He’s gone down as one of history’s most eccentric characters, but what exactly did Caligula do to earn him such a colourful reputation? We’ve gathered five of the most remarkable actions of this infamous roman emperor.
- Caligula was initially very popular with the roman crowd, by abolishing taxes and throwing lavish parties, but seven months into his reign he contracted an illness which dramatically changed this persona. Historians have since suspected this was Wilson’s disease or temporal lobe epilepsy.
- He believed he was a living god and ordered a bridge to be built from his palace to the temple of Jupiter so he could communicate with the God.
- Influenced perhaps by his madness and quest to appear removed from ordinary humans, Caligula often donned women’s clothes and wigs in public.
- It was a capital offense to mention goats in his presence, as he believed it to be a slight against his tall, hairy, pale appearance.
- When Caligula ordered his army to the sea, many believed he aimed to attack Britain, but his target instead was the God of the sea – Neptune. His men slashed at the waves while the archers fired into the water. To celebrate the victory seashells were collected as spoils of war.