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Contributed by Southpaw Ben

My Take by Southpaw Ben

Caligula is Assassinated

Contributed by David Verne

A member of the Praetorian Guard by the name of Cassius Chaerea has grown sick of Caligula singling him out and mocking him as effeminate for a genitalia injury he suffered while on campaign. Chaerea approached several senators and agreed to be the inside man. He had the approval of the Praetorian prefect, who was under investigation for treason. Caligula had been speaking to some actors about a performance when Chaerea and two other guardsmen approached and stabbed him to death. Caligula was 28 years old and had ruled Rome for 4 years. The three then entered the palace and killed Caligula's wife and daughter, but they couldn't get to his uncle, Claudius. The rest of the Praetorian Guard recognized the need for a successor and hustled Claudius out of the palace, they found him hiding behind a curtain, to the safety of their camp. Claudius, the younger brother of Germanicus, has been one of the few family members to survive the purges of Sejanus, Tiberius, and Caligula because he was considered a bumbling idiot and made great joke material. The Senate was arguing among themselves over who should become emperor, when the Praetorians announced that Claudius was emperor. They hoped to control who they saw as a weak fool of an emperor, but they would soon find out that, Claudius the fool seems to have not been such a fool after all. [1]

My Take by David Verne
Claudius had some sort of tic (possibly polio or tourettes, though it is unknown) when he was a child and was considered a monster by his mother. She would use him as a benchmark for stupidity. After some tutelage, Claudius showed great talent in public oratory, even though he still stuttered in private conversation, and was praised by the family. After finding that he enjoyed history, he began writing a history of the Civil Wars, but the family found it to critical a.k.a. accurate of Augustus' rise to power. The family decided that it was too risky to let him lead a public career, and he rather contentedly began the private life as a scholar and writer. He stayed below the radar and refused appointment as heir to Tiberius. Claudius wrote several works on history, though he ignored the Civil Wars, and became somewhat well known and well liked throughout the Empire as the one member of the family not getting involved with politics. He was thrust into the public life by Caligula, who made him a consul, but this was only to humiliate and force him to pay enormous sums of money. I often wonder if Claudius wasn't actually as clumsy and stupid as he let on.

See Also


  1. Duncan, Mike (July 6, 2009). What, me Claudius?.

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