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The Lives of the Twelve Caesars, Volume 09: Vitellius   By: (75-160)

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The Lives of the Twelve Caesars, Volume 09: Vitellius by Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus offers a comprehensive and detailed account of the life and reign of the Roman Emperor Vitellius. As the ninth volume in Suetonius' influential series, this book provides valuable historical insights into one of Rome's lesser-known rulers.

Suetonius' meticulous research and attention to detail shine through in this volume, allowing readers to delve into the complexities of Vitellius' rule. The author explores Vitellius' rise to power, his political machinations, and his unorthodox manner of governance. Through his narrative, Suetonius offers a balanced portrayal of Vitellius, examining both his strengths and weaknesses as a leader.

One notable aspect of this book is the way Suetonius places Vitellius' reign within the broader political and social context of ancient Rome. The author provides valuable background information, allowing readers to understand the challenges and rivalries that shaped Vitellius' rule. Consequently, the book serves not only as a biography of Vitellius but also as a window into the political climate of the time.

Suetonius' writing style is engaging and accessible, making this volume a compelling read for both scholars and general readers. The author strikes a balance between academic rigor and storytelling, making the history come alive. Readers will appreciate Suetonius' ability to present complex historical events in a clear and concise manner.

However, it is worth noting that this book assumes a certain level of familiarity with Roman history and political figures. While Suetonius provides some background information, readers without prior knowledge of this period may find themselves needing to consult additional sources to fully grasp the nuances of Vitellius' reign.

Overall, The Lives of the Twelve Caesars, Volume 09: Vitellius by Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus is a valuable addition to any study of ancient Rome. Suetonius' meticulous research, engaging writing style, and insightful analysis make this book an indispensable resource for those interested in Roman history. Whether one is a seasoned scholar or an enthusiastic reader, this volume promises an enlightening and enjoyable journey into the life of Emperor Vitellius.

First Page:


By C. Suetonius Tranquillus;

To which are added,


The Translation of Alexander Thomson, M.D.

revised and corrected by T.Forester, Esq., A.M.


I. Very different accounts are given of the origin of the Vitellian family. Some describe it as ancient and noble, others as recent and obscure, nay, extremely mean. I am inclined to think, that these several representations have been made by the flatterers and detractors of Vitellius, after he became emperor, unless the fortunes of the family varied before. There is extant a memoir addressed by Quintus Eulogius to Quintus Vitellius, quaestor to the Divine Augustus, in which it is said, that the Vitellii were descended from Faunus, king of the aborigines, and Vitellia [689], who was worshipped in many places as a goddess, and that they reigned formerly over the whole of Latium: that all who were left of the family removed out of the country... Continue reading book >>

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