Week 15: Thursday, February 2, 2017
Claudius (Latin: Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus; 1 August 10 BC – 13 October AD 54) was Roman emperor from 41 to 54. A member of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, he was the son of Drusus and Antonia Minor. He was born at Lugdunum (Lyons) in Gaul and was the first Roman Emperor to be born outside Italy. Because he was afflicted with a limp and slight deafness due to sickness at a young age, his family ostracized him and excluded him from public office until his consulship, shared with his nephew Caligula in 37. Claudius’ infirmity probably saved him from the fate of many other nobles during the purges of Tiberius and Caligula’s reigns; potential enemies did not see him as a serious threat. His survival led to his being declared Emperor by the Praetorian Guard after Caligula’s assassination, at which point he was the last man of his family. Claudius was also mentioned by Luke the Evangelist in Acts 11:28 and Acts 18:2 of the New Testament. Despite his lack of experience, Claudius proved to be an able and efficient administrator. (The above from Wikipedia.)
Michael Grant, History of Rome, Part VII, Chapter 14, “Inheritors of Empire”
You can start reading Seneca this week.
Elaine Fantham translator,
Oxford University Press, USA (May 15, 2010),
Here is the best book for an overview of the successors to Augustus: Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, Nero. It is Michael Grant retelling the stories written by Suetonius in his own book of the same name.
The Twelve Caesars,
Barnes & Noble Books; 2nd Thus edition (1996),
PART TWO: DVD
Ostia Antica. Ostia was one of the many building projects that Claudius initiated and we are now learning more and more about Ostia Antica. We will see some video from the American Institute for Roman Culture (Darius Arya) and some other DVD material. You can visit Ostia Antica west of Rome, at the coast.