The Emperor Claudius – Messalina, Agrippina and the shadows of the dinasty

, The Emperor Claudius – Messalina, Agrippina and the shadows of the dinasty, Rome Guides


The Ara Pacis Museum, in cooperation with the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon, organizes a major exhibition, that will let you discover life and personality of the controversial Roman Emperor, Claudius. This special display of works will bring to light his political and administrative traits (the gem of the Exhibition is the Tabula Claudiana, inscribed with the famous speech given by Claudius in the Senate in 48 AD in which he argued that eminent Gauls be admitted to the Senate), his connections with the first Roman Emperor Augustus and first of all his tragic relationship with his wives Messalina and Agrippina.

Claudius’ life was an extraordinary one, marked by events involving blood, court intrigues and military choices. He was the first emperor to be born outside Italy, in Lyon. Augustus doubted his political aptitude, preferring to him Germanicus, but the suspicious and mysterious death of this one let the army choose Caligula, assassinated after few years of Empire, leaving an empty road in front of Claudius, proclaimed by the Praetorian Guard.

Claudius’ relationships with his four wives were also marked by conspiracies and tragic events. His third wife, Messalina, 35 years younger than him, was and is still known for her many sexual intercourses and a very “active” life.

Claudio’s last marriage with Agrippina was fatal for him. Agrippina was considered to be responsible his murder, poisoning him with mushrooms. Claudius was deified after his death, a temple was built in his honour on the Caelian Hill, and it was Agrippina’s son, the terrible Nero, who succeeded him as Emperor.

See the exhibition website

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