Biography of the personal life of the schizophrenic roman emperor gaius caligula (12-41) according to the roman historians tacitus and suetonius, at capri tiberius felt at liberty to indulge in all kinds of prolonged tortures and sexual perversities until he fell ill in march ad 37 and subsequently collapsed into a coma mad monarchs. The problem is, suetonius lived decades after the emperor’s demise, so he is reliant on second-hand information suetonius is known to be a tremendous gossip who loved a tall tale the story of caligula appointing his horse as consul is supposed to be a sure sign of his insanity. Gaius caligula's mental illness barbara sidwell classical world, volume 103, number 2, winter 2010, pp 183-206 (article) the strange behavior of the emperor gaius has been the subject of debate for many historians some charge him with madness and attribute the search for “mad caligula” abandoned.
The impression i get from reading barrett and suetonius is that caligula wasn't really interested in running the empire like nero, he was much more interested in the arts, especially acting, music and singing, tastes which would have made him appear effeminate and decadent in the eyes of the elite. When the scholars of the renaissance discovered tacitus and suetonius, therefore – although they believed that roman civilisation was the apex of human development – they repeated the opinion that rome’s rulers were mad or bad. However, suetonius writes that, since the jews constantly made disturbances at the instigation of chrestus, the [emperor claudius] expelled them from rome (iudaeos impulsore chresto assidue tumultuantis roma expulit.
Suetonius, however, is not exactly the horse’s mouth, not even the horse-consul’s for one thing, though he worked in the imperial archives and was the emperor hadrian’s secretary, he was. Suetonius is a major source of information on the life of caligula, his uncle claudius, and the heritage of vespasian (the relevant sections of the annals by tacitus his contemporary being lost. The mad hercules, dressed in lowly garments and bound in chains, that he rushes forth in a heroic but pointless effort to save his emperor ( ner 213) and members of the audience at one of nero’s recitals are compelled to.
Suetonius and the ð''mad' emperors it is easy for most people to remember the terrible things a person has done than it is to remember the good suetonius plays on this flaw of human nature brilliantly. The twelve caesars by the historian suetonius, written in the reign of the “good” emperor hadrian, is a collection of monsters there was tiberius, who came to the throne too old and rapidly. The twelve caesars by suetonius, robert graves, michael grant born in 60 ad, suetonius served for several years as secretary to the roman emperor hadrian his years in the palaces and halls of imperial government served him well when he set out to write this oftentimes eye-popping, tell-all account of the doings of the first 12 emperors, from julius to domitian, who make the good fellas of. What does survive is the picture of a depraved, hedonistic ruler, an image that has made caligula one of the most widely recognizable, if poorly documented, of all the roman emperors the name caligula itself has become synonymous with wanton hedonism, cruelty, tyranny, and insanity.
In his the twelve caesars suetonius claimed that domitian was not evil to begin with however, greed and fear of assassination made him cruel historian cassius dio in his roman history said the emperor was both bold and quick to anger. Mythbusting ancient rome – the emperor nero histories of tacitus and cassius dio and the biography of nero by suetonius that he was a mad megalomaniac who burned down the city simply. The first is that he was a mad megalomaniac who burned down the city simply because he could there is a story told by suetonius that when a man said to nero, ‘when i am dead, let the earth be consumed by fire’, the emperor replied, ‘no, while i live. The emperor gaius (caligula) (1934) by j p v d balsdon is relatively kind to caligula, and disputes many of the ancient stories caligula: emperor of rome (1991) by arther ferrill is relatively critical of caligula and accepts many of the stories balsdon discards.
A mad emperor 2 / introduction: a mad emperor “insanity” pliny the elder and flavius josephus, two authors the most noted historian of the roman empire, whose account of caligula’s reign has been lost, speaks of the emperor’s “troubled brain” suetonius, who wrote his biography a little less than a hundred years after. Suetonius chose to write about figures in history by using the method of biographies suetonius was able to access information that others were not able to access, and this was possible due to his position as the private secretary to the emperor hadrian. Suetonius's twelve caesars is one of the seminal works of ancient writing an epic biography that spans the reigns of twelve men, the fall of the republic and the rise of the empire it records the dominance and decline of the julio-claudian family, the chaotic and terrifying year of the four emperors, the eventual rise of the flavian dynasty.