Caligula

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: rosie
  • Created on: 02-11-14 18:32
View mindmap
  • Caligula
    • Accession and Problems
      • The death of Tiberius probably came as a great relief to many people and Caligula seemed like a welcome change
      • the senate ignored the will of Tiberius which named Caligula and Tiberius Gemellus as joint heirs
      • His father Germanicus had been very popular and he was the great-grandson of Augustus
      • the reason for his decline could have been some form of mental illness but Alston thinks that it is not that simple
      • a lot of myth surrounds Caligula's reign but it is not really possible to separate it from the facts it is essential to understanding the history of Caligula's reign
    • The Family
      • Caligula's claim to power was different from that of both Augustus and Tiberius. He had held no public office and had no military experience. He relied on his family and ancestry
      • he started off quite cautious as Emperor, relying on advise from his Praetorian prefect Macro and deferring to the Senate's authority and experience
      • he treated his family very well at first e.g. granted honours to his grandmother, returned his mother and brothers' ashes to Rome, honoured his sisters and gave Claudius a consulship
        • This emphasized his claim to power
      • at some point he fell out with his family. His sisters (who he was rumoured ti have sexual relations with) were exiled and he had Claudius thrown into a river
        • after this the imperial house was pretty much reduced to Caligula his wife and his daughter
    • Popular Support
      • Caligula inherited the popularity of his family
      • he attempted to maintain his popularity with the people e.g. through displays of generosity and games
      • also he restored popular elections
      • later the people became concerned with the number of killings and demonstrated against his treatment of the senate
        • Caligula responded to this with force e.g he closed the public granaries, he also famously said that he wished the people had one neck to cut
      • he lost popularity when he tried to raise taxes
    • The Divine Emperor
      • worship of the emperor was established during Augustus' reign however there was still a distinction between the mortal human and the immortal divine
      • it is hard to tell much about Caligula's own beliefs
      • Caligula seems to have presented himself as a semi-divine figure and apparently demanded acknowledge-ment of his divinity.
      • Augustus and Tiberius were careful to behave as if they were among equals, Caligula was not.
      • by presenting himself as not human he could ignore social constraints (to an extent)
      • it may not have been madness but just a way of trying to display authority and his claim to it
    • The Senate
      • his policy changed during his reign
      • he at first tried to build a consensus
        • he was respectful to the senate, he followed the advice of people more experienced than him and made the workings of the senate more public
          • However this quickly changed as he started to kill people and deonstarte his macabre sense of humour
            • The Senate
              • his policy changed during his reign
              • he at first tried to build a consensus
                • he was respectful to the senate, he followed the advice of people more experienced than him and made the workings of the senate more public
                  • However this quickly changed as he started to kill people and deonstarte his macabre sense of humour
                    • e.g. holding people to their promises of what they would do if he recovered, and laughing at a dinner with the consuls because he could have them killed right then if he wanted
              • he often humiliated the senate e.g. wanting to make his horse a consul
              • he had many senators killed, some  apparently for trivial reasons
              • he was one of the few emperors to seriously consider abolishing the senate. he didn't abolish it but he made it clear how powerless they were
                • e.g. holding people to their promises of what they would do if he recovered, and laughing at a dinner with the consuls because he could have them killed right then if he wanted
                • he had many senators killed, some  apparently for trivial reasons
              • Caligula's position was paradoxical
              • he was an anomaly within the traditions of Rome so he rejected them
      • he often humiliated the senate e.g. wanting to make his horse a consul
      • he was one of the few emperors to seriously consider abolishing the senate. he didn't abolish it but he made it clear how powerless they were
        • Caligula's position was paradoxical
        • he was an anomaly within the traditions of Rome so he rejected them
      • Administration
        • the finances of the empire were apparently ruined by Caligula
          • e.g.  his reign began with a full treasury and ended in bankruptcy. Dio and Suetonius give various estimates of between 2,300,000,000 - 3,300,000,000 sesterces in the treasury and by the ned he was apparently selling heirlooms to the Gauls to gain wealth
            • However we cant be sure on the truth of this account
        • he tended to rely on client kings to govern roman territoris in the east
        • there was a lot of violence towards Jews during Caligula's reign partly because they  refused to worship Caligula as a god
      • War and Alexander
        • many roman aristocrats admired Alexander
        • Caligula demonstrated this fixation on Alexander when he built a bridge across the bay of Naples (this was actually based on an amalgamation of two myths)
        • Caligula's only military campaign was in Gaul
        • he also possiby planned a british campaign
        • maybe his military policy has been underestimated lot of the campaigns from early in Claudius' reign could have originated with claudius
      • Assassination
        • the conspiracy to kill Caligula involved quite a few people and probably a lot of people had an idea that it was going to happen
    • Caligula's claim to power was different from that of both Augustus and Tiberius. He had held no public office and had no military experience. He relied on his family and ancestry

    Comments

    No comments have yet been made

    Similar Classics resources:

    See all Classics resources »See all Roman History resources »