You think you’ve had it bad? I grew up as a hostage in my Uncle Tiberius’s palace. Do you have any idea how evil that man was? I woke up every day expecting to be assassinated, just like the rest of my family. I became a consummate actor. Whatever Tiberius needed me to be, I was. And I survived. But you? Your life has been golden from start to finish. You don’t have the stamina to be mortal.

–Caligula to Apollo in The Burning Maze.

Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, better known as Caligula, was a Roman Emperor who was made a god-emperor by his followers. He was a Triumvirate Holdings leader alongside Nero and Commodus. He was killed in an explosion caused by Frank Zhang during the Battle of San Francisco Bay.


Early Life

Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus was born in the year 12 AD to the Roman general Germanicus and Agrippina, the granddaughter of the first emperor, Augustus. By the age of three, he began accompanying his father Germanicus on the general's military campaigns. After seeing how cute he looked in his miniature legionnaire's outfit and caligae, Gaius earned the nickname "Caligula", or "Little Boot", from his father's soldiers; and he grew to hate the nickname. During his youth, he received a prophecy from Tiberius' soothsayer, a Roman astrologer named Thrasyllus, who told him he had as much chance of becoming emperor as he did of riding a horse across the Bay of Baiae, meaning it was impossible.

Death of Father and Becoming Emperor

Caligula's father later died while on a campaign; it was believed that Tiberius had him killed. Following the banishment of his mother and brothers after a falling out with Tiberius, Caligula was adopted by the emperor; in truth though he was essentially a pampered prisoner, living in fear of being assassinated by the emperor. Caligula was crowned as emperor at age twenty-four when Tiberius was murdered by Naevius Sutorius Macro upon his orders. Macro used Tiberius' own pillow on the dying emperor, a means of insuring that the emperor was actually dead, as he had been falsely believed to be dead on previous occasions.

Life as Emperor

Caligula became the new emperor the next day but then fell ill several months after taking the position; he subsequently grew to distrust Macro and had him arrested, though the guard committed suicide before his execution could be commenced. After that, Caligula killed his rivals and forced parents to watch their sons' executions without fair trials. At one point, he ordered a bridge to be built between his palace and the Temple of Jupiter. He even dressed his right-hand horse, Incitatus, in senatorial purple and tried to make him a consul, as he trusted him more than anyone.[1] To prove what Thrasyllus said was wrong, Caligula lined up boats across the Bay of Baiae, forming a massive pontoon bridge, and rode Incitatus across. It was the biggest floating construction project ever attempted.[2]

One of his favorite titles was "Neos Helios" (Greek, meaning "new sun"); Caligula wished to be worshiped as a living god before he died, and was represented as a sun god on Egyptian coins. During his reign, Caligula lavished his attention on his favorite sister, Julia Drusilla, insisting that she eat with him and forcing her to watch many of his executions. Julia died at a very young age, suffocated by his sociopathic love.

At one point, Caligula opened a palace at the base of Palatine Hill, making a daring architectural statement by knocking out the back wall of the Temple of Castor and Pollux and using it as his front entrance. The party was on the level of those for the Super Bowl; even Apollo and some other gods disguised themselves to join. At the party Caligula exhibited his usual cruelty; this included having the tongue of a poet who wrote a satire about him pulled out, dipped in silver and displayed for all to see, and enslaving a senator after the man agreed to be his slave, believing that the emperor was commenting on his slave disguise. When he noticed Apollo dressed as a gladiator, the disguised god managed to amuse the emperor and earn a reward by playfully stabbing one of his praetorian guard with a fake tin blade and swearing to protect him.[3]


Then one night in a tunnel after a sporting event, the emperor was on his way sailing to Egypt, a land where people understood about living gods, to make a new capital there. But suddenly, Caligula was ambushed by his own praetorian guards and stabbed thirty times with flashing knives glistening with blood, though he was reborn as a god. His uncle, Claudius, was declared the new emperor by the praetorian guard.

In the Series

Caligula, alongside Nero and Commodus, influenced many events throughout history via Triumvirate Holdings -- using the company to fund Luke Castellan during the Second Titan War, and Octavian during the Second Giant War. At some point in time, he bought fifty super-yachts and used them all as a palace sailing near California, each was named after Julia Drusilla. He managed to capture Herophile, the oracle of Erythaea, and lock her into the Labyrinth inside a room filled with lava only available to those wearing his adult-sized caligae. He recruited Medea to help gain the faded essence of her grandfather, Helios, so he can become the new sun god. Caligula also called Naevius Sutorius Macro and Incitatus back to life. The emperor originally had Automatons replace praetorian guards, but since they malfunctioned so many times he exiled them to Palm Springs with Macro, they were replaced by human mercenaries, Strixes and Pandai.

Using his N.H. Financials, a division of the triumvirate, Caligula spent years and tens of millions of dollars filing many legal papers against Tristan McLean, the famous film star, to destroy his credit, assets, and reputation with the studios. McLean's former personal assistant, Jane, was in on the plan along with his financial manager, accountant and film agent. He and his daughter, Piper McLean, lost everything except their house Tahlequah, Oklahoma, the one in Malibu was getting repossessed with all things inside being taken to the Triumvirate.

The Heroes of Olympus

The House of Hades

Hazel Levesque mentions him and Nero when Jason is talking about Diocletian, she says that the nuns at St. Agnes Academy for Colored Children and Indians told them that the emperors were malicious for slaughtering Christians ruthlessly.

The Trials of Apollo

The Hidden Oracle

Caligula makes a small cameo in the penthouse terrace of the building in New York City with Nero and Commodus. Rachel Elizabeth Dare managed to take a picture of them but couldn't see their faces.

The Dark Prophecy

Meg mentions meeting him once, but does not remember his name. In fact, according to her, even Nero fears him. He, apparently, calls Caligula his "kinsman" as they are related.

The Burning Maze

Before meeting the emperor on Julia Drusilla XII, Apollo dreams of two flashbacks of him. One of them was after Tiberius was killed and the other was when the palace at Palatine Hill was open.

Caligula greeted Apollo and Piper after they are taken to his throne room by Incitatus. He taunted Apollo and ordered the Pandai, as they subdued, to be executed. Just as he ordered Meg and Jason to be eliminated, he became stunned when Apollo proposed a suicide threat because Medea confirmed that Caligula wouldn't be able to become the sun god if Apollo was already dead. Moments later, a Pandos messenger named Flange informs him that the attack on Camp Jupiter that night has failed and the emperor kills him with his own sword. He tells his guards to sail north, Apollo uses this opportunity to stab himself. Medea tells Caligula that they must perform the ritual before Apollo dies. Unknown to them, the tornado prisons start to weaken. He fights Jason, who was riding Tempest the Storm Spirit, on Incitatus and manages to defeat and kill the son of Jupiter using numerous arrows and his spear. In the end of the fight, he stabbed Jason between his shoulder blades with his spear once again to make sure that he is dead. After the heroes flee, he sails north to the Bay Area.

Unfortunately for him, Medea was killed and the essence of Helios was returned to Chaos, therefore he did not become the new sun god. Incitatus was going to catch up to Caligula after telling the heroes where he was going, but he was killed by the Meliai.

The Tyrant’s Tomb

Caligula and Commodus are seen in a dream sailing north to continue to assault on Camp Jupiter, discussing battle plans and their distain for Nero. He is upset when he learns they will reach the camp in a week, hoping to reach the camp by the blood moon in five days.

When they test their Greek Fire cannons he is pleased with the results and Commodus reminds him to try and take Tyson and Ella alive if they can.

During the second wave of the assault, he and Commodus pull up to the Caldecott Tunnel and demand surrender, but Frank Zhang calls spolia opima, single combat to the death, and they accept. When Apollo arrives he joins the fight. He fights the son of Mars as Commodus fights Apollo. He and the praetor enter the tunnel and take careful strikes at one another. Frank turns into a swift and takes out one of his eyes, however he swats the son of Mars against the wall and he reverts to human form. He stabs Frank in the back but his cloak protects him. The praetor ignites his stick, covering them both in flames and creating a massive explosion from the trap Frank set before. Apollo senses that his life force has left the land of the living.


Caligula is considered one of the most (if not the most) malevolent Roman emperors in history. Indeed, he is so cruel and ruthless, that even his nephew Nero is said to fear him. Caligula shows little to no concern at all to his subordinates, regularly ordering the execution of anyone who displeases or fails him, Incitatus being the only exception, as he is the only follower whom the god-emperor views as an equal. He also kills any subordinates whom angers him whether it is be with bad news or other things.

Caligula is also extremely power-hungry, always seeking to achieve more power. Back to his reign as emperor, he would disguise himself as several major Olympian gods, such as Mars, Jupiter, or Apollo, and he even gave himself the alias "Neo Helios", which meant "New Sun". His hunger for power made Caligula the first Roman emperor to ever try to become a living god, as he plans to absorb the power of Helios and Apollo in order to become the new god of the sun. Additionally, Caligula is extremely confident, showing no fear that the gods' wrath may fall upon him, even after he profaned a sacred temple of Castor and Pollux, and started to compare himself to the gods. In fact, Caligula has so much confidence, that even Apollo himself became intimidated by him. Caligula was also notorious for his pleasure barges that included huge floating palaces with bathhouses, theatres, rotating statues, racetracks, and thousands of slaves. Despite owning super-yachts, Caligula can't swim, but that didn't faze him.

Much unlike Commodus, Caligula is surprisingly patient, as he waited years for his uncle Tiberius to die until finally ordering him to be assassinated. He said he doesn't play games like him, he goes right for the kill, Commodus is more interested in a good spectacle. When confronting Apollo, instead of killing him and consuming his essence immediately, decided to instead take his time taunting Apollo and torturing Jason, Meg and Piper. When Flange came in with an urgent message, Caligula was at first willing to wait and hear the message later, until the pandos insisted that his message was of the utmost importance. However, Caligula's patience does have limits, as he grew tired of waiting for Tiberius to die, and demanded him to be murdered instantly.

Caligula’s super yachts are all named after his favorite sister, Julia Drusilla. This shows that Caligula may feel some remorse for his deceased sister.


Caligula was young, slender and lithe. He was handsome in a thin angular way, though his ears stuck out a bit too much and were too prominent. His smile was twisted and too thin, and his placid brown eyes that were too far apart had "all the warmth of a barracuda's".

In Apollo's first dream, after Macro killed Tiberius, Caligula wore white robes and sandals. In Apollo's second dream, when Caligula pretended to be him, he was buck naked, painted in gold from head to foot, with a spiky crown of sun rays across his brow.

When the heroes encountered him on his Julia Drusilla XII yacht, Caligula was dressed in white slacks, white boat shoes, a striped blue-and-white shirt, a blue blazer, and a captain's hat. With Medea, it made him look like Daryl Dragon of Captain & Tennille.


As a God-Emperor, Caligula can be assumed to be a considerably powerful being.

  • Immortality: Caligula became immortal after becoming a God-Emperor.
  • Fighting Prowess: Caligula is an exceptionally skilled and experienced fighter, displaying great fighting prowess with his spear, as he proves capable of competing against Jason Grace himself, an extremely skilled demigod on par with Percy Jackson, and even managed to eventually defeat and kill him. However, is worth noting that Jason was also trying to protect his friends, while fighting Caligula at the same time. He would later prove to be more than a match for Frank Zhang, another extremely skilled demigod, nearly killing him in the process.



  • Caligula is the first and so far only major antagonist to successfully kill a main character, in his case Jason Grace. While Gaea did manage to kill Leo Valdez near the end of The Blood of Olympus and Surt killed Magnus Chase early in The Sword of Summer, both were revived soon after and Magnus' later deaths were all within Valhalla where he was also rapidly revived. All other characters killed, such as Zoe Nightshade, Michel Desjardins, or Gunilla, were secondary characters.
  • Caligula believed that people should never accept their lot in life if it was given to you unfairly. That was how he became a god after his assassination and why he tried to replace Apollo
  • Caligula is the second god to die in the series after Harpocrates, and the first to be killed instead of dying of their own accord. The third is Commodus.


  1. Apollo's Least Favorite Roman Emperors; Companion to The Dark Prophecy
  2. The Burning Maze, Ch. 24
  3. The Burning Maze, Ch. 19
The Trials of Apollo
Core Series: The Hidden Oracle | The Dark Prophecy | The Burning Maze | The Tyrant's Tomb | The Tower of Nero
Main Characters: Apollo/Lester Papadopolous | Meg McCaffrey | Peaches | Leo Valdez | Calypso | Grover Underwood | Piper McLean | Reyna Ramírez-Arellano | Frank Zhang | Hazel Levesque | Nico di Angelo | Will Solace | Rachel Elizabeth Dare
Secondary Characters: Percy Jackson | Chiron | Austin Lake | Kayla Knowles | Hemithea | Josephine | Georgina | Lityerses | Trophonius | Gleeson Hedge | Mellie Hedge | Chuck Hedge | Medea | Jason Grace | Herophile | Crest | Lavinia Asimov | Don | Tyson | Ella | Tarquin | Luguselwa | Claudia | Janice | Blaise
Minor Characters: Sally Jackson | Thalia Grace | Mrs. O'Leary | Festus | Cade | Mikey | Harley | Connor Stoll | Miranda Gardiner | Cecil Markowitz | Ellis Wakefield | Sherman Yang | Damien White | Malcolm Pace | Paolo Montes | Valentina Diaz | Germani | Agamethus | Olujime | Phillip McCaffrey | Hunter Kowalski | Sssssarah | Prickly Pear | Aloe Vera | Joshua | Naevius Sutorius Macro | Incitatus | Tristan McLean | Bombilo | Aurum | Argentum | Julia | Jacob | Poison Oak | Screech-Bling | Annabeth Chase | Elon | Mamurius Veturius | Mimi
Olympian Gods (Greek & Roman): Zeus/Jupiter | Hera/Juno | Poseidon/Neptune | Demeter/Ceres | Ares/Mars | Athena/Minerva | Apollo/Apollo (Roman) | Artemis/Diana | Hephaestus/Vulcan | Aphrodite/Venus | Hermes/Mercury | Dionysus/Bacchus | Hades/Pluto
Minor Gods: Nero | Commodus | Caligula | Iris | Britomartis | Styx | Terminus | Lupa | Terpsichore | Harpocrates | Cardea
Titans: Rhea | Leto | Mnemosyne | Helios
Monsters and Magical Creatures: Python | Nosoi | Karpoi | Palikos | Myrmeke | Colossus Neronis | Blemmyae | Gryphon | Carthaginian Serpent | Scythian Dracaena | Cynocephali | Centaur | Cyclops | Yale | Satyr/Faun | Strix | Dryad | Dragon | Pandai | Eurynomos | Skeleton Warriors | Zombie | Raven | Amphisbaena | Troglodyte | Tauri Sylvestres
Related Content: Rick Riordan | Percy Jackson and the Olympians | The Heroes of Olympus | Demigods & Magicians | Camp Half-Blood Confidential | Camp Jupiter Classified: A Probatio's Journal | Percy Jackson Demigod Collection | Un Natale Mezzosangue
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