See Claudia Gens
Appius Claudius Sabīnus Regillensis. A Sabine, a native
of Regillum, and ïn his own country called Attus Clausus. He belonged to the
pro-Roman party among his people, and when his advice was disregarded and war broke out
between the two nations, he led a large number of seceders to Rome (B.C. 504), where he was
enrolled among the patricians and received a large grant of land beyond the Anio. He was the
founder of the great gens Claudia, one of the noblest in Roman history. He was a typical
aristocrat, and his conduct towards the plebeians was marked by so much intolerance and
severity during his consulship (B.C. 495) as to lead to the famous secession to the Mons
Sacer in the following year.
Appius Claudius Sabīnus Regillensis. A son of the
preceding, consul in B.C. 471. He was famed for the severity of his military discipline,
which he pushed to such extremes that his soldiers deserted him. Having on this account been
impeached by the tribunes, he committed suicide.
Gaius Claudius Sabīnus Regillensis. A brother of the
preceding, and one of the more moderate of the patricians. He defended his brother(?), the
decemvir, when the latter was impeached.
Appius Claudius Crassus Sabīnus Regillensis, usually
called the son of No. 2, but possibly the same person. He was consul in B.C. 451, and in the
same year became one of the decemvirs appointed to revise the laws. (See Decemviri
.) In the following year he was reappointed,
but his tyrannous conduct towards the plebeians, and especially his relation to the affair of
Virginia, led to the downfall of the decemvirate. (See Virginia
.) Being impeached by Virginius, he either committed suicide or was killed in
prison before his trial.
Appius Claudius Caecus. A famous Roman, censor in B.C. 312.
During his term of office he commenced the Via Appia and built the great Appian aqueduct. He
retained the censorship for four years beyond the time allowed by law, and was twice consul
(B.C. 307 and 296), and in the latter year carried on war against the Samnites and Etruscans.
As an old man, Appius induced the Senate to reject the proposals for peace made by Cineas on
behalf of Pyrrhus. (See Pyrrhus
.) He was the first
Roman writer of prose and verse of whom we have any record, being the author of a poem
(subject unknown), and of a legal treatise De Usurpationibus.
Flavius, he published also a calendar of the religious festivals, and legis
According to Quintilian (ii. 16, 7), he was the first to distinguish the two
sounds R and S in writing. (See Rhotacism
Martianus Capella says that he set the fashion of omitting the use of the character Z. (See
.) See Mommsen, Hist. of
, i. p. 432; id. Römische Forschungen
, vol. i.
; and the treatise of Siebert (Cassel, 1863)
. In his
old age he became blind, as the name Caecus implies. In Roman constitutional history, Appius
is famous as having abolished the limitation of the full right of citizenship to
Appius Claudius Caudex. A brother of the preceding, who was
consul in B.C. 264, and took part in the First Punic War, conducting a campaign against the
Carthaginians in Sicily.
, a Roman consul in the First Punic War.
When, previous to a naval engagement with the Carthaginians, the person who had charge of the
sacred fowls told him that they would not eat, which was esteemed a bad omen, he ordered them
to be thrown into the sea, exclaiming, “Then let them drink.” After this,
joining battle with the foe, he was defeated with the loss of his fleet. Having been recalled
by the Senate, he gave another specimen of the haughty temper of the Claudian race, for, on
being directed to nominate a dictator, he purposely named his own viator
, an individual of the lowest rank (Cic. N.
D. ii. 3
, a Roman consul in the Second Punic War, who,
in conjunction with his colleague Livius Salinator, defeated Hasdrubal in Umbria, on the
banks of the Metaurus
Appius Claudius Pulcher. A consul in B.C. 143, when he defeated
the Salassi, an Alpine tribe. On his return, the Senate refused to give him a triumph, and
when one of the tribunes tried to drag him from his chariot, he and his daughter Claudia, a
Vestal, walked together to the Capitol. He was fatherin-law to Tib. Gracchus, and acted as
triumvir for the division of the public lands. He died soon after the death of Gracchus.
Tiberius Nero, father of the emperor Tiberius. He was
distinguished for his naval skill in the Alexandrine War, under Iulius Caesar. At a
subsequent period he incited a sedition in Campania by promising to restore the property of
those who had suffered in the Civil Wars. This tumult, however, was soon quelled by the
arrival of Octavianus; and Tiberius, together with his wife Livia, took refuge in Sicily and
Achaia until the establishment of the Second Triumvirate made it safe for him to return to
Rome. Livia having after this engaged the affections of Octavianus, Tiberius transferred to
him the name and privileges of a husband (Tac. Ann. v.
Tiberius Nero Caesar Germanĭcus, the successor of
Augustus, and son of the preceding. (See Tiberius
Tiberius Claudius Drusus Nero Caesar Germanĭcus, more
commonly known by his historical name of Claudius, succeeded to the Roman Empire on the death
of Caligula. He was the second son of Drusus and Antonia, and consequently grand-nephew to
Augustus. When the assassination of Caligula was made known, the first impulse of the court
party and of the foreign guards was to massacre all who had participated in the murder.
Several persons of distinction, who imprudently exposed themselves, became, in consequence,
the victims of their fury. This violence subsided, however, upon their discovering Claudius,
who had concealed himself in an obscure corner of the palace, and who, being dragged from his
hiding-place, threw himself at their feet in the utmost terror and besought them to spare his
life. The soldiers in the palace immediately saluted him emperor, and Claudius, in return,
set the first example of paying the army for the imperial dignity by a largess from the
public treasury. It is difficult to assign any other motive for the choice which the army
made of Claudius than that which they themselves professed, “his relationship to
the whole family of the Caesars.” Claudius, who was now fifty
years old, had never done anything to gain popularity, or to display those qualities which
secure the attachment of the soldiery. He had been a rickety child, and the development of
his faculties was retarded by his bodily infirmities; and although he outgrew his complaints,
and became distinguished as a polite scholar and an eloquent writer, his spirits never
recovered from the effects of disease and of severe treatment, and he retained much of the
timidity and indolence of his childhood. During the reign of Tiberius he gave himself up to
gross sensuality, and consoled himself under this degradation by the security which it
brought with it. Under Caligula also he found
The Emperor Claudius. (Bust in the Vatican.)
his safety consist in maintaining his reputation for incapacity, and he suffered
himself to become the butt of court parasites and the subject of their practical jokes. The
excitement of novelty, on his first accession to the throne, produced efforts of sagacity and
prudence of which none who had previously known him believed him capable; and during the
whole of his reign, too, we find judicious and useful enactments occasionally made, which
would seem to show that he was not in reality so foolish and incompetent as historians have
generally represented him. It is most probable, therefore, that the fatuity which
characterizes some parts of his conduct was the result, not of natural imbecility, but
of the early and unlimited indulgence of sensuality.
Coin of Claudius.
Claudius embellished Rome with many magnificent works; he made Mauritania a Roman province;
his armies fought successfully against the Germans; and he himself triumphed magnificently in
victories over the Britons, and obtained, together with his infant son, the surname of
Britannicus. But in other respects he was wholly governed by worthless favourites, and
especially by his empress, the profligate and abandoned Messalina
(q.v.), whose cruelty and rapacity were as unbounded as her licentiousness.
At her instigation it was but too common for the emperor to put to death, on false charges of
conspiracy, some of the wealthiest of the nobles, and to confiscate their estates, with the
money arising from which she openly pampered her numerous paramours. When the career of this
guilty woman was terminated, Claudius was governed for a time by his freedman, Narcissus, and
Pallas, another manumitted slave, until he took to wife his own niece, Agrippina, daughter of
Germanicus, a woman of strong natural abilities, but of insatiable avarice, extreme ambition,
and remorseless cruelty. Her influence over the feeble emperor was boundless. She prevailed
on him at last to set aside his own son Britannicus, and to adopt her son, Domitius
Ahenobarbus, by her former husband, giving him the name by which he is best known, Nero, and
constituting him heir to the imperial throne. Claudius having afterwards shown a disposition
to change the succession and restore it to Britannicus, fell a victim to the ambition of
Agrippina, who caused him to be poisoned. A dish of mushrooms was prepared for the purpose, a
kind of food of which the emperor was known to be especially fond, and the effects of the
poison were hastened by the pretended remedies administered by Xenophon, the physician of the
palace. It was given out that Claudius had suffered from indigestion, which his habitual
gluttony rendered so frequent that it excited no surprise; and his death was concealed till
Domitius Nero had secured the guards, and had quietly taken possession of the imperial
authority. Claudius died in the sixty-fourth year of his age and the fourteenth of his reign,
A.D. 54. His biography is to be found in the Lives
of Suetonius. See
BaringGould, The Tragedy of the Caesars
, vol. i. (London,
Marcus Aurelius Claudius Gothĭcus. A Roman emperor,
who reigned from A.D. 268 to 270. He was of an obscure Illyrian family, but won distinction
by his brilliant military service under Decius, Valerian, and Gallienus, so that on the death
of the last he succeeded to the imperial office. As emperor he won two great victories,
defeating the Alemanni in the north of Italy, and in the next year (A.D. 269) the Goths in
Dardania at Naïsus. He died at Sirmium in the year 270.