We celebrated one famous Italian yesterday with a showcase for Marco Polo. And today we have Roman Emperor Claudius.....
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He was reportedly afflicted with some type of disability, and his family had virtually excluded him from public office until his consulship with his nephew Caligula in AD 37. This infirmity may have saved him from the fate of many other Roman nobles during the purges of Tiberius' and Caligula's reigns; potential enemies did not see him as a serious threat to them. His very survival led to his being declared emperor (reportedly because the Praetorian Guard insisted) after Caligula's assassination, at which point he was the last adult male of his family.