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Claudius, the fourth Roman Emperor, ruled from 41 to 54 CE, during the first two books of the Miriam bat Isaac Mystery Series. In 41 CE, a cabal of Praetorian Guards—the sworn protectors of the Roman emperor—assassinated Caligula and brutally murdered his wife and child at the imperial palace. As the story goes, upon hearing the commotion, a frightened Claudius ran for his life and took refuge on a balcony. The Praetorians eventually found him cowering behind a curtain, but rather than killing him, they saluted him as Rome’s new emperor.

Claudius was an avid fan of the Roman games, attending the gladiatorial bouts religiously—they were held about three time a week—often staying glued to his seat for hours to avoid missing the shedding of a single drop of blood. He had a distinct preference for bouts featuring retiarii, the gladiators, like Miriam’s brother, who fought without a helmet. If defeated, Claudius wanted to gaze on their death agony when they’d have their throats cut. Do you think his behavior had anything to do with his own cowardice?

Next week, Miriam remembers how far Claudius went to satisfy his bloodlust. If you can’t wait, then read it yourself in Chapter 22 of The Deadliest Hate.

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