Caligua and Nero

The Crazy Emperors of Rome
Brian Barrett
Collin Dunthorn
The Julian-Claudian Dynasty
• This was the first Roman Dynasty ever.
• This Dynasty Started in 27 BC to 68 AD
• It started with the Emperor Augustus and
contained other emperors such as Tiberius,
Caligula, Claudius, and Nero.
The dates of power between the five emperors
of the Julian-Claudian Dynasty
Augustus ruled from 27 BC-14 AD.
Tiberius ruled from 14 AD-37 AD.
Caligula ruled from 37 AD-41 AD.
Claudius ruled from 41 AD-54 AD.
Nero the last emperor of this dynasty ruled
from 54 AD- 68 AD.
• The two emperors we will be talking about
today are Caligula and Nero.
The beginning of Caligula
• His birth name was Gaius Julius Caesar
Augustus Germanicus
• He grew up around soldiers who nick named
him Caligula meaning little sandals.
• His childhood was very bad. His mother had
been exiled and his two older brothers were
executed on treason charges.
• At first when he took power he brought back
all of the people exiled by Tiberius.
Start of his ruling
• After the first seven months of taking power
he fell ill, although he recovered he began to
act very strangely.
• Some believe that he suffered from epilepsy.
• He started to pretend he was a god and make
officials bow at his feet, then he would seduce
their wives at dinner.
The Start of Caligula's Craziness
• He started to become murderous killing rivals
and even allies.
• His cruelty would come at random. He was
ready to sacrifice an animal to the gods was
bringing down the mallet but at the last
instant he struck and killed a priest.
• His situation would just get worse.
Caligula's Path to Downfall
• He began spending so much money that he emptied
The whole treasury so he resorted to blackmailing
the richest citizens and taking their houses.
• At one point during a war in Gaul they were about to
leave for Britain but made all of the soldiers pick up
• He still wanted to be a God but before he went to
extreme measures he was persuaded to stop.
The end of Caligula
• He was growing very unpopular with Rome.
• In 41 AD when he returned from Gaul he was
murdered by some of his closest allies even
some of the Praetorian Guard.
• To prevent a repeat of this they killed his wife
and his son.
• All of this led to the ruling of Claudius.
• Claudius ruled from41 AD-54 AD
• He was the black sheep of his family and was a
very surprising emperor considering he was
awkward, clumsy, and disfigured.
• His wife and his cousin Agrippina (Nero’s
mom) killed him to see her son in power faster
putting an end to his awkward and somewhat
successful time as emperor.
Nero’s Beginning
• Nero came to power when he was very young
after his mother Agrippina killed Claudius.
• He wanted to be independent though so he
started to make his own decisions and by 56
AD his mother retired.
Signs of a Good Start
• It seemed as if he would be a great emperor
at the beginning, he abolished secret trials
and gave the Senate more independence.
• He banned capital punishment, reduced taxes,
and even allowed slaves to sue unjust owners.
• He helped Jews and hurt cities after wars and
established poetry and athletic competitions.
Nero becomes Insane
• Stories started going around that he seduced
women and little boys.
• It was said that he castrated and married a
male slave.
• Then he started going out at random and
killing people in the streets for no reason.
Killing the Mom
• Relationships between Nero and Agrippina
grew worse and worse so Nero came to the
conclusion that it was time to kill her.
• He invited her by boat to come visit him on an
island. After her stay she was supposed to be
killed on her way home but the murder
attempt failed.
• Nero took matters into his own hands and
sent soldiers to complete the job which they
“Bad Omens” Start to occur
• Matricide- the killing of ones own motherwas among some of the worst crimes you
could commit.
• After the killing of Agrippina things started to
happen. Tacitus said “Unlucky birds settled on
the Capitol, houses fell in numerous
earthquakes and the weak were trampled by
the fleeing crowd."
• Even worse the great fire of Rome came and
lasted six days and seven nights.
Nero’s End
• After releasing all of his guard on people
forcing them to kill themselves or be killed
riots began and the Senate declared him a
public enemy.
• That meant anyone could kill him without
punishment so he fled to the country with his
slaves and killed himself.
• Now that Rome had no leader with the
ultimate prize up for grabs rival generals
headed for Rome and civil war broke out.
Pictures of Caligula
Pictures of Nero
The End