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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