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Suetonius

SUETONIUS. Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus was born in the tragic “year of the four emperors,” a.d. 69, and died about a.d. 140. He was one of the few Rom. writers who was born in Rome. He was of equestrian rank, practiced law, and was for a time secretary to the Emperor Hadrian (reg. a.d. 117-138). He left many works of which his Lives of the Caesars survives almost intact from Julius to Domitian. It had immense influence in giving a biographical turn to Rom. historiography. Though no great historian, Suetonius endeavored to write objectively, and his collected material, if often biased and unfair, has immense value. To NT scholars he is chiefly interesting for his reference to Christ (wrongly written “Chrestos”) and his confirmation of Claudius’ expulsion of the Jews (Claudius 25.4; Acts 18:2).

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