Search
The Education of Nero

Suetonius discusses Nero's education and love of poetry

Liberales disciplinas omnes fere puer attigit. Sed   puer = Nero (as a boy); attigit = studied

a philosophia eum mater avertit monens imperaturo    imperaturo = for one destined to rule (refers to Nero)

contrariam esse; a cognitione veterum oratorum Seneca

praeceptor, quo diutius in admiratione sui detineret.    praeceptor = teacher (supply avertit); sui = of Seneca

Itaque ad poeticam pronus carmina libenter ac sine labore    pronus = inclined towards

composuit nec, ut quidam putant, aliena pro suis edidit.

Venere in manus meas pugillares libellique cum quibusdam  pugillares = writing tablets

notissimis versibus ipsius chirographo scriptis, ut facile   chirographo = handwriting

appareret, non tralatos aut dictante aliquo exceptos.    tralatos = translatos    

Suetonius, Nero, 52

  1. Line 1 describes Nero's education as​
    1. based on astronomy
    2. not challenging enough
    3. lacking supervision
    4. including many subjects
  2. In this context a philosophia (line 2) is best translated​
    1. towards philosophy
    2. from philosophy
    3. according to philosophy
    4. by philosophy
  3. eum (line 2) refers to​
    1. philosophia
    2. puer
    3. mater
    4. disciplina
  4. monens (line 2) is best translated​
    1. warning
    2. warns
    3. warned
    4. must warn
  5. Lines 1-3 (Sed...esse) indicate that Nero's mother found philosophy​
    1. useful for her own ambition
    2. unsuitable for a ruler
    3. too confusing for Nero
    4. more important than oratory
  6. veterum oratorum (line 3) is best translated​
    1. earlier orators
    2. of earlier orators
    3. an earlier orator
    4. by earlier orators
  7. quo (line 4) is best translated​
    1. against whom
    2. so that
    3. without which
    4. to what place
  8. diutius (line 4) is best translated
    1. for a longer time
    2. for all time
    3. in no time
    4. for a very long time
  9. Why, as Suetonius suggests in lines 3-4, did Seneca keep Nero from reading the works of ancient orators?
    1. They were too difficult to understand
    2. They contained too much mythology
    3. They would encourage Nero's tyrannical tendencies
    4. They would keep him from admiring Seneca's writings
  10. pronus (line 5) describes
    1. Nero
    2. Seneca
    3. Nero's poetry
    4. an ancient orator
  11. sine labore (line 5) implies that Nero wrote poetry
    1. constantly
    2. effortlessly
    3. occasionally
    4. poorly
  12. To whom or what does suis (line 6) refer?
    1. Nero's family
    2. Nero's critics
    3. Nero's teachers
    4. Nero's poetry
  13. In line 6 (aliena...edidit), Suetonius states that some people believe
    1. Nero was a gifted poet
    2. Nero disliked epic poetry
    3. Nero did not write his own poetry
    4. Nero wrote better poetry than Seneca
  14. Which of the following would have the same translation as venere (line 7)?
    1. venire
    2. venient
    3. veniunt
    4. venerunt
  15. According to line 7, into whose hands did the writing tablets fall?
    1. Nero's
    2. Nero's mother's
    3. Seneca's
    4. Suetonius'
  16. The difference between libelli (line 7) and libri involves
    1. authenticity
    2. size
    3. quality
    4. content
  17. In line 8, one indication that Nero's poetry was authentic was that
    1. he signed his work
    2. he was often quoted
    3. verses were written in Nero's handwriting
    4. the handwriting was illegible
  18. A possible translation of ut facile appareret (lines 8 and 9) is
    1. upon first sight
    2. so that it was obvious
    3. as quickly as he prepared
    4. how easily he wrote
  19. To what does exceptos (line 9) refer?
    1. meas manus
    2. quibusdam versibus
    3. pugillares libellique
    4. ipsius chirographo
  20. In this passage, Suetonius' attitude towards Nero may be described as
    1. hostile
    2. suspicious
    3. indifferent
    4. supportive
Based on your knoledge of Roman literature, answer the following questions.
  1. Seneca, Nero's teacher, was a famous Roman
    1. actor
    2. general
    3. poet
    4. philosopher
  2. Suetonius' biography of Nero is contained in
    1. The Annals of Ancient Rome
    2. The Golden Ass
    3. The Metamorphoses
    4. The Lives of the Twelve Caesars
  3. Suetonius, who wrote in the 2nd century A.D., was a contemporary of
    1. Pliny the Younger
    2. Julius Caesar
    3. Cato the Elder
    4. Vergil

More Practice Questions