Nero's suicide in AD 68 was followed by a disastrous civil war that left the empire in a parlous state and saw the demise, in quick succession, of another three emperors (Galba, Otho and Vitellius). Normality returned with Vespasian and his sons, Titus and Domitian who ruled from 69 to 96. They changed the face of Rome, with massive public works such as the Flavian amphitheatre (later called the Colosseum) and the palace-complex on the Palatine, which provided much-needed employment whilst at the same time enhancing the city's status as the capital of the Mediterranean. The most detailed account of the new dynasty and its achievements is provided by Suetonius. What he has to say about these three Flavians constitutes the best source we have for the period. This edition of the three "Lives" includes a new translation, a general introduction to Suetonius and a detailed commentary that concentrates on the social and political history behind each life.