The first-century emperor Claudius did not leave the fledgling Roman Empire as he had found it: his contribution was to turn its developing institutions into an imperial tradition. But the ancient sources represent him as an odd personality - active but manipulated by his inferiors, at once distracted and awkward and cruel. Suetonius' biography is a rich offering of both solid fact and the prejudicial anecdotes that his contemporaries and the generation that followed thought worth repeating, raw material for exploring the man and his reign. This commentary provides context for the text's abundant information, but form is not neglected, and attention is given to Suetonius' intelligent and conscious marshalling of his material, and guidance offered to students reading the biographer's often densely compressed style. This is the first English commentary on the Claudius Life to deal with both historical and stylistic issues.
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Suetonius and his career
Biography and De uita Caesarum
Structure and style
Text and afterlife
Important dates in the life of Claudius
Aemilia Lepida Agrippina Antonia Apocol apud assassination atque Augustus autem Britannicus Caes Caesar Calig causa ciuilis Claudius clause cognitio cognomen consul consulship court death Docs Drusus eius elsewhere emperor equestrian erat esset etiam freedmen Gaius Gascou Germanicus Greek Hist honores imperial inter ipse Julius Julius Caesar Kierdorf Latin Levick 199o lex Papia Poppaea Livia Livy ludi marriage married Messallina modo Narcissus neque Nero Nero's nihil nisi OLD 1b ornamenta perhaps persons Pliny praetor praetorian princeps probably prouincia quae quaestors quam quid quidem quod quoque reign responsibility Roman Rome rubric Sejanus senate senatorial sesterces sibi Silanus Silius slaves Smilda spectacula subjunctive Suetonius Syme Tacitus Tiberius uero uitae verb Vespasian Vitellius Wallace-Hadrill Wallace-Hadrill 1983 wives and freedmen