This is a beta version of NNDB
Search: for


CaligulaAKA Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus

Born: 31-Aug-12 AD
Birthplace: Antium
Died: 24-Jan-41 AD
Location of death: Rome, Italy
Cause of death: Assassination
Remains: Cremated

Gender: Male
Religion: Pagan
Race or Ethnicity: White
Occupation: Royalty

Nationality: Ancient Rome
Executive summary: Roman Emperor, 37-41 AD

Gaius Caesar, surnamed Caligula, Roman emperor from 37 to 41, youngest son of Germanicus and Agrippina the elder, was born on the 31st of August AD 12. He was brought up in his father's camp on the Rhine among the soldiers, and received the name Caligula from the caligae, or foot-soldiers' boots, which he used to wear. He also accompanied his father to Syria, and after his death returned to Rome. In 32 he was summoned by Tiberius to Capreae, and by skilful flattery managed to escape the fate of his relatives.

After the murder of Tiberius by Naevius Sertorius Macro, the prefect of the praetorian guards, which was probably due to his instigation, Caligula ascended the throne amidst the rejoicings of the people. The senate conferred the imperial power upon him alone, although Tiberius Gemellus, the grandson of the preceding emperor, had been designated as his co-heir. He entered on his first consulship in July 37.

For the first eight months of his reign he did not disappoint the popular expectation; but after his recovery from a severe illness his true character showed itself. His extravagance, cruelty and profligacy can hardly be explained except on the assumption that he was out of his mind. According to Pelham, much of his conduct was due to the atmosphere in which he was brought up, and the ideas of sovereignty instilled into him, which led him to pose as a monarch of the Graeco-oriental type. To fill his exhausted treasury he put to death his wealthy subjects and confiscated their property; even the poor fell victims to his thirst for blood. He bestowed the priesthood and a consulship upon his horse Incitatus, and demanded that sacrifice should be offered to himself. He openly declared that he wished the whole Roman people had only one head, that he might cut it off at a single stroke.

In 39 he set out with an army to Gaul, nominally to punish the Germans for having invaded Roman territory, but in reality to get money by plunder and confiscation. Before leaving, he led his troops to the coast opposite Britain, and ordered them to pick up shells on the seashore, to be dedicated to the gods at Rome as the spoils of ocean. On his return he entered Rome with an ovation (a minor form of triumph), temples were built, statues erected in his honor, and a special priesthood instituted to attend to his worship.

The people were ground down by new forms of taxation and every kind of extortion, but on the whole Rome was free from internal disturbances during his reign; some insignificant conspiracies were discovered and rendered abortive. A personal insult to Cassius Chaerea, tribune of a praetorian cohort, led to Caligula's assassination on the 24th of January 41.

He is the subject of the most lavish pornographic film in history, Caligula (1979), perverse brainchild of Bob Guccione.

Father: Germanicus Julius Caesar (b. 15 BC, d. 19 AD murder)
Mother: Agrippina the Elder
Brother: Nero Caesar
Brother: Drusus Caesar (b. 8 AD, d. 33 AD starvation)
Brother: Tiberius Caesar
Brother: Gaius Julius Caesar
Sister: Agrippina the Younger (b. 7-Nov-15 AD, d. 23-Mar-59 AD)
Sister: Julia Drusilla (b. 16 AD, d. 10-Jun-38 AD fever)
Sister: Julia Livilla (b. 18 AD, d. 42 AD)
Wife: Junia Claudilla (m. 33 AD, d. 34 AD childbirth)
Wife: Livia Orestilla (m. 37 AD, div. 37 AD)
Wife: Lollia Paulina (m. 38 AD)
Wife: Milonia Caesonia (b. 6 AD, m. 39 AD, d. 24-Jan-41 AD murder)
Daughter: Julia Drusilla (b. 39 AD, d. 24-Jan-41 AD murder)

    Roman Emperor 37-41 AD (assassination)
    Founded Religion Neos Helios
    Risk Factors: Insomnia

Rotten Library Page:

Create a map starting with Caligula
Requires Flash 7+ and Javascript.

Do you know something we don't?
Submit a correction or make a comment about this profile

Copyright ©2019 Soylent Communications