Caligula survived when most of the other potential candidates to the throne were destroyed.
The death of Gemellus and of Silanus, Caligula's father-in-law, took place right after Caligula recovered.
In 33 C.E., Tiberius gave Caligula the position of honorary czarship, the only form of public service Caligula would hold until his reign.
At night, Caligula would inflict torture on slaves and watch bloody gladiatorial games with glee.
Suetonius writes that the Prefect of the Praetorian Guard Naevius Sutorius Macro smothered Tiberius with a pillow to hasten Caligula's accession, much to the joy of the Roman people.
The lack of a full accounting of Caligula's reign, and the hyperbolic nature of the records that do remain, creates several problems for historical analysis.
By this time, Caligula was already in favor with Tiberius.
Caligula proved to have a flair for administration and won further favor with the ailing Tiberius by carrying out many of his duties for him.
Unpopular emperors such as Tiberius and Caligula may not have had the whole truth written about them, and gossip is common throughout ancient texts.
Recent sources say that Caligula probably had encephalitis.
Caligula was loved by many simply by being the beloved son of the popular Germanicus.
Perhaps modeling his rule after the Hellenistic monarchs, Caligula sought to make himself the center of all religious activity, as has been noted above.
The vast financial reserves that Tiberius had left behind were quickly spent and the imperial treasury emptied by the end of Caligula's brief reign.
Suetonius compares Caligula to Julius Caesar; in the mind of the Roman Senate, the delicately balanced Principate had become little more than the tyranny it had rid itself of a century before.
Caligula's religious policy was a firm departure from the policy of his predecessors.
During this period Caligula had little outside contact, and his sole companions were his three sisters, Agrippina the Younger, Drusilla, and Julia Livilla.
Caligula expanded this Cult on an unprecedented scale.
Raised in luxury, with the expectation of exercising enormous power, Caligula may have been as much a victim of circumstance as the cause of his indulgent life and lax morality.
From a very early age Caligula learned to tread very carefully.
The purges of Tiberius had removed from the Senate some of the staunchest supporters of the Julian line, of which Caligula was a prominent member.
Whatever else may be said about Caligula and his reign, it is known that his rule was short and tumultuous, and that after his death there were few who mourned his passing.
Authors Michael Grant (1975) and Donna W. Hurley (1993) state that the real break between Caligula and the Senate, and thereafter his extravagant behavior, did not occur until 39 C.E.
The adolescent Caligula was sent to live first with his great-grandmother, and Tiberius's mother, Livia in 27 C.E., possibly as a hostage.
Caligula's reign saw the expansion of the imperial court and imperial palace into the Forum itself.
Once again, however, due to the lack of sources, what precisely occurred and why is a matter of debate even among the primary sources for Caligula's reign.
Caligula was born as Gaius Julius Caesar Germanicus on August 31, 12, at the resort of Antium, the third of six surviving children born to Augustus's adopted grandson, Germanicus, and Augustus's granddaughter, Agrippina the Elder.
Regardless of the validity of any of these anecdotes, historians tend to agree on one fact, that Caligula was extremely unqualified and unprepared to be Emperor.
Chaisson (2005) notes, for example, "though all trilobites have been extinct for the past 200 million years, paleobiologists are reasonably sure that some version of them gave rise to most of today’s animals."
By the time Caligula's German guard responded in a rage by attacking the co-conspirators and innocent civilians alike, the Emperor was already dead.
The Roman historian Suetonius referred to Caligula as a "monster," and the surviving sources are universal in their condemnation.
In 31 C.E., Caligula was remanded to the personal care of Tiberius on Capri.
On becoming Emperor, Caligula performed a spectacular stunt.
Backed by Macro, Caligula had Tiberius’s will with regards to Tiberius Gemellus declared null and void on grounds of insanity, but otherwise carried out Tiberius's wishes.
What is clear is that in 39 Caligula removed and replaced the Consuls without consulting the Senate, and publicly humiliated several Senators by forcing them to run alongside his chariot in their full robes.
The nature of the europium anomaly found is used to help reconstruct the relationships within a suite of igneous rocks.
Germanicus (Caligula's father) was son to Nero Claudius Drusus and Antonia Minor.
Later, Caligula's accusers would focus on this close relationship, accusing the Emperor of having engaged in incest with all three, but especially Drusilla.
Ancient sources, like Roman biographers Suetonius and Cassius Dio, describe Caligula having a "brain fever."
Caligula, faced with an uncooperative Senate, seems to have quickly tired of this facade and decided to act indiscriminately with the powers given to him as Princeps.
Chaerea requested the watchword from the Emperor and, after Caligula's response, struck the first blow.
Based on the contemporary reports of his behavior, modern psychology would likely diagnose Caligula as delusional, and possibly suffering from antisocial personality disorder as a result of his traumatic upbringing.
Suetonius writes of Caligula's servile nature towards Tiberius, and his indifferent nature towards his dead mother and brothers.
An observer said of Caligula: "Never was there a better servant or a worse master!"
Caligula was thus presented with a Senate that, at best, offered half-hearted support.
Caligula was also incredibly self-indulgent, dramatic proof of this has been found with the discovery of two sunken ships at the bottom of Lake Nemi.
The question of whether or not Caligula was insane remains unanswered.
Caligula was murdered following a conspiracy amongst officers of the Praetorian Guard, apparently for reasons of personal insult and spite.
When Tiberius died on March 16, 37, his estate and the titles of the Principate were left to Caligula and Tiberius's own son, Tiberius Gemellus, who were to serve as joint heirs.