Caligula The Mad King

Caligula The Mad King

Caligula The Mad King

  • Caligula was born on August 31 in the twelfth year of birth, his real name is Gaius Julius Caesar, or Augustus Germanicus, as for Caligula, it was a nickname given to him by some Roman soldiers in his youth.

  • One day Caligula was on a campaign with his father, General Germanicus, dressed as a child-sized soldier, the soldiers called him this nickname, which means “little soldier's boots”.

The beginning of his reign

The Roman Emperor Tiberius

  • The Roman Emperor Tiberius is the one who ruled the Empire before Caligula, and it is believed that Caligula participated in his assassination alongside his military commander Macro, and probably did it in revenge for his family.

  • When Tiberius ascended the throne, there was a dispute between him and Caligula's family, as a result of which Tiberius killed many members of Caligula's family, including his older brother Nerer and his mother.

  • After the death of Tiberius, the Roman people were very pleased with the end of a period of autocracy and a new beginning for a young and ambitious ruler.

  • The Roman people's joy in the new emperor increased after he did many good deeds for his people, including reforming the tax system.

  • Caligula hosted a number of sports and cultural events, a lot of structures, temples and projects were created, but many did not pay attention that these projects would lead to a financial crisis later.

Caligula's Illness

Caligula The Mad King

  • Six months after taking office, And while he is in perfect health Caligula was struck by a strange illness, the exact nature of which is not mentioned by historians, Is it a physical or mental illness , but the historian Philo , a contemporary of Caligula , says that the emperor's excessive bathing , drinking and having sex was the main cause of his illness, and Caligula had been suffering from epilepsy since childhood, and these things together must have led to his illness.
  • but, interestingly, the character of this man completely changed after his recovery.

  • Some believe that the illness drove him crazy, others believe that he felt betrayed, and those close to him were receptive to his death, perhaps this is what prompted him to take revenge.

The Madness and Sadism of Caligula

caligula fight the sea
  • Caligula was one of the many historical figures who declared themselves gods to be worshiped while alive, and he even ordered the erection of a temple and the construction of a golden statue in which people would worship him.

  • Caligula had an unbridled desire to be worshiped by the people, and he sought to move to Egypt to fulfill his dream, and this step was one of the most important reasons that precipitated his assassination.

  • Caligula also liked to be perceived by people as a hero, but he did not achieve any military feat in his life, except for a victory in his insane war, he ordered the soldiers to declare war on the sea.

  • One day, he declared war on the God of the seas, ordered his soldiers to take the Naval handcuffs as prisoners of war, and considered this a military achievement.
Caligula The Mad King

  • Caligula was also adept at teasing the Peoples ruled by Rome, for example, he built giant statues of him in the holy "Jerusalem" to provoke the feelings of the Arabs there, He transferred some Pharaonic relics from Egypt as the obelisk of Thutmose III.

  • Since he thought of himself as a god, he once went seeking to get the moon for nothing but it's one of the things he doesn't have!! That is why he was sad when he could not get it and often cried when he saw that, despite all his power and strength, he could not force the sun to rise from the West or prevent beings from dying!.

Caligula The Mad King

  • He also imposed public theft in Rome, and of course it was limited only to him, as he forced all the dignitaries of Rome and wealthy members of the Empire to deprive their heirs of inheritance and write a will that their property would be transferred to the treasury of Rome after their death, and of course the coffers of "Caligula". 

  • Since he considered himself to be Rome itself, he sometimes ordered the murder of some wealthy people in the order of the list that suits his personal whim in order to transfer their inheritance quickly to him without having to wait for the Divine Order, and he justified this with the very famous phrase "But I'm stealing honestly".

  • It is a phrase that is followed by many today from big and small thieves, Who thought that as long as he confessed to stealing, it was permissible.

  • Caligula once saw that the history of his reign was devoid of famines and epidemics, so future generations will not remember him, so he himself caused a famine in Rome when he closed the granaries, enjoying that he could make a disaster happen in Rome and make it stand up too by his order, so he continued to enjoy seeing the people of Rome tormented by hunger as he closed the granaries!Also from the same deranged logic we understand his word "I will replace the plague".

The King's Wives

Agrippina the younger

  • Caligula's life was full of sexual scandals, he was obsessed with his sister Drusilla and the wives of his bodyguards, and there were even those who accused him of having sex with other men.
  • According to the historians Suetonius and Cassius, Caligula had an affair with his three sisters “Agrippina the younger” , ”Drusilla” and ”livilla”.
  • And by the way, the tyrant Nero is the son of Caligula's sister "Agrippina the younger", who is no less crazy and tyrannical than his uncle.
Milonia Caesonia
  • Between the years 31 and 33, Caligula married four women, the first died during childbirth, the second he divorced the next day of their marriage, and the third he divorced six months later.

  • The fourth wife is Milonia Caesonia, it was she who lasted with him the longest, but she would later be killed.

  • His second wife, whom he divorced the next day of their marriage, is Livia Orestilla who was already married to Gaius Calpurnius Piso, and on the night of their wedding, Caligula forced him to break his contract with her to take her as a wife for himself.

  • This man, Gaius Calpurnius Piso, will be expelled from Rome by Caligula, but he will return again and will become one of the most powerful statesmen, the central figure in The “Pisonian conspiracy” against Nero.

The end of the mad King

Caligula The Mad King
  • Caligula's phrase, which he used to justify and legitimize the murder of himself, was "strange that if I don't kill, I feel alone" and the other phrase "I rest only among the dead" ! These two phrases very clearly highlight the features of the sick character of Caligula, which the ingenious French absurdist writer Pierre Camus brilliantly described in his play Caligula, in which he brilliantly and literally presented his vision of the life of this tyrant.

  • On January 14 ,41AD, Caligula entered the Senate on his horse "Tantus"  When one of the senators objected to this action, Caligula dismissed him and calmly said, "I don't know why the esteemed member makes a remark on the entry of my esteemed horse, although it is more important than the esteemed member, it is enough that he carries me"! 

  • And Caligula announced a party at night celebrating the appointment of his esteemed horse as a member of The Senate, all this amid the cheers and support of the hypocrites around Caligula, and the council members had to attend the ceremony in official clothes, and on the day of the ceremony, those present were surprised that the banquet had nothing but Hay and barley!

  • When they were surprised, Caligula told them that it was a great honor for you to eat in golden plates what his horse eats, and so all the attendees obeyed the tyrant's desire and ate hay and barley, except one who was called "Brackus" refused, and Caligula got angry at him and said, " Who Are you to refuse to eat what my horse eats?"
  • And he issued a decision to remove him from his post and appoint his horse instead of him !! And of course, those present cheered with a mouth full of hay and barley and declared their support for this madness!.
caligula assassination

  • However, Bracus rebelled and shouted at Caligula and the members, declared the rebellion to his honor, shouted at the Senators," when, honorable Romans, we remain subject to the might of Caligula, "and threw his shoes in the face of Caligula's horse and shouted," honorable Romans, do as I do, restore your Dishonored honor."

  • Then the members and the helpers of Caligula gathered on him and stabbed him 30 stab wounds until they killed him and killed his horse as well, and when the news reached the people, he came out in a hurry and destroyed all the statues of Caligula, along with the statues of his family members.

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