Claudius

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  • Created by: rosie
  • Created on: 29-10-14 09:59
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  • Claudius
    • Accession
      • he was born in 10 AD and was the son of Antonia and Drusus
      • he suffered from a physical disability and as Roman society valued bodily perfection he was probably looked down upon for this
      • he had little power until he was made consul by Caligula
      • after Caligula was killed his wife and child were also killed, perhaps suggesting some people wanted to return to te republic
      • the praetorians found Claudius hiding behind a curtain and hailed him as emperor
      • Claudius was initially reluctant but he couldn't risk saying no to the soldiers
      • on his accession he stayed away from the senate for 30 days and when he first went to meet them brought soldiers with him
      • He could not trust the senators and they could not trust him
      • His power relied on forces external to the senate
    • Government and Administration
      • it's always said that he was controlled by his wives and freedmen
        • However there were other influences such as Lucius Vitellius
        • He never tried to hide this e.g. his freedmen took public roles
          • giving is freedmen more power would have detracted from the senate's power which, as claudius did not get on with the Senate, may have been useful to him
            • However it would have also increased the Senate's hostility
            • Government and Administration
              • it's always said that he was controlled by his wives and freedmen
                • However there were other influences such as Lucius Vitellius
                • He never tried to hide this e.g. his freedmen took public roles
                  • giving is freedmen more power would have detracted from the senate's power which, as claudius did not get on with the Senate, may have been useful to him
                    • However it would have also increased the Senate's hostility
              • he made a big deal about is involvement in the British campaign e.g. arches, coins, naming his son Britannicus
              • He made his link with the praetorians clear e.g. he  displayed his debt to them on coins
                • Claudius found legitimacy in the support from the soldiers and later also the plebs
                • he seems to have tried to keep it so that he was the only person to have a close relationship with the soldiers
                  • Claudius found legitimacy in the support from the soldiers and later also the plebs
              • he reformed the senate roll, he was firm with provincial governors
              • he included gauls in the senate
                • he reformed the senate roll, he was firm with provincial governors
              • increased the authority of equestrians
      • he made a big deal about is involvement in the British campaign e.g. arches, coins, naming his son Britannicus
      • He made his link with the praetorians clear e.g. he  displayed his debt to them on coins
        • he seems to have tried to keep it so that he was the only person to have a close relationship with the soldiers
        • he included gauls in the senate
          • increased the authority of equestrians
        • Military and foreign policy
          • he came to power with no military experience
          • he inherited a little of his father and brother's military prestige
          • he chose to invade Britain
            • the campaign was successful
            • there seems to be no reason why he had to invade Britain, it was probably more to gain popularity
          • there was trouble in Germany but Claudius was unwilling to commit the forces for a policy of expansion
          • there were also problems in Africa that led to a long war
          • in the east  Claudius preferred to rely on diplomacy to settle dispute, and often relied on client kings
          • his policy was probably influence by politics at home
        • The Plebs
          • Claudius didn't get on with the senate so he seeked the support of the plebs
          • he gave a lot of games such as the secular games (although the timing of this caused some problems)
          • He tried to secure the food supply e.g. draining the fucine lake, building a new harbour at Ostia
            • Even if some of his projects weren't completely successful he does seem to have won some popularity among the people
              • for example according to Suetonius there was public dismay after a rumour went round that Claudius was dead
              • The Plebs
                • Claudius didn't get on with the senate so he seeked the support of the plebs
                • he gave a lot of games such as the secular games (although the timing of this caused some problems)
                • He tried to secure the food supply e.g. draining the fucine lake, building a new harbour at Ostia
                  • Even if some of his projects weren't completely successful he does seem to have won some popularity among the people
                    • for example according to Suetonius there was public dismay after a rumour went round that Claudius was dead
                • Claudius acted like the plebs were important
                  • However as they had no legal or constitutional authority it is hard to see how
          • Claudius acted like the plebs were important
            • However as they had no legal or constitutional authority it is hard to see how
        • Family and Politics
          • the imperial family was very important in Claudius' reign
          • dealing with Gaius' assassins presented a difficulty for Claudius
            • he punished those who had killed or had tried to kill members of his family other than Gaius. And he let Caligula be forgotten but didn't let his overtrow be celebrated
          • he emphasised his family in the early years of his reign
          • as Claudius didn't have many close male relatives yet the women of the family gained more power
          • Messalina
            • she was actually more closely related to Augustus than Claudius
            • she was very powerful in the first years of Claudius' reign. Even had her own court
            • she was responsible for the deaths or exile of various people
            • she apparently married Silius causing her downfall. the order for her death was apparently not given by Claudius and he greeted the news of her death by simply asking for another glass of wine
              • this is quite strange so it seems unlikely that it is completely true
          • Agrippina
            • as Agrippina was his niece the law needed to be changed so that he could marry her
            • she and Nero gained power quicly
            • she supposedly poisoned Claudius just before his real son came of age

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