The praetorian guard was an elite infantry created by Augustus and charged with the task of guarding the princeps. The princeps was a person without strict legal right to rule, however they possessed great imperium, along with extraordinary political influence. The praetorian guard consisted of 9,000 troops and signified a destabilizing influence on the Roman Republic. Unfortunately, the praetorian guard, with its allegiance to the princeps and not to the state, could be used to subvert the will of the Senate and the legal representatives of power. In fact, the praetorian guard would be instrumental in the assassination of Caligula, and it was also responsible for placing Claudius as the emperor who succeeded Caligula.