14. Rome’s Most Depraved Emperor?
Caligula kicked off the weirdness early. A soothsayer had predicted that he had no more chance of becoming emperor than of riding a horse across the Bay of Baiae. So Caligula ordered a two-mile bridge built across the bay, then rode his horse across it while clad in the breastplate and armor of Alexander the Great. Other examples include the time when he began to cackle uncontrollably at a party. When asked what was funny, Caligula replied that he found it hilarious that with a mere gesture of his finger, he could have the throat of anybody present slit, right then and there. Another example is the time he was annoyed by an unruly crowd at the Circus Maximus. So he pointed out a section of the stands to his guards, pointed out two bald guys, and ordered them to execute everybody “from baldhead to baldhead“.
On another occasion, he got bored at an arena when he was told that there were no more criminals to throw to the beasts – a common form of execution at the time. So he ordered a section of the crowd thrown to the wild animals. His depravities included incest with his sisters. At dinner parties, he frequently ordered guests’ wives to his bedroom, and after he had his way with them, returned to the party to rate the quality of their performance, and berated the cuckolded husbands for any of their wives’ shortcomings in bed. He also turned the imperial palace into a whorehouse, staffed with the wives of prominent senators and other dignitaries. As seen below, karma eventually caught up with Little Boots.