Suetonius, Lives of the Caesars 3. Tiberius

LCL 31: 310-311

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Lives of the Caesars, III

Liber III


I. Patricia gens Claudia—fuit enim et alia plebeia, nec potentia minor nec dignitate—orta est ex Regillis oppido Sabinorum. Inde Romam recens conditam cum magna clientium manu conmigravit auctore Tito Tatio consorte Romuli, vel, quod magis constat, Atta Claudio gentis principe, post reges exactos sexto fere anno; atque in patricias cooptata1 agrum insuper trans Anienem clientibus locumque sibi ad sepulturam sub Capitolio publice accepit. 2 Deinceps procedente tempore duodetriginta consulatus, dictaturas quinque, censuras septem, triumphos sex, duas ovationes adepta est. Cum praenominibus cognominibusque variis distingueretur, Luci praenomem consensu repudiavit, postquam e duobus gentilibus praeditis eo alter latrocinii, caedis alter convictus est. Inter cognomina autem et Neronis assumpsit, quo2 significatur lingua Sabina fortis ac strenuus.

II. Multa multorum Claudiorum egregia merita, multa



Book III


I. The patrician branch of the Claudian family (for there was, besides, a plebeian branch of no less influence and prestige) originated at Regilli, a town of the Sabines. From there it moved to Rome shortly after the founding of the city with a large band of dependents, through the influence of Titus Tatius, who shared the kingly power with Romulus (or, according to the generally accepted view, of Atta Claudius, the head of the family) about six years after the expulsion of the kings.1 It was admitted among the patrician families, receiving, besides, from the State a piece of land on the farther side of the Anio for its dependents, and a burial-site for the family at the foot of the Capitoline hill. Then as time went on it was honoured with twenty-eight consulships, five dictatorships, seven censorships, six triumphs, and two ovations.2 While the members of the family were known by various forenames and surnames, they discarded the forename Lucius by common consent after two of the family who bore it had been found guilty, the one of highway robbery, and the other of murder. To their surnames, on the other hand, they added that of Nero, which in the Sabine tongue means “strong and valiant.”

II. There are on record many distinguished services of

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.suetonius-lives_caesars_book_iii_tiberius.1914