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Today, August 31, is the anniversary of the birth of Caligula, aka Gaius, third emperor of Rome, 2007 years ago. Caligula was an unfortunate and fearful boy who happened to walk through his grandfather’s door at the wrong time, to find that he would be the next emperor. I’m sure he would have been much happier if he could have only gone to theatre, driven racing chariots, and occasionally shown off his legal skills in cases before the Senate. Instead, he became one of Rome’s most famous rulers, for all the wrong reasons. As the Chicago Tribune mentioned a week or so ago when talking about my new biography of Caligula, many people have likened President Donald Trump to the young, mentally unstable emperor. It’s been said, by people close to Mr. Trump, that, like Caligula, he never really wanted to be president, and was just as surprised when he landed the top job. And, like Caligula, Mr. Trump is proving to be something of a fish out of water.  It will be fascinating to see how history treats his ‘reign.’

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