3rd Emperor Caligula
The Man Who Lost His Mind
|Imperial Rome Part 3|
BIRTH AND ADOPTION: Born in A.D. 12, Gaius Germanicus, nicknamed Caligula in his youth, was the adopted son of his "father" Tiberius, the Augustus of the Roman Empire after Octavian died because Tiberius' real son Julius Caesar Drusus was generally not favored by him. Generally speaking, Augustus Tiberius seemed to do well with the Roman public and the senate, but like all Roman emperors, didn't always get along with the stodgy senate of old men and stiff rules. The senate never seemed to be anything more than a noose around all the emperors' throats throughout Roman history, even going so far as to assassinate emperors they didn't like or had conflicts with (Julius Caesar being the prime example). This made it important not to aggravate them too much, because although they were old and stodgy politicians, they knew how to deal with sassy emperors!
TIBERIUS AND CALIGULA-- B.F.F. !!! : Playing it safe for the early years, Tiberius (the new Roman Princeps) kept the senate fat and happy, however, Caligula used this time to show his own abilities while his adoptive father reigned. A great example of Caligula's youthful zeal and ability was when there was an uprising in the soldiers in Germania and Pannonia. When the soldiers' bonuses did not come in as promised, they all mutinied. Germanicus and Drusus were sent to quell the little rebellion by force, however, little Caligula had a better idea, and instead rallied the legions that rebelled, promising all riches from the Rhine all the way to the Elba if they stamped out the Germans there. And they did! Parts of Germania became occupied just before A.D. 17 and Caligula was celebrated for his obvious abilities and good leadership, and in A.D. 18 he was granted power over the eastern parts of the Roman Empire.
|Tiberius on his deathbed about to be smothered by his new best friend Naevius|
Tiberius became caught up in a little power struggle against Sejanus who attempted to covertly wrest power from Tiberius in his absence, to which Tiberius had him executed. This was a no-no, for the Romans simply never responded in such ways as to kill each other. This tarnished Tiberius' reputation with the public to such an extent that in A.D. 37 Naevius Sutorius Macro along with the Roman senate decided that Tiberius deserved to die. While he was in bed recovering, he was smothered. No one mourned his death, and some even celebrated his passing. In accordance with traditions, Caligula rose to the throne in A.D. 37 to reign as Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus.
REIGN AND DEATH:
|This picture about sums up |
DEATH OF YET ANOTHER FRUITLOOP:
Caligula was a fruit loop almost from beginning to end. He discovered within 2 years of his reign just how powerful he was, and then he spent his remaining 2 years abusing his power in the fullest. In A.D. 41, Caligula was the first Roman emperor to ever be assassinated in a conspiracy involving the Praetorian Guard, the senate, and the imperial court. Not even the plotters against Julius Caesar boasted such a unanimous will to end one man's life, as only the senate was involved in Julius' death. It seems that not a single soul wasn't in on Caligula's murder plot, though. Regardless of the wild opinions and the unbiased journals of historians of his time-- whatever Caligula did must have been awful, for his assassination involved the courts, the senate, and the military...wow. Imagine our president being plotted against by the U.S. military generals, the supreme court and by the vice president, and then when he is killed the entire country celebrates. I really can't imagine this ever happening in America, but these incidents happened several times each century throughout Roman history. For your convenience, below I have made a comprehensive list of all insane, tyrannical or evil rulers in Roman history from its humble beginnings on Palatine Hill to the end:
It's a big list, but I think I got the main ones down for ya.
I HOPE YOU ENJOYED READING!