Roman Empire

Claudius, Emperor AD 41-54

RIC 9; BN 21; BMC 6; Calicó 363a, Mint State

Rome, AD 41/2. TI CLAVD CAESAR AVG P M TR P, laureate head of Claudius I right. Reverse: PACI AVGVSTAE, Pax-Nemesis advancing right, raising fold of drapery at neck and pointing winged caduceus at serpent advancing right.

Following the assassination of Gaius in AD 41, his uncle Claudius was proclaimed Emperor by the Praetorian Guard. Due to a speech impediment and frequent illness, the Julio-Claudian family had previously ignored him for public appointments and made him the butt of jokes. However, now that he had the imperial power, he should himself to be an able ruler, interested in the workings of government from which he had so long been excluded. He participated in the invasion of Britannia in AD 42 and by the end of his reign he had been saluted imperator by the army more times than any Emperor until the reign of Constantine the Great. His downfall came from his marriage, in AD 49, to Agrippina the Younger, who sought to advance her own son, the future Emperor Nero, against Claudius’ son Britannicus. Claudius died in AD 54, possibly poisoned by Agrippina. Britannicus was poisoned in the following year leaving Nero as sole ruler.