This piece is inspired by an essay on the life of Caligula. What made him a sociopath? What made him believe he was some kind of deity? What made him develop these specific survival skills? Who are we to judge others? Or are we obliged to judge others in order to maintain our feeling of security in our civilized society?
[ink and water-solluble wax pastels on A4 Canson paper]
Introduction of the beforementioned essay: “Imagine being born into a world of violence, betrayal, broken family, imprisonment, and utter misery. Then imagine having to harbor such atrocities and hardships internally with no time for remorse. One could say with certainty that such internal pain could lead to a whirl-wind of self destruction and violent tendencies later in life. This model best fits the Roman emperor Caligula. More often than not, when one hears of his name they recall the terrible atrocities he committed during his reign including acts of grotesque violence, lust, and insanity. For these reasons historians have portrayed Caligula as a mad man. This madness, however, did not suddenly overcome Caligula in a “brain-fever” during his time as emperor as early historians suggested occurred in 38 AD. New evidence has led one to believe that the madness that Caligula experienced was a result of a series of traumatic events over his life rather than a single event that occurred during his reign as Emperor. Using sources from both the past and present one will argue that Caligula’s madness during his adulthood as emperor was set to detonate like a time bomb by his brutal past as a child.”