A.3. Suetonius and his treatment of the Emperor Domitian's favourable accomplishments

  • Geoff W. Adams School of Classics, History and Religion, The University of New England
Keywords: Suetonius, Domitian, Roman history, Roman emperors


Suetonius has become one of the most influential and important ancient sources for our understanding of the socio-political climate in First Century Imperial Rome and the personalities of its emperors. However, he has illustrated in his texts a bias, often in a subtle manner that illustrates the historical and cultural aspects of the literary climate during this period. One notable example is his Life of the Emperor Domitian, which corresponds well with the maturity of Suetonius' writings by this time, but is also unique because of its construction and personal attributes, being the most recent imperial life written by Suetonius. This life illustrates both the literary climate of this period (being clearly influenced by its Senatorial audience) as well as the damning and lasting impressions that the damnatio memoriae has had upon the historical sources on the Emperor Domitian.


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