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- The Lives of the Twelve Caesars : Caius Julius Caesar, Volume 1 (Illustrated)
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A gripping account of the twilight of the Roman Republic and its bloody transformation into empire; the story of Caesar's generation, thrillingly told.
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This sparkling study of the ancient world pays tribute to Herodotus, whose Histories made him a forefather of the modern historian. The definitive account of ancient Rome by acclaimed historian Mary Beard vividly depicts ordinary Roman lives and contains more than 45 full-colour images specially selected for the Folio edition of S. New Fiction. Classic Fiction. Classical Texts. Historical Fiction. Modern Fiction. Science Fiction. War in Fiction. Other Publishers.
Featured Titles. A Game of Thrones. Illustrated by Jonathan Burton.
The Lives of the Twelve Caesars : Caius Julius Caesar, Volume 1 (Illustrated)
Illustrated by James E. Oryx and Crake. Illustrated by Harriet Lee-Merrion. Fiction Fiction.
New Non-Fiction. Ancient History. Classical Antiquity.
Military History. Modern History. The Aztecs. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. In the second century A. The stories of virtue and vice in the Caesars are carefully selected to illustrate whether emperors measured up to this standard. Suetonius is fair and evenhanded in his treatment of his subjects. All emperors appear as flawed men with both virtues and vices, but the balance between them depends on the individual ruler.
He even gives due credit to the notorious Caligula, who began his reign by publishing the imperial budget and showing generosity to the people.
Twelve Caesars by Suetonius - AbeBooks
Suetonius then signals a change:. Thus far, it is as if we have been writing about an emperor, but the rest must be about a monster. Although they are now translated into English, these graphic tales still have the power to shock and unsettle the reader. The same applied to members of his family. The imperial family had to set standards for the entire empire.
The description of the emperor Nero is particularly memorable:. He was of a good height but his body was blotchy and ill-smelling. His hair was fairish, his face handsome rather than attractive, his eyes bluish-grey and dull, his neck thick, his stomach protruding, his legs very thin…. The different body parts were supposed to indicate character traits.
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Nero was thus revealed to be a contradiction. The descriptions of the bodies are also very funny. They undercut the divine pretensions of emperors, whose statues showed them in heroic nudity with six-packs that demonstrated their virility and likened them to gods. His account of the witty sayings of Vespasian shows that the emperor frequently joked about his own economic policies:.
Vespasian emerges as a rather avuncular figure. He lived most of his life in Majorca, Spain, and died after a protracted illness in About the Authors: Michael Grant is a well-known classical scholar and the author of many books on classical mythology. John Hazel, also a classical scholar, is the editor of an edition of Ovid's poetry.
The Twelve Caesars. As private secretary to the Emperor Hadrian, Suetonius gained access to the imperial archives and used them along with carefully gathered eye-witness accounts to produce one of the most colourful biographical works in history.