Claudius' Wives

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Claudius' Wives
2014-06-10 09:40:42
Classics Claudius

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  1. How many times was Claudius married?
    • 4 times
    • But his first 2 marriages were neither long or significant
  2. How do most of the sources depict Claudius regarding his wives
    As submissive and totally unaware of what was going on in his own household
  3. Dio quote
    He "was ruled by slaves and by women... Had become himself a slave"
  4. Children with Messalina
    Britanicus and octavia
  5. Who did Messalina work with quite alot
    Narcissus' period of dominance coincided with her tenure as imperial wife
  6. Examples of messalina's influence and power
    The destruction of poppea sabina and her lover Asiaticus
  7. The "trial" of Asiaticus
    He was charged with corruption, bribery and effeminacy and was tried in a bedroom
  8. Who was asiaticus
    An immensely wealthy senator from gaul who was close to Claudius
  9. What does the destruction of asiaticus and poppea sabina show about Messalina
    • She was immensely jealous of any female rivals and that she had them killed out of jealousy and spite and was prepared to do this in anyway possible
    • She used these trials as a way of getting rid of her enemies in a seemingly legitimate way
  10. How does Claudius come across throughout the trial of asiaticus
    Redundant, passive and indecisive. But not tyrannical
  11. Why might Agrippina have poisoned Claudius
    Out of fear that Claudius might change his mind and favour Britanicus as his heir and not nero
  12. What was Agrippina granted
    She was granted powers including a bodyguard and the title "augusta"
  13. What happened in AD50
    Agrippina convinced Claudius to adopt Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus and name him successor, at the expense of Britanicus
  14. Who was Agrippina
    • She was Claudius' neice
    • In order to marry her Claudius had to persuade a group of senators that "a union between him and her should be compulsorily arranged in the public interest"
  15. What freedmen helped Agrippina
    Pallas helped her secure support for the marriage
  16. How did Agrippina behave
    As if she were a partner in his rule and so was able to exercise considerable influence
  17. Tacitus quote on Messalina's death
    • "the vengeance on Messalina was just. But it's consequences were grim"
    • This refers to Agrippina
  18. Who was Silius
    A young handsome consul elect who entered into an Affair with Messalina in AD 47 and married her in AD 48 when I heard was away at Ostia and busy as censor
  19. Who took control over the Silius situation
    • Narcissus
    • He urged Claudius to take immediate action in and he took over control of the preatorian guard for one day
    • He had Messalina killed quickly or else tacitus says "the Fatal blow would have rebounded on her accuser"
  20. The 2Tacitus quotes on the marriage of Silius and Messalina
    • "the imperial household shuddered"
    • "and now ended Claudius' ignorance of his own domestic affairs "
  21. What was Narcissus awarded
    An honorary queastorship
  22. How do we now Silius' plot was important and significant
    • The prominence which tacitus accords it, although his account is probably exaggerated
    • The fact that any others were executed indicate that it was a genuine and widespread coup attempt