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By Anthony A. Barrett

Of all Roman emperors none, with the prospective exception of Nero, surpasses Caligula's popularity for infamy. yet was once Caligula rather the mad despot and wicked monster of well known legend or the sufferer of antagonistic old historians? during this examine of Caligula's existence, reign and violent loss of life, Anthony A. Barrett attracts at the archaeological and numismatic proof to complement the later written checklist. In Professor Barrett's view, the secret of Caligula's reign isn't really why he descended into autocracy, yet how any clever Roman can have anticipated a distinct end result - to supply overall strength to an green and boastful younger guy was once a recipe for catastrophe. This ebook, scholarly and available, deals a cautious reconstruction of Caligula's existence and occasions, and a sensible evaluation of his ancient significance.

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Caligula. The corruption of power

Of all Roman emperors none, with the prospective exception of Nero, surpasses Caligula's popularity for infamy. yet used to be Caligula relatively the mad despot and wicked monster of well known legend or the sufferer of adverse old historians? during this examine of Caligula's existence, reign and violent dying, Anthony A.

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He was not convicted — there may not even have been a trial — but he died before he could return to his kingdom, perhaps in 17. 30 Commagene posed particular problems, as a major section of the nobility desired annexation by Rome while the general population remained loyal to the old dynasty, and both sides sent deputations to Rome. Tiberius argued in the senate that the problems needed the presence of a figure like Germanicus, since he was himself too old and his son Drusus was too young. These comments were not misplaced, since whatever his deficiencies as a military commander, Germanicus possessed real talents as a diplomat.

5 Apart from his 17 CALIGULA–THE CORRUPTION OF POWER personal links with the emperor and his position in the Guard, Sejanus also built up support in the senate, and managed to arrange appointments for his cronies. The strength of his position was realized by AD 20. 6 His achievement was symbolically capped by the betrothal of his daughter Junilla to the son of Claudius. It was a short-lived union. 7 The precise nature of Sejanus’ ambition has been much debated, and falls outside the scope of this book.

Egged on by him, they grumbled to Tiberius that Agrippina was casting greedy eyes on the throne. Early in 24 there occurred a diplomatic blunder that revealed clearly that Tiberius had begun to find Agrippina’s attitude unbearably irksome. As the priests were taking the traditional vows for the safety of the emperor they included Nero and Drusus in the prayers. Ironically, Tacitus suggests that they did this to please Tiberius. He, however, was furious that the two young men should be placed at his level, and demanded to know from the priests if they had acted under pressure from Agrippina (which they denied).

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