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[60], At Syracuse, he repaired the city walls and the temples of the gods. The general knew he faced execution on arrival there, so replied that if he came he would bring his army; he then remained in Germany. [109] They state he sent troops on illogical military exercises,[75][110] turned the palace into a brothel,[47] and, most famously, planned or promised to make his horse, Incitatus, a consul,[111][112] [101], The Governor of Syria, Publius Petronius, fearing civil war if the order were carried out, delayed implementing it for nearly a year. This indicates a certain intelligence, self-restraint and a well-developed survival instinct. On 22 January 41 (Suetonius gives the date as 24 January), Cassius Chaerea and other guardsmen accosted Caligula as he addressed an acting troupe of young men beneath the palace, during a series of games and dramatics being held for the Divine Augustus. There are few surviving sources about the reign of Caligula, though he is described as a noble and moderate emperor during the first six months of his rule. [70] The inheritance of Nero, Agrippina's son and the future emperor, was seized by Caligula. Dr Philip Matyszak is a historian and author of many books on ancient history, The reviled emperor’s guards finally turned on him, writes historian Dominic Sandbrook. By explicitly taking direct control of the empire, Caligula was not only ahead of his time, he was declaring war on the senate. [132] She is said to have committed suicide, although Suetonius hints that Caligula actually poisoned her. [75] Caligula's move seemingly had a strictly personal political motive – fear and jealousy of his cousin Ptolemy – and thus the expansion may not have been prompted by pressing military or economic needs. - NERO CAESAR. So in all there are less than a dozen names. [10] In 30, his brother Drusus was imprisoned on charges of treason and his brother Nero died in exile from either starvation or suicide. The cryptoporticus (underground corridor) beneath the imperial palaces on the Palatine Hill where this event took place was discovered by archaeologists in 2008. [116] The plot is described as having been planned by three men, but many in the senate, army and equestrian order were said to have been informed of it and involved in it.[117]. Technically, we are asking why is Caligula called Caligula? According to historian Aloys Winterling, author of “Caligula: A Biography” (2011), insanity isn’t the only logical explanation for such behavior. Roman gold coins excavated in Pudukottai, India, examples of Indo-Roman trade during the period. [152] This diagnosis is mainly attributed to Caligula's irritability and his "stare" as described by Pliny the Elder. To do this effectively, Caligula had to erode the standing of the Senate. [69], Soon after his break with the Senate, Caligula faced a number of additional conspiracies against him. [32][33] Philo describes the first seven months of Caligula's reign as completely blissful. His uncle Claudius was spared only because Caligula preferred to keep him as a laughing stock. [31] Suetonius said that over 160,000 animals were sacrificed during three months of public rejoicing to usher in the new reign. Untouched by the deadly intrigues, Caligula accepted an invitation in 31 to join the emperor on the island of Capri, where Tiberius had withdrawn five years earlier. Claudius granted a general amnesty, although he executed a few junior officers involved in the conspiracy, including Chaerea. As a headstrong young man with a survival instinct ingrained across every fibre of his being, Caligula set about rectifying what he saw as an unacceptable situation. [58] He began the aqueducts Aqua Claudia and Anio Novus, which Pliny the Elder considered engineering marvels. [40], In 38, Caligula focused his attention on political and public reform. As returning to Rome without a victory was unthinkable, Caligula declared war on Neptune, god of the sea, and had the waves whipped. Although Tiberius was 77 and on his death bed, some ancient historians still conjecture that he was murdered. [47] He levied taxes on lawsuits, weddings and prostitution. According to legend, during his military actions in Britannia Caligula grew addicted to a steady diet of European sea eels, which led to their Latin name being Coluber caligulensis. Until the concept was given its more scientific-sounding name – confirmation bias – this tendency would be described by the cynical saying, “Give a dog a good name and bless it, give a dog a bad name and hang it”. An experienced officer in the Praetorian Guard, he had served on the Rhine and prided himself on his sense of honour. When people start with an idea they want to be true, they may downplay or reinterpret anything that disagrees with it and enthusiastically accept anything that helps confirm it. [99] Jews were angered by the erection of a clay altar and destroyed it. Then there was Nero, whose orgies and tyrannical excesses were notorious. [67] He ordered a new set of investigations and trials. According to legend, during his military actions in Britannia Caligula grew addicted to a steady diet of European sea eels, which led to their Latin name being Coluber caligulensis. [59] He built a large racetrack known as the circus of Gaius and Nero and had an Egyptian obelisk (now known as the "Vatican Obelisk") transported by sea and erected in the middle of Rome.

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