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older entries[edit]

He is the only scholar to ever wear the purple.

Hmm...what about Marcus Aurelius? Adam Bishop 22:24, 3 Apr 2004 (UTC)


There is some excellent material on Claudius at:

Points I would like to add to the topic include a mention of his possible mental deficiency, his reforms of the judiciary, pensions for soldiers and that his death is believed to be murder. However, I would like some additional sources to validate this information before I put it in.

I am also wondering if the material on various coups and the quote of his judgement of the Alexandians would be suitable to include or if it is just too much detail.

-- Frank Warmerdam

To compare with the "competition", [1] (without most of the point-by-point notes) has about the level of detail (and quality!) that we would like WP's article to have. Note that it cites a couple Claudius bios, which are "safer" than direct uses of the sources. Stan 12:01, 29 Sep 2004 (UTC)

a backwards 'C' to replace BS ?[edit]

He also proposed a reform of the Roman alphabet by introducing three new letters: ... and a backwards 'C' to replace BS.

Can someone confirm this so called "BS", please ? Thanks. -- PFHLai 02:40, 2005 Jan 21 (UTC)

It's genuine. Latin has a sequence BS (e.g. in urbs "city") that Claudius invented a letter (this one was called antisigma) for. It was written BS because it appeared where a morpheme ending in B (e.g., urb-, ob-) was added to a morpheme beginning with S (e.g. -s → urbs; -structus → obstructus). It was presumably pronounced /ps/, and creating a letter for the sound /ps/ would be in imitation of Greek Ψ. —Muke Tever 04:55, 25 Jan 2005 (UTC)

April 1?[edit]

Found some of his lost autobiography on April Fools day with no sources referenced? --Dante Alighieri | Talk 19:54, Apr 14, 2005 (UTC)

This is just stupid. I even remember some of those passages from I, Claudius.Kuralyov 00:47, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Actually, that is the only quote of his autobiography we have - it's in Suetonius.


Is there a reliable source regarding this apparent pro-farting law that Claudius passed? It seems rather ridiculous that the Romans would have explicitly outlawed farting in the first place, but I suppose that wouldn't be strictly speaking necessary for Claudius to issue a proclamation in favor of it. This claim appears to be blatantly apocryphal, and even if true of very questionable relevance (we don't have any mention in the article regarding tax laws passed, for example). siafu 05:35, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)

The sole source is Suet. Claud. 32, in the Loeb translation: "He is even said to have thought of an edict allowing the privilege of breaking wind quietly or noisily at table, having learned of a man who ran some risk by restraining himself through modesty." Not a "law", but an "edict" — which can mean anything; not "he promulgated" but "he is said to have thought of" (Dicitur etiam meditatus). The error is the same as the frequently repeated nonsense about Caligula's horse being consul: no, it was just something Suetonius says his subject was thinking of. I'm correcting the article, now that we've all had our fun. Bill 06:27, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)

who doenst like to fart... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:02, 26 April 2008 (UTC)


His death is not even listed in the article, I would expect something this significant would have a paragraph or two on its circumstances. He's in the list of murdered emporers but it doesn't say he was murdered in the actual article??? --Ignignot 18:22, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

Well, the article is crap overall, so it's not too surprising, is it? john k 20:39, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

I think the article is good, but it does need to tell how. It gives accusations but thats it.

To this last anonymous user: These comments refer to a previous version of the article (pre-FA) that did not have a section about his death. The accounts of the murder vary in the actual sources, but all agree he was poisoned at dinner on October 12, 54, and died sometime in the early morning. The modern consensus is that he probably was poisoned either by Agrippina or at her behest (although a few modern historians, such as Barrett, doubt that.) LaurenCole 16:58, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

Claudius as Jupiter[edit]

Does anyone have a copyright-free picture of the statue of Claudius as Jupiter found in the Capitoline Museum. It is the most famous one, and a close-up of the head would be much appreciated as well. The statue currently pictured in the article is not it. LaurenCole 21:39, 7 November 2005 (UTC)

Recent edits prior to appearing on the main page[edit]

Just a quick point - in the recent edits it seems most, if not all, of the dates have been linked. Yet the manual of style says: 'If the date does not contain a day and a month, date preferences will not work, and square brackets will not respond to your readers' auto-formatting preferences. So unless there is a special relevance of the date link, there is no need to link it. This is an important point: simple months, years, decades and centuries should only be linked if there is a strong reason for doing so.' 'year only. So 1974 → 1974. Generally, do not link, unless they will clearly help the reader to understand the topic.'Modest Genius 02:40, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

fantastic article[edit]

This article's really intresting and enjoyable to read which is surprising coz im not normally into that kind of stuff. XYaAsehShalomX

Yes, Lauren Cole has done an amazing job on it. It is probably the best featured article that I have seen. --Ignignot 14:53, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

It is a fairly good article. There is a section when it drones on a bit about I Claudius (two or three lines are more than enough). Gingermint (talk) 04:28, 5 July 2010 (UTC)

Yes, but[edit]

I agree with what XYaAsehShalomX and Ignignot have written just a few lines above. Good job!

However, I want to raise two issues here:

  • The article currently says that "It was this reasoning that caused him to expel the early Christian missionaries from Rome." - while Christian missionaries might have been the cause of the whole affair, Claudius did not expell "Christian missionaries" but "the Jews" in general, according to the sources.
  • Related to that, the article states that "He opposed proselytizing in any religion, even those where he allowed natives to worship freely." - Do we have any source for such a statement? I don't know any but please enlighten me.

I have also trimmed down the succession box - it's enough to say that he was Roman Emperor once.

Apart from these issues: Good job! Str1977 15:12, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

Thanks,Str1977! As for your points:
  • Scramuzza states that it was the Christians. This is due to Suetonius' mention of Chrestos. On page 151 of "The Emperor Claudius" he states: "Suetonius writes that 'since the Jews constantly made disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, Claudius expelled them from Rome.' This phrase alludes perhaps the splitting of the Roman synagogue into two factions, that of orthodox and that of Christian believers. Claudius, it would seem, expelled the leaders of the Christian sect, but allowed the Orthodox to retain their traditional mode of worship, although forbidding them to hold any religious assembly until the excitement had cooled off." Scramuzza bases this on Dio's further statement that not all Jews were expelled. Momigliano suggests that Jews were not expelled but just not allowed to congregate for a while.
  • This is from the same page of Scramuzza, where he notes that Claudius reestablished the rights of Jews to worship as long as conversions were kept quiet. This seems to be his attitude towards all religions. LaurenCole 17:24, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

Dear Lauren,

thanks for your quick reply. I see that the text's versions comes from the books by Scramuzza and Momigliano and hence are referenced.

I agree with the observation about a splitting of the synagogue (though I wouldn't use the word "orthodox" at this period).

However, I think it is going a bit too far to simply state these conclusions as fact in the light of what Sueton says. Granted, maybe he did not expell all Jews and maybe the decree was not enforced universally, but the sources seem to direct the decree against "the Jews" without any qualifications. Of the two expellee we know about personally (Prisca and Aquila) we cannot be sure whether they were Christians when they were expelled or whether they were converted by Paul.

As for my second point, are there any ancient references for such an attitude or is merely the interpretation of Scramuzza?

Cheers, Str1977 17:46, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

Str1977 - After editing dies down, I'll probably make that statement a little less concrete, and say that while Suetonius says all Jews, Dio says it couldn't be done completely, Scramuzza thinks, etc... with footnotes of course. I see that Momigliano says that Josephus never mentions an expulsion at all - which would be strange if it had been so massive.
Scramuzza seems to basing his observations about proselytizing on the letter to the Alexandrians, and is using it as proof of Claudius' religious conservatism. Momigliano mentions the suspicion Claudius had for religious movements and his stance against proselytizing as well - making the same point that Jews were fine when they weren't looking for converts publicly (p. 35). He goes on to say that Claudius was ready to repress any movement that threatened the Roman religion (p. 37). Momigliano doesn't have footnotes for these assertions, but seems to be basing his view on the edict about grave-robbing in Nazareth, and the reaction to Druids. LaurenCole 18:11, 24 January 2006 (UTC)


There is no hard evidence that Claudius was poisoned, in fact he was old and drank and ate too much, and the theory he was poisoned by a feather and dropped dead, or over mushrooms, is simply a myth made up to flatter the Flavian family which replaced the Julians after Nero, it is on the same historical footing as "Nero burned Rome".

The ancient sources support that he was poisoned, and some of the modern sources agree. Tacitus has Agrippina confessing in a rage, and Nero is said to have referred to mushrooms as food of the gods. Pliny also refers to the murder, and was a contemporary. Wikipedia doesn't allow original research.LaurenCole 17:24, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
Sure, Claudius probably died of natural causes, but the pro-Claudius, pro-Nero and pro-Agrippina sources did not survive. Instead historians like Fabius Rusticus passed on fantastic stories to Tacitus and Suetonius whose work did. With questionable events, I like saying "According to..." and listing the other facts. I think right now, the article does raise doubt to the event.Hoshidoshi 22:48, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

Death by poison is still a strong possibility, however, it should be mentioned that there's also evidence against it : - Claudius was already ill and in his 64th years. And he had always been in poor health. According to Suetonius (not the most reliable for sure), he had already mentioned his coming death and did not name any consul for the year 55.

- A lot of people died the same year around him which raises the possibility of an epidemic.

- The only writings we have of people who lived during his reign doesn't support the thesis : Seneca, who was close to power, does not mention poison at all (it seems unlikely that he would lie, since he was not in the plot. While close to Nero, he was not especially close to Agrippina). Flavius Josephus mentions poisening but says that it was a rumor. Tacitus and Juvenal, the first to mention poisoning were probably not born at all at the time of claudius' death. They wrote about 50 years later which is a lot.

- How would Tacitus and the others have known of the plot ? Tacitus states that every one knew of it which is very unlikely : if it were the case, Seneca could not have lied so grossly, and the senate would not have act so naturally with Nero and his mother.

- Tacitus and Suetonius both seem to describe in great details the plot and the murder but there are not even able to agree on its location.

So, we must admit that at the time of the event, poisoning was evident for no one, but it was a strong rumor. Either Tacitus (who is more reliable than most historians) discovered groundbreaking private evidence (but why say that the plot was well known in this case) or he just followed rumors. It is also quite possible that he used sources created after the death of Agripinna which could have biased against her. While Tacitus is generally seen as reliable for general facts, we are on much less solid ground when it comes to more private or secret events (the death of claudius, poppea and britannicus are controversial though the last one seems very probable to me. The death of Tiberius as described by tacitus is now generally discarded, though possible. Which means, that even tacitus cannot always be trusted, not to mention that he is obviously biased. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:41, 10 January 2013 (UTC)

Sabotage and a suggestion[edit]

In the future, when an article is featured on the main page, it might be a good idea to verify and lock it first to prevent sabotage. As I write this, the page is so featured, and includes several pictures detailing human genitalia. While said pictures are correctly labeled and therefore informative and, some might argue, appropriate for an article about Roman emperors (they weren't nice people ;), they might not give a visitor a very good impression of Wikipedia.

Pages linked from Slashdot already get this protection treatment, so why not extend it ? 17:15, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

No, we don't protect the featured articles. See user:Raul654/protection for the explination. Raul654 17:16, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
It's just one individual who decided to make an ass of himself. Raul654 17:17, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
I agree that it shouldn't be locked down. The article has gotten a lot more copy-editing than it did during peer review and candidacy. That said, perhaps it should be locked to new members and anonymous posters on the day it is featured. The good edits seem to be coming from long-time wikipedians. LaurenCole 17:26, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps a semi protect should be in order for this article.--Adam (talk) 17:31, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
Please read the above link, which quotes the semiprotection policy: "Semi-protection is only to be applied as a response to serious vandalism and not as a pre-emptive measure against the threat or probability of vandalism, such as when certain pages suddenly become high profile due to current events or being linked from a high-traffic website... Do not semi-protect the Featured Article, in the same way the Feature Article was (generally) not fully protected before the advent of Semi[protection]" - Wikipedia:Semi-protection policy Raul654 18:58, 24 January 2006 (UTC)


This will sound pedantic to some, but I don't understand the sentence His first marriage, to Plautia Urgulanilla occurred after two failed betrothals, one of which ended with the bride's death. Does this mean:

1. that Claudius tried to marry Plautia three times, becoming succesful on the third attempt, then she died soon after? Or:
2. that his succesfully completed marriage to Plautia occured only after successive affiances to two different women, one of whom died near the time of the wedding?

Either way, there's a cracking story of love, duty and despair; I'd just appreciate a little clarification. Yes, I'm an utterly pedantic front-bottom; it's a minor niggle in an otherwise well-cafted article. --die Baumfabrik 20:49, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

It's number 2. He was first betrothed to Aemilia Lepida, but then her father offended Augustus. Livia Medullina was his next fiancee, and died on the day of the wedding. I'll add this into the article. No problem with being pedantic. This article has really gotten a lot of good editing today. LaurenCole 21:00, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
By the way, Robert Graves agreed with your assessment. In "I, Claudius," he made Livia Medullina into Claudius' first love, and the only one of the women who at least genuinely liked him. He then goes on to describe the tragedy from Claudius' point of view. For contrast Urgulanilla is made into a scowling, angry giantess who immediately dislikes Claudius. LaurenCole 21:22, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

Claudius Quote[edit]

Can Someone Please investigate this quote below reputably written by Claudius and either verify or debunk it. If it is correct, it should be added to the article. Please notify me at, Thanks, Bob from Michigan.

The late classical scholar, Dr. Revilo P. Oliver, in his book, The Jewish Strategy, cites the late N. P. Charlesworth's Documents Illustrating the Reigns of Claudius and Nero (Oxford, 1936), wherein the Edict of Claudius to the Greeks of Alexandria is reproduced in the original Greek. In his book, Dr. Oliver translates Emperor Claudius' edict. What follows is an excerpt of that translation:

                   I now order the Jews not to agitate for more privileges than those they have long
                   enjoyed, and not again to have the unprecedented insolence of sending out their
                   own ambassadors as though they were living in a separate state, and furthermore
                   [I order them] not to force their way into the games and contests held by the [Greek]
                   gymnasiarchs and cosmetae [officers who presided over the physical and intellectual
                   training of Greek youths] while they [the Jews] reap the profits of their own special
                   privileges [Jews were the only Alexandrians exempt from all taxes] and, living in a 
                   city that is not their own, enjoy all the bountiful advantages of that city. ... Otherwise 
                   [i.e., if the Jews do not obey], I will by all means take vengeance against them as 
                   being the fomenters of what is a universal plague throughout the civilized world.
This is part of the letter to the Alexandrians linked in the article. It is a bit out of context though. The Greeks had been attacking the Jews in Alexandria after Caligula has expressed his displeasure at them, and both sides sent ambassadors to deal with the riots. The first part of this paragraph reiterated the rights of the Jews (which is mentioned in the article). The conclusion said that both groups must learn to live together.
"As for the question , which party was responsible for the riots and feud (or rather, if the truth be told, the war) with the Jews, although in confrontation with their opponents your ambassadors, and particularly Dionysios the son of Theon, contended with great zeal, nevertheless I was unwilling to make a strict inquiry, though guarding within me a store of immutable indignation against whichever party renews the conflict. And I tell you once and for all that unless you put a stop to this ruinous and obstinate enmity against each other, I shall be driven to show what a benevolent Prince can be when turned to righteous indignation. Wherefore, once again I conjure you that, on the one hand, the Alexandrians show themselves forebearing and kindly towards the Jews who for many years have dwelt in the same city, and dishonor none of the rites observed by them in the worship of their god, but allow them to observe their customs as in the time of the Deified Augustus, which customs I also, after hearing both sides, have sanctioned; and on the other hand, I explicitly order the Jews not to agitate for more privileges than they formerly possessed, and not in the future to send out a separate embassy as though they lived in a separate city (a thing unprecedented), and not to force their way into gymnasiarchic or cosmetic games, while enjoying their own privileges and sharing a great abundance of advantages in a city not their own, and not to bring in or admit Jews who come down the river from Egypt or from Syria, a proceeding which will compel me to conceive serious suspicions. Otherwise I will by all means take vengeance on them as fomenters of which is a general plague infecting the whole world. If, desisting from these courses, you consent to live with mutual forebearance and kindliness, I on my side will exercise a solicitude of very long standing for the city, as one which is bound to us by traditional friendship. I bear witness to my friend Barbillus of the solicitude which he has always shown for you in my presence and of the extreme zeal with which he has now advocated your cause; and likewise to my friend Tiberius Claudius Archibius."
Here is the entire letter: Looking at the site you linked, the quote is being used to support some general Roman hatred of Jews that Claudius was presenting. At the time of this letter, Claudius had in fact given back the Kingdom of Judea to his friend Herod Agrippa, and had also executed some of the main anti-Jewish Greeks. The world-wide plague comment has been debated for some time, but is now thought to refer to Christianity, which was not yet viewed as a wholly separate entity. Notice the comments above about whether Claudius expelled Jews or Christians or some mix from the city when they started proselytizing much later than this letter. Suetonius, writing decades later, is still confused about the difference, citing that Jews were expelled because of "Chrestus". LaurenCole 23:50, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

Date of Claudius's accession[edit]

On what date did Claudius become emperor? Caligula was assassinated on 24 January, and Claudius was proclaimed emperor by the gaurds later the same day. But surely, if my memory of Seutonius is correct, this was not ratified by the Senate until two days later, and in the intervening period there was no legal emperor. Which is correct? TharkunColl 11:43, 18 February 2006 (UTC)

It depends what makes a legal emperor. Claudius passed the night in the Praetorian barracks and had already made promises to the troops that only the princeps could make. According to Barbara Levick (Claudius, p. 33), the Praetorians had already surrounded the senate in Claudius' name by the early morning of the 25th. This was possibly before the senate had a second chance to meet. Certainly individual senators had gone to him throughout the night to pledge their support.
Also, "Princeps" was not a legal office, but still a collection of separate powers and titles at this point, so there is really no way to tell whether the office was legally occupied. The individual offices held since Augustus were certainly vacant for a day or two (protector of the people), and Claudius refused to take some of the associated titles for years (Imperator, Pater Patriae). On the 24th, The senate had at one point discussed dividing the powers between three people, as under the triumvirate. Of course, it was quickly becoming a single position, as seen when the Senate discussion devolved from restoration of the republic into who should be the new princeps (all within hours of Caligula's death).
In summary, the modern historians speak of the events of "January 24-25", with that span of two days is the time period for Claudius' accession, but no single day is agreed on. LaurenCole 13:41, 18 February 2006 (UTC)
One last thought - Suetonius refers to the emperors of the Julio-Claudian family as simply the "Caesars." In this case, Claudius became emperor almost immediately upon Caligula's death, as he became head of the Julian branch of the family (through his descent from Octavia). He had already been paterfamilias of the Claudian branch. Since later non-Julian emperors claimed status as Caesars (and named their daughters Julia) as part of the basis of their power, this would be enough signal him as the new ruler unless someone else took office. In that case, he became emperor on January 24th. Tiberius and Caligula were similarly recognized long before the Senate granted their titles. LaurenCole 16:28, 18 February 2006 (UTC)

Did Claudius really inherit the headship of the Julian family, or did he later usurp it? In other words, was it possible (without adoption) to inherit it through the female line, i.e. Octavia? He was the most senior surviving Claudian who had not been adopted as a Julian, but surely with Caligula's death, the legitimate Julian line died out. TharkunColl 16:38, 18 February 2006 (UTC)

Barbara Levick in her biography (p. 42) states that if a family died out, it was common for a closely related gens to assume their cognomen (if famous) and assets. Therefore, Claudius could assume the name Caesar and the Julian prestige instantly via his kinship with Caligula (some letters from before the assassination talk of joint property owned by Claudius and Caligula). He had Caesar voted to him as title soon after just to make sure, but it was his for the taking. Seneca later saw Claudius as a usurper, but his had his axe to grind, and Nero was descended from the Julians through the female line as well (Levick, p. 44). As mentioned in the article, Claudius was aware of his tenuous connections, and tried to revive the rumors about his fathers parentage. But to an outsider (say, a praetorian), he would have been recognized as part of the same imperial family. LaurenCole 19:27, 18 February 2006 (UTC)
In addition to the rumors of his parentage, Claudius felt it necessary to strengthen his Julian ties by marrying Agrippina and adopting Nero.Hoshidoshi 22:57, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Yes, but that was much later after the fall of Messalina. By that point, Claudius was established as to his ties to the royal family, but Nero was becoming very popular and presented a potential threat as the older boy of his generation. It was best to absorb the remaining members of the family than face plots centered around Agrippina and her son. LaurenCole 13:56, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

Histories and the Senate[edit]

"Despite this, many in the Senate remained hostile to Claudius, and many plots were made on his life. This hostility carried over into the historical accounts. As a result, Claudius was forced to reduce the Senate's power for efficiency. The administration of Ostia was turned over to an imperial Procurator after construction of the port. Administration of many of the empire's financial concerns was turned over to imperial appointees and freedmen. This led to further resentment and suggestions that these same freedmen were ruling the emperor." --main article

Is that logical? People weren't writing histories of his reign during his reign, were they? No, I'm not being facetious. Fearwig 15:51, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

No, they weren't written during his reign, but the hostility the Senate developed continued to grow until it became a general hostility towards all the emperors by the time of Tacitus and Suetonius. They recorded the worst opinions and rumors held by contemporary senators. The second sentence is just to emphasize how deep these feelings ran (that they carried on through time), before explaining how they affected Claudius' decisions. LaurenCole 20:41, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
There were pro-Cladius histories written down during his reign, but they didn't survive. There were also strongly anti-Claudius histories written by Fabius Rusticus, Cluvius Rufus and Pliny the Elder shortly written after his reign (or after Nero's reign), but they didn't survive. Suetonius and Tacitus are secondary sources based on these negative histories.Hoshidoshi 22:54, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

The Secretariat and centralization of powers[edit]

"The secretariat was divided into bureaus, with each being placed under the leadership of one freedman. Narcissus was the secretary of correspondence. Pallas became the secretary of the treasury. Callistus became the equivalent of the U.S. Attorney General." main page

Were there actual designations for these bureaus/offices? This isn't really a very professional means of describing them, even though it gets the point across quickly to Americans. Fearwig 16:02, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

No, they were not yet official posts, and there were not official designations. Suetonius just refers to them as "his secretary Narcissus," "his treasurer Pallas," and "Polybius, his literary advisor." Cassius Dio refers to them as "Callistus, who had charge of Petitions; Narcissus, who was chief Secretary, and hence wore a dagger at his side; and Pallas, who was entrusted with the administration of the finances (Dio translation linked on main page)." These freedmen had probably handled these aspects of Claudius' personal affairs before he entrusted government jurisdictions to them. Modern historians have given them the "Secretary of ..." titles. LaurenCole 20:56, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
"It's a modern analogy to inform the reader, and the link goes to the article on that post. It was first used elsewhere. Please post on the talk page if there is a still an issue. Thanks"
  1. The modern analogy is superseded by the definition of secretary of justice
  2. The modern analogy is meaningful if it known to the reader, not if it requires reading a whole article
The fact that was "used elsewhere" (where?) means nothing
It is still an issue.--Kwame Nkrumah 02:25, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for commenting Kwame. The analogy was not in any of the four main biographies, and so must have been in one of the journal articles. Since I cannot locate and cite it, I will remove the analogy at least until such time as I can find the reference again. LaurenCole 15:09, 14 August 2006 (UTC)
The accuracy of definition is not the only issue. Even if this secretary were the same role covered by the US A.G., should we include it, since it requires the knowledge of a not-widely-known position?--Kwame Nkrumah 17:49, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

Recent Vandalism[edit]

This article has been vandalized nearly every day recently. Does anyone know if there is a link to it from a main page, or a large website? It was rarely vandalized beforehand. Thanks. LaurenCole 18:24, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

Featured on History Portal[edit]

Mystery solved. Claudius was the featured article on the Wikipedia History Portal for October and November, 2006! LaurenCole 15:41, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

Death and Deification[edit]

Contra recent edits by Hoshidoshi, Nero's palace was on Caelian Hill, on the site of the former and later restored Temple of Claudius: Nero did criticize Claudius in his eulogy written by Seneca according to Tacitus (Ann. xii. 3,2). This was not out of the ordinary, see Claudius' comments on Tiberius and Caligula in his official speeches. Nero's choice to build his house where the temple had been begun shows that he let the cult of Claudius fall into obscurity before Vespasian. Nero did not honor Claudius for long after his death - he openly mocked his step-father shortly afterwards according to Suetonius (Nero. 33, 1.), Tacitus (Ann. xiv, ii, 2), and Dio (lx, 35, 4). I will these more footnotes to the front page. That part of the section was mostly written before the article acheived Featured status. The previous edit I undid was mostly grammatical in nature, and seemed unnecessary given the FA review's acceptance. LaurenCole 21:58, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

Claudius' temple was on the Caelian Hill. Nero's Golden House was on the Aemilian property on the foot of the Esquiline hill. In fact, if Nero's golden house were on the Caelian hill, no one would be suspicious of Nero. The fire of 64 was said to have first started between the Palatine Hill and the Caelian hill. The restarting in a different part of the city made people suspicious.
Also, the Temple of Claudius cannot be on top of Nero's Golden house since contruction of the Temple began before Nero's Golden House. See Suetonius, Life of Vespasian 9. Temple of Cladius must have started before 59 (When Agrippina died) and Nero's Golden House after 64 (the fire)
Tacitus Annals, 12.3.2 has says nothing of Nero criticizing Claudius in a Eulogy. Neither does 13.3.2. Seneca wrote a play later that cricized Claudius. Nero never read this.
Tacitus Annals 14.2.2 says nothing of mocking stepfather.
Suetonius 33 mentions Nero mocking claudius, but this is not in public. Suetonius 9 also says "Then beginning with a display of filial piety, he gave Claudius a magnificent funeral, spoke his eulogy, and deified him." Mocking him would not make a magnificant funeral.
Dio LX.35 also says Nero honored and deified Claudius and pubically grieved.
I find no support of Nero condemning Claudius and annuling his deification. In public, Nero honored Claudius. Hoshidoshi —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 15:59, 4 February 2007 (UTC).
What have I written do you disagree and is unsourced? I will gladly provide any source. Hoshidoshi
Also, here's a list of my changes and rationale-
-Changed "ancients" to "ancient historians" since we have no idea what all ancients beleive
-Added "vary greatly" with citation. The stories are all over the map. There really isn't consensus at all
Removed "no chance of civil war". There's always chance. This was not the rationale given by tacitus
Removed talk of divorce. Never mentioned.
Removed "unlikey death of old age". How do the deaths of relatives prove or disprove death by old age or natural causes?
Change universality of murder story to accusation. Story is not universal at all. Only the accusation that Agrippina planned it.
Changed site of Temple of Claudius. Discussed above.
Changed senate deification to Nero. Nero deified Claudius.
Removed "good emperor" Vespasian. That's opinion
Removed cult of Claudius. This is never mentioned.
Removed eulogy talk. This is discussed above.
Removed incorrect citations. This is discussed above. Hoshidoshi —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 20:30, 4 February 2007 (UTC).

The citations are from respected modern biographies of Claudius, and their interpretation of the Latin primary sources:

Mocking in Eulogy and Accession speech: This is present in both Barbara Levick's biography "Claudius" and the sources I cited for it were from footnote 5 of Chapter VII in Scramuzza's "The Emperor Claudius." Levick says Nero was attempting to contrast his glorious future reign with Claudius' time. Levick: "The list of Claudius' political failings in the speech in formidable (Levick, p. 188).
Mocking in Life: Again in Levick and Scramuzza. Claudius mocked his predecessors in speeches, and so did Nero. Deification: This is still the early empire - only the senate can deify and emperor. Scramuzza p. 127: "Claudius was Deified after death. The usual explanation is the Agrippina forced the Senate's action in order to allay suspicion that she had caused his death."
Temple and Golden House: Levick: "In token of this Flavian revisionism, Claudius' deification was taken seriously, and his temple was completed at the expense of Nero's Golden House." Nero never finished the temple, that's how the Golden House was built on its site. It was the Flavians who finished it after burying the palace.
Your English is incorrect in several places. The meaning of the universality remark is that all stories point to Agrippina as the instigator. Even if the facts are different, that part is not universal.

LaurenCole 19:34, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

The life and death of Claudius and Nero are problematic considering they were chronicled by sources that are now lost (namely, Cluvius Rufus and Fabius Rusticus). Suetonius and Tacitus (150 years later) are basically all we have (and Dio, but to a lesser extent as it isn't very reliable). It puzzles me when a modern source directly contradicts what the ancient text say.
Nero mocking Claudius in his eulogy is simply ridiculous. Both Tacitus and Suetonius speak of Nero honoring Claudius, though they claim he was faking. None-the-less, there is no mocking at the funeral except by the audience. Suetonius says Nero deified Claudius. Tacitus claims the senate voted on it.
Tacitus 13.3 "On the day of the funeral the prince pronounced Claudius's panegyric, and while he dwelt on the antiquity of his family and on the consulships and triumphs of his ancestors, there was enthusiasm both in himself and his audience. The praise of his graceful accomplishments, and the remark that during his reign no disaster had befallen Rome from the foreigner, were heard with favour. When the speaker passed on to his foresight and wisdom, no one could refrain from laughter, though the speech, which was composed by Seneca, exhibited much elegance, as indeed that famous man had an attractive genius which suited the popular ear of the time. "
Suetonius, Nero 9 "Then beginning with a display of filial piety, he gave Claudius a magnificent funeral, spoke his eulogy, and deified him."
Please, find me a single ancient source that says Nero mocked Claudius at the funeral. These modern sources are simply wrong. Hoshidoshi —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 19:48, 20 February 2007 (UTC).
I really think the basis of this confusion is the fact that Seneca wrote a mock eulogy later. The original eulogy did not survive while the mock one did. Thus, when Levick speaks of criticism in the "eulogy," she must be referring to the mock one and not the one Nero read. Hoshidoshi
I don't think the modern sources are simply wrong. These are scholars who have access to documents we simply dont. Both Scramuzza and Levick had extensive footnotes. When I posted the sources cited by Scramuzza for the mocking, you disagreed with his interpretation entirely. An encyclopedia article should include both ancient and modern data, since the ancients were biased, and the moderns can be working off archaeological evidence, other sources that point a pattern, and other indirect sources. Two modern scholars writing 60 years apart agree on this point, so I don't see how I personally can provide proof to you that will have greater effect than scholar's conclusions from the same ancient evidence. Also, if you look at the article as a whole, Scramuzza and Levick are referred to for other parts of Claudius' life, so it seems strange that they cannot be trusted to analyse his death. Levick wrote an entire chapter on Claudius' legacy and reputation over the centuries, which is the basis for most of this section. LaurenCole 16:24, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
I don't know what documents they have that we don't. We have Tacitus Annals and Suetonius Lives(the main sources). There isn't much else on Claudius. We have Claudius' speech, Seneca's mock eulogy, Josephus and Cassius Dio. They're all online available to everyone.
The scholars you mention should cite their stuff. What citations do they have?
I agree that the ancient sources are biased, but its obvious they are biased against people like Nero, Cladius and Agrippina. If Nero had disrespected Claudius, his adoptive father in his eulogy, they would have mentioned it as it makes both of them look bad.
I've read through Suetonius, Tacitus, Josephus and Dio and have found nothing that speaks of Nero mocking Claudius at his funeral. On the contrary, the sources say Nero honored him and deified him. The closest thing to Nero dishonoring Claudius is Suetonius claiming his burial site didn't have a high enough wall, Nero making a comments about mushrooms "being the food of gods" and Nero supposedly speaking ill of him with his friends. A few laws were reversed as well. Hoshidoshi

TfD nomination of Template:Suetonius 12 Caesars[edit]

Template:Suetonius 12 Caesars has been nominated for deletion. You are invited to comment on the discussion at the template's entry on the Templates for Deletion page. Thank you.

mars bars??[edit]

what the hell does this mean: "He had a love for young children, and also is known to have had a passionate love affair with mars bars."

I'm pretty sure the Romans didn't have mars bars back then. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 10:00, 5 May 2007 (UTC).

Thank you for pointing this out. It was vandalism, and Dirkbb has corrected it. EALacey 10:39, 5 May 2007 (UTC)


According to Pliny, Natural History 5.2 and Cassius Dio, Roman History 59.25, Mauretania was annexed and made into two provinces under Caligula, not Claudius.

I think there is confusion because a rebellion broke out shortly afterwords that Claudius put down. See Pliny 5.11 and Cassius Dio 60.8.Hoshidoshi 17:25, 29 June 2007 (UTC)

The Mauretania page at Wikipedia says that Claudius organized the provinces in 44. Dio 59.25 is missing any text beyond the death of Juba, and is only assumed to speak of the annex of Mauretania. Dio 60.9 speaks of the conquest of the country after the rebellion and says it was Claudius that divided Mauretania into 2 imperial provinces.Pliny 5.2 doesn't really contradict this, since it only says that Mauretania was divided because of Gaius' cruelty (but not that he did it), and then mentions colonies founded by Claudius. The chapter explicitly says that Roman armies conquered and secured Mauretania for the first time under Claudius.
Scramuzza, in his biography (p.199) states, based on these sources (Pliny book 5 and Dio 60.8,6; 60.9 1-5) that the annexation was begun by Gaius but technically took place under Claudius because Gaius only took direct control of the kingdom, and never secured or organized it (leading to the rebellion). Scramuzza says again that the division into 2 provinces was Claudius' doing. LaurenCole 15:41, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
The Mauretania wiki page isn't cited and doesn't seem to be very precise. With Dio 59.25, check the begining of the chaper to see the summary of it; "How the Mauretanias began to be governed by Romans (chap. 25)."
Now, I may be being a stickler, but when does an "annexation" count? Clearly the annexation was begun under Caligula and ended under Claudius. But then again, Britian's annexation began under Claudius and finished under Nero and Judea's annexation began under Claudius and finished under Vespasian in the exact same manner (annexation, rebellion, subjugation). Now, it is true that Claudius accepted a triumph for Mauretania (60.8,6), but Vespasian also did for Judea and Nero did for Armenia (even though it wasn't even annexed).
In an abstract sense, annexation (or the reverse, independence) is not something that can be credited to a single person and doesn't happen all at once, so this is very difficult situation. None-the-less, even if one were to credit an expanasion to a single person, there seems to be a double-dipping with the Claudius article to give him more credit. Both expansions begun and finished under Claudius are credited to him.
I have no problem giving Claudius credit for all of his military victories, but I think the section should be more specific on the nature of each one. Maybe something like "Additionally, the annexation of Mauretania, begun under Caligula, was completed under Claudius with the quelling of its rebellion."Hoshidoshi 16:07, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
That sounds good, and it would add to the article. You're right about double-dipping - the issue stems from the inclusion of Mauretania with a short list of other annexed provinces without explanation. I will add the clarification now. LaurenCole 20:46, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

In fiction[edit]

The wikilink to I, Claudius and Claudius the God was broken, so I fixed it. However it does look out of place having one long link directing to the two novels, even though they share the same page. Would it not be a better idea to unlink Claudius the God as it does not have a page of its own? RossMM 16:19, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

Expelled jews and note 38[edit]

It's about the law that expelled the Jews out of Rome This wiki says "probably because the appearance of Christianity had caused unrest within the Jewish community.[38]" I believe this is untrue. At least is the quotation of Suetonius unjust (Iudaeos impulsore Chresto assidue tumultuantis Roma expulit.). He calles someone named "Chrestus". Scholars are not in agreement whether Jesus Christ is meant or some rebelous jew, of which there were many those days...

(source of the latin quote: Jrcramer (talk) 19:11, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

The modern historians Scramuzza, a biographers of Claudius, tends to support that the target or cause of the expulsion was Christian proselytizing and gives a full argument. Please see the the comments under the title "Yes, but..." posted earlier on this page for a full discussion concerning the text currently used in the article. LaurenCole (talk) 15:48, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

Having read the comments, I still think this should be amended or expanded to include Dio's account:

"As for the Jews, who had again increased so greatly that by reason of their multitude it would have been hard without raising a tumult to bar them from the city, he did not drive them out, but ordered them, while continuing their traditional mode of life, not to hold meetings." - see*.html — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:28, 14 December 2012 (UTC)

Third or fourth Julio-Claudian?[edit]

There's a minor revert war going on over whether Claudius was the third or the fourth Julio-Claudian emperor, on the basis of a recent change to the Julio-Claudian dynasty article which excludes Augustus on what I believe are incorrect and frankly pedantic grounds. Augustus to Nero was a single dynasty, which is conventionally known as the Julio-Claudian because it includes both Julii and Claudii. On that basis Claudius is the fourth Julio-Claudian. I haven't changed it back, but I have taken it to the Classical Greece and Rome WikiProject for more opinions. --Nicknack009 (talk) 11:41, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

the word ironically[edit]

The following phrase is in the first section: "Ironically, it was his work as a budding historian that destroyed his early career." I don't think it is Wikipedia's place to decide what is ironic and what isn't - so this has to be the opinion of reliable sources/historians, but I can't see a citation and if it is the opinion of historians, it needs to be stated that it is so. SGGH ping! 15:13, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

Agree, unless some reliable historian uses that word. Brand[t] 17:13, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
Also, that isn't ironic at all. Maybe if his early career had been in fostering people's early careers, that would be ironic. Ignignot (talk) 17:25, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

Vandalism revert doesn't work[edit]

Although someone has reverted the rather unfounded assertion at the beginning of the introductory paragraph, according to the history, it still appears as

Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus once said,"Although I may crap my toga, i am still caesar, and therefore you must name a salad after me... and it MUST HAVE CHICKEN!" (1 August 10 BC – 13 October AD 54) (Tiberius Claudius Drusus from birth to AD 4, then Tiberius Claudius Nero Germanicus from then until his accession) was the fourth Roman Emperor, a member of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, ruling from 24 January AD 41 to his death in AD 54. Born in Lugdunum in Gaul (modern-day Lyon, France), to Drusus and Antonia Minor, he was the first Roman Emperor to be born outside Italia.:

Is it just a matter of time until the correct version will be displayed upon visiting Claudius, or does somebody with more privileges have to look into the matter? Regards, Cobweb -- (talk) 14:22, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

Needs a review[edit]

This article needs a modern make-over. This has been a FA for nearly 5 years, so there are some, now, major issues. The first and foremost issue, and one that would likely bring this under a FA Review process, are the huge sections of content that are not referenced; which also encompass two entire sections. Minor issues include: Alt text for the photos, and I think some of the content needs re-written. I thought I'd bring it here first, maybe spur on some new life for Claudius ! Neonblak talk - 11:54, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

introductory and first section[edit]

This is in response to the post at the G&R project asking for comments. The following remarks are confined to the introductory section.

  • "His very survival": does this mean "his mere survival", that is, just the fact that he survived put him in position for succession?
  • The "nobility": Rome didn't have a hereditary nobility, other than the 'patricians' who don't seem to be intended here. But I'm not entirely sure nobiles is meant either. Do we mean those of senatorial rank in general? Do we mean a specific group of senators and possibly equestrians? Do we mean those who still dreamed, if wanly, of restoring the Republic? (T.P. Wiseman thinks that dream only drew its last breath with Lucan, under Nero.)
  • Although it starts off crisp and clear, the intro begins to stumble toward the end. The clause "Claudius suffered setbacks in his personal life" reads a bit like modern journalism of the People magazine style. It's also too vague to set up the next clause, which claims one of these "personal setbacks" led to his murder. This vagueness contributes to a lack of clarity as to what the following "these events" points back to: his "personal setbacks" and murder? There were no political criticisms of Claudius and his policies that ancient sources report? The author of the Apocolocyntosis wasn't peeved about those Aedui in the senate? The mother of Nero had no interest in politics? This seems out of keeping with the rest of the article.

Glancing ahead to the next section, because it's so notable that Claudius was the first emperor born outside the Italian peninsula, it would be worth explaining why his father and mother were there. This points toward an overall criticism of the section: It relies too heavily on two ancient sources and an extremely limited number of modern sources to interpret what they mean; that is, it doesn't seem to balance scholarly POVs in accordance with WP:NPOV. For instance, little Claudius being called a "monster" may not mean what it would if a 21st-century mother called her child that; see monstrum for the Latin word, especially in the usage of Seneca contemporary with Claudius. (This is possibly because WP editors have become terrified of dealing with bogus charges of OR and synth if they read and use too much of the available scholarship.)

The article (the part I've read so far) is written in a pleasant, engaging, and accessible manner, and the incorporation of more modern scholarship shouldn't be allowed to drag it down into unreadability, as sometimes can happen when WP editors try too hard to sound "scholarly" to the detriment of readers. Readability is an enormous plus for this article. Cynwolfe (talk) 16:35, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

St. Paul's Reference, Acts 18:2[edit]

Is Claudius the same Roman ruler mentioned by Paul the Apostle in Acts 18:2 (Holy Bible)? Twillisjr (talk) 05:26, 10 December 2012 (UTC)

Yes he is. Oatley2112 (talk) 01:17, 11 December 2012 (UTC)


There is some obvious vandalism in this article, but it doesn't appear to be present in the code, so I can't remove it. I'm not sure what's going on.

 Unsolved Cypher (talk) 21:38, 5 February 2013 (UTC)UnsolvedCypher

Citations of Pliny[edit]

There are two systems of sections for Pliny's Natural History, dividing up his books in different ways. Both should be given, as I have done for Claudius' poisoning; especially nowadays when on-line references will give only one or the other. See the Loeb. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 02:25, 14 October 2014 (UTC)