Caligula was born in Antium, a town south of Rome. He was given the nickname “Caligula”, which means “little boots”, during his travels with his father on military campaigns, when he was a child. He became an emperor at the age of 25 and was welcomed in Rome as he announced political reforms and recalled all exiles. After recovering from a serious illness, he believed he was poisoned and he turned into a cruel and tyrannical ruler. He started to kill or exile those that were close to him or whom he saw as a serious threat. As his downfall continued, Caligula was assassinated by a conspiracy that included members of his Praetorian Guard.