The following review is aimed at discussing the work titled the twelve Caesars of roman biographer C. Suetonio. We have not only taken different profiles of the Roman Imperators but also traced a line between otium and the daily roman life. In this context, we are not afraid to say that Suetonio contribution to old history has been significant in several aspects; particularly in our case we have attempted to summarize his work rescuing the biographies of three Princes that we consider the most representative in their dynasty: Augusto (dynasty Julia), Nero Claudio Caesar (dynasty Claudia) and lastly, Tito Flavio Domiciano (dynasty Flavia).
For some reason, there is a strong attraction
by some tourism researchers to appeal to the history of leisure in old
Octavianus Augusto ruled
Among other things, he
enlarged the bed of the River Tiber restoring the service of mail and undertaking diverse
works of architectural maintenance in areas just upon collapse. The ways to
On the other hand, Augusto enhanced the use of old ceremonies and established moral order limiting the access of the youths (without accompaniment) to the lupercales (this event did not have precedents in the life and the Roman beliefs). Then, he fomented the Secular and annual games in honor to the gods and according to Suetonio also "he corrected a great number of abuses so detestable as pernicious; born of the customs and licenses of civil wars Augusto made the peace with his enemies Augusto contained the thieves establishing guards in the convenient points so that make more sure the trips" (Suetonio, page. 80).
clarifies and stress his demagogic character, authoritarian and sometimes perverse towards
his politic adversaries, other chronicles affirm that inside his psychology, and his
admiration for Febo, Augusto exacerbated values linked to the anger in almost all his
public appearances rewarding the competitors beyond to result of combat. In
this sense, we can affirm that this Imperator demonstrated certain passion for the
Greek-Roman fight, and also spread out the industry of sports
Indeed, during Augusto
era there were different efforts which did not only improve the facade of the city but
also implied deep social reformations (like a new distribution in the wheat surpluses).
The roads improved the economy receiving to thousands of people coming from diverse parts
of the Empire, the monuments would have been the obligatory attraction for these travelers
as combat of gladiators in the arena. The sentence "all roads take to
Regarding to his
private life, Augusto did not seem to pursue pompous luxuries although his weakness was
intended to young women and games. Generally, in his retirements -outside of the city- the
Imperator loved to be lodged in houses with view to the sea. These kind of places should
be refurnished with very simple decoration as Lanuvio, Prenesto and
At time of conducting a trip, most of them was for the nights. Product of this experience (with an accident of the ray where almost he dies) Augusto hated to travel on days of storm. On the other hand, it was common not to see the imperator traveling by day because some resistance to solar light. In this point, it is necessary to mention that he was extremely superstitious and believed as certain all the auspices. If before undertaking a trip in the morning he put the left foot in the right side of room, this was interpreted as an unlucky sign. Even when we do not have any registrations that Augusto canceled some trip for this reason, their biographers -by means of their private letters- have been able to reconstruct Imperator obsessions.
After an extenuate day, to relax Augusto took sea bathrooms and thermal. Another of their practices in lapses of rest was related with the fishing, the poetry and the theater. Although he did not observe the grammar he wrote in some poems and read aloud in front of his companies in some public banquets (Suetonio, pages. 99-104). Aside from this point, Augusto will be reminded as one of the best governors of Rome and his archetypes will be keep on by some another princes. Sometimes, he would be lined directly to Febo, sometimes to another deity, Octavianus-Augusto not only reformed the roman style of life but also created the notion of Imperious. It is not strange more than ten centuries later, some European kings evoke Augusto glory for their own.
Nero Claudio Caesar ruled
months after the Tiberius death, is born in the city of
On the other hand, he also carried out and
important architectural enterprise as construction of
an amphitheater in the
Although at the beginning, he refused himself to occupy in the games an eloquent place, meanwhile his reign was expanded most was his obsession to be in scene as protagonist. It is possible that this Imperator has very well understood the political benefits in the organization of these shows inaugurating the five-year games composed by gymnastic games, music festivals and careers of horses. In other words, Nero was rewarded as well in poetry and music by his ability with the harp. (Suetonio, page. 203)
However, after the famous fire of
Even when the exactly causes that fired
As Prince, Nero undertook two journeys, one to
Linguistically, he spoke and wrote Greek perfectly and keep Seneca as his private consultant. In this sense, we are not wrong to confirm Nero possessed an exacerbated admiration for the Hellenic culture. Along of a certain meeting, one of the diners requested to him by delighting every all presents with his prodigious songs but suddenly Nero responded: "Only Greeks knew how to listen and they were worthy of his voice". (Suetonio, page. 207). Besides, Nero take part as actor in some Greek tragedies and played Oedipus, Hercules, Orestes and Canacea among others. (Suetonio, pages 205-208).
In one of Nero interventions there was a serious accident where he was involved. This event obliged him to finish the career. However, this event did not prevent to be equally crown as winner. For all received support before leaving the gave Nero gave freedom to the whole county and granted citizenships to most of Greeks present. It is proved that there was a profession called "the augustiniani" exclusively who are dedicated and trained in the different forms of applauses for Caesar. (Suetonio, page. 208)
In spite of his histrionic and social
character, in his private life Nero got certain chaotic and disordered aspects;
when the sun hid without going farther, he wear up as slave and went out to hurt some
night travelers. Among other awful things, Nero enjoyed to go in summer to beaches and
places of disorder such as
According to Suetonio, this Prince only spent for Tíridates about eight hundred thousand sesterces by day. (Suetonio, page. 211)
Finally, Nero Claudio Caesar era was
characterized by an economic lethargy, a stage of considerable inflation and excessive
expenses which affected notably to the imperial economy. In that point, his games and bad
habits had consumed great part of the treasures of
Tito Flavius Domiciano rules from 81 DC to 96 DC.
Domiciano was born in
explanation, the prince settled down in honor to Jupiter Of the Capitol a five-year
contest of arts and music where an important number of poets, gymnasts and musicians
congregated to give commendations and gifts; Domiciano used to appear in public with a
golden crown, a gown Greek purple and dress with military footwear. Regarding some parties
in honor to Minerva, Domiciano prepared at
In some way, we can point out Domiciano tried to change the customs establishing regular foods and prohibiting histrions public appearances. During his regency, he increased legionary wages reduced the hours of work in taverns. Among another issues, he undertook public trials against some cuestors and praetors who was questioned in their honorability. Suetonio says that Domiciano has aversion to human blood; as a result of that, the gladiator games was occasionally finish to death.
However, in his private life he rehearsed all type of treatments towards their baldness, any critic or joke with regard to this were seriously punished. Domiciano hated the physical activity and take part of public event like Nero. Nevertheless, it is well- recognized his ability with the arch and arrow. In his lapses of rest, the Prince played to the dice, and adored the bathrooms. Following this, his private banquets were magnificent although short in duration.
From a political point of view, Domiciano was
implacable with the conspiracies and rebellions but his ostentatious expenses -in public
parties- forced him to confiscate the goods of certain families. In occasions if a person
would be accused of some betrayal crime the State appropriated of all involved family
possessions. Titus Flavius Domiciano assassination astonished deeply a plenty of
legionaries groups pointed in the outskirts of
After all points
recently exposed, leisure forms in old
 Korstanje, Maximilian is Ph. Doctorate (c) in Social
Psychology and lecturer at
Sincronía Summer 2008