Gaius Suetonius

(2204 words)
  • Josiah Osgood (Georgetown University )

Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus (c. 70–c. 130 CE or after) was a prolific scholar of high imperial Rome most famous for his Lives of the Caesars (De vita Caesarum), a biographical account of the first Roman emperors as well as Julius Caesar. A landmark in the development of biography, the work is also a major source for modern understanding of Rome’s transition from republican to monarchical rule and of Roman culture.

A Scholar at the Imperial Court

Suetonius came from a wealthy family, perhaps of North Africa. His father, Suetonius Laetus, served as a military officer in 69 CE under Otho, one of the four men vying for power after the death of emperor Nero the year before. Years later, a similar post w…

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Osgood, Josiah. "Gaius Suetonius". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 25 April 2014
[, accessed 25 September 2016.]

Articles on Suetonius' works

  1. De viris illustribus [On Illustrious Men]
  2. De vita Caesarum [Lives of the Caesars]