Mark is a history writer based in Italy. We have also been recommended for educational use by the following publications: Ancient History Encyclopedia Foundation is a non-profit organization registered in Canada. Cite This Work Suetonius is free from the bias of the senatorial class that distorts much Roman historical writing. His special interests include pottery, architecture, world mythology and discovering the ideas that all civilizations share in common.

The Ancient History Encyclopedia logo is a registered EU trademark. A physical description of the subject is usually left until the end. Suetonius (Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus) was born c. 69AD, probably in Hippo Regius in North Africa, (modern Annaba, in north-eastern Algeria), and died sometime after 122AD. His sketches of the habits and appearance of the emperors are invaluable, but, like Plutarch, he used “characteristic anecdote” without exhaustive inquiry into its authenticity. [On Augustus] Antony’s brother Lucius added that, after sacrificing his virtue to Caesar, Augustus had sold his favours to Aulus Hirtius in Spain, for 3,000 gold pieces, and that he used to soften the hair on his legs by singeing them with red-hot walnut shells. Ancient History Encyclopedia. Of his later life we know that Suetonius was director of the imperial libraries and then a private secretary to Hadrian, although he was dismissed from this position, again for unknown reasons, perhaps after a lack of protocol and good manners to Empress Sabina. Our latest articles delivered to your inbox, once a week: Numerous educational institutions recommend us, including Oxford University and Michigan State University and University of Missouri. The work is dramatic, and packed with incident.

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In c. 110 CE he was offered the position of military tribune in Britain but declined for unknown reasons. Very nearly all that is known about the lives of Rome’s eminent authors stems ultimately from this work, which survives only in the whole of one section and in the preface and five lives from another section. Suetonius, in full Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus, (born 69 CE, probably Rome [Italy]—died after 122), Roman biographer and antiquarian whose writings include De viris illustribus (“Concerning Illustrious Men”), a collection of short biographies of celebrated Roman literary figures, and De vita Caesarum (Lives of the Caesars). Suetonius. Suetonius is a major source of information on the life of Caligula, his uncle Claudius, and the heritage of Vespasian (the relevant sections of the Annals by Tacitus his contemporary being lost). Suetonius, we are told, was a quiet man who first studied and practised law before becoming a professional scholar. Suetonius is a major source of information on the life of Caligula, his uncle Claudius, and the heritage of Vespasian (the relevant sections of the Annals by Tacitus his contemporary being lost). The lives of Horace, Lucan, Terence, and Virgil, for example, are known from writers who derived their facts from Suetonius. His father, Suetonius Laetus, was a tribune of equestrian rank in the Thirteenth Legion Gemina. Suetonius, you will remember, treats his subjects thematically, not annalistically. A similar book of his dealt with Greek games. Tiberius... Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike. Suetonius, Nero. This article was most recently revised and updated by,, Ancient History Encyclopedia - Biography of Suetonius, British Broadcasting Corporation - Biography of Suetonius, Suetonius - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). An encyclopaedia called Prata (“Meadows”), a work like the Natural History of Pliny the Elder, was attributed to him and often quoted in late antiquity. Probably around 121 he was promoted to secretary of the imperial correspondence, but in 122 or somewhat later he was dismissed for the neglect of court formality, after which he presumably devoted himself to literary pursuits. 24 Oct 2020. Retrieved from He also refrains from inserting his own moralising judgments, something both earlier and contemporary writers could not resist doing. The Twelve Caesars is probably the most in depth book ever written about the personal lives of the twelve caesars. The biographies are not wholly flattering nor are events told in chronological sequence but they reveal some candid details of Rome’s first citizens.

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