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Madness of Caligula

Childhood Problems Leading to the Madness of Caligula

Imagine being delivered into an environment of violence, betrayal, destroyed family, imprisonment, and utter misery. Then think about needing to harbor such atrocities and hardships internally with no time for remorse. You can say with certainty that such inside pain could lead to a whirl-wind of home damage and violent tendencies later in life. This model best will fit the Roman emperor Caligula. More often than not, when one hears of his name they remember the awful atrocities he committed during his reign including functions of grotesque assault, lust, and insanity. Therefore historians have portrayed Caligula as a mad man. This madness, however, did not suddenly triumph over Caligula in a "brain-fever" during his time as emperor as early on historians suggested took place in 38 AD. New facts has led someone to think that the madness that Caligula experienced was a result of a series of traumatic happenings over his life rather than a solitary event that took place during his reign as Emperor. Using sources from both past and present one will argue that Caligula's madness during his adulthood as emperor was place to detonate just like a time bomb by his brutal history as a child.

In order to comprehend the synthesis of Caligula's madness one must explore his life before the alleged disorder that improved his patterns. Before he was known as Caligula, he was known as Gaius Julius Caesar Germanicus. Gaius was born to Agrippina the Elder and Germanicus Julius Caesar in 12 CE. He also experienced several siblings that included his two brothers Nero and Drusus and his three sisters Drusilla, Julia Livia, and Agrippina the Younger. As a toddler Gaius marched along with his father into several bloody campaigns in the place of Germania. At that time Gaius spent marching on campaigns in Germania along with his father he used child sized shield and boots. It had been for that reason particular dress Gaius used that soldiers started out to call the young guy Caligula so this means "miniature armed forces boots (caliga). "[1]The name took place to stick with him for the rest of his life. Caligula's family savored a great deal of success in armed service campaigns in the north and his father was regarded as charismatic. His family, being descendent of the Juilan Caesarian bloodstream collection, was also related to the late emperor Augustus who was changed by Tiberius in 14 CE. This made Caligula the grandson of Tiberius and positioned him in the helpful position to inherit the throne. These happy times, however, weren't long lived as a cloud of turmoil enveloped Caligula's life.

Caligula's daddy Germanicus, in an effort to further his popularity and grow control, began to go to Egypt regularly by 18CE. Expression of Germanicus' appointments to the region were not received on good conditions by Tiberius who started expressing hostility towards Germanicus. In response to the Tiberius appealed to Gnaeus Calpurnius Piso, the governor of Syria, to prevent Germanicus from increasing power abroad. Together Tiberius and Piso conspired against Germanicus and, while in Syria, Germanicus dropped ill credited to poisoning by Piso. He died soon after in Antioch in the year 19 CE. Though it was never proven officially, it was known within the Roman consumer that Germanicus' controversial fatality produced feelings of "hatred against Tiberius and Livia, and suspicions that that they had plotted the murder along with Piso and his partner. "[2]This event was no doubt a distressing one for the young son Caligula. Caligula also remembered this instant with silent reproach against Tiberius and waited patiently for revenge. This is only the beginning of a series of hardships Caligula was forced to withstand.

After the loss of life of his father, Caligula lived along with his mom and siblings. Caligula's hurting, however, experienced just begun to escalate. Caligula's mother, Agrippina the Elder, brought grievances against Tiberius in Rome for his engagement in the murder of her partner Germanicus. Tiberius found her actions to be quite bothersome and quickly came up with a remedy to be rid of her. To silence Caligula's mom, corresponding to modern historian Peter Roberts, Tiberius had her tried out for treason and then "banished to Pandataria Island off of the Campanian coast where she died of hunger in 33. "[3] Along with Agrippina, Tiberius also banished Caligula's Brother Nero. He also died in exile with his mother.

The deaths of Caligula's mom Agrippina and Brother Nero, however, were not enough to satisfy Tiberius' dominance over Roman politics. With growing anxieties of possible insurrection, Tiberius shifted his target to Caligula's other sibling Drusus who, infuriated by the loss of life of his father, had begun to conspire against him. Tiberius got Drusus imprisoned and remaining him to expire in the most horrid conditions. This particular account was recorded in the history of Tacitus. It explained that Drusus was starved in jail so significantly that he previously resorted to "chewing the stuffing from his foundation, " before his untimely death. [4] These horrific events scarred the young Caligula who by this aspect was only twenty-one years old.

Tiberius' actions lead someone to believe he was systematically tearing Caligula's family apart to avoid every opposition. Tiberius, feeling that Caligula and his sisters were successfully scared into distribution, kept them alive as prisoners. Surprisingly, Tiberius possessed Caligula informed and even got him under his personal health care in 31 CE on the island of Capri. It felt Caligula was spared by way of a stroke of luck. The brutal fatalities of Caligula's close family members, however, certainly triggered permanent psychological damage to Caligula and performed a significant role in shaping his actions later in life.

While these incidents were unfolding during Caligula's adolescence one can find evidence that he was experiencing the onset of mental instability. It had been publicly known in Rome that Caligula adored his sister perhaps a touch too much. One source explained that "He was captured in incest along with his sister Drusilla while still in his young adults. "[5] This practice was considered neither normal nor virtuous in Roman custom during Caligula's years. The account leads one to think that Caligula was developing habits regarded as socially deviant within his modern culture. This evidence suggests two aspects about Caligula's life. First, it shows that Caligula was experiencing communal displacement. Second, it leads someone to think that Caligula may have been exhibiting indicators of mental illness prior to the alleged disease "transformed" him in adulthood in 38 CE. Therefore, one can conclude that early on symptoms of Caligula's mental instability, demonstrated through his incestuous habits, took place because of stress from his child years and began prior to the alleged sickness changed him.

Incest was not the only warning of growing mental instability within Caligula. Many historians have known that Caligula suffered from another mental disorder that had afflicted him since his birth. One of the historians of Caligula's time, Suetonius had written of the problem Caligula suffered with in great details. Suetonius stated that Caligula "as a guy he was stressed with the falling sickness [presumably epilepsy]. "[6]Epilepsy may have played a major role in the starting point of madness within Caligula. Although epilepsy is not directly linked to other mental disorders you can find evidence that it is associated with behavioral problems. One medical source explained that epilepsy can cause characteristics of "irresponsibility and impaired impulse control, overlook of responsibilities, self-interest, emotional instability, exaggeration, inconsiderateness, quick temper, and distractibility, " and also includes "sleep deprivation. "[7] Hostility and do it yourself interest are the apparent qualities one sees in Caligula but it was also well know that he suffered from insomnia. [8] This information uncovers that Caligula's mental balance might have been exacerbated or induced on account of his epileptic condition. The data also indicates that these problems were impacting Caligula prior to he was emperor.

With emotional damage, incest, insomnia and an epileptic condition, it is clear that Caligula was plagued with many mental problems during his years as a child that could follow him into adulthood. Caligula's mental instability, however, was suppressed in the existence of the emperor Tiberius whose violent tendencies Caligula arrived to fear. Caligula was by no means humbled by Tiberius' violent actions towards his family and he performed a deep seeded resentment towards him. Caligula found within himself the strength to quell his trend in order to save himself and his sisters from being killed by Tiberius. This also intended Caligula had to silently follow Tiberius' every command in order to ensure his success and the survival of his sisters. Regarding this romance Suetonius mentioned "There never was a better servant, nor a worse get good at. "[9] From this evidence you can see the fragile nature of Caligula and Tiberius' romantic relationship. It is important to note Caligula's compliance was probably due to fear of what Tiberius might do to his sisters if he refused. For the time being Caligula would have to wait until the right second to strike back.

Over the course of time he put in with the emperor, Caligula were required to keep his interior turmoil to himself while he strongly seen Tiberius. In suppressing his boiling hatred and upholding a faade of humble compliance, Caligula manipulated Tiberius into presenting him the honorary position of quaestor in 33CE. Caligula seemed for a time satisfied by his stable progress in getting the honorary title of quaestor. Caligula's improvement towards usurping Tiberius' vitality, however, was attained with another emotionally traumatic event. In the same time Caligula gained the quaestorship his first partner, Junia Claudilla, died in childbirth. Caligula had again been handled an emotionally numbing blow, thus adding to his long list of psychological turmoil. Still, Caligula presented himself together for the moment and waited for his opportunity to seize vitality from Tiberius.

After the fatality of his first better half, Caligula's temperance with Tiberius experienced started to wear slim. Caligula's patience, however, paid when Tiberius fell gravely unwell in 37CE. To hasten Tiberius' loss of life and stop Tiberius' grandson Gemellus from seizing power Caligula conspired against them along with his chamberlain Naevius Sutorius Macro. Together Caligula and Macro organized for his or her assassination. One source sums this event up by stating "Macro, smothered Tiberius, and then set up the killing of the next in line to achieve success Tiberius, a grandson called Gemmelus. "[10]With his revenge complete and Tiberius taken care of, Caligula got his position as Roman Emperor. His legacy as a ruler, however, was to be tainted by his brutal and psychologically troubled past.

Gaius Suetonius recollected that Caligula's ascension to the throne was in the beginning greeted with great objectives by the Roman consumer. He explained "Amongst the people the remembrance of Germanicus' virtues valued for his family an attachment that was probably, increased by its misfortunes; and they were restless to see revived in the son the reputation of the father. "[11]Suetonius' consideration is data that Caligula's initial reputation was garnered by the successes of his father and the general public sympathized with the misfortune of his family's demise. The actual Roman public did not realize was that Caligula's subconscious torment was a time bomb just moments from detonation.

Around once Caligula usurped the throne from Tiberius in 37CE he came down with an abrupt illness. This is the illness that was considered by early on historians to be the turning point in Caligula's habit from a slightly even temperance to stark madness. Evidence of this kind of thought comes from the writings of Suetonius and Dio Cassius. This event, however, is best detailed by modern historian Geoff W. Adams. Adams summed up this type of thought by stating "Both Suetonius and Dio Cassius feature [or at least infer] that the alteration of Gaius Caligula's personality occurred following from the illness he endured during Advertising 38. "[12] This data leads one to think that many early historians portrayed Caligula's madness as a result of the disease. Given Caligula's past, however, one cannot demand his madness to this one event. This disorder was not the only agent involved with Caligula's behavioral change, but instead an amalgam of occasions from his years as a child. Therefore, unlike the story conveyed by Suetonius and Cassius, the condition played a lesser role in Caligula's madness.

Although this disease is today thought to play a lesser role one cannot rule out that it could have certainly acquired some have an impact on on Caligula. The mental conditions that been around prior might have been exacerbated by the condition that Caligula experience. Therefore, one concludes that Caligula's disease was significant but it will not be utilized to account for his madness. The series of distressing and psychologically harmful events that happened early in Caligula's life acquired only been made more severe by the illness Caligula contracted as Emperor. Caligula's madness only became more serious in the years after his illness.

After surviving the condition, Caligula resumed his guideline as a far more psychotic Roman Emperor. His mad legacy further uncovered the psychological damage that was done unto Caligula during the course of his traumatic life. Most historians generally illustrate his guideline as a period of violent, scandalous, insanity and rightfully so. Elements of Caligula's madness during his reign were reflected in his violent unpredictability, erotic promiscuity (including his sister whom he continued incestuous relationships), and crude action towards his peers. At one point Caligula even tried out to deify himself. Possibly the most extreme evidence of madness was when Caligula's attempted session of his equine, Incitatus, to consul and priest. All of these happenings created disdain among his people and finally resulted in his loss of life in 41CE as a result of his own Praetorian Safeguard. [13]

Caligula's legacy is definitely a topic focused on the insanity, assault, and scandal that occurred during his reign as emperor. When learning Caligula's reign, however, you can overlook the root factors behind Caligula's madness. Caligula didn't simply turn into an insane, violent, sexual deviant over night. It was rather some contingent situations that led up to Caligula's increasing insanity and eventually led to his demise. This misunderstanding can be found today in the favorite brain teasing game "Globetrotting Brainiac: 600 Historical Facts & Fun Trivia from All over the world" by Kaplan. Within this game one of the cards areas "Fact: In 37 CE, Caligula was identified as having 'brain fever' and soon thereafter commenced forcing many people including his father-in-law, to commit suicide. "[14]The cards suggests that Caligula somehow altered instantly into a mad tyrant. From the data provided in this article, however, one can observe how this 'simple fact' card relatively misconstrued Caligula's madness as an abrupt event that was a result of a single health issues which occurred later in his life. Research like this serves as a reminder that one should always ask questions and investigate when offered material saying to be 'truth. '

[1] Boatwright, Mary T. "A BRIEF OVERVIEW of the Romans" p. 203

[2] Barrett, Anthony A, "Caligula: The Corruption of Electricity" p. 15

[3] Roberts, Peter. "Excel HSX ancient history, Reserve 2. " p. 162

[4] Tacitus, Cornelius, Translated by Woodman, John. "THE HISTORY" p. 177

[5] Wells, Colin Micheal. "The Roman Empire. " p. 108

[6] Tranquillus, Gaius Suetonius. "The Lives of the Caesars: Caius Caligula [Easy read Large Model]" p. 36

[7] Engel, Jerome, Pedley, Timothy A. , Aicardi, Jean and Dichter, Marc A. "Epilepsy: A Comprehensive Textbook, Amount 1" p. 2108

[8] Offer, Michael. "Sick Caesars. " p. 34

[9] Tranquillus, Gaius Suetonius. "The Lives of the Twelve Caesars Complete" p. 168

[10] Jeffers, H. Paul. "History's Greatest Conspiracies: One Hundred Plots, Real and Suspected, Which have Shocked, Fascinated, and Sometimes Transformed the earth. " p. 193

[11] Tranquillus, Gaius Suetonius, Translated by Forester, Thomas. "The Lives of the Twelve Caesars" p. 292

[12] Adams, Geoff W. "The Roman Emperor Gaius 'Caligula' and His Hellenistic Dreams. " p. 150

[13] Richard, Carl J. "Twelve Greeks and Romans who Changed the planet" p. 208

[14] Howe, Randy. "Globetrotting Brainiac: 600 Historical Facts & Fun Trivia from Around the World"

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