The son of a great military leader, he escaped family intrigues to take the throne, but his personal and fiscal excesses led him to be the first Roman emperor to be assassinated. Gaius Julius Caesar Germanicus was born in 12 A. After Germanicus died in 17 A. Tiberius adopted Caligula and made him and his cousin Gemellus equal heirs to the empire. A year later, Caligula would order both Marco and Gemellus put to death. Caligula was not quite 25 years old when he took power in 37 A. At first, his succession was welcomed in Rome: He announced political reforms and recalled all exiles.