History Extra logo
The official website for BBC History Magazine and BBC History Revealed

Did Caligula really make his horse a senator?

Or was he just horsing around...?

Bust of young Caligula. Did he really make his horse a lawmaker of Rome? (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)
Published: July 16, 2018 at 12:00 pm
Try 6 issues for only £9.99 when you subscribe to BBC History Magazine or BBC History Revealed

Incitatus, favourite horse of Emperor Caligula, allegedly lived in a grand marble house. We are told that Caligula loved him so much that he wanted to make him a consul (lawmaker).


Later writers were keen to demonise Caligula, and he was hardly the most ‘balanced’ of emperors, so it is difficult to know whether he really meant it.

The belief may stem from the line “my horse could do a better job than you” or from the view that he loved his horse more than he did the Roman mob.


This article was taken from BBC History Revealed magazine


Sponsored content