Rome – of course, was not built in a day… but its fabrication was indubitably helped by its many great rulers, such as; Aurelius and Augustus. However, on the other end of the parameter, there is infamous Caligula.
Caligula was born as Gaius Augustus Germanicus, on August 31st, 12 CE, to Germanicus and Agrippina “The Elder”. Although, as a child, he strutted around in pint-sized caligae (Roman soldiers’ footwear), because even then - parents enjoyed draping their progeny in their lineal attire. He wore his getup while accompanying his father, Germanicus, on campaign. Shortly thereafter, Germanicus’ troops referred to the little rascal as Caligula, meaning “little boots”, and it stuck – even in spite of Gaius’ supposed discontent with the name.
Caligula’s family fell and tore apart as he was a mere child.
After his mother, Agrippina, married Germanicus, she accompanied him as his advisor and consul. As fate would have it, Germanicus died, suspiciously – nonetheless. After his death, Agrippina blatantly accused foes of foul play. She also stood against Tiberius, the successor. For this grasp of slander, she was whipped, beaten, and flogged until she could bear no more. Not only beaten, but sent to prison; she starved herself to death.
In the light of Germanicus’ death, Caligula’s family had drifted out of the heart of Tiberius, who then saw the brothers, sisters, and mother of Caligula to be rivals. He accused all of such of treason. To which they all were either exiled, or imprisoned. Thus was the death of the family – all except “little boots”, himself.
Tiberius had taken Caligula to the isle of Capri to reside. Where he indulged all of Caligula’s most sadistic and masochistic endeavors. This is to be where all traces of the once Gaius Augustus Germanicus had a metamorphic change, and were lost forever, to the tyrannical Caligula. On the isle of Capri, he had borne explicit view of the monster of Tiberius; corruption, lust, excess… and it all imprinted a trail into the threading of what was to be the new monster, Caligula.
Subsequently, when Tiberius had taken in the young Caligula, he had named the heir to throne to be Caligula, and his cousin, Gemellus. In fact, after the death of Tiberius in 37 CE, they both ruled as emperors, co-dominantly. This stayed so, until the death of Gemellus, to which, Caligula is suspected to having influenced.
He was not yet quite 25 years old when he began his rule in 37 CE. However, at the beginning of his reign, Caligula had been quite the productive and efficient ruler. He had quite quickly acquired the favor and fondness of the Roman peoples; as Tiberius was not a popular ruler to begin with.
He had even built a new, refined amphitheater in Pompeii. Not to mention his having built new aqueducts, lowering taxes, refurbished temples, recalling of accusations of treason, and building of a lighthouse in the city of Boulogne. Although not much longer after all of those...