The Info List - Suetonius

Gaius Suetonius
Tranquillus (Classical Latin: [ˈɡa:jjʊs sʊ.e:'to:ni.ʊs traŋˈkᶣɪllʊs]),[citation needed] commonly known as Suetonius
(/swɪˈtoʊniəs/; c. 69 – after 122 AD),[1] was a Roman historian belonging to the equestrian order who wrote during the early Imperial era of the Roman Empire. His most important surviving work is a set of biographies of twelve successive Roman rulers, from Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
to Domitian, entitled De Vita Caesarum. He recorded the earliest accounts of Julius Caesar's epileptic seizures. Other works by Suetonius
concern the daily life of Rome, politics, oratory, and the lives of famous writers, including poets, historians, and grammarians. A few of these books have partially survived, but many have been lost.


1 Life 2 Works

2.1 The Twelve Caesars 2.2 Other works

2.2.1 Partly extant 2.2.2 Lost works

3 Editions 4 See also 5 Notes 6 References 7 External links

Life[edit] Gaius Suetonius
Tranquillus was probably born in about 69 AD, a date deduced from his remarks describing himself as a "young man" twenty years after Nero's death. His place of birth is disputed, but most scholars place it in Hippo Regius, a small north African town in Numidia, in modern-day Algeria.[2] It is certain that Suetonius
came from a family of moderate social position, that his father, Suetonius Laetus,[3] was a tribune of equestrian rank (tribunus angusticlavius) in the Thirteenth Legion, and that Suetonius
was educated when schools of rhetoric flourished in Rome. Suetonius
was a close friend of senator and letter-writer Pliny the Younger. Pliny describes him as "quiet and studious, a man dedicated to writing." Pliny helped him buy a small property and interceded with the Emperor Trajan
to grant Suetonius
immunities usually granted to a father of three, the ius trium liberorum, because his marriage was childless.[4] Through Pliny, Suetonius
came into favour with Trajan and Hadrian. Suetonius
may have served on Pliny’s staff when Pliny was Proconsul
of Bithynia Pontus (northern Asia Minor) between 110 and 112. Under Trajan
he served as secretary of studies (precise functions are uncertain) and director of Imperial archives. Under Hadrian, he became the Emperor's secretary. But, Hadrian
later dismissed Suetonius for the latter's allegedly excessive informality with the empress Sabina.[5][6] Works[edit] The Twelve Caesars[edit] Main article: The Twelve Caesars

A bust of Gaius Julius Caesar.

He is mainly remembered as the author of De Vita Caesarum—translated as The Life of the Caesars although a more common English title is The Lives of the Twelve Caesars or simply The Twelve Caesars—his only extant work except for the brief biographies and other fragments noted below. The Twelve Caesars, probably written in Hadrian's time, is a collective biography of the Roman Empire's first leaders, Julius Caesar (the first few chapters are missing), Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, Nero, Galba, Otho, Vitellius, Vespasian, Titus
and Domitian. The book was dedicated to a friend Gaius Septicius Clarus, a prefect of the Praetorian Guard
Praetorian Guard
in 119.[7] The work tells the tale of each Caesar's life according to a set formula: the descriptions of appearance, omens, family history, quotes, and then a history are given in a consistent order for each Caesar. Other works[edit] Partly extant[edit]

De Viris Illustribus ("On Famous Men" — in the field of literature), to which belong:

De Illustribus Grammaticis ("Lives of the Grammarians"; 20 brief lives, apparently complete) De Claris Rhetoribus ("Lives of the Rhetoricians"; 5 brief lives out of an original 16 survive) De Poetis ("Lives of the Poets"; the life of Virgil, as well as fragments from the lives of Terence, Horace
and Lucan, survive) De Historicis ("Lives of the historians"; a brief life of Pliny the Elder is attributed to this work)

Peri ton par' Hellesi paidion ("Greek Games") Peri blasphemion ("Greek Terms of Abuse")

The two last works were written in Greek. They apparently survive in part in the form of extracts in later Greek glossaries. Lost works[edit] The below listed lost works of Suetonius
are from the Foreword written by Robert Graves
Robert Graves
in his translation of the Twelve Caesars. [8]

Royal Biographies Lives of Famous Whores Roman Manners and Customs The Roman Year The Roman Festivals Roman Dress Greek Games Offices of State On Cicero’s Republic Physical Defects of Mankind Methods of Reckoning Time An Essay on Nature Greek Objurations Grammatical Problems Critical Signs Used in Books

The introduction to Loeb edition of Suetonius, translated by J. C. Rolfe, with an introduction by K. R. Bradley, references The Suda
The Suda
with the following titles:

On Greek games On Roman spectacles and games On the Roman year On critical signs in books On Cicero's Republic On names and types of clothes On insults On Rome
and its customs and manners

The volume then goes on to add other titles not testified within the Suda.

On famous courtesans On kings On the institution of offices On physical defects On weather signs On names of seas and rivers On names of winds

Two other titles may also be collections of some of the aforelisted:

Pratum (Miscellany) On various matters


Edwards, Catherine Lives of the Caesars. Oxford World’s Classics. (Oxford University Press, 2008). Robert Graves
Robert Graves
(trans.), Suetonius: The Twelve Caesars
The Twelve Caesars
(Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England: Penguin Books, Ltd, 1957) Donna W. Hurley (trans.), Suetonius: The Caesars (Indianapolis/London: Hackett Publishing Company, 2011). J.C. Rolfe (trans.), Lives of the Caesars, Volume I (Loeb Classical Library 31, Harvard University Press, 1997). J.C. Rolfe (trans.), Lives of the Caesars, Volume II (Loeb Classical Library 38, Harvard University Press, 1998).

See also[edit]

on Christians


^ Encyclopædia Britannica Retrieved on 15 May 2017. ^ Suetonius
(1997). Lives of the Caesars, Vol. 1. Cambridge: Harvard University Press (Loeb Classical Library). p. 4.  ^ Suetonius, Vita Othonis, 10, 1. ^ Pliny the Younger, Letters 10.95 ^  Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). " Suetonius
Tranquillus, Gaius". Encyclopædia Britannica. 26 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.  ^ HA Hadrianus 11:3 claims that Hadrian
"removed from office Septicius Clarus, the prefect of the guard, and Suetonius
Tranquillus, the imperial secretary, and many others besides, because without his consent they had been conducting themselves toward his wife, Sabina, in a more informal fashion than the etiquette of the court demanded." ^ L.D.Reynolds, Texts and Transmissions: a survey of the Latin classics, Oxford, 1980. The dedication, in the lost preface, is recorded by a sixth-century source when the text was still complete. ^ Graves, Robert (trans.) (1957). "Foreword". Suetonius: The Twelve Caesars (First ed.). Hamondsworth, Middlesex, England: Penguin Books. p. 7.  access-date= requires url= (help)

Library resources about Suetonius

Online books Resources in your library Resources in other libraries

By Suetonius

Online books Resources in your library Resources in other libraries


Barry Baldwin, Suetonius: Biographer of the Caesars. Amsterdam: A. M. Hakkert, 1983. Gladhill, Bill. “The Emperor's No Clothes: Suetonius
and the Dynamics of Corporeal Ecphrasis.” Classical Antiquity, vol. 31, no. 2, 2012, pp. 315–348. Lounsbury, Richard C. The Arts of Suetonius: An Introduction. Frankfurt: Lang, 1987. Mitchell, Jack “Literary Quotation as Literary Performance in Suetonius.” The Classical Journal, vol. 110, no. 3, 2015, pp. 333–355 Newbold, R.F. “Non-Verbal Communication in Suetonius
and ‘The Historia Augusta:' Power, Posture and Proxemics.” Acta Classica, vol. 43, 2000, pp. 101–118. Power, Tristan and Roy K. Gibson (ed.), Suetonius, the Biographer: Studies in Roman Lives. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2014 Syme, Ronald. "The Travels of Suetonius
Tranquillus." Hermes 109:105–117, 1981. Trentin, Lisa. “Deformity in the Roman Imperial Court.” Greece & Rome, vol. 58, no. 2, 2011, pp. 195–208. Trevor, Luke “Ideology and Humor in Suetonius' ‘Life of Vespasian’ 8.” The Classical World, vol. 103, no. 4, 2010, pp. 511–527. Wallace-Hadrill, Andrew F. Suetonius: The Scholar and his Caesars. New Haven, CT: Yale Univ. Press, 1983. Wardle, David. "Did Suetonius
Write in Greek?" Acta Classica 36:91–103, 1993. Wardle, David. “ Suetonius
on Augustus
as God and Man.” The Classical Quarterly, vol. 62, no. 1, 2012, pp. 307–326.

External links[edit]

Wikiquote has quotations related to: Suetonius

has original works written by or about: Suetonius

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Suetonius.

Primary sources

Works by Suetonius
at Perseus Digital Library The Lives of the Twelve Caesars at LacusCurtius ( Latin
original, English translation) Suetonius' works at Latin
Library (Latin) Works by Suetonius
at Project Gutenberg

The Lives of the Twelve Caesars at Project Gutenberg
Project Gutenberg
(English translation - includes Lives Of The Grammarians, Rhetoricians, And Poets)

Works by or about Suetonius
at Internet Archive Works by Suetonius
at LibriVox
(public domain audiobooks) Gai Suetoni Tranquilli De vita Caesarum libri III-VI Cornell University Library Historical Monographs Collection. Lewis E 195 Vitae XII caesarium (Lives of the twelve caesars), fragment and Book of Hours leaf at OPenn

Secondary sources

Livius.org: Suetonius

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WorldCat Identities VIAF: 89599270 LCCN: n50053072 ISNI: 0000 0001 2031 4435 GND: 118619918 SELIBR: 94808 SUDOC: 027151387 BNF: cb119257294 (data) BIBSYS: 90785110 ULAN: 500050468 NDL: 00458032 NKC: jn19990218099 SN