*Includes pictures of famous art depicting Caligula, Nero and important people, places, and events.
*Discusses the facts and legends surrounding Caligula's madness and the excesses of his turbulent reign.
*Describes ancient accounts of Nero's reign, including the murder of his mother, the Great Fire of Rome, and his suicide.
*Includes a bibliography for further reading.
*Includes Suetonius's accounts of the lives of Caligula and Nero
*Includes a Table of Contents.
Given how bad some of Rome’s emperors were, it’s a testament to just how insane and reviled Caligula was that he is still remembered nearly 2,000 years later as the epitome of everything that could be wrong with a tyrant. The Romans had high hopes for him after he succeeded Tiberius in 37 A.D., and by all accounts he was a noble and just ruler during his first few months in power. But after that, he suffered some sort of mysterious illness that apparently rendered him insane. Indeed, the list of Caligula’s strange actions is long. Among other things, Caligula began appearing in public dressed as gods and goddesses, and his incest, sexual perversion, and thirst for blood were legendary at the time, difficult accomplishments considering Roman society was fairly accustomed to and tolerant of such things.
In fact, the Romans were so taken aback by some of Caligula’s behavior that historians catalogued some of his strangest antics. Suetonius wrote that as Caligula’s relationship with the Senate deteriorated, he ordered that Incitatus be made a member of the Roman Senate and a Consul. Incitatus, Latin for “swift,” was Caligula’s favorite horse. But far from simply being a way to stick it to the Senate, Caligula invited guests to dine with Incitatus and had the horse’s stables made of marble, suggesting Caligula was simply mentally unstable himself.