Claudius Claudianus, usually known in English as Claudian (/ˈklɔːdiən/; c. 370 – c. 404 AD), was a Latin poet associated with the court of the emperor Honorius at Mediolanum (Milan), and particularly with the general Stilicho. His work, written almost entirely in hexameters or elegiac couplets, falls into three main categories: poems for Honorius, poems for Stilicho, and mythological epic.
|De raptu Proserpinae|
Claudian was born in Alexandria. He arrived in Rome in 394 and made his mark as a court poet with a eulogy of his two young patrons, Probinus and Olybrius, consuls of 395. He wrote a number of panegyrics on the consulship of his patrons, praise poems for the deeds of Stilicho, and invectives directed at Stilicho's rivals in the Eastern court of Arcadius.
Little is known about his personal life, but it seems he was a convinced pagan: Augustine refers to him as the 'adversary of the name of Christ' (Civitas Dei, V, 26), and Paul Orosius describes him as an 'obstinate pagan' ('paganus pervicassimus') in his Adversus Paganos Historiarum (VII, 55).
He was well rewarded for his political engagement. In fact, he was granted the rank of vir illustris. The Roman senate honored him with a statue in the Roman Forum in 400. Stilicho's wife, Serena, secured a rich wife for him.
Since none of Claudian's poems record the achievements of Stilicho after 404, scholars assume Claudian died in that year.
Although a native speaker of Greek, Claudian is one of the best Latin poetry stylists of late antiquity. He is not usually ranked among the top tier of Latin poets, but his writing is elegant, he tells a story well, and his polemical passages occasionally attain an unmatchable level of entertaining vitriol. The literature of his time is generally characterized by a quality modern critics find specious, of which Claudian's work is not free, and some find him cold and unfeeling.
Claudian's poetry is a valuable historical source, though distorted by the conventions of panegyric. The historical or political poems connected with Stilicho have a manuscript tradition separate from the rest of his work, an indication that they were likely published as an independent collection, perhaps by Stilicho himself after Claudian's death.
His most important non-political work is an unfinished epic, De raptu Proserpinae ("The Abduction of Proserpina"). The three extant books are believed to have been written in 395 and 397. In the 20th and early 21st centuries, Claudian has not been among the most popular Latin poets of antiquity, but the epic De raptu influenced painting and poetry for centuries.
Antonia Major also known as Julia Antonia Major (Latin: Antonia Maior, PIR2 A 884) (born August/September 39 BC), also known as Antonia the Elder, was a daughter of Triumvir Mark Antony and Octavia the Younger and a relative of the first Roman emperors of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. She was a niece of the first emperor Augustus, step cousin of the emperor Tiberius, paternal great-aunt of the emperor Caligula, maternal aunt and great-aunt-in law of the emperor Claudius, and paternal grandmother and maternal great-great aunt of the emperor Nero.
Antonia was born in Athens, Greece and after 36 BC her mother, along with her siblings and herself were brought to Rome. She was raised by her mother, her uncle and her aunt Livia Drusilla. According to Cassius Dio after her father died, Augustus allowed her and her younger sister Antonia Minor to benefit from their father's estate in Rome. Although little is known of her, Antonia was held in high regard like her sister Antonia Minor, the mother of the emperor Claudius, who was celebrated for her beauty and virtue.Caligula
Caligula (; Latin: Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus; 31 August 12 – 24 January 41 AD) was Roman emperor from 37 to 41 AD. The son of the popular Roman general Germanicus and Augustus's granddaughter Agrippina the Elder, Caligula was born into the first ruling family of the Roman Empire, conventionally known as the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Germanicus's uncle and adoptive father, Tiberius, succeeded Augustus as emperor of Rome in 14.
Although he was born Gaius Caesar, after Julius Caesar, he acquired the nickname "Caligula" (meaning "little [soldier's] boot", the diminutive form of caliga) from his father's soldiers during their campaign in Germania. When Germanicus died at Antioch in 19, Agrippina returned with her six children to Rome, where she became entangled in a bitter feud with Tiberius. The conflict eventually led to the destruction of her family, with Caligula as the sole male survivor. Untouched by the deadly intrigues, Caligula accepted an invitation in 31 to join the emperor on the island of Capri, where Tiberius had withdrawn five years earlier. Following the death of Tiberius, Caligula succeeded his adoptive grandfather as emperor in 37.
There are few surviving sources about the reign of Caligula, although he is described as a noble and moderate emperor during the first six months of his rule. After this, the sources focus upon his cruelty, sadism, extravagance, and sexual perversion, presenting him as an insane tyrant. While the reliability of these sources is questionable, it is known that during his brief reign, Caligula worked to increase the unconstrained personal power of the emperor, as opposed to countervailing powers within the principate. He directed much of his attention to ambitious construction projects and luxurious dwellings for himself, and initiated the construction of two aqueducts in Rome: the Aqua Claudia and the Anio Novus. During his reign, the empire annexed the client kingdom of Mauretania as a province.
In early 41, Caligula was assassinated as a result of a conspiracy by officers of the Praetorian Guard, senators, and courtiers. The conspirators' attempt to use the opportunity to restore the Roman Republic was thwarted, however. On the day of the assassination of Caligula, the Praetorians declared Caligula's uncle, Claudius, the next Roman emperor. Although the Julio-Claudian dynasty continued to rule the empire until the fall of his nephew Nero in 68, Caligula's death marked the official end of the Julii Caesares in the male line.Claudius
Claudius (; Latin: Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus; 1 August 10 BC – 13 October AD 54) was Roman emperor from AD 41 to 54. A member of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, he was the son of Drusus and Antonia Minor. He was born at Lugdunum in Gaul, the first (and until Trajan, only) Roman emperor to be born outside Italy. Because he was afflicted with a limp and slight deafness due to sickness at a young age, his family ostracized him and excluded him from public office until his consulship, shared with his nephew Caligula in 37.
Claudius's infirmity probably saved him from the fate of many other nobles during the purges of Tiberius's and Caligula's reigns; potential enemies did not see him as a serious threat. His survival led to his being declared emperor by the Praetorian Guard after Caligula's assassination, at which point he was the last man of his family. Despite his lack of experience, Claudius proved to be an able and efficient administrator. He was also an ambitious builder, constructing many new roads, aqueducts, and canals across the Empire. During his reign the Empire began the conquest of Britain (if the earlier invasions of Britain by Caesar and Caligula's aborted attempts are not counted).
Having a personal interest in law, he presided at public trials, and issued up to twenty edicts a day. He was seen as vulnerable throughout his reign, particularly by elements of the nobility. Claudius was constantly forced to shore up his position; this resulted in the deaths of many senators. These events damaged his reputation among the ancient writers, though more recent historians have revised this opinion. Many authors contend that he was murdered by his own wife. After his death in 54 (at the age of 63), his grand-nephew, step-son, and adopted son Nero succeeded him as emperor. His 13-year reign (slightly longer than Nero's) would not be surpassed by any successors until that of Domitian, who reigned for 15 years.
He was a descendant of the Octavii Rufi (through Gaius Octavius), Julii Caesares (through Julia Minor and Julia Antonia), and the Claudii Nerones (through Nero Claudius Drusus). He was a step-grandson (through his father Drusus) and great-nephew (through his mother Antonia Minor) of Augustus. He was a nephew of Tiberius through his father, Tiberius's brother. Through his brother Germanicus, Claudius was an uncle of Caligula and a great uncle of Nero. Through his mother Antonia Minor he was a grandson of Mark Antony.Great Fire of Rome
The Great Fire of Rome was an urban fire that occurred in July of the year 64 AD. The fire began in the merchant shops around Rome's chariot stadium, Circus Maximus, on the night of July 19. After six days the fire was brought under control, and before the damage could be measured, the fire reignited and burned for another three days. In the aftermath of the fire, two thirds of Rome had been destroyed.According to Tacitus and later Christian tradition, Emperor Nero blamed the devastation on the Christian community in the city, initiating the empire's first persecution against the Christians. However, some modern historians, including the Princeton classicist Brent Shaw, have cast doubt on the traditional view that Nero blamed the Christians for the fire.Julia (gens)
The gens Julia or Iulia was one of the most ancient patrician families at Ancient Rome. Members of the gens attained the highest dignities of the state in the earliest times of the Republic. The first of the family to obtain the consulship was Gaius Julius Iulus in 489 BC. The gens is perhaps best known, however, for Gaius Julius Caesar, the dictator, and grand uncle of the emperor Augustus, through whom the name was passed to the so-called Julio-Claudian dynasty of the 1st century AD. The nomen Julius became very common in imperial times, as the descendants of persons enrolled as citizens under the early emperors began to make their mark in history.Julia Drusilla
Julia Drusilla (Classical Latin: IVLIA•DRVSILLA) (16 September AD 16 – 10 June AD 38) was a member of the Roman imperial family, the second daughter and fifth child of Germanicus and Agrippina the Elder to survive infancy. She had two sisters, Julia Livilla and the Empress Agrippina the Younger, and three brothers, Emperor Caligula, Nero Julius Caesar, and Drusus. She was a great-granddaughter of the Emperor Augustus, grand-niece of the Emperor Tiberius, niece of the Emperor Claudius, and aunt of the Emperor Nero.Julia the Younger
Julia the Younger (Classical Latin: IVLIA•MINOR) or Julilla (little Julia), Vipsania Julia Agrippina, Julia, Augustus' granddaughter, or Julia Minor (19 BC – c. AD 29), was a Roman noblewoman of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. She was the first daughter and second child of Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa and Julia the Elder. Along with her sister Agrippina the Elder, Julia was raised and educated by her maternal grandfather Augustus and her maternal step-grandmother Livia Drusilla.
Julia the Younger was the elder granddaughter of the Emperor Augustus, sister-in-law, stepdaughter and daughter-in-law of the Emperor Tiberius, maternal aunt of the Emperor Caligula and Empress Agrippina the Younger, second cousin of the Emperor Claudius, and maternal great-aunt of the Emperor Nero.Julio-Claudian dynasty
The Julio-Claudian dynasty was the first Roman imperial dynasty, consisting of the first five emperors—Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, and Nero—or the family to which they belonged. They ruled the Roman Empire from its formation under Augustus in 27 BC until AD 68, when the last of the line, Nero, committed suicide. The name "Julio-Claudian dynasty" is a historiographical term derived from the two main branches of the imperial family: the gens Julia (Julii Caesares) and gens Claudia (Claudii Nerones).
Primogeniture is notably absent in the history of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Neither Augustus, Caligula, nor Nero fathered a natural and legitimate son. Tiberius' own son, Drusus predeceased him. Only Claudius was outlived by his son, Britannicus, although he opted to promote his adopted son Nero as his successor to the throne. Adoption ultimately became a tool that most Julio-Claudian emperors utilized in order to promote their chosen heir to the front of the succession. Augustus—himself an adopted son of his great-uncle, the Roman dictator Julius Caesar—adopted his stepson Tiberius as his son and heir. Tiberius was, in turn, required to adopt his nephew Germanicus, the father of Caligula and brother of Claudius. Caligula adopted his cousin Tiberius Gemellus (grandson of the emperor Tiberius) shortly before executing him. Claudius adopted his great-nephew and stepson Nero, who, lacking a natural or adopted son of his own, ended the reign of the Julio-Claudian dynasty with his fall from power and subsequent suicide.
The ancient historians who dealt with the Julio-Claudian period—chiefly Suetonius (c. 69 – after 122 AD) and Tacitus (c. 56 – after AD 117)—write in generally negative terms about their reign. In Tacitus's historiography of the Julio-Claudian emperors, he states:
But the successes and reverses of the old Roman people have been recorded by famous historians; and fine intellects were not wanting to describe the times of Augustus, till growing sycophancy scared them away. The histories of Tiberius, Gaius, Claudius, and Nero, while they were in power, were falsified through terror, and after their death were written under the irritation of a recent hatred.Julio-Claudian family tree
Around the start of the Common Era, the family trees of the gens Julia and the gens Claudia became intertwined into the Julio-Claudian family tree as a result of marriages and adoptions.Livia
Livia Drusilla (Classical Latin: Livia•Drvsilla, Livia•Avgvsta; 30 January 58 BC – 28 September AD 29), also known as Julia Augusta after her formal adoption into the Julian family in AD 14, was the wife of the Roman emperor Augustus throughout his reign, as well as his adviser. She was the mother of the emperor Tiberius, paternal grandmother of the emperor Claudius, paternal great-grandmother of the emperor Caligula, and maternal great-great-grandmother of the emperor Nero. She was deified by Claudius who acknowledged her title of Augusta.Livilla
Claudia Livia Julia (Classical Latin: LIVIA•IVLIA; c. 13 BC – AD 31) was the only daughter of Nero Claudius Drusus and Antonia Minor and sister of the Roman Emperor Claudius and general Germanicus, and thus the paternal aunt of the emperor Caligula and maternal great-aunt of emperor Nero, as well as the niece and daughter-in-law of Tiberius. She was named after her grandmother, Augustus' wife Livia Drusilla, and commonly known by her family nickname Livilla ("little Livia"). She was born after Germanicus and before Claudius.
She was twice married to the potential successor in the Julio-Claudian dynasty, first to Augustus' grandson Gaius Caesar (died 4 AD) and later to Tiberius' son Drusus the Younger (died AD 23). Allegedly, she helped her lover Sejanus in poisoning her second husband and died shortly after Sejanus fell from power in AD 31.Marcus Claudius Marcellus (Julio-Claudian dynasty)
Marcus Claudius Marcellus (42 – 23 BC) was the eldest son of Gaius Claudius Marcellus Minor and Octavia Minor, sister of Augustus (then known as Octavius). He was Augustus' nephew and closest male relative, and began to enjoy an accelerated political career as a result. He was educated with his cousin Tiberius and traveled with him to Hispania where they served under Augustus in the Cantabrian Wars. In 25 BC he returned to Rome where he married his cousin Julia, who was the emperor's daughter. Marcellus and Augustus' general Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa were the two popular choices as heir to the empire. According to Suetonius, this put Agrippa at odds with Marcellus, and is the reason why Agrippa traveled away from Rome to Mytilene in 23 BC.That year, an illness was spreading in Rome which afflicted both Augustus and Marcellus. Augustus caught it earlier in the year, while Marcellus caught it later in the year, after the emperor had already recovered. The illness proved fatal and killed Marcellus at Baiae, in Campania, Italy. He would be the first member of the royal family whose ashes were placed in the Mausoleum of Augustus. Despite dying at a young age, Marcellus' position led to his celebration by Sextus Propertius, as well as by Virgil in the Aeneid.Nero
Nero (; Latin: Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus; 15 December 37 – 9 June 68 AD) was the last Roman emperor of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. He was adopted by his great-uncle Claudius and became Claudius' heir and successor. Like Claudius, Nero became emperor with the consent of the Praetorian Guard. Nero's mother, Agrippina the Younger, was likely implicated in Claudius' death and Nero's nomination as emperor. She dominated Nero's early life and decisions until he cast her off. Five years into his reign, he had her murdered.During the early years of his reign, Nero was content to be guided by his mother, his tutor Lucius Annaeus Seneca and his Praetorian prefect, Sextus Afranius Burrus. As time passed, he started to play a more active and independent role in government and foreign policy. During his reign, the redoubtable general Corbulo conducted a successful war and negotiated peace with the Parthian Empire. His general Suetonius Paulinus crushed a major revolt in Britain, led by the Iceni Queen Boudica. The Bosporan Kingdom was briefly annexed to the empire, and the First Jewish–Roman War began. Nero focused much of his attention on diplomacy, trade and the cultural life of the empire, ordering theatres built and promoting athletic games. He made public appearances as an actor, poet, musician and charioteer. In the eyes of traditionalists, this undermined the dignity and authority of his person, status, and office. His extravagant, empire-wide program of public and private works was funded by a rise in taxes that was much resented by the middle and upper classes. Various plots against his life were revealed; the ringleaders, most of them Nero's own courtiers, were executed.
In 68 AD Vindex, governor of the Gaulish territory Gallia Lugdunensis, rebelled. He was supported by Galba, the governor of Hispania Tarraconensis. Vindex's revolt failed in its immediate aim, but Nero fled Rome when Rome's discontented civil and military authorities chose Galba as emperor. He committed suicide on June 9, 68 AD, when he learned that he had been tried in absentia and condemned to death as a public enemy, making him the first Roman Emperor to commit suicide. His death ended the Julio-Claudian dynasty, sparking a brief period of civil wars known as the Year of the Four Emperors.
Nero's rule is usually associated with tyranny and extravagance. Most Roman sources, such as Suetonius and Cassius Dio, offer overwhelmingly negative assessments of his personality and reign; Tacitus claims that the Roman people thought him compulsive and corrupt. Suetonius tells that many Romans believed that the Great Fire of Rome was instigated by Nero to clear the way for his planned palatial complex, the Domus Aurea. According to Tacitus he was said to have seized Christians as scapegoats for the fire and burned them alive, seemingly motivated not by public justice but by personal cruelty. Some modern historians question the reliability of the ancient sources on Nero's tyrannical acts. A few sources paint Nero in a more favorable light. There is evidence of his popularity among the Roman commoners, especially in the eastern provinces of the Empire, where a popular legend arose that Nero had not died and would return. At least three leaders of short-lived, failed rebellions presented themselves as "Nero reborn" to enlist popular support.Quentin Bell
Quentin Claudian Stephen Bell (19 August 1910 in London – 16 December 1996 in Sussex) was an English art historian and author.
]Roman conquest of Britain
The Roman conquest of Britain was a gradual process, beginning effectively in AD 43 under Emperor Claudius, whose general Aulus Plautius served as first governor of Roman Britain (Latin: Britannia).
Recruitment for the Roman army was generally based in Italia, Hispania, and Gaul. The invasion force was made up in a fashion not quite different than most Roman legions: There were the usual legions made up of cohorts and centurions, and auxilia making up archers and ranged troops, as well as usage of a small group of cavalry. Many specialists were also brought along, including stonemasons, medical specialists, clerks, armorers, and artificers. Legionaries tended to be equipped with strip armor, a breakaway from the commonly used leather jerkin of yester year, a change not exclusive to Roman Britain. Legionaries used javelins and short swords as attacking weapons, referred to as pilum and gladius respectively in Latin. In terms of naval practices, which were essential for the crossing of the English Channel, the Romans created an entirely new ship, the Mediterranean war galley, which were much thicker in wood and more stable on rough waters. The Roman army embarked upon the newly formed Classis Britannica fleet and sailed across the English Channel by nightfall to begin the invasion of Britain.
The Romans forced their way inland through several battles against Celtic tribes, including the Battle of the Medway, the Battle of the Thames, the Battle of Caer Caradoc and the Battle of Mona. Following a general uprising in which the Celts sacked Camulodunum, Verulamium and Londinium, the Romans suppressed the rebellion in the Battle of Watling Street and went on to push as far north as central Caledonia in the Battle of Mons Graupius. Tribes in modern-day Scotland and northern England repeatedly rebelled against Roman rule and two military bases were established in Britain to protect against rebellion and incursions from the north, from which Roman troops built and manned Hadrian's Wall.Tiberius
Tiberius (; Latin: Tiberius Caesar Divi Augusti filius Augustus; 16 November 42 BC – 16 March 37 AD) was the second Roman emperor, reigning from 14 AD to 37 AD, succeeding Augustus.
Born to Tiberius Claudius Nero and Livia Drusilla in a Claudian family, he was given the personal name Tiberius Claudius Nero. His mother divorced Nero and married Octavian—later to ascend to Emperor as Augustus—who officially became his stepfather. Tiberius would later marry Augustus' daughter (from his marriage to Scribonia), Julia the Elder, and even later be adopted by Augustus. Through the adoption, he officially became a Julian, assuming the name Tiberius Julius Caesar. The emperors after Tiberius would continue this blended dynasty of both families for the following thirty years; historians have named it the Julio-Claudian dynasty. His relationship to the other emperors of this dynasty was as follows: he was the stepson of Augustus, grand-uncle of Caligula, paternal uncle of Claudius, and great-grand uncle of Nero. Tiberius' 22-and-a-half-year reign would be the longest after that of Augustus until that of Antoninus Pius, who surpassed his reign by a few months.
Tiberius was one of the greatest Roman generals; his conquest of Pannonia, Dalmatia, Raetia, and (temporarily) parts of Germania, laid the foundations for the northern frontier. Even so, he came to be remembered as a dark, reclusive and sombre ruler who never really desired to be emperor; Pliny the Elder called him "the gloomiest of men". After the death of his son Drusus Julius Caesar in 23 AD, Tiberius became more reclusive and aloof. In 26 AD he removed himself from Rome and left administration largely in the hands of his unscrupulous Praetorian prefects Lucius Aelius Sejanus and Quintus Naevius Sutorius Macro. When Tiberius died, he was succeeded by his grand-nephew and adopted grandson, Caligula.Venissa
Venissa (Genissa, Genvissa, Genuissa), according to Geoffrey of Monmouth's 12th century Historia Regum Britanniae, was a daughter of the Roman Emperor Claudius, whom he gave in marriage to the British king Arvirargus once he had submitted to Rome.
According to Geoffrey's account she was very beautiful, and so enchanted Arvirargus that he preferred her company to anyone else's. He founded Gloucester, supposedly named after Claudius, in her honour. When Arvirargus fell out with Rome and Vespasian was sent to enforce a reconciliation, Venissa acted as mediator between them.Venissa cannot be considered historical. She is not mentioned in authentic Roman history; her supposed husband Arvirargus is known only from a cryptic reference in a 2nd-century satirical poem by Juvenal; and it is in any case inconceivable that a daughter, even an illegitimate daughter, of a Roman emperor could be given in marriage to a barbarian without attracting comment. Nonetheless, she and her husband, identified with the historical Caratacus, appear in many uncritical genealogies originating in the Tudor period.Year of the Four Emperors
The Year of the Four Emperors, 69 AD, was a year in the history of the Roman Empire in which four emperors ruled in succession: Galba, Otho, Vitellius, and Vespasian.The suicide of the emperor Nero in 68 was followed by a brief period of civil war, the first Roman civil war since Mark Antony's death in 30 BC. Between June of 68 and December of 69 Galba, Otho, and Vitellius successively rose and fell, the latter overlapping with the July 69 accession of Vespasian, who founded the Flavian dynasty. The social, military and political upheavals of the period had Empire-wide repercussions, which included the outbreak of the Revolt of the Batavi.