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Caligula, Chapter 50: His countenance.
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He [Note 1] was very tall and extremely pale, with an unshapely body, but very thin neck and legs. His eyes and temples were hollow, his forehead broad and grim, his hair thin and entirely gone on the top of his head, though his body was hairy. Because of this to look upon him from a higher place as he passed by, or for any reason whatever to mention a goat, was treated as a capital offence. While his face was naturally forbidding and ugly, he purposely made it even more savage, practicing all kinds of terrible and fearsome expressions before a mirror. He was sound neither of body nor mind. As a boy he was troubled with the falling sickness [presumably epilepsy], and while in his youth he had some endarance, yet at times because of sudden faintness he was hardly able to walk, to stand up, to collect his thoughts, or to hold up his head. He himself realized his mental infirmity, and thought at times of going into retirement and clearing his brain. It is thought that his wife Caesonia gave him a drug intended for a love potion, which, however, had the effect of driving him mad. He was especially tormented with sleeplessness; for he never rested more than three hours at night, and even for that length of time he did not sleep quietly, but was terrified by strange apparitions, once, for example, dreaming that the spirit of the Ocean talked with him. Therefore, weary of lying in bed wide awake during the greater part of the night, he would now sit upon his couch, and now wander through the long colonnades, crying out from time to time for daylight and longing for its coming. |
Note 1: he = Caligula
|Statura fuit eminenti, colore expallido, corpore enormi, gracilitate maxima ceruicis et crurum, oculis et temporibus concauis, fronte lata et torua, capillo raro at circa uerticem nullo, hirsutus cetera. Quare transeunte eo prospicere ex superiore parte aut omnino quacumque de causa capram nominare, criminosum et exitiale habebatur. Uultum uero natura horridum ac taetrum etiam ex industria efferabat componens ad speculum in omnem terrorem ac formidinem. Valitudo ei neque corporis neque animi constitit. Puer comitiali morbo uexatus, in adulescentia ita patiens laborum erat, ut tamen nonnumquam subita defectione ingredi, stare, colligere semet ac sufferre uix posset. mentis ualitudinem et ipse senserat ac subinde de secessu deque purgando cerebro cogitauit. Creditur potionatus a Caesonia uxore amatorio quidem medicamento, sed quod in furorem uerterit. Incitabatur insomnio maxime; neque enim plus quam tribus nocturnis horis quiescebat ac ne iis quidem placida quiete, sed pauida miris rerum imaginibus, ut qui inter ceteras pelagi quondam speciem conloquentem secum uidere uisus sit. Ideoque magna parte noctis uigiliae cubandique taedio nunc toro residens, nunc per longissimas porticus uagus inuocare identidem atque expectare lucem consuerat.|