User-database: Suetonius (English and Latin)

Written by Michael Hanel on April 16th, 2007

It’s taken a long time, but I finally put together a database of Suetonius’ influential piece called the Lives of the Twelve Caesars. It doesn’t much matter if you believe it’s historical, fiction or a little of both, it is very fascinating reading for the bits and pieces of life that Suetonius decides to pass on to his readers. At times perhaps a little dry, but at other times very much like the soap opera culture of today. Maybe you won’t catch all of his innuendo in the somewhat humane English translation, but it’s there in the Latin. Trust me.

This is a very complex piece mostly because I chose to use a very complex (yet most excellent) source for the database, namely Bill Thayer’s wonderful website Lacus Curtius.

Thus it’s only fair to include a few notes before you get too far into the text itself in BibleWorks.

Here are a number of issues to be aware of:

  1. Both the Latin and the English contain Greek characters (something BibleWorks is not yet well suited for). All of the Greek I have transposed into the BGreek Transliteration style (see this website for an explanation.)
  2. Both the Latin and the English contain markings for notes. The note files themselves are included as Word documents. Perhaps in the future I will find a way to make them more functional within BibleWorks, but for now this will have to suffice. If you want the real deal with the notes experience, you should really use the website which carries this edition which I borrowed. Bill Thayer has spent who knows how many hours making this work very well annotated according to its initial publication with a few of his personal notes added. Once you have this database loaded into BibleWorks, if you click in the Browse Window area and press the letter “N” that will toggle Translator Notes on and off. This will show or hide the annotations which alert you to whether there are notes on a given portion of the text or not. In order to test this feature out go to S01 9:3 (Divus Julius). If you have clicked on the Browse Window and type N you should see a toggle on and off of a superscripted 2 after the word Ambranos. That is how the Translator notes work. If you want to find out what the actual note read, you will have to look it up in the accompanying Word file, or else you could visit the Bill Thayer website above.
  3. In a few places in the text there are raised dots “•” These indicate notes/hyperlinks that were present on Bill’s web page. If this interests you, go to his web page to find out what the note is.
  4. Source. As I said, you will not find a better edition of Suetonius’ Live of the Caesars than Bill Thayer’s. This edition is drawn from his work. Thayer based his edition on the Loeb Classical Library public domain Suetonius book. The Latin text is that of Maximilian Ihm in the Teubner edition of 1907, with cosmetic changes as printed in the Loeb Classical Library edition, 1913-1914. The English translation is by J. C. Rolfe, printed in the same edition. Both text and translation are in the public domain. Once again, huge props to Bill Thayer and his work found at his website.

DOWNLOAD Latin version!
DOWNLOAD English translation!

Tomorrow I will comment a little more about using Latin in BibleWorks.

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