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Tiberius Chapter 2: Attack on Drepanum.[249 BC]
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There are on record many distinguished services of the Claudii to their country, as well as many deeds of the opposite character. But to mention only the principal instances, Appius Caecus [the blind] advised [280 B.C.] against forming an alliance with king Pyrrhus as not at all expedient. Claudius Caudex was the first to cross the straits with a fleet [264 B.C.], and drove the Carthaginians from Sicily. Tiberius Nero crushed Hasdrubal, on his arrival from Spain with a vast army [207 B.C.] before he could unite with his brother Hannibal. On the other hand, Claudius Regillianus, decemvir for codifying the laws, through his lawless attempt to enslave a free-born maid [Note 1], to gratify his passion for her, was the cause of the second secession of the plebeians from the patricians [449 B.C.]. Claudius Russus, having set up his statue at Forum Appi with a crown upon its head, tried to take possession of Italy through his dependents. Claudius Pulcher began a sea-fight off Sicily [249 B.C.], though the sacred chickens auspices, throwing them into the sea in defiance of the omen, and saying that they might drink, since they would not eat. He was defeated, and on being bidden by the Senate to appoint a dictator, he appointed his messenger Glycias, as if again making a jest of his country's peril. The women also have records equally diverse, since both the famous Claudia's belonged to that family: the one [Note 2] who drew the ship with the sacred properties of the Idaean Magna Mater from the shoal in the Tiber on which it was stranded, after first publicly praying that it might yield to her efforts only if her chastity were beyond question [204 B.C.]; and the one [Note 3] who was tried by the people for treason [246 B.C.], an unprecedented thing in the case of a woman, because when her carriage made but slow progress through the throng, she openly gave vent to the wish that her brother Pulcher might come to life and lose another fleet, to make less of a crowd in Rome. It is notorious besides that all the Claudii were aristocrats and staunch upholders of the prestige and influence of the patricians, with the sole exception of Publius Clodius, who for the sake of driving Cicero from the city had himself adopted by a plebeian [60 B.C.] and one too who was younger than himself. Their attitude towards the commons was so headstrong and stubborn that not even when on trial for his life before the people did any one of them deign to put on mourning or beg for mercy; and some of them during bickerings and disputes struck the tribunes of the commons. Even a Vestal virgin mounted her brother's chariot with him [143 B.C.], when he was celebrating a triumph without the sanction of the people, and attended him all the way to the Capitol, in order to make it an act of sacrilege for any one of the tribunes to forbid him or interpose his veto.
Events: Negotiations with Pyrrhus, The Mammertines are helped against Carthago and Suracuse, Attack on Drepanum, Life and death of Virginia, Claudius Pulcher defeated after bad omens, Claudia Pulcher condemned