Lysmerry's Reviews > The Twelve Caesars

The Twelve Caesars by Suetonius
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Oct 23, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: favorites, thrice, 2010, biography, lots-o-death

Don't judge this book by its cover.
This is NOT dry reading.
This is NOT a boring fact by fact historical account.
The Twelve Caesars is probably the funniest and most intriguing book of antiquity.

At times hysterically snarky, the account stems more from hearsay and gossip than history, though there is a factual basis to much of the text. Suetonius seems to have sorted through facts, rumors, and legends concerning the Caesars and picked out the most shocking, the most absurd, and the most damning. Caligula's biography is jaw-dropping, but the author spares no one. It's hard to imagine the Roman public not rioting in the streets with such violent and capricious leaders.

I'm a huge fan of translator Robert Graves and would definitely follow this with I, Claudius, the novel he wrote based on this book.
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