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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.He was a descendant of the Octavii Rufi (through Gaius Octavius), Julii Caesares (through Julia Minor and Julia Antonia), and the Claudii Nerones (through Nero Claudius Drusus); he was a great-nephew of Augustus through his full sister Octavia Minor, a nephew of Tiberius through his father Drusus, Tiberius' brother, an uncle of Caligula and finally a great-uncle of Nero through Caligula's father and Nero's grandfather Germanicus, his brother.

He was also an ambitious builder, constructing many new roads, aqueducts, and canals across the Empire.

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.

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.

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