Collected Papers on Suetonius  book cover
1st Edition

Collected Papers on Suetonius

ISBN 9780367555658
Published June 23, 2021 by Routledge
306 Pages

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Book Description

This collection of essays by a leading authority on Suetonius, one of our most significant historical sources for the early Roman Empire, provides an in-depth examination of his works, whose literary value has in the past been overlooked.

Although Suetonius is well known for his Lives of emperors such as Caligula and Nero, he is rarely studied in his own right, aside from grammatical or textual commentaries. This is the first volume by an expert on the author to make him accessible to a wider audience, looking at his biographies not only of emperors but also poets, and discovering new contemporary evidence for Jesus from one of Suetonius’ first-century sources. Other writers discussed include Homer, Sophocles, Catullus, Virgil, Horace, Curtius Rufus, Josephus, Plutarch, Pliny the Younger, Tacitus, Juvenal, and Cassius Dio. The book contains thirty-two papers in all, eleven of which are new, which examine Suetonius’ neglected historical value and literary skills, and offer textual conjectures on both the Illustrious Men and Lives of the Caesars. It also has a new introduction and represents over a dozen years of research on an essential Latin source for Roman history.

Collected Papers on Suetonius provides an invaluable resource for students and researchers working on Suetonius. It also has broader significance for anyone studying Roman imperial history and culture, Latin literature, and classical historiography.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Suetonius’ Early Life in Pliny’s Letters
PART I Illustrious Men
1. Pliny, Letters 5.10 and the Literary Career of Suetonius
2. Two Acrostics by Late Republican Poets in Suetonius
3. Calvus’ Poetry in Suetonius and Pliny, Letters 5.3
4. Horace and the Gladiators Bithus and Bacchius
5. Juvenal, Satires 3.74 and Suetonius
6. The Orator Memmius in Suetonius
7. The Sister of Passienus Crispus
8. Suetonius and the Date of Curtius Rufus
PART II Poetic Allusions
9. Poetry and Fiction in Suetonius’ Illustrious Men
10. Caesar and Sophocles’ Electra
11. Pyrrhus and Priam in Suetonius’ Tiberius
12. Claudius’ Homeric Quotation
13. Galba, Onesimus, and Servitude
14. Priam and Pompey in Suetonius’ Galba
15. Galba and Priam in Tacitus’ Histories
16. The Servants’ Taunt: Homer and Suetonius’ Galba
PART III Textual Conjectures
17. Suetonius, De grammaticis 13.1
18. Suetonius, Iul. 49.2 and Galb. 20.1
19. Augustus’ Mime of Life (Suetonius, Aug. 99.1)
20. Nero in Furs (Suet. Ner. 29)
21. Oedipal Nero: The Farewell Kiss
22. Suetonius, Galba 1: Beginning or Ending?
23. Vespasian’s Sexual Iliad
24. Helvidius Priscus in Suetonius, Domitian 10.3
PART IV Suetonius and History
25. Suetonius’ Tacitus
26. The Disgrace of Suetonius
27. Caligula and the Bludgeoned Priest
28. The Conspirator against Caligula
29. Jesus’ Flight into Egypt in Suetonius
30. Nero’s Cannibal (Suetonius, Nero 37.2)
31. Nero’s Amazons, Sporus, and Alexander
32. Vitellius and the Baker and Cook

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Tristan Power has taught Classics at Columbia University and is the co-editor of Suetonius the Biographer: Studies in Roman Lives (2014). He has also published on the Roman poet Catullus.


‘There can be no question about the standing of [Power’s] scholarship and the contribution that he has made to Suetonian studies. Power is, I think, unique among modern Suetonians in that he works not just on the imperial Lives but on De viris illustribus and other "minor" works. His knowledge of Suetonian scholarship is encyclopaedic and it is demonstrated excellently throughout the work ... there is no likely competition to this volume from any living scholar.’David Wardle, University of Cape Town, South Africa

"[Power] beherzt den größeren und kleineren Problemen beim Verständnis von Suetons Werken zu und schlägt dabei auch für solche Fragen, die in der Forschung schon seit längerer Zeit diskutiert werden, oft originelle, aber stets gut begründete Antworten vor ... verdeutlicht dieses Buch eindrucksvoll, wie sehr die Diskussion zu Sueton in den letzten Jahren bereits von den Arbeiten des Verfassers profitiert hat und es in Zukunft dank der handlichen Präsentation in der vorliegenden Form noch mehr tun wird."Bryn Mawr Classical Review
[Power boldly addresses the larger and smaller problems in understanding Suetonius' works, often proposing original but always well-founded answers to questions that have been discussed in research for a long time ... this book impressively illustrates how much the discussion on Suetonius has already benefited from the author's work in recent years and how it will do even more in the future thanks to the handy presentation in its present form.]