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Incitatus (Latin pronunciation: [in.ki.ˈtaː.tus]) was the favored horse of Roman emperor Caligula (reigned 37–41 AD). His name is a Latin adjective meaning "swift" or "at full gallop".

According to Suetonius's Lives of the Twelve Caesars (121 AD), Incitatus had a stable of marble, with an ivory manger, purple blankets, and a collar of precious stones. Dio Cassius has indicated that the horse was attended to by servants, and was fed oats mixed with gold flake. Suetonius also wrote that it was said that Caligula planned to make Incitatus a consul, and that the horse would "invite" dignitaries to dine with him in a house outfitted with servants there to entertain such events.

Caligula's folly[edit]

The accuracy of the received history has been questioned by historical revisionists such as Anthony A. Barrett. They suggest that later Roman chroniclers such as Suetonius and Dio Cassius were influenced by the political situation of their own times, when it may have been useful to the current Emperors to discredit the later Julio-Claudian Emperors. Also, the lurid nature of the story added spice to their narratives, winning them additional readers.

One suggestion is that Caligula's treatment of Incitatus was an elaborate prank, intended to ridicule and provoke the Senate, rather than a sign of insanity, or perhaps a form of satire, with the implication that a horse could perform a Senator's duties.

Barrett notes that "Many stories were spread about Incitatus, originating most likely from Caligula's own humorous quips."[1] "Possibly out of perverted sense of humor Caligula would pour libations to Incitatus' Salus [health and well-being], and claimed that he intended to co-opt him as his priest."[1]

In art and metaphor[edit]

Incitatus appears as an allegorical figure when referencing examples of political ineptitude. A Melbourne lawyer once remarked that Incitatus would have the numbers for premier in Victoria, and in act III of Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard (1904) Pishchik says that his family is "descended from that very nag Caligula inducted into the Senate."

Ayn Rand, in her novel Atlas Shrugged (1957), refers to Incitatus, when she says that the character Cherryl Brooks is "the horse of some Roman emperor." Brooks is a poor dime store clerk who dates, and eventually marries, Jim Taggart, the wealthy President of Taggart Transcontinental, described as "one of the most powerful men in Washington."

The life of Incitatus is the subject of Zbigniew Herbert's poem "Caligula" (in Pan Cogito, 1974).

In Bill Willingham and Matthew Sturges's Jack of Fables, Incitatus talks so much that he risks giving away his status as a Fable and frequently mentions his former status as a Roman senator.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Barrett, Anthony A. (1990). Caligula: The Corruption of Power. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. 
  2. ^ Jack of Fables #22-24

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incitatus — Please support Wikipedia.
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Diario El Esquiu

Diario El Esquiu
Mon, 28 Jul 2014 22:37:30 -0700

El caballo preferido de Calígula, aquel emperador romano del primer siglo de la era cristiana, era Incitatus (en latín, Impetuoso). La devoción de Calígula por su caballo llegaba a extremos ridículos como el de otorgarle el título de Cónsul de Bitinia ...

L'ultima Ribattuta

L'ultima Ribattuta
Fri, 18 Jul 2014 05:45:00 -0700

Ma, una cosa è certa: la ministra di Ncd ha, da anni, una relazione stabile con il direttore delle Relazioni Internazionali Rai, Alessandro Picardi, per gli amici “Incitatus”. Sicuramente, non si tratta di un ruolo così influente da poter “spingere ...

L'ultima Ribattuta

L'ultima Ribattuta
Wed, 16 Jul 2014 23:33:45 -0700

A fine giugno, dopo dodici anni, si è svolta a Napoli l'assemblea generale dell'EBU (European Broadcasting Union). Si tratta della più vasta ed importante associazione professionale mondiale di broadcaster, forte di 72 membri attivi e altri 36 ...

Avanti!

Avanti!
Thu, 31 Jul 2014 08:39:09 -0700

Sembra quasi di essere tornati indietro nel tempo. In uno dei periodi più bui dell'impero romano. L'imperatore romano Gaio Giulio Cesare Germanico, soprannominato Caligola, successore di Ottaviano Cesare Augusto, si dice che nominò senatore Incitatus, ...
 
La Región: Diario Judicial de Loreto
Tue, 15 Jul 2014 01:37:30 -0700

Cuenta la leyenda, y es de donde viene este síndrome para reflejar la humanidad y no divinidad del hombre es que Incitatus perdió con su rival, lo humilló al emperador y le hizo perder una gran fortuna, supongo como va a suceder con muchos candidatos a ...

El Universal

El Universal
Thu, 10 Jul 2014 01:56:33 -0700

Justo antes de dar a su noche este apoteósico broche final, brillará en "Incitatus et Caligula", fragmento de la que fue su primera gran coreografía para la Ópera de París, "Caligula", estrenada en 2005. "La participación excepcional" de Sylvie Guillem ...
 
La Voz del Interior
Sun, 06 Jul 2014 20:01:10 -0700

... golpes militares, el llamado “proceso de reorganización nacional” y el año de los cuatro emperadores, respectivamente– hasta las extravagancias en los gobiernos de Carlos Menem, propias de Calígula, si cambiamos al caballo Incitatus por una Ferrari.
 
Kanadai Magyar Hírlap
Sat, 05 Jul 2014 22:47:50 -0700

Caius Iulius Caesar például elérte, hogy Incitatus kunzultárssá avatása folyamatba helyeztessék. Igaz, a neves császárnak nagyjából annyi esze lehetett, mint a névadó ruhadarabjának, a katonai csizmának a talpa. De Caligula neves tettéről tudhatjuk azt ...
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