Caligula was born on the 31st August AD 12. Caligula was a nickname for Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, and the nickname was given by soldiers whilst as a young boy, he accompanied his father on campaigns in Europe. Caligula’s father, Germanicus was a very successful general, and was one of Rome’s most adored public figures.
Germanicus died in AD 19, and as a result, Caligula had to return to Rome with his mother Agrippina the Elder. When they got back to Rome, Agrippina got in an argument with Tiberius and it eventually led to the death of all the males in the family, except Caligula. Following this, Caligula was invited to move to the island of Capri to be with Tiberius, his Great Uncle and the emperor.
Caligula succeeded as Emperor after Tuberius died. Caligula ruled as emperor of Rome between AD 37 and AD 41, and was part of the Julio-Claudian dynasty of rulers. There is little data about Caligula’s rule. However there are some reports that described him as a fair ruler at the start of his reign, but that he soon became cruel, and sadistic, even going as far to say that he was an insane tyrant. Caligula did not rule for long, however during that time he aimed to increase his personal power, he commissioned ambitious construction projects such as aqueducts, and he also built a number of luxurious homes for himself.
Caligula was not well liked as emperor, and he was assassinated by officers, on the 24th January AD 41. The officers had planned the assassination in an attempt to restore the Roman Republic, however their plan failed because straight after Caligula’s death, his uncle Claudius was declared the next Roman emperor.