Claudius' demise was unfortunate. His final two wives were the reason. He had Messelina killed after she publicly married her lover, who probably had plans to kill him in preparation for a joint usurpation. Pallas then suggested he marry Agrippina the Younger, daughter of Germanicus. He did this, and proceeded to adopt her ambitious son Nero. She then proceeded to kill several relatives that could prevent Nero's (and her) assent to power. Finally in 54 CE, Claudius sat down to a meal of mushrooms prepared by his new wife, and was dead the next day. Murder is quite likely. Upon this, the Praetorian Prefect named Nero as Princeps, and the Senate agreed. Augustus was probably the most important figure in Rome's history from 30 BCE to 100 CE. In essence he solved the problem of how to govern Rome, and the Principate gave the Empire a lasting place in history. As well, the army was professionalized, and the solid beginnings of a professional civil service emerged by the 20s CE. Militarily, though
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