A Tourist in Rome - Claudius
|Birth:||August 1, 10 BC|
|Death:||October 13, 54 AD (possibly poisoned)|
|Emperor:||41 AD - death|
Claudius walked with a limp and was slightly deaf due to a sickness at a young age. He also talked with a stammer and was sickly. Because of this his family ostracized him, thinking him useless and possibly mad. This probably saved him from the purges during Tiberius' and Caligula's reigns since he was not viewed as a serious threat. He was named emperor by the Praetorian Guard after the assassination of Caligula since he was the last surviving man of the family. He turned out to be an able and efficient administrator and an ambitious builder. The empire expanded under his rule, and he initiated the conquest of Britain. In his later years he became paranoid and execued his wives and peers. His life is well-illustrated in the mini-series "I, Claudius". He might have died of old age, or he might have been poisoned by his wife, Agrippina, in order that her son, Nero, might become emperor.