The Caligula Day Thread 1/24

On January 24, AD 41, Emperor Caligula of Rome was assassinated by a conspiracy involving the Praetorian Guard, senators, and equestrians (who would’ve been referred to by the far more stately term “knights” if this was the Middle Ages). Among his supposed crimes: adultery, murder, incest, prostitution, misuse of troops, cruelty, and, worse of all, planning on turning his horse Incitatus into a chief magistrate.


All rise for Consul Horse.

Killjoy historians think a lot of it was made up… but there’s a good chance a lot of it was made up by Caligula himself.  Also Caligula may have been suffering from fits of epilepsy, which explains some of his erratic behavior.

Caligula exacerbated unrest in the eastern regions of the Empire, especially with his demand that a statue of him be erected in the Temple of Jerusalem.  He had planned to move to Egypt to be worshipped as a living god, which may have accelerated plans to assassinate him. The main instigator, the centurion Cassius Chaerea, may have had personal reasons as well.  Caligula was pretty fond of bullying Chaerea, yanking his ring away when Chaerea would try to kiss it and calling him “Venus” (as a euphamism for “eunuch”) and “Priapus” (for “erection”).

So…  basically Caligula was an internet troll with power.  And this earned him multiple stab wounds of DEATH. With the exception of a few, everyone back then and throughout history agree that justice was served.

Eventually a movie starring Malcolm McDowell would be made of his life, which Roger Ebert described as “sickening, utterly worthless, shameful trash.”