UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE ANCIENT WORLD.
and the education of the younger Celts in the literature, politics, and
arts of the parent state.
The Germans beyond the Rhine were a constant menace to the peace of the
Empire. Their swarming tribes were ever pressing to the west, and the
cordon of Roman forts on the left bank of the river was an imperative
necessity of the situation. During the reign of Claudius there was an
unusual commotion among the restless Teutons. They were held in check by
the Legions stationed on the frontier; and in one instance at least the
Roman arms were again carried beyond the river in a successful campaign.
The tribes of the Chatti and Chauci were punished for their arrogance and
hostility, and were taught to accept the Rhine as the utmost limit of their
Personally Claudius had few elements of popularity. His figure was
ungainly; his gait, shambling; his legs, crooked; his health, miserable;
his countenance, expressive of trepidation and pain. His personal habits,
moreover, were of a sort to be admired only by contrast with the despicable
conduct of the two emperors who had preceded him. He was gluttonous in food
and drink; many times married; devoid of taste; of impure manners.
So far, however, as the great work of governing was concerned, he had a
broader view of the requirements of the state than any Roman ruler since
Julius Caesar. He applied himself diligently to business, and outworked
most of his subordinates in the onerous duties of the administration. His
intellect worked slowly and laboriously, and his government was one of
ingenuity rather than Of intuition.
In the conduct of foreign affairs, the attention of the Emperor was next
directed to the East. He adopted the policy of conciliating the Asiatic
provinces by restoring to them their native princes. The sovereignty of
Commagene was bestowed on a certain Antiochus. 'Mithridates, a lineal
descendant of Mithridates the Great, was given the kingdom of the
Bosphorus. The deposed sovereign of that state was recompensed with a
province in Cilicia; while the authority of Herod Agrippa, of Galilee, was
extended over the whole of Palestine.
The impudence of Caligula, in ordering his own statue to be set up in the
temple of Jehovah, had excited the wrath of the Jews to such an extent that
they were on the eve of rebellion. The course pursued by Claudius, however,
was highly approved, and the coming of Agrippa to Jerusalem was hailed with
delight. The people of Jewry were at this time divided into two parties;
the ancient Jewish faction, which upheld the old Israelitish theory of
government, and the pagan or Greek party, which maintained the supremacy if
not the divinity of the secular ruler. Herod found it impossible to
reconcile these factions, or to secure a harmonious government. While in
the Jewish capital he was obliged to agree with the Jewish faction; but in
the provinces he followed his natural inclinations and affiliated with the
Hellenizers. At Caesarea he fell sick and died, and Palestine was thereupon
annexed to the province of Syria.
Several public works were undertaken or completed in the reign of Claudius.
A great sewer was constructed to drain the Fucine lake, and a harbor was
excavated at the mouth of the Tiber. The aqueduct which had been begun by
the engineers of Caligula, was brought to completion, and many other public
works promoted. The Claudian census showed a population of nearly twenty-
The marital relations of Claudius were any thing other than happy. His
first wife Plautia and the second AElia, were both for good reasons
divorced. Hereafter he married the notorious Valeria Messalina, who has the
historical reputation of being the worst of her sex. Her mind was a vortex
of pride, passion, subtlety, ambition, and every vice and crime which could
flourish in such a maelstrom. Deceit was her prevalent trait, and treachery
her chief entertainment. She debauched her husband's administration, and
turned the government into a bagnio. She finally in A. D. 48 capped the
climax of her criminal caprices by marrying a young nobleman named Silius,
with whom she proposed to share the throne when Claudius should be disposed
of. The Emperor was absent from the capital when the marriage was
performed, and on his return, the public scandal for Messalina had her