FEATURE · Torch:U.S. · Spring, 2015
An Abridged Poem by Dan Sherman, Mass JCL
In Antium, there was a boy born in 12 C.E.,
Who became as non compos mentis as could be.
Gaius Caesar Augustus Germanicus was his name,
But we know him as Caligula, the insane.
In the beginning of his reign, Caligula was nice.
No one could have expected his change to vice.
In 37 CE, when he became emperor,
No one anticipated the coming terror.
When he took power, he was a young man
But he only ruled for a short time span.
At first, he abolished trials of treason,
And Romans certainly did not see him as a demon.
But suddenly, he fell ill,
And after his “recovery” everything went downhill.
He killed Gemellus, the other heir to the throne,
And commanded the Praetorian, Macro, to commit
suicide on his own.
As emperor, Gaius Caesar Germanicus Augustus
Made a consul out his horse, Incitatus.
He built a two-mile long bridge made of many a boat,
Which he crossed two times while it was afloat.
In military matters, Caesar was the model
For Caligula’s invasion of Britain, a great boondoggle.
He made it to the Straits of Dover,
Where his soldiers collected seashells at his order.
But, in 41, the emperor was killed like a vermin.
And to take his place as emperor was a man,
Claudius, found crouched behind a curtain.
Farewell, Gaius Caesar Germanicus, a.k.a. Little Boot.
Perhaps greatness awaited you, had that illness not
driven your mind kaput.
First: Marcus Aurelius on his horse, a colored pencil on tinted paper piece by Lindsey Dierig. Dierig placed 2nd in the NJCL Graphic Arts Sweepstakes last year.
Second: A poster of Augustus by Wyatt Joyner. Joyner placed 1st in the NJCL Graphic Arts Sweepstakes last year.
Third: Augustus at Actium, a charcoal drawing by Tashi Treadway. Treadway placed 3rd in the NJCL Graphic Arts Sweepstakes last year.
Right: Episode 1 of "JCL on the Street," a new segment of the digital Torch:U.S. where the NJCL officers get wod from every day JCLers on important issues facing the classical world....But for some reason, people don't like to be serious on camera!