This is one of the most tragic stories about remarkable ancient artifacts you will ever read. After reading this article, you may have dreams about impressive ancient Roman ships that survived many centuries, only to be destroyed during World War II.
The ships built by the mad emperor Caligula in the 1st century AD looked like floating palaces. They were found at Lake Nemi and had everything that was characteristic of the hedonistic style of the Ptolemaic Period or the wealthy rulers of Syracuse (whose style inspired many bold feats in the ancient world.) This is what archaeologists recovered in 1929. However, fate soon gave the ships a tragic end.
Imaginative depiction of one of the Nemi ships. (cronicadeunatraicion)
Discovering Caligula's Ships
Caligula had many unique ideas about religion; he followed the cult of Isis, but also loved Alexander the Great and imagined he could be his reincarnation. Two of his biggest desires were to be richer and to create more luxurious buildings than his ancestors. It is unknown why Caligula decided to make these ships, but it was likely his vanity. The impressive ships had amazing treasures and incredible decoration. They were like floating palaces with mosaic floors, a heating system, marble decorations, baths, etc.
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