Good «questions About Lives Of The Caesars And Annals» Essay Example

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Rome, History, Literature, Life, Augustus, Ancient Civilizations, Roman Empire, Empire

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2020/10/18

“The Annals” or the original title – “From death of divine Augustus” (Ab excessu divi Augusti) is the last and largest work of Roman historian Tacitus. In this work Cornelius Tacitus describes the history and events that have happened after in the Roman Empire since 14 A.D. (the death of Octavian Augustus) till 68 A.D. (end of the Julio-Claudian dynasty). The reign of the subsequent emperors the author has described in "The Histories."
The "Annals" has not fully preserved: well preserved only the description of the reign of Tiberius and Nero, partly - Claudius, and has not preserved description reign of Caligula. Cornelius Tacitus was born in 55 A.D in southern Gaul. His ancestors most likely came from Italy or Southern France. Cognomen "Tacitus' is characterized of the principles of formation names in the Latin. Despite the testimony of Pliny that Cornelius Tacitus were horsemen (equites) (representatives of the branches of the plebeian Cornelia), there is a version that he actually came from a patrician branch of the gens Cornelia. Some scientists suggest that Tacitus were descendants of freedmen and possibly descended from someone out of ten thousand slaves, and that their freedom was granted by Lucius Cornelius Sulla. According to Mallory Tacitus has become the quaestor during the reign of the Emperor Titus. During the time of writing "The Histories" Tacitus has faced with the need to study the origins of the problems that had faced Roman society in the Year of the Four Emperors and Flavius. Thus, he began writing his work «Ab excessu divi Augusti», where he has described the reign of emperors Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius and Nero. The book was written as a historical work for the next generation of the Romans, and was probably written in 110 AD or in 113. This is the most important work of the historian, consisting of 18 or 16 books. The exact number of books, however, is unknown. Tacitus in his work has claimed a thesis about the need of principality. He has argued that the Imperial power was guarantee of stability and prosperity, but he also has shown readers disadvantages and the horrors of the reign of emperors on the example of Nero. Also, he has widely criticized Senate.
"The Twelve Caesars" (De vita Caesarum) is the main work of Roman historian Suetonius that was written when he was secretary of the Emperor Hadrian (approximately in 121 AD). Suetonius came from equites, his ancestors did not occupy high positions in Rome, and they are known only from the works of the writer. The Suetonius' grandfather had some connection to the imperial court. The writer's father, Suetonius Laetus, was a tribune in the XIII legion that until 67 AD was stationed in Upper Germany, then in Pannonia, and in 68 AD was stationed in Italy. During the civil war in'69 AD legion sided with Otho, but at the Battle of Cremona was defeated by the forces of Vitellius."The Twelve Caesars" is a collection of biographies of Julius Caesar and the first eleven Roman princeps, from Augustus to Domitian. Work is dedicated to the praetorian prefect Gaius Septicius Clarus. Biographies in this work aren't presented in chronological order. First, Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus writes of the origin of each ruler, about the early years of his life, his social activities then goes to a private life, character traits, and appearance. Each biography story Suetonius completes about the circumstances of the death of the emperor. He gives not only a description of the facts that teeming with countless stories of the life of the Caesars, the accuracy of which is often in doubt, as well as describing their appearance, habits, details of their personal life.
Suetonius work is priceless in the sense that it sheds light on the personal life, intimate side activity of the Roman emperors. It is in the "The Twelve Caesars" were mentioned popular motifs and themes related to the emperors: Caligula's horse, actor's exercises of Nero, Vespasian word "money does not smell", etc. According to the text his ideal rulers were a "divine" Augustus and Titus. This is possibly was caused because Emperor Titus has reigned the Roman Empire when Suetonius was a boy. It should be noted that both works were written during the reign of the five good emperors, namely Trajan and Hadrian. This period (96 - 180 AD), is characterized by stability and the absence of repression, Roman Empire has achieved its peak. Thus, the works of these historians reflect more real thoughts of the authors as the authors were not shackled by repressions of authorities.
Thus, summarizing all the mentioned above it should be noted that the “Annals” written by Cornelius Tacitus and “The Twelve Caesars” written by Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus are significant works that were written at the same period. These works were written in the period when the Roman Empire was on the peak of its power and both works includes important data about the history of the Ancient Rome.

Works Cited

A., Sanders H. "Suetonius in the Civil Service under Hadrian ." The American Journal of Philology (1844): 114.
J, Woodman A. The Cambridge Companion to Tacitus (Cambridge Companions to Literature). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010.
L, Gordon M. "The Patria of Tacitus." The Journal of Roman Studies (1936): 145.
Mellor, Ronald. The Roman Historians. London: Routledge, 1999.
Syme, Ronald. Tacitus. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1980.

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Good «questions About Lives Of The Caesars And Annals» Essay Example. Free Essay Examples - Published Oct 18, 2020. Accessed August 11, 2022.

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