The Emperor Caligula in the Ancient Sources (Barrett Anthony A.)(Paperback)

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There can be few historical figures who have made such a powerful impact on the popular imagination as the Roman emperor Caligula (died AD 41). Yet an accurate reconstruction of his life and reign largely eludes us. This is paradoxical. The source material is plentiful, even lavish, by the standards of antiquity. The problem lies not so much in the quantity of evidence available, but in its quality. For our information we are obliged to draw on ancient accounts that can be colourful and wonderfully entertaining but have a flexible notion of historical truth and often seem to border on fiction. The consequence is that there is hardly a detail that the modern historian can present without deep reservations about its reliability. A biography of Caligula, in the regular modern sense of the word, is an insurmountable task, and can be at best be a summary personal interpretation by an