Unnamed Journal Volume 3, Issue 1 - Page 35

The Meditations of Caius Caligula only drowned the truth in the rumor. But I was a boy once, who had a mother and father, sisters and brothers. I knew and understood that precious human institution of family. Nothing is more human than the family. The flora of the earth merely bloom and rot, and the beasts only rut and wander with their young hanging around them for a time. But humans build places for their young, and bind themselves together for their young under the gods, and from these tiny seeds build great tribes, which grow into kingdoms and republics. And empires. I am so fond of the institution that I have a family of my own. Not for any political reason - I very much doubt my daughter will ever wield power, the silly little beast - but merely because my humanity needs it. I feed my humanity when I can. It makes bearing the godhood easier. In any case, I knew my family, and loved it. If ever I really loved anyone, in the sense that I admired and devoted myself to him, it was my father, the great Germanicus. I have heard the rumors that I had a hand in his death. I am not even offended at them: when you have ordered the deaths of so many, how could anyone avoid suspecting that I was a killer from the beginning? Nevertheless, there is no truth to it. I adored my father. He was perfection itself: wise, handsome, brave. He would have made a splendid emperor; even a happy one. He is the only man I would gladly have died for. His death shattered my family and broke my happiness. I did not smile again for a long time. I have come to understand the necessity of my father’s death, now. This is the pattern of divinity. Whom the gods favor, they destroy. The divine stamp upon him was the curse that killed him, a favor bestowed upon him that he might have the character necessary to beget me. You might think that I believe Jupiter or Mars to be my true father. How could I be a god, you think, without a god being my father? You only demonstrate your ignorance. Jupiter is a God, begotten by Saturn, a Titan, begotten by Uranos, who sat at the origin of all things. Venus was born of the sea and Uranos’ genitals. Pallas burst forth fully armed from Jupiters head. Gods do not function by the rules of men. My divinity was sealed into my flesh at my conception by heavenly will. The great Germanicus did not need to be cuckolded by Jupiter to conceive my greatness. Jupiter, Best and Greatest, who exists as he alone understands himself to exist, may bring forth gods from the stones of the earth. I have always kept my father’s memory close to my heart. I have always remembered the treachery he dealt with from the toads Tiberius kept around him, toads like Calpurnius Piso, may the Furies scourge his soul everlastingly. I remembered how the common people wept for him. Common men perceive heavenly virtue when it is put before them. It is only the wealthy sophisticates who lie to themselves about what they see. They were the ones who killed him, with their lies, their fawning promises of friendship and their dagger- eyes darting in his wake. They showed their true nature when they defended Piso, and gathered around him at his trial, denying the truth that my father himself attested to before his death: that Piso had poisoned the great Germanicus. They can never be made to pay enough. Would that I could express such loyalty for my brothers, Nero and Drusus. Filial piety often commands fraternal love. But a God must not shame himself with lies. My brothers were not worthy. I do not speak out of hostility. They were not wicked or cruel to me. Nero in particular always treated me with kindness, especially after our father died. But as he came to manhood, he became a fool. He noted how the death of Tiberius’ son, the elder Drusus (both he and my second brother were named for my grandfather, Tiberius’ younger brother), paved the way to the imperium for him, and he stupidly acted as if he was a step away from being emperor and Tiberius could do nothing about it. I was rueful the day he was locked up and banished to an island on Sejanus’ instigation, and on the day I heard of his death I barely had a cupful of