Caligula
Brandon Ramos

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Introduction
"Let them hate us, as long as they fear us". A once well-loved emperor of Rome, Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus seemed to be the new leader and future for Rome. Or so it seemed...shortly after he was despised by all, and killed by his own guards without any feeling of empath for him. What went wrong, how did he change??


Personal Background
Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus was known more notoriously as Caligula. A nickname given to him by the soldiers that he accompanied with his father, a military general. This nickname would stick to Gaius for the rest of his life, and he reportedly grew to hate the nickname. Gaius was born in 12 A.D, his father was known as Germanicus, and his mother was named Agripinna the Elder. Tiberius, the Roman Emperor at the time saw Caligula and his brothers as a political rival. Eventually Tiberius would accuse Caligula's mother and brothers of treason. All died in either prison or exile. Sources indicate that Caligula was around twenty-five years old when he took the throne after Tiberius had died. It was 37 A.D, and the young emperor's success was quickly witnessed by all of Rome. Caligula announced politcal reforms, and recalled all exiles. Unfortunately, in the October of 37 the emperor took ill, and he was near-death. Eventually, Caligula made a recovery, but things would never be the same after that. Seutonius, an ancient Roman historian claimed that after the illness, Caligula had believed he was the absolute ruler of Rome, and he regarded himself as a God. Personal altars were built for him were built for all of Rome. Caligula soon began to spend money recklessly on his own personal needs. Caligula was to have reportedly spent money on building palaces, and he would spoil himself with all the clothes he could buy of the finest materials. Caligula also loved the gladiatorial games, he had a lust for watching people get killed. Once, after the games ran out of animals, Caligula pulled out one of the row of spectators to be forced into the arena. They would all be killed by the lions. Caligula would also begin to order unnecessary executions, and the people of Rome soon grew tired of him. Eventually the Praetorian Guard would plot an assassination on the deranged emperor to get rid of him once and for all. Caligula, his wife, and one-year old daughter would be killed on January 22, 41 A.D.
Personality Traits

Caligula was first seen as a compassionate, and young emperor who began to free innocent prisoners, and terminate unfair taxes. After he fell ill though, Caligula began to act more erratically. He began to declare himself a god, and he would dress in a women's clothes. Caligula also loved to mock the Senate, and would have them be humiliated. Now the emperor was seen as a psychopath, and it only got weirder. Caligula would make his hose, Incitatus, Consul of Rome according to Roman historian Suetonius (The Twelve Caesars). Caligula was also known as a person who loved the sight of blood, he was known to have loved the gladiatorial games so much. He also loved to kill anyone who opposed him. Once, he had a whole family executed from husband to wife to the oldest child. When he got to the last of the family, a twelve-year old girl who was sobbing hysterically Caligula simply smiled and ordered the executioner to rape and kill her, which he did (Listverse Top 10 Worst Roman Emperors).

Obstacles
Caligula through childhood and adulthood faced various obstacles. When he was still a child, his father Germanicus died on a diplomatic journey after he fell ill. Later on, Caligula's mother Agripinna was angered that Germanicus' death was the current Roman emperor Tiberius' fualt. As a result, Tiberius imprisoned Agripinna where she starved to death, and Caligula's two older brothers would die too ( "Caligula" Biography.com A&E Network). It can be safe to say that Tiberius the evil Roman emperor was one of Caligula's first obstacles in his life. When Tiberius died, Caligula soon took the throne and after a short successful period of ruling he took ill. During the illness, all seemed hopeless due to Caligula almost facing death. But eventually he made a full recovery, but things were never the same again. He soon began to act erratically, and he was seen by all as a maniac and eventually, a monster. Now that he began to kill people, maybe his illness was an obstacle he couldn't control. Eventually, the Praetorian Guard assasinated him. ("Caligula" History.com 2009).
Historical Significance
Caligula was not emperor for a very long time. Although that may be, he did leave an everlasting imprint on the Roman empire. He also had important events in his life, that would be historically significant. Caligula had also been important for his wild antics, that some historians find interesting. Caligula was a young Roman emperor who ruled from AD 37-31. Ancient Roman historians claim he was praised as a good leader in his first months as emperor (Suetonius, The Lives of the Twelve Caesars). Caligula had freed wrongly-accused prisoners and levied unfair taxes. Due to accomplishing these feats, all of Rome hailed him as the "New savior". Shortly after, Caligula had fallen ill, and things would take a turn for the worst. The emperor was starting to make ridiculous government decisions. For example, in one source he ordered his soldiers to invade Britain. Instead of directly attacking the enemy, he ordered his troops to attack the ocean. He then ordered his soldiers to collect the seashells on the beach as spoils of war. Secondly, in order to mock the senate, a source claims he made his horse consul, a high position in the senate ( Gaius Caligula AD 37-41, Garrett G. Fagan, Penn State University). The bizarre notions Caligula had impacted the way people in Rome lived. Many lived under fear, from the emperor. Roman citizens who opposed him, began to find themselves in either jail or death. He instilled great fear on all the citizens. In one source it is believed that Caligula loved to see people die, and the gladiatorial games were his favorite. Also, his heavy spending on luxurious clothing and living conditions left Rome in a huge debt. When he was assassinated the Roman empire was nearly falling. Many remember him as a psychopathic monster who was one of the worst Roman emperors.
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