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Suetonius: the ‘Change’ in, and the ‘Generosity’ of Titus

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 May 2015

D. Wardle*
Affiliation:
University of Cape Town

Extract

Suetonius and Cassius Dio give assessments of the emperor Titus which are, at first sight at least, contradictory: for Suetonius he was ‘natura benivolentissimus’, but for Dio . The most recent treatment of Titus’ handling of financial affairs takes issue with earlier commentators who considered Titus extravagant and incompetent and offers a positive conclusion: ‘Titus’ financial acumen must be recognised; the economy did not suffer during his reign … he was well aware of the need to observe the formalities and appear to be generous, and at the same time ensure that he had the funds to be so’. Jones reaches his verdict on the basis of a range of numismatic, epigraphic and literary evidence, without, however, any detailed analysis of Suetonius’ section on Titus’ personal kindness. An examination of this material will strengthen Jones’ conclusions and cast light on Suetonius’ compositional skills.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Australasian Society for Classical Studies 2001

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