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Publius Claudius Pulcher And The Sacred
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Publius Claudius Pulcher (died 249/246 BC) was a Roman general. His father was Gaius Claudius. He was the first of the Claudii to be given the cognomen Pulcher (handsome). He was curule aedile in 253 BC and consul in 249. As consul he was given command of the Roman fleet during the First Punic War. He lost the Battle of Drepana against the Carthaginians after ignoring a bad omen when the sacred chickens refused to eat. According to Valerius Maximus, Suetonius and Cicero, Claudius threw them into the sea, "ut biberent, quando esse nollent" (so that they might drink, since they refused to eat). He was recalled to Rome and ordered to appoint a dictator; his nomination of his subordinate Marcus Claudius Glicia was overruled. He was tried for incompetence and impiety and was fined, and died soon afterwards, possibly by suicide.
March 14th, 2013
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