Publius Claudius Pulcher (consul 249 BC)

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Publius Claudius Pulcher (d 249 BC/246 BC) (of the Claudii family) was a Roman general. His father was Gaius Claudius Centho. He was the brother of the famous Roman politician Appius Claudius Caudex (consul in 264 BC). He was the first of the Claudii to be given the cognomen "Pulcher" ("handsome").

He was curule aedile in 253 BC and consul in 249. As consul he was given command of the Roman fleet during the First Punic War. He lost the Battle of Drepana against the Carthaginians after ignoring a bad omen when the sacred chickens refused to eat. According to Valerius Maximus, Suetonius[1] and Cicero, Claudius threw them into the sea, ut biberent, quando esse nollent ("so that they might drink, since they refused to eat"). He was recalled to Rome and ordered to appoint a dictator; his nomination of his subordinate Marcus Claudius Glicia was overruled. He was tried for incompetence and impiety and was fined, and died soon afterwards, possibly by suicide.

He was the father of Appius Claudius Pulcher, consul in 212 BC


Preceded by
Gaius Atilius Regulus and Lucius Manlius Vulso Longus
Consul of the Roman Republic
with Lucius Iunius Pullus
249 BC
Succeeded by
Gaius Aurelius Cotta and Publius Servilius Geminus