Suetonius


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Related to Suetonius: Tacitus, Suetonius Paulinus

Suetonius

(Caius Suetonius Tranquillus) (swētō`nēəs), c.A.D. 69–c.A.D. 140, Roman biographer. Little is known about his life except that he was briefly the private secretary of Emperor Hadrian. His De vita Caesarum [concerning the lives of the Caesars] survives almost in full; it was translated into English by Robert Graves as The Twelve Caesars (1957). There are also fragments of a much larger collection of biographies, De viris illustribus [concerning illustrious men]. He gathered together all sorts of anecdotes, and the resultant biographies are lively and informative. Suetonius was taken as a model by many later biographers.

Suetonius

 

(Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus). Born circa A.D. 70; died after 122. Roman historian and writer.

Of equestrian rank, Suetonius served as secretary under the emperor Hadrian from approximately 119 to 122. Of Suetonius’ numerous works on history, everyday customs, and philology, only two principal works have survived: the whole of Lives of the Caesars (in eight books) and De Grammaticis et rhetoribus, from a longer work about famous figures of Roman literature.

Lives of the Caesars contains biographies of the Roman emperors from Julius Caesar to Domitian. All the biographies follow the same outline: first, a description of the emperor’s origins and youth; next, an account of his political, military, and juridical activities and details of his character, external appearance, and private life; and finally, an account of the circumstances of his death. Suetonius depicts Augustus and Titus as ideal rulers. Suetonius was interested mainly in presenting facts rather than in analyzing the historical causes or the psychological motives of the events he recorded. His entertaining style accounts for the popularity of his works among his contemporaries and later readers.

WORKS

In Russian translation:
Zhizn’ dvenadtsati Tsezarei. [O znamenitykh liudiakh: Fragmenty. Translated from Latin and with notes by M. L. Gasparov.] Moscow, 1966.

REFERENCES

Gasparov, M. L. “Novaia zarubezhnaia literatura o Tatsite i Svetonii.” Vestnik drevnei istorii, 1964, no. 1.
Steidle, W. Sueton und die antike Biographie, 2nd ed. Munich, 1963.

Suetonius

full name Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus. 75--150 ad, Roman biographer and historian, whose chief works were Concerning Illustrious Men and The Lives of the Caesars (from Julius Caesar to Domitian)
References in periodicals archive ?
The most important surviving work of historian Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus, who wrote during the early Imperial era of the Roman Empire, is De Vita Caesarum - a set of biographies of 12 successive Roman rulers, from Julius Caesar to Domitian including Nero.
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Not coincidentally, the two fundamental sources of the Roman imperial historiography, Tacitus (Annals) and Suetonius (Lives of the Caesars), mirror Nero's biography, one in terms of the crime (Tacitus: "The first murder that begins the new principality was the death of Junius Silanus, Asia proconsul), the other through the histrionics destiny (Suetonius arranges Nero's coming on stage in the biographical scene through a double goal: the solar, anticipating the solar Neronian theocracy through the birth under the first rays of the day, and buffoonery of the baptism.
Oh dear, he said as the number of Johns, Karens, Colins and Andrews totted up, "have we no great names such as Coriolanus, Suetonius or suchlike amongst us?".
Based on the author's Ask the Ancients column for her local paper, this volume contains advice from ancient authors like Plutarch, Cicero, Suetonius, Seneca, Herodotus, Thucydides, and Homer regarding 52 questions related to career and work, health and beauty, food and fun, lifestyles, human relations, sociopolitical issues, government, morals and ethics, metaphysical topics, and ultimate questions like life after death, suicide, and the universe.
Chapter Four "Suetonius and Suspicion" closes the book with a bravura reading of conspiracy from the imperial perspective.
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To learn something about the battles of Caesar Augustus and his private life, I can read The Lives of the Twelve Caesars, by Suetonius, a work written within a century after his death.
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