Written during the reign of Hadrian, by Hadrian personal secretary, Suetonius, "The Twelve Caesars" was the most popular and longest of Suetonius's surviving works. Beginning with the life of Julius Caesar and continuing with the first eleven emperors of Rome who followed him, "The Twelve Caesars" is one of the most important historical bibliographical works of the Roman Empire and discusses the critical period in Roman history known as the Principate, from the end of the Republic to the reign of Domitian.
Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus was probably born in AD69 - the famous 'year of the four Emperors'. From the letters of Suetonius' close friend Pliny the Younger we learn that he practiced briefly at the bar, avoided political life, and became chief secretary to the Emperor Hadrian (AD117-38). Suetonius seems to have lived to a good age and probably died around the year AD140. James Rives teaches in the area of Classical Studies at Stanford University. Professor Rives is currently serving as Review Editor for Phoenix, Journal of the Classical Association of Canada.