Augustus, according to a letter, was surprised at the clarity of Claudius' oratory. His work as a budding historian damaged his prospects for advancement in public life.According to Vincent Scramuzza and others, Claudius began work on a history of the Civil Wars that was either too truthful or too critical of Octavian—then reigning as Augustus Caesar.In either case, it was far too early for such an account, and may have only served to remind Augustus that Claudius was Antony's descendant.His mother and grandmother quickly put a stop to it, and this may have convinced them that Claudius was not fit for public office.His maternal grandparents were Mark Antony and Octavia Minor, Augustus' sister, and he was therefore the great-great grandnephew of Gaius Julius Caesar.His paternal grandparents were Livia, Augustus' third wife, and Tiberius Claudius Nero.
His 13-year reign (slightly longer than Nero's) would not be surpassed by any successors until that of Domitian.
There is some speculation that the inscription was added by Claudius himself decades later, and that he originally did not appear at all.
When Augustus died in 14 AD, Claudius — then 23 — appealed to his uncle Tiberius to allow him to begin the cursus honorum.
He was born at Lugdunum in Gaul, the first (and until Trajan, the only) Roman Emperor to be born outside Italy.
Because he was afflicted with a limp and slight deafness due to sickness at a young age, his family ostracized him and excluded him from public office until his consulship, shared with his nephew Caligula in 37.