THE SUICIDES OF OTHO AND NERO IN SUETONIUS

M. B. Charles, E. Anagnostou-Laoutides

Abstract


Both Otho and Nero are usually regarded as ‘bad’ emperors in the
historical record, and their conduct is often assimilated. Yet
Suetonius’ treatment of their suicides, while cleverly approximating
the two events, nevertheless shows clear differences. While Nero
appears weak and without resolve, Otho bravely shrugs off his
supposed effeminacy and dies a true Roman emperor, more so since
his death was intended to preserve the lives of his fellow citizens.
Suetonius deliberately composed Otho’s exitus scene in such a way
as to leave the reader with a positive impression of the emperor,
simultaneously to the detriment of Nero.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7445/57-0-133

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ISSN 2079-2883 (online); ISSN 0303-1896 (print)

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