Skip to comments.Some catch! The local who wed an emperor's daughter
Posted on 09/17/2012 3:43:59 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
In about AD50 there was a rebellion against Rome throughout parts of Britannia but Arviragus did not join in. In fact, he did the dirty on his fellow Britons by allying his tribesmen with the Roman legions to put down the rebellion. After that he helped the Romans to make further inroads into Britannia.
History records that the Roman emperor Claudius Caesar, the first emperor to be born outside Italy, was so delighted with the support his troops received from king Arviragus that he gave his daughter Gennissa to him in marriage. No doubt this was to strengthen the alliance between Rome and subjugated Kent and Sussex...
The historian Darrell has written that, on the Emperor's direction, the British king Mandubratius built a pretorium at the top of Castle Hill where he officiated as the representative of the Romans for 35 years.
His son Cymbelinus was educated in Rome after he found favour with Augustus Caesar (ruler from 27BC to AD14) and he succeeded his father in 19BC. Cymbelinus got on so well with the invaders that very few Imperial soldiers were based in and around Dover on "peace-keeping duties"...
In AD16 he was succeeded by his son Guiderius, who kept up the treaty with Rome for 27 years until, for some reason, he rebelled against the Romans in AD43 and was slain.
His brother Arviragus took over and was going to continue the struggle against Rome until he thought better of it. His first plan was to block the entrance to the Dover haven to prevent a landing but then a strong force of Romans landed near Hythe and began advancing.
Arviragus quickly decided to abandon his resistance and instead helped the Roman generals to subdue the hinterland.
(Excerpt) Read more at thisiskent.co.uk ...
The guy had a bad habit of getting the shakes, seating profusely and occasionally urinating on himself during arguments with his wife.
Usually after the words “I’ll tell daddy”
Claudius had two daughters. Neither married a Briton.
Nero was married to one, before he kicked her to death while pregnant.
He then asked the other to marry him, and executed her when she refused.
Yup, if one does a web search, this alleged daughter turns up in various genealogies made up by/for people who want to show their own “royal” lineage. I always have a quiet laugh at the expense of genealogists who claim to have traced their ancestry into ancient times — for 99+% of living humans, it is simply not possible to find any such intact paper trail, and there’s no way to verify anything if it does exist.
I think Vortigern or Vortimer (or the latter’s son) is similarly said to have married the daughter of one of the minor emperors (by that I mean, for want of one more victory, he’d have been the one, the only, emperor, but he lost). It’s a nice safe claim to make, even though Vortigern and Vortimer are likely to be historical rather than legendary, because there’s no forensic or genetic testing that can be done — again, because there’s no paper trail.
I’ve read about a 19th c professional genealogist who actually invented a medieval French king (as well as a number of non-heir children to the fictional king) to include in the family trees he prepared for the rubes who were his customers. These bogus lines turn up once in a while.
I used to have a copy of some guy’s alleged family tree which reached all the way back to Ramses II “the Great”, pharaoh of Egypt. I don’t doubt that he has descendants (he had more than 150 children), I just don’t believe for a hot second that there’s even a scrap of paperwork to tell us who they might be.
More recent, historical rulers often have well-doc’d lines of descent; the NEHGS had a booklet one could order telling about the pitfalls of trying to find “royalty” in the ancestry, but it also mentions that the last Plantagenet king of England has perhaps one million living descendants in the US, and that his father has perhaps ten million. Niall of the Nine Hostages is believed to have many descendants because he took liberties with his hostages and many others. And Genghis Khan (or someone who rode with him) appears to have millions of descendants.
These looong lines of descent are all based on the assumption that nobody’s wife ever misbehaved. Which doesn’t seem likely if we go back dozens of generations.
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I didn’t know that Claudius had a daughter. Only a son named Brittanias. Claudius is own of my favorite Emporers. He was considered a retard, mental deficient, made fun of and abused by his family but he stayed alive. In the end he was a mediocre Emperor but the first to successfully invade Britain.
I love learning about the Julio/Claudian Dynasty.
"Hey baby, how would you like to be Queen of Britannia?"
"It's very far from Rome, but well worth the journey. It's practically a paradise, and the weather is so fine."
It gets better, because once you’re related to someone of royalty, you’re related to them all. One of my ancestors was minor Hugoenot royalty from NW France/England named DuBois. Through him I’m related to Charlemagne.
Claudius was apparently the only one of the first 15 or so Roman emperors who diddled only women, not boys.
This was used to propagandize against him by his enemies, as evidence of his weakness of character.
The homosexual interests of Roman emperors is familiar to many modern readers. In fact, Edward Gibbon wrote in his History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire that of the first fifteen emperors, Claudius was the only one whose taste in love was entirely correct, that is, in Gibbons view, heterosexual
Decline and Fall: Vol. 1, ch. II, footnote 31.
Gibbon might, of course, have been misinformed, and it is certain that accusations of this type were part of the common stock of Roman denigration of political opponents. So you can believe what you like.
The Romans were not homosexuals. Few in today’s world realize it, but the very concept is one created in the 19th century. For the Greeks and Romans, the sex of one’s sexual partner was of very little interest, what they were interested in was whether one played the active or passive role.
Gibbon was not so much anti-Catholic as he was anti-Christian. It’s been several decades since I read him, but I believe he blamed the Decline and Fall primarily on the rise of Christianity, which I think is more than a little silly. Constantine used the faith as a mechanism to bring the Empire back to life for almost two centuries.
Gibbon’s history criticized the Catholic Church primarily because there weren’t any Protestants around for him to criticize during the period about which he wrote. Also, of course, because there was a lot to validly criticize in the medieval and Renaissance Church. He was even more critical of the Byzantines and Orthodox than of Catholics.
I find the notion that Popes have some sort of special blood relationship with Romans a little odd. Western civilization as a whole owes an enormous debt to the Romans, but I don’t particularly see why the Popes have any more of a claim to Romanity than other western rulers, other than geographically. And of course the later Roman Empire wasn’t really based in the City of Rome at all, which was mostly of historical interest over at least the last two centuries. Roman meant an inhabitant of the Empire, or at least the educated classes, not a citizen of the City. Few of the later Emperors had any particular connection to Rome or Italy.
In 1900 the four most powerful monarchs of the world all carried titles that were variants on Caesar. Two Kaisers, a Tsar, and a Kaisar-i-Hind (Emperor of India). With of course all sorts of small fry with similar pretensions.
I suspect Gibbon knew a great deal more about the primary sources than you do, especially since you seem to be more anxious to defend what you for some obscure reason see as a slur on the honor of the Romans/Catholics.
I think we should keep in mind that apparently just about all the ancient “historians” lied with astonishing freedom. The notion that history is supposed to present an unbiased version of the past is another modern one.
Not that modern historians don’t slant their presentations, they’re just not open about it like the ancients were.
I quite agree that Gibbon was anti-Christian, attributing much of what went wrong in the empire inappropriately to Christianity while at the same time ignoring its beneficial effects.
However, I still don’t understand why a comment about all but Claudius of the first 15 emperors having non-het tendencies is somehow an attack on the Pope or Catholicism. For most of this period, while there may have been a Bishop of Rome around, he certainly wasn’t a Pope, and Protestants equally claim these early Christians as their forebears.
To address the actual issue, the first 15 gets us down thru Hadrian, depending of course on how you count them. (Do you count the first three in the Year of the Four Emperors?)
Anywho, the Julio-Claudian emperors are five in number. All but Claudius were either well-known or rumored to have male lovers.
The Year of Four and Flavians: 6. A very little research indicates all but Vespasian and Titus were light in the loafers, and I can’t really find info on them. Both were well known to be fond of women, though.
Nerva, Hadrian and Trajan complete this 15. All three, especially Hadrian, were well known to like boys. It is perhaps indicative that while all three married, none had children. Hadrian made his dead lover a god throughout the empire.
So that leaves us with no more than three of the 15 being entirely correct in their affections, with questions about two of those.
Of course, the historians may have lied about some of these men, but during this period referring to a man’s sexual encounters with males was obviously not very successful as a slur, with at minimum 12 of the first 15 having them.
Compare our presidents. AFAIK, the only ones who had rumors about him along these lines were Buchanan and Obama. That’s two (possible) of 43. I don’t personally take the Obama allegations very seriously.
Heh... his Celtic-language name translated as “He of the Wet Toga”.