The Twelve Caesars

The Twelve Caesars

Introduction by: James Rives
Revised by: James Rives
Notes by: James Rives

  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780140455168
  • 464 Pages
  • Penguin Classics
  • Adult


An essential primary source on Roman history and a fascinating achievement of scholarship covering a critical period in the Empire

As private secretary to the Emperor Hadrian, the scholar Suetonius had access to the imperial archives and used them (along with eyewitness accounts) to produce one of the most colourful biographical works in history. The Twelve Caesars chronicles the public careers and private lives of the men who wielded absolute power over Rome, from the foundation of the empire under Julius Caesar and Augustus, to the decline into depravity and civil war under Nero and the recovery that came with his successors. A masterpiece of observation, anecdote and detailed physical description, The Twelve Caesars presents us with a gallery of vividly drawn—and all too human—individuals.

James B. Rives has sensitively updated Robert Graves’s now classic translation, reinstating Latin terms and updating vocabulary while retaining the liveliness of the original. This edition contains a new chronology, further reading, glossaries, maps, notes and an introduction discussing Suetonius’ life and works.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
The Twelve Caesars

The Twelve Caesars

Suetonius, Introduction by: James Rives, Translator: Robert Graves, Revised by: James Rives, Notes by: James Rives

PRH Book Clubs Survey