Based on eyewitness accounts and his own unlimited access to the Emperor Hadrian's Imperial archives, the scholar Suetonius wrote a sweeping account of the lives of twelve of Rome's most powerful emperors. From the empire's most shining examples of ruling competency, such as Julius Caesar and Augustus, to the most depraved and doomed rulers, such as Nero, this ancient and colorful biographical work presents a vivid and accessible picture of these historical figures from remote antiquity. This classic work was translated from the Latin by Robert Graves, renowned classicist, historian, and historical novelist. Combining his extensive expertise in classical history with deft writing skill and an ability to spin a good tale, Graves' excellent translation makes this classic work accessible to modern audiences.
Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus was probably born in AD69 - the famous 'year of the four Emperors'. From the letters of Suetonius' close friend Pliny the Younger we learn that he practiced briefly at the bar, avoided political life, and became chief secretary to the Emperor Hadrian (AD117-38). Suetonius seems to have lived to a good age and probably died around the year AD140. James Rives teaches in the area of Classical Studies at Stanford University. Professor Rives is currently serving as Review Editor for Phoenix, Journal of the Classical Association of Canada.