No. 124 – I, Caligula

I, Claudius image ©BBC

Chief Judge “Cal” Caligula[1] by Brian Bolland from the Judge Dredd epic The Day the Law Died (progs 86108 (1978-79)), written by John Wagner v Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, aka Caligula (AD 12–41), Roman emperor (AD 37–41), specifically as he is portrayed by John Hurt (1940–2017) in the 1976 BBC television drama I, Claudius.[2]

Although the validity of the accounts is debatable (only two sketchy sources of Caligula’s life remain; and also the Roman custom was to equate bad government with sexual perversity), Caligula is reported to have turned his palace into a brothel, committed incest with and prostituted his three sisters, and planned or promised to make his favourite horse, Incitatus, a consul and actually appointed it a priest.

“Caligula”, meaning “Little Boots”, was a childhood nickname that stuck, and which he hated, and indeed in later life had put to death anyone foolish enough to be overheard using it. Unhappily, he wasn’t too fond of his given name of Gaius either.

Notes:

  1. Judge Caligula Book One (Titan Books, 1983)
  2. Ref: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judge_Cal

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