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 Gaius Iulius Caesar Augustus Germanicus

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PostSubject: Gaius Iulius Caesar Augustus Germanicus   Fri 16 Aug 2013, 09:38

Or to give him his nickname, Caligula;


 from a recent BBC documentary by Mary Beard

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PostSubject: Re: Gaius Iulius Caesar Augustus Germanicus   Fri 16 Aug 2013, 11:29

Thanks Trike! I really enjoy Mary Beard and shall look forward to watching the doc later when I have more time.
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PostSubject: Re: Gaius Iulius Caesar Augustus Germanicus   Fri 16 Aug 2013, 15:32

Watched it when it was broadcast, ID. Very good.

Our Hero was certainly one for spending the Empire's hard won cash on his own amusement. Two enormous ships were excavated from Lake Nemi in the 1930s. One believed to be dedicated to the goddess Isis (or possibly Diana), the other a pleasure barge. Unfortunately, both were destroyed in 1944 during the war.

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Vizzer
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PostSubject: Re: Gaius Iulius Caesar Augustus Germanicus   Fri 16 Aug 2013, 21:31

I can't quite work out which of these is more perverse:

a) Caligula building useless giant ships on a landlocked body of water (i.e. Lake Nemi)

or 

b) Mussolini building a museum to exhibit the remains of the useless giant ships

or (and get this one)

c) De Gasperi rebuilding the museum (to the exact size of the useless giant ships!) after the first museum and the remains of the ships had been destroyed during the Second World War
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PostSubject: Re: Gaius Iulius Caesar Augustus Germanicus   Sat 17 Aug 2013, 16:48

I enjoyed the doc very much, as ever Mary cuts through the crap in an attempt to reveal the person behind the propaganda.

Refreshing change of coat colour also!
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PostSubject: Re: Gaius Iulius Caesar Augustus Germanicus   Mon 19 Aug 2013, 14:08

Glad you enjoyed it, ID.

Though Caligula gets a bad press, he did start the construction of the Aqua Claudia and Anio Novus aqueducts;

http://www.ancientworlds.net/aw/Places/Property/944972
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PostSubject: Re: Gaius Iulius Caesar Augustus Germanicus   Mon 19 Aug 2013, 15:52

Mary's comment was interesting, that while Caligula was unpopular with the elite, he was popular with the people. So can he have been quite as bad as the press make him out to be?
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PostSubject: Re: Gaius Iulius Caesar Augustus Germanicus   Tue 20 Aug 2013, 09:12

Yes, it was only a faction of the Praetorians, headed by Cassius Chaerea, and some Republican senators and nobles who were involved in Caligula's assassination.
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PostSubject: Re: Gaius Iulius Caesar Augustus Germanicus   Tue 20 Aug 2013, 10:47

The involvement of the senators has always intrigued me, and even Graves' otherwise excellent "I Claudius" fails to comprehensively explain their motives. It is assumed that they, unlike the Praetorian Guard, were motivated by a belief that the assassination would lead to the return of the republic. The rapidity with which the Praetorian Guard installed Claudius in the aftermath of the murder however suggests that any senator who believed such a view had been shared by their military co-conspirators must have been very dense indeed, something that just doesn't ring true. Nor did they even effectively change the family dynasty - Claudius being selected precisely because the "succession" could be demonstrably dynastic in its nature.

The issue of motive is clouded in the "official" account of the assassination, in which Chaerea at first is presented as someone who attempted to persuade the Praetorian Guard to the republican cause, and then is executed once the Guard installs Claudius, along with his fellow assassins. However this would suggest that the Guard were vigorous supporters of empire (and the family then producing emperors) and this stance is certainly retrospectively advertised by the rapid demonisation of the previous emperor in official propaganda. Yet however demonic Caligula may have been, there is still a huge question mark over the Guard's prevarication beforehand. Moreover, a prevaricating Guard would have had any conspiratorial senator worth his salt at least planning an exit strategy should the whole thing end as a very public cock-up. This cock-up seems to have occurred (the strength of public opinion against the deed was definitely misjudged, for example), yet there is nothing in the official account indicating anyone switching to a plan B on the senate side.

A very intriguing (in every sense of the word) assassination indeed.
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PostSubject: Re: Gaius Iulius Caesar Augustus Germanicus   Wed 21 Aug 2013, 09:32

Josephus' account of the reaction of Caligula's German bodyguard* to the assassination;

http://www.shsu.edu/~his_ncp/JosGerm.html


*missing at the crucial moment.
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