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a series of Roman emperors from AD. 14 to AD. 68; descendants of the emperor Augustus by blood or adoption.
The members of the Julio-Claudian dynasty came from the aristocratic Julian and Claudian houses and were related. The dynasty included Tiberius, who ruled from 14 to 37; Caligula, who ruled from 37 to 41; Claudius, who ruled from 41 to 54; and Nero, who ruled from 54 to 68.
The Julio-Claudian reign saw the flourishing of slaveholding relations and, in the area of domestic policy, the strengthening of the principate system. The principal groups supporting the dynasty were the army and the bureaucracy, whose members were drawn from various strata of the Italian and provincial population. The foreign policy of the Julio-Claudians was directed toward expanding the borders of the empire. Newly conquered territories were made Roman provinces; these included Upper and Lower Germany, Cappadocia, Commagene, Mauretania, Britain, Thracia, and Lycia.