Mosaic from Caligula’s Palace Ship Returned to Italy

The New York Times was one of many outlets that ran a story on the return of a mosaic that belonged to the Roman Emperor Caligula, notorious as one of the more licentious and cruel rulers of the Roman Empire. Excerpts state:

“It was crafted in the first century for the deck of one of two spectacularly decorated ships on Lake Nemi that the Emperor Caligula commissioned as floating palaces. Recovered from underwater wreckage in 1895, the mosaic was later lost for decades, only to re-emerge several years ago as a coffee table in the living room of a Manhattan antiques dealer.”…

“If ancient sources are to be believed, Caligula was a deranged and despotic ruler with a voracious sexual appetite and a vicious streak of cruelty, but modern scholarship has thrown doubt on those accounts.

“’There’s a lot of fake news about Caligula,’ said Barry Stuart Strauss, a professor of history and classics at Cornell University. ‘I don’t want to make him out to be a nice guy or something,’ he said, because Caligula executed a number of senators, had a sharp tongue and made many enemies. And when Caligula was assassinated in A.D. 41, ‘it wasn’t difficult to find people who wanted to assassinate him,’ Prof. Strauss added. ‘But we can’t trust the myths.'”

Read the entire piece:

Frater Lux Ad Mundi

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