(ORDO NEWS) — Caligula was one of the most tyrannical emperors of Rome. His reign in AD 37-41 was filled with murder and debauchery to a level that even his infamous nephew Nero could not achieve. He was also insane.
In addition to trying to make his horse a consul in the Roman Senate and making it a crime punishable by death to talk about goats in his presence, Caligula also elevated himself to the status of God.
Caligula was only 25 years old when he became emperor of Rome in 37 AD. Finally freed from the role of the “coddled prisoner” of his father’s killer, Caligula became a beloved and desired emperor.
He provided bonuses to the military, abolished unfair taxes, and freed those who were unjustly imprisoned. He also staged lavish chariot races, gladiator performances, and plays.
But in the last years of his life, his behavior became so unusual and extreme that many believe that he suffered from insanity.
One of the most egregious deeds of Caligula was to proclaim himself a living god. He ordered the construction of a bridge between his palace and the temple of Jupiter in order to be able to meet with the deity.
He also began to appear in public dressed as various gods and demigods such as Hercules, Mercury, Venus, and Apollo.
Caligula began to call himself a god when meeting with politicians, and in government documents he was sometimes called Jupiter.
Caligula had the heads removed from various statues of the gods and replaced with his own. Two temples were erected in Rome to worship Caligula the god.
The temple of Castor and Pollux was connected to the imperial residence and dedicated to Caligula. He appeared there on occasion and presented himself as a god before the public.
As Caligula’s actions became more and more outrageous, the people of Rome began to hate him and wished to remove him from power.
At some point, Caligula announced to the Senate that he was leaving Rome and moving to Egypt, where he would be worshiped as a living god. Indeed, on Egyptian coins he was depicted as the god of the sun.
On January 24, 41 AD, a group of guards attacked Caligula after sports, stabbing him over 30 times and burying him in a shallow grave.
After his death, Caligula did not receive the status of a god, like many emperors before him, but the Senate ensured that Caligula was deleted from Roman history – a humiliating end for the “living god” of Rome.
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