Plautia Urgulanilla

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Plautia Urgulanilla from Guillaume Rouillé's Promptuarii Iconum Insigniorum

Plautia Urgulanilla (fl. 1st century) was the first wife of the future Roman Emperor Claudius. They married sometime around the year 9 CE, when Claudius was 18 years old. According to Suetonius, Claudius divorced her in 24 on grounds of adultery by Plautia and his suspicions of her involvement in the murder of her sister-in-law Apronia.


Her father was Marcus Plautius Silvanus, a general who was consul for the year 2 BC. He had been honored with a triumph.[1]

Urgulanilla was named for her grandmother, Urgulania, a close friend of the Empress Livia Drusilla.

She gave birth to a son, Claudius Drusus, whose betrothal to a daughter of Sejanus instilled great expectations in the prefect Claudius,[2] which were left unfulfilled when their son died young.

Urgulanilla had a daughter, Claudia, who was born five months after her divorce from Claudius. As Claudia was widely known to be the illegitimate daughter of the freedman Boter, Claudius repudiated the child and he had her laid at Urgulanilla's doorstep.[3] Her adopted nephew was Tiberius Plautius Silvanus Aelianus.

Urgulanilla was Etruscan.[4] A brother of Urgulanilla was made a patrician by Claudius. The adopted son of another of her brothers became consul in 45.[2]


  1. ^ Lives of the Caesars, Suetonius, Barnes & Noble Press, 2004, pg. 208.
  2. ^ a b Nero: The End of a Dynasty, Miriam Tamara Griffin, Psychology Press, 2000, Pg. 194.
  3. ^ Suetonius. Claud. 27.
  4. ^ Suetonius, Life of Claudius, Section 6.1