Emperor Caligula of Rome and His Horse Igcitatus

There are many weird tales that interest us and one of them is about Caligula the Roman emperor. I first read about Caligula while in college and the man interested me as a maverick emperor and sometimes wonder whether he was sane. Maybe he was and was just like Nero, another emperor who played the fiddle while he had ordered the burning of Rome. Many say that Caligula was insane, but some of his actions show that he was anything but insane. He just liked pleasure.

Caligula ruled the Roman empire from 37-41 AD, a good 69 years after the death of Julius Caesar. From all accounts, he was a man addicted to orgies with his slaves and queens and women of Rome. he reportedly also committed incest with his sisters. These are famous and have been put on celluloid by Hollywood. I saw the movie in London, as it was banned by the censor board in India.

But there is another fact about Caligula that makes interesting reading and that concerns his horse named Incitatus. This horse was the love of Caligula and he doted on the animal. Many historians have brought out that Caligula was so captivated by the horse that he wanted to make him a Consul. Incidentally, a Roman consul was the highest title after the emperor and greatly respected. Many Romans aspired to be Consuls.

Caligula gifted a marble stable to Incitatus and he was fed by a retinue of valets and looked after by the Roman guard. One historian has opined that Caligula would have made his horse a consul, in case he had lived longer. Why did Caligula want to make a horse as a consul? Was he mad?

I will hazard a guess that Caligula was an intelligent man and certainly not insane. He wanted to make the horse a Consul, to put the other senators and Consuls in their proper place and make them realize that were nothing. In a way, he wanted to show the Consuls their place.

The legend of the horse and his elevation as a consul is detailed by the historian Suetonius. He opines that Caligula’s murder in 41AD put an end to his making the horse Incitatus a consul. Another historian Cassius Dio mentions that the horse was fed with oats mixed with gold flakes. All in all, it’s an interesting tale. Reminds me of the Indian ruler Mohammed Bin Tughlaq.

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Defining Australia: Australian Aboriginal Culture

As we know there are many countries with many kind of cultures inside it. Culture is the characteristics and knowledge of a particular group of people involve religion, social habits, music, arts and the others. Australia is one of the example, it has always been considered a multicultural country which consists almost entirely of immigrants. One of the interesting culture in Australia is the Australian Aboriginal people, one of the two distinct Indigenous peoples of Australia beside the Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Australian Aboriginal culture can be the oldest continuous living culture on the planet which is it makes us more interested to know about them. First of all, an interesting thing about aboriginal culture is that Aboriginal belief systems are centered their practices and ceremonies on a belief in the Dreamtime. It is said that the dreaming is considered to be both the ancient time of creation and the reality of dreaming. For example, the Rainbow Serpent is a major ancestral being for many aboriginal people across Australia. Therefore, aboriginal people also perceived death as a transition to another life that is not completely different from the one they have left when they died.

If we talk about the Aboriginal art, we know that it includes work made in many different way including painting on leaves, wood craving, rock carving, sculpting, ceremonial clothing, dot painting, bark painting and sand painting. Aboriginal art seems closely linked to religious ceremonies or rituals. Symbols are used in aboriginal art, to show different things. Interestingly, Aboriginal artists continue these traditions using both modern and traditional materials in their artworks.

There is another interesting thing about the Aboriginal people, they use a popular weapon for hunting called a boomerang. Except the boomerang, there are also another weapons such as spears, message sticks, canoes which provided an easy means of travelling through the lagoon, and the others. But, the one which draw my attention is the boomerang. How a flat thing like that can be use for hunting? When I think about the Aboriginal people use boomerangs for hunting, suddenly, that kind of question appears in my mind.

The fact is Aboriginal creation myths recount how the Ancestors formed the landscape of Australia. For Aboriginal people, the boomerang is a symbol of cultural endurance and a tangible link to their long presence on this continent. Amazingly, with more than 250 different language groups it is understandable that boomerang making varies across the continent. Larger, heavier boomerangs are used by inland and desert people, and lighter boomerangs are thrown by coastal and high country people. The vast majority of boomerangs are of the non returning variety.

Unexpectedly, boomerangs have many uses. They are weapons for hunting birds and other animals such as kangaroo and other marsupials. The hunter can throw the boomerang directly at the animal or make it bounce back off the ground. Surprisingly, in skilled hands, the boomerang is effective for hunting prey up to 100 metres away. Boomerangs can be used as a digging stick when foraging for root vegetables. They can also be used to make fire. Finally, boomerangs feature prominently in Aboriginal dance and music, as a percussion instrument when a pair are rattled together, and as an accessory to ceremonial dance.