Claudius was the fourth Roman Emperor of the Julio-Claudian dynasty,
ruling from January 24 41 to his death in 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 Italy. Claudius was considered
a rather unlikely man to become emperor. 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 37. This infirmity may have saved him from the fate of many other
Roman nobles during the purges of Tiberius and Caligula's reigns. His
very survival led to his being declared emperor 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
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Today's selected anniversaries:
Pope Eugenius IV was suspended by the Council of Basel.
James W. Marshall discovered gold at Sutter's Mill in Coloma,
California, leading to the California Gold Rush.
Prime Minister John Ballance began his term with his Liberal Party the
first political party in power in New Zealand.
Petrograd, founded by Peter the Great of Russia in 1703, was renamed
Leningrad three days after the death of Vladimir Lenin.
The first Apple Macintosh went on sale, as advertised on television
two days earlier during Super Bowl XVIII.
Wikiquote of the day:
''Musick has Charms to sooth a savage Breast,To soften Rocks, or bend
a knotted Oak. -- William Congreve --