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Emperor Caligula

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Emperor Caligula

Caligula (ruled 37-41AD) was born in the Roman province of Germania in 12 AD to emperor Augustus (ruled 27 BC-14 AD) and Agripina the elder (18 BC- 54 AD). He was adopted by the emperor Tiberius (ruled 14-37 AD) after the death of Augustus. Tiberius however grew very distrustful of Caligula and so he was left on the island of Capri.

In 37 AD, Tiberius died and Caligula was his successor. Caligula had absolutely no experience in public office and he was very extravagant. In fact he became so extravagant that he needed to charge interest on everything just to keep Rome's economy afloat. One such thing he did was sell hiss sisters Drusilla and Agrippina the younger into prostitution to wealthy Roman citizens.

In 39AD, Caligula suffered a fit of paranoia and had his older sister Drusilla assassinated and her estates confiscated. A few months after this, Marcus Lepidus (Drusilla's widower) and Agrippina the younger (Caligula's younger sister and mother of Nero) plotted to assassinate Caligula. However, the plot was discovered (Indirectly thanks to Agrippina who pointed the finger at Lepidus.) Caligula had Lepidus executed and Agrippina exiled to the Pontine Isles. Caligula received reports that Herod Antipas the ruler of Judea was plotting against him. He summoned Antipas and Herodias to Rome. He sent Antipas into exile and forced him to leave his wealth behind. He offered it to Herodias because she was in Caligula's eyes innocent. But she refused and accompanied her husband into exile. Caligula sent them to Lugdunum (Lyons) in Gaul (France.) Meanwhile, in Alexandria, violence was breaking out against the Jewish community there. Caligula summoned a delegation from both sides to be heard by him personally in the Gardens of Mars just outside the imperial palace. The Greek delegation came in first and flattered Caligula with claims that he as emperor was divine. As a result, Caligula agreed with the Greeks and would not even hear the Jewish delegation who he drove out of the gardens personally with a bull whip!

In 40 AD, he declared himself a God. He built a temple to himself, tore down the statues of all the Roman Gods and lastly ordered that a statue of himself be placed in the Temple at Jerusalem. The attempt to place the statue led to a riot in Jerusalem and ended with the smashing of the statue.These things made many enemies for him. Caligula made plans to attack Britain that same year. He marched thousands of troops to the coast of Gaul (France) and there had them pick up seashells and bring them back to Rome! He claimed that this was because he wanted to prove he was superior to the sea god (How weird). Shortly after this, Caligula announced to the Senate that he was planning on moving permanently to Alexandria so that he could be worshipped as a god. The Senate was extremely worried about what would happen if he went through with such plans because he would be out of their reach. Many historians claim that Caligula also raped the wives of many of his personal guards (A sin that would eventually claim his life)

In 41 AD, during the feast of Calends (22 January), while walking back from gladitorial games in an underground corridor that connected the arena to the palace, Caligula was accosted by some of the bodyguards of his who's wives he had raped and and they stabbed him to death there. As he was dying he believed in his mad lunacy that he was becoming a god and so called out "I'm still alive!" causing his murderers to stab his repeatedly until they were sure he was dead.

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