Barret ’ s Caligula: The Corruption of Power among others paved the way for this interpretation and really doesn ’ t giv as its premise a radically different viewpoint.
oth see Caligula as a Stalinesque figure; an all-too-sane monster who saw the world perhaps too clearly and was not reluctan to ut up with the farce of concealing his power.
Thi difference between these two books is this: Barrett went through Caligula ’ s reign in numbing detail and showed us there was a clear rational approach at work.
Winterling goes straight for questions of character.In this book we follow Caligula from his early ears as family pet through the horrors he endured as Tiberius slowly liquidated his family and hen the gradual dissolution of his friendshi with the Senate.
he goal of the Senate was to recognize these unstated wishes and act on them, thus preserving their authority while abrogating their power.
He fel the Senate had and ca have power as well as authority.
And in keeping with the theme of communication, Caligula ’ s main method of humiliating senators was to take their stated wish at face value while ignoring their unstated wish.
specially since to do otherwise would mean your death, th fact which he loved sticking their face in.I ’ m less sure I buy the idea that his claims of godhood were designed to umiliate the Senators by having them publicly take an absurd idea literally.
Of course he used his godhood to humiliate Senators.
And I hink it ’ s anothe decen memoi for any different uses.