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Herod Agrippa Visits Alexandria

Contributed by Southpaw Ben

This year Herod Agippa visits Alexandria, which sparked massive anti-Jewish riots, with the mob wanting to place statues of Caligula in every synagoge. Later he will intercede when Caligula attempts to put his own statue in the Temple at Jerusalem. Josephus claims he was succesful in preventing it, however Philo of Alexandria claims that Caligula later does it anyways, erecting a colossal statue of himself made of gilt brass, transforming the Jewish temple into aa Temple for Caligula.

My Take by Southpaw Ben
Christian historians from this time take a much more negative view of Herod Agrippa than most Jewish historians. Agrippa will eventually rule as king of Judea for 3 years. But for now, his Uncle, Herod Antipas, is ruling this region.

Imperial Madhouse

Contributed by David Verne

Caligula's beloved sister, Julia Drusilla, dies in the middle of this year, and without her mellowing influence Caligula goes further off the deep end. Augustus and Tiberius deferred to the Senate and maintained the illusion of power being vested in them by the Senate. Caligula did everything he could to embarrass and demean the Senate. He forced them to run alongside his carriage on the streets of Rome, and senators who didn't show up or weren't enthusiastic enough were targeted for future humiliation. Caligula would frequently invite senators to dine with him and during the meal, would pick out one of the married women and take her to the bedroom. Neither the husband or wife could do anything about this; any challenge to Caligula was being treated as a capital offense, and executions weren't just strangulation or beheading. Caligula would have people bled and nicked to death, in some cases the executioners keeping the victims alive for hours. Parents were forced to watch the executions of their children. After the people were executed, their estates were seized and sold, to pay for Caligula's growing deficit. He also began referring to himself as a god, and would appear in public dressed as one of the gods. [1]

My Take by David Verne
Caligula was married four times during his life, his first wife died in childbirth, and his second and third wives were stolen from other men. His second wife, Livia Orestilla was taken on her wedding night by Caligula, who was one of the wedding guests. He abandoned her days later and forbid her to marry another man. Her actual husband, Gaius Calpurnius Piso, was banished from Rome, but survived Caligula's reign. Piso will later be involved in the plot to kill Nero. There will be good emperors in Roman history, ones who will use their power to do a lot of good, but the reign of Caligula shows us that the risk of giving anyone absolute power is just too great.

See Also


  1. Duncan, Mike (June 28, 2009). No Better Slave, No Worse Master.

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