Contents -- Previous Article -- Next Article


Emperor A. D. 37 - 41

Most of what we know about the emperor Caligula comes from the accounts given by Suetonius Paulinus and Cornelius Tacitus.

Caius was loved by the soldiers from the time he was a little boy. He made many friends amongst the troops and even went with them on long marches. Their nickname for him was Caligula, meaning "little boots" He was hated and despised by the Senate because he brought back the treason trials in which many senators, both guilty and innocent, were condemned to death. Caligula was thought to have been mentally unbalanced by modern historians. He even scandalized the Roman citizens by nominating his horse as Consul, one of the two men at the head of the republican government in ancient Rome. Another story told about him is that he ordered several Roman legions onto the beaches of Gaul and made them gather sea shells in their helmets. He then proclaimed that he had won a great victory over the gods of the sea. Toward the end of his life, he became suspicious of everyone around him and had not only senators but rich men and others whom he didn't like or trust murdered. Finally having had their fill of him, he was murdered by some soldiers in A. D. 41.

Go to next article on Emperor Claudius
Go back to previous article on Germanicus

Return to Roman Emperors Table of Contents