Lives of the Caesars, IV


C. Caligula

I. Germanicus, C. Caesaris pater, Drusi et minoris Antoniae filius, a Tiberio patruo adoptatus, quaesturam quinquennio ante quam per leges liceret et post eam consulatum statim gessit, missusque ad exercitum in Germaniam, excessu Augusti nuntiato, legiones universas imperatorem Tiberium pertinacissime recusantis et sibi summam rei p. deferentis incertum pietate an constantia maiore compescuit atque hoste mox devicto triumphavit. Consul deinde iterum creatus ac prius quam honorem iniret ad componendum 2 Orientis statum expulsus, cum Armeniae regem devicisset, Cappadociam in provinciae formam redegisset, annum agens aetatis quartum et tricensimum diuturno morbo Antiochiae obiit, non sine veneni suspicione. Nam praeter livores, qui toto corpore erant, et spumas, quae per os fluebant, cremati quoque cor inter ossa incorruptum


Gaius Caligula

Book IV

Gaius Caligula

I. Germanicus, father of Gaius Caesar, son of Drusus and the younger Antonia, after being adopted by his paternal uncle Tiberius,1 held the quaestorship five years before the legal age and passed directly to the consulship.2 He was sent to the army in Germany, where it is hard to say whether his filial piety or his courage was more conspicuous; for when the death of Augustus was announced,3 although all the legions obstinately refused to accept Tiberius as emperor, and offered him the rule of the state,4 he held them to their allegiance. And later he won a victory over the enemy and celebrated a triumph.5 Then chosen consul for a second time, before he entered on his term he was hurried off to restore order in the Orient, and after vanquishing the king of Armenia and reducing Cappadocia to the form of a province, died of a lingering illness at Antioch, in the thirty-fourth year of his age. There was some suspicion that he was poisoned; for besides the dark spots which appeared all over his body and the froth which flowed from his mouth, after he had been reduced to ashes his heart was found entire among his bones; and it is supposed to be a characteristic of that

  • 1In a.d. 4.
  • 2That is, without holding the intermediate offices; the interval between his quaestorship (in a.d. 7) and consulship (in a.d. 12) was five years.
  • 3In a.d. 14.
  • 4Cf. Tib. xxv. 2.
  • 5In a.d. 17 and 18.
DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.suetonius-lives_caesars_book_iv_gaius_caligula.1914