The Twelve Caesars

The Twelve Caesars

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Covering the Roman rulers from Julius Caesar to Domitian, this remains one of the richest and most fascinating of all Latin histories. Suetonius gathered much of his information from eye-witnesses, checking his facts carefully and quoting conflicting evidence without bias. But his history is also the most vivid and the raciest account we have of scandalous and amusing incidents in the domestic lives of the first more

Product details

  • Paperback | 368 pages
  • 127 x 195.58 x 20.32mm | 240g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1st New impression
  • illustrations, maps, bibliography, index
  • 0140440720
  • 9780140440720

Review Text

Suetonius's history of the Roman Emperors is best known now as the main source for Robert Graves's classic novels I, Claudius and Claudius the God, so it's fitting that this translation is Graves's own. The rulers covered are Julius Caesar, Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, Nero, Galba, Otho, Vitellius, Vespasian, Titus and Domitian, and their stories are just as shocking and entertaining as we might expect. From Caligula, who slept with his sisters and planned to make his favourite horse a consul, to Domitian, who enjoyed putting senators to death at random, it's all here, and Suetonius gives us a vivid account of the egos, scandals, intrigues, plots and subplots that were as much a part of these Caesars' lives as the conquering of peoples. Graves's translation seems a little old-fashioned at times, but it's lively and readable and brings out the humour that is central to Suetonius's writing. A helpful introduction by Michael Grant supplies an overview and context for the text, and there's an extensive section of additional material, including maps, genealogical tables and glossaries. Altogether, this is an excellent edition of one of the most important and enjoyable works of ancient history. (Kirkus UK)show more