Publius Claudius Pulcher (consul 249 BC)

Publius Claudius Pulcher (d 249 BC/246 BC) (of the Claudii family) was a Roman politician.


Son of Gaius Claudius Centho and brother of the famous politician Appius Claudius Caudex (consul in 264 BC), Publius was the first of the Claudii to be given the cognomen "Pulcher" ("handsome"). He was also the father of Appius Claudius Pulcher, consul in 212 BC.


Curule aedile in 253 BC, as consul in 249 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. According to Valerius Maximus, Suetonius and Cicero,[1] when the sacred chickens refused to eat, Claudius threw them into the sea, saying "Since they do not wish to eat, let them drink!" (Latin "Bibant, quando esse nollent"). 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.


  1. Cicero, M. Tullius. De natura deorum. Perseus Digital Library. p. 2.7. Retrieved 17 February 2016.

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Political offices
Preceded by
Gaius Atilius Regulus
and Lucius Manlius Vulso Longus
Consul of the Roman Republic
249 BC
with Lucius Junius Pullus
Succeeded by
Gaius Aurelius Cotta
and Publius Servilius Geminus

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