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Claudius, Chapter 27: His children.
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He [Note 1] had children by three of his wives; by Urgulanilla, Drusus and Claudia; by Paetina, Antonia; and by Messalina, Octavia, and also a son, whom at first he called Germanicus, but afterwards Britannicus. He lost Drusus at Pompeii, when he was very young; he being choked with a pear, which in his play he tossed into the air, and caught in his mouth. Only a few days before, he had betrothed him to one of Sejanus's daughters; and I am therefore surprised that some authors should say that he lost his life by the treachery of Sejanus. Claudia, who was, in truth, the daughter of Boter his freedman, though she was born five months before his divorce, he ordered to be thrown naked at her mother's door. He married Antonia to Gnaeus Pompey, and afterwards to Faustus Sulla, both youths of very noble parentage; Octavia to his step-son Nero, after she had been contracted to Silanus. Britannicus was born upon the twentieth day of his reign, and in his second consulship. He often earnestly commended him to the soldiers, holding him in his arms before their ranks; and would likewise show him to the people in the theatre, setting him upon his lap, or holding him out whilst he was still very young; and was sure to receive their acclamations, and good wishes on his behalf. Of his sons-in-law, he adopted Nero. He not only dismissed from his favour both Pompey and Silanus, but put them to death. |
Note 1: he = Claudius
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