The Twelve Caesars was written based on the information of eyewitnesses and public records. It conveys a very accurate picture of court life in Rome and contains some of the raciest and most salacious material to be found in all of ancient literature.
The writing is clear, simple and easy to understand, and the numerous anecdotes of juicy scandal, bitter court intrigue, and murderous brigandage easily hold their own against the most spirited content of today's tabloids.
(P)2009 Audio Connoisseur
It's always a concern how many stars to give a treasured work of history. This book is of course a history, but also a piece of history and as necessary in the milieu of the great works of western literature as any other work from the period. As such, I give it 5 starts, and on it's own merit it was a very enjoyable read.
Beginning with Julius Caesar and ending with the reign of Domitian, Suetonius tells a tale that includes all the victories, works and scandals of each of the emperors in turn. There is some question as to the reliability of some of his sources, as experts have learned, but I think that this in no way diminishes the text. Like with any history, several sources should be considered and Suetonius should be the first with Tacitus next and whatever you can find to follow, as this is truly a fascinating period in Western history.
I would recommend this audiobook to an ancient history or roman history buff.
I cannot say I had a favorite ceaser because I learned new or different facts/gossip about each. The author had a unique viewpoint of the 12 and it was interesting to compare, say, the history of Claudius to the work of Claudius translated by Robert Graves.
His narration was adequate.
I wanted to listen to this in parts rather than try to take it all in at one listen. Some stories were a little juicier than others and I wanted to listen to them more than once.
Addicted to Audible since 2009
I really enjoyed this listen. I rarely listen to the same book twice but I will make an exception for this book!
Love having someone read me a story. Fires in the hearth, rain on the roof, sunny days and surf. Good friends, good food and J S Bach.
Never much liked the Romans of old. Having listened to 'Lustrum', I was interested to learn more. This is a source. I have listened a few times already. Charlton Griffin is not easy on the ear. So it took a few tries to actually hear the content.
One of the things I like, is that in spite of the years and that this is a translation, and it is gossipy, is that Suetonius is almost like a neighbour telling me a story over the fence.
Someone who is not annoyed by the pompous narrator, who is American but tries to apparently tries to speak Queen's English.
Suetonius's work is supposed to be great, but I couldn't tell because the narrator made it painful to listento.
He removed all quality and turned the experience into torture for my ears and brain. It's like having Niles Crane inside your head.
it is the worst audible item I have ordered and was a total waste of a credit. I have many, many audible books and if I could return this item I would cheerfully do so. It is boring, a cure for insomnia and not a good representative of Audible. The reader has no inflection and is almost a one tone reader.
Maybe nothing I may cancel membership and go back to the library which is free.
I want a free credit to order another book
"The Twelve Caesars"
The twelve Caesars is a gripping account of the lives of men who shaped the early Roman empire, and a catalog of the corrupting influence of power on Rome and its leaders. In this book you can learn about the early empire, the laws and traditions if that's what you want. However, far better than the history is the story, we learn about the personal proclivities and pecadilloes of great men and in that we come closer to them than any textbook or tv show. We hear what an eloquent citizen thought about the leadership of Rome and in his voice we can imagine a multitude. This is a must for anyone who wants to feel the basic humanity at the core of the Empire, in all its wretched glory. I enjoyed every salacious minute.
Ok its my fault I should have listened to an except first. the narrator is monotone, great for going to sleep with, but not good enough to hold your attention. Other things I didn't like - this is a translation of the original from early AD and I think this translation is from the 1950/60's. it needs updating in translation as it reads like a poor text book. I recommend you listen to an except first before buying.
"Try the abridged version"
This is a grand entertainment, but if you're trying to decide between the full or an abridged version, do go abridged - there are an awful lot of lists and chunks of complicated legal procedure. The meat of this fascinating story are the awful, awful emperors. Listening to this fruity performance, you can immediately see why Robert Graves zoned in on Claudius - after the increasingly unbelievable outrages of his predecessors, a quietly competent emperor must have been a relief.
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