(Κλαύδιος, for Lat. Claudius, perh. from claudus, lime), the name of two Romans mentioned in the N.T. SEE FELIX.
1. The fourth Roman emperor (excluding J. Caesar), who succeeded Caligula Jan. 25, A.D. 41. His full name was TIBERIUS CLAUDIUS DRUSUS NERO CAESAR AUGUSTUS GERMANICUS. He was the son of Drusus and Antonia, and was born Aug. 1, B.C. 10, at Lyons, in Gaul. Losing his father in infancy, he was abandoned to the care and society of domestics, and despised by his imperial relatives (Tacitus, Ann. 6, 46, 1 Suetonius, Claud. 2). Notwithstanding the weakness of intellect resulting from this neglect, he devoted himself to literary pursuits, and was the author of several treatises. On the murder of Caligula, he hid himself through fear of sharing his relative's fate, but was found by a soldier, at whose feet he fell a suppliant, but who saluted him emperor; and he was thus unexpectedly, and almost by force, hurried into the popular assembly, and constituted emperor chiefly by the Praetorian Guards, under promise of a largess to each soldier (Suetonius, Claud. 10). According to Josephus (Ant. 19, 2, 1, 3 and 4), the throne was in a great measure finally secured to him through the ad- dress and solicitations of Herod Agrippa I (q.v.). This obligation he returned by great and peculiar favors to that personage, for he enlarged the territory of Agrippa by adding to it Judaea, Samaria, and some' districts of Lebanon, and appointed his brother Herod to the kingdom of Chalcis (Josephus, Ant. 19, 5, 1; Dion Cassius, 60:8), giving to this latter also, after his brother's death, the presidency over the Temple at Jerusalem (Josephus, Ant. 20, 1, 3). Indeed, the Jews were generally treated 1by him with indulgence, especially those in Asia and Egypt (Ant. 19, 5, 2, 3; 20:1, 2), although those in Palestine seem to have at times suffered much oppression at the hands of his governors (Tacitus, Hist. 5, 9, etc.); but about the middle of his reign those who abode at Rome were all banished thence (Ac 18:2; see Hebenstreit, De Judaeo Roma exule, Lips. 1714). From the language of Suetonius in relating this event (Claud. 25), it is evident that the Christians were also indiscriminately included in the execution of the edict as a sect of the Jews, if, indeed, they were not the more numerous part of that portion of the inhabitants: "Judaeos, imlulsore Chresto [i.e. Christo, see Rossal, De Christo, in Chrestum commutato, Gron. 1717] assidue tumultuantes, Roma expulit" ("He banished the Jews from Rome on account of the continual disturbances they made at the instigation of one Chrestus"). SEE CHRESTUS. The historian has evidently, in his ignorance of the merits of the case, attributed the proverbial insurrectionary spirit of the Jews to the influence of Christianity, a confusion which the disputes between the Jews and Christians on the subject of the Messiah may have contributed to increase. Suetonius does not give the exact year of this event, nor can it be made out from any other classical authority; he mentions it, however, in connection with other events which are known to have taken place at different dates between A.D. 44 and 53: a comparison of the associated events in the Acts appears to fix it in the year A.D. 49. Orosius (Hist. 7, 6) fixes it in the ninth year of Claudius, A.D. 49 or 50, referring to Josephus, who, however, says nothing about it. Pearson (Annal. Paul. p. 22) thinks the twelfth year more probable (A.D. 52 or 53). Anger remarks (De ratione temporum in Actis App. p. 117) that the edict of expulsion would hardly be published as long as Herod Agrippa was at Rome, i.e. before the year 49. The Jews, however, soon returned to Rome. Several famines occurred under Claudius from unfavorable harvests (Dion Cass. 60:11; Eusebius. Chron. Armen. 1, 269, 271; Tacit. Ann. 12, 43), one of which, in the fourth year of his reign, under the procurators Cuspius Fadus and Tiberius Alexander (Joseph. Ant. 20, 2, 6; 5, 2), extended to Palestine and Syria, and appears to be that which was foretold by Agabus (Ac 11:28; see Biscoe, On Acts, p. 60, 66; Lardner, Credibility, 1, 11; Kitto, Daily Bible Illust., last vol., p. 229- 232; compare Kuinol, in loc.; also Krebs, Obs. in N.T. p. 210). The conduct of Claudius during his government, in so far as it was not under the influence of his wives and freedmen, was mild and popular, and he made several beneficial enactments (see Merivale, Romans unders the Empire, 5 474 sq.). He also erected numerous public buildings, and carried out several important public works. Having married his niece Agrippina, she prevailed upon him to set aside his own son Britannicus in favor of her own son Nero by a former marriage; but, discovering that he regretted this step, she poisoned him on the 13th of October, A.D. 54. (See Smith's Dictionary of Classical Biography, s.v.) During the reign of Claudius several persecutions of Christians by Jews took place in the dominions of Herod Agrippa, and in one of them the apostle James was executed. These dominions embraced by far the largest number of Christian congregations which were established up to the time of his death (A.D. 44). After his death, most of the territory over which he had ruled was reincorporated with the Roman empire, his son, Agrippa II, receiving only Trachonitis and Gaulonitis. Thus the Christian congregations began to attract to a larger degree the attention of the Roman authorities. At the same time, the apostle Paul began to establish congregations in many of the larger cities of the empire, while those of earlier origin assumed much larger dimensions. Nevertheless, the difference between Jews and Christians was not generally understood by the Roman authorities, and this circumstance had some beneficial, but also some injurious consequences as regarded the Christians. On the one, hand, the missionary activity of the apostles and their helpers met with no opposition on the part of the Roman state (see Kraft, Prolus. II de nascenti Christi ecclesia sectae Judaicae nomine tuta [Erlang. 1771], and J. H. Ph. Seidenstucher, Diss. de Christianis ad Trojanum usque a Ceasaribus et Senatu Romano pro cultoribus religionis Mosaicae semper habitis [Helmstadt, 1790]); on the other hand, many who might have been willing to join the Christian Church were deterred from doing so by the fear that the yoke of all the Jewish law would be placed upon them. (See Wetzer und Welte, Kirchen-Lexikon, s.v.)
⇒Bible concordance for CLAUDIUS.
2. CLAUDIUS LYSIAS (Ac 23:26). SEE LYSIAS.