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The Twelve Caesars by Suetonius
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The Twelve Caesars (edition 1979)

by Suetonius (Author), Michael Grant (Editor), Robert Graves (Translator)

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4,838521,418 (4.02)91
Member:rictornorton
Title:The Twelve Caesars
Authors:Suetonius (Author)
Other authors:Michael Grant (Editor), Robert Graves (Translator)
Info:Viking (1979), Edition: 2nd Revised edition, 320 pages
Collections:Literature and Literary History, Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

Work details

History of the Twelve Caesars by Suetonius

  1. 20
    The Secret History by Procopius (Michael.Rimmer)
    Michael.Rimmer: Both are 'behind-the-scenes' exposés of the lives of emperors which provided inspiration to Robert Graves.
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» See also 91 mentions

English (44)  French (3)  Italian (1)  Hungarian (1)  Dutch (1)  Spanish (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (52)
Showing 1-5 of 44 (next | show all)
How does a institutionalized respect for political figures decay over time? How an emperor view their predecessor, and what happens to this retrospective gaze as it is serialized through a succession of many emperors?

The Twelve Caesar's is the necessary companion to Plutarch's Lives, at least concerning the emperors. ( )
  alexanme | Dec 9, 2018 |

This Penguin Classic of The Twelve Caesars by Suetonius is the perfect place to start for anybody interested in ancient Greco-Roman history and culture. Not only is this a most engaging translation by Robert Graves, author of I Claudius, but there is a short Forward by classics scholar, Michael Grant. Additionally, there are ten maps of the city of Rome and the Roman Empire along with a glossary of key terms. From my own experience, once I started reading, I couldn’t stop. Matter of fact, I was inspired to write a Goodreads review of each of the twelve Caesars – Julius Caesar, Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Nero, Galba, Otho, Vitellius, Vespasian, Titus, Domitian.

Specifically, here are a couple of quotes from Michael Grant along with my brief comments:

“Suetonius’ principal contribution lies in his relatively high degree of objectivity. With him, we have moved away from the traditional eulogistic treatment, and have entered a much more astringent atmosphere, in which the men whom he is describing are looked at with a cooler and more disenchanted eye.” ---------- This ‘disenchanted eye’ is a thoroughly modern perspective, one having synchronicity with our 21st century sensibilities.

“The best quality of his work is his power to create rapid, dramatic, and often moving narratives, including, at times, impressive set-pieces, among which the death of Nero is especially notable.” ---------- Unlike a dry academic writing, Suetonius is lively, vivid and sometimes racy.

And excerpts from the translation by Robert Graves:

“During gladiatorial shows he would have the canopies removed as the hottest time of the day and forbid anyone to leave; or take away the usual equipment and pit feeble old fighters against decrepit wild animals; or stage comic duels between respectable householders who happened to be physically disabled in some way or other.”

“Nero’s unreasonable craving for immortal fame made him change a number of well-known names of things and places in his own favor. The month of April, for instance, became Neroneus; and Rome was on the point of being renamed ‘Neropolis’.

Again, once I started reading this book, I couldn't stop. Who would think a classic work of history and biography would be so engaging?
( )
  Glenn_Russell | Nov 13, 2018 |
This book is really about six Caesars (Julius, Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius and Nero) and six men I never heard of before. Of the over 17 hours of the audiobook, just a little over 3 hours are devoted to the last six, but I was fine with that because I learned more about the Caesars I care about. Caligula and Nero are clearly the most entertaining, but Augustus is my favorite. ( )
  fhudnell | Jul 8, 2018 |
My companion read to the fantastic "History of Rome" podcast. Amazing that the imperial political structure survived some of these early abuses of power and poor leadership. Each Caesar is given his accolades and critique, but there is definitely a bias in what is dwelled upon. Still, it seems a genuine attempt at accurate history with little revisionist propaganda ( )
  albertgoldfain | Jan 8, 2018 |
What a fantastic little book full of gossip and intrigue of the 12 emperors succeeding Julius Caesar and the fall of the Republic. Good translation By Robert Graves. ( )
  Mitchell_Bergeson_Jr | Aug 6, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 44 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (204 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Suetoniusprimary authorall editionscalculated
Ailloud, HenriTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Barton, TamsynIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bird, H. M.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dessì, FeliceTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Edwards, CatharineTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Freese, J. H.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gavorse, JosephEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gérôme, Jean-LéonCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grant, MichaelIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Graves, RobertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Graves, RobertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hawthorn, RaymondIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hengst, D. denTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Holland, PhilemonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hollo, J. A.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
La Harpe, Jean-François deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
La Pause, Henri Ophellot deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lagerström, IngemarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Linkomies, EdwinIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pape, Frank C.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Whibley, CharlesIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Contains

The Twelve Caesars, Book 10: Vespasian by Suetonius

The Twelve Caesars, Book 06: Nero (Latin) by Suetonius

The Twelve Caesars, Book 12: Domitian (Latin) by Suetonius

The Twelve Caesars, Book 05: Divus Claudius by Suetonius

Suetonius, Vol. 1: The Lives of the Caesars--Julius. Augustus. Tiberius. Gaius. Caligula (Loeb Classical Library, No. 31) by Suetonius

SUETONIUS Vol.II The Lives of the Caesars, II: Claudius. Nero. Galba, Otho, and Vitellius. Vespasian. Titus, Domitian. Lives of Illustrious Men: Grammarians and Rhetoricians. ..Passienus Crispus (Loeb by Suetonius

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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0140440720, Mass Market Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:04:50 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

First-century Roman life is portrayed in sketches of the family histories, public careers, physical traits, private lives, and vices of Roman rulers from Julius Caesar to Domitian.

(summary from another edition)

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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