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(1887) [MARC] Author: Viktor Rydberg Translator: Alfred Corning Clark With: Hans Anton Westesson Lindehn
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Full resolution (JPEG) - On this page / på denna sida - The Roman Emperors in Marble - 3. Caligula

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Morally an idiot, he was by no means a dunce. He had
wit pointed by wickedness ; he had logic sharpened by
malice ; and style that acquired elevation from a taste
for the horrible.
If this creature were not in full possession of his
senses, I yet doubt whether as an individual man he could
on valid grounds have been shut up in a madhouse.
Rather ought he to have been housed in a penitentiary.
Where the landmark stands between insanity and crime,
is still a matter undecided, although every day needs a
solution of the question of accountability. That Caligula
built a palace and established a court state for his favor-
ite horse Incitatus, our jockey-clubs at least should not
regard as a mark of unsoundness of mind ; and that he
thought of making Incitatus Roman consul, was not
so mad, either. Worse consuls had Rome had ; and the
duties of office accompanying the dignity were not now
so weighty that they could not be discharged by Incita-
tus, with the help of a stable-boy.
Two men at Caligula’s court were the objects of his
merciless tricks. One was his uncle Claudius, the other.
Cassius Cerea, colonel of the guard. The latter’s incom-
parable proofs of manhood on the battlefield did not
shield him from the most shameful scorn in the imperial
palace. Cerea bore it, or seemed to bear it, with the
rough patience of an old soldier; Claudius, with the
absent-minded calm of an aged scholar. One was Cali-
gula’s slayer, the other his successor.
One day as Caligula was leaving the theatre, the two
colonels of the guard doing duty on the occasion, waited
for him in the portico, to receive the password for the
day. One of them was Cerea. When he at other times
asked the watchword, the emperor’s mocking answer

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