Currently Reading: Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus .
- Julius Caesar1 (grabs the crown)
- Augustus (Octavian)1 (catches it)
- Tiberius (dirty old man)
- Gaius Caligula (loves horses)
- Claudius (a nicer fella)
- Nero (not so nice)
- Galba (short and brutish — moiduhd!)
- Otho (ladies man, or just a lady?)
- Vitellius (see Galba)
- Vespasian1 (finally, a better rogue)
- Titus1 (Vesuvius blows its top, but he’s still loved by the people)
- Domitian (another moiduh, but he put up a good fight, we’re told)
1 Afterwards Deified, says Suetonius
Suetonius (circa AD 60-140), Roman historian, and rapscallion, as per the Penguin edition (1958, Robert Graves), which notes:
“[H]e was one of several Palace officials, including the Guards Commander, whom [the emperor] Hadrian when he returned from Britain dismissed for behaving indiscreetly with the Empress Sabina.” You go, boy.
And that’s all he wrote… see Gibbon for the sequel.
Will and Arial Durant’s “Caesar and Christ.” The most enjoyable mini biographies of the kings and queens, lords and ladies of the Roman Republic and Empire that I’ve yet encountered. The Wars, Rebellions and Invasions; The Etruscans and Greeks, Carthaginians (of N.Africa) and Egyptians.
Plus great reading on the lives of Romans, from the many, many Slaves to the Plebians and Equites, to the middle and upper classes. And beyond the empire’s end, the rise of Christianity and Islam, the lives of Jesus and Mohammed. About 700 tall pages. Buy it if you find it.