From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (August 31, 12 – January 24, 41), more commonly known by his nickname Caligula, was a Roman Emperor who reigned from 16 March 37 until his assassination on 24 January 41. Caligula was the third emperor of the Roman Empire, and a member of the Julio-Claudian dynasty which descended from Augustus.
Outlandish stories cluster about the raving Emperor, illustrating his excessive cruelty, multiple and peculiar sexual escapades (both heterosexual and homosexual, or disrespect toward tradition and the Senate. Sources describe his incestuous relationships with all three of his sisters, his amateurish attempt to perform a caesarean section on his favorite sister, Drusilla, in order to deliver the baby he had engendered, resulting in her death, his subsequent declaring her to be a goddess, his selling to the highest bidder the wives of high-ranking Senate members during sexual orgies, his laughable military campaigns in the north, the plan to make his horse Incitatus a consul, and his habit of roaming the halls of his palace at night ordering the sun to rise. He also named his horse as a priest and gave it a house to reside in, complete with a marble stable, golden manger, and jeweled necklaces; and he later talked of making his horse a member of the Senate. He opened a brothel in his palace and had a habit of taking Senate members' wives with him to his private bedroom during social functions, while the husbands could merely look on as they left together, then he would recount the sexual acts he performed with the wives for all to hear, including their husbands. He is described as aloof, arrogant, egotistical, and is generally portrayed as insane. He is said to have cried "I wish the Roman people had but a single neck" when an arena crowd applauded a faction he opposed. He declared himself a living god.