Suetonius The Twelve Caesars

ISBN 13: 9780713911954

The Twelve Caesars

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9780713911954: The Twelve Caesars

Little is known about the life of Gaius Suetonius Tranquillis, but much is inferred. He was born in the first century A.D. when Roman power was at its zenith. Pliny the Younger tells us that Suetonius briefly practiced law, avoided political controversy and became chief secretary to the Emperor Hadrian.

Suetonius lived out his full span and died in 140 A.D. He was a prolific writer, for there are records of numerous books. But the only one extant is THE TWELVE CAESARS, the most fascinating and richest of all Latin histories.

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Born in 60 A.D., Suetonius served for several years as secretary to the Roman emperor Hadrian. His years in the palaces and halls of imperial government served him well when he set out to write this oftentimes eye-popping, tell-all account of the doings of the first 12 emperors, from Julius to Domitian, who make the good fellas of Mafia renown seem tame by comparison. From Suetonius we learn that Augustus was afraid of lightning and thunder and carried a piece of seal skin as protection against them; that Caligula slept with his mother and his sister; and that Nero outlawed mimes in Rome--which may mean that he wasn't such a bad man after all. Suetonius doesn't hesitate to say when he's reporting gossip that he has not personally verified, but what gossip it is! This translation, by the noted classicist Robert Graves, serves the ancient chronicler very well indeed.

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