London, Jan 19 (ANI): A report has suggested that a tomb robber who was arrested while stealing part of a 2.5 metre statue into lorry near Lake Nemi, south of Rome, had found the tomb of Caligula.
According to the Guardian newspaper, the statue was "shod with a pair of the 'caligae' military boots favoured by the emperor" hence his nickname by the troops, Caligula - or 'Little Boots', - his real name was Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, the police said.
Mary Beard, professor of classics at Cambridge University, doesn't believe the Italian police is right and cites some compelling evidence to show why this can't be the tomb of Caligula.
"Caligula was assassinated in his palace on the Palatine Hill in Rome in 41 AD. According to Suetonius' Life (chap 59), his body was taken to the horti Lamiani, the site of an imperial pleasure gardens on the Esquiline Hill. There he was quickly cremated and buried under a light covering of turf. Later on his sisters returned to cremate and bury it properly," pasthorizons.com quoted Beard as saying.
She continues that, "..There is no suggestion whatsoever, so far as I know, that this burial was at Nemi, or that it was a grand tomb (the Latin just says 'buried', sepultum). True, Caligula had a big villa there, but it is almost inconceivable that this assassinated symbol of imperial monstrosity would have been given a grand monument, plus a big statue there." (ANI)