„He has not yet made a horse his running mate, but Donald Trump can be compared to one of the most notorious of all Roman emperors, Caligula, according to best-selling historian Tom Holland.
Holland told the Hay festival there were fascinating parallels between the actions and success of Trump and what was going on in Rome 2,000 years ago.
Caligula has gone down in history as one of the maddest and baddest of all Roman emperors, a name synonymous with the worst excesses of absolute power.
But there was more to the story of Caligula, Holland said. He is not quite the psychopath of popular imagination and we can see similarities between what is happening now and then.
What is known for sure about Caligula, Holland said, is that he had a great love of spectacle and dressing up; and he enjoyed hurting and humiliating people.
When Tiberius died Caligua left for Rome where his excessive tastes “were translated on to the most public stage of all – the imperial capital.”
He did things differently to his forebears, the polar opposite of Tiberius’s and, before him, Augustus’ moral strategy. “Caligula had no interest in, no stake in the traditional values of Rome. He despised them. And he despised them because he saw them as entrenching the prestige and status of the aristocracy.”