Perhaps to compensate for the snubbing, he became an accomplished scholar. He wrote 20 books on Etruscan history, eight books on Carthaginian history and eight autobiographical memoirs. Unfortunately, all of these works have been lost, but it is clear that his mind was sharp and clear. After the insane emperor, Caligula, was murdered, the praetorian guard chose Claudius as emperor. Although there were some plots to remove him, Claudius held on to power by establishing his hold on the army and taking Britain as a new colony, perhaps as a diversion. He named his son Britannicus in honor of that addition to the empire. Although Claudius succeeded in securing his positional from the political and military aspects, his love life was more complicated. Claudius had four wives. · His first wife, Plautia Urgulanilla was Etruscan which may have explained his early interest in their history. Claudius divorced her and married Aelia Paetina after a short time. He married his third wife, Valeria Messallina, in 39 AD. She was 14, and he was 49. Valeria was notorious for cheating on him. Valeria and one of her lovers, Gaius Silius, plotted to overthrow Claudius, and replace him with his seven year old son, Britannicus. They planned to be the boy’s regents and therefore gain de facto rule of the empire. Claudius learned of the plot and had her executed in 48 AD. His fourth wife, Agrippina the younger, was his niece. Agrippina had much wider ambitions that merely being the emperor’s wife. Soon after receiving the title “Augusta,” she pushed Claudius’ son Britannicus aside and made her son, Nero, next in-line from the throne. Not wishing to wait, it is generally believed that she poisoned Claudius with mushrooms to make Nero emperor. At first Agrippina exercised a lot of control over her young son, but once Nero reached the age to take control, he pushed her aside. Ultimately Nero enhanced his image as an unprincipled tyrant by having his mother put to death. All of that would seem to be extreme except when you consider how Agrippina had arranged to get Nero where he was. They were what you might call it “met for each other.” I have represented Claudius on my 12 Emperors collection with this silver piece, a Cistophorus. This piece, which was worth three denarii, features the busts of Claudius and Agrippina. It was minted at the Ephesus Mint, which was in Ancient Greece, now a part of modern Turkey. The reverse features Diana Ephesia, a cult statue of the Ephesian Diana. She was the goddess of fertility. Some think that she has bull testicles instead of breasts. In ancient times, the bull was a symbol of fertility. Could it be that the Greeks were hoping for an addition to the royal Roman family? Fat chance given the fact that Agrippina was looking to get “daddy” and his son out of the way. She didn’t need any more complications to her plans!