Caligula Caligula is about Caligula. It is a warehouse of information about the most infamous Ancient Roman Emperor in history with copies of ancient texts regarding him, links to other websites, and various other bits of information.
I originally created this website about five years ago to help me with research for my screenplay (at the time a play) by consolidating all of the materials I found on various websites across the Internet. While doing research, I became very frustrated with having to go to dozens of different websites to read the ancient sources that specifically related to Caligula and would detail what shaped his character. It seemed to me that somebody should have put all this stuff together in one place, but apparently they did not. The Internet had failed me!
So I made this site for my own convenience. Hopefully it can be a help to others. Now, anyone else researching him should not have to have ninety different windows open at a time. It's all right here in one place.
In the links to the left, I placed the ancient sources regarding Caligula in order of date written. It is my belief that the more contemporary sources are superior to the older ones and it is important to know the date when these things were written. Cassius Dio would have been comparable to a historian writing about George Washington today. Whereas Seneca would be comparable to Kissinger writing about Nixon. Many legends are born over a period of two centuries. For example, by the time Cassius Dio writes bout Caligula's assassination 200 years later, he claims the conspirators ate his flesh. This is highly unlikely. Just as unlikely as Washington not being able to tell a lie.
When reading the ancient texts, bear in mind that Caligula will almost always be refered to as "Gaius" or "Gaius Caesar". This can get really confusing because the ancient texts also refer to the Julius Caesar (as well as various other men named Gaius Julius Caesar) as "Gaius" and "Gaius Caesar". The ancient authors rarely specify exactly which Gaius they were talking about either because the audience they were writing for would be familiar with the topics enough to be able make the distinction.
Breakdown of Caligula's Name
His Full Name:
Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus "Caligula"
His Core Name:
Gaius* = His given name.
Julius = Signified membership in the Julian tribe.
Caesar** = Signified which branch of the Julian tribe he belonged to.
*You will often see "Gaius" written as "Caius" but it's the same name.
** At this point in history "Caesar" was not yet an honorific title and Caligula was a member of the Caesarian branch of the Julians.
Honorific Names and Nicknames:
Augustus = Honorific title acquired as Princeps.
Germanicus = A family nickname inherited from his father and grandfather.
Caligula = His personal nickname.