Claudius 41AD Large RARE Ancient Roman Coin Ceres Torch=hope emblem i39280
Item: i39280 Authentic Ancient Coin of. Claudius – Roman Emperor : 41-54 A. Bronze As 28mm (11.58 grams) Rome mint circa 41-42 A. Reference: RIC 94 TICLAVDIVSCAESARAVGPMTRPIMP – Bare head left. CERESAVGVSTA Exe: SC – Ceres seated left, holding grain ears and torch – hope emblem. In ancient Roman religion , Ceres Latin. Was a goddess of agriculture , grain crops , fertility and motherly relationships. She was originally the central deity in Rome’s so-called plebeian or Aventine Triad , then was paired with her daughter Proserpina in what Romans described as “the Greek rites of Ceres”. Her seven-day April festival of Cerealia included the popular Ludi Ceriales (Ceres’ games). She was also honoured in the May lustration of fields at the Ambarvalia festival, at harvest-time, and during Roman marriages and funeral rites. Ceres is the only one of Rome’s many agricultural deities to be listed among the Di Consentes , Rome’s equivalent to the Twelve Olympians of Greek mythology. The Romans saw her as the counterpart of the Greek goddess Demeter , whose mythology was reinterpreted for Ceres in Roman art and literature. Ceres’ name may derive from the hypothetical Proto-Indo-European root ker , meaning “to grow”, which is also a possible root for many English words, such as “create”, “cereal”, “grow”, “kernel”, “corn”, and “increase”. Roman etymologists thought “ceres” derived from the Latin verb gerere , “to bear, bring forth, produce”, because the goddess was linked to pastoral , agricultural and human fertility. Archaic cults to Ceres are well-evidenced among Rome’s neighbours in the Regal period , including the ancient Latins , Oscans and Sabellians , less certainly among the Etruscans and Umbrians. An archaic Faliscan inscription of c. 600 BC asks her to provide far (spelt wheat), which was a dietary staple of the Mediterranean world. Throughout the Roman era, Ceres’ name was synonymous with grain and, by extension, with bread. Cults and cult themes. Ceres was credited with the discovery of spelt wheat (Latin far), the yoking of oxen and ploughing, the sowing, protection and nourishing of the young seed, and the gift of agriculture to humankind; before this, it was said, man had subsisted on acorns, and wandered without settlement or laws. She had the power to fertilise, multiply and fructify plant and animal seed, and her laws and rites protected all activities of the agricultural cycle. In January, Ceres was offered spelt wheat and a pregnant sow, along with the earth-goddess Tellus at the movable Feriae Sementivae. This was almost certainly held before the annual sowing of grain. The divine portion of sacrifice was the entrails (exta) presented in an earthenware pot (olla). In a rural context, Cato the Elder describes the offer to Ceres of a porca praecidanea (a pig, offered before the sowing). Before the harvest, she was offered a propitiary grain sample (praemetium). Ovid tells that Ceres “is content with little, provided that her offerings are casta ” (pure). Ceres’ main festival, Cerealia , was held from mid to late April. It was organised by her plebeian aediles and included circus games (ludi circenses). It opened with a horse-race in the Circus Maximus , whose starting point lay below and opposite to her Aventine Temple. The turning post at the far end of the Circus was sacred to Consus , a god of grain-storage. After the race, foxes were released into the Circus, their tails ablaze with lighted torches, perhaps to cleanse the growing crops and protect them from disease and vermin, or to add warmth and vitality to their growth. 175 BC, Cerealia included ludi scaenici (theatrical religious events), held through April 12 to 18. In the ancient sacrum cereale a priest, probably the Flamen Cerialis , invoked Ceres (and probably Tellus) along with twelve specialised, minor assistant-gods to secure divine protection and assistance at each stage of the grain cycle, beginning shortly before the Feriae Sementivae. Roscher lists these deities among the indigitamenta , names used to invoke specific divine functions. Vervactor , “He who ploughs”. Reparator , “He who prepares the earth”. Imporcitor , “He who ploughs with a wide furrow”. Insitor , “He who plants seeds”. Obarator , “He who traces the first plowing”. Occator , “He who harrows”. Serritor , “He who digs”. Subruncinator , “He who weeds”. Messor , “He who reaps”. Conuector (Convector), “He who carries the grain”. Conditor , “He who stores the grain”. Promitor , “He who distributes the grain”. Marriage, human fertility and nourishment. Several of Ceres’ ancient Italic precursors are connected to human fertility and motherhood; the Pelignan goddess Angitia Cerealis has been identified with the Roman goddess Angerona (associated with childbirth). Ceres’ torch was a mark of Roman weddings. Adult males were excluded from bridal processions; these took place at night and were headed by a young boy, who carried a torch in honour of Ceres. Pliny the Elder “notes that the most auspicious wood for wedding torches came from the spina alba , the may tree, which bore many fruits and hence symbolised fertility”. Once led thus to her husband’s home, the bride was a matron. Sacrifice was offered to Tellus on the bride’s behalf; a sow is the most likely victim. Varro describes the sacrifice of a pig as “a worthy mark of weddings” because “our women, and especially nurses” call the female genitalia porcus (pig). Spaeth (1996) believes Ceres may have been included in the sacrificial dedication, because she is closely identified with Tellus and “bears the laws” of marriage. In the most solemn form of marriage, confarreatio , the bride and groom shared a cake made of far, the ancient wheat-type particularly associated with Ceres. Funerary statue of an unknown woman, depicted as Ceres holding wheat. Mid 3rd century AD. From at least the mid-republican era, an official, joint cult to Ceres and Proserpina reinforced Ceres’ connection with Roman ideals of female virtue. The promotion of this cult coincides with the rise of a plebeian nobility, an increased birthrate among plebeian commoners, and a fall in the birthrate among patrician families. The late Republican Ceres Mater (Mother Ceres) is described as genetrix (progenitress) and alma (nourishing); in the early Imperial era she becomes an Imperial deity, and receives joint cult with Ops Augusta , Ceres’ own mother in Imperial guise and a bountiful genetrix in her own right. Ceres was patron and protector of plebeian laws , rights and Tribunes. Her Aventine Temple served the plebeians as cult centre, legal archive, treasury and possibly law-court; its foundation was contemporaneous with the passage of the Lex Sacrata , which established the office and person of plebeian aediles and tribunes as inviolate representatives of the Roman people. Tribunes were legally immune to arrest or threat, and the lives and property of those who violated this law were forfeit to Ceres. The Lex Hortensia of 287 BC extended plebeian laws to the city and all its citizens. The official decrees of the Senate (senatus consulta) were placed in Ceres’ Temple, under the guardianship of the goddess and her aediles. Livy puts the reason bluntly: the consuls could no longer seek advantage by arbitrarily tampering with the laws of Rome. The Temple might also have offered asylum for those threatened with arbitrary arrest by patrician magistrates. Successful prosecutions of those who offended the laws of Ceres raised fines and property distraints that funded her temple, games and cult. Ceres was thus the patron goddess of Rome’s written laws; the poet Vergil later calls her legifera Ceres (Law-bearing Ceres), a translation of Demeter’s Greek epithet, thesmophoros. Ceres’ role as protector of laws continued throughout the Republican era. The killing of the tribune Tiberius Gracchus in 133 BC was justified by some as rightful punishment for attempted tyranny, an offense against Ceres’ Lex sacrata. Others deplored his killing as murder, because the same “Lex sacrata” had made his person sacrosanct. In 70 BC, Cicero refers to this killing in connection with Ceres’ laws and cults, during his prosecution of Verres , Roman governor of Sicily, for extortion. The case included circumstantial details of Verres’ irreligious exploitation and abuse of Sicilian grain farmers, naturally under Ceres’ special protection at the very place of her “earthly home” and thefts from her temple, including an ancient image of the goddess herself. Faced by the mounting evidence against him, Verres abandoned his own defense and withdrew to a prosperous exile. Soon after, Cicero won election as aedile. As Ceres’ first plough-furrow opened the earth (Tellus’ realm) to the world of men and created the first field and its boundary, her laws determined the course of settled, lawful, civilised life. Crimes against fields and harvest were crimes against the people and their protective deity. Landowners who allowed their flocks to graze on public land were fined by the plebeian aediles, on behalf of Ceres and the people of Rome. Ancient laws of the Twelve Tables forbade the magical charming of field crops from a neighbour’s field into one’s own, and invoked the death penalty for the illicit removal of field boundaries. An adult who damaged or stole field-crops should be hanged “for Ceres”. Any youth guilty of the same offense was to be whipped or fined double the value of damage. Ceres protected transitions of women from girlhood to womanhood, from unmarried to married life and motherhood. She also maintained the boundaries between the realms of the living and the dead, regardless of their sex. Given the appropriate rites, she helped the deceased into afterlife as an underworld shade (Di Manes), else their spirit might remain to haunt the living, as a wandering, vengeful ghost (Lemur). For this service, well-off families offered Ceres sacrifice of a pig. The poor could offer wheat, flowers, and a libation. The expected afterlife for the exclusively female initiates in the sacra Cereris may have been somewhat different; they were offered “a method of living” and of “dying with better hope”. The mundus of Ceres. The mundus cerialis (literally “the world” of Ceres) was a hemispherical pit or underground vault in Rome; Cato describes its shape as a reflection or inversion of the dome of the upper heavens. On most days of the year, it was sealed by a stone lid known as the lapis manalis. On August 24, October 5 and November 8, it was opened with the official announcement ” mundus patet ” (“the mundus is open”), and offerings were made there to agricultural or underworld deities, including Ceres as goddess of the fruitful earth and guardian of its underworld portals. While the mundus was open, the spirits of the dead could lawfully emerge from the underworld and roam among the living, in what Warde Fowler describes as holidays, so to speak, for the ghosts. The origins and location of the mundus pit are disputed. The days when the mundus was open are identified in the oldest Roman calendar as C(omitiales) (days when the Comitia met) but by later authors as dies religiosus , when it would be irreligious to perform any official work: this apparent contradiction has led to the suggestion that the whole mundus ritual was not contemporary with Rome’s early calendar or early Cerean cult, but was a later Greek import. Nevertheless, the days when the mundus was open were connected to the official festivals of the agricultural cycle; the mundus rite of August 24 follows Consualia (an agricultural festival) and precedes Opiconsivia (another such). Other than the festivals of Parentalia and Lemuralia , these rites at the mundus cerialis on particular dies religiosi are the only known, regular official contacts with the spirits of the dead, or Di Manes. This may represent a secondary or late function of the mundus , attested no earlier than the Late Republican Era, by Varro. Warde Fowler speculates that it was originally Rome’s storehouse (penus) for the best of the harvest, to provide seed-grain for the next planting, then became the symbolic penus of the expanded Roman state. In Plutarch, the digging of such a pit to receive first-fruits and small quantities of native soil was an Etruscan colonial city-foundation rite. The rites of the mundus suggest Ceres as guardian deity of seed-corn, an essential deity in the establishment and agricultural prosperity of cities, and a door-warden of the underworld’s afterlife, in which her daughter Proserpina rules as queen-companion to Pluto or Dis. In Roman theology, prodigies were abnormal phenomena that manifested divine anger at human impiety. In Roman histories, prodigies are clustered around perceived or actual threats to the equilibrium of the Roman state, in particular, famine, war and social disorder, and are expiated as matters of urgency. The establishment of Ceres’ Aventine cult has itself been interpreted as an extraordinary expiation after the failure of crops and consequent famine. In Livy’s history, Ceres is among the deities placated after a remarkable series of prodigies that accompanied the disasters of the Second Punic War : during the same conflict, a lighting strike at her temple was expiated. A fast in her honour is recorded for 191 BC, to be repeated at 5-year intervals. After 206, she was offered at least 11 further official expiations. Many of these were connected to famine and manifestations of plebeian unrest, rather than war. From the Middle Republic onwards, expiation was increasingly addressed to her as mother to Proserpina. The last known followed Rome’s Great Fire of 64 AD. The cause or causes of the fire remained uncertain, but its disastrous extent was taken as a sign of offense against Juno , Vulcan , and Ceres-with-Proserpina, who were all were given expiatory cult. Champlin (2003) perceives the expiations to Vulcan and Ceres in particular as attempted populist appeals by the ruling emperor, Nero. The complex and multi-layered origins of the Aventine Triad and Ceres herself allowed multiple interpretations of their relationships; Cicero asserts Ceres as mother to both Liber and Libera, consistent with her role as a mothering deity. Varro’s more complex theology groups her functionally with Tellus, Terra, Venus (and thus Victoria) and with Libera as a female aspect of Liber. No native Roman myths of Ceres are known. According to interpretatio romana , which sought the equivalence of Roman to Greek deities, she was an equivalent to Demeter, one of the Twelve Olympians of Greek religion and mythology; this made Ceres one of Rome’s twelve Di Consentes , daughter of Saturn and Ops , sister of Jupiter , mother of Proserpina by Jupiter and sister of Juno , Vesta , Neptune and Pluto. Ceres’ known mythology is indistinguishable from Demeter’s. When Ceres sought through all the earth with lit torches for Proserpina, who had been seized by Dis Pater, she called her with shouts where three or four roads meet; from this it has endured in her rites that on certain days a lamentation is raised at the crossroads everywhere by the matronae. Ceres had strong mythological and cult connections with Sicily , especially at Henna (Enna), on whose “miraculous plain” flowers bloomed throughout the year. This was the place of Proserpina’s rape and abduction to the underworld and the site of Ceres’ most ancient Sanctuary. According to legend, she begged Jupiter that Sicily be placed in the heavens. The result, because the island is triangular in shape, was the constellation Triangulum , an early name of which was Sicilia. 80 15 BC describes the “Temple of Ceres near the Circus Maximus” (her Aventine Temple) as typically Araeostyle , having widely spaced supporting columns, with architraves of wood, rather than stone. This species of temple is “clumsy, heavy roofed, low and wide, [its] pediments ornamented with statues of clay or brass, gilt in the Tuscan fashion “. He recommends that temples to Ceres be sited in rural areas: in a solitary spot out of the city, to which the public are not necessarily led but for the purpose of sacrificing to her. This spot is to be reverenced with religious awe and solemnity of demeanour, by those whose affairs lead them to visit it. ” During the early Imperial era, soothsayers advised Pliny the Younger to restore an ancient, “old and narrow temple to Ceres, at his rural property near Como. It contained an ancient wooden cult statue of the goddess, which he replaced. Though this was unofficial, private cult (sacra privata) its annual feast on the Ides of September, the same day as the Epulum Jovis , was attended by pilgrims from all over the region. Pliny considered this rebuilding a fulfillment of his civic and religious duty. Denarius picturing Quirinus on the obverse , and Ceres enthroned on the reverse, a commemoration by a moneyer in 56 BC of a Cerialia, perhaps her first ludi , presented by an earlier Gaius Memmius as aedile. No images of Ceres survive from her pre-Aventine cults; the earliest date to the middle Republic, and show the Hellenising influence of Demeter’s iconography. Some late Republican images recall Ceres’ search for Proserpina. Ceres bears a torch, sometimes two, and rides in a chariot drawn by snakes; or she sits on the sacred kiste (chest) that conceals the objects of her mystery rites. Augustan reliefs show her emergence, plant-like from the earth, her arms entwined by snakes, her outstretched hands bearing poppies and wheat, or her head crowned with fruits and vines. In free-standing statuary, she commonly wears a wheat-crown, or holds a wheat spray. Moneyers of the Republican era use Ceres’ image, wheat ears and garlands to advertise their connections with prosperity, the annona and the popular interest. Some Imperial coin images depict important female members of the Imperial family as Ceres, or with some of her attributes. Ceres was served by several public priesthoods. Some were male; her senior priest, the flamen cerialis , also served Tellus and was usually plebeian by ancestry or adoption. Her public cult at the Ambarvalia , or “perambulation of fields” identified her with Dea Dia , and was led by the Arval Brethren (“The Brothers of the Fields”); rural versions of these rites were led as private cult by the heads of households. An inscription at Capua names a male sacerdos Cerialis mundalis , a priest dedicated to Ceres’ rites of the mundus. The plebeian aediles had minor or occasional priestly functions at Ceres’ Aventine Temple and were responsible for its management and financial affairs including collection of fines, the organisation of ludi Cerealia and probably the Cerealia itself. Their cure (care and jurisdiction) included, or came to include, the grain supply (annona) and later the plebeian grain doles (frumentationes), the organisation and management of public games in general, and the maintenance of Rome’s streets and public buildings. Otherwise, in Rome and throughout Italy, as at her ancient sanctuaries of Henna and Catena, Ceres’ ritus graecus and her joint cult with Proserpina were invariably led by female sacerdotes , drawn from women of local and Roman elites: Cicero notes that once the new cult had been founded, its earliest priestesses “generally were either from Naples or Velia”, cities allied or federated to Rome. Elsewhere, he describes Ceres’ Sicilian priestesses as “older women respected for their noble birth and character”. Celibacy may have been a condition of their office; sexual abstinence was, according to Ovid, required of those attending Ceres’ major, nine-day festival. Her public priesthood was reserved to respectable matrons, be they married, divorced or widowed. The process of their selection and their relationship to Ceres’ older, entirely male priesthood is unknown; but they far outnumbered her few male priests, and would have been highly respected and influential figures in their own communities. Archaic and Regal eras. Roman tradition credited Ceres’ eponymous festival, Cerealia , to Rome’s second king, the semi-legendary Numa. Ceres’ senior, male priesthood was a minor flaminate whose priesthood and rites were supposedly also innovations of Numa. Her affinity and joint cult with Tellus, also known as Terra Mater (Mother Earth) may have developed at this time. Much later, during the early Imperial era , Ovid describes these goddesses as “partners in labour”; Ceres provides the “cause” for the growth of crops, while Tellus provides them a place to grow. Ceres and the Aventine Triad. In 496 BC, against a background of economic recession and famine in Rome, imminent war against the Latins and a threatened secession by Rome’s plebs (citizen commoners), the dictator A. Postumius vowed a temple to Ceres, Liber and Libera on or near the Aventine Hill. The famine ended and Rome’s plebeian citizen-soldiery co-operated in the conquest of the Latins. Postumius’ vow was fulfilled in 493 BC: Ceres became the central deity of the new Triad , housed in a new-built Aventine temple. She was also or became the patron goddess of the plebs , whose enterprise as tenant farmers, estate managers, agricultural factors and importers was a mainstay of Roman agriculture. Much of Rome’s grain was imported from territories of Magna Graecia , particularly from Sicily , which later Roman mythographers describe as Ceres’ “earthly home”. Writers of the late Roman Republic and early Empire describe Ceres’ Aventine temple and rites as conspicuously Greek. In modern scholarship, this is taken as further evidence of long-standing connections between the plebeians, Ceres and Magna Graecia. It also raises unanswered questions on the nature, history and character of these associations: the Triad itself may have been a self-consciously Roman cult formulation based on Greco-Italic precedents. To complicate matters further, when a new form of Cerean cult was officially imported from Magna Graecia, it was known as the ritus graecus (Greek rite) of Ceres, and was distinct from her older Roman rites. The older forms of Aventine rites to Ceres remain uncertain. Most Roman cults were led by men, and the officiant’s head was covered by a fold of his toga. In the Roman ritus graecus , a male celebrant wore Greek-style vestments, and remained bareheaded before the deity, or else wore a wreath. While Ceres’ original Aventine cult was led by male priests, her “Greek rites” (ritus graecus Cereris) were exclusively female. Towards the end of the Second Punic War , around 205 BC, an officially recognised joint cult to Ceres and her daughter Proserpina was brought to Rome from southern Italy (part of Magna Graecia) along with Greek priestesses to serve it. In Rome, this was known as the ritus graecus Cereris ; its priestesses were granted Roman citizenship so that they could pray to the gods “with a foreign and external knowledge, but with a domestic and civil intention”. The cult was based on ancient, ethnically Greek cults to Demeter, most notably the Thesmophoria to Demeter and Persephone , whose cults and myths also provided a basis for the Eleusinian mysteries. From the end of the 3rd century BC, Demeter’s temple at Enna , in Sicily , was acknowledged as Ceres’ oldest, most authoritative cult centre, and Libera was recognised as Proserpina, Roman equivalent to Demeter’s daughter Persephone. Their joint cult recalls Demeter’s search for Persephone, after the latter’s rape and abduction into the underworld by Hades. The new cult to “mother and maiden” took its place alongside the old, but made no reference to Liber. Thereafter, Ceres was offered two separate and distinctive forms of official cult at the Aventine. Both might have been supervised by the male flamen Cerialis but otherwise, their relationship is unclear. The older form of cult included both men and women, and probably remained a focus for plebeian political identity and discontent. The new identified its exclusively females initiates and priestesses as upholders of Rome’s traditional, patrician -dominated social hierarchy and mores. Ceres and Magna Mater. A year after the import of the ritus cereris , patrician senators imported cult to the Greek goddess Cybele and established her as Magna Mater (The Great Mother) within Rome’s sacred boundary , facing the Aventine Hill. Like Ceres, Cybele was a form of Graeco-Roman earth goddess. Unlike her, she had mythological ties to Troy , and thus to the Trojan prince Aeneas , mythological ancestor of Rome’s founding father and first patrician Romulus. The establishment of official Roman cult to Magna Mater coincided with the start of a new saeculum (cycle of years). It was followed by Hannibal’s defeat, the end of the Punic War and an exceptionally good harvest. Roman victory and recovery could therefore be credited to Magna Mater and patrician piety: so the patricians dined her and each other at her festival banquets. In similar fashion, the plebeian nobility underlined their claims to Ceres. Up to a point, the two cults reflected a social and political divide, but when certain prodigies were interpreted as evidence of Ceres’ displeasure, the senate appeased her with a new festival, the ieiunium Cereris (” fast of Ceres”). In 133 BC, the plebeian noble Tiberius Gracchus bypassed the Senate and appealed directly to the popular assembly to pass his proposed land-reforms. Civil unrest spilled into violence; Gracchus and many of his supporters were murdered by their conservative opponents. At the behest of the Sibylline oracle , the senate sent the quindecimviri to Ceres’ ancient cult centre at Henna in Sicily , the goddess’ supposed place of origin and earthly home. Some kind of religious consultation or propitiation was given, either to expiate Gracchus’ murder as later Roman sources would claim or to justify it as the lawful killing of a would-be king or demagogue , a homo sacer who had offended Ceres’ laws against tyranny. The Eleusinian mysteries became increasingly popular during the late Republic. Early Roman initiates at Eleusis in Greece included Sulla and Cicero ; thereafter many Emperors were initiated, including Hadrian , who founded an Eleusinian cult centre in Rome itself. In Late Republican politics, aristocratic traditionalists and popularists used coinage to propagated their competing claims to Ceres’ favour. A coin of Sulla shows Ceres on one side, on the other a ploughman with yoked oxen: the images, accompanied by the legend “conditor” , claim his rule (a military dictatorship) as regenerative and divinely justified. Popularists used her name and attributes to appeal their guardianship of plebeian interests, particularly the annona and frumentarium ; and plebeian nobles and aediles used them to point out their ancestral connections with plebeian commoners. In the decades of Civil War that ushered in the Empire, such images and dedications proliferate on Rome’s coinage: Julius Caesar , his opponents, his assassins and his heirs alike claimed the favour and support of Ceres and her plebeian proteges, with coin issues that celebrate Ceres, Libertas (liberty) and Victoria (victory). Emperors celebrated imperial and divine partnerships in grain import and provision. On this Sestercius of 66 AD, Nero’s garlanded head is left. Opposite, a standing Annona holds cornucopiae (horns of Plenty) and enthroned Ceres holds grain-ears and torch. Imperial theology conscripted Rome’s traditional cults as the divine upholders of Imperial Pax (peace) and prosperity, for the benefit of all. The emperor Augustus began the restoration of Ceres’ Aventine Temple; his successor Tiberius completed it. Of the several figures on the Augustan Ara Pacis , one doubles as a portrait of the Empress Livia , who wears Ceres’ corona spicea. Another has been variously identified in modern scholarship as Tellus, Venus, Pax or Ceres, or in Spaeth’s analysis, a deliberately broad composite of them all. The emperor Claudius’ reformed the grain supply and created its embodiment as an Imperial goddess, Annona , a junior partner to Ceres and the Imperial family. The traditional, Cerean virtues of provision and nourishment were symbolically extended to Imperial family members with coinage that showed Claudius’ mother Antonia as Augusta with corona spicea. The relationship between the reigning emperor, empress and Ceres was formalised in titles such as Augusta mater agrorum (The august mother of the fields) and Ceres Augusta. On coinage, various emperors and empresses wear her corona spicea , showing that the goddess, the emperor and his spouse are conjointly responsible for agricultural prosperity and the all-important provision of grain. A coin of Nerva (reigned AD 9698) acknowledges Rome’s dependence on the princeps’ gift of frumentio (corn dole) to the masses. Under Nerva’s later dynastic successor Antoninus Pius , Imperial theology represents the death and apotheosis of the Empress Faustina the Elder as Ceres’ return to Olympus by Jupiter’s command. Even then, “her care for mankind continues and the world can rejoice in the warmth of her daughter Proserpina: in Imperial flesh, Proserpina is Faustina the Younger “, empress-wife of Pius’ successor Marcus Aurelius. In Britain, a soldier’s inscription of the 2nd century AD attests to Ceres’ role in the popular syncretism of the times. She is “the bearer of ears of corn”, the “Syrian Goddess”, identical with the universal heavenly Mother, the Magna Mater and Virgo , virgin mother of the gods. She is peace and virtue, and inventor of justice: she weighs “Life and Right” in her scale. Septimius Severus (AD 193211), showing his empress, Julia Domna , in the corona spicea. After the reign of Claudius Gothicus , no coinage shows Ceres’ image. Even so, an initiate of her mysteries is attested in the 5th century AD, after the official abolition of all non-Christian cults. The word cereals derives from Ceres, commemorating her association with edible grains. Statues of Ceres top the domes of the Missouri State Capitol and the Vermont State House serving as a reminder of the importance of agriculture in the states’ economies and histories. There is also a statue of her on top of the Chicago Board of Trade Building , which conducts trading in agricultural commodities. The dwarf planet Ceres (discovered 1801), is named after this goddess. And in turn, the chemical element cerium (discovered 1803) was named after the dwarf planet. A poem about Ceres and humanity features in Dmitri’s confession to his brother Alexei in Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov , Part 1, Book 3, Chapter 3. Ceres appears as a character in William Shakespeare’s play The Tempest (1611). An aria in praise of Ceres is sung in Act 4 of the opera The Trojans by Hector Berlioz. The goddess Ceres is one of the three goddess offices held in the The National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry. The other goddesses are Pomona , and Flora. Ceres is depicted on the Seal of New Jersey as a symbol of prosperity. Ceres was depicted on several ten and twenty Confederate States of America dollar notes. A manga by Yuu Watase is known as Ceres Celestial Legend. The torch is a common emblem of both enlightenment and hope. Thus the Statue of Liberty , actually “Liberty Enlightening the World”, lifts her torch. Crossed reversed torches were signs of mourning that appear on Greek and Roman funerary monumentsa torch pointed downwards symbolizes death , while a torch held up symbolizes life, truth and the regenerative power of flame. In ancient Roman religion. Was a goddess of agriculture, grain crops , fertility and motherly relationships. Her cult took many forms. She was the central deity in Rome’s so-called plebeian or Aventine Triad , and was paired with her daughter Proserpina in what Romans described as “the Greek rites of Ceres”. She played an essential role in Roman marriage and in funeral rites. She was honoured in the May lustration of fields at the Ambarvalia festival, and at harvest-time. Her functions and cults were held equivalent to those of the Greek goddess Demeter , whose mythology she came to share. Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (1 August 10 BC 13 October AD 54) (Tiberius Claudius Drusus from birth to AD 4, then Tiberius Claudius Nero Germanicus from then until his accession) was the fourth Roman Emperor , a member of the Julio-Claudian dynasty , ruling from 24 January AD 41 to his death in AD 54. Born in Lugdunum in Gaul (modern-day Lyon , France), to Drusus and Antonia Minor , he was the first Roman Emperor to be born outside Italia. He was reportedly afflicted with some type of disability, and his family had virtually excluded him from public office until his consulship with his nephew Caligula in AD 37. This infirmity may have saved him from the fate of many other Roman nobles during the purges of Tiberius’ and Caligula’s reigns; potential enemies did not see him as a serious threat to them. His very survival led to his being declared emperor (reportedly because the Praetorian Guard insisted) after Caligula’s assassination, at which point he was the last adult male of his family. Despite his lack of political experience, Claudius proved to be an able administrator and a great builder of public works. His reign saw an expansion of the empire, including the conquest of Britain. He took a personal interest in the law, presided at public trials, and issued up to 20 edicts a day; however, he was seen as vulnerable throughout his rule, particularly by the nobility. Claudius was constantly forced to shore up his position. This resulted in the deaths of many senators. Claudius also suffered setbacks in his personal life, one of which may have led to his murder. These events damaged his reputation among the ancient writers, though more recent historians have revised this opinion. Family and early life. 27 BC 14 AD. 14 AD 37 AD. 37 AD 41 AD. 41 AD 54 AD. 54 AD 68 AD. Gens Julia Gens Claudia Julio-Claudian family tree Category:Julio-Claudian Dynasty. Preceded by Roman Republic. Followed by Year of the Four Emperors. Claudius was born on 1 August 10 BC, in Lugdunum , Gaul , on the day of the dedication of an altar to Augustus. His parents were Nero Claudius Drusus and Antonia , and he had two older siblings named Germanicus and Livilla. Antonia may have had two other children who died young, as well. His maternal grandparents were Mark Antony and Octavia Minor , Caesar Augustus’ sister, and as such he was the great-great grandnephew of Gaius Julius Caesar. His paternal grandparents were Livia , Augustus’ third wife, and Tiberius Claudius Nero. During his reign, Claudius revived the rumor that his father Drusus was actually the illegitimate son of Augustus, to give the false appearance that Augustus was Claudius’ paternal grandfather. In 9 BC, Drusus unexpectedly died on campaign in Germania, possibly from illness. Claudius was then left to be raised by his mother, who never remarried. When Claudius’ disability became evident, the relationship with his family turned sour. Antonia referred to him as a monster, and used him as a standard for stupidity. She seems to have passed her son off on his grandmother Livia for a number of years. Livia was little kinder, and often sent him short, angry letters of reproof. He was put under the care of a “former mule-driver” to keep him disciplined, under the logic that his condition was due to laziness and a lack of will-power. However, by the time he reached his teenage years his symptoms apparently waned and his family took some notice of his scholarly interests. In AD 7, Livy was hired to tutor him in history, with the assistance of Sulpicius Flavus. He spent a lot of his time with the latter and the philosopher Athenodorus. Augustus, according to a letter, was surprised at the clarity of Claudius’ oratory. Expectations about his future began to increase. Ironically, it was his work as a budding historian that destroyed his early career. According to Vincent Scramuzza and others, Claudius began work on a history of the Civil Wars that was either too truthful or too critical of Octavian. In either case, it was far too early for such an account, and may have only served to remind Augustus that Claudius was Antony’s descendant. His mother and grandmother quickly put a stop to it, and this may have proved to them that Claudius was not fit for public office. He could not be trusted to toe the existing party line. But the damage was done, and his family pushed him to the background. When the Arch of Pavia was erected to honor the imperial clan in AD 8, Claudius’ name (now Tiberius Claudius Nero Germanicus after his elevation to paterfamilias of Claudii Nerones on the adoption of his brother) was inscribed on the edgepast the deceased princes, Gaius and Lucius , and Germanicus’ children. There is some speculation that the inscription was added by Claudius himself decades later, and that he originally did not appear at all. Gratus proclaims Claudius emperor. Detail from A Roman Emperor 41AD , by Lawrence Alma-Tadema. Oil on canvas, c. When Augustus died in AD 14, Claudius then 23 appealed to his uncle Tiberius to allow him to begin the cursus honorum. Tiberius, the new emperor, responded by granting Claudius consular ornaments. Claudius requested office once more and was snubbed. Since the new emperor was not any more generous than the old, Claudius gave up hope of public office and retired to a scholarly, private life. Despite the disdain of the imperial family, it seems that from very early on the general public respected Claudius. At Augustus’ death, the equites , or knights, chose Claudius to head their delegation. When his house burned down, the Senate demanded it be rebuilt at public expense. They also requested that Claudius be allowed to debate in the senate. Tiberius turned down both motions, but the sentiment remained. During the period immediately after the death of Tiberius’ son, Drusus , Claudius was pushed by some quarters as a potential heir. This again suggests the political nature of his exclusion from public life. However, as this was also the period during which the power and terror of the Praetorian Sejanus was at its peak, Claudius chose to downplay this possibility. After the death of Tiberius the new emperor Caligula (the son of Claudius’ brother Germanicus) recognized Claudius to be of some use. He appointed Claudius his co-consul in AD 37 in order to emphasize the memory of Caligula’s deceased father Germanicus. According to Cassius Dio , as well a possible surviving portrait, Claudius became very sickly and thin by the end of Caligula’s reign, most likely due to stress. On 24 January, AD 41, Caligula was assassinated by a broad-based conspiracy (including Praetorian commander Cassius Chaerea and several Senators). There is no evidence that Claudius had a direct hand in the assassination , although it has been argued that he knew about the plot particularly since he left the scene of the crime shortly before his nephew was murdered. However, after the deaths of Caligula’s wife and daughter, it became apparent that Cassius intended to go beyond the terms of the conspiracy and wipe out the imperial family. In the chaos following the murder, Claudius witnessed the German guard cut down several uninvolved noblemen, including many of his friends. He fled to the palace to hide. According to tradition, a Praetorian named Gratus found him hiding behind a curtain and suddenly declared him princeps. A section of the guard may have planned in advance to seek out Claudius, perhaps with his approval. They reassured him that they were not one of the battalions looking for revenge. He was spirited away to the Praetorian camp and put under their protection. The Senate quickly met and began debating a change of government, but this eventually devolved into an argument over which of them would be the new Princeps. When they heard of the Praetorians’ claim, they demanded that Claudius be delivered to them for approval, but he refused, sensing the danger that would come with complying. Some historians, particularly Josephus , claim that Claudius was directed in his actions by the Judean King Herod Agrippa. However, an earlier version of events by the same ancient author downplays Agrippa’s role so it is not known how large a hand he had in things. Eventually the Senate was forced to give in and, in return, Claudius pardoned nearly all the assassins. Claudius took several steps to legitimize his rule against potential usurpers, most of them emphasizing his place within the Julio-Claudian family. He adopted the name “Caesar” as a cognomen the name still carried great weight with the populace. In order to do so, he dropped the cognomen “Nero” which he had adopted as paterfamilias of the Claudii Nerones when his brother Germanicus was adopted out. While he had never been adopted by Augustus or his successors, he was the grandson of Octavia, and so felt he had the right. He also adopted the name “Augustus” as the two previous emperors had done at their accessions. He kept the honorific “Germanicus” in order to display the connection with his heroic brother. He deified his paternal grandmother Livia in order to highlight her position as wife of the divine Augustus. Claudius frequently used the term “filius Drusi” (son of Drusus) in his titles, in order to remind the people of his legendary father and lay claim to his reputation. Because he was proclaimed emperor on the initiative of the Praetorian Guard instead of the Senate the first emperor thus proclaimed Claudius’ repute suffered at the hands of commentators (such as Seneca). Moreover, he was the first Emperor who resorted to bribery as a means to secure army loyalty. Tiberius and Augustus had both left gifts to the army and guard in their wills , and upon Caligula’s death the same would have been expected, even if no will existed. Claudius remained grateful to the guard, however, issuing coins with tributes to the praetorians in the early part of his reign. Expansion of the empire. Under Claudius, the empire underwent its first major expansion since the reign of Augustus. The provinces of Thrace , Noricum , Pamphylia , Lycia , and Judea were annexed under various circumstances during his term. The annexation of Mauretania , begun under Caligula, was completed after the defeat of rebel forces, and the official division of the former client kingdom into two imperial provinces. The most important new expansion was the conquest of Britannia. In AD 43, Claudius sent Aulus Plautius with four legions to Britain (Britannia) after an appeal from an ousted tribal ally. Britain was an attractive target for Rome because of its material wealth particularly mines and slaves. It was also a haven for Gallic rebels and the like, and so could not be left alone much longer. Claudius himself traveled to the island after the completion of initial offensives, bringing with him reinforcements and elephants. The latter must have made an impression on the Britons when they were used in the capture of Camulodunum. He left after 16 days, but remained in the provinces for some time. The Senate granted him a triumph for his efforts, as only members of the imperial family were allowed such honors. Claudius later lifted this restriction for some of his conquering generals. He was granted the honorific “Britannicus” but only accepted it on behalf of his son, never using the title himself. When the British general Caractacus was captured in AD 50, Claudius granted him clemency. Caractacus lived out his days on land provided by the Roman state, an unusual end for an enemy commander. Claudius conducted a census in AD 48 that found 5,984,072 Roman citizens, an increase of around a million since the census conducted at Augustus’ death. He had helped increase this number through the foundation of Roman colonies that were granted blanket citizenship. These colonies were often made out of existing communities, especially those with elites who could rally the populace to the Roman cause. Several colonies were placed in new provinces or on the border of the empire in order to secure Roman holdings as quickly as possible. Judicial and legislative affairs. Claudius personally judged many of the legal cases tried during his reign. Ancient historians have many complaints about this, stating that his judgments were variable and sometimes did not follow the law. He was also easily swayed. Nevertheless, Claudius paid detailed attention to the operation of the judicial system. He extended the summer court session, as well as the winter term, by shortening the traditional breaks. Claudius also made a law requiring plaintiffs to remain in the city while their cases were pending, as defendants had previously been required to do. These measures had the effect of clearing out the docket. The minimum age for jurors was also raised to 25 in order to ensure a more experienced jury pool. Claudius also settled disputes in the provinces. Early in his reign, the Greeks and Jews of Alexandria sent him two embassies at once after riots broke out between the two communities. This resulted in the famous “Letter to the Alexandrians”, which reaffirmed Jewish rights in the city but also forbade them to move in more families en masse. According to Josephus , he then reaffirmed the rights and freedoms of all the Jews in the empire. An investigator of Claudius’ discovered that many old Roman citizens based in the modern city of Trento were not in fact citizens. The emperor issued a declaration that they would be considered to hold citizenship from then on, since to strip them of their status would cause major problems. However, in individual cases, Claudius punished false assumption of citizenship harshly, making it a capital offense. Numerous edicts were issued throughout Claudius’ reign. These were on a number of topics, everything from medical advice to moral judgments. Two famous medical examples are one promoting Yew juice as a cure for snakebite, and another promoting public flatulence for good health. One of the more famous edicts concerned the status of sick slaves. Masters had been abandoning ailing slaves at the temple of Aesculapius to die, and then reclaiming them if they lived. Claudius ruled that slaves who recovered after such treatment would be free. Furthermore, masters who chose to kill slaves rather than take the risk were liable to be charged with murder. The Porta Maggiore in Rome. Claudius embarked on many public works throughout his reign, both in the capital and in the provinces. He built two aqueducts , the Aqua Claudia , begun by Caligula , and the Anio Novus. These entered the city in AD 52 and met at the famous Porta Maggiore. He also restored a third, the Aqua Virgo. He paid special attention to transportation. Throughout Italy and the provinces he built roads and canals. Among these was a large canal leading from the Rhine to the sea, as well as a road from Italy to Germany both begun by his father, Drusus. Closer to Rome, he built a navigable canal on the Tiber , leading to Portus , his new port just north of Ostia. This port was constructed in a semicircle with two moles and a lighthouse at its mouth. The construction also had the effect of reducing flooding in Rome. The other part of his solution was to insure the ships of grain merchants who were willing to risk traveling to Egypt in the off-season. He also granted their sailors special privileges, including citizenship and exemption from the Lex Papia-Poppaea , a law that regulated marriage. The last part of Claudius’ plan was to increase the amount of arable land in Italy. This was to be achieved by draining the Fucine lake , which would have the added benefit of making the nearby river navigable year-round. A tunnel was dug through the lake bed, but the plan was a failure. The tunnel was crooked and not large enough to carry the water, which caused it to back up when opened. The resultant flood washed out a large gladiatorial exhibition held to commemorate the opening, causing Claudius to run for his life along with the other spectators. The draining of the lake was revisited many times in history, including by emperors Trajan and Hadrian , and Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II in the Middle Ages. It was finally achieved by the Prince Torlonia in the 19th century, producing over 160,000 acres 650 km. Of new arable land. He expanded the Claudian tunnel to three times its original size. Claudius and the Senate. Because of the circumstances of his accession, Claudius took great pains to please the Senate. During regular sessions, the emperor sat among the Senate body, speaking in turn. When introducing a law, he sat on a bench between the consuls in his position as Holder of the Power of Tribune (The emperor could not officially serve as a Tribune of the Plebes as he was a Patrician , but it was a power taken by previous rulers). He refused to accept all his predecessors’ titles (including Imperator) at the beginning of his reign, preferring to earn them in due course. He allowed the Senate to issue its own bronze coinage for the first time since Augustus. He also put the imperial provinces of Macedonia and Achaea back under Senate control. Claudius set about remodeling the Senate into a more efficient, representative body. He chided the senators about their reluctance to debate bills introduced by himself, as noted in the fragments of a surviving speech. If you accept these proposals, Conscript Fathers, say so at once and simply, in accordance with your convictions. If you do not accept them, find alternatives, but do so here and now; or if you wish to take time for consideration, take it, provided you do not forget that you must be ready to pronounce your opinion whenever you may be summoned to meet. It ill befits the dignity of the Senate that the consul designate should repeat the phrases of the consuls word for word as his opinion, and that every one else should merely say’I approve’, and that then, after leaving, the assembly should announce’We debated’. In AD 47 he assumed the office of Censor with Lucius Vitellius , which had been allowed to lapse for some time. He struck the names of many senators and equites who no longer met qualifications, but showed respect by allowing them to resign in advance. At the same time, he sought to admit eligible men from the provinces. The Lyons Tablet preserves his speech on the admittance of Gallic senators, in which he addresses the Senate with reverence but also with criticism for their disdain of these men. He also increased the number of Patricians by adding new families to the dwindling number of noble lines. Here he followed the precedent of Lucius Junius Brutus and Julius Caesar. Nevertheless, many in the Senate remained hostile to Claudius, and many plots were made on his life. This hostility carried over into the historical accounts. As a result, Claudius was forced to reduce the Senate’s power for efficiency. The administration of Ostia was turned over to an imperial Procurator after construction of the port. Administration of many of the empire’s financial concerns was turned over to imperial appointees and freedmen. This led to further resentment and suggestions that these same freedmen were ruling the emperor. Several coup attempts were made during Claudius’ reign, resulting in the deaths of many senators. Appius Silanus was executed early in Claudius’ reign under questionable circumstances. Shortly after, a large rebellion was undertaken by the Senator Vinicianus and Scribonianus , the governor of Dalmatia and gained quite a few senatorial supporters. It ultimately failed because of the reluctance of Scribonianus’ troops, and the suicide of the main conspirators. Many other senators tried different conspiracies and were condemned. Claudius’ son-in-law Pompeius Magnus was executed for his part in a conspiracy with his father Crassus Frugi. Another plot involved the consulars Lusiius Saturninus, Cornelius Lupus, and Pompeius Pedo. In AD 46, Asinius Gallus , the grandson of Asinius Pollio , and Statilius Corvinus were exiled for a plot hatched with several of Claudius’ own freedmen. Valerius Asiaticus was executed without public trial for unknown reasons. The ancient sources say the charge was adultery , and that Claudius was tricked into issuing the punishment. However, Claudius singles out Asiaticus for special damnation in his speech on the Gauls, which dates over a year later, suggesting that the charge must have been much more serious. Asiaticus had been a claimant to the throne in the chaos following Caligula’s death and a co-consul with the Statilius Corvinus mentioned above. Most of these conspiracies took place before Claudius’ term as Censor , and may have induced him to review the Senatorial rolls. The conspiracy of Gaius Silius in the year after his Censorship, AD 48, is detailed in the section discussing Claudius’ third wife, Messalina. Suetonius states that a total of 35 senators and 300 knights were executed for offenses during Claudius’ reign. Needless to say, the necessary responses to these conspiracies could not have helped Senate-emperor relations. The Secretariat and centralization of powers. Claudius was hardly the first emperor to use freedmen to help with the day-to-day running of the empire. He was, however, forced to increase their role as the powers of the Princeps became more centralized and the burden larger. This was partly due to the ongoing hostility of the senate, as mentioned above, but also due to his respect for the senators. Claudius did not want free-born magistrates to have to serve under him, as if they were not peers. The secretariat was divided into bureaus, with each being placed under the leadership of one freedman. Narcissus was the secretary of correspondence. Pallas became the secretary of the treasury. Callistus became secretary of justice. There was a fourth bureau for miscellaneous issues, which was put under Polybius until his execution for treason. The freedmen could also officially speak for the emperor, as when Narcissus addressed the troops in Claudius’ stead before the conquest of Britain. Since these were important positions, the senators were aghast at their being placed in the hands of former slaves. This is exactly the accusation put forth by the ancient sources. However, these same sources admit that the freedmen were loyal to Claudius. He was similarly appreciative of them and gave them due credit for policies where he had used their advice. However, if they showed treasonous inclinations, the emperor did punish them with just force, as in the case of Polybius and Pallas’ brother, Felix. There is no evidence that the character of Claudius’ policies and edicts changed with the rise and fall of the various freedmen, suggesting that he was firmly in control throughout. Regardless of the extent of their political power, the freedmen did manage to amass wealth through their positions. Pliny the Elder notes that several of them were richer than Crassus , the richest man of the Republican era. Claudius, as the author of a treatise on Augustus’ religious reforms, felt himself in a good position to institute some of his own. He had strong opinions about the proper form for state religion. He refused the request of Alexandrian Greeks to dedicate a temple to his divinity, saying that only gods may choose new gods. He restored lost days to festivals and got rid of many extraneous celebrations added by Caligula. He reinstituted old observances and archaic language. Claudius was concerned with the spread of eastern mysteries within the city and searched for more Roman replacements. He emphasized the Eleusinian mysteries which had been practiced by so many during the Republic. He expelled foreign astrologers, and at the same time rehabilitated the old Roman soothsayers (known as haruspices) as a replacement. He was especially hard on Druidism , because of its incompatibility with the Roman state religion and its proselytizing activities. It is also reported that at one time he expelled the Jews from Rome, probably because the appearance of Christianity had caused unrest within the Jewish community. Claudius opposed proselytizing in any religion, even in those regions where he allowed natives to worship freely. The results of all these efforts were recognized even by Seneca, who has an ancient Latin god defend Claudius in his satire. Public games and entertainments. According to Suetonius, Claudius was extraordinarily fond of games. He is said to have risen with the crowd after gladiatorial matches and given unrestrained praise to the fighters. Claudius also presided over many new and original events. Soon after coming into power, Claudius instituted games to be held in honor of his father on the latter’s birthday. Annual games were also held in honor of his accession, and took place at the Praetorian camp where Claudius had first been proclaimed emperor. Claudius performed the Secular games , marking the 800th anniversary of the founding of Rome. Augustus had performed the same games less than a century prior. Augustus’ excuse was that the interval for the games was 110 years, not 100, but his date actually did not qualify under either reasoning. Claudius also presented naval battles to mark the attempted draining of the Fucine lake, as well as many other public games and shows. At Ostia, in front of a crowd of spectators, Claudius fought a killer whale which was trapped in the harbor. The event was witnessed by Pliny the Elder. A killer whale was actually seen in the harbor of Ostia, locked in combat with the emperor Claudius. The emperor ordered that a large array of nets be stretched across the mouths of the harbor, and setting out in person with the Praetorian cohorts gave a show to the Roman people, soldiers showering lances from attacking ships, one of which I saw swamped by the beast’s waterspout and sunk. Claudius also restored and adorned many of the venues around Rome. The old wooden barriers of the Circus Maximus were replaced with ones made of gold-ornamented marble. A new section of the Circus was designated for seating the senators, who previously had sat among the general public. Claudius rebuilt Pompey’s Theater after it had been destroyed by fire, throwing special fights at the rededication which he observed from a special platform in the orchestra box. Death, deification, and reputation. The general consensus of ancient historians was that Claudius was murdered by poison possibly contained in mushrooms or on a feather and died in the early hours of 13 October, AD 54. Some claim Claudius was in Rome while others claim he was in Sinuessa. Some implicate either Halotus , his taster, Xenophon , his doctor, or the infamous poisoner Locusta as the administrator of the fatal substance. Some say he died after prolonged suffering following a single dose at dinner, and some have him recovering only to be poisoned again. Nearly all implicate his final wife, Agrippina, as the instigator. Agrippina and Claudius had become more combative in the months leading up to his death. This carried on to the point where Claudius openly lamented his bad wives, and began to comment on Britannicus’ approaching manhood with an eye towards restoring his status within the imperial family. Agrippina had motive in ensuring the succession of Nero before Britannicus could gain power. In modern times, some authors have cast doubt on whether Claudius was murdered or merely succumbed to illness or old age. Some modern scholars claim the universality of the accusations in ancient texts lends credence to the crime. History in those days could not be objectively collected or written, so sometimes amounted to committing whispered gossip to parchment, often years after the events, when the writer was no longer in danger of arrest. Claudius’ ashes were interred in the Mausoleum of Augustus on 24 October, after a funeral in the manner of Augustus. Claudius was deified by Nero and the Senate almost immediately. Those who regard this homage as cynical should note that, cynical or not, such a move would hardly have benefited those involved, had Claudius been “hated”, as some commentators, both modern and historic, characterize him. Many of Claudius’ less solid supporters quickly became Nero’s men. Claudius’ will had been changed shortly before his death to either recommend Nero and Britannicus jointly or perhaps just Britannicus, who would have been considered an adult man according to Roman law only in a few months. Agrippina had sent away Narcissus shortly before Claudius’ death, and now murdered the freedman. The last act of this secretary of letters was to burn all of Claudius’ correspondencemost likely so it could not be used against him and others in an already hostile new regime. Thus Claudius’ private words about his own policies and motives were lost to history. Just as Claudius has criticized his predecessors in official edicts (see below), Nero often criticized the deceased emperor and many of Claudius’ laws and edicts were disregarded under the reasoning that he was too stupid and senile to have meant them. This opinion of Claudius, that he was indeed an old idiot, remained the official one for the duration of Nero’s reign. Eventually Nero stopped referring to his deified adoptive father at all, and realigned with his birth family. Claudius’ temple was left unfinished after only some of the foundation had been laid down. Eventually the site was overtaken by Nero’s Golden House. The Flavians , who had risen to prominence under Claudius, took a different tack. They were in a position where they needed to shore up their legitimacy, but also justify the fall of the Julio-Claudians. They reached back to Claudius in contrast with Nero, to show that they were good associated with good. Commemorative coins were issued of Claudius and his son Britannicuswho had been a friend of the emperor Titus. When Nero’s Golden House was burned, the Temple of Claudius was finally completed on Caelian Hill. However, as the Flavians became established, they needed to emphasize their own credentials more, and their references to Claudius ceased. Instead, he was put down with the other emperors of the fallen dynasty. The main ancient historians Tacitus , Suetonius , and Cassius Dio all wrote after the last of the Flavians had gone. All three were senators or equites. They took the side of the Senate in most conflicts with the princeps, invariably viewing him as being in the wrong. This resulted in biases, both conscious and unconscious. Suetonius lost access to the official archives shortly after beginning his work. He was forced to rely on second-hand accounts when it came to Claudius (with the exception of Augustus’ letters which had been gathered earlier) and does not quote the emperor. Suetonius painted Claudius as a ridiculous figure, belittling many of his acts and attributing the objectively good works to his retinue. Tacitus wrote a narrative for his fellow senators and fitted each of the emperors into a simple mold of his choosing. He wrote Claudius as a passive pawn and an idiotgoing so far as to hide his use of Claudius as a source and omit Claudius’ character from his works. Even his version of Claudius’ Lyons tablet speech is edited to be devoid of the emperor’s personality. Dio was less biased, but seems to have used Suetonius and Tacitus as sources. Thus the conception of Claudius as the weak fool, controlled by those he supposedly ruled, was preserved for the ages. As time passed, Claudius was mostly forgotten outside of the historians’ accounts. His books were lost first, as their antiquarian subjects became unfashionable. In the second century, Pertinax , who shared his birthday, became emperor, overshadowing commemoration of Claudius. Marriages and personal life. Claudius’ love life was unusual for an upper-class Roman of his day. As Edward Gibbon mentions, of the first fifteen emperors, “Claudius was the only one whose taste in love was entirely correct”the implication being that he was the only one not to take men or boys as lovers. Gibbon based this on Suetonius’ factual statement that He had a great passion for women, but had no interest in men. Suetonius and the other ancient authors used this against Claudius. They accused him of being dominated by these same women and wives, of being uxorious , and of being a womanizer. Claudius married four times. His first marriage, to Plautia Urgulanilla , occurred after two failed betrothals The first was to his distant cousin Aemilia Lepida , but was broken for political reasons. The second was to Livia Medullina , which ended with the bride’s sudden death on their wedding day. Urgulanilla was a relation of Livia’s confidant Urgulania. During their marriage she gave birth to a son, Claudius Drusus. Unfortunately, Drusus died of asphyxiation in his early teens, shortly after becoming engaged to the daughter of Sejanus. Claudius later divorced Urgulanilla for adultery and on suspicion of murdering her sister-in-law Apronia. When Urgulanilla gave birth after the divorce, Claudius repudiated the baby girl, Claudia, as the father was one of his own freedmen. Soon after (possibly in AD 28), Claudius married Aelia Paetina , a relation of Sejanus. They had a daughter, Claudia Antonia. He later divorced her after the marriage became a political liability although Leon (1948) suggests it may have been due to emotional and mental abuse by Aelia. In AD 38 or early 39, Claudius married Valeria Messalina , who was his first cousin once removed and closely allied with Caligula’s circle. Shortly thereafter, she gave birth to a daughter Claudia Octavia. A son, first named Tiberius Claudius Germanicus, and later known as Britannicus , was born just after Claudius’ accession. This marriage ended in tragedy. The ancient historians allege that Messalina was a nymphomaniac who was regularly unfaithful to Claudius Tacitus states she went so far as to compete with a prostitute to see who could have the most sexual partners in a night and manipulated his policies in order to amass wealth. In AD 48, Messalina married her lover Gaius Silius in a public ceremony while Claudius was at Ostia. Sources disagree as to whether or not she divorced the emperor first, and whether the intention was to usurp the throne. Scramuzza, in his biography, suggests that Silius may have convinced Messalina that Claudius was doomed, and the union was her only hope of retaining rank and protecting her children. The historian Tacitus suggests that Claudius’s ongoing term as Censor may have prevented him from noticing the affair before it reached such a critical point. Whatever the case, the result was the execution of Silius, Messalina, and most of her circle. Claudius made the Praetorians promise to kill him if he ever married again. Despite this declaration, Claudius did marry once more. The ancient sources tell that his freedmen pushed three candidates, Caligula’s former wife Lollia Paulina , Claudius’s divorced second wife Aelia, and Claudius’s niece Agrippina the younger. According to Suetonius, Agrippina won out through her feminine wiles. The truth is likely more political. The coup attempt by Silius probably made Claudius realize the weakness of his position as a member of the Claudian but not the Julian family. This weakness was compounded by the fact that he did not have an obvious adult heir, Britannicus being just a boy. Agrippina was one of the few remaining descendants of Augustus, and her son Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus (later known as Nero) was one of the last males of the imperial family. Future coup attempts could rally around the pair, and Agrippina was already showing such ambition. It has been suggested in recent times that the Senate may have pushed for the marriage to end the feud between the Julian and Claudian branches. This feud dated back to Agrippina’s mother’s actions against Tiberius after the death of her husband Germanicus, actions which Tiberius had gladly punished. In any case, Claudius accepted Agrippina, and later adopted the newly mature Nero as his son. Nero was made joint heir with the underage Britannicus, married to Octavia and heavily promoted. This was not as unusual as it seems to people acquainted with modern hereditary monarchies. Barbara Levick notes that Augustus had named his grandson Postumus Agrippa and his stepson Tiberius joint heirs. Tiberius named his great-nephew Caligula joint heir with his grandson Tiberius Gemellus. Adoption of adults or near adults was an old tradition in Rome when a suitable natural adult heir was unavailable. This was the case during Britannicus’ minority. Oost suggests that Claudius had previously looked to adopt one of his sons-in-law to protect his own reign. Faustus Sulla , married to his daughter Antonia , was only descended from Octavia and Antony on one side not close enough to the imperial family to prevent doubts (that didn’t stop others from making him the object of a coup attempt against Nero a few years later). Besides which, he was the half brother of Messalina , and at this time those wounds were still fresh. Nero was more popular with the general public as the grandson of Germanicus and the direct descendant of Augustus. Claudius’ affliction and personality. The historian Suetonius describes the physical manifestations of Claudius’ affliction in relatively good detail. His knees were weak and gave way under him and his head shook. He stammered and his speech was confused. He slobbered and his nose ran when he was excited. The Stoic Seneca states in his Apocolocyntosis that Claudius’ voice belonged to no land animal, and that his hands were weak as well; however, he showed no physical deformity, as Suetonius notes that when calm and seated he was a tall, well-built figure of dignitas. When angered or stressed, his symptoms became worse. Historians agree that this condition improved upon his accession to the throne. Claudius himself claimed that he had exaggerated his ailments to save his own life. The modern diagnosis has changed several times in the past century. Prior to World War II , infantile paralysis (or polio) was widely accepted as the cause. This is the diagnosis used in Robert Graves’ Claudius novels , first published in the 1930s. Polio does not explain many of the described symptoms, however, and a more recent theory implicates cerebral palsy as the cause, as outlined by Ernestine Leon. Tourette syndrome is also a likely candidate for Claudius’ symptoms. As a person, ancient historians described Claudius as generous and lowbrow, a man who sometimes lunched with the plebeians. They also paint him as bloodthirsty and cruel, overly fond of both gladiatorial combat and executions, and very quick to anger (though Claudius himself acknowledged the latter trait, and apologized publicly for his temper). To them he was also overly trusting, and easily manipulated by his wives and freedmen. But at the same time they portray him as paranoid and apathetic, dull and easily confused. The extant works of Claudius present a different view, painting a picture of an intelligent, scholarly, well-read, and conscientious administrator with an eye to detail and justice. Thus, Claudius becomes an enigma. Since the discovery of his ” Letter to the Alexandrians ” in the last century, much work has been done to rehabilitate Claudius and determine where the truth lies. Scholarly works and their impact. Claudius wrote copiously throughout his life. Arnaldo Momigliano states that during the reign of Tiberius which covers the peak of Claudius’ literary career it became impolitic to speak of republican Rome. The trend among the young historians was to either write about the new empire or obscure antiquarian subjects. Claudius was the rare scholar who covered both. Besides the history of Augustus’ reign that caused him so much grief, his major works included an Etruscan history and eight volumes on Carthaginian history, as well as an Etruscan Dictionary and a book on dice playing. Despite the general avoidance of the imperatorial era, he penned a defense of Cicero against the charges of Asinius Gallus. Modern historians have used this to determine both the nature of his politics and of the aborted chapters of his civil war history. He proposed a reform of the Latin alphabet by the addition of three new letters , two of which served the function of the modern letters W and Y. He officially instituted the change during his censorship, but they did not survive his reign. Claudius also tried to revive the old custom of putting dots between different words (Classical Latin was written with no spacing). Finally, he wrote an eight-volume autobiography that Suetonius describes as lacking in taste. Since Claudius (like most of the members of his dynasty) heavily criticized his predecessors and relatives in surviving speeches, it is not hard to imagine the nature of Suetonius’ charge. Unfortunately, none of the actual works survive. They do live on as sources for the surviving histories of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Suetonius quotes Claudius’ autobiography once, and must have used it as a source numerous times. Tacitus uses Claudius’ own arguments for the orthographical innovations mentioned above, and may have used him for some of the more antiquarian passages in his annals. Claudius is the source for numerous passages of Pliny’s Natural History. The influence of historical study on Claudius is obvious. In his speech on Gallic senators, he uses a version of the founding of Rome identical to that of Livy, his tutor in adolescence. The detail of his speech borders on the pedantic, a common mark of all his extant works, and he goes into long digressions on related matters. This indicates a deep knowledge of a variety of historical subjects that he could not help but share. Many of the public works instituted in his reign were based on plans first suggested by Julius Caesar. Levick believes this emulation of Caesar may have spread to all aspects of his policies. His censorship seems to have been based on those of his ancestors, particularly Appius Claudius Caecus , and he used the office to put into place many policies based on those of Republican times. This is when many of his religious reforms took effect and his building efforts greatly increased during his tenure. In fact, his assumption of the office of Censor may have been motivated by a desire to see his academic labors bear fruit. For example, he believed (as most Romans) that his ancestor Appius Claudius Caecus had used the censorship to introduce the letter “R” and so used his own term to introduce his new letters. In literature and film. Probably the most famous fictional representation of the Emperor Claudius were the books I, Claudius and Claudius the God (released in 1934 and 1935) by Robert Graves , both written in the first-person to give the reader the impression that they are Claudius’ autobiography. Graves employed a fictive artifice to suggest that they were recently discovered, genuine translations of Claudius’ writings. Claudius’ extant letters, speeches, and sayings were incorporated into the text (mostly in the second book, Claudius the God) in order to add authenticity. In 1937 director Josef von Sternberg made an unsuccessful attempt to film I, Claudius , with Charles Laughton as Claudius. Unfortunately, the lead actress Merle Oberon suffered a near-fatal accident and the movie was never finished. The surviving reels were finally shown in the documentary The Epic That Never Was in 1965, revealing some of Laughton’s most accomplished acting. The motion picture rights have been obtained by Scott Rudin , with a theatrical release planned for 2010. Graves’s two books were also the basis for a thirteen-part British television adaptation produced by the BBC. The series starred Derek Jacobi as Claudius and Patrick Stewart as Sejanus, and was broadcast in 1976 on BBC2. It was a substantial critical success, and won several BAFTA awards. The series was later broadcast in the United States on Masterpiece Theatre in 1977. The DVD release of the television series contains the “The Epic that Never Was” documentary. Claudius has been portrayed in film on several other occasions, including in the 1979 motion picture Caligula , the role being performed by Giancarlo Badessi in which the character was depicted as an idiot, in complete contrast to Robert Graves’ portrait of Claudius as a cunning and deeply intelligent man. In the parody Gore Vidal’s Caligula , which advertises itself as a remake of the original film, Claudius is portrayed by Glenn Shadix. On television, the actor Freddie Jones became famous for his role as Claudius in the 1968 British television series The Caesars while the 1985 made-for-television miniseries A. Features actor Richard Kiley as Claudius. There is also a reference to Claudius’ suppression of one of the coups against him in the movie Gladiator , though the incident is entirely fictional. In literature, Claudius and his contemporaries appear in the historical novel The Roman by Mika Waltari. Canadian-born science fiction writer A. Van Vogt reimagined Robert Graves’ Claudius story in his two novels Empire of the Atom and The Wizard of Linn. Marcus Livius Drusus Claudianus. What is a certificate of authenticity and what guarantees do you give that the item is authentic? You will be quite happy with what you get with the COA; a professional presentation of the coin, with all of the relevant information and a picture of the coin you saw in the listing. Is there a number I can call you with questions about my order? When should I leave feedback? Once you receive your order, please leave a positive. Please don’t leave any negative feedbacks, as it happens many times that people rush to leave feedback before letting sufficient time for the order to arrive. The matter of fact is that any issues can be resolved, as reputation is most important to me. My goal is to provide superior products and quality of service. The item “Claudius 41AD Large RARE Ancient Roman Coin Ceres Torch=hope emblem i39280″ is in sale since Saturday, April 12, 2014. This item is in the category “Coins & Paper Money\Coins\ Ancient\Roman\ Imperial (27 BC-476 AD)”. The seller is “highrating_lowprice” and is located in Rego Park, New York. This item can be shipped worldwide.