Monday, 30 May 2005
Caligula's Idea of Fun
Bronze bust of Caligula (with a particularly menacing look)
Caligula, born in 12 A.D. and Roman emperor from 37 to 41 A.D., being one of the most twisted, weird and utterly psychotic figures in history, was not really known for his sense of humour, even though he might have thought he was the most humorous guy on earth. Suetonius gives as an example of this 'sense of humour':
"As an example of his sense of humour, he played a prank on Apelles, the tragic actor, by standing beside a staue of Jupiter and asking: 'Which of us two is greater?' When Apelles hesitated momentarily, [Caligula] had him flogged, commenting on the musical quality of his groans for mercy. He never kissed the neck of his wife or mistress without saying: 'And this beautiful throat will be cut whenever I please'."
Such was Caligula's humour. Watching others suffering was fun for him to such an extent that he would order that men were executed in front of him and very close to him, whereby he would observe their torment and death throws closely and even 'try to feel they were dying'. Having such proclivities it was not a suprise that he would enjoy the arena so very much and even have 'special' events staged just to satisfy his particular tastes and of course get rid of anyone who displeased him - and believe me, it was not difficult to displease him.
According to Suetonius he "practised many various arts as well, most enthusiastically too. he made appearances as a Thracian gladiator, as a singer, as a dancer, fought with real weapons and drove chariots in many circuses in a number of places."
Posted by Anna at Monday, May 30, 2005