Claudius' Foreign Policy

A quick summary of Claudius' policy, by area.

There are references to relevant passages of the sources wherever I could find them - I'm using the penguin classics edition of Tacitus and Suetonius.

  • Created by: Maz
  • Created on: 06-06-13 10:34


Claudius' policy tended to follow that of Julius Caesar rather than Augustus:

  • He extended the frontiers if he thought it appropriate
  • He believed direct Roman rule to be better than client kingdoms
  • And he was interested in raising the status of provincials by encouraging Romanisation and extending citizenship

He added five new provinces to the empire

He was happy to enlist provincials (e.g. Gallic) into the Senate (Tacitus: 243-4) (Suetonius: Claudius, 25)

1 of 7

Rhine Frontier and Gaul

Claudius extended the Roman frontier to the mouth of the Rhine (via Corbulo)

He believed that Gaul would never be completely Romanised while Britain was independent - one reason for his campaign?

He established colonies at Triers and Cologne

He granted Roman and Latin citizenship to many Gallic tribes

(See Tacitus: 238-41 and 263-4)

2 of 7


A successful British conquest would strengthen Claudius' regime and increase his popularity, so...

40,000 troops crossed the channel in 43AD, and Claudius followed with reinforcements

Claudius returned to Rome when Camulodunum (Colchester) was taken, leaving the legions to subdue further territory - he was only in Britain for 18 days never personally took part in combat

Caractacus (famous British leader) captured but saved by Claudius

By 54AD, most of what is now England was under Roman control

number of client kingdoms continued to exist - e.g. Regni, Iceni...

Camulodunum became the centre of Caesar-worship

Londinium (London) became the headquarters of the imperial governor (Plautius)

(See Tacitus: 264-8)

3 of 7

North Africa

At the beginning of his reign, Claudius had to deal with rebellion in Mauretania (Gaius' legacy) - he annexed it and divided it into two provinces (Tingitana and Caesariensis)

He attempted to curb the anti-sematism of the Greeks in Alexandria and to insist that theJews refrain from making demands for local citizenship

4 of 7

Southeast Europe and the Danube Area

Noricum (northern Danube frontier) was governed by an equestrian procurator

Claudius returned control of Achaea and Macedonia to the Senate

5 of 7

The East

Gaius' weak policy towards Parthia had been very damaging - Claudius promoted internal strife in Parthia in order to keep the Parthians occupied

He enlarged Syria with the addition of Ituraea

He spread Roman influence around the Black Sea

Armenia was strengthened after 49AD when a Roman nominee (Mithridates) was placed on the throne

Claudius returned Commagene to its former ruler

He annexed and organised new provinces: Lycia in 43AD and Thrace in 46AD

He reversed Gaius' arrangements for Judea in 44AD

(See Tacitus: 234-6, 255-6, 258, 271-5, 276)

6 of 7

Empire at the Death of Claudius


7 of 7


No comments have yet been made

Similar Classical Civilization resources:

See all Classical Civilization resources »