Caligula, the third emperor of Rome. His real name was Gaius Caesar Germanicus. Caligula (Little Boots) was the nickname given him as a boy by soldiers because of the army boots he wore about his father's camp. He was the son of the general Germanicus.
Caligula succeeded his great-uncle Emperor Tiberius in 37 A. D. About eight months after becoming emperor he apparently went insane. He was said to have delighted in acts of cruelty, murdering or banishing his relatives and subjects without cause. He allowed himself to be addressed as a god and indulged in strange whims; for example, he reportedly proposed that his horse be made a consul. In the fourth year of his reign, he was assassinated by officers of his guard. His uncle, Claudius I, succeeded him.