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Poll: Caligula

Discussion in 'World History' started by GuitarHero, Dec 19, 2008.

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Was Caligula a good Emperor, or a bad Emperor?

  1. Good Emperor

    21.0%
  2. Bad Emperor

    48.4%
  3. Radioactive Monkey

    30.6%
  1. Cheezy the Wiz

    Cheezy the Wiz Socialist In A Hurry

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    Socially, yes. But you've completely missed the point of my post. I mean, being a Roman Emperor isn't exactly the apotheosis of morality.
     
  2. GuitarHero

    GuitarHero Caligula II

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    Morality is relative. One man's sin is another's softcore act.
     
  3. silver 2039

    silver 2039 Deity

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    The question is asking if he was a good emperor. You don't need to be moral to be a good emperor. In fact I would say that being a moral person would be a disadvantage to being an effective emperor.
     
  4. GuitarHero

    GuitarHero Caligula II

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    That's so good I'm gonna put it in my sig.
     
  5. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    Caligula was insane for reasons not yet agreed on by historians. Was it the result of lead poisoning? Was it because of inbreeding (Caligula was the product of a cousin marriage between Germanicus and Agrippina the Elder)? Was it the result of an illness or fever? Or was he just plain evil?

    Caligula committed incest with his sisters. He forced noblewomen to prostitute themselves in an Imperial brothel he set up in the Palace. He had people executed for whimsical or petty reasons, and instituted all kinds of crazy taxes to raise money after squandering the money left at the end of Tiberius' reign.

    The Roman people were offended by Caligula's demand to be worshipped as a god. No other living Emperor had ever done that, and it was just as wrong as demanding to be called a King.

    Caligula might have been a good Emperor if he had not been raised in such a perilous, poisonous family atmosphere. He had to watch his step every day of his life, as Livia, Tiberius, Sejanus, and Livilla killed off the various Julio-Claudians who might be rivals to power. Caligula can't be faulted for being cautious; however, he became paranoid and ended up mad. I concede he may have had some good ideas for governance (and made an attempt, crazy though it was, to perform military service). However, most of the work would have been carried out by bureaucrats and freedmen.

    So no, I don't think Caligula was a good Emperor. He was definitely one of the bad ones.
     
  6. Atticus

    Atticus Deity Retired Moderator

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    You're wrong, GuitarHero (and Silver 2039). Goodness of emperor doesn't reduce to making empire bigger or any such things. People want from their leaders mostly happiness and better life. So a leader who best fulfills his purpose is the one who makes citizens happy.

    This thread reminds of claims that "every action is chosen for the benefit of the chooser" or "everything is natural". Their purpose isn't to discuss the thing, but to bend meaning of these word (and usually to mix the new use to the normal use). One other charasteristic is that if they'd spell out in the very beginning the meanings of words they use, there would be no argument at all. It leads to suspect the motivation behind posting such claims.

    Also if you really think that rich people deserved all the things Caligula made them suffer, you need to think a little more.
     
  7. Azale

    Azale Deity

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    Never heard of virtus I guess?
     
  8. Sofista

    Sofista Emperor

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  9. Yui108

    Yui108 Deity

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    Woot! GFT yes
     
  10. silver 2039

    silver 2039 Deity

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    A nice ideal, how many Emperor's were virtuous?

    Caligula was a good ruler to the common man, it was the Senators and the patricians who despised him, and guess who ended up writing the history books? The same Senators and patricians. Tales of his cruelty are in my view far overrated. Same with Nero. Far more than anything else the reason they were killed was because some old men didn't like how they were losing their wealth and power and decided to get rid of them.

    Both Caligula and Nero's were popular among the common people, and reviled by the wealthy. They both had short reigns before they were overthrown for increasing the power and authority of the Emperor. They were purposefully villified by the Senators who wrote history. Many of their "horrible" acts are highly in question.
     
  11. Cheezy the Wiz

    Cheezy the Wiz Socialist In A Hurry

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    I don't think it's really in question that Nero had thousands of Christians executed.
     
  12. silver 2039

    silver 2039 Deity

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    That was a popular past time of Roman Emperor's. Diocletian for one did the same. Christians weren't well liked back then. It's ridiculous to apply modern moral standards to people who lived thousands of years ago.
     
  13. hossam

    hossam Deity

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    viva caligula!
     
  14. Cheezy the Wiz

    Cheezy the Wiz Socialist In A Hurry

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    No it's not; people were equally abhorred by it then. And it wasn't a "popular pastime" for the Emperors, only a few actually persecuted Christians actively.
     
  15. Azale

    Azale Deity

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    You said it would be a hindrance, which is clearly untrue. Trajan was one of the most virtuous of the Emperor's and he was dearly loved and revered and had full respect of his subjects, moreso than most Emperors.
     
  16. C:enter##

    C:enter## Chieftain

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    Caligula is my favorite Emperor of Rome. He always seemed very....... populist.
     
  17. Eretz Yisrael

    Eretz Yisrael Korean Conscript

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    Certainly better Sultan Abdulhamid II.........
    and he was much better than Commodus
     
  18. Yeekim

    Yeekim Moderator Moderator

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    What Valka said. I believe he originally was both able and well-meaning, but ended up as a madman.
    Caligula may have been popular among the plebs, but that does not mean he was a good emperor. That means they simply had no contact with his... darker side. They were not likely to be summoned into palace for some of his perverted or potentially deadly jokes. I mean, you can have the craziest, cruelest, meanest SOB ever as an emperor - as long as he has a habit riding along the streets and throwing gold to the people and holding bloody spectacles on Colosseum - the people would love him.
     
  19. silver 2039

    silver 2039 Deity

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    Meaning he was liked by more people than he was disliked by. Which makes him a good Emperor. I feel little sympathy for what he inflicted on the patricians. Most of them were corrupt, power hungry men and probably deserved the vast majority of what they got. And as I said before tales of his depravity are extremely exaggerated.
     
  20. Mirc

    Mirc Not mIRC!!!

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    That's priceless logic right there!
     

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