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Key information:


Birthdate: August 1, 10 BCE

(Suetonius, Life of Claudius, 2)

Birthplace: Lugdunum, Gaul

(Suetonius, Life of Claudius, 2)

Reign: Named emperor by the praetorian guard on January 24, 41 CE after the assassination of Caligula.

(Cassius Dio, Roman History, 55.1)


Plautia Urgulanilla (9-24 CE)

(Suetonius, Life of Claudius, 26)

Aelia Paetina (28-31 CE)

(Suetonius, Life of Claudius, 26)

Valeria Messalina (38-48 CE)

(Suetonius, Life of Claudius, 26)

Agrippina the Younger (49-54 CE)

(Suetonius, Life of Claudius, 26)


Claudius Drusus (son by Plautia Urgulanilla)

(Suetonius, Life of Claudius, 27)

Claudia Antonia (daughter by Aelia Paetina)

(Suetonius, Life of Claudius, 27)

Claudia Octavia (daughter by Messalina)

(Suetonius, Life of Claudius, 27)

Britannicus (son by Messalina)

(Suetonius, Life of Claudius, 27)

Death: Claudius was poisoned on October 13, 54 CE by his wife Agrippina, who was assisted by imperial freedmen and slaves.

(Suetonius, Life of Claudius, 44)

Statue of Claudius as Jupiter, Vatican Museums, 27th April 2017
Bust of Claudius, National Archaeological Museum of Naples,  October 12th 2019.
The Gemma Claudia, Vienna Kunsthistorisches Museum,  October 18th 2019.

Famous facts and dates

Claudius was born with a physical disability. He walked with a limp and had slight deafness.
(Suetonius, Life of Claudius, 30)
Claudius was hiding behind a curtain in the imperial palace when he was found by a Roman soldier and hailed “imperator.” He was the first emperor to be appointed by the praetorian guard.
(Cassius Dio, Roman History, 55.1)
Claudius invaded and conquered the island of Britain.
(Cassius Dio, Roman History, 55.19-23)

Related monuments in Rome

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Cite this page as: Darius Arya, The American Institute for Roman Culture, “Claudius” Ancient Rome Live. Last modified 04/14/2021.


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