Two Classics: “Caligula” by Suetonius and “Murder on the Orient Express” by Agatha Christie

I hardly do mini reviews, but I find it fitting for these books since I don’t have much to say on either one. Both were quick reads. Caligula understandably so since it’s an excerpt of Robert Graves’s translation of Suetonius’s The Twelve Caesars and is only about 58 pages. Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express is longer at 265 pages, but is simply an entertaining read and I haven’t much to say on it.

Caligula

Caligula

…was a crazy-ass dude. Whenever I confess to certain people that I want to read The Twelve Caesars by Suetonius, they reply with a surprised Why?? Why would I want to read about such horrible things? One of my few reader friends often asks me this whenever I mention the book because she was unable to stomach the contents of the book when she first attempted to read it.

The Twelve Caesars is the biography of the first caesars of the Roman Empire. In that way, it details the beginning of the empire and its decline. I believe it was in Michael Dirda’s Classics for Pleasure that I first heard of this book and had my interest in it piqued. In that mention, I believe it was said that The Twelve Caesars was the first sensational publication, like a gossip column or People magazine series. Suetonius pokes into the rulers’ lives and lets loose all the dirty bits and that’s what my nosy butt is interested in.

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