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.
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Illustrations © Oliver Frey
Maps © Roger M. Kean
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