Book Synopsis
What follows below is a synopsis of the book, much like I did for the movie. The book was written by William Howard, and was based on Gore Vidal's Original  Script. Gore wrote seven versions of his script from Oct 1975 to June 1976. Gore quit the project in the autumn of 1976 when he realized that cruel and unusual things might be happening to his work. The paperback book was first published by Warner Books of New York, New York, in February 1979, a full year before the movie would even see the light of day. 16 pages of poor quality black and white pictures graced the first edition of the paperback. In 1980 there was a movie edition as well. In England there were also two versions published.
1.    Caligula and Drusilla enjoy the company of each other. The book opens       
       in thier bed chamber in Rome, and describes in detail thier sexual deeds.

2.    Later on, Caligula has a nightmare in which a dead Tiberius scares and
       taunts him, and is just about to kill him. Caligula talks to Drusilla about
       killing Gemellus, she tells him not to worry about him, he is too young.

3.    Macro calls on Caligula, and tells him he must go to Capri to see Tiberius.
       We learn that Macro has given Caligula his loyality in return for the promise
       that Caligula will make Macro's wife Ennia his Queen. Caligula goes to
       Ennia and screws her.

4.    Macro and Caligula sail to Capri. They arrive at the island, which is also
        inhabited by beggers and comman folk.

5.    During the ride on the boat, Caligula remembers the first time he and
       Drusilla had sex, she was a virgin of 15, and he, a virgin of 12.  At the age
       of 19, Drusilla married to Lucius Cassius, and so Caligula turns his sexual
       appetite to his younger sister Julia Livilla, who is then 13, and he 16.  A
       little later on, while Caligula and Julia Livilla are engaging in sex, his
       youngest sister, Agrippinilla joins in on the fun. It's very descriptive! It
       ends with the thought of the four of them in bed, Caligula and his 3 sisters.
       As well, there is a little too much history worked in regarding the future of
       the Empire.

6.    Caligula's thoughts return to Capri, and he is met by the guards there. He
       is met by the head gaurd, Chaerea. Chaerea escorts Caligula up the cliffs to
       the path that leads to Tiberius' villa. Here at the path's head, Caligula is
       met by Nerva. Nerva and Caligula chat as they walk towards Tiberius'

7.    Tiberius bursts out of the water, and greets Caligula, he instructs him to
       "do his dance", which Caligula does. There is some very descriptive
       passages as Tiberius enjoys the company of a boy and girl, who are both
       ten years old.  The pool is surrounded by nursing mothers, naked children,
       and soldiers. Caligula points out that one Sentry is drunk, and they tie off
       his cock and force more wine into him. His gut is then stabbed by Caligula.
       It comes to light that Caligula worships the forbidden Egyptian God Isis.

8.    Tiberius gives Caligula a tour of his Grotto, introducing him to many and
       varied sexual freaks. Tiberius asks Caligula if he prefers "nymphs to
        satyrs" They watch many different and diviant sexual acts, including the
        rape of a Celt girl by two Nubians and later, a group of acrobatic dancers
        from Crete. In Tiberius' villa, Caligula sees midgets, dwarfs, hunchbacks,
        cripples, as well as a Hermaphrodite

9.    Nerva brings Tiberius some papers to sign after the tour. Caligula looks at
       the Imperial Ring on Tiberius' finger longingly. They retire for dinner.
       During dinner the prisoner Carnalus is brought before Tiberius. He is on
       a rack for writing a poem celebrating Brutus for killing Julius Caesar. While
       they talk, Tiberius pets his beloved pet snake. Tiberius remarks that Macro
       and Caligula are close, and that Macro hates Nerva. Gemellus, Tiberius'
       grandson, enters the scene.

10.   Nerva commits suicide. He slashes his wrists in a warm bath. Tiberius
        pleads for him to bind his wrists, but Nerva will not have it. Tiberius
        leaves, and Caligula rushes up to Nerva, asking him if he can see Isis.

11.   Tiberius sails for Rome, returning to that city after 10 years. The ship
        picks up Claudius at Ostia, and they sail down the Tiber. During the trip
        Caligula eyes up Proculus, and Tiberius' snake dies. He see's this as a
        bad omen, and has the ship docked at the port of Misenum.  It becomes
        apparent that Macro and Caligula have made secret plans to kill Tiberius,
        and those plans are now at risk.

12.    In his frustration, Caligula roughs up a young sailor in sex play.

13.    At Misenum, the doctor Charicles examines Tiberius at the orders of Macro
         and Caligula. Charicles states that Tiberius has "not long" to live. Macro
         swears his allegiance to Caligula.

14.    On the fields if Villa Misenum, Tiberius orders Caligula to exercise with the
         rest of the soldiers who are working out. Proculus shows up Caligula's
         javelin skills, so Caligula decides to get his revenge in a dagger fight with
         Proculus, assuming that Proculus will let him win since he is the Prince.
         But, Proculus knocks Caligula's dagger flying, and he is livid! Tiberius calls
         Caligula back, and upon reading the senate report, Tiberius has a seizure.
         He is rushed to his bed, and Charicles examines him.

15.    Charicles proclaims Tiberius dead, thus ending 23 years of reign. Caligula
         pryes the signet ring of Tiberius' finger.  While is admires the ring in a
         mirror, Tiberius regains himself, and awakes. A startled Caligula motions
         to kill him with the mirror, but he is stopped by Marco. Macro strangles
         the old man, and he is indeed dead.

16.    Macro leaves the scene, and Caligula gets the two slaves who witnessed
         the whole event to sign an avidavit of exactly what they saw, Macro kill

17.     Caligula is made the 4th Emperor of Rome, after Julius Caesar,
          Augustus and Tiberius. Caligula leads the funeral rites for Tiberius.
          Caligula restores the worship of the Egyptian God, Isis. The book
          discusses how Tiberius out-lawed eastern Religions, and had a young
          Jewish man put to death several years before. All 3 of Caligula's sisters
          appear at Tiberius' funeral. Caligula made the Senate swear Allegiance to
          him and his sisters equally.

18.     Caligula accepts the Consulship, and makes his uncle Claudius a consul
          along with himself. Caligula adopts Gemellus. Afterwards, Caligula
          instructs Longinus to assemble the gaurd at the Palace Stadium. On the
          way to the Stadium, Caligula discovers that all of Tiberius' sexual freaks
          have been brought to Rome. Disgusted, Caligula instructs them to be
          killed. Longinus insists instead that they be sold, which is done. Caligula
          wants no connection with Tiberius.

19.     While inspecting the guard, Caligula comes across Proculus.   Chaerea
           mentions that Proculus is set to wed Livia Orestilla, and Caligula says he
          plans to attend the wedding. Caligula hands a note to Chaerea, who reads
          it later in secret.

20.      Later on, Caligula is relaxing with Ennia. She remarks that the divorce
          from Macro shouldn't take too long. She beleives she is still going to
          marry Caligula. Caligula jokes about moving the Capitol of Rome to
          Alexandria. Then, Longinus and Chaerea enter, and Caligula says, "Is it
          done?". Longinus gives Caligula the comission that shows that Macro
          has been arrested for the murder of Tiberius. (This scene is done to a "T"
          in the movie, even though it doesn't really fit in with the flow of the film).

21.     The trial of Macro. The slaves tell thier story, and Caligula stands as a
          witness. Macro is in chains and has been tortured. Macro is found guilty,
          and is set to be executed, while Ennia is exiled to the  Island of Stromboli.
          Chaerea is made the new Commander of the Guard.

22.      When they are alone, Caligula tells Drusilla that he wants to marry her.
           She says no, and insists that he marry a girl from the Senatorial Class.
           As it happens, the Priestesses of the Great Godess Isis are meeting over
           at The New Temple later that night, and instructs Caligula to pick a
           wife from them. (It didn't take long to get the worship of Isis back into
           full swing!)

23.      The Temple of Isis. About 50 women are at the temple, it is described
           exactly as it is in the movie. Here Caligula spies Livia. Except,
           after Caligula gets bored, Drusilla takes him to a special room,
           where about 24 girls there practise on each other! It's a mini version
           of the Great Temple, and here Caligula sets his sights on
           Caesonia.  Drusilla fetches her, and Caligula and Caesonia
           copulate. She fucks Caligula like he has never been fucked before,
           and she leaves his head spinning.

24.      The next day, Caligula, Drusilla, Chaerea and Longinus are at the games,
           watching the Gladitorial Combat. Caligula mentions he won't marry to
           Caesonia until she bares him a son. As in the movie, Caligula calls
           Longinus over, and whispers in his ear, and Longinus laughs. The movie
           ends that there, but in the book, Longinus has Proculus, who is
           in the stands, thrown in the ring. (This scene was shot for the movie,
           but was not used except for as Cannes in 1979)

25.      Proculus defeats all his enemies in the ring, and much to his chagrin,
           Caligula bestows him with the "crown of victory". Drusilla asks Caligula 
           why he had Proculus thrown in the ring, and Caligula states, "I wanted
           his virgin bride, to see how long it would take for her to bore me!"

26.      "Caesonia tells me I have been neglecting my work", says Caligula to
          Longinus. Longinus gives Caligula a stack of papers to sign, and Caligula
          gets bored pretty quick. He denies the Senates wish to make him Tiberius
          a God. He see's a document for the marraige of Livia and Proculus, and
          decides to drop in on the marraige the next day.

27.      The Wedding of Proculus and Livia Orestilla. With the blessing of
           Caesonia, Caligula bestows his special wedding gift in the kitchen. He
           strips Livia, and lays her out on the table, and rapes her while Proculus
           is forced to watch. Caligula states he is collecting a virginity tax in the
           name of Rome and the Senate. Caesonia chats with Livia's parents while
           they listen to her pained screams. After he is done, he has Proculus get
           up on the table. Proculus is on his back, and Caligula throws one of
           Proculus's legs over each of his shoulders, and sodomizes him while
           Livia watches on. She hates Proculus for letting this happen to them!

28.      Another day. Drusilla still insists that Caligula not marry Caesonia,
           especially when she finds out he is fucking her with Caesonia's technique.
           Caligula tells Drusilla that he beleives that Gemellus is plotting against
           him. She says he is just being silly.

29.      Later on, at dinner Caligula tells Longinus that he wants to be a King too.
           Then Caligula thinks he smells a Antidote for poison on Gemellus, and
           has him arrested for Treason. Drusilla calls him a fool, and he slaps her
           on the face. She leaves. Caesonia wants to know if he plans to punish
           Drusilla, and Caligula instead tells her to do her Asiatic dance. She strips
           nude while dancing.

30.      Caligula starts getting headaches, and he is losing weight. As well, his hair
           has thinned. He and Drusilla were still fighting, much to Caesonia's
           delight. Then he comes down with the fever. (In history, he fell with the
           fever in the fall of 37 AD). In his fever state, Caligula calls for Drusilla.
           Caligula instructs Longinus to will the Empire to Drusilla. Caesonia
           is furious, and plans to kill Drusilla if Caligula dies.

31.       Caligula lives! Caesonia goes into labour, and she is carried to the
            Palatine Hill with the doctor and her courtiers. It's a long labour, but she
            has the child, and Caligula married her. He then finds out his son is a
            daughter! Julia Drusilla is born. (Historically in 39 AD!)

32.       Ten months after the birth of his daughter, the Imperial Coffers are all
            but empty, squandered on games and luxuries. Longinus is beside
            himself. To raise money, Caligula decides to go to war with Britain. He
            does not want to raise taxes.  Caligula gets word that Drusilla is dying of
            the fever.

33.       Drusilla dies, and in his rage Caligula destroys a statue of Isis. Caligula
            proclaims one month of public mourning. He then proclaims himself
            a GOD! From here, Caligula's madness knows no bounds. He takes
            precious objects and gold from peoples homes and auctions the stuff
            off and then later celebrates alone in his treasury among the gold
            coins. Caligula also instructs that the slaves and prisoners to be
            used as food for the lions, to save money on food, and still keep
            the games going! With some of that money he bought Incitatus, his
            horse, a new blanket. He bought a statue of Zeus from Greece. He
            had the head knocked off, and an image of his own head put in it's
            place. He did this to many statues in the palace.

34.       During a sacrifice, Caligula brought the mallet down on the head of a
            Priest instead that of a bull! As well, since most of the rooms in the
            palace were empty now, because he sold off all the furniture, he decided
            to turn the palace into a brothel instead. He used the wives of the
            patricians, and the daughters too! Why not the sons? Word went out to
            the Senate that everyone was expected to do thier duty, and spend
            a week in the brothel. Matrons, brides, virgins, and even crones! If
            they refused, thier estates would be taken away. As well, Caligula
            had peepholes drilled into some of the rooms and charged admission!

35.       With the new revenue, Caligula builds a great stable for Incitatus. While
            he is checking the execution list, Chaerea pleads for the release of
            Proculus, instead, Caligula decides to have some fun with him!

36.       The death of Proculus. Caligula taunts Proculus that his wife is pregnant
            with his child. (Time frame problem, that was well over a year ago!)
            He tells Proculus he was arrested for having a great head of hair! An
            executioner tries to give Proculus a slow death, but make a mistake and
            kills him quickly. Caligula tells the executioner to cut off Proculus cock
            and balls, and send them to Chaerea, "as a souvenir of thier great love."

37.       Caligula can't sleep. He tells Caesonia he could cut her throat if he wanted
            to, and she tells him to do it if it would help him sleep. Caligula says he
            also has bad dreams when he sleeps.
38.       The Invasion of Britain. The troops march to the English Channel and
            pick up seashells. From there they attack Germany. Here they round up
            some Gauls and dye thier hair bright red so they look like savages. Then,
            Claudius treks up to the Rhine to tell Caligula he has uncovered a plot
            against the Emperor's life. Caligula states he also wants a Triumph, after
            telling the Senate that he didn't want one. He wanted to sound humble.
            Caligula secures his "own" Gaul to attend him.

39.       Caligula's Roman Triumph. A great pararde marks the return of the
            Emperor with spoils borrowed from the archives. Captives, Nubians,
            Bulls, Music, what more could you want. Caligula is in his glory!

40.        In the Senate Caligula pours it on on how he risked his life to enlarge
            the empire. In her thoughts, we learn that Caesonia poisoned Drusilla.
            It is here that Caligula says, "Let them hate me, so long as they fear me".
            Caligula announces that in 2 months time, he will appoint Incitatus as a
            Consul to replace Claudius.

41.       Incitatus is proclaimed a Consul, and Caligula is proclaimed the Goddess
            of Venus.  At the celebrations he meets a young man, who visits
            Caligula later that night. They engage in oral sex, and then the man
            sodomizes Caligula. It's the best sex Caligula has ever had. The man
            tells Caligula that he is Greek, and his name is Mnester. He is a
            poet. Mnester convinces Caligula to walk among the city streets
            dressed as a Pauper to see how the other half live. (It's thought that
            there was some footage shot with Malcolm McDowell & Richard Parets)

42.       As a result of his walk, Caligula cuts the taxes by 50%. The Senate is
            aghast, how will Caligula bring in the extra money? So Caligula states
            that he will confiscate the estates of any Senators guity of treason. He
            reads off a list of 40 Senators and has them arrested.

43.       Caligula brings Mnester home, and he, Mnester and Caesonia engage in
            many different sexual acts. He proclaims Mnester his husband. Later,
            Caligula makes Longinus the new Chancellor. Chaerea and his
            brand new second  in command, Sabinus, enter the scene and
            ask Caligula when the games will begin the next day.

44.       That next day, Caligula plans to change the religion of Rome, from the
            Roman gods to the Egyptian ones. That is also the day he will kill the
            40 Senators.  Caligula plans to kill the entire Senate as well.

45.        Caligula was told to be wary of a Cassius, so he had one that he knew
             killed, thinking he was safe.  Today he would instill the worship of Isis.
             He planned to copulate with Caesonia and Mnester in front of
             the 10,000 people in the Stadium, as well as the Senate. Then, his
             assassins would kill every member of the Senate in front of all
             the spectators. Caligula's horse loses the race, and he remarks, "If
             only all of Rome had but one neck!" when the people boo his horse.   

46.        Caligula leaves the stadium through a passageway, here, Cassius Chearea
             and his lover, Sabinus, wait for the Emperor. They come up to the two
             men, and Chaerea asks for the password, Caligula replies, "Jupiter".
             "So be it" says Chaerea, and the bloodshed begins. Caligula, Caesonia,
             Julia Drusilla, and Chaerea are killed. Sabinus proclaims himself the
             Commander of the Guard, and he proclaims Claudius as the new
             Emperor. Longinus too is spared. 

47.        On the funeral pyre of  Caligula, his little boots are thrown on the fire
             to burn.


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