The Rise of Claudius

Roman Emperor from 41-54 A.D.

An Unexpected Ruler

His awkward and clumsy appearance made Claudius one of the Roman Empire's most unlikely leaders. But after the excesses of Caligula's reign, the people of Rome loved Claudius for his common sense and generosity of spirit.

Three Most Significant Facts about his Reign

  • Although Claudius had not intended to be emperor, he did better than most. He had a great eye for legal detail, and under his rule Britain was added to the empire. (This is important because this shows that a "black sheep" can become something big.)
  • Claudius worked hard at his job, starting work just after midnight every day. It began to pay off: he made major improvements to Rome’s judicial system, passed laws protecting slaves, extended citizenship and increased women's privileges. (He was a very hard worker and never lost hope.)
  • Claudius strengthened the state by extending enfranchisement and state offices to provincial Romans, and state offices to provincial Romans, and by reorganizing the imperial bureaucracy.( He left a major impact on Rome.)