Suetonius, chronicler of the extraordinary personalities of the first dynasties to rule the Roman Empire, was the greatest Latin biographer. His colourful work, Lives of the Twelve Caesars, is, along with Tacitus, the major source for the period from Julius Caesar to Domitian. He sets out in vivid detail a great range of aspects illuminating the emperor's characters, their habits, from table to bedchamber - their intrigues, their loves and their deaths. Himself a court official, he quotes from a variety of sources, from the official and private documents as well as from old anecdotes, gossip, songs and jokes, giving an unparalleled oblique view of his subjects. Long familiar to students of classics, he found a new audience as the main source for Robert Graves' novels and the subsequent television series I, Claudius.
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Tom Griffith has also translated Plato's The Republic, Symposium, Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Phaedo, and Phaedrus.From AudioFile:
While his histories are rich with the details of each Caesar's reign, what makes Suetonius's work particularly interesting are the subjective elements: his character portraits, lurid asides, and open evaluations of each Caesar as good, bad, or flat-out immoral. Derek Jacobi's narration fits this approach marvelously. His delivery is clear, even brisk, when reviewing the factual data, but he lingers over the more personal judgmental elements. Through Jacobi, Suetonius's outrage over what is done to his beloved Rome comes through as both heartfelt and personal. Jacobi brings this history to vivid, dramatic life. G.T.B. © AudioFile 2005, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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