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Reference: Claudius


lame. (1.) The fourth Roman emperor. He succeeded Caligula (A.D. 41). Though in general he treated the Jews, especially those in Asia and Egypt, with great indulgence, yet about the middle of his reign (A.D. 49) he banished them all from Rome (Ac 18:2). In this edict the Christians were included, as being, as was supposed, a sect of Jews. The Jews, however soon again returned to Rome.

During the reign of this emperor, several persecutions of the Christians by the Jews took place in the dominions of Herod Agrippa, in one of which the apostle James was "killed" (Ac 12:2). He died A.D. 54.

(2.) Claudius Lysias, a Greek who, having obtained by purchase the privilege of Roman citizenship, took the name of Claudius (Ac 21:31-40; 22:28; 23:26).

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Tiberius Nero Drusus Germanicus; fourth Roman emperor; reigned from A.D. 41 to 54; successor of Caligula; son of Nero Drusus; born 9 B.C.; lived in privacy until he became emperor (A.D. 41) mainly through the influence of Herod Agrippa I (Josephus, Ant. 19:2, section 1, 3, 4), whose territory therefore he enlarged by adding Judaea, Samaria, and part of Lebanon. He appointed Herod's brother to Chalcis and the presidency over the temple at Jerusalem.

In Claudius' reign occurred the famine in Palestine and Syria (Ac 11:28-30) under the procurators Cuspins Fadus and Tiberius Alexander. Suetonius (Claud., 25) writes: "Claudius expelled the Jews from Rome, as they were constantly raising disturbances under the instigation of one Christ" (this was between A.D. 50 and 52): a sample of the ignorance of pagan writers in respect to Christ and Judaism. Claudius was poisoned by his fourth wife, Agrippina Nero's mother (A.D. 54), after a weak reign in which, according to Suetonius (29), "he showed himself not a prince but a servant" in the hands of others.

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Claudius, the fourth Roman emperor, who bore the names Tiberius Claudius C

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Fourth Roman emperor, A.D. 41-54. His full name was Tiberius Claudius Drusus Nero Germanicus. Herod Agrippa I: used his influence in favour of Claudius being chosen as emperor, and in return for these efforts the emperor added to Agrippa's territories Judaea, Samaria, and some parts of Lebanon. It was Claudius who, on account of a tumult of the Jews, banished all Jews from Rome. He was poisoned by his fourth wife Agrippina, the mother of Nero. Ac 11:28; 18:2.

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(lame), fourth Roman emperor, reigned from 41 to 54 A.D. He was nominated to the supreme power mainly through the influence of Herod Agrippa the First. In the reign of Claudius there were several famines, arising from unfavorable harvests, and one such occurred in Palestine and Syria.

Ac 11:28-30

Claudius was induced by a tumult of the Jews in Rome to expel them from the city. cf.

Ac 18:2

The date of this event is uncertain. After a weak and foolish reign he was poisoned by his fourth wife, Agrippina, the mother of Nero, October 13, A.D. 54.

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CLAUDIUS, a Roman emperor; he succeeded Caius Caligula, A.D. 41, and reigned thirteen years, eight months, and nineteen days, dying A.D. 54. King Agrippa was the principal means of persuading Claudius to accept the empire, which was tendered him by the soldiers. As an acknowledgment for this service, he gave Agrippa all Judea, and the kingdom of Chalcis to his brother Herod. He put an end to the dispute which had for some time existed between the Jews of Alexandria and the other freemen of that city, and confirmed the Jews in the possession of their right of freedom, which they had enjoyed from the beginning, and every where maintained them in the free exercise of their religion. But he would not permit them to hold any assemblies at Rome. King Agrippa dying A.D. 44, the emperor again reduced Judea into a province, and sent Cuspius Fadus to be governor. About the same time the famine happened which is mentioned Ac 11:28-30, and was foretold by the Prophet Agabus. Claudius, in the ninth year of his reign, published an edict for expelling all Jews out of Rome, Ac 18:2. It is very probable that the Christians, who were at that time confounded with the Jews, were banished likewise.

2. CLAUDIUS FELIX, successor of Cumanus in the government of Judea. Felix found means to solicit and engage Drusilla, sister of Agrippa the Younger, to leave her husband Azizus, king of the Emessenians, and to marry him, A.D. 53. Felix sent to Rome Eleazar, son of Dinaeus, captain of a band of robbers, who had committed great ravages in Palestine; he procured the death of Jonathan, the high priest, who sometimes freely represented to him his duty; he defeated a body of three thousand men, whom an Egyptian, a false prophet, had assembled upon the Mount of Olives. St. Paul being brought to Cesarea, where Felix usually resided, was well treated by this governor, who permitted his friends to see him, and render him services, hoping the Apostle would procure his redemption by a sum of money. He however neither condemned Paul, nor set him at liberty, when the Jews accused him; but adjourned the determination of this affair till the arrival of Lysias, who commanded the troops at Jerusalem, where he had taken Paul into custody, and who was expected at Cesarea, Ac 23:26-27, &c; 24:1-3, &c.

While the Apostle was thus detained, Felix, with his wife Drusilla, who was a Jewess, sent for him, and desired him to explain the religion of Jesus Christ. The Apostle spoke with his usual boldness, and discoursed to them on justice, temperance, and the last judgment. Felix trembled before this powerful exhibition of truths so arousing to his conscience; but he remanded St. Paul to his confinement. He farther detained him two years at Cesarea, in compliance with the wishes of the Jews, and in order to do something to propitiate them, because they were extremely dissatisfied with his government. Being recalled to Rome, A.D. 60; and many Jews going thither to complain of the extortions and violence committed by him in Judea, he would have been put to death, if his brother Pallas, who had been Claudius's slave, and was now his freedman, had not preserved him. Felix was succeeded in the government of Judea by Porcius Festus.

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Basic English, produced by Mr C. K. Ogden of the Orthological Institute - public domain