8. The Family of Claudius

Claudius AntiochusIVCoin Britannicus MessalinaAgrippina AtrebatesCoin ConquestBritainMAP Claudius-EmpireMAP ClaudiusAgrippinaCoins

An unflattering likeness of Claudius based on the fragment of a statue found in England, and now at the British Museum in London.

Claudius married four times. All were pretty disastrous unions, but the last two were the worst. Messalina (bust at top) cuckolded him and was executed in 48 for plotting against him, while Agrippina (Agrippinilla, bust below), wicked daughter of his brother Germanicus (a change in the law made the union legal) was suspected of murdering him to make way for her

16-year-old son Nero. The coins link Agrippina with Claudius's power.

Claudius's son Britannicus 

as a boy and pictured on a coin, looking much older than his

14 years. Under pressure from Agrippina, Claudius passed over his son for the succession in favor of his step-son Nero, which effectively

   ensured Britannicus would never

   make his majority. His likeness

   would have be lost to history if it

    were not for his boyhood friend,

     Titus Flavianus, who would

             become the second of the

              Flavian Dynasty, who

                placed many statues of

                  his lost friend around

                   the Palatine Palace.

A mounted warrior of the Atrebates, armed with shield and spear, decorates a coin minted by the British client king Verica, whose ousting from Britannia offered Claudius a political excuse for an invasion.

King Antiochus IV of the Seleucid Dynasty. In AD 44 Claudius gave Antiochus Comagene in Asia Minor to rule as Legatus Augusti.

Where present, maps are downloadable.

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Illustrations © Oliver Frey

Maps © Roger M. Kean


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