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  • "Caligula" was the popular nickname of Gaius, Roman emperor. Caligula was a member of the house of rulers conventionally known as the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Caligula's father Germanicus, the nephew and adopted son of Emperor Tiberius, was a very successful general and one of Rome's most beloved public figures. The young Gaius earned the nickname Caligula from his father's soldiers while accompanying him during his campaigns in Germania. When Germanicus died at Antioch in AD 19, his wife Agrippina the Elder returned to Rome with her six children where she became entangled in a bitter feud with Tiberius. The conflict eventually led to the destruction of her family, with Caligula as the sole male survivor. Untouched by the deadly intrigues, Caligula accepted the invitation to join the emperor on the island of Capri in AD 31, to where Tiberius, himself, had withdrawn five years earlier. With the death of Tiberius in AD 37, Caligula succeeded his great uncle and adoptive grandfather as Emperor.

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