Caligula

By Celeste and Elizbeth

How did Caligula achieve power?


It was during his stay with his parents on the German frontier, when he was between two and four, that his miniature versions of military sandals (caligae), caused the soldiers to call him Caligula, 'little sandal'. It was a nickname which remained with him for the rest of his life.

When he was in his late teens his mother and elder brothers were arrested and died horribly due to the plotting of the praetorian prefect Sejanus. No doubt the horrendous demise of his closest relatives must have had a profound effect on the young Caligula.
In the same year Caligula was invested as a priest.

From AD 32 onwards he lived on the island of Capreae (Capri) in the emperor's lush residence and was appointed joint heir with Tiberius Gemellus, son of Drusus the younger. Though by that time Tiberius was in old age and, with Gemellus still a child, it was obvious that it would be Caligula who would truly inherit the power for himself.

By AD 33 he was made quaestor, though was given no further administrative training at all.

How did Caligula keep power?

Caligula abolished sales tax, worked well with the senate and added many games to the Colosseum . Caligula ruled from when he was 24 years old. He freed people from prison that had been wrongly imprisoned by Tiberius. Caligula also done what the people of Rome wanted.

How did Caligula use his power?

Caligula first abolishes taxes brought in by Tiberius but as a result of his personal expenditure had to heavily tax the people of Rome. Records depict Caligula as a cruel and unpredictable leader.