On October 13th in the year 54, the emperor Claudius died, having reigned for almost fourteen years.
He was succeeded by Nero (r. 54-68), who is said to have acclaimed mushrooms as the food of the gods, as Claudius died after eating such a dish and was later deified.
Nero's remark would not have gone down well with his mother Agrippina the Younger (15-59), who was also the wife of Claudius, as she was widely suspected of having added poison to the mushrooms.
My name is David Lown and I am an art historian from Cambridge, England. Since 2001 I have lived in Italy, where I run private walking tours of Rome.
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