Suetonius and the De uita Caesarum in the Carolingian Empire

Wood, Jamie (2014) Suetonius and the De uita Caesarum in the Carolingian Empire. In: Suetonius the biographer: studies in Roman lives. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 273-291. ISBN 9780199697106

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Suetonius and the De uita Caesarum in the Carolingian Empire
Oxford University Press - first uncorrected proof, January 20,2014

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Abstract

Previous scholarship has suggested that the chance discovery of a manuscript of the Caesars in the monastery of Fulda was responsible for Einhard’s decision to model his imperial biography on those of Suetonius. Other historians have focused on Carolingian-authored texts that mention Suetonius and demonstrated that there was a substantial upsurge in interest in his work in the ninth century. In this chapter, I build on this work to explore Carolingian engagement with Suetonius from a different perspective, examining earlier Christian texts that were being copied and read in the Carolingian age and which make reference to Suetonius as a biographer of some standing. In particular, Suetonius had a rather high approval rating among the ‘bibliographies’ that were being consulted by Carolingian monastic librarians. This leads me to argue that the Carolingian intelligentsia, of which Einhard was a leading light, had a broader awareness of Suetonius than has previously been allowed. This helps to account for the increasing interest in the author and his text in the ninth century.

Keywords:History (General), Medieval History, Historiography, Ancient History
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V110 Ancient History
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V130 Medieval History
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V340 Intellectual History
Divisions:College of Arts > School of History & Heritage > School of History & Heritage (History)
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ID Code:14926
Deposited On:12 Sep 2014 12:53

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