Happy birthday mister Emperor

The day before the Kalends of September it’s the birthday of Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, aka the emperor Caligula, who got his nickname when his father dressed little Gaius in a miniature army outfit, including child-sized versions of caligae, the sandals worn by common soldiers.

When he came into power he recalled the unjustly banished, stopped the censorship of certain authors, allowed magistrates to take independent action, called new elections and restored the vote, threw lavish games, cut taxes and finished public works that stingy Tiberius had defunded. Two years later the treasury was broke and Caligula had to resort to increasingly desperate means of fundraising, from levying new taxes to auctioning off the lives of gladiators to starting a brothel staffed by senators’ wives and daughters to executing rich men for treason and confiscating their wealth.

At the same time he planned  to make a seat for his horse Incitatus among the senators, some of those “horses” stabbed to death Little Boot.

 

 

 

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