Monday 8th of March 2021

remembering not to forget a small pair of boots: history re-begins.

sea shells   Caesar Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus (161–180 CE) is deemed to be the best Roman Emperor, while Caligula (37–41 CE) is often voted the worst by historians.


Whether we re-imagine history or not, for the ordinary folks like Gus, the usefulness of history is like the trail of commercial aircrafts flying at 35,000 feet… The vapour soon vanishes.


Historians study the trails in detail to see the importance of inherited sliced cheese. Yet, more ordinary people know about Caligula for turning his horse into a Consul, rather than ones remember Aurelius. At our present stage of human enterprises, we are in need of peace, cajoling and understandings of the dynamics of human life on a little planet. 

Madness sticks to history. Caligula was mad, or was he not? At the moment Historians and the trucks from Removalists are working hard to eliminate any trace of the Donald at the White House. Madness could be catching:

"As Trump snubs the Inauguration, a frantic White House will remove all hints he was ever there”

Our popular democratic systems still elect emperors we call presidents to rule the affairs of the main kingdoms: US, Russia, China, and Europe’s bits and pieces. Though we do not need expansionism, nor the deceit of conquests, humans cannot help themselves in who is going to rule over the lot. Caesar Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus was a philosopher, a stoic, as well as a law person, but despite being “the best” of a good crop of an Emperor he was foremost a warrior. He did not like the Christians, nor the Germans. Three years of fighting had Marcus in the thick of it, trying to restore the Danubian frontier, and three more years of campaigning in Bohemia to bring the tribes beyond the Danube (the Russians?) to peace — at least for a short time.

Before Marcus, Caligula had ruled… He was tall, pale, ugly and so hairy that it was a capital offence to mention goats in front of him. He actually accentuated his ugliness by practicing terrifying facial expressions in a mirror. It was a bit like "who is the ugliest of all?” Me!…. Declared mad by many historians, he might have been a bit better than that. Caligula loved luxury and swam in piles of money while drinking pearls dissolved in vinegar. This would make your face wince… He still love to play his childhood games of dressing-up in weird clothing, with women’s shoes and expensive accessories and wigs — eager, according to his biographer, Cassius Dio, “to be anything else than a human being or an emperor.” He was god. He though he was or he let people think he did. He was mischievous.

Mind you, If I remember well, Caligula helped sanitise the swamp by building aqueducts and systems of sanitation through Rome, but his nephew Nero bunt that city down.

So who was the worse? Historian will make sure we remember Trump as an aberration, and idiot that stuffed up the traditional game of empire building by bringing a new low class of hubris, new techniques of “the deal” with threats that he kept breaking himself — and by denigrating the glorious armies to the point of denying them a little new war… 


Both, Trump and Caligula, lasted four years at the helm of Empire. One inning was enough for the populace now infected with the plague of Covid-19. Was it a serious enough disease for treating the infected like lepers on Poveglia Island, in Venice? Was Trump badly advised? Did he not want to stuff up the imaginary glorious economy he had helped create by bringing the manufacturers back home from China while making sure the rich got richer?

AFTER the adventures of Caesar in Britain, years had passed during which the Romans left the Britons in peace. But the British barbarians had not been forgotten…

Caligula had said he would go and conquer Britain. Unlike Julius Caesar who had landed and fought in one small part of it, Caligula wanted to bring all of it into the Roman Empire. Caligula gathered an army and marched from Italy through Gaul till he reached the coast. There, he apparently learned that Guilderius, the king of Britain, had heard of his coming and had gathered his own soldiers to fight. One does not how one learns this sort of things in those days: fishermen? Escapees? Scouts? Sea shells?

Yet, Caligula got his sailors to row him out a short way to sea and told them to return. Then he ordered his soldiers to form battle units. In front of the soldiers there was but the blue sea and the sandy shore covered with shells. Caligula ordered the soldiers to gather as many shells as they could.

When they had gathered a large quantity, Caligula thanked the soldiers for doing him a great service. "They had conquered the ocean and the islands in it, and the shells were the spoils of war". Caligula praised the soldiers for their bravery, and the shells would be placed in the temples of Rome in remembrance of this adventure. He rewarded the soldiers handsomely and all went home. 

This is how Caligula "conquered" Britain. She sells sea shells by the sea shore.

According to Gus the Bullshitter, the image at top from The New Yorker (c 1930/40s?) could represent the commemoration of Caligula’s fictitious conquest of England. It could also represent the worth of four years of Trump. 

Historical question: Did Caligula chicken out? Did Caligula think that the conquest of Britain was not worth the death of men. Did Caligula teach the world a lesson that was never learnt: Shells are more valuable than dead men in battle? Or Bitcoins?

Gaius Julius Caesar Germanicus, the Roman emperor usually referred to by his childhood nickname, Caligula, was eventually assassinated at the imperial palace on the Palatine Hill in Rome on 13 October (which calendar?) in 41AD.

His killers were officers of the Praetorian Guard who confronted him in an underground corridor at the imperial palace, where he had been hosting the Palatine Games, an entertainment event of sport and dramatic plays.

Caligula may have been stabbed 30 times in an act of symbolism, that being the number of knife wounds some believe were inflicted on Julius Caesar, his great-great-grandfather after whom he had been named. Julius was murdered in 44BC, but the number of blows he suffered is disputed.

The chief plotter in Caligula’s murder, and the first to draw blood, was Cassius Chaerea, an officer Caligula had frequently taunted for his weak, effeminate voice. The motives behind the assassination were much more than one aggrieved officer wishing to avenge a personal slight.

A descendent of Rome's most distinguished family, the Julio Claudiens, Caligula had initially been popular when he succeeded Tiberius to become the third emperor. His great-grandfather was Augustus, the first emperor, while his father, Germanicus, was a much-loved leader in his own right.

The young Gaius adored his father, who would take him on military campaigns from the age of three, fitting him out with a uniform and a small pair of boots — caligula in Latin — the name Germanicus’s soldiers adopted as a nickname for the little boy, which was to stick with him for life.

Tiberius, who killed or imprisoned most of Caligula’s family and whom Caligula blamed for the death of his father during a mission to Rome’s eastern provinces, was deeply disliked by the Roman public. Caligula won favour immediately by releasing citizens unjustly imprisoned by Tiberius and scrapping a number of unpopular taxes. Yippee! Taxes are always in the com-trails of history, even during the time of Jesus… Caligula staged chariot races, boxing matches, plays and gladiator fights for amusement of himself and of the citizens.

A severe mystery illness that struck him down barely six months into his rule seemed to change his character.

Tormented by crippling headaches, Caligula distracted himself by indulging in sexual proclivities, committing incest with his sisters and sleeping with other men's wives, bragging about it to them afterwards. He eliminated his political rivals and forced parents to watch the executions of their sons.

He is said to have killed for mere amusement. Once, at a games event over which he was presiding, it is alleged that he ordered his guards to throw an entire section of the audience into the arena to be eaten by lions because there were no prisoners left and he was bored. Caligula caused further outrage with his declaration that he was a living God, spending a fortune on a bridge between his palace and the Temple of Jupiter. He demanded that a statue of himself be erected in the Temple of Jerusalem for worship.

In his insanity, he was said to have promised to make his horse, Incitatus, a consul, and actually did appoint him a priest.

So Caligula was insane… Or was he suffering from a bad press or just a permanent headache? We know how history in motion, the News of Day, can be manipulated to create impressions that will give motivation for the political assassination of someone. For example, according to some press, John Winston Howard should be elevated to the best ever Prime Minister of Australia, while according to others, he should be in prison for having been part of a conspiracy to wage an illegal war. 

Then came Claudius, who of course conquered Britain. The troops had something better to do than collect shells: die gloriously in battle for the Roman department of invasion.
More historical FACTs to come

Glorious Historian of the sea shells.

the conquest of britain...

Among those who would not yield was a brave man called Caractacus. A great many of the Britons joined him and fought under his orders. Caractacus and his men fought well and bravely, but in the end the Romans defeated them.


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Among those who would not yield was a brave man called Caractacus. A great many of the Britons joined him and fought under his orders. Caractacus and his men fought well and bravely, but in the end the Romans defeated them.

After many battles Caractacus chose for his camp a place on the top of a hill on the borders of Shropshire, Cheshire, and Lancashire. There he made a very strong fortress surrounded by three walls and a deep ditch. The walls were so well built that after all these long years they can still be seen quite plainly to-day.

When the Roman soldiers came to the foot of the hill, Caractacus prepared for battle. He called his soldiers together and made a speech to them. "Show yourselves to be men," he said. "To-day is either the beginning of Liberty or of eternal bondage. Remember how your forefathers fought against Julius Caesar, and fight now for your homes, as they did for theirs.”

Then all the Britons called out, "We will die for our country." The noise of their shouts was carried by the wind to the camp of the Romans. It sounded to them as if the Britons were rejoicing. The Romans feared Caractacus. They knew how brave he and his men were. They knew that it would be very difficult to take his strong fortress. Yet they felt quite sure of taking it in the end, and they wondered what cause the Britons had for rejoicing.

And it happened as the Romans expected. After fierce fighting and great slaughter on both sides the camp was taken. Caractacus, his wife and daughter, and all his brothers were made prisoner and led in chains to Rome, and there was great sorrow in Britain.

Whenever a Roman emperor returned from battle and victory, he used to have what was called a Triumph. Every one in Rome had a holiday; the streets were gay with flowers and green wreaths. The conqueror, dressed in beautiful robes and wearing a crown of bay leaves, rode through the streets. He was followed by his soldiers, servants, and friends. Then came a long train of the captives he had made during the war, with the armour, weapons, jewels, and other riches he had taken from the conquered people.

When he was brought before the Emperor and Empress, Claudius and Agrippina, he did not behave like a slave or a captive, but like the freeborn king and Briton he was.

"I am as nobly born as you," he said proudly to Claudius. "I had men and horses, lands and great riches. Was it wonderful that I wished to keep them? You fight to gain possession of the whole world and make all men your slaves, but I fought for my own land and for freedom. Kill me now and people will think little of you: but if you grant me my life, all men will know that you are not only powerful but merciful."

Instead of being angry, Claudius was pleased with the proud words of Caractacus. He was so pleased that he set him at liberty with his wife and all his family. But whether Caractacus ever returned to his dear country, or whether he died in that far-off land, we do not know. We do not hear anything more about him.



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But Agrippina got Claudius killed (poisoned) so she could get her son Nero become emperor...

Agrippina was the daughter of Germanicus Caesar and Vipsania Agrippina, sister of the emperor Gaius, or Caligula (reigned 37–41), and wife of the emperor Claudius (41–54). She was exiled in 39 for taking part in a conspiracyagainst Gaius but was allowed to return to Rome in 41. Her first husband, Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus, was Nero’s father. She was suspected of poisoning her second husband, Passienus Crispus, in 49. She married Claudius, her uncle, that same year and induced him to adopt Nero as heir to the throne in place of his own son. She also protected Seneca and Burrus, who were to be Nero’s tutors and advisers in the early part of his reign. She received the title of Augusta.

In 54 Claudius died. It was generally suspected that he was poisoned by Agrippina. Because Nero was only 16 when he succeeded Claudius, Agrippina at first attempted to play the role of regent. Her power gradually weakened, however, as Nero came to take charge of the government.


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With Claudius having been part of the plot to get rid of Caligula, her uncle, Agrippina would not have been too happy. She got her revenge and Rome got damaged for this...

The rest is history as you remember being told...

a message from the terminator...

Schwarzenegger issued a video message to his followers speaking on the recent events at the US Capitol, where at least five people died in the chaos, including two police officers.

Arnold Schwarzenegger has once again slammed US President Donald Trump, saying he will be remembered as the "worst president ever".

In his message to Americans, shared via Twitter on Sunday, the Hollywood actor referred to the storming of the US Capitol on January 6, as thousands of Trump supporters breached the building, clashing with police officers and forcing lawmakers to seek shelter.

Schwarzenegger compared the events on Wednesday to Kristallnacht (or “Cristal Night”) in 1938, when Nazis violently attacked Jews, and police did not step in to prevent the pogrom.

“Wednesday was the Day of Broken Glass right here in the United States,” he continued. “The broken glass was in the windows of the United States Capitol. But the mob did not just shatter the windows of the Capitol; they shattered the ideals we took for granted.”

My message to my fellow Americans and friends around the world following this week's attack on the Capitol.

— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) January 10, 2021

​The Hollywood actor and former California governor lashed out at Trump, claiming that his tenure at the White House will soon be forgotten. He also accused Republicans (though not labelling anyone in particular) of enabling Trump's “lies and his treachery.”

“President Trump is a failed leader. He will go down in history as the worst president ever," he said, adding that, “The good thing is that he will soon be as irrelevant as an old tweet.”

Close to the end of his message, the former governor, in true Schwarzenegger form, pulled out a sword, apparently dating back to 1982 when he played Conan the Barbarian. The actor elaborated metaphorically that the more the sword is plunged into fire and water, the stronger it becomes, comparing the steel to American democracy.

“Our democracy is like the steel of this sword, the more it is tempered, the stronger it becomes,“ said Schwarzenegger.

Schwarzenegger has been a Trump critic for some time. Earlier this week, he published an op-ed in The Economist where he blasted Trump's challenges to the results of the 2020 election. The former governor called Trump a “selfish” president, urging lawmakers to support the congressional certification of Joe Biden's victory in the election.


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