The First Emperor Born Outside of Italy (Ludgunum)
Claudius, the fifth of the Twelve Caesars, was uncle to Caligula and is thought to have been involved in a broad conspiracy to murder Caligula since he left the scene of the crime just before it began. However, after Caligula’s wife and daughter were murdered he knew the conspirators were after him as well.
Claudius was born slightly deaf and walked with a limp, resulting in his parent’s ostracization and, initially, disallowing him from holding office. This may have worked in his favor, making him somewhat safer during the purges of Caligula and Tiberius.
He began the largest expansion of the Empire since the time of Augustus and began the conquest of the British Isles. Historical accounts depict him as a well-rounded Emperor. His public works, military efforts, and presence at public trials trump accounts of some historians of the bloodthirsty and cruel Gladiator patron. Ambiguity about his death remains, and there is a debate among historians; some believe he was poisoned while others believe he died of old age.
This aureus features the bare head of Claudius facing right on the obverse, and on the reverse, SPQR PP OB CS (The Senate and the Roman People), the emblem of the Roman government, surrounded by an oak wreath.
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