In 9 BC, his father Drusus unexpectedly died on campaign in Germania, possibly from illness.
Claudius was then left to be raised by his mother, who never remarried.
His survival led to his being declared Emperor by the Praetorian Guard after Caligula's assassination, at which point he was the last man of his family.
Despite his lack of experience, Claudius proved to be an able and efficient administrator.
Claudius was born on 1 August 10 BC at Lugdunum (modern Lyon, France). His mother, Antonia, may have had two other children who died young.