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Annals and Historiesby Tacitus
Synopses & Reviews
The complete historical works of the greatest chronicler of the Roman Empire in a wholly revised and updated translation.
A brilliant narrator and a master stylist, Tacitus served as administrator and senator, a career that gave him an intimate view of the empire at its highest levels, and of the dramatic, violent, and often bloody events of the first century. In the Annals, he writes about Augustus Caesars death and observes the inner workings of the courts of the emperors Tiberius and Nero. In the Histories, he describes an empire in tumult, four emperors reigning in one year, each overthrown by the next. The Agricola, a biography of Tacituss father-in-law, Julius Agricola—the most celebrated governor of Roman Britain—is the first detailed account of the island that would eventually rule over a quarter of the earth. And in the Germania, the famed warrior-barbarians of ancient Germany come richly to life.
Cornelius Tacitus brilliantly chronicles the moral decline and rampant civil unrest in the Roman Empire in a period when the earliest foundations of modern Europe were being laid. The Annals commence in a.d. 14, at the death of Augustus, recounting the reigns of Tiberius, Gaius (Caligula), Claudius, and Nero, and conclude in a.d. 68, the year of Nero's suicide. The Histories document the tumultuous year a.d. 69, when Emperors Galba, Otho, and Vitellius all perished in quick succession, ushering in Vespasian's ten-year reign. According to historian Will Durant, We must] rank Tacitus among the greatest. . . . The portraits he draws stand out more clearly, stride the stage more livingly than any others in historical literature. This Modern Library Paperback Classic includes newly commissioned endnotes.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
"Annals and Histories" represents the complete historical works of Tacitus--one of the greatest chroniclers of the Roman Empire--whose writings are presented in a wholly revised and updated translation.
About the Author
Cornelius Tacitus was born c. 55 A.D. and died in 117 A.D.
Eleanor Cowan is Lecturer in Ancient History at Leicester University.
Robin Lane Fox is Fellow and Tutor in Ancient History at New College, Oxford.
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