Month: September 2013

September 18, 2013 /

Could it be a coincidence? Episode 13? Claudius and Messalina together at last? Well the inauspicious episode number is a mere coincidence, but what better way to launch an episode about the influence that the marriage of Claudius and Messalina had on our understanding of the Julio-Claudian Empire than to convey an aura of unluckiness? She might just be the most infamous wife of the Julio-Claudian era, so it would be crime to leave her out!…

September 8, 2013 /

Ahhh Claudius, the man who was never meant to be emperor. And yet, perhaps surprisingly enough for the Roman Senate, he lasted longer in the role than his vaunted predecessor. The rhetoric against him is recorded in Suetonius’ Life of Claudius: “His mother Antonia often called him “a monster of a man, not finished but merely begun by Dame Nature”; and if she accused anyone of dullness, she used to say that he was “a bigger fool…