Jump to: navigation, search

Caligula Journal for Latin 2 10/20/2005

What I Learned

I learned that Caligula was an evil, cruel emperor. In fact, he was the 2nd in the row of bad emperors. Right after Tiberius died; Caligula took over the job and became emperor. He was cruel and disposed of anyone who spoke against him, either his name, his appearance, or wanting someone else to become emperor.

He was born on August 31, 12 CE, the son of the well-respected Germanicus. Two of his brothers were assassinated for plotting against Tiberius. Caligula himself then went to live with Tiberius on his private island. Caligula liked him, and named him as the successor for emperor. Caligula’s first few months ruling were good. People liked him; he abolished treason trials; paid lots of money to the people and the Praetorian Guard. However, then, he got sick and realized that he was not indispensable. He decided to live a little…

He started being convinced that people were after him and started killing them off, I learned. He killed off his former joint heir, the rest of his brothers, and his mother. Caligula also liked to present public spectacles. He enjoyed putting on shows at the Coliseum and killing people himself. He is even quoted in saying that he wishes that the Roman people had a single neck he could chop to get rid of them all. (But then he couldn’t make anymore tax money.)

He built a 2 mile long bridge with merchant ships and spent vast sums of money on his horse, Incitatus.

All of these things were expensive, and someone had to pay. Caligula vacuumed out the money in the society and made wealthy and poor Romans pay large sums to support his words. Caligula also went to Germany, I learned. However, he was not a very good soldier or strategist. He returned to Rome and decided to build a temple to himself and make citizens pay to be priests. All of this paying and killing make the Romans and the senate mad. So, one day they decided to kill him. Next in line was Claudius….

Personal Response

Caligula was seen as the savor of Rome after Tiberius’s death. He seemed like he was going to be a much better emperor, yet he wasn’t. This was most likely a disappointment to Roman citizens. Also, the society gets worse with crazy people like him in power.

Caligula sucks down all of the resources of the state for his crazy ways and buildings. This means rich people have less money themselves. It also hurts the poor people greatly because they had to give away what little they have to this rich emperor for his crazy projects. Other people and monarchs with absolute power have done this crazy tax and build scheme. Louis XIV built the hugely expensive palace Versailles, and Nero built his Golden House. Only during the Enlightenment did rulers begin to realize they existed to help the people, not the other way around.