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One wonders whether a sovereign's capricious imprisonment of wealthy relatives for the purpose of extortion on trumped up corruption charges

I recently dug out my DVDs of "I Claudius". While the Graves books are regarded as fiction, his source material was the writings of Suetonius, so there is probably a kernel of truth to the purges under Tiberius and Caligula. What the Saudis are up to is nothing in comparison.

Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus (Classical Latin: ['ga:jj?s s?.e:'to:ni.?s tra?'k??ll?s]),[citation needed] commonly known as Suetonius (/sw?'to?ni?s/; c. 69 – after 122 AD),[1] was a Roman historian belonging to the equestrian order who wrote during the early Imperial era of the Roman Empire.

Great fun watching the series again, and seeing several familiar actors in early roles.

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