One of the most notoriously debauched and wicked Roman Emperors, over the course of his reign, Caligula’s name would become a byword for evil. One of the two joint heirs of Tiberius, Caligula may have ordered the murder of his predecessor and definitely ordered the disinheriting of his co-heir. Although Caligula started off popular with the people, his mood soured after an illness later in the year of his ascension to the throne and the deaths of beloved family members.
A financial crisis brought on by Caligula’s over-spending made him unpopular with both the Senate and the people of Rome, especially after it escalated into a famine. His lowered reputation, as sexually predatory, a drunkard and a killer with a hair-trigger temper, date from this time, and their veracity in unclear. What is certain is that Caligula’s reign lasted only until 41 CE, when he was assassinated and succeeded by Claudius.