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Caligula
as Caesar  AD 35 - 37
as Augustus  AD 37 - 41 (16 March AD 37 - 24 January 41)

Caligula (Gaius Caesar Augustus Germanicus; earlier Gaius Julius Caesar Germanicus)
Son of Germanicus and Agrippina Senior
Adopted grandson and heir of Tiberius
Husband of Caesonia
Father of Drusilla Minor
Brother of Nero Caesar, Drusus Caesar, Agrippina Junior, Drusilla and Julia Livilla.

Gaius Julius Caesar Germanicus earned the name Caligula after the type of army boots he wore during childhood accompanying his parents on the German frontier. One of the most enigmatic Roman emperors, the early part of his career had him start out as an ordinary and modest man. His granduncle Tiberius had wished Caligula along with Tiberius Gemellus (Caligula's cousin) to be joint heir of his property but when he died in 37 AD, rumor had it that Caligula had murdered him. But it was the army, strong enough to impose its preferences, and highly respectful of the house of Germanicus, that influenced the Senate’s decision to proclaim his sole ruler. In October of 37 Caligula fell gravely ill and emerged from the sick bed as a maniacal and cruel person. Accusations of disloyalty were handed left and rights and several prominent Romans lost their lives. He was too rash a man to follow Augustus’ and Tiberius’ tactful rule and insisted on openly displaying despotic and monarchic powers. It was him, too who poised the question of deification of a life emperor for the first time—a step that earned him much hatred. His sexual life, with insinuation of sadism, masochism, and incest, became proverbial. As Suetonius, the imperial historian has it Caligula was probably physically and mentally disturbed after the disease of 37. Several conspiracies to murder the emperor failed before, finally, in 41 a praetorian officer, Cassius Chaerea, whom Caligula has mocked for effeminacy, succeeded in assassinating him.

Mints: Caesarea Cappadociae, Lugdunum, Rome.

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