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Augustus, according to a letter, was surprised at the clarity of Claudius' oratory. His work as a budding historian damaged his prospects for advancement in public life.According to Vincent Scramuzza and others, Claudius began work on a history of the Civil Wars that was either too truthful or too critical of Octavian—then reigning as Augustus Caesar.There is some speculation that the inscription was added by Claudius himself decades later, and that he originally did not appear at all.When Augustus died in 14 AD, Claudius — then 23 — appealed to his uncle Tiberius to allow him to begin the cursus honorum.He was born at Lugdunum in Gaul, the first (and until Trajan, the only) Roman Emperor to be born outside Italy.Because he was afflicted with a limp and slight deafness due to sickness at a young age, his family ostracized him and excluded him from public office until his consulship, shared with his nephew Caligula in 37.In 7 AD, Livy was hired to tutor him in history, with the assistance of Sulpicius Flavus.He spent a lot of his time with the latter and the philosopher Athenodorus.

His 13-year reign (slightly longer than Nero's) would not be surpassed by any successors until that of Domitian.

Claudius' infirmity probably saved him from the fate of many other nobles during the purges of Tiberius's and Caligula's reigns; potential enemies did not see him as a serious threat.

His survival led to his being declared Emperor by the Praetorian Guard after Caligula's assassination, at which point he was the last man of his family.

He was seen as vulnerable throughout his reign, particularly by elements of the nobility.

Claudius was constantly forced to shore up his position; this resulted in the deaths of many senators.

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