c.40AD: ‘Death to those who mention goats in my presence’




The Roman emperor Caligula (reigned 37-41AD) is well known for his alleged insanity and perversions, which included acts of incest with his sisters and fornication with numerous married women. According to the Roman historian Suetonius, Caligula was also touchy about his appearance – particularly his bald spot and his excessive body hair:

“…Because of his bald head and the hairiness of his body, he announced that it was a capital offence should anyone either look down on him [from above] as he passed, or to mention goats in any context in the emperor’s presence…”

Source: Suetonius, De Vita Caesarum, c.120AD. Content on this page is © Alpha History 2016. Content may not be republished without our express permission. For more information please refer to our Terms of Use or contact Alpha History.

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