Lives of the 12 Caesars
by Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus
Published in 121 AD
Thibault’s Score: 2/5
I didn’t read this book, instead I simply skimmed it to get a general understanding of its contents. Overall, this book is fairly dense and dull reading, so I give it a low score and don’t recommend it.
The book was, allegedly, written by Praetorian perfect Gaius Septimius Clarus during the reign of Hadrian. The book recounts the biographies of 12 major emperors: Caesar, Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, Nero, Galba, Otho, Vitellius, Vespasian, Titus, and Domitian.
This was a really, really, really weird read, and I don’t doubt the books authenticity, although I am skeptical of its accuracy. It reads exactly the way that you would expect a 2000 year old book to read.
The first chapter opens with the life of Julius Caesar. Caesar has a dream where he rapes his own mother, and worried goes to an oracle. The oracle reassures him, explaining that his mother is a stand in for mother earth, and that it means that Caesar will conquer many lands. Basically, Caesar was a literal mother fucker (mother earth fucker).
There’s a lot of really weird and ancient sounding stuff throughout the book, and because it was a hard read, I quit after Julius Caesar. Also, I’m impatient to read more about the late Roman Empire.
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