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(1887) [MARC] Author: Viktor Rydberg Translator: Alfred Corning Clark With: Hans Anton Westesson Lindehn
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Full resolution (JPEG) - On this page / på denna sida - The Roman Emperors in Marble - 4. Claudius

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has left us extracts) we find among other things, that the
emperor for some time daily asked Claudius to his table,
in the hope of being able to wean him from the shyness
and uncouth behavior which made him so ridiculous.
The youth, to escape scorn and derision, had made him-
self as invisible as he could, and chosen his familiar
friends among certain respectable bookworms, who had
none of the Hellenic scientific men’s conventional ease,
smooth manners and light conversational tone. Under
the guidance of these friends, he had with zeal applied
himself to study. Titus Livius, the distinguished histo-
rian, bosom friend of the emperor, sometimes joined
this circle and encouraged Claudius to historical writ-
ing; if for nothing else, that the youth’s mind might
have a noble occupation. But the emperor soon dis-
covered, with both amusement and vexation, that the
young prince had absorbed not only the information
that a Sulpicius Florus, an Athenodorus had to oflTer,
but their pedantic manners, too. What was to be done
with him ? When the emperor wrote one of these letters,
the festival in honor of Mars Ultor was at hand, which he
had instituted, and at which he, with all of the imperial
family, must be present. But could Claudius, the poor {qX-
\ow {miscllus)hQ taken with them? Could he with his
twenty-one years on his shoulders pass for a complete
man ? Would they not lay themselves open to ridicule, if
they exhibited him before a people so given to wicked
jesting as the Roman ? The writer owns that these
questions make him anxious, and that now, once for all,
he wishes it to be decided whether Claudius, in social
and political life, is possible or not. On another occasion,
the emperor writes that he has discovered nobleness of
soul below the simple surface—a discovery that honors

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