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Claudius was born in 10 BC in the city of Lugdunum (Lyons) in Gaul (France) as a member of the Claudii family (a noble Roman family that was closely aligned to the Julio-Caesars). He was born with a disease (believed to be cerebral palsy by experts) which had as symptoms a speech impediment, drooling and convulsions. As a result of his cerebral palsy, he was rejected by most members of his family and his mother would often comment "You are a man started but not finished by mother nature." and when she wished to insult others she would say "You are a bigger fool than Claudius." but in reality Claudius was no fool he wrote many histories on the Romans, the Carthaginians and the Etruscans and was clearly a well read and intelligent man. He was often the butt of jokes and believed to be an imbecile. This view of him by others actually saved his life and spared him of the bloody execution of his family members by Caligula.

Following Caligula's murder in 41 AD, Claudius was declared emperor by the praetorian guards. Claudius was the fourth emperor of Rome. He ruled for thirteen years (A.D. 41 to 54). His name is mentioned twice in the Book of Acts, and is mentioned as "Caesar" a third time. He commanded all the Jews to leave Rome.[1] Among those exiled were Aquila and Priscilla who went to Corinth and met up with Paul.[2] refers to a "severe famine all over the world and it happened under Claudius."

In 54 AD, Claudius discovered that his wife Messalina was having an extramarital relationship. So he executed her and married Agrippina his niece. She asked him to appoint her son Nero as the heir. Claudius agreed and was soon poisoned by Agrippina who laid the path for her son Nero to succeed Claudius.

Verses

  1. Acts 18:2 (Link)
  2. Acts 11:28, 18:1-2 (Link)

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