January 24th 41 AD: Caligula killed

On this day in 41 AD, the Roman Emperor Caligula was assassinated by his guard in Rome. Born in Italy in 12 AD as Gaius Julius Caesar Germanicus, he is today known by his nickname Caligula, or ‘Little Boot’. The name was given to him by Roman soldiers on the German frontier when he was a young boy, owing to his footwear. After his parents were killed by imperial forces, Caligula was adopted by his great uncle, Emperor Tiberius; he became the third Roman emperor upon Tiberius’s death in 37 AD. With the support of the army he quickly moved to eradicate any challenges to his reign, having Tiberius’s grandson and rival heir executed. As emperor, Caligula lavished Rome with grand games and building projects. However, he soon became despised for his increasing megalomania and apparent insanity, which stemmed from an illness early in his reign. He supposedly tried to humiliate the Senate by making his favourite horse, Incitatus, a senator. Caligula also reversed previous imperial trend by actively encouraging worship of himself as a god. His reign was also brutal in its vicious treason trials and frequent executions of dissenters; he even made it a capital offence to mention a goat in the presence of the very hairy Caligula. Caligula had imperial aspirations, and undertook military campaigns in Germany and planned one to Britain. In 41 AD, after a four year reign, the increasingly unpopular Caligula was assassinated aged 29 by his own bodyguards. He was succeeded by his uncle Claudius, who proved a much more even-tempered and moderate leader.

Two Types of Ravenclaws
  • Ravenclaw 1: *chopping up some basil*
  • Ravenclaw 2: Basil is a pretty good name
  • Ravenclaw 1: Like Basil Rathbone, the late English actor
  • Ravenclaw 2: It was also a common name among Eastern Roman Emperors and the source of the name Vasily in Russian
Not everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.
—  Marcus Aurelius
Elagabalus: The Transgender Roman Emperor

Reign: 8 June 218 – 11 March 222

Caesar Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus was 14 years old when he became Roman Emperor. He is known to history as Elagabalus because he was from birth the high priest of the androgynous sun deity Elagabal. Elagabalus is recorded as having been one of the most infamous and degenerate figures in Roman history.

Elagabalus married and divorced five women but his most stable relationship seems to have been his chariot driver, a blond slave from Caria name Hierocles, whom he referred to as his husband. He married a man name Zoticus, an athlete from Smyrna, in a pubic ceremony at Rome.

When he was married to Hierocles, Elagabalus would dress like a woman and allow himself to be caught in the act of adultery by his husband, who would then beat him as husbands were then allowed to beat their wives.

Elagabalus would paint his eyes, epilate his hair and wear wigs before prostituting himself in taverns, brothels, and even in the imperial palace: 

“Finally, he set aside a room in the palace and there committed his indecencies, always standing nude at the door of the room, as the harlots do, and shaking the curtain which hung from gold rings, while in a soft and melting voice he solicited the passers-by. There were, of course, men who had been specially instructed to play their part. For, as in other matters, so in this business, too, he had numerous agents who sought out those who could best please him by the size of their penis. He would collect money from his patrons and give himself airs over his gains; he would also dispute with his associates in this shameful occupation, claiming that he had more lovers than they and took in more money.”

He was described as having been “delighted to be called the mistress, the wife, the queen of Hierocles” and was reported to have offered vast sums of money to any physician who could equip him with female genitalia.

One of his palace orgies was the scene of an inadvertent massacre when so many flower petals were showered upon the banquet guests that dozens of people suffocated to death as they reclined on their couches.

He was known to harness teams of naked women to his chariot and whip them as they pulled him around the palace grounds.

On his head, he wore a crown in the shape of a tiara, glittering with gold and precious stones.

He preferred to spend his days in the company of the palace women, singing, dancing and weaving.

The soldiers were revolted at the sight of him. With his face made up more elaborately than a modest woman, he was effeminately dressed up in golden necklaces and soft clothes, dancing for everyone to see.

At the age of 18, in March 222 AD, Rome’s soldiers finally rebelled against their Emperor. After slaughtering his minions and tearing out their vital organs, they then fell upon Elagabalus as he hid cowering in a latrine. After killing him, they dragged his body through the streets by a hook and attempted to stuff it into a sewer. When it proved too big, they threw him into the River Tiber.


The Colossi of Memnon are 2 sandstone statues of the Egyptian Pharoah Amenhotep III which have stood for the past 3,400 years in the Theban Necropolis, just west of the city of Luxor in Egypt. They were built to stand guard at the entrance of Amenhotep’s memorial temple, little of which remains today. Its foundation was too close to the Nile, and slowly eroded away over the centuries.

At 18 meters tall (60 feet) and weigh approximately 720 tons each, the Colossi are all that remain, but both have suffered extensive damage over the years. While the southern statue still remains a single piece of stone, its northern counterpart is decidedly broken, the result of a supposed earthquake around 27 BC. But after splitting in half, the statue was reputed to “sing” on occasion – usually within an hour or two of sunrise, most often right at dawn, and most often in February and March. Local legend had it that hearing the “Vocal Memnon” (as it had been nicknamed) would bring good luck, but also inspire some kind of oracular power or moment of foresight in the listener. In any case, the legend became known outside of Egypt, and the colossi were visited by a steady stream of travellers, not the least of which including various Roman Emperors.

There have been several explanations for the phenomenon ranging from man made to natural. In the case of the latter, it was likely the sound of dew evaporating from inside the inherently porous sandstone. In any case The last recorded instance of anyone hearing the sound was in 196, though it is said that around 199, Roman Emperor Septimius Severus attempted to rebuild the northern statue as a means to gain favour with the oracle.

Julio César
Julius Caesar
Militar y político romano (100 a. C. - 44 a. C.)
Roman military and politician (100 BC - 44 BC)

Español: Cayo Julio César
Latina: Gaius Iulius Caesar
Deutsch: Gaius Julius Cäsar
English: Gaius Julius Caesar
Français: Caius Jules César

Nicolas Coustou (1658-1733), 1696.