Claudius  book cover
2nd Edition


ISBN 9780367599171
Published June 30, 2020 by Routledge
288 Pages

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Book Description

Claudius became emperor after the assassination of Caligula, and was deified by his successor Nero in AD 54. Opinions of him have varied greatly over succeeding centuries, but he has mostly been caricatured as a reluctant emperor, hampered by a speech impediment, who preferred reading to ruling.

Barbara Levick's authoritative study reassesses the reign of Claudius, examining his political objectives and activities within the constitutional, political, social and economic development of Rome. Out of Levick's critical scrutiny of the literary, archaeological and epigraphic sources emerges a different Claudius - an intelligent politician, ruthlessly determined to secure his position as ruler.

Now updated to take account of recent scholarship, Claudius remains essential reading for students and historians of the early Roman Empire.

Table of Contents


1. Principate and Dynasty

2. Education

3. Unfit for a public career?

4. Accession

5. Princeps and Imperator

6. Establishment of the Court: Messalina

7. The Dominance of Agrippina

8. Imperial Policies?

9. Senate and Knights: Claudius and the Aristocracy

10.The People of Rome and Italy

11. Legislation, Justice, and Society

12. Finance and the Economy

13. Claudius’ Invasion of Britain

14. Warfare on Three Continents

15. Claudius and his Provincial Subjects

16. Aftermath: Claudius in Literature and History

References and Notes




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Barbara Levick is Fellow and Tutor Emeritus, St. Hilda’s College, Oxford. She has published extensively on Roman history, with titles including Tiberius the Politician (Routledge, 1999), Vespasian (Routledge, 1999), The Government of the Roman Empire, second edition (Routledge, 2001), Julia Domna: Syrian Empress (Routledge, 2007), Augustus: Image and Substance (2010) and Imperial Women of the Golden Age: Faustina I and II (2014).


"Levick’s work on Claudius continues to make a valuable contribution to the field and offers not just a strong foundation of information for those interested in Claudius, but also worthwhile material for anyone studying the Julio-Claudians or the Roman world of the first century CE." - Bryn Mawr Classical Review