Claudius suffered from various physical infirmities which many thought reflected his mental state. As a result, Claudius was secluded, a fact that kept him safe. Having no public duties to perform, Claudius was free to pursue his interests. His first public office came at the age of 46. Claudius became emperor shortly after his nephew was assassinated by his bodyguard, on January 24, A.D. 41. The tradition is that Claudius was found by some of the Praetorian Guard hiding behind a curtain. The guard hailed him as emperor.