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Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [1]

Claudius, or, to give him his full Imperial style, Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (to which the honorary titles Britannicus and Sarmaticus [see Papyr. Brit. Mus. 1178 = G. Milligan, Selections from the Greek Papyri , 1910, no. 40] are sometimes added), the son of Nero Claudius Drusus (38-9 b.c.), stepson of Augustus, and Antonia Minor (the younger daughter of the triumvir Mark Antony and Octavia, sister of Augustus), was born on 1 Aug. 10 b.c. at Lugudunum (Lyons). His father died the year after. The boy inherited both physical and mental weakness, and was in consequence neglected. There was no room in Roman life for weaklings; exposure of newly born children was frequent, and until Christianity came there was little care for the physically or mentally defective. Claudius was left to the society of his social inferiors, and coarse tastes were developed in him. The one bright side in his life was his devotion to scientific, especially historical, studies. Augustus saw some good in him, but kept him from the public gaze. At the succession of Tiberius in a.d. 14 he began to take some slight part in public life, but most of his time was spent on country estates. Gaius, grandnephew of Tiberius and nephew of Claudius, succeeded to the purple in a.d. 37, and raised his uncle to the consulship at once. Soon after, however, the feelings of the maddest of all the Emperors changed, and Claudius was once more in a position of disgrace. Claudius had married Plautia Urgulanilla (before a.d. 20), who bore him a son and a daughter, but was afterwards divorced for adultery. His marriage with aelia Paetina, by whom he had a daughter, had the same end. The notorious Valeria Messalina was his third wife, and by her a daughter was born about the year 40, and a son called Britannicus in 41. It is said that Claudius, after the murder of his nephew, was dragged from a remote part of the palace, where he was cowering in terror, and made Emperor almost unawares (25 Jan. 41) by the army. He now changed his name from Tiberius Claudius Nero Drusus Germanicus to that given above. His reign of thirteen years was very much more I successful than might have been anticipated.

Some of the more important events of his reign may be enumerated in the order of their occurrence.

In a.d. 41 certain reforms were made in the regulation of the corn supply, etc., which had suffered in Gaius’ reign. Many of these reforms were doubtless due to the Emperor’s freedmen, Narcissus, the ab epistulis , M. Antonius Pallas, the a rationibus , etc., who exercised a tremendous influence during his reign and acquired colossal fortunes in his service. In this year successes were gained in Mauretania and also against the Catti and Chauci in Germany; the eagle of Varus, captured in a.d. 9, was now recovered. Privileges were granted to the Jews of Alexandria; Agrippa ( q.v. [Note: quod vide, which see.] ) had his kingdom extended by the addition of Judaea and Samaria, and was thus ruler of all the territory that had once been Herod’s (a.d. 42). To facilitate the supply of corn to Rome, the building of a harbour at Ostia, the mouth of the Tiber, was decided on. War in Mauretania continued, and the district was made into two provinces, Mauritania Tingitana and Mauretania Caesariensis, which were each put under the command of an Imperial procurator . Pretenders to the Imperial throne were crushed (a.d. 42). Lycia, owing to disturbances, was made an Imperial province, under a legatus pro praetore . Britain was invaded for the first time since Julius Caesar (55 b.c.). A. Plautius landed with a strong army and fought against the Trinouantes in the south of the island. Claudius followed in person, defeated the enemy on the Thames, captured their chief city Camulodunum (Colchester), and returned to the continent after a sixteen days’ stay. The southern half of England was made into a province, and A. Plautius was appointed the first governor (43). King Agrippa of Judaea died, and his kingdom was again made a Roman province and put under a procurator . In this and next year (44-45) the pacification of Britain was continued. In a.d. 46 King Rhœmetalces ii. of Thrace having been murdered, his territory was made into a Roman province and put under a procurator . This was also the year of the great famine in Palestine ( Acts 11:23; Ramsay, St. Paul , pp. 49, 68, Expositor , 6th ser. xii. [1905] 299). In 47 the censorship was revived after a long period of disuse, the Emperor taking the office, and endeavouring to improve public morality. The eight-hundredth anniversary of Rome was celebrated with great éclat. New aqueducts and roads were built, and three letters were added to the alphabet. These last were to represent sounds as yet imperfectly represented, but they did not survive Claudius’ reign. A number of edicts were issued by the Emperor. A. Plautius was recalled from Britain, given an ovation, and succeeded by P. Ostorius Scapula, who had to repel an attack immediately on arrival. Cn. Domitius Corbulo gained victories in Germania Inferior. A census taken in the year 48 revealed a total of 5,984,072 Roman citizens (other reports vary, the largest number given being 6,941,000). Messalina was married according to legal form to C. Silius in October; immediately afterwards they and all their accomplices were put to death. Claudius married as his fourth wife his own niece, Agrippina, daughter of Germanicus. Her son, L. Domitius Ahenobarbus, the future Emperor Nero, had the way thus paved for his accession. On the death of Herod, king of Chalcis, or soon after, his kingdom was given to Agrippa II., son of Claudius’ old friend. In the year 49, we see Agrippina at once occupying a position of authority in the State equal to if not greater than that of her husband. She betrothed her son to Octavia, Claudius’ daughter, and put him under the tuition of the great philosopher L. Annaeus Seneca. The Ituraean country and perhaps also Abilene were added to the Province Syria. Scapula was successful in Britain. In a.d. 50 the young Domitius was adopted by Claudius, as future colleague to his own son Britannicus. Other events are the war in Germany; the great success of Scapula-the wife, daughter, and brothers of Caratacus falling into the hands of the conqueror; Claudius’ edict expelling the Jews from Rome ( Acts 18:2), on account of their dissensions. The result of this edict was that for the four years 50-54 the Church of Rome was bereft of its Jewish members. The year 51 saw the danger of famine and the Emperor’s relief measures. In 52 astrologers were banished from Italy. Laws were passed as to children born of unions between free and slaves. Quarrels arose between Jews and Samaritans. Felix received the government of the whole of Judaea , Samaria, Galilee, and Peraea. Scapula warred against the Silures and died; he was succeeded by A. Didius Gallus, who drove the Silures out of Roman territory. In 53 Nero advanced, and Britannicus kept in the background. Agrippa ii. received, in place of his district Chalcis, the former tetrarchy of Trachonitis, Batanaea, Gaulanitis, and Abilene as his kingdom. In 54 Claudius was poisoned at the instance of Agrippina on 13 October.

Claudius was deified after his death. A skit preserved among the works of Seneca, and called ‘The Pumpkinification of Claudius,’ is among the most amusing relics of Latin literature.

This bald enumeration will show that much was done during the reign of Claudius. It is true that at all times he was too much under the dominion of evil women, and that he never thoroughly cast off the brutish habits contracted in his youth, but yet his reign was the most important for the Roman Empire in the period between the reigns of Augustus and of Trajan. The Empire was extended in various directions; much social legislation was carried out; and great public works, such as roads, aqueducts, harbours, were accomplished. The Emperor, like most of his class, was a hard worker, or countenanced the hard work of his freedmen. The position of importance occupied by these men is in fact a leading characteristic of the reign, and was most obnoxious to the old aristocracy, which may be said to have thus received its death-blow. The power of the Senate was greatly circumscribed. Claudius was, inter alia , something of an author. It was in fact the rule rather than the exception that Romans of high birth should, among their other accomplishments, be wielders of the pen. He began to write a history, but abandoned it unfinished. A second historical work was published, and some fragments of it have survived. He also wrote eight books of autobiography, and worked at Etrurian and Carthaginian history. The greater part of a speech he delivered in the Senate has been preserved on a bronze tablet at Lyons. His style is not without merits.

Literature.-Much valuable material has been found in the article by Groag and Gaheis in Pauly-Wissowa[Note: auly-Wissowa Pauly-Wissowa’s Realencyklopädie.], iii. cols. 2778-2839: cf. also A. v. Domaszewski, Gesch. der röm. Kaiser , ii. [Leipzig, 1909] pp. 21-46. On the chronology of events in the Claudian period referred to in the NT see W. M. Ramsay, St. Paul the Traveller and the Roman Citizen , London, 1895, pp. 48ff., 68f., Was Christ born at Bethlehem  ?, do. 1898, p. 223f., Expositor , 6th series, xii. [1905] 299; the latest general treatment of Pauline chronology by the erudite French scholar, M. Goguel, in ‘Essai sur la chronologie paulinienne’ ( RHR [Note: HR Revue de l’Histoire des Religions.]lxv. [1912] 285-339).

A. Souter.

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [2]

a Roman emperor; he succeeded Caius Caligula, A.D. 41, and reigned thirteen years, eight months, and nineteen days, dying A.D. 54. King Agrippa was the principal means of persuading Claudius to accept the empire, which was tendered him by the soldiers. As an acknowledgment for this service, he gave Agrippa all Judea, and the kingdom of Chalcis to his brother Herod. He put an end to the dispute which had for some time existed between the Jews of Alexandria and the other freemen of that city, and confirmed the Jews in the possession of their right of freedom, which they had enjoyed from the beginning, and every where maintained them in the free exercise of their religion. But he would not permit them to hold any assemblies at Rome. King Agrippa dying A.D. 44, the emperor again reduced Judea into a province, and sent Cuspius Fadus to be governor. About the same time the famine happened which is mentioned  Acts 11:28-30 , and was foretold by the Prophet Agabus. Claudius, in the ninth year of his reign, published an edict for expelling all Jews out of Rome,  Acts 18:2 . It is very probable that the Christians, who were at that time confounded with the Jews, were banished likewise.

2. Claudius Felix successor of Cumanus in the government of Judea. Felix found means to solicit and engage Drusilla, sister of Agrippa the Younger, to leave her husband Azizus, king of the Emessenians, and to marry him, A.D. 53. Felix sent to Rome Eleazar, son of Dinaeus, captain of a band of robbers, who had committed great ravages in Palestine; he procured the death of Jonathan, the high priest, who sometimes freely represented to him his duty; he defeated a body of three thousand men, whom an Egyptian, a false prophet, had assembled upon the Mount of Olives. St. Paul being brought to Cesarea, where Felix usually resided, was well treated by this governor, who permitted his friends to see him, and render him services, hoping the Apostle would procure his redemption by a sum of money. He however neither condemned Paul, nor set him at liberty, when the Jews accused him; but adjourned the determination of this affair till the arrival of Lysias, who commanded the troops at Jerusalem, where he had taken Paul into custody, and who was expected at Cesarea,   Acts 23:26-27 , &c;  Acts 24:1-3 , &c.

While the Apostle was thus detained, Felix, with his wife Drusilla, who was a Jewess, sent for him, and desired him to explain the religion of Jesus Christ. The Apostle spoke with his usual boldness, and discoursed to them on justice, temperance, and the last judgment. Felix trembled before this powerful exhibition of truths so arousing to his conscience; but he remanded St. Paul to his confinement. He farther detained him two years at Cesarea, in compliance with the wishes of the Jews, and in order to do something to propitiate them, because they were extremely dissatisfied with his government. Being recalled to Rome, A.D. 60; and many Jews going thither to complain of the extortions and violence committed by him in Judea, he would have been put to death, if his brother Pallas, who had been Claudius's slave, and was now his freedman, had not preserved him. Felix was succeeded in the government of Judea by Porcius Festus.

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [3]

CLAUDIUS . Claudius, the fourth Roman emperor, who bore the names Tiberius Claudius Cæsar Augustus Germanicus, reigned from (24th) 25th Jan. 41 till his murder on 13th Oct. 54 a.d. He was a son of Nero Claudius Drusus (the brother of the emperor Tiberius) and Antonia minor (a daughter of the triumvir Mark Antony and Octavia, sister of the emperor Augustus), and was born on 1st August 10 b.c. at Lyons. From childhood he was weakly, and a prey to disease, which affected his mind as well as his body. This caused him to be neglected and despised. He was, however, a man of considerable ability, both literary and administrative, as he showed when he was called to succeed his own nephew Gains (Caligula) as emperor. He has been compared with James I. (VI. of Scotland) in both his weak and his strong points. It was in his reign that the first real occupation of Britain by the Romans took place. He is twice mentioned in Acts (  Acts 11:28;   Acts 18:2 ). The great famine over the whole of the Roman world which Agabus foretold took place in his reign. The expulsion of Jews from Rome, due to dissensions amongst them, occurred in the year 50. This latter date is one of the few fixed points of chronology in the Book of Acts. The reign of Claudius was satisfactory to the Empire beyond the average. The government of the provinces was excellent, and a marked feature was the large number of public works executed under the emperor’s supervision.

A. Souter.

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [4]

Tiberius Nero Drusus Germanicus; fourth Roman emperor; reigned from A.D. 41 to 54; successor of Caligula; son of Nero Drusus; born 9 B.C.; lived in privacy until he became emperor (A.D. 41) mainly through the influence of Herod Agrippa I (Josephus, Ant. 19:2, section 1, 3, 4), whose territory therefore he enlarged by adding Judaea, Samaria, and part of Lebanon. He appointed Herod's brother to Chalcis and the presidency over the temple at Jerusalem.

In Claudius' reign occurred the famine in Palestine and Syria ( Acts 11:28-30) under the procurators Cuspins Fadus and Tiberius Alexander. Suetonius (Claud., 25) writes: "Claudius expelled the Jews from Rome, as they were constantly raising disturbances under the instigation of one Christ" (this was between A.D. 50 and 52): a sample of the ignorance of pagan writers in respect to Christ and Judaism. Claudius was poisoned by his fourth wife, Agrippina Nero's mother (A.D. 54), after a weak reign in which, according to Suetonius (29), "he showed himself not a prince but a servant" in the hands of others.

Easton's Bible Dictionary [5]

  • Claudius Lysias, a Greek who, having obtained by purchase the privilege of Roman citizenship, took the name of Claudius ( Acts 21:31-40;  22:28;  23:26 ).

    Copyright Statement These dictionary topics are from M.G. Easton M.A., DD Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition, published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain.

    Bibliography Information Easton, Matthew George. Entry for 'Claudius'. Easton's Bible Dictionary. 1897.

  • Smith's Bible Dictionary [6]

    Clau'dius. (Lame). Fourth Roman emperor, reigned from 41 to 54 A.D. He was nominated to the supreme power, mainly through the influence of Herod Agrippa the First. In the reign of Claudius, there were several famines, arising from unfavorable harvests, and one such occurred in Palestine and Syria.  Acts 11:28-30.

    Claudius was induced by a tumult of the Jews in Rome to expel them from the city. Compare  Acts 18:2. The date of this event is uncertain. After a weak and foolish reign, he was poisoned by his fourth wife, Agrippina, the mother of Nero, October 13, A.D. 54.

    Morrish Bible Dictionary [7]

    Fourth Roman emperor, A.D. 41-54. His full name was Tiberius Claudius Drusus Nero Germanicus. Herod Agrippa I: used his influence in favour of Claudius being chosen as emperor, and in return for these efforts the emperor added to Agrippa's territories Judaea, Samaria, and some parts of Lebanon. It was Claudius who, on account of a tumult of the Jews, banished all Jews from Rome. He was poisoned by his fourth wife Agrippina, the mother of Nero.  Acts 11:28;  Acts 18:2 .

    People's Dictionary of the Bible [8]

    Claudius Lysias ( Klaw'Di-Ŭs Lĭsh'Ĭ-As or Lĭs'Ĭ-As ). A Roman tribune, commanding in Jerusalem. His conduct on two occasions, in reference to Paul, is creditable to his efficiency and humanity.  Acts 21:31-40;  Acts 22:1-30;  Acts 23:1-35.

    Holman Bible Dictionary [9]

     Acts 18:2 Acts 11:28Caesar

    2. Roman army captain who protected Paul from Jews who wanted to assassinate him ( Acts 23:26 ).

    Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [10]

    ( Κλαύδιος , for Lat. Claudius, perh. from Claudus, Lime ) , the name of two Romans mentioned in the N.T. (See Felix).

    1. The fourth Roman emperor (excluding J. Caesar), who succeeded Caligula Jan. 25, A.D. 41. His full name was Tiberius Claudius Drusus Nero Caesar Augustus Germanicus He was the son of Drusus and Antonia, and was born Aug. 1, B.C. 10, at Lyons, in Gaul. Losing his father in infancy, he was abandoned to the care and society of domestics, and despised by his imperial relatives (Tacitus, Ann. 6, 46, 1 Suetonius, Claud. 2). Notwithstanding the weakness of intellect resulting from this neglect, he devoted himself to literary pursuits, and was the author of several treatises. On the murder of Caligula, he hid himself through fear of sharing his relative's fate, but was found by a soldier, at whose feet he fell a suppliant, but who saluted him emperor; and he was thus unexpectedly, and almost by force, hurried into the popular assembly, and constituted emperor chiefly by the Praetorian Guards, under promise of a largess to each soldier (Suetonius, Claud. 10). According to Josephus ( Ant. 19, 2, 1, 3 and 4), the throne was in a great measure finally secured to him through the ad- dress and solicitations of Herod Agrippa I (q.v.).

    This obligation he returned by great and peculiar favors to that personage, for he enlarged the territory of Agrippa by adding to it Judaea, Samaria, and some' districts of Lebanon, and appointed his brother Herod to the kingdom of Chalcis (Josephus, Ant. 19, 5, 1; Dion Cassius, 60:8), giving to this latter also, after his brother's death, the presidency over the Temple at Jerusalem (Josephus, Ant. 20, 1, 3). Indeed, the Jews were generally treated 1by him with indulgence, especially those in Asia and Egypt (Ant. 19, 5, 2, 3; 20:1, 2), although those in Palestine seem to have at times suffered much oppression at the hands of his governors (Tacitus, Hist. 5, 9, etc.); but about the middle of his reign those who abode at Rome were all banished thence ( Acts 18:2; see Hebenstreit, De Judaeo Roma Exule, Lips. 1714). From the language of Suetonius in relating this event (Claud. 25), it is evident that the Christians were also indiscriminately included in the execution of the edict as a sect of the Jews, if, indeed, they were not the more numerous part of that portion of the inhabitants: "Judaeos, imlulsore Chresto [i.e. Christo, see Rossal, De Christo, in Chrestum commutato, Gron. 1717] assidue tumultuantes, Roma expulit" ("He banished the Jews from Rome on account of the continual disturbances they made at the instigation of one Chrestus"). (See Chrestus).

    The historian has evidently, in his ignorance of the merits of the case, attributed the proverbial insurrectionary spirit of the Jews to the influence of Christianity, a confusion which the disputes between the Jews and Christians on the subject of the Messiah may have contributed to increase. Suetonius does not give the exact year of this event, nor can it be made out from any other classical authority; he mentions it, however, in connection with other events which are known to have taken place at different dates between A.D. 44 and 53: a comparison of the associated events in the Acts appears to fix it in the year A.D. 49. Orosius (Hist. 7, 6) fixes it in the ninth year of Claudius, A.D. 49 or 50, referring to Josephus, who, however, says nothing about it. Pearson (Annal. Paul. p. 22) thinks the twelfth year more probable (A.D. 52 or 53). Anger remarks (De ratione temporum in Actis App. p. 117) that the edict of expulsion would hardly be published as long as Herod Agrippa was at Rome, i.e. before the year 49. The Jews, however, soon returned to Rome. Several famines occurred under Claudius from unfavorable harvests (Dion Cass. 60:11; Eusebius. Chron. Armen. 1, 269, 271; Tacit. Ann. 12, 43), one of which, in the fourth year of his reign, under the procurators Cuspius Fadus and Tiberius Alexander (Joseph. Ant. 20, 2, 6; 5, 2), extended to Palestine and Syria, and appears to be that which was foretold by Agabus ( Acts 11:28; see Biscoe, On Acts, p. 60, 66; Lardner, Credibility, 1, 11; Kitto, Daily Bible Illust., last vol., p. 229- 232; compare Kuinol, in loc.; also Krebs, Obs. in N.T. p. 210).

    The conduct of Claudius during his government, in so far as it was not under the influence of his wives and freedmen, was mild and popular, and he made several beneficial enactments (see Merivale, Romans unders the Empire, 5 474 sq.). He also erected numerous public buildings, and carried out several important public works. Having married his niece Agrippina, she prevailed upon him to set aside his own son Britannicus in favor of her own son Nero by a former marriage; but, discovering that he regretted this step, she poisoned him on the 13th of October, A.D. 54. (See Smith's Dictionary of Classical Biography, s.v.) During the reign of Claudius several persecutions of Christians by Jews took place in the dominions of Herod Agrippa, and in one of them the apostle James was executed. These dominions embraced by far the largest number of Christian congregations which were established up to the time of his death (A.D. 44). After his death, most of the territory over which he had ruled was reincorporated with the Roman empire, his son, Agrippa II, receiving only Trachonitis and Gaulonitis. Thus the Christian congregations began to attract to a larger degree the attention of the Roman authorities. At the same time, the apostle Paul began to establish congregations in many of the larger cities of the empire, while those of earlier origin assumed much larger dimensions. Nevertheless, the difference between Jews and Christians was not generally understood by the Roman authorities, and this circumstance had some beneficial, but also some injurious consequences as regarded the Christians. On the one, hand, the missionary activity of the apostles and their helpers met with no opposition on the part of the Roman state (see Kraft, Prolus. II de nascenti Christi ecclesia sectae Judaicae nomine tuta [Erlang. 1771], and J. H. Ph. Seidenstucher, Diss. de Christianis ad Trojanum usque a Ceasaribus et Senatu Romano pro cultoribus religionis Mosaicae semper habitis [Helmstadt, 1790]); on the other hand, many who might have been willing to join the Christian Church were deterred from doing so by the fear that the yoke of all the Jewish law would be placed upon them. (See Wetzer und Welte, Kirchen-Lexikon, s.v.)

    2. Claudius Lysias ( Acts 23:26). (See Lysias).

    International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [11]

    klô´di - us ( Κλαύδιος , Klaúdios ): Fourth Roman emperor. He reigned for over 13 years (41-54 ad), having succeeded Caius (Caligula) who had seriously altered the conciliatory policy of his predecessors regarding the Jews and, considering himself a real and corporeal god, had deeply offended the Jews by ordering a statue of himself to be placed in the temple of Jerusalem, as Antiochus Epiphanes had done with the statue of Zeus in the days of the Maccabees (2 Macc 6:2). Claudius reverted to the policy of Augustus and Tiberius and marked the opening year of his reign by issuing edicts in favor of the Jews ( Ant. , Xix , 5), who were permitted in all parts of the empire to observe their laws and customs in a free and peaceable manner, special consideration being given to the Jews of Alexandria who were to enjoy without molestation all their ancient rights and privileges. The Jews of Rome, however, who had become very numerous, were not allowed to hold assemblages there (Dio LX, vi, 6), an enactment in full correspondence with the general policy of Augustus regarding Judaism in the West. The edicts mentioned were largely due to the intimacy of Claudius with Herod Agrippa, grandson of Herod the Great, who had been living in Rome and had been in some measure instrumental in securing the succession for Claudius. As a reward for this service, the Holy Land had a king once more. Judea was added to the tetrarchies of Philip and Antipas; and Herod Agrippa I was made ruler over the wide territory which had been governed by his grandfather. The Jews' own troubles during the reign of Caligula had given "rest" (the American Standard Revised Version "peace") to the churches "throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria" ( Acts 9:31 ). But after the settlement of these troubles, "Herod the king put forth his hands to afflict certain of the church" ( Acts 12:1 ). He slew one apostle and "when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to seize" another ( Acts 12:3 ). His miserable death is recorded in  Acts 12:20-23 , and in Ant , Xix , 8. This event which took place in the year 44 ad is held to have been coincident with one of the visits of Paul to Jerusalem. It has proved one of the chronological pivots of the apostolic history.

    Whatever concessions to the Jews Claudius may have been induced out of friendship for Herod Agrippa to make at the beginning of his reign, Suetonius records ( Claud . chapter 25) " Judaeos impulsore Chresto assidue tumultuantes Roma expulit ," an event assigned by some to the year 50 ad, though others suppose it to have taken place somewhat later. Among the Jews Thus banished from Rome were Aquila and Priscilla with whom Paul became associated at Corinth ( Acts 18:2 ). With the reign of Claudius is also associated the famine which was foretold by Agabus ( Acts 11:28 ). Classical writers also report that the reign of Claudius was, from bad harvest or other causes, a period of general distress and scarcity over the whole world (Dio LX, 11; Suet. Claud . xviii; Tac. Ann . xi. 4; xiii.43; see Mommsen, Provinces of the Roman Empire , chapter ix; and Conybeare and Howson, Life and Epistles of Paul , I).

    Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [12]

    Clau´dius, the fifth Roman emperor, and successor of Caligula, A.D. 41-54 . His full name was Tiberius Claudius Nero Germanicus. Previously to his accession he led rather a dissolute life, and the throne was in a great measure secured to him through the address and solicitations of Herod Agrippa. This obligation he returned by great and peculiar favors to that personage; and the Jews were generally treated with indulgence till the ninth year of his reign, when those who abode at Rome were all banished thence . Several famines occurred under Claudius, one of which, in the fourth year of his reign, extended to Palestine and Syria, and appears to be that which was foretold by Agabus .