A generalized representation of Suetonius from the 15th-century Nuremberg Chronicle
|Born||Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus|
c. 69 AD
|Died||After c. 122 AD|
|Subject||History, biography, oratory|
|Literary movement||Silver Age of Latin|
|Notable works||The Lives of the Twelve Caesars|
Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus ( Latin: [ˈɡaːiʊs sweːˈt̪oːniʊs t̪raŋˈkᶣɪlːʊs] ), commonly known as Suetonius ( // ; c. 69 – after 122 AD), was a Roman historian 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 to Domitian, entitled De vita Caesarum. 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.
Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus was probably born 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.It is certain that Suetonius came from a family of moderate social position, that his father, Suetonius Laetus, was a tribune belonging to the equestrian order ( tribunus angusticlavius ) in Legio XIII Gemina, 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.Through Pliny, Suetonius came into favour with Trajan and Hadrian. Suetonius may have served on Pliny’s staff when Pliny was Proconsul of Bithynia and 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 alleged affair with the empress Sabina.
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 his friend Gaius Septicius Clarus, a prefect of the Praetorian Guard in 119.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. He recorded the earliest accounts of Julius Caesar's epileptic seizures.
The two last works were written in Greek. They apparently survive in part in the form of extracts in later Greek glossaries.
The below listed lost works of Suetonius are from the foreword written by Robert Graves in his translation of the Twelve Caesars.
The introduction to Loeb edition of Suetonius, translated by J. C. Rolfe, with an introduction by K. R. Bradley, references the Suda with the following titles:
The volume then goes on to add other titles not testified within the Suda.
Two other titles may also be collections of some of the aforelisted:
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."
The dedication, in the lost preface, is recorded by a sixth-century source when the text was still complete
The gens Julia was one of the most ancient patrician families at ancient Rome. Members of the gens attained the highest dignities of the state in the earliest times of the Republic. The first of the family to obtain the consulship was Gaius Julius Iulus in 489 BC. The gens is perhaps best known, however, for Gaius Julius Caesar, the dictator and grand uncle of the emperor Augustus, through whom the name was passed to the so-called Julio-Claudian dynasty of the first century AD. The nomen Julius became very common in imperial times, as the descendants of persons enrolled as citizens under the early emperors began to make their mark in history.
The gens Scribonia was a plebeian family at ancient Rome. Members of this gens first appear in history at the time of the Second Punic War, but the first of the Scribonii to obtain the consulship was Gaius Scribonius Curio in 76 BC.
De vita Caesarum, commonly known as The Twelve Caesars, is a set of twelve biographies of Julius Caesar and the first 11 emperors of the Roman Empire written by Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus.
Cornelia was the first or second wife of Julius Caesar, and the mother of his only legitimate child, Julia. A daughter of Lucius Cornelius Cinna, Cornelia was related by birth or marriage to many of the most influential figures of the late Republic.
The gens Lutatia, occasionally written Luctatia, was a plebeian family of ancient Rome. The first of the gens to obtain the consulship was Gaius Lutatius Catulus in 242 BC, the final year of the First Punic War. Orosius mentions their burial place, the sepulchrum Lutatiorum, which lay beyond the Tiber.
Avē Imperātor, moritūrī tē salūtant is a well-known Latin phrase quoted in Suetonius, De vita Caesarum. It was reportedly used during an event in AD 52 on Lake Fucinus by naumachiarii—captives and criminals fated to die fighting during mock naval encounters—in the presence of the emperor Claudius. Suetonius reports that Claudius replied "Aut nōn".
The gens Aelia, occasionally written Ailia, was a plebeian family in Rome, which flourished from the fifth century BC until at least the third century AD, a period of nearly eight hundred years. The archaic spelling Ailia is found on coins, but must not be confused with Allia, which is a distinct gens. The first member of the family to obtain the consulship was Publius Aelius Paetus in 337 BC.
Gaius Memmius Regulus was a first-century Roman senator. He was ordinary consul in AD 63, with Lucius Verginius Rufus as his colleague.
The gens Caesetia was a minor plebeian family at ancient Rome. It is known from a small number of individuals living during the late Republic.
The gens Epidia was a plebeian family at Rome. The only members to achieve any importance lived during the first century BC.
The gens Sosia, occasionally written Sossia, was a plebeian family at ancient Rome. Members of this gens occur in history from the end of the Republic down to the third century AD. The first of the Sosii to attain the consulship was Gaius Sosius in 32 BC, and the family would continue holding various positions in the Roman state until the third century.
The gens Galeria was a Roman family of Imperial times. The family first rose to prominence under the Julio-Claudian dynasty, but the most illustrious person of the name was the emperor Galerius, one of the heirs of Diocletian, who reigned from AD 305 to 311, although he cannot have been a direct descendant of the earlier family.
The gens Helvidia was a plebeian family at Rome. Members of this gens are first mentioned in the final decades of the Republic. A century later, the Helvidii distinguished themselves by what has been called their "earnest, but fruitless, patriotism."
The gens Salvia was a minor Roman family toward the end of the Republic. The first of the family known to have held public office at Rome was Publius Salvius Aper, praetorian prefect in 2 BC. About this time, the Salvii achieved equestrian rank, and thereafter held various positions in the Roman state for the next two centuries, before falling back into obscurity. The most illustrious of the Salvii was probably Marcus Salvius Otho, proclaimed emperor in AD 69.
The decemviri stlitibus judicandis was a civil court of ancient origin, traditionally attributed to Servius Tullius, which originally dealt with cases concerning whether an individual was free.
The gens Mettia, also written Metia, was a plebeian family at ancient Rome. Few members of this gens occur in history, and none attained the higher offices of the Roman state under the Republic. Several Mettii rose to prominence in imperial times, with at least three obtaining the consulship in the late first and early second century.
The gens Norbana was a plebeian family at ancient Rome. Members of this gens are first mentioned toward the beginning of the first century BC, and from then to the end of the second century AD they filled a number of magistracies and other important posts, first in the late Republic, and subsequently under the emperors.
The gens Rubria was a plebeian family at ancient Rome. Members of this gens are first mentioned in the time of the Gracchi, but they did not rise to prominence until imperial times. The first of the Rubrii to obtain the consulship was Rubrius Gallus, some time before AD 68.
The gens Sallustia, occasionally written Salustia, was a plebeian family at ancient Rome. Members of this gens are first mentioned in the time of Cicero, and from that time they attained particular distinction as statesmen and writers. The most illustrious of the family was the historian Gaius Sallustius Crispus, who wrote valuable works on the Jugurthine War and the Conspiracy of Catiline, which still exist.
The gens Suetonia was a minor plebeian family at ancient Rome. Members of this gens are first mentioned in the reign of Claudius, under whom the general Gaius Suetonius Paulinus, consul in AD 66, won his first military victories; but the family is perhaps best known for the historian Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus, who flourished toward the beginning of the second century.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Suetonius|
| Wikisource has original works written by or about:|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Suetonius .|
| Library resources about |