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By Anthony A. Barrett

Of all Roman emperors none, with the potential exception of Nero, surpasses Caligula's attractiveness for infamy. yet used to be Caligula rather the mad despot and wicked monster of well known legend or the sufferer of adverse historical historians?In this research of Caligula's existence, reign and violent dying, Anthony A. Barrett attracts at the archaeological and numismatic proof to complement the later written list. In Professor Barrett's view, the secret of Caligula's reign isn't why he descended into autocracy, yet how any clever Roman can have anticipated a unique consequence - to provide overall energy to an green and conceited younger guy was once a recipe for catastrophe. This e-book, scholarly and obtainable, deals a cautious reconstruction of Caligula's existence and occasions, and a sensible evaluation of his old significance.

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From Assos father and son continued along the coast of Asia, visiting the oracle of Apollo at Colophon. At some point they rejoined Agrippina and the new daughter, and the whole family continued the journey east, for we next hear of them in Rhodes, where they encountered Gnaeus Calpurnius Piso, on his way to Syria. 34 Piso was a man of rough tongue and bloody-minded independence, reluctant, if we are to believe Tacitus, to yield first place even to Tiberius. It is very likely that Tiberius had at the back of his mind the idea that he would impose some restraint on Germanicus, but it seems unlikely that Piso had been given more sinister instructions from the emperor deliberately to embarrass the mission, as Tacitus seems to imply.

He reminded the people of the other losses that the Imperial family had suffered over the years, observing that men were mortal, only the state was immortal. Tiberius’ observations may have been well founded, but they were not likely to win him friends. Nor did the subsequent trial and suicide of Piso change feelings. Tiberius’ desire to keep the proceedings impartial was bound to be misconstrued. 44 Germanicus had been a man of worthy but not outstanding achievements. He was, in fact, much more important in death than in life.

He received the toga virilis (the token of manhood) in AD 5, but by the following year, it seems, had started to fall into disgrace. His ties with his family were severed and he was eventually sent into permanent exile on the island of Planasia near Corsica. 4 The attitude of the ancient sources towards Germanicus is one of unfettered admiration. Suetonius, who devotes to him a large section of the Life of Caligula, claims that he surpassed his contemporaries both in physical and moral qualities, and was a gifted man of letters into the bargain.

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