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Suetonius

Caius Suetonius Tranquillus lived approximately 69 to 140 AD. He was a Roman biographer of considerable fame and even worked as the private secretary of the emperor Hadrian. His main work De vita Caesarum (Lives of the Caesars) covers the early imperial period from Julius Caesar through Domitian.

Suetonius relied heavily on anecdotal and word of mouth information, making much of the details in his work suspect, but still providing a comprehensive look into the lives of the earliest emperors. It reads, in many cases, much like an ancient version of a gossip magazine and is a highly entertaining source.

His work has been so popular, that many later biographers attempted to copy his style. Robert Graves, in making a modern and thorough English translation of Suetonius in the 1950's, borrowed heavily from him in creating the extremely popular historical novel "I, Claudius".


Works:
De vita Caesarum (concerning the lives of the Caesars)

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"During a happy period of more than fourscore years, the public administration was conducted by the virtue and abilities of Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, and the two Antonines.









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Suetonius - Related Topic: Roman Fiction Books


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