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Claudius Gothicus
Roman emperor
Reign 268–270
Coronation September/October 268
Birth name Marcus Aurelius Claudius
Born 10 May 214
Birthplace Illyricum
Died September 270
Place of death
Buried Unknown
Successor Quintillus

Claudius (10 May 214–September 270 AD) was Roman emperor from 268 to 270. After 269, he was called "Gothicus" because of his military victories against the Goths.

Early life

Claudius (Latin: Marcus Aurelius Claudius) may have come from Illyricum in the Balkans, part of the Roman Empire. Latin historians (the authors of the Epitome de Caesaribus and the Historia Augusta) wrote that Claudius was the son of the emperor Gordian III, or was related to the emperor Probus. These claims are not true.

The Historia Augusta says that Claudius was a military tribune (Latin: tribunus militum) in the army of the emperor Decius. After that, the Historia Augusta says that Claudius was leader of a Roman legion (Latin: tribunus legionis) in the time of the emperor Valerian. Next, the Historia Augusta says that Claudius was governor of all Illyricum (Latin: dux totius Illyrici) when Gallienus was emperor. The Latin historian Aurelius Victor and the Greek historian Zonaras wrote that Claudius was a tribune (Latin: tribunus) at Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) in 268.


Claudius became emperor in September or October 268. Soon afterwards his armies overcame the Alemanni in a battle at Lake Garda on the Italian Peninsula. Claudius got the title Latin: Germanicus maximus because of this success over the Germanic peoples. For the first winter of his reign (268–269) he may have been in Rome. In 269, Claudius was Roman consul. He and his armies overcame the Goths in a battle at Naissus (Niš, Serbia). After this, Claudius got the name Latin: Gothicus maximus, because of his victory over the Goths.


In September 270, Claudius Gothicus died of plague in Sirmium (Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia). He was deified (made into a god), with the name in Latin: Divus Claudius.


Claudius Gothicus had a brother, Quintillus.

In the time of the later emperor Constantine the Great, the Historia Augusta says that Claudius Gothicus had another brother with the name Crispus and a sister with the name Constantina. The Historia Augusta also says that Claudius had a daughter with the name Claudia. This is not true.

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