Essay Example on Caligula History








In 37 AD in Ancient Rome a boy named Gaius Caesar came into power as an emperor continuing the long line of Caesar blood on the throne He is more famously known as Caligula History remembers Caligula as crazy horrifying a monster or mentally unstable However the people of Rome were hopeful and excited for this new ruler s promising reign This only asks the question Where did it go wrong What happened In this paper I plan on exploring the life and legacy of Caligula This goes from his childhood to his assassination On August 31 in 12 AD a little boy named Gaius Julius Caesar was born He was the third child out of six born to Agrippina the Elder and Germanicus Germanicus was a well known general in the roman empire When Caligula was a toddler maybe two years old he would accompany his father on battle campaigns While on the campaigns Germanicus would dress Caligula in a tiny soldier s uniform to lighten spirits of the soldiers From this Gaius Caesar was nicknamed Caligula or Bootikins Caligula being Latin for Little boot The soldiers adored little Caligula and Germanicus enjoyed his companion Unfortunately in 19 AD Germanicus unexpectedly died foaming at the mouth from poison Once Germanicus was dead Tiberius Caligula s grandfather was cruel towards Caligula and his immediate family He saw Germanicus children as a political threat Agrippina Caligula s mom and his brothers were all charged with treason and were banished Luckily Tiberius spared Caligula and moved him in with Tiberius to live Now with Caligula s father dead and with his mother and brothers both banished this could have been Caligula s breaking point Historians have estimated that Caligula lived with the constant fear of a seizure and if not only that Wilson s disease or epilepsy Having his family taken away or killed could only add to his burden

While under Tiberius very constricted wing Caligula made a few friends or allies One being a Praetorian Prefect named Naevius Sutorius Macro or Macro for short While Tiberius was on his deathbed it has been rumored that Caligula and Macro smothered him with a pillow to hurry the process of his death Tiberius died a quiet death When the roman people heard of his passing they were relieved The question was who was in line for the empire next This is when Caligula stepped in as next in line for the throne As Caligula was sworn in there was an air of promise in this new ruler Unfortunately the Romans had no idea what was coming for them The first months of Caligula s reign were great His first acts were good hearted He got rid of Tiberius s treason laws and welcomed the exiled back He aided people done wrong by the tax system He gave the military large bonuses and hosted large events for the people such as gladiators in the colosseum It is said this is where things took a turn for the worst In October of 37 AD Caligula was incredibly sick Quite a few historians believe he even might have been poisoned He recovered but the sickness changed him horribly something inside of his mind snapped He began to execute or exile the people he saw as threats or even the people close to him He had his father in law Marcus Silanus his brother in law Marcus Lepidus and his own son Tiberius Gemellus executed His grandmother Antonia Minor is said to have committed suicide but there is a strong belief that Caligula poisoned her He exiled Livilla and Agrippina the Younger his sisters He only let his uncle Claudius live because Caligula wanted to keep him as a joke to the people Some things he did were less horrifying and more questionable In 39 and 40 he led military campaigns to the English Channel where he ordered his troops to plunder the sea by gathering shells in their helmets He liked to dress in wigs and gowns and drink pearls dissolved in vinegar Caligula s horse Incitatus was apparently fully trusted by his owner because Caligula planned on making him a consul He made sure it was an offense to mention a goat in his presence as he was tall lanky pale hairy and for lack of better words ugly The offense was punishable by death He had a habit of removing the heads off of the statues of Roman Gods and replacing them with his own In 41 A D Caligula discovered karma

There was a Praetorian Guard named Cassius Chaerea Chaerea unfortunately had an extremely high pitched voice due to a war wound to the groin Caligula inevitably noticed this and thought it was best to mock him He nicknamed him Venus slang for a castrated man when Caligula ordered Chaerea to kiss his ring Caligula would wriggle and make obscene gestures with his fingers Finally having enough Chaerea plotted to assassinate Caligula and other Romans agreed to help out So on January 24 Caligula was stabbed viciously by multiple people The assassins went as far to even kill his wife and smash his baby daughters skull against the wall In conclusion Caligula might have been remembered as crazy and definitely with a few reasons he also did good things for the Romans

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