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It appears from record, that many of the Claudii have performed signal services to the state, as well as committed acts of delinquency. To mention the most remarkable only, Appius Caecus dissuaded the senate from agreeing to an alliance with Pyrrhus, as prejudicial to the republic.1 Claudius Candex first passed the straits of Sicily with a fleet, and drove the Carthaginians out of the island.2 Claudius Nero cut off Hasdrubal with a vast army upon his arrival in Italy from Spain, before he could form a junction with his brother Annibal.3 On the other hand, Claudius Appius Regillanus, one of the Decemvirs, made a violent attempt to have a free virgin, of whom he was enamoured, adjudged a slave; which caused the people to secede a second time from the senate.4 Claudius Drusus erected a statue of himself wearing a crown at Appii Forum,5 and endeavoured, by means of his dependants, to make himself master of Italy. Claudius Pulcher, when, off the coast of Sicily,6 the pullets used for taking augury would not eat, in contempt of the omen threw them overboard, as if they should drink at least, if they would not eat; and then engaging the enemy, was routed. After his defeat, when he was ordered by the senate to name a dictator, making a sort of jest of the public disaster, he named Glycias, his apparitor.

The women of this family, likewise, exhibited characters equally opposite to each other. For both the Claudias belonged to it; she, who, when the ship freighted with things sacred to the Idaean Mother of the Gods,7 stuck fast in the shallows of the Tiber, got it off, by praying to the Goddess with a loud voice, "Follow me, if I am chaste;" and she also, who, contrary to the usual practice in the case of women, was brought to trial by the people for treason; because, when her litter was stopped by a great crowd in the streets, she openly exclaimed, "I wish my brother Pulcher was alive now, to lose another fleet, that Rome might be less thronged." Besides, it is well known, that all the Claudii, except Publius Claudius, who, to effect the banishment of Cicero, procured himself to be adopted by a plebeian,8 and one younger than himself, were always of the patrician party, as well as great sticklers for the honour and power of that order; and so violent and obstinate in their opposition to the plebeians, that not one of them, even in the case of a trial for life by the people, would ever condescend to put on mourning, according to custom, or make any supplication to them for favour; and some of them in their contests, have even proceeded to lay hands on the tribunes of the people. A Vestal Virgin likewise of the family, when her brother was resolved to have the honour of a triumph contrary to the will of the people, mounted the chariot with him, and attended him into the capitol, that it might not be lawful for any of the tribunes to interfere and forbid it.9

1 A.U.C. 474

2 A.U.C. 490

3 A.U.C. 574

4 A.U.C. 304

5 An ancient Latin town on the Via Appia, the present road to Naples, mentioned by St. Paul, Acts xxviii. 15, and Horace, Sat. i. 5., in giving an account of their travels.

6 A.U.C. 505

7 Cybele; first worshipped in Phrygia, about Mount Ida, from whence a sacred stone, the symbol of her divinity, probably an aerolite, was transported to Rome, in consequence of the panic occasioned by Hannibal's invasion, A.U.C. 508.

8 A.U.C. 695

9 A.U.C. 611

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