Caligula's real name was Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (after his ancestors Julius Caesar and Augustus), but
everyone called him Caligula because when he was a little boy he lived in military camps where
his father was the general, and he wore little soldier boots, so the soldiers called him
"Little Boots", which is Caligula in Latin.
A Roman soldier's sandal, or "caliga"
Caligula's father, Germanicus, was Augustus' adopted grandson, and Caligula's mother, Agrippina the Elder, was Augustus' granddaughter. Caligula was born on August 31st, 12 AD
. He had four brothers and three sisters. Two of his brothers died before they grew up. Caligula's father also died when Caligula was only seven. It's possible that the emperor Tiberius
poisoned Caligula's father to get him out of the way. After his father died, Caligula's mother Agrippina got into a long fight with Tiberius about whether he had really poisoned him.
More about Caligula
Bibliography and further reading about the Julio-Claudian emperors
Rome, by John Clare (1993). For kids, the whole political history
from beginning to end.
First Ancient History, by Roy Burrell (reissued 1997). Easy reading.
It skips around a lot, not trying to tell everything, just highlights.
Romans: From Village to Empire, by Mary Boatwright, Daniel Gargola,
and Richard Talbert (2004). Okay, it's a little dry, but it is up to
date and has all the facts you could want.
Roman Revolution, by Ronald Syme (1960). Still a classic.
the Gracchi to Nero: A History of Rome from 133 B.C. to A.D. 68
by H. H. Scullard (1959, 5th edition 1990). Another classic.
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