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Claudius Journal for Latin 2 10/24/2005

What I Learned

After the cruel Caligula died, Claudius was found to take his spot. Crazy Caligula was murdered because most people and senators did not like him. Claudius was found hiding behind the curtains and had the Praetorian Guard make sure he became emperor. He gave them a huge bonus to make the Praetorian Guard knew where their interests lied.

Claudius had what would later be called cerebral palsy, I learned. This led him to be disbanded by his family. He was not in control of all of his movement, but was in full control of his mind. This lack of love from his mother, suspects that he was involved in “sinful” activities like drinking, gambling, and womanizing.

After he was elected emperor, he quickly dealt with Caligula’s killers. Afterwards he tried not to be killed himself. He got rid of Caligula’s poison stash and treason trials. He also searched all visitors to him and killed 35 senators he thought were conspiring against him.

Claudius married many women and the later two controlled much of the government. One wife, Messalina, killed many senators and hid behind the fact that she was the emperor’s wife and wouldn’t do a thing like that. (Actually, with the number of men she slept with, she was really his wife, and yes, she would kill many people.) She eventually married one of her lovers and was finally killed off herself.

Claudius was involved in the central government and often heard court cases himself. He also avoided conflict with the senate, and listened to the counsel of freed slaves, I learned. He was also a great supported of the games.

Claudius was the emperor who was finally able to conquer Britain. He even went over to there to visit. He also added five new territories to Rome and gave many citizenships to conquered people.

Next Claudius married Agrippina, I learned. She tried to get her son into power. She later persuaded him to adopt Nero, who would eventually become a much hated emperor. Agrippina finished Claudius off by adding poison to her food.

Personal Response

The Praetorian Guard was one of the best paid groups of soldiers. They were established to protect the emperor and turned out to be much more then that. They chose the emperor in some cases, or in most cases, helped whoever would pay them the most for their troubles. They even auctioned off the throne during the year of the four emperors after Nero’s death. They became more then just a protection force; they became a major political player in Rome.