Suetonius' Life of Augustus is the most commonly read ancient account of the life of Rome's first emperor, presenting a mass of historical and biographical detail about both his public and personal lives. This volume provides the first large-scale commentary on Suetonius' work in English, drawing out what is unique about Suetonius' information, discussing how it relates to other ancient accounts, and assessing its historical reliability. The commentary is the first to be accessible to readers without any knowledge of Latin or Greek due to its use of English lemmata, while the new translation remains faithful to the original Latin. Accompanied by an introduction which investigates the career of Suetonius, the date of the Lives of the Caesars, the structure of the Life of Augustus, the various sources utilized by Suetonius, and the way in which the reader should approach this complex text, the commentary also looks to examine Suetonius' work not just as a repository of facts, but as a literary artefact carefully constructed by its author.
Includes a general introduction; chronology of major events; What the Romans Knew; Rome and Its Institutions; suggested further reading; maps, family trees, a glossary, and an index of historical names.
The Lives of the Caesars include the biographies of Julius Caesar and the eleven subsequent emperors: Augustus, Tiberius, Gaius Caligula, Claudius, Nero, Galba, Otho, Vitelius, Vespasian, Titus, Domitian. Suetonius composed his material from a variety of sources, without much concern for their reliability. His biographies consist the ancestry and career of each emperor in turn; however, his interest is not so much analytical or historical, but anecdotal and salacious which gives rise to a lively and provocative succession of portraits. The account of Julius Caesar does not simply mention his crossing of the Rubicon and his assassination, but draws attention to his dark piercing eyes and attempts to conceal his baldness. The Live of Caligula presents a vivid picture of the emperor's grotesque appearance, his waywardness, and his insane cruelties. The format and style of Suetonius' Lives of the Caesars was to set the tone for biography throughout western literature - his work remains thoroughly readable and full of interest. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
The biographer Suetonius is one of the most fascinating writers of ancient Rome, but he is rarely afforded serious critical attention. This volume of new essays focuses on the various aspects of Suetonius' work, from his lost biographical writing on Roman courtesans to his imperial portraits of the Caesars. Beginning with an introduction that assesses the originality of Suetonius as a writer and situates the essays within the context of debates and controversies over his biographical form, the collection addresses the issues surrounding his style, themes, and early influence on literature in three parts. The first part discusses formal features of Suetonian biography, such as his literary techniques, manners of citation and quotation, and devices of allusion and closure. The middle section is devoted to readings of the individual Lives, treating several topics - from Suetonius' decision to begin his collection with Julius Caesar, to fictional elements in his death scene of the emperor Caligula, and to the theme of solitude in his Life of Domitian. The last part examines the ways in which Suetonius transgresses the boundaries of ancient biography by looking at his influence on epistolographers, antiquarians, commentators, and later biographers. This volume is essential reading for anyone who wants to know why Suetonius' Lives are such a unique and powerful medium for the stories of ancient Rome, and how they became the primary model for later biography.
As private secretary to the Emperor Hadrian, Suetonius gained access to the imperial archives and used them (along with carefully gathered eye-witness accounts) to produce one of the most colourful biographical works in history. 'The Twelve Caesars' chronicles the public careers and private lives of the men who wielded absolute power over Rome, from the foundation of the empire under Julius Caesar and Augustus, to the decline into depravity and civil war under Nero, and the recovery and stability that came with his successors. A masterpiece of anecdote, wry observation and detailed physical description, 'The Twelve Caesars' presents us with a gallery of vividly drawn - and all too human - individuals.
"The translation of the Lives of the Caesars is based upon the text of Maximilian Ihm, Leipzig, 1907 (editio minor, 1908) with some slight changes in punctuation, capitalization, and orthography, to conform more nearly with English and American usage. Where Ihm does not offer a readable text, conjectures have been admitted and mentioned in the footnotes, and in a few other cases a different reading from his has been adopted. The aim has been a translation, rather than the easier task of a paraphrase. The version of Philemon Holland (London, 1606) cannot be surpassed in style and spirit, and it is more accurate than any other English translation. An attempt has been made to compete with it in the only possible way, namely in greater fidelity to a better text than was available in his day, and in a nearer approach to the manner of Suetonius. The text and interpretation of Suetonius offer many difficulties, all of which have received careful consideration; but it is hardly to be hoped that the results have been satisfactory in all cases ... To the Lives of the Caesars have been added those extracts from the Lives of Illustrious Men which afford a continuous text and are generally regarded to be authentic." Preface.