadian-born science fiction writer A. E. van Vogt reimagined Robert Graves' Claudius story in his two novels Empire of the Atom and The Wizard of Linn. Ancestry 8. Drusus Claudius Nero 4. Tiberius Nero 9. Unknown 2. Nero Claudius Drusus 10. Marcus Livius Drusus Claudianus 5. Livia 11. Aufidia And Clasuia 1.Claudius 12. Marcus Antonius Creticus 6. Mark Antony 13. Julia Antonia 3. 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