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La data di nascita dell’imperatore Tito. Note per l’interpretazione di Suet. Tit. 1

digital La data di nascita dell’imperatore Tito. Note per l’interpretazione di Suet. Tit. 1
Articolo
rivista AEVUM
fascicolo AEVUM - 2010 - 1
titolo La data di nascita dell’imperatore Tito. Note per l’interpretazione di Suet. Tit. 1
autori
editore Vita e Pensiero
formato Articolo | Pdf
online da 01-2010
issn 0001-9593 (stampa) | 1827-787X (digitale)
€ 6,00

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In his biography of the Emperor Titus, Suetonius states that he was born III. Kal. Ian. insigni anno Gaiana nece. This wording is usually interpretated as referring to December 30th, 41 AD, year of Caligula’s assassination. Since all the extant literary and documentary sources unanimously state that the date of Titus’ birth was December 30th, 39 AD, Suetonius is accused of inaccuracy and of inconsistency with chapter 11 of the same biography, where the date is correctly referred to. However, the usual translation of Suetonius’ text is not the only possible one and Suetonius’ sentence becomes perfectly consistent with the other sources, if it is referred not to Caligula’s assassination in 41 AD, but to his slaughter of Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, Agrippina’s lover, in 39 AD. Vespasian, who was praetor designatus, had a rôle in the flattering initiatives taken by the Senate to please the tyrant and therefore, some years later, had to temporarily retire from public life, fearing Agrippina’s vengeance. The birth of Titus seems so to be connected with a blamable episode of his father’s life, which could cast a shadow on the whole life of the emperor amor ac deliciae generis humani.