Agrippina Last Coin ------------------ Next Coin Messalina

Roman Empire

Ruler: Claudius I
Reigned: 24th Jan 41 AD - 13th Oct. 54 AD
Denomination: AE As
Mint: Rome
Date of Issue: 42 AD
Obverse: Bare head left. "TI. CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG. P.M. TR.P. IMP"[1]
Reverse: Minerva advancing right, brandishing spear and holding shield. "SC"
Reference: RCV 639, RCVM 1861, RIC 100
Weight: 9.6 gms
Diameter: 28.2 mm
Comment: [1] = "TIBERIVS CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVGVSTVS PONTIFEX MAXIMUS TRIBVNVS POTESTAS IMPERATOR" = Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus, Chief High Priest, Tribune Potestas, Commander-in-chief


  • On 1st August 10 BC Tiberius Claudius Drusus Nero Germanicus Claudius was born in Lugdunum (present-day Lyon, France). His father was Nero Claudius Drusus, son of Augustus's wife Livia and his mother Antonia, daughter of Mark Antony.
  • He was kept hidden due to his disabilities which have been diagnosed as cerebral palsy.
  • In spite of this his nephew Caligula maked him a senator and consul in 37 AD.
  • On 24th January 41 AD, after the murder of Caligula, some of the praetorian guard found him hiding behind a curtain in the imperial palace and proclaimed him Emperor.
  • In February 41 AD his third wife Messalina gave him his first born, a son Tiberius Claudius Germanicus (later renamed Britannicus).
  • Messalina becames notorius for killing off her rivals and having adulterous affairs. In October 48 AD she married Gaius Silius, one of her lovers. Due to the resolute action of Narcissus, Claudius's Chief Secretary, both were apprehended and executed.
  • In 43 AD he conquered Britain. Command of the invasion force was given to Aulus Plautius, though Claudius spent 16 days in the island once a safe bridgehead was established. The future emperor, Vespasian, commanded the Second Legion "Augusta".
  • He also annexed Thrace, Lycia, Mauretania and Noricum.
  • In 49 AD he married Agrippina, Caligula's younger sister and his niece.
  • In 50 AD Agrippina and Claudius's freedman, Pallas, (who were rumoured to be lovers) persuaded Claudius to adopt Agrippina's son by a previous marriage, Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus, officially, taking the family name Nero.
  • In 51 AD Nero was given the title Princeps Iuventutis ('Leader of Youth'), making him heir apparent ahead of Claudius's own son Britannicus.
  • In 54 AD Agrippina poisoned Claudius with the help of Locusta, the palace's resident poisoner.
  • Claudius died on the night of 12/13 October 54, leaving his stepson Nero to succeed him.

Back to main page