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By Emperor of Rome. Caligula; Emperor of Rome Caligula; Most, Glenn W.; Psoinos, Paul; Winterling, Aloys; Schneider, Deborah Lucas; Emperor of Rome Caligula

The notorious emperor Caligula governed Rome from A.D. 37 to forty-one as a tyrant who finally turned a monster. an extremely clever and cruelly witty guy, Caligula made his contemporaries worship him as a god. He drank pearls dissolved in vinegar and ate foodstuff coated in gold leaf. He compelled women and men of excessive rank to have intercourse with him, grew to become a part of his palace right into a brothel, and devoted incest together with his sisters. He desired to make his horse a consul. Torture and executions have been the order of the day. either sleek and historical interpretations have concluded from this alleged facts that Caligula used to be insane. yet used to be he?

This biography tells a special tale of the well known emperor. In a deft account written for a normal viewers, Aloys Winterling opens a brand new standpoint at the guy and his instances. Basing Caligula on an intensive new evaluation of the traditional resources, he units the emperor's tale into the context of the political process and the altering relatives among the senate and the emperor in the course of Caligula's time and unearths a brand new rationality explaining his infamous brutality.

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Thus a curious situation had arisen, one that demanded great communicative skill from all participants: The senators had to act as if they still possessed a degree of power that they no longer had, while the emperor had to exercise his power in such a way as to dissemble his possession of it. Figure 2. Bust of Caligula. Heraklion, Archaeological Museum, 64. How did this contradictory, historically unique combination of republic and monarchy come about? One social and one political reason can be named.

A new spate of trials for treason ensued, as people settled old scores and used new openings to try to make a name for themselves. In the year 33 Tiberius gave orders that everyone in prison for participating in the conspiracy was to be killed. “On the ground lay the huge hecatomb of victims: either sex, every age; the famous, the obscure,” writes Tacitus, “scattered or piled in mounds. Nor was it permitted to relatives or friends to stand near, to weep over them, or even to view them too long; but a cordon of sentries, with eyes for each beholder’s sorrow, escorted the rotting carcasses as they were dragged to the Tiber, there to float with the current or drift to the bank, with none to commit them to the flames or touch them.

Since under Tiberius rivalries within the aristocracy could not take the form of a competition for imperial favor that was regulated and guided from above, a new and extremely ugly form of behavior arose: intrigues and denunciation. The lex maiestatis had originally been applied to crimes against the “sovereignty” (maiestas) of the Roman polity: mutiny in the army, fomenting rebellion among the people, or gross abuse of office by magistrates. Augustus applied this law to crimes against the emperor as well, in modified form, and in the beginning Tiberius allowed such charges to be raised as a way of prosecuting the authors of vituperative attacks on him.

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