Julio-Claudian Dynasty

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Julio-Claudian Dynasty


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.

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One may be the head of an Amazon warrior from the 2nd century AD, while the second is believed to be a Roman empress from the late Julio-Claudian dynasty.
Virgil took the disconnected tales of Aeneas' wanderings, his vague association with the foundation of Rome and a personage of no fixed characteristics other than a scrupulous piety, and fashioned this into a compelling founding myth or national epic that at once tied Rome to the legends of Troy, explained the Punic wars, glorified traditional Roman virtues and legitimized the Julio-Claudian dynasty as descendants of the founders, heroes and gods of Rome and Troy.
It would be no easy task to supersede the Julio-Claudian dynasty, and certainly Vespasian could not rely on armed might alone.