Claudius' emperorship

Early life, foreign policy, domestic policy, Tacitus ch.9



41 AD - 54 AD

Predecessor: Gaius Caligula, nephew by brother Germanicus
Successor: Nero, grandnephew by brother Germanicus and stepson by 4th wife Agrippina

Birth of son Tiberius Claudius Germanicus (later Britannicus)

41 AD

Assasination of Gaius Caligula

41 AD

Found hidden behind a curtain by praetorian guard; chosen by them. Took days/weeks to convince the senate - subsequently had the records of these debates removed.

Daughter Octavia born

42 AD

Claudius' death

54 AD

Murdered by a poisoned feather - general consensus blames Agrippina

Early Life

Pre-emperorship, 10BC - 41AD


10 BC

Part of the Julio-Claudian dynasty - great-great-grandnephew of Julius Caesar
Father Decimus Drusus

(Physical infirmity kept him out of office)

10 BC

Father, Nero Drusus, dies in Germany

9 BC

Livy hired to tutor him

7 AD

With assistance of Sulpicius Flavius

AUGUSTUS' DEATH - Cl. appealed for cursus honorum (failed)

14 AD

In appealing to Tiberius, he was snubbed twice. Retreated from public life and became an 'observer', turning instead to living a life of academia and writing.

Co-consul with Caligula

37 AD


37 AD

Foreign Policy

Rebellion in Mauretania

42 AD

(- took place in same place as Tacfarinas' rebellions)
-Able generals sent out to Mauretania by Claudius to deal with rebellion
- Rebellion effectively put down
- Mauretania made into two imperial provinces
- Some minor troubles continued

Rebellion of Camillus Scribonianus in Dalmatia suppressed

42 AD
  • Scribonianus, governor of Dalmatia; from very distinguished family
  • Called on Claudius to resign and urged troops to follow him in name of "freedom"
  • Legions remained loyal to Claudius
  • Scribonianus fled and was killed 5 days later
  • Trial of conspirators in senate in presence of Praetorian Prefects and freedmen; CLOSET TRIALS
  • Harsh punishment for those found guilty; executed and bodies dragged to Germonian steps.
  • Sons of conspirators including Scribonianus given immunity (temp.)

  • 200
    equestrians and thirty-five senators killed

Annexation of Lycia

43 AD

Invasion of Britain

43 AD

Annexation of Mauretania

44 AD

Annexation of Judaea

44 AD

Annexation of Thrace

46 AD

Armenia & Parthia

47 AD

Mithridates of Armenia: client king under protection of Rome. Civil War between the two - (advantage of Rome beyond the borders of the Empire). Internal war in Parthia enables Mithridates, with Roman support, to regain Armenia.

Chauci campaign of Lower Germany

47 AD

German tribe north of Roman province of Lower Germany. Here the Chauci are "free from internal dissension" and united (under Gannascus, a member of the Canninefates tribe) and are making incursions into Roman territory.

Looting of the province - "Corbulo's careful methods soon won him the fame that dates from this campaign".

Annexation of Ituraea (incorporated into Syria)

49 AD

Domestic Policy

Reorganised imperial fleet, allowed legionaries to marry

43 AD

Claudius adopts Agrippina's son, Nero

49 AD

Married his niece Agrippina

49 AD

Afranius Burrus becomes leader of the Praetorian Guard

51 AD

Grain shortage at Rome

51 AD

Fucine tunnel opened

52 AD

Tac. Ch9 - 'The Fall of Messalina'

Further prosecutions; Petra knights

47 AD

Asiaticus trial

47 AD


47 AD - 48 AD

Used powers to curtail senate

Cincian Law reinstated

47 AD

Messalina 'married' C. Silius; both executed

48 AD