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HISTORY OF THE DAY According to Oleg Loginov. October 13 DEATH OF EMPEROR CLAUDIUS

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HISTORY OF THE DAY

According to Oleg Loginov

October 13

DEATH OF EMPEROR CLAUDIUS

Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus was a Roman emperor from the Julius-Claudian dynasty from January 24, 41 to October 13, 54.

At first, in Rome, everyone considered Claudius Drusus, nicknamed «Germanicus», a harmless fool, despite his kinship with the imperial family of the Julii. The illness suffered in childhood made Claudius a cripple, a nervous and sickly person. He stuttered, suffered from excessive salivation, severe chronic runny nose, constant nervous tic, and often ate and drank to excess. None of the aristocrats even considered him as an emperor.

But while the Senate was discussing the restoration of the republic after the assassination of Emperor Caligula, the Praetorians discovered Drusus.

АльмеТадема Лоуренс

Lawrence Alma-Tadema. «Claudius» (Death of Caligula)». (1871).

At the time of Caligula’s murder, his uncle Claudius was removed from his nephew by a crowd of Praetorians. At the first screams, he rushed to the gallery in fear and hid behind the curtain at the door. The plot of the conspirators did not extend beyond the murder, and when Caligula stopped breathing, his killers were confused, not knowing what to do now.

Лоуренс Альма-Тадем

Alma-Tadema Lawrence. «The proclamation of Claudius as Emperor.» (1867).

One soldier, running past the curtain where Claudius was hiding, noticed the legs and decided to check who was there. Pulling back the curtain, he saw Claudius and, despite the fact that he crouched at the soldier’s feet in fear, begging for mercy, proclaimed him emperor.

Painting by Jean Paul Sinibaldi

He did not resist much and the first thing he did was take the oath from the Praetorians, promising them 15,000 sesterces for loyalty, and thereby became the first of the Caesars to buy power for money. After that, the Senate had no choice but to confirm the powers of the new emperor.

Very soon Claudius showed that he was by no means a fool. He managed the empire quite sensibly. He organized the imperial secretariat, in which he created four collegiums – prototypes of ministries, streamlined the taxation system, and put the courts under control. Finally, he conquered and made Britannia a Roman province. One of his most famous decrees concerned the status of sick slaves. The owners abandoned sick slaves in the temple of Aesculapius on the island of Tiber .to die instead of providing them with medical care and care, and then bring them back if they survive. Claudius decreed that slaves who were abandoned in this way and recovered from such treatment would be free. In addition, masters who preferred to kill slaves rather than take care of them could be charged with murder.

The British leader Caractacus before the Roman Emperor Claudius

That’s just been excessively cruel. At the gladiatorial games, Drusus ordered to finish off even those who accidentally fell. And he killed many noble Romans and Roman women, and many of them according to the slander of his depraved wife Messalina. For example, she once complained to him that she had the same dream several times, how Senator Gaius Appius Junius Silanus, whom she did not like, was killing the emperor. Claudius was convinced of the truth of the dreams, so he immediately executed Silanus. Suetonius claims that a total of 35 senators and 300 horsemen were executed during the reign of Claudius.

Everyone admits that Germanicus died of poison on October 13, 54. But who planted it on him, versions differ here. For example, some believe that the eunuch Galot did it, checking his dishes at the priests’ meal on the Capitol. But the most beautiful version looks, which tells that the poison to the emperor in his favorite dish of porcini mushrooms was planted by his niece and wife Agrippina. She was afraid that Claudius would deprive her son Nero (who was his stepson) of the right to inherit the throne. According to the testimony of the Roman historian Tacitus, Agrippina did not put enough poison in the mushrooms. Drusus suffered, but remained alive. And then the emperor’s wife, fearing exposure, Agrippina asked the doctor Xenophon to finish what she had begun. The latter, ostensibly wanting to induce vomiting, injected a feather into the emperor’s throat, which was soaked in a strong poison. A minute later, Claudius went to the kingdom of the dead.

В

V. Biennuari. «The Death of Messalina.» (XIX century).

In general, wives and food often appeared in the biography of Claudius. He had four wives. Before Agrippina, he was married to Messalina, whose name became a household name to describe a perverted libertine. Not only did she recklessly cheat on her husband, she also somehow plotted to make her lover the emperor. Claudius no longer tolerated this and ordered his wife to be executed. When he was informed about the execution of the sentence, he was having dinner. The only reaction was a request to pour him wine.

Tiziano Vecelli. «Claudius»

While Drusus was married to Messalina, whom Caligula married him against Claudius’ will, many sympathized with «Germanicus». But public opinion turned against him when he pressed the Senate to get permission from him to enter into an incestuous marriage with his niece Agrippina. And as it turned out, the unnatural marriage did not bring him to good.

The next Roman emperor was Nero. Despite the deification of Claudius, he repealed many of his laws and edicts under the pretext of their stupidity.

Photo rating on the topic «Valeria Messalina»

*Texts from Wikipedia and other Internet resources were used.

*Translated using an electronic dictionary. The original text in Russian and much more on the criminal topic can be selected on the main page of the site — http://crimerecords.info/

 

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