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Caligula’s war with Poseidon

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Caligula's war with Poseidon
Caligula's war with Poseidon

Emperor Caligula made many bizarre decisions during his reign. Certainly one of them was declaring war on the god of the sea, Poseidon. He ordered his soldiers to go to the beach and stab the sea and waves with their swords and throw spears at them.

Then the legionaries, on the orders of the ruler, began to collect shells that were spoils of war and which were to be transported to the Capitol. This event, according to Suetonius, was supposed to take place before the planned invasion of Britain. Contemporary researchers wonder whether the emperor’s bizarre decision was intended to punish recalcitrant and reluctant soldiers to board the ship, or whether it was due to Caligula’s madness.

  • Suetonius, Caligula, 44-46

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