Statue of Roman Emperor Caligula Discovered in Italy

A statue of the Roman Emperor Caligula was recently uncovered at an illegal dig in Italy. There are fewer statues of the Roman Emperor as he suffered a damnatio memoriae (erasure of his name from history) by the Senate shortly after his assassination.

The site is located at Nemi, south of the city of Rome, where Caligula was known to have luxurious retreat. Archaeologists recovered the statue in January after the Italian government stopped an illegal dig at the location. You can read more about the statue and the excavation in this Discovery News article.


6 thoughts on “Statue of Roman Emperor Caligula Discovered in Italy

  1. Pingback: The Blame Game | Still Skeptical After All These Years

  2. Mike Franklin

    Caligula is a fascinating study into one of the darker corners of the human condition. At one time (not so long ago), he was considered quite the unique case… a rare bird, if you will.

    But today?

    Well into the digital expanses of the 21st century, we find that he is just not that special. His dark, decadent vey is no less spectacular in the historic sense, but when held up to those who today lobby for social acceptance in similar, as-is condition, he can begin to take on a pretty common appearance.

    1. Jennifer Lockett Post author

      I don’t know if you’re familiar with the revival and ‘apologist’ rise of Caligula scholars. Most of his ‘bad behavior’ is regarded as hyperbole or propaganda. It’s an interesting revision, akin to the image we have of the Emperor Domitian (My fave).

      1. Mike Franklin

        Can’t really say much re Domitian. If memory serves (from classroom days), he was something of a domineering autocrat who was assassinated by…. um, the Praetorian… or maybe Senate?

        Ouch. Digging that deep hurt, lol1

        I do recall that history from his reign was supposedly stricken, not unlike so many cartouches were chiseled off of Egyptian monuments when a particular personality fell heavily out of favor. ..

      2. Jennifer Lockett Post author

        Domitian was killed by one of his freedmen, but the conspiracy itself was rather vast and involved members of the Senate, the court, and even his own family.

        Really, any figure that receives the Damnatio Memoriae (the official ‘historical death’ the Romans put down) are already problematic figures – they are painted quite harshly by Roman historians. Assassination does not equal terrible guy, look at: Abe Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr., etc. So, take the ‘domineering autocrat’ with a grain of salt. He was hugely popular amongst the populace and the government had relatively little corruption.

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