As well as being Hadrian’s birthday, today is also the anniversary of the death of the Roman Emperor Caligula. Unlike Hadrian, he was a Bad Guy who was eventually assassinated by the Praetorian Guard on 24 Jan 41CE – if you believe the Roman historian Suetonius, that is. Modern historians believe that he was actually assassinated two days earlier.
However Caligula did leave us some notable tourist attractions, including the obelisk that now stands in front of St Peter’s basilica in Rome. Caligula had it transported from Egypt to Italy in a huge boat – an engineering marvel for its time.