Claudius’s Decision to Invade Britain in AD43 as Motivated by a Desire to Emulate Julius Caesar

1501 Words Jul 15th, 2018 7 Pages
Claudius’s Decision to Invade Britain in AD43 as Motivated by a Desire to Emulate Julius Caesar

There are many arguments as to why Claudius invaded Britain in AD43. One of his motives may have been to gain a quick military triumph, which is one argument that Suetonius wrote in his book ‘The Twelve Caesars’. He had said, “Britain was the country where a real triumph could most readily be earned”. A sentence later, he also raises a point about what is known as ‘The Bericus Theory’. The basis of this theory is that a British Chieftain called Bericus persuaded Claudius to invade. Claudius also faced many political troubles when he became Emperor, so another interpretation is that he was trying to prove his
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There were also some aspects of Caesar’s life that Claudius certainly would not want to have emulated. Caesar had many enemies with the Senate, some of whom later went on to assassinate him. A major flaw in this argument is that we have no contemporary sources written by Claudius about his motivation that can be used as evidence. All suggestions for this viewpoint only seem to come from more modern historians who have pieced together the scraps of evidence in different ways.

Emulating Caesar was a way Claudius could have secured his position as Emperor. Celebrating a military triumph was linked to this because if he was successful Claudius may have had enough power of credibility to prove to the Senate and the people that he was a good leader. It is Millet’s view that Claudius was “in great need of military prestige to reinforce his position.” And, as Suetonius suggested, “Britain was the country were a real triumph could most readily be earned”. But how did Claudius know Britain was such an easy victory?

Williams has said, “Fame awaited the conqueror of Britannia. Conversely, infamy awaited whoever might relinquish her”. Contemporary sources would suggest that at the time, Britain was seen merely as a country of simple farming types, often referred to as

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