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Claudius, 25 January 41 - 13 October 54 A.D.
Claudius was one of the most capable, yet unlikely emperors. Shunned as an idiot by his family due to a limp and embarrassing stutter, Claudius spent the first decades of his life absorbed in scholarly studies until the death of his nephew Caligula. After Caligula's murder, the Praetorian Guard found him hiding behind a curtain in the Imperial Palace, expecting to be murdered. Instead, the guard proclaimed him emperor. His reign was marred by personal catastrophes, most notably promiscuity and betrayal by his first wife. He governed well and conquered the troublesome island of Britain. He was poisoned by his second wife, Agrippina Jr., mother of Nero.