Sbatti il mostro in fondo al mare: Caligola e le "spintriae" di Tiberio

Mario Lentano


According to Suetonius' Life of Caligula 16, the new prince decided to drown (profundo mergere) Tiberius' male prostitutes, known as spintriae. Why did Caligula have recourse to such a (cruel and unusual) punishment? In Roman culture, death by drowning was the final act of the poena cullei, the punishment reserved for parricidae, or it was the way hermaphrodites and other monstrous births were disposed of. The paper tries to understand the relationship between these kinds of punishment and Caligula's intended penalty against spintriae.

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