If you are a fan of ancient Rome, you will enjoy our Caligula quotes.
Gaius Claudius Caesar, better known as Caligula, is one of the most infamous leaders in our planet’s history.
We have some of the best and most interesting quotes about Caligula below.
You may also enjoy reading these related articles:
Who was Caligula?
Caligula was a Roman Emperor who served from 37-41 AD.
He was born in the year 12 AD to the son of General Germanicus.
Check out these interesting facts about Caligula below:
- Caligula declared himself a living God.
- Caligula banned anyone from talking about goats around him.
- Caligula might have overspent and left Rome in debt, but he oversaw the completion of some of Rome’s most important buildings.
What is Caligula known for?
The name Caligula is synonymous with blood lust, power, and debauchery.
Some find it easy to judge people from other cultures, and some argue that Caligula was living his culture.
Today, many of his decisions would be viewed as predatorial and criminal.
He participated in incestual relations with his relatives and was known to sleep with his sisters while his wife watched.
However, the Roman Emperor was not all bad.
In fact, the first few months of Caligula’s rule went relatively well.
In the first months of his reign, Caligula led a series of political reforms to benefit Rome and even recalled all exiles abroad.
Historians note that something changed after his initial months in office.
Some say he suffered a traumatic experience or a mental illness.
His transformation from a well-rounded leader to an out-of-control tyrant occurred quickly.
Caligula massacred large groups of people, raped, pillaged, and attempted insane vanity projects.
Caligula drove Rome into debt with his massive projects.
He successfully oversaw the completion of some of Rome’s most iconic structures, including the Temple of Augustus, Pompeii’s Theater, the rebuilding of the walls in the Temple of Syracuse, and the reconstruction of the Roman city in the Alps.
Check out our Caligula quotes below to learn more about the Mad Emporer.
Short Caligula quotes from the most notorious Cesear
Caligula is known as the most brutal of all of Rome’s leaders.
1. “I live!” — Caligula (Gaius Claudius Caesar)
2. “Sand without lime.” — Caligula (Gaius Claudius Caesar)
3. “Don’t take liberties with my wife.” — Caligula (Gaius Claudius Caesar)
4. “Let them hate me, so they fear me.” — Caligula (Gaius Claudius Caesar)
5. “Draw the sword of his nightly labors.” — Caligula (Gaius Claudius Caesar)
6. “I scorn their hatred, if they do but fear me.” — Caligula (Gaius Claudius Caesar)
7. “Strike so that he may feel that he is dying.” — Caligula (Gaius Claudius Caesar)
8. “A man ought either to be frugal or Caesar.” — Caligula (Gaius Claudius Caesar)
9. “Do neither good nor ill to the man whom I have sent you.” — Caligula (Gaius Claudius Caesar)
10. “Would that the Roman people had but one neck!” — Caligula (Gaius Claudius Caesar)
Famous Caligula quotes from the 1979 film about godhood and treason
In the movie Caligula, we witness Rome’s ultimate leader’s violent, lustful nature.
11. “Let them hate me, so long as they fear me.” — Malcolm Mcdowell, Caligula, 1979
12. “I hear you have a taste for little boys. Is that not so?” — Malcolm Mcdowell, Caligula, 1979
13. “I have existed from the morning of the world, and I shall exist until the last star falls from the night.” — Malcolm Mcdowell, Caligula, 1979
14. “Although I have taken the form of Gaius Caligula, I am all men as I am no man and therefore I am a God.” — Malcolm Mcdowell, Caligula, 1979
15. “That IS your treason! You’re an honest man, Proculus, which means a bad Roman! Therefore, you are a traitor! Logical, hmm? Ha, ha, ha!” — Malcolm Mcdowell, Caligula, 1979
Quotes about Emperor Caligula from accomplished writers
Below we have some extraordinary Caligula quotes and references from various writers.
16. “She pointed proudly at her feet, which were now adorned with the shoes of Terpsichore from Caligula’s private collection.” ― Rick Riordan, The Tyrant’s Tomb
17. “It’s like being in Caligula’s Rome, and everyone around you’s having an orgy, and you’re the mug stuck looking after the horse.” ― Paul Murray
18. “Animals fattened for your for your arena suffered less than you in dying-yours the lawlessness of something simple that has lost its law, my namesake, and the last Caligula.” ― Robert Lowell, For the Union Dead
19. “Caligula wished that the Roman people had but one neck that he might cut it off, and as I read this letter, I am afraid that for a moment I was capable of wishing the same thing concerning the laboring class of America.” ― Edward Bellamy, Looking Backward
20. “I know in precise detail what Caligula did to, and with, his sisters, and I can quote it to you in Latin or in my own translation if you wish. I am interested in historical truth, and truth in history is often unpleasant and distasteful to those of fine sensibility.” ― Mercedes Lackey, The Fire Rose
Biographical quotes about Caligula from the historian Seutonius
Seutonius’s most well-known book, The Twelve Ceasars, chronicled the different Roman leader’s history.
This selection gives us a glimpse into how brutal Caligula was.
21. “So much for the Emperor; the rest of this history must deal with the Monster.” — Suetonius, The Twelve Caesars
22. “As for Gaius, he has no more chance of becoming emperor than of riding a horse dry-shod across the Gulf of Baiae.” — Suetonius, The Twelve Caesars
23. “He lived in habitual incest with all his sisters, and at a large banquet he placed each of them in turn below him, while his wife reclined above.” — Suetonius, The Twelve Caesars
24. “At a public banquet in Rome, he immediately handed a slave over to the executioners for stealing a strip of silver from the couches, with orders that his hands be cut off and hung from his neck upon his breast, and that he then be led about among the guests.” — Suetonius, The Twelve Caesars
25. “Having asked a man who had been recalled from an exile of long-standing how in the world he spent his time there, the man replied by way of flattery: “I constantly prayed the gods for what has come to pass, that Tiberius might die and you become emperor.” Thereupon Caligula, thinking that his exiles were likewise praying for his death, sent emissaries from island to island to butcher them all.” — Suetonius, The Twelve Caesars
How did Caligula die?
If Caligula was such a mad tyrant, how did he die?
There is an adage that says absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Caligula is a classic example of this proverb.
Caligula started well but burned out quickly.
His reign as Emperor lasted four short years.
During that time, he accomplished some incredible feats, but they all came at a costly price.
Rome was heavily in debt after his rule.
His peers and subjects were furious at his lavish lifestyle.
Many were critical of his dazzling displays of power.
A well-known story is that Caligula once ordered his naval fleet to arrange for hundreds of merchant ships to form a three-mile-long floating bridge.
Caligula rode a horse across the bridge wearing a golden cape for two days straight.
These types of exploits did not help his reputation.
In 41 AD, Caligula was assassinated, and his tyrannical rule over Rome ended.
What is your favoite Caligula quote?
Please be sure to let us know in the comments below.