History Literature / IClaudius

28th Mar '16 9:12:15 AM cepion
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** Tiberius is told that in ten years, "Tiberius Claudius" will still be emperor. He interprets it as a reassurance that he has ten more years to live and reign. [[spoiler:He dies not long after that, and]] the prophecy is fulfilled by his nephew Claudius, whose first name is also Tiberius.

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** Tiberius is told that in ten years, "Tiberius Claudius" Caesar" will still be emperor. He interprets it as a reassurance that he has ten more years to live and reign. [[spoiler:He dies not long after that, and]] and the prophecy is fulfilled by his nephew Claudius, whose first name is also Tiberius.Tiberius and who takes the surname Caesar when he becomes emperor]].
27th Mar '16 12:17:26 PM cepion
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* SafeSaneAndConsensual: [[spoiler:Mnester]] claims he was coerced into having affair with [[spoiler:Messalina]], and shows the marks of the whip on his back as proof, but Narcissus points out that the scars are not deep enough, meaning they are the result of consensual UsefulNotes/{{BDSM}}. [[spoiler:Mnester]] is then sentenced to death for his adultery [[spoiler:with the emperor's wife]].
27th Mar '16 12:06:15 PM cepion
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27th Mar '16 11:32:14 AM cepion
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27th Mar '16 11:25:54 AM cepion
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* AllJewsAreAshkenazi: Averted, since the story takes place some decades before the First Jewish–Roman War and the Diaspora.


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* BrainlessBeauty: Lollia Paulina, Caligula's third wife and one of the candidates [[spoiler:to marry Claudius after the death of Messalina]] is described as this.


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** [[spoiler:Agrippinilla]] orders the death of [[spoiler:Lollia]], partly for political reasons, but it's implied that she's also jealous of her beauty. She orders [[spoiler:Lollia]]'s severed head to be brought before her, and critizises her hair and teeth before disposing of it.


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* GoodBadGirl: Julia, while being quite promiscuous, is portrayed simpathetically by Claudius. Firstly, [[spoiler:because she begins having affairs as a result of her husband Tiberius' coolness towards her and his own infidelities]]. Secondly, [[spoiler:because her enhanced sex-drive seems to have been caused by Livia, who tricks her into using Spanish fly, a potent aphrodisiac]]. Thirdly, because she has a good heart and is the only adult member of Claudius' family who treats him with affection.


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* GrandeDame: Antonia and several other Roman ladies.


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* HolyCity: The Jews believe the Messiah will be born in Bethlehem. It becomes an important plot point because it leads [[spoiler:Herod Agrippa, who was born there, to believe '''he''' is the Messiah]].


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* HumanSacrifice: The Druids sacrifice young men to their gods, something Claudius considers barbaric (altough, as a result of ValuesDissonance, he has no qualms abouth sacrificing animals to the Roman gods).


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* IllegalReligion: Several religious cults are banned in Rome and other parts of the Empire, including Christianity and Druidism.


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* {{Jesus}}: A version of Jesus Christ's life is told by Herod Agrippa in a letter to Claudius. Herod considers Jesus to have been a fraud and persecutes his followers, so his view of Jesus's story is somewhat unreliable.


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* OddFriendship: Antonia, who is an very traditional and virtuous Roman matron, is fond of LovableRogue Herod Agrippa, and greatly enjoys listening to his stories. She even lends him money from time to time.
** Up to a certain point, Herod's friendship with Claudius is this.


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* PoliticallyCorrectHistory: This is what Claudius is forced to write during the reigns of Augustus and Tiberius. His 3 works of the time are a history of Augustus' religious reforms, in which he carefully avoids to point out some mistaked made by the emperor's advisors on the matter, and two books about the history of Carthage and Etruria, both of them being uncontroversial topics by the time he wrote them. Nevertheless, he is quite proud of his works.
** He also claims his official autobiography, written after he becomes emperor, is this. He can't legally critizise Augustus and Livia because they have been deified, and he considers it would be unfair to critizise Tiberius and Caligula while not pointing out the faults of their predecesors.
26th Mar '16 12:13:35 PM cepion
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* ScrewDestiny: [[spoiler:Britannicus is told that Nero will become emperor, and that it will inevitably lead to his death if he stays in Rome, but he wants to prevent it, and insists that Claudius allow him to legally become an adult in order to face Agripinilla and Nero. Claudius indulges him, fully knowing that Britannicus won't be able to prevail.]]
26th Mar '16 12:12:55 PM cepion
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* EvenEvilHasLovedOnes: Several villains have at least one person they care about.
** Tiberius loves his brother Drusus, his first wife Vispania, and if fond of his friends Thrasyllus and Nerva. He also had a genuinely cordial relationship with Augustus, until he forced him to divorce Vipsania.
** Caligula loves his wife Caesonia, his daughter, and his sister Drusilla ([[spoiler:although he's heavily implied to have killed her in a fit of rage]]).
** [[spoiler:Messalina]] and her mother [[spoiler:Domitia Lepida]] become estranged, but when [[spoiler:Messalina]]'s crimes are discovered and she's arrested, her mother is the only one who comes to see her and is at her side until the end.
** Livia implies she was truly fond of [[spoiler:her father. The fact that he was executed by Augustus is the main reason she doesn't feel guilty for having murdered him and several of his descendants]]. There's also her friendship with Urgulania.


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** Caligula is told to beware of "Cassius". He interprets this as a warning againts his brother-in-law Cassius Longinus. [[spoiler:In the end, he's killed by Cassius '''Chaerea''']].
** Tiberius is told that in ten years, "Tiberius Claudius" will still be emperor. He interprets it as a reassurance that he has ten more years to live and reign. [[spoiler:He dies not long after that, and]] the prophecy is fulfilled by his nephew Claudius, whose first name is also Tiberius.
26th Mar '16 11:40:14 AM cepion
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* HeKnowsTooMuch: [[spoiler:Martina]] is murdered so that she cannot testify against [[spoiler:Piso and Plancina]] in the trial for [[Germanicus]]' murder.

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* HeKnowsTooMuch: [[spoiler:Martina]] is murdered so that she cannot testify against [[spoiler:Piso and Plancina]] in the trial for [[Germanicus]]' [[spoiler:Germanicus]]' murder.
26th Mar '16 11:33:54 AM cepion
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* AndThereWasMuchRejoicing: Tiberius' death is not mourned but celebrated in Rome, where he was very unpopular.



* BathSuicide: Several characters choose to die this way.



* BetrayalByInaction: Several people find out about [[spoiler:Cassius Chaerea]]'s plot to murder [[spoiler:Caligula]], but choose not to do anything about it.



* BodyguardBetrayal: [[spoiler:Macro]], who is the commander of the Praetorian Guard and whose job is to protect [[spoiler:Tiberius]], ends up smothering him with a pillow.
** Later, several other praetorians conspire [[spoiler:succesfully]] to assasinate [[spoiler:Caligula]].
** During Claudius' reign, many officers in the Guard are involved in plots against the emperor's life.



* CoolUncle: Averted with Claudius. Although some are nice to him, none of his nieces and nephews takes him seriously.



* CreepyUncle: Averted with [[spoiler:Claudius]] (although ancient historians portrayed him this way) with regards to his marriage with [[spoiler:Agrippinilla]], his own niece. While some historians claim [[spoiler:Agripinilla]] seduced her uncle in order to convince him to marry her, in the book it is portrayed as only a political alliance, with no sexual element involved.
** Played straight with Herod Antipas, who marries his niece Herodias out of love and attraction. It should be noted, however, that in the Eastern monarchies of the time, marriages between uncles and nieces were considered normal. Furthermore, Herodias first husband, whom he divorces to marry Antipas, was '''also''' her uncle. John the Baptist preaches against Antipas and Herodias' marriage not because it is incestuous but because he's against her divorce.
* CruelAndUnusualDeath: One of Caligula's courtiers is flogged to death because he refuses to acknowledge him as a greater god than Zeus.



* DeadGuyJunior: When Claudius' son with Messalina is born, he's named [[spoiler:Germanicus, in honour of Claudius' deceased brother]]. Later he's known as Brittanicus.
** Caligula's daughter is named [[spoiler:Drusilla, in honour of his sister]]. Their personalities are very different.
* DeadPersonImpersonation: [[spoiler:Postumus]] is claimed to be doing this when he tries to organize an uprising against Tiberius.



* DisposableSexWorker: Subverted. [[spoiler:Calpurnia]]'s death is probably the saddest in the whole story.



* TheDogBitesBack: [[spoiler:Cassius Chaerea]] is a frequent victim of [[spoiler:Caligula]]'s jokes and taunting. In the end, he's the head of the conspiracy to assassinate him.



* DyingDeclarationOfLove: [[spoiler:Herod Agrippa]]'s last letter to [[spoiler:Claudius]], written while he is in his deathbed, asures him that, in spite of having conspired against him, he still loved him dearly. ItMakesSenseInContext.



* EmptyNest: Antonia asks Claudius to let her raise his daugher, also named Antonia, probably because all of her other grandchildren were already grown up.



* EtTuBrute: Mentioned by Claudius when he's remembering Julius Caesar's murder.



* ExcessiveMourning: After [[spoiler:Germanicus]]' death, the Roman people grieve for months. Tiberius issues a proclaim in which he (diplomatically) tells them to move on with their lives; however, it has little effect.



* FamousLastWords: Julius Caesar's, Augustus' and [[spoiler:Agrippinilla]]'s historical final words are quoted.



* GoingNative: The Germans in the emperor's guard marry and have children with Roman women and, while claiming to feel nostalgia for their homeland, don't really want to leave Italy.



* HeelFaceTurn: The legions under Scribonianus' comand decide not to rebel against Claudius.
** Castor undergoes a minor HFT after [[spoiler:Germanicus]]' death. While he wasn't entirely evil before, afterwards he becomes loyal to Agrippina and her children.
* HeKnowsTooMuch: [[spoiler:Martina]] is murdered so that she cannot testify against [[spoiler:Piso and Plancina]] in the trial for [[Germanicus]]' murder.



* TheLoinsSleepTonight: Augustus was apparently uncapable of sustaining an erection with Livia, something she used to her own advantage.

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* TheLoinsSleepTonight: Augustus was apparently uncapable incapable of sustaining an erection with Livia, something she used uses to her own advantage.advantage.
* LonelyFuneral: [[spoiler:Antonia]]'s funeral is only attended by Claudius, Herod Agrippa and a handful more. This is because no one dares to offend Caligula, who drove her to suicide.



* LoveInterestTraitor: [[spoiler:Messalina]] ends up being this to [[spoiler:Claudius]], eventually trying to overthrow him and put his lover on the throne.



* MenAreTheExpendableGender: This trope is invoked and defied by Claudius, who sentences several women involved in conspiracies against him to death, saying there's no reason why their gender should protect them.



* NeverSpeakIllOfTheDead: While Claudius is perfectly aware of his three predecessors' crimes and mistakes, he decides not to mention them in his official autobiography. He also declines to take any action against [[spoiler:Caligula]]'s memory, such as declaring the day of his death a national holiday.



* OutWithABang: Apparently, this is how [[spoiler:Pompey, Claudius' son-in-law]] and his male lover die, being killed while having sex.



* PlotTriggeringDeath: Julius Caesar's is this, since his murder brings his nephew and adoptive son Octavian/Augustus to the center of the political stage.
* PosthumousCharacter: Julius Caesar, Octavia, Anthony, Claudius' paternal grandfather, and many others have a lot of bearing in the plot but are dead by the time the protagonist is born. His father also counts as this, since he dies when Claudius is only a baby.



* RestrainedRevenge: When Claudius becomes emperor, he finds the records of the trial of [[spoiler:Agrippina:his sister-in-law Agrippina and his nephews Nero and Drusus]], in which the names of those who testified against them are written. Instead of having them killed or exiled, Claudius summons the witnesses to palace, has them read their false testimonies and then burn them with their own hands.



* TakeAThirdOption: [[spoiler:Messalina tries to seduce her stepfather, Appius Silanus. When Appius refuses, she threatens to have him executed by Claudius. Instead of giving in and sleeping with her, or keep refusing and end up possibly accused of treason by Messalina, he decides to assassinate Claudius (and fails)]].
* TakingTheKids: Claudius' grandfather threatens Livia to divorce her and have sole custody of their sons (something Roman law allowed) if she keeps trying to convince him to restore the monarchy.



* TakeAThirdOption: [[spoiler:Messalina tries to seduce her stepfather, Appius Silanus. When Appius refuses, she threatens to have him executed by Claudius. Instead of giving in and sleeping with her, or keep refusing and end up possibly accused of treason by Messalina, he decides to assassinate Claudius (and fails)]].
* TakingTheKids: Claudius' grandfather threatens Livia to divorce her and have sole custody of their sons (something Roman law allowed) if she keeps trying to convince him to restore the monarchy.
* TakingYouWithMe: Invoked by one of the men involved in Scribonianus' failed rebellion against Claudius who, after being sentenced to death, accuses the commander of the Praetorian Guard of being part of the plot. The commander is found guilty and dies with the other conspirators.



* TreacherousAdvisor: Hermann is this to Varus, before leading the German tribes in open rebellion.
** Sejanus to Gaius.
** Practically all of Claudius' freedmen, except for Narcissus.



* UndignifiedDeath: [[spoiler:Lupus]], one of the guards sentenced for the murder of [[spoiler:Caligula]] and his family, is shivering with cold and fear before his execution.
** [[spoiler:Messalina]]'s counts as this, at least InUniverse, since she is too afraid to kill herself when told she's been sentenced to death.



* WidowedAtTheWedding: [[spoiler:Camilla]]'s death counts as this, although she dies just before her bethrotal ceremony, instead of the wedding itself.
** [[spoiler:Silius and Messalina]] are both killed (separately) on their wedding day.




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* YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness: Livia poisons [[spoiler:Agrippa]] when he is no longer needed to ensure the stability of Augustus' rule.
* YourDaysAreNumbered: Claudius is told by Thrasyllus exactly how long his life will be, down to the months and days he has left.
22nd Mar '16 10:35:09 AM cepion
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* AwfulWeddedLife: All of [[spoiler:Claudius]]' marriages end up like this, one way or another.


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* BreadAndCircuses: Subverted. While the emperors frequently offer lavish public entertainments and free food to keep the people quiet, we see several politically motivated riots (for instance, [[spoiler:when it seems Piso will not be punished for Germanicus' death, when Agrippina and her children are forced into exile, and when the vastly unpopular Tiberius' body is brought to Rome to receive a public funeral]]).


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* PyrrhicVillainy: Several cases.
** Livia manages to put her son Tiberius on the throne, but he loathes her, and eventually strips her of almost all political influence.
** Sejanus and Livilla [[spoiler:achieve their goal of getting rid of Agrippina and her children, but after years of fueling Tiberius' paranoia, the emperor is quick to realise Sejanus has grown too powerful (and therefore, dangerous), and after a timely warning from Antonia, has him killed.]]
** Macro helps Caligula get the throne by [[spoiler:murdering Tiberius. Not long after he becomes emperor, Caligula goes mad and puts Macro to death]].
** [[spoiler:Agripinilla gets to see her son Nero become emperor. A few years later, Nero orders her death]].


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** Averted with Germanicus himself and his first cousin and adoptive brother Castor. Even though there were many reasons for them to be politically opposed, they are on very friendly terms.
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