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Caligula (Hardback)

An Unexpected General

Ancient History Military > Biographies > Military Biographies

By Dr Lee Fratantuono
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 262
ISBN: 9781526711205
Published: 30th May 2018



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Gaius Caligula reigned for four short years from 37 to 41 CE before his infamous tenure came to a violent end. While much has been written about Caligula’s notorious excesses and court life, relatively little of his military and foreign policy has been seriously studied.

This is a military history of Rome during Caligula’s reign. Caligula had been raised in a military camp (his nickname, Caligula, means ‘Little Boot’. His years as emperor came in the wake of the great consolidation of Tiberius’ gains in Germany and Pannonia, and in large part made possible the invasions of Gaul and Britain that were undertaken by his uncle and successor, Claudius. His expeditions in Gaul were part of a programme of imitation of his storied predecessor, and crowning completion of what had been left undone in the relatively conservative military policy years of Augustus and Tiberius.

Caligula: An Unexpected General offers a new appraisal of Caligula as a surprisingly competent military strategist, arguing that his achievements helped to secure Roman military power in Europe for a generation.

This is a book primarily of text, readable and based on original research. It sheds much new light on a controversial Emperor with fresh and original insights. There is a colour plate section providing modern images of locations related to the study of Caligula. A very interesting read.

Read the full review here


As featured by

Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy, December/January 2018

This isn’t a lightweight read, as you can probably imagine, but it is well worth the investment if you want to know about Caligula and especially if you want to explore something of the man other than his fabled excesses.

Ripperologist, June/July 2018 – reviewed by Paul Begg

About Dr Lee Fratantuono

Dr. Lee Fratantuono is Adjunct Professor of Classics at the National University of Ireland-Maynooth. A specialist in Augustan and Neronian Age literature and Roman republican and imperial history, he has published more than a dozen books on various aspects of antiquity, including studies of Lucullus, Caligula, the Roman conquests of Mesopotamia and Arabia, and the Battle of Actium.

Claudius succeeds his nephew Caligula as Roman Emperor after the latter's assassination by officers of the Praetorian Guard

24th January 0041

Claudius succeeds his nephew Caligula as Roman Emperor after the latter's assassination by officers of the Praetorian Guard

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