It was part of what the author called the " Cycle of the Absurd ", with the novel The Stranger and the essay The Myth of Sisyphus About[ edit ] The play shows Caligula, Roman Emperor, torn by the death of Drusilla , his sister and lover. Historically, this event took place January 24, AD Here is the theme of the play presented by the author himself in the U. He rejects friendship and love, simple human solidarity, good and evil.

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Former Roman provinces Thrace and Commagena made client states by Caligula. In 40, Caligula expanded the Roman Empire into Mauretania and made a significant attempt at expanding into Britannia — even challenging Neptune in his campaign. The conquest of Britannia was later achieved during the reign of his successor, Claudius. Mauretania[ edit ] Mauretania was a client kingdom of Rome ruled by Ptolemy of Mauretania.

Caligula invited Ptolemy to Rome and then suddenly had him executed. Cassius Dio wrote an entire chapter on the annexation of Mauretania by Caligula, but it is now lost.

Modern historians have put forward numerous theories in an attempt to explain these actions. This trip to the English Channel could have merely been a training and scouting mission.

Ancient resources as well as recent archaeological evidence suggest that, at one point, Caligula had the palace extended to annex this structure. When several client kings came to Rome to pay their respects to him and argued about their nobility of descent, he allegedly cried out the Homeric line: [80] "Let there be one lord, one king.

Caligula began appearing in public dressed as various gods and demigods such as Hercules , Mercury , Venus and Apollo. Caligula had the heads removed from various statues of gods located across Rome and replaced them with his own. Indeed, he was represented as a sun god on Egyptian coins. According to Cassius Dio , living emperors could be worshipped as divine in the east and dead emperors could be worshipped as divine in Rome.

Aiding him in his actions was his good friend, Herod Agrippa , who became governor of the territories of Batanaea and Trachonitis after Caligula became emperor in Caligula did not trust the prefect of Egypt, Aulus Avilius Flaccus.

Herod Antipas confessed and Caligula exiled him. Agrippa was rewarded with his territories. In Rome, another statue of himself, of colossal size, was made of gilt brass for the purpose.

AD Caption: C. Scandals[ edit ] Cameo depicting Caligula and a personification of Rome Philo of Alexandria and Seneca the Younger , contemporaries of Caligula, describe him as an insane emperor who was self-absorbed, short-tempered, killed on a whim, and indulged in too much spending and sex.

They accuse Caligula of incest with his sisters, Agrippina the Younger , Drusilla , and Livilla , and say he prostituted them to other men. In Roman political culture, insanity and sexual perversity were often presented hand-in-hand with poor government. The prospect of Rome losing its emperor and thus its political power was the final straw for many. With this in mind Chaerea convinced his fellow conspirators, who included Marcus Vinicius and Lucius Annius Vinicianus , to put their plot into action quickly.

The Germanic guard, stricken with grief and rage, responded with a rampaging attack on the assassins, conspirators, innocent senators and bystanders alike. The cryptoporticus underground corridor beneath the imperial palaces on the Palatine Hill where this event took place was discovered by archaeologists in After a soldier, Gratus , found Claudius hiding behind a palace curtain, he was spirited out of the city by a sympathetic faction of the Praetorian Guard [] to their nearby camp.

He ordered the execution of Chaerea and of any other known conspirators involved in the death of Caligula. He was buried within the Mausoleum of Augustus ; in , during the Sack of Rome , the ashes in the tomb were scattered. Only two sources contemporary with Caligula have survived — the works of Philo and Seneca.

Seneca was almost put to death by Caligula in AD 39 likely due to his associations with conspirators. Additionally, the historians who wrote them are described as biased, either overly critical or praising of Caligula. A few of the contemporaneous historians are known by name. Fabius Rusticus and Cluvius Rufus both wrote condemning histories on Caligula that are now lost. Fabius Rusticus was a friend of Seneca who was known for historical embellishment and misrepresentation.

Agrippina was banished by Caligula for her connection to Marcus Lepidus , who conspired against him. Gaetulicus , a poet, produced a number of flattering writings about Caligula, but they are lost. The bulk of what is known of Caligula comes from Suetonius and Cassius Dio. A handful of other sources add a limited perspective on Caligula. In a now lost portion of his Annals, Tacitus gave a detailed history of Caligula. There are few surviving sources on Caligula and none of them paints Caligula in a favourable light.

The paucity of sources has resulted in significant gaps in modern knowledge of the reign of Caligula. Health[ edit ] All surviving sources, except Pliny the Elder , characterize Caligula as insane. However, it is not known whether they are speaking figuratively or literally. Recent sources are divided in attempting to ascribe a medical reason for his behavior, citing as possibilities encephalitis , epilepsy or meningitis.


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