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Claudius and Nero.docx

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Department
Classics
Course
CLA231H1
Professor
Kevin Wilkinson
Semester
Fall

Description
Claudius and Nero Reign of Claudius  Accession o Had the backing of the praetorian guard, was finally approved by the senate despite their dream of restoring the Republic  Family Connections and Personal Qualities o He was the brother of the beloved Germanicus, and ascended to the throne at the age of 50. o Was Caligula's uncle, and could trace his bloodlines back to Augustus o Because of a disability, his family had kept him out of politics for the first 50 years of his life. o Instead, he was a scholar and wrote various books on roman history (none of them survive) o Intelligent and ambitious. o Against all odds, he was proclaimed princeps in his middle age o In order to legitimize his reign, he emphasized his family ties - especially on coinage.  Some Successes (Including in Britain) o First two acts as emperor showed that Claudius has good sense. o He gave a financial bonus to every praetorian, and he pardoned the senators that had been involved in the plot against Caligula. o Also gave the Senate a greater scope of independence. They were allowed to create their own coinage. o Militarily, he added to the extent of the empire. He finished organizing the province of Maurentania. o He was also responsible for the annexation of southern Britain in the year of 43. o Went to Britain with a contingent of elephants. o Despite not having won the British victory personally, he was honored with a triumph back in Rome. o Was granted the victory title "Britanicus", and he passed the title to his son. o Cleaned up Caligula's mess regarding the Jews.  Unlucky in Love (Messalina and Agrippina the Younger) o After two failed marriages, Claudius married his second cousin Messalina in the year 39 o Messalina bore him two children - Octavia and Britanicus, within their first two years of marriage. o At the time of their marriage, Messalina was 14 and Claudius was 49. o Apparently, Messalina would sneak in the middle of the night into brothels disguised as a prostitute. o Messalina began an affair with a senator, who was about 25 years younger than Claudius. The two flaunted their affair in public, going as far as staging a mock wedding ceremony in the year 48. o Claudius was eventually persuaded by his advisors to stop this affair. o Claudius has the senator executed in the year 48, and consequently, Messalina committed suicide. o The following year, he married his niece Agrippina the Younger (Caligula's sister, Germanicus' daughter) o This marriage was as scandalous as his previous marriage. o Agrippina brought an adolescent son with her into this marriage - Nero. o In 53, Agrippina was able to secure Nero's marriage to his cousin Octavia.  Death and Final Assessment o Claudius died in the year 54 of suspected poisoning. o Agrippina was believed to be the mastermind behind the poisoning in order to secure Nero's place on the throne. o Nero was able to ascend to the throne at the age of 16. o Immediate after his death, Claudius was deified. o Apart from his disastrous martial life, he seemed to be reasonably competent and true. Reign of Nero (54-68 CE)  Agrippina (mom), Octavia (Wife #1), and Poppaea Sabina (Lover and W
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