Definitions for caligulakəˈlɪg yə lə
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Caligula, Gaius, Gaius Caesar(noun)
Roman Emperor who succeeded Tiberius and whose uncontrolled passions resulted in manifest insanity; noted for his cruelty and tyranny; was assassinated (12-41)
Caligula, also known as Gaius, was Roman Emperor from 37 AD to 41 AD. Caligula was a member of the house of rulers conventionally known as the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Caligula's father Germanicus, the nephew and adopted son of Emperor Tiberius, was a very successful general and one of Rome's most beloved public figures. The young Gaius earned the nickname Caligula from his father's soldiers while accompanying him during his campaigns in Germania. When Germanicus died at Antioch in 19 AD, his wife Agrippina the Elder returned to Rome with her six children where she became entangled in an increasingly bitter feud with Tiberius. This conflict eventually led to the destruction of her family, with Caligula as the sole male survivor. Unscathed by the deadly intrigues, Caligula accepted the invitation to join the emperor on the island of Capri in 31 AD, where Tiberius himself had withdrawn five years earlier. At the death of Tiberius in 37 AD, Caligula succeeded his great-uncle and adoptive grandfather. There are few surviving sources on Caligula's reign, although he is described as a noble and moderate ruler during the first two years of his rule. After this, the sources focus upon his cruelty, extravagance, and sexual perversity, presenting him as an insane tyrant. While the reliability of these sources has increasingly been called into question, it is known that during his brief reign, Caligula worked to increase the unconstrained personal power of the emperor. He directed much of his attention to ambitious construction projects and notoriously luxurious dwellings for himself. However, he initiated the construction of two new aqueducts in Rome: the Aqua Claudia and the Anio Novus. During his reign, the Empire annexed the Kingdom of Mauretania and made it into a province.
The Nuttall Encyclopedia
Roman emperor from A.D. 37 to 41, youngest son of Germanicus and Agrippina, born at Antium; having ingratiated himself with Tiberius, was named his successor; ruled with wisdom and magnanimity at first, while he lived in the unbridled indulgence of every lust, but after an illness due to his dissipation, gave way to the most atrocious acts of cruelty and impiety; would entertain people at a banquet and then throw them into the sea; wished Rome had only one head, that he might shear it off at a blow; had his horse installed as consul in mockery of the office; declared himself a god, and had divine honours paid to him, till a conspiracy was formed against him on his return from an expedition into Gaul, when he was assassinated (12-41).
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