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Friday, 4 January 2013

Comparing Suetonius and Tacitus- Incest
Suetonius is direct with his accusations and does not really show reference to any of his sources . he says “ NO one doubted that he wanted sexual relations with his own mother”. This does not actually stick to the stereotype fully because although it is still a immoral relationship it is the the upper class woman who is offering herself. “He included among his mistresses a certain prostitute who they say looked very like Agrippina”. This show the lengths Nero went to to simulate being with Agrippina. “ Whenever he rode in a litter with his mother, the stains on his clothes afterwards proved that he had indulged in incest with her”.
Tacitus however is almost the complete contrast to this. Tacitus cites his sources carefully.  He says “ the Author Cluvius writes that Agrippina took her desire to keep power to far as to offer herself more often to a drunken Nero, all dressed up and ready for incest” This is generally along the lines of the stereotype of the time. However Tactitus also offers another perspective to the story. He refers to Fabius Rusticus. “Fabius Rusticus writes that it was not Agrippina, but Nero, who was eager for incest”.  This is again not strictly following the stereotype. However he does later say that “ a number of authors agree with Cluvius and general opinion follows this view.


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