Considered lacking in charisma and discernment, Claudius – son of Drusus – nonetheless remains a scholar whose reign was fundamental to the Roman Empire. Indeed, he initiated various reforms favoring the strengthening of imperial powers and built the port of Ostia and new aqueducts in order to solve the supply problems of the Romans. He also widened the recruitment of the Senate by bringing in provincials, and largely granted the right of Roman citizenship.
His foreign policy made it possible to resolve the Mauritanian conflict in 42, and to conquer Brittany (now Great Britain) in 43 and then Thrace in 46. However, his mode of government aroused strong criticism, favoring conspiracies. He is subject to the influence of senators, women in his life and freedmen, taking advantage of their position to acquire more power. Several plots, including those fomented by Narcissus and by Messalina (his first wife), are suppressed. However, he was poisoned by his last wife, Agrippina, in 54, after she convinced him to adopt her son, Nero, at the expense of Claudius' son, Britannicus.
10 BC J.-C. - 54 AD. AD