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Roman historiography

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Roman historians mixed up a lot, and their modern successors only reproduced these distortions. For example, Suetonius, who was a very good historian, was quite biased in his “Lives of the Caesars”, as experts in his work admit. He very often focused on the cheap sensations that circulated in Rome about the life of the emperors, and which had little to do with the truth. Of course, this does not mean that he was just lying, but it certainly coloured his message quite strongly. It is a fact that he liked some emperors and disliked others, which had a great influence on his historical message at that time. That is why today it is so difficult to separate truth from fiction. If the emperors of Rome were all perverts, murderers, or thieves, the empire would not have survived for hundreds of years, and yet even when emperors of a rather dubious reputation ruled Rome, Rome flourished, grew, and grew rich, and not only thanks to wars.

This was the case under Emperor Tiberius, who at the end of his reign was a really suspicious satrap who killed even the most faithful, but was also a very good administrator and manager of the entire empire. He sent a lot of money for the development of the provinces, thanks to which the rest of the empire did not stand out too much from Rome itself. Nero, who was said to be a cruel arsonist of Rome, was, as he said about himself, an artist. Quirky, maybe, but it certainly didn’t set the city on fire. It was just made that way. The fire was a mere coincidence. The subsequent consequences of this event are another story.

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