Bust of Gaius Caligula
Bust of Gaius Caligula

Caligula or the Personalisation of Power

1 August 2018 until 31 August 2023
Project member(s)
H.C.M. van Nispen (Henri)
Project type

Caligula came to power in the complicated situation of an autocratic rule hidden behind a republican veil. Making full use of the unique powers granted him en bloc by the Senate, Caligula demonstrated the realities of absolute power. After only four years he was assassinated. Shortly after, senatorial authors used the medium of historiography to start their character assassination, depicting him as an insane psychopath. This study asks what could happen with the dark picture of Caligula and his reign if analysed from non-literary sources.


Zwarte inkt: de karaktermoord op Gaius Caligula. Tijdschrift voor Geschiedenis 134.2 (2021) 201-215. https://doi.org/10.5117/tVg2021.2.003.Nisp


Contact information


  • H.C.M. van Nispen (Henri)