The first 50 years of Tiberius Claudius Nero’s life was a mixture of wealth, power and cruelty. With symptoms similar to cerebral palsy, the young Claudius was called “a monstrosity of a human being, one that Nature began and never finished” – by his own mother. He was kept out of public life and power by his adoptive grandfather, Augustus, and his successor, Tiberius. He was treated as a fool and a joke by his nephew, Caligula. But after Caligula’s assassination, he took power by force, becoming Rome’s first true IMPERATOR.