Britannicus, son of the emperor Claudius and Messalina, born in A. D. 42, in the second consulship of his father, died in 55. His original name was Claudius Tiberius Gerihanicus, but when the senate conferred the title of Britan-nicus on the emperor, the infant prince was allowed to participate in the honor, which henceforward became his distinctive appellation. After the death of his mother, and the marriage of his father with Agrippina, that unscrupulous woman prevailed on Claudius to set aside the claims of Britannicus to the throne, and to make her own son Nero his heir. After the accession of Nero, Agrippina, having quarrelled with him, threatened to present Britannicus to the legions, and Nero determined to rid himself of so dangerous a rival. A dose of poison was dissolved in a goblet of wine and handed to him at a banquet. He drank, and immediately expired. As his funeral passed to the Campus Martius a storm raged, and the rain, according to a somewhat doubtful statement in Dion Cassius, washed from his visage the paint with which it had been smeared, and exposed his swollen and blackened features.