Archaeologists unearth place where Emperor Caligula met his end





Archeologists say that they have found the underground passage in which the Emperor Caligula was murdered by his own Praetorian Guard to put an end to his deranged reign of terror.

Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (AD12–AD41), known by his nickname Caligula (Little Boots), was the third emperor of the Roman Empire after Augustus and Tiberius, and like them a member of the Julio-Claudian dynasty.

His assassination was the result of a conspiracy by members of the Senate who hoped to restore the Roman Republic. However the Praetorian Guard declared Caligula’s uncle Claudius emperor instead, thus preserving the monarchy.

Maria Antonietta Tomei, a Rome archeologist, said a cryptoportico or underground corridor discovered beneath the imperial palaces on the Palatine Hill matched exactly the description given by the Rome historian Suetonius, who says that the Emperor was stabbed to death after watching an entertainment. He left via the passageway, where the Praetorian Guard led by its commander, Cassius Chaerea, was lying in wait.

Professor Tomei said she was “absolutely convinced” that the cryptportico was the one in which Caligula met his end. Although it bore builders’ stamps from the time of Claudius, it already existed at the time of Caligula, and had only been restructured by his uncle and successor.



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