RPC History Week 28 6/12/15

Caligula was the 4th emperor of Rome. His real name was Gaius Julius Augustus Germanicus, born in 12 AD and he was part of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Gaius got his nickname Caligula when he was following his father in military camps, and he had his own little boots, and Caligula means “little soldier boots” in English.

After his father died, he lived with his mother, Agrippina the Elder, until she had to leave the country, because the emperor Tiberius was afraid that someone will take over his throne, so he killed Caligula’s mother and other family member.

Somehow Tiberius liked Caligula so he didn’t kill him. When Tiberius died Caligula was the only heir to the throne. Caligula was admired by his people for his first seven months. Until in October 37 AD, Caligula became ill. Many people believed he went insane or suffered from epilepsy or meningitis. Then his next 4 years of his reign was marked by his rash and uncalculated decision, as well as moral perversity. He never really fully recovered from this disease.

Caligula built some buildings, but he and the Senate never got along. When Caligula wanted to move the capital to Alexandria, the Senate had enough, so the Senate and a Praetorian guard assassinated Caligula, and made sure the capital move to Alexandria never happened.

Then he was succeeded by his uncle Claudius the next ruler of Rome. Claudius was born in 10 BC in Gaul, modern-day France, that made him the first emperor born outside of Italy. Claudius had a limp and slight deafness, but his disease may saved his life, because Tiberius or Caligula saw him of a threat to the throne. Claudius took great pains to please the Senate. Since Claudius had no heir to the throne he married Agrippina the younger and adopted her son Nero. Claudius died in 54 AD and was succeeded by Nero.

Nero’s original name was Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus. When Claudius adopted him his name changed to Nero. Nero was important public figure at age 14, and married his stepsister.

Claudius died in 54 AD and Nero was the youngest emperor at the time. When Nero gained control he became the most ruthless emperor. He had his mother, stepbrother, and other rivals killed. In 64 AD 10 of 14 sections of the city were destroyed by a fire, some people say that Nero was the instigator, while other say that Nero blamed the Christians and his rivals.

Nero was mostly a peaceful man during his reign. Then in 68 AD he committed suicide by having his secretary stab him. Because he had problems, several of the governors rebelled  against his tax policy and he began to feel nervous.


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