13. Karma Catches Up With Caligula
To show his contempt for the Roman senatorial class and the Roman Republic for which they pined, Caligula had his beloved horse made consul – the Republic’s highest magistracy. On one occasion, Caligula declared war on the sea god Neptune, marched his legions to the sea, and had them collect seashells to show him who was boss. He eventually declared himself a god, removed the heads from various deities’ statues, and replaced them with his own. However, when karma finally caught up with Caligula, it was not because of the craziness, above. Instead, it was because he offended his own bodyguards.
Caligula’s Praetorian Guard security detail was under the command of a tribune named Cassius Chaera. He had a high-pitched voice, and Caligula liked to mimic it and mock him as effeminate. The emperor also thought it was the height of hilarity to come up with derogatory daily passwords that had to do with homosexuality. Whenever Chaerea was due to kiss the imperial ring, Caligula made sure it was on his middle finger, and waggled it obscenely. Chaerea finally had enough, and in 41 AD, he hatched an assassination plot with other Praetorian Guards. Caligula finally got a dose of lethal karma when his own bodyguards ambushed and hacked him up.