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Caligula has been listed as one of the History good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
Article milestones
August 3, 2007Good article nomineeListed
March 4, 2008Good article reassessmentKept
Facts from this article were featured on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "On this day..." column on January 24, 2005, January 24, 2008, January 24, 2009, January 24, 2010, January 24, 2011, January 24, 2013, January 24, 2014, January 24, 2015, January 24, 2017, and January 24, 2019.
Current status: Good article

Confusing sentenceEdit

Assassination and Aftermath, second to last paragraph, last sentence. What's that supposed to mean?... Ws04 (talk) 20:35, 26 April 2014 (UTC)

The following passage in the main article is illogical, it describes personal motives but says they are political. I have not read Josephus myself, however, I find it hard to believe that he framed it such.

"According to Josephus, Chaerea had political motivations for the assassination.[120] Suetonius sees the motive in Caligula calling Chaerea derogatory names.[121] Caligula considered Chaerea effeminate because of a weak voice and for not being firm with tax collection.[122] Caligula would mock Chaerea with names like "Priapus" and "Venus"."

It describes the views of two different writers. Josephus and Suetonius ascribe different motives to Cassius Chaerea. Dimadick (talk) 13:27, 30 October 2018 (UTC)


I'm a little confused. Why is Caligula part of the LGBT Wikiproject?

This is not an attack on LGBT, in fact I am very for it. I just don't see the relevance between the two.

Hmm, it was auto-categorized as such by SatyrBot, as the article at that time (January 2007) was in the categories Category:LGBT people from Italy and Category:LGBT royalty (see [1]). These categories were removed on April 10 by User:Radiant! saying "LGBT predicate implies contemporary lifestyle and is rather meaningless when applied to ancient Romans" ([2]). Whether the article is still of interest to the LGBT studies Wikiproject is a question for Wikipedia talk:WikiProject LGBT studies I guess? --Stormie (talk) 10:55, 19 November 2007 (UTC)


The paragraph giving Caligula's lineage starting "His father was son to..." is terribly, terribly confusing. Someone who's familiar with the dynasty should re-write this without all of the indirection. i.e. "His paternal grandmother was daughter to Marcus Antonius and Octavia" might become "His paternal grandmother's parents were Marcus Antonius and Octavia". Or perhaps trim the lineage down a bit to begin with.

The opening part says that Caligula was Nero's brother, while the Nero article puts him as a maternal uncle. The diagram at the bottom effectively makes hims Nero's grandfather. Either I'm missing something here, or somebody needs to clarify these statements. Grifter tm (talk) 06:23, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Hmm.. OK, Caligula had amongst his siblings a brother, Nero Caesar, and a sister, Agrippina the Younger, mother of Emperor Nero. The problem is, about a month ago, a new user edited Nero Caesar to make it a redirect to Nero (the emperor), even though they're not the same Nero. I have reverted that edit. --Stormie (talk) 08:11, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

It is time for someone to correct, combine or delete this entry!Edit

This is, as stated in more than a few of the previous comments, rife with plagiarism, falsehoods and opinions. These atrocities aside WHO was Caligula? If it is Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus this is a ridicules redundant exercise as many Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus entries can be found elsewhere in Wikipedia! This is why so many people have a dim view of this website! It is a great tool in many ways, but then we have a very non-encyclopedic piece of work like this article as a slap in the face. This is the equivalent of having an entry for Ronald Reagan the 40th President of the United States and another for The Gipper the 40th President of the United States , hey let's throw one in for Dutch Reagan the 40th President of the United States and another for The Great Communicator sometimes referred to as the 40th President of the United States for gosh sakes! Earlier "drafts" of this article had also referred to Gaius Julius Caesar (born July 13, 100 BC)as the same person! Hopefully someone with some balls will actually take this separate article for Caligula, and combine it's few redeeming qualities (with credit given to the proper sources for the plagiarized material!)with existing material for Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus.

I have NO DOUBT the idea to publish this sprung from some young college student who watched the movie and did the plagiarizing from sources he/she read. Just like a 20 something gent coming home to show the wife the new CD Pink Floyd came out with Obscured by Clouds and it was only 2 Quid! Only to find out later it is a 35 year old album...

BadMaxx (talk) 03:08, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

Which "many Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus entries" are you talking about?
Gaius Julius Caesar Germanicus and Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus both redirect to Caligula.
Gaius Julius Caesar is a disambiguation page listing Caligula alongside the many others of that name.
If there are other articles in Wikipedia on the same person that need to be merged with this one, how about you turn the rant down a notch and tell us where they are. Where is the "The Gipper" to Caligula's Caligula? --Stormie (talk) 03:18, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
I have no idea what BadMaxx is talking about. I, along with many other hard-working users, have been contributing to this article for over a year and I can assure you that no part of it is plagarized. Also, I have never seen the movie Caligula, but the citations of every single line of this article clearly show that the information is not from that.Hoshidoshi (talk) 21:42, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

New leadEdit

I've expanded the lead to conform with Wikipedia guidelines regarding article length. Comments and suggestions are welcome here. I've also restructured his early life slightly by eliminating redundant headings. I just felt that the length of these paragraphs simply did not warrant separate subheadings of their own. --Steerpike (talk) 15:45, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

GA SweepsEdit

This article has been reviewed as part of Wikipedia:WikiProject Good articles/Project quality task force. I believe the article currently meets the criteria and should remain listed as a Good article. This is an excellent article, but some improvements to consider include some modern scholarship (i.e. on Caligula's boats) and the tidying of short sentences and other MoS checks. Otherwise, this might potentially make FA. The article history has been updated to reflect this review. Regards, Jackyd101 (talk) 22:00, 4 March 2008 (UTC)


There is not a mention of Caligula's wives at all, though I believe he had four; Junia Claudilla, Livia Orestilla, Lollia Paulina and Milonia Caesonia. Sources include Suetonius and Tacitus, as cited on the wives' pages. Eric B 13:24, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

The name "Germanicus"Edit

This name was posthumously given to Nero Claudius Drusus (Drusus the Elder) in 9 BC. Although the name was hereditary, it was possessed only by the head of the family. Hence when it awarded to Drusus, it simultaneously went also to his elder surviving son, who may have been originally called Nero Claudius Drusus or Ti. Claudius Nero, but is known to us as Germanicus. As I understand it, when Germanicus died in 19, the name was passed onto his eldest son, Nero Julius Caesar. When Nero died in 30, he had no issue so the name went across to Germanicus' second eldest son, Drusus Julius Caesar. Drusus Caesar died issueless in 33, whence the name was passed across to Germanicus' third son, Caius Julius Caesar (Caligula). Caligula thus only became Germanicus in 33, upon the death of his eldest survivng brother. (talk) 16:32, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

Not exactly true, the emperor Claudius had the name Tiberius Claudius Drusus Nero Germanicus before his accession upon Caligula's death, undermining your point that it was merely held by the eldest surviving son. Claudius, brother of Germanicus himself was a second son of the aforementioned Drusus the Elder. As far as I know the name Germanicus was one given to Caligula at birth. -- fdewaele, 29 July 2008, 22:00 CET

Hiya. Yes, but Claudius (born Ti. Claudius Drusus) only received the name Germanicus (and Nero)in AD 4, when Germanicus, his elder brother, upon his adoption by Tiberius, became a member of the gens Julia (Tiberius was himself adopted by Augustus at the same time). Although he did not abandon it completely, at that point Germanicus went from using the honorific as an hereditary cognomen to using it as a praenomen (i.e. he became Germanicus Julius Caesar). Upon Germanicus' passing out of the Claudii Nerones and into the Julii Caesares, Claudius became Drusus the Elder's eldest legal son and thus head of the Claudii Nerones (and in doing so also took the name Nero which he did not previously carry), and as a result the honorific should have passed to him alone.

Germanicus' sons were all born after his transferance into the Julii Caesares, they never belonged to the Claudii Nerones. My problem is this: on what grounds were Drusus Caesar, Nero Caesar, and Caligula entitled to use the cognomen Germanicus if they were never Claudii Nerones? Maybe it's just safest to assume that by the time his sons were being born, Germanicus had sufficient clout to just ignore the original rule about the name going only to the senior male of that family. After all Claudius, as emperor, seems not to have worried about the rules when naming his own son Germanicus (later Britannicus)... (talk) 17:30, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

Caligula challenged a planet?Edit

From the current article:

He focused much of his attention on ambitious construction projects, annexed Mauretania, and challenged Neptune in his campaign against Britain, but was prevented by Neptune from conquering it.

The word "Neptune" is linked to the Wikipedia entry for the planet Neptune. Surely this cannot be correct; I don't think a distant planet prevented Caligula from conquering Britain! However, I do not know what the correct link should be. Vocaro (talk) 19:03, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

It should be (and now is) Neptune (mythology) - you can find that on Neptune (disambiguation), like wot it says on Neptune. -- Ian Dalziel (talk) 19:37, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

The article said that there are few sources, but...Edit

if that's the case, then why is this article so long? If there were only a few relevant sources on Caligula's rule, only a few that were written any time close to when he ruled, then why is this article so damn long? I think that we can reasonably conclude that much of this article is nothing more than educated guesses, which hardly seems worthy to be in an encyclopedia. (talk) 16:14, 26 August 2008 (UTC)


I think it might even be worse than that. A large number of the citations revolve around the writings of Tacitus's Annals. The oldest copy of that appears to be from the 11th century and it's written in latin. Also from the 11th century, the official birth date of [William I of England] is "around 1028". It appears there are hardly any primary sources for the first king of england a thousand years ago. It's hard to imagine what would have existed then for a thousand years before that. We need to unwind the fiction and sort out the reality here rather than rely on a potential history that might have been convenient to or invented by the catholic encyclopedia. Jeff Carr (talk) 11:06, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

Cailgula or Victora HeskethEdit

Should Little Boots now go directly to the musician Victoria Hesketh rather than this page.

I would assume that with her impending stardom more users of Wikipedia will search Little Boots looking for her rather Caligula. In fact I didnt even know it was his nickname until i searched for the musician.--Footix2 (talk) 09:04, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

Date of death???Edit

So did he die on 23 January 42, or 24 January 41? The article says both. This discrepancy invalids the entire article. If the basics are conflicting then a serious lack of effort and detail is assumed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:31, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

The article was briefly vandalised, as can be seen in this edit. It has now been corrected, and the IP address responsible blocked from editing for a time. --Stormie (talk) 04:33, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

Errors about death of his father GermanicusEdit

Article says: "Suetonius reports that Germanicus was poisoned in Syria by an agent of Tiberius who viewed Germanicus as a political rival.[9]", that statement is in fact false. What Seutonius actually reports is this: "Now the belief was that he met his death because of the will of Tiberius, aided by Gnaeus Piso."

There was never any proof that Tiberius and Piso were connected. Piso killed himself while there was a trial against him for killing Germanicus. There were some accusations, but all are reported by historians that wrote after the death of Tiberius. Germanicus as rival, that is also very sketchy, no historian reports that as a case. Both Seutonius and Tacitus report that that may have been a case. Germanicus was favoured to be his successor over his own son Dresus, but even they acknowledge that that is no fact. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:51, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

New InformationEdit

I have added this paragraph:

A recent study of Caligula's life has shown some new evidence to his "mysterious" illness. The History Chanel brewed Roman wine the way the Roman's would brew their wine. That was was be brewing it in a lead bowl because the Roman's believed that pure wine could only be brewed in lead bowls. After the wine was brewed, they took the sample to a lab and tested its lead contents. The lead was off the chart, this would lead to led poisoning. Although then why didn't all Roman's have led poisoning? Well Caligula's drinking increased when he became Emperor of Rome, there is a very high chance Caligula had led poisoning.

It was done by History Chanel, I gave an external link about what History Chanel did in the series. It was a simple look into Caligula's life. DaWarfare 19:52, 24 February 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by DaWarfare (talkcontribs)

IIRC, the History Channel's not usually considered a reliable source. Do you recall the name of the person forwarding this theory? Maybe they've published a paper on it that is a bit more balanced - and, importantly, peer-reviewed.Catiline63 (talk) 18:03, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

Conflict with Kingdom of Mauretania articleEdit

This article states that the Kingdom of Mauretania was annexed and made a Roman province by Caligula; in the article for Kingdom of Mauretania it is stated that this was achieved by Claudius, Caligula's successor. And as far as I can recall, the rather lengthy biography I read about Caligula does not mention anything regarding Caligula and Mauretania.KVND 21:44, 8 September 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by KVND (talkcontribs)

"At Syracuse, he repaired the city walls and the temples of the gods."?Edit

Isn't this a symbolic phrase? I was reading about Mesopotamia and I stumbled across this phrase all the time, most probably meaning rebuilding or renovating a city or something like that. (talk) 03:42, 15 January 2011 (UTC)

Caligula at BisacciaEdit

According to Salternum:

In 1779 Ferdinand II, King of Naples, received an anonymous letter by the citizens of the town of Bisaccia (AV); according to the letter, in their town was found the tomb of Caligula and an epigraph stating "Cajus Calicola quartus Romanorum Imperator confossus iacet"; according to the authors of the letter, the township didn't inform the king of the discovery because they wanted to enrich themselves keeping to yourself the treasure. It wasn't possible to prove the truth of the letter, since the supposed tomb and the epigraph weren't found by the checkers: the township could have destroyed them, or the authours of the letter could have lied in order to libel the township.[1]

Sorry for my poor english. Do you think that these facts are encyclopedic enough in order to be inserted in the article after having corrected spelling/syntax errors?-- (talk) 17:52, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

Health sectionEdit

I have just stumbled across this article and have noted the reference to Caligula's potential epilepsy - I just wanted to respectfully point out that the assertion that people with epilepsy are told not to swim because fits can be triggered by "light reflecting off the water" is erroneous and if you follow the supporting link to the BMJ article it is not asserted anywhere within the text. (Photic triggering is actually not that common (and certainly not universal) in people with epilepsy anyway. [1]) Open water swimming is not recommended because of the comparative difficulty in rescuing people who fit in open and uncontrolled waters as opposed to small contained waters like swimming pools (and this *is* asserted in the BMJ article). If it's all right I will change the text accordingly. Cheers (talk) 07:29, 4 May 2011 (UTC)DrG

Did Caligula actually attempt to make Incitatus a consul, or merely say that he was going to do so at some future date?Edit

At the moment the article says that Caligula tried to make Incitatus a consul. I contrue the word "tried" as meaning "actually attempted and failed". I am not sure that the sources support this.

The internet text of Cassius Dio, Book 59, section 14, that is cited by the article (see footnote 100), says that:

"he swore by the animal's life and fortune and even promised to appoint him consul, a promise that he would certainly have carried out if he had lived longer." (My emphasis).

My recollection of the Penguin Classics edition of the Twelve Cesears (I do not have the book with me now) is that it had Suetonius saying something to the effect that it was said that Caligula was planning to make Incitatus a consul. (My emphasis).

I do not think that promising or planning to do something is the same thing as trying to do it. I suggest that the article should be amended to read something like "planned and/or promised".

I should mention that I am unable to assess the accuracy of the translations in question because I do not have access to the original text and do not speak latin to any substantial degree.James500 (talk) 02:43, 14 June 2011 (UTC)

I have decided to be bold, assume the translation is correct, and effect the changes.James500 (talk) 03:20, 14 June 2011 (UTC)

"Rediscovery of burial site?" Outdated and false newsEdit

Quoted article is outdated and probably wrongly translated. The thing discovered was Caligulas villa not a grave or burial site. Among other things it contained remarkable statue of Caligula with him depicted wearing Caligae, thus shattering rumor that he hated his nickname.

One English language source: — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:03, 16 August 2011 (UTC)

Caligula Inciatus horse was not a senator!Edit

Croatian writer Giancarlo Kravar: The universal opinion, which was seen as an official historical truth is that the horse Inciatus Caligula was a senator. But that's not true, reveals Rijeka Croatian daily in Italian La Voce del Popolo. Describing Caligula Gaio Svetonio Tranquilo wrote that the emperor "had intention to appoint his horse a Consul Inciatus", which did not happen, and it explains Cassio Dione Cocceciano "Caligula, he used to eat with Inciatus, offered him barley to eat, drink wine his honor, promising him that he would appoint him to the Senate, etc. ", but it did not happen. Caligula: a mad man or a wise man? Anyway, his contempt for the public representatives in government will always be current. (talk) 12:26, 2 September 2012 (UTC)

So you're saying "The validity of these accounts is debatable", then. As the article says. So why the exclamation mark? -- Ian Dalziel (talk) 13:49, 2 September 2012 (UTC)

Julio-Claudian confusionEdit

The Julio-Claudian dynasty has probably one of the most confusing family trees in history. I was reading on Claudius and I found the brief note in the infobox next to Nero very helpful, so I thought I'd add it here. Imo it would help the reader immensely if we have it clearly pointed out what relation the Julio-Claudian emperors were to each-other. Its just a brief note. Mind you, I've heard all the anti-infobox arguments twenty times already, but if we're not planning to do away with it - lets make it (more) useful. -- Director (talk) 16:09, 5 December 2012 (UTC)

Inaccuracy in Claims of Divinity sectionEdit

Text currently claims "Caligula began appearing in public dressed as various gods and demigods such as Hercules, Mercury, Venus and Apollo.[74]" The source (On the Embassy to Gaius - only mentions Hercules, Bacchus, Castor and Pollox in this section, with Mercury, and Apollo, and Mars in section XIII. Please correct accordingly. (talk) 17:36, 3 February 2013 (UTC)

Too much dependency on primary sourcesEdit

This surely adds drama (sex and violence) but accuracy may suffer considerably. I would suggest a complete re-write of the article (I wish I could do that myself but this period is not my cup of tea, at least not yet).--Dipa1965 (talk) 20:11, 7 April 2013 (UTC)

How is that possible? 1st of all the primary sources are about all that anyone really knows about him...2nd primary sources are the only that are relevant unless anything new comes out which nothing really has about him..what other sources are you referring too? Lonepilgrim007 (talk) 06:55, 24 January 2014 (UTC)


Everywhere in the article the name CALIGULA appears, because this name was popularized quite recently.

However, since Wikipedia aims to be a serious encyclopedia, should not the article be named GAIUS? And the lead be changed to "also known as Caligula" or, if you insist, "known as Caligula"?

And should not Elagabalus and Caracalla refer to articles bearing the ACTUAL NAMES?

Given that only these three emperors have nicknames as article names, and all the mass of the others are plainly called by their correct names? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:43, 21 September 2013 (UTC)

"In early 41 AD, Caligula became the first Roman emperor to be assassinated"?!Edit

I thought Julius Caesar had been assassinated many years before by Cassius and crew (sorry if this has already been pointed out)

Julius Caesar was not a Roman emperor. Ian Dalziel (talk) 17:02, 27 November 2013 (UTC)


Is not the phrase 'Jewish synagogue' a tautology? Bluedawe 07:53, 5 February 2014 (UTC)

Second World War referenceEdit

This section mentioning WW2 is confusing and needs correction by someone who knows the subject matter: "The larger ship was essentially an elaborate floating palace that counted marble floors and plumbing among its amenities. Thirteen years after being raised, the ships were burned during an attack in the Second World War, and almost nothing remains of the hulls, though many archeological treasures remain intact in the museum at Lake Nemi and in the Museo Nazionale Romano (Palazzo Massimo) at Rome." — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:58, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

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In popular cultureEdit

Could we perhaps trim this section of incidental mentions like the recently added musical one or the mention of Caligula in The Fountainhead? Pinkbeast (talk) 14:38, 30 August 2016 (UTC)

I raised this question about unsourced lists of trivia in "popular culture" sections of articles with regard to the article on Jezebel a few years ago at RSN [3]. The consensus was that such tidbits need to be sourced so that it is clear that there actually is a pop song or whatever called "Caligula" and that its significance was such that it made an impact on popular culture. As one editor said It's not enough to have a citation that verifies that Hello Kitty appeared in an episode of a random sitcom, you need a citation that analyses the relevance of that appearance of Hello Kitty. There was agreement that the best thing to do is to move unsourced bits of info like that out of the article onto the talk page to give editors the chance to find sources that establish the accuracy and the impact of the pop song or video game or whatever. However it will likely be a wearisome task for whoever wants to steward the article in that way, probably as soon as such an item is removed, someone will put it straight back in again, I more or less gave up with "Jezebel".Smeat75 (talk) 15:07, 30 August 2016 (UTC)
In fact, looking, the Smiths song and the Ayn Rand book seem to be the only incidental mentions. I propose to remove them if no-one disagrees. Pinkbeast (talk) 15:22, 30 August 2016 (UTC)

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Boots for little soldiersEdit

This is, I grant a nitpicky pet peeve of mine. Caligula should be translated as "little boot" or at least "soldiers little boot, not "little soldiers boot" since that evokes a boot worn my tiny soldiers. The word caligae would not literally translate to "soldier's boot" as there is no part of the world that means "soldier". The origin of the world is from a covering. If the Roman's had meant for the nickname to imply a little soldier then they would have made that clear. In Latin, it would sound like "little boots". If we insist on explaining that Caligulae implies a soldeir's boot then it would be more clear to define it is as a "soldiers little boot". NoahSpurrier (talk) 02:48, 30 January 2018 (UTC)

It is not really an implication. The caligae were military boots, part of the uniforms worn by Roman legionaries and auxiliaries. They are not associated with civilians. Dimadick (talk) 15:12, 30 January 2018 (UTC)

Graves novelEdit

Does anyone have access to the NYT archives? This 1934 article might provide the cite we seek. Pinkbeast (talk) 15:26, 6 May 2018 (UTC)


I'm not looking to get into the "AD" versus "CE" controversy, but there are two potential issues with the way the years are referenced in this article. First, does every single mention of a year have to have "AD" appended to it? Once it's established that we're in the early first century AD/CE, can't the numbers of the years just stand alone? Second, if every single mention of a year must have "AD" appended to it, shouldn't it be consistently before or after the year number? I'm not changing anything, but someone should. CasparRH (talk) 11:25, 28 March 2019 (UTC)

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