Why Was Caligula Insane

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Another famous and well documented act of lunacy by Caligula was his planned military campaign against Britain. Suetonius, a historian documents that his execution was bizarre as he allegedly stopped his planned attack on Britain to suddenly gather his troops so they could declare war on the sea. He supposedly forced his troops to gather and collect sea shells and attack ocean waves. These troops had to carry these seashells back to Rome as tokens of emperor’s glorious victory over the sea-god Neptune. Some say Caligula was insane, but historians have hypothesized that Caligula could have possibly suffered from a disease. “In the latter years of his life, his behavior became same outlandish and extreme that many believe he was suffering from insanity. Some say he was driven to madness by the events in his life,…show more content…
Whilst much has been written about him both from historians during and after his lifetime, based on many of his actions as discussed above, it would be very easy to conclude that he was driven to madness and was insane which more than likely brought about his cruel nature and ruthlessness. Whether this insanity was as a result of an illness or by his traumatic childhood and up-brining, we will never know. Perhaps he was sane and many of his actions were directed to antagonise the Senate and those whom opposed him. The example about threatening to make his horse a consul (which never occurred) may have been a deliberate swipe towards the Senate. The stories about his army collecting seashells may have simply been gossip and rumours created by those who opposed him as a means to prove that he was insane with the aim to ultimately removing him from power. Again, these events occurred over 2000 years ago and to date the exact truth about Caligula remains a
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