I, Claudius Themes

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Fatalism

The Romans believed that the Fates had already determined their futures, which could not be altered. Claudius describes a visit to the Sybil of Cumae, who foretells of his becoming emperor. He also describes how the Roman Senate would order consultations with the books of prophecies whenever strange portents or disasters occur. Tiberius consults Thrasyllus and acts in response to the soothsayer's prophecies. Livia, near her own death, calls Claudius to tell him of the omens that point to him both becoming emperor and eventually avenging Caligula's death. As described by Claudius, these omens and prophecies were far more than mere superstitions; they effectively guided the Romans in their decision-making and actions. Both Livia and Caligula, for instance, had ample opportunities to kill Claudius, and given all that Claudius knew about their goings-on, it would have made sense to do so. But the fact that Claudius is prophesied...

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This section contains 2,343 words
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