Home Introduction Persons Geogr. Sources Events Mijn blog(Nederlands)
Religion Subjects Images Queries Links Contact Do not fly Iberia
This is a non-commercial site. Any revenues from Google ads are used to improve the site.

Custom Search
Quote of the day: That two men, who for shamelessness, ind
Do not display Latin text
Twelve Emperors by Suetonius

Claudius, Chapter 41: Claudius invents new letters
Next chapter
Return to index
Previous chapter
By the encouragement of Titus Livius, and with the assistance of Sulpicius Flavus, he [Note 1] attempted at an early age the composition of a history; and having called together a numerous auditory, to hear and give their judgment upon it, he read it over with much difficulty, and, frequently interrupting himself. For after he had begun a great laugh was raised amongst the company, by the breaking of several benches from the weight of a very fat man; and even when order was restored, he could not forbear bursting out into violent fits of laughter, at the remembrance of the accident. After he became emperor, likewise, he wrote several things which he was careful to have recited to his friends by a reader. He commenced his history from the death of the dictator Caesar; but afterwards he took a later period, and began at the conclusion of the civil wars, because he found he could not speak with freedom, and a due regard to truth, concerning the former period, having been often taken to task both by his mother and grandmother. Of the earlier history he left only two books, but of the latter, one and forty. He compiled likewise the "History of his Own Life," in eight books, full of absurdities, but in no bad style; also, "A Defense of Cicero against the Books of Asinius Gallus," which exhibited a considerable degree of learning. He besides invented three new letters, and added them to the former alphabet, as highly necessary. He published a book to recommend them while he was yet only a private person; but on his elevation to imperial power he had little difficulty in introducing them into common use; and these letters are still extant in a variety of books, registers, and inscriptions upon buildings.

Note 1: he = Claudius

Event: Claudius invents new letters.

Historiam in adulescentia hortante T. Livio, Sulpicio vero Flauo etiam adiuuante, scribere adgressus est. Et cum primum freqventi auditorio commisisset, aegre perlegit refrigeratus saepe a semet ipso. Nam cum initio recitationis defractis compluribus subsellis obesitate cuiusdam risus exortus esset, ne sedato quidem tumultu temperare potuit, quin ex interuallo subinde facti reminisceretur cachinnosque revocaret. In principatu quoque et scripsit plurimum et assidue recitavit per lectorem. Initium autem sumpsit historiae post caedem Caesaris dictatoris, sed et transiit ad inferiora tempora coepitque a pace civili, cum sentiret neque libere neque uere sibi de superioribus tradendi potestatem relictam, correptus saepe et a matre et ab avia. Prioris materiae duo volumina, posterioris unum et quadraginta reliquit. Composuit et "de vita sua" octo volumina, magis inepte quam ineleganter; item "Ciceronis defensionem adversus Asini Galli libros" satis eruditam. novas etiam commentus est litteras tres ac numero veterum quasi maxime necessarias addidit; de quarum ratione cum privatus adhuc volumen edidisset, mox princeps non difficulter optinuit ut in usu quoque promiscuo essent. Extat talis scriptura in plerisque libris ac diurnis titulisque operum.