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Claudius. Roman emperor ad 41–54. Because of his physical infirmities, Claudius had been denied the normal career of a Roman aristocrat. After the assassination of Caligula, the middle-aged Claudius was unexpectedly proclaimed emperor by the army. To reward the army and prove his martial prowess, Claudius decided to resume the work of his ancestor Julius Caesar with an invasion of Britain in 43. Though the invasion force was commanded by Aulus Plautius, the emperor himself came to Britain for the formal entry into Camulodunum (Colchester). Having spent sixteen days in the new province, Claudius returned to Rome, where he celebrated a triumph. Claudius awarded the title Britannicus to his son, and the invasion was the most famous event of his reign. A large temple dedicated to him was constructed in Colchester.

Alan Simon Esmonde Cleary