Caligula Facts

Caligula Facts
Caligula was the third Roman emperor and last member of the male line of the Julii Caesares family. A member of the Julian Claudian Dynasty, Caligula often relied on the stature of his illustrious ancestor to help him advance through the government, eventually becoming emperor after Tiberius died. The few ancient sources that commented on Caligula's rule - primarily Philo, Seneca, and Suetonius - depicted him as a cruel and depraved tyrant, who only conducted public works projects to glorify his image. Caligula was born Gaius Julius Caesar on August 31, 12 AD to the military officer Germanicus and his wife Agrippa the Elder. Despite murdering Caligula's father and imprisoning his mother and siblings, the Emperor Tiberius made Caligula his heir. When Tiberius died in AD 37, Caligula inherited the emperor's vast wealth and title.
Interesting Caligula Facts:
"Caligula" was actually just a nickname he got when he accompanied his father on military campaigns as a boy. Caligula meant "small soldier's boot" in Latin.
He was married four times, but only had one child, a daughter Julia Drusila, with his last wife, Milonia Caesonia.
According to Suetonius, "He never kissed the neck of his wife or mistress without saying, 'And this beautiful throat will be cut whenever I please.'"
Due to the popularity of Germanicus among both the Patricians and Plebeians, Caligula was quite popular early in his reign.
When Rome entered a financial crisis in AD 39, Caligula resorted to extreme measures to save the economy, including: seizing estates from Patricians, taxing weddings, and selling popular gladiators to the highest bidders.
Despite the economic problems, Caligula embarked on an ambitious building program in Rome, many of which were just to satisfy his vanity.
According the ancient sources, Caligula was obsessed with sex and knew very few taboos, engaging in rape, homosexuality and even incest.
Suetonius wrote that "Gaius made parents attend their sons' executions, and when one father excused himself on the ground of ill health he provided a litter for him."
The quote, "Let them hate me, so long as they fear me," has been attributed to Caligula.
Caligula was the first Roman emperor to claim to be a living god.
Among the notable public works projects he had done were two aqueducts.
According to Suetonius, he took his second wife, Livia, taken from her fiancé on the day of her wedding and then banished her when he grew bored with her.
Due to his excesses and the enemies he made through his gratuitous violence, Caligula was distrustful of Romans and so chose Germans as his bodyguards.
Rome expanded its territory in North Africa during Caligula's rule.
Although the number of abuses Caligula subjected Rome to were legion, the straw that broke the camel's back was when he threatened to murder most of the Senate and move the capital to Alexandria.
Caligula was assassinated on January 22, 41 AD by Cassius Chaerea and a number of Pretorian Guards.
In modern times, Caligula has been the subject of numerous fictional books and stories, plays, television shows, and movies.

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