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Washington, United States
loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Thursday, May 24, 2007

and he probably would have done a fine job

Oh, I know -- you must have heard ths one, but just in case, it's too good not to repeat. The emperor Caligula, among his many other increasing eccentricities and his overall strong scent of goat, was very fond of his horse Incitatus (the name means something like "speedy"). When you think of the many truly nasty things Caligula did, his hijinks with this pet are comic relief. Not that the historians of old thought so. Read the quotes below in a voice of pinched disapproval.

To prevent Incitatus, his favourite horse, from growing restive he always
picketed the neighbour-hood with troops on the day before the races, ordering
them to enforce absolute silence. Incitatus owned a marble stable, an ivory
stall, and a jewelled collar; also a house, furniture, and slaves - to provide
suitable entertainment for guests whom Caligula invited in its name. It is said
that he even planned to award Incitatus a consulship.
Suetonius, The Twelve Caesars: Caligula 55
The Twelve Caesars is extremely diverting reading at any time. I highly recommend it. Tiberius and the "minnows" on
Capri, anyone?

One of the horses, which he named Incitatus, he used to invite to dinner, where
he would offer him golden barley and drink his health in wine from golden
goblets; he swore by the animal's life and fortune and even promised to appoint
him consul, a promise that he would certainly have carried out if he had lived
Cassius Dio, Roman History: Book 69

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