An important Roman historian and biographer of the 2nd century AD. His most famous work is 'De Vita Caesarum' ('On the Life of Emperors'), in which he relates the lives of all the emperors starting with Ceasar (even though he was never really an emperor) and until Domitianus (or Domitian).

Suetonius also wrote "Private Lives" (uh Latin translation please) -- a book so detailed about the Roman aristocracy's personal lives it would make a modern day tabloid writer blush. Robert Graves based much of I, Claudius on it.

Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus was born in about 70, and lived for a long time, dying perhaps around 160. He studied as a lawyer, served as one of the secretaries to the Emperor Trajan, then chief secretary to Hadrian, and devoted his later years to his books. His historical works drew on the imperial archives he had access to. He wrote a great deal, of which little has survived. The full list of titles by him is:
  • The Twelve Caesars
  • Royal Biographies
  • Lives of Famous Whores
  • Roman Manners and Customs
  • The Roman Year
  • Roman Festivals
  • Roman Dress
  • Greek Games
  • Offices of State
  • Cicero's Republic
  • The Physical Defects of Humankind
  • Methods of Reckoning Time
  • An Essay on Nature
  • Greek Objurgations
  • Grammatical Problems
  • Critical Signs Used in Books
  • Illustrious Writers
Today there are only two extant works: The Twelve Caesars; and fragments of Illustrious Writers including biographies of Virgil, Horace, and Lucan, plus essays on grammar and rhetoric.

He was a close friend of Pliny the Younger, who interceded to get him the special privileges of jus trium liberorum, normally only granted to the fathers of three children. Pliny said the more he knew Suetonius, the more his affection for him grew.

Suetonius wrote in the Silver Age, among the good emperors, when freedom reigned in Rome once more, and he looked back on the terrible deeds of the early emperors.

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