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Encyclopedia > Tacitus
Gaius Cornelius Tacitus

Gaius Cornelius Tacitus
Born: Circa 56AD
Died: Circa 117
Occupation: Senator, consul, governor, historian
Genres: History
Subjects: History, biography, oratory
Literary movement: Silver Age of Latin
Debut works: Biography: De vita Iulii Agricolae
History: Histories

Publius (or Gaius) Cornelius Tacitus (ca. 56 – ca. 117) was a senator and a historian of the Roman Empire. The surviving portions of his two major works—the Annals and the Histories—examine the reigns of the Roman Emperors Tiberius, Claudius, Nero and those that reigned in the Year of the Four Emperors. These two works span the history of the Roman Empire from the death of Augustus in 14 AD to (presumably) the death of emperor Domitian in 96 AD. There are significant lacunae in the surviving texts. Tacitus was a Roman historian. ... Tacitus Source: [1] This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Look up Circa on Wiktionary, the free dictionary The Latin word circa, literally meaning about, is often used to describe various dates (often birth and death dates) that are uncertain. ... // Events By place Roman Empire War between Rome and Parthia broke out due to the invasion of Armenia by Vologases, who replaced the Roman supported ruler with his brother Tiridates of Parthia Publius Clodius Thrasea Paetus becomes a consul in Rome. ... Look up AD, ad-, and ad in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Look up Circa on Wiktionary, the free dictionary The Latin word circa, literally meaning about, is often used to describe various dates (often birth and death dates) that are uncertain. ... Trajan subdued a Judean revolt, then fell seriously ill, leaving Hadrian in command of the east. ... This article is about work. ... A senate is a deliberative body, often the upper house or chamber of a legislature. ... This article is about the highest office of the Roman Republic. ... A Roman governor was an official either elected or appointed to be the chief adminstator of Roman law throughout one or more of Ancient Romes many provinces. ... A historian is an individual who studies history and who writes on history. ... A literary genre is one of the divisions of literature into genres according to particular criteria such as literary technique, tone, or content. ... History studies time in human terms. ... History studies time in human terms. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Oratory is the art of eloquent speech. ... ... Classical Latin is the language used by the principal exponents of that language in what is usually regarded as classical Latin literature. ... The Agricola (full Latin title: De vita et moribus Iulii Agricolae) is a book by the Roman historian Tacitus, written c. ... The Histories (Latin: Historiae) is a book by Tacitus, written c. ... // Events By place Roman Empire War between Rome and Parthia broke out due to the invasion of Armenia by Vologases, who replaced the Roman supported ruler with his brother Tiridates of Parthia Publius Clodius Thrasea Paetus becomes a consul in Rome. ... Trajan subdued a Judean revolt, then fell seriously ill, leaving Hadrian in command of the east. ... The seat of Roman Senate in the Roman Forum, Rome A senate is a deliberative body, often the upper house or chamber of a legislature. ... A historian is an individual who studies history and who writes on history. ... For other uses, see Roman Empire (disambiguation). ... The Annals, or, in Latin, Annales, is a history book by Tacitus covering the reign of the 4 Roman Emperors succeeding to Caesar Augustus. ... The Histories (Latin: Historiae) is a book by Tacitus, written c. ... Ordinary Magistrates Extraordinary Magistrates Titles and Honors Emperor Politics and Law This article discusses the nature of the imperial dignity, and its dynastic development throughout the history of the Empire. ... For other persons named Tiberius, see Tiberius (disambiguation). ... For other persons named Claudius, see Claudius (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Nero (disambiguation). ... The Year of the Four Emperors was a year in the history of the Roman Empire, 69, in which four emperors ruled in a remarkable succession. ... For other uses, see Roman Empire (disambiguation). ... For other persons named Octavian, see Octavian (disambiguation). ... (Redirected from 14 AD) For other uses, see number 14. ... Titus Flavius Domitianus (24 October 51 – 18 September 96), commonly known as Domitian, was a Roman Emperor of the gens Flavia. ... Centuries: 1st century BC - 1st century - 2nd century Decades: 0s BC - 0s - 10s - 20s - 30s - 40s - 50s - 60s - 70s - 80s - 90s - 100s Years: 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 Events September 18 - Nerva succeeds Roman emperor Domitian after the latters assassination End of period... A lacuna is a gap in a manuscript, inscription, text, painting, or a musical work. ...


Other works by Tacitus discuss oratory (in dialogue format, see Dialogus de oratoribus), Germania (in De origine et situ Germanorum), and biographical notes about his father-in-law Agricola, primarily during his campaign in Britannia (see De vita et moribus Iulii Agricolae). Oratory is the art of eloquent speech. ... For other uses, see Dialogue (disambiguation). ... The Dialogus de oratoribus is a short book by Tacitus, in dialogue form, on the art of rhetoric. ... Map of the Roman Empire and the free Germania, Magna Germania, in the early 2nd century For other uses, see Germania (disambiguation). ... The Germania (Latin title: De Origine et situ Germanorum), written by Gaius Cornelius Tacitus around 98, is an ethnographic work on the diverse set of Germanic tribes outside the Roman Empire. ... Gnaeus Julius Agricola (July 13, 40 - August 23, 93) was a Roman general responsible for much of the Roman conquest of Britain. ... For other uses, see Britannia (disambiguation). ... The Agricola (full Latin title: De vita et moribus Iulii Agricolae) is a book by the Roman historian Tacitus, written c. ...


Tacitus' historiographical style in his major works is annalistic. An author writing in the latter part of the Silver Age of Latin literature, his work is distinguished by a boldness and sharpness of wit, and a compact and sometimes unconventional use of Latin. Historiography is a term with multiple meanings that has changed with time, place and observer, and is thus resistant to a single encompassing meaning. ... Annalists (from Latin annus, year; hence annales, sc. ... For other uses, see Author (disambiguation). ... In reference to Roman literature, the Silver age covers the first two centuries A.D. directly after the Golden age (which was the first century B.C., and the start of the first century A.D.) Literature from the Silver age has traditionally, perhaps unfairly, been considered inferior to that... Latin was the language originally spoken in the region around Rome called Latium. ...

Contents

Biography

While Tacitus' works contain a lot of information about his world, details regarding his personal life are scarce. What little is known comes from scattered hints throughout his work, the letters of his friend and admirer Pliny the Younger, an inscription found at Mylasa in Caria,[1] and educated guesswork. Gayus Plinius Colonoscopy Caecilius Secundus (63 - ca. ... Mylasa was a city in Asia Minor. ... Location of Caria Photo of a 15th century map showing Caria. ...


Tacitus was born in 56 or 57 to an equestrian family;[2] like many Latin authors of the Golden and Silver Ages, he was from the provinces, probably either northern Italy, Gallia Narbonensis, or Hispania. The exact place and date of his birth are not known, while his praenomen (first name) is similarly a mystery; in letters from Sidonius Apollinaris his name is Gaius, but in the major surviving manuscript of his work his name is given as Publius.[3] (One scholar's suggestion of Sextus has gained no traction.)[4] An equestrian (Latin eques, plural equites - also known as a vir egregius, lit. ... The golden age of Latin literature (Latinitas aurea) is a period consisting roughly of the time from approximately 75 BC to 14 AD, covering the end of the Roman Republic and the reign of Augustus Caesar. ... In reference to Roman literature, the Silver age covers the first two centuries A.D. directly after the Golden age (which was the first century B.C., and the start of the first century A.D.) Literature from the Silver age has traditionally, perhaps unfairly, been considered inferior to that... Roman province of Gallia Narbonensis, 120 AD Gallia Narbonensis was a Roman province located in what is now Languedoc and Provence, in southern France. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Iberian Peninsula. ... In the Roman naming convention used in ancient Rome, male names typically contain three proper nouns which are classified as praenomen (or given name), nomen gentile (or Gens name) and cognomen. ... Gaius Sollius Modestus Sidonius Apollinaris (c. ...


Family and early life

Tacitus is thought to have come from Gallia Narbonensis.
Tacitus is thought to have come from Gallia Narbonensis.

The older aristocratic families were largely destroyed during the proscriptions at the end of the Republic, and Tacitus is clear that he owes his rank to the Flavian emperors (Hist. 1.1). The theory that he descended from a freedman finds no support apart from his statement, in an invented speech, that many senators and knights were descended from freedmen (Ann. 13.27), and is dismissed by prominent historians.[5] Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Roman province of Gallia Narbonensis, 120 AD Gallia Narbonensis was a Roman province located in what is now Languedoc and Provence, in southern France. ... Aristocracy is a form of government in which rulership is in the hands of an upper class known as aristocrats. ... Proscription (Latin: proscriptio) is the public identification and official condemnation of enemies of the state. ... This article refers to the state which existed from the 6th century BC to the 1st century BC. For alternate meanings, see Roman Republic (18th century) and Roman Republic (19th century). ... The Flavian dynasty was a series of three Roman Emperors who ruled from 69, the Year of the Four Emperors, to 96, when the last member was assassinated. ... poop. ...


His father may have been the Cornelius Tacitus who was procurator of Belgica and Germania; Pliny the Elder mentions that Cornelius had a son who grew and aged rapidly (N.H. 7.76), and implies an early death. If Cornelius was Tacitus' father and since there is no mention of Tacitus suffering such a condition in the surviving record, it would likely refer to a brother instead.[6] This connection, and the friendship between the younger Pliny and Tacitus, led many scholars to the conclusion that the two families were of similar class, means, and background: equestrians, of significant wealth, and from provincial families.[7] A procurator is the incumbent of any of several current and historical political or legal offices. ... Belgica was and is the name of two Belgian research vessels, with a name derived ultimately from the Latin Gallia Belgica. ... Map of the Roman Empire and the free Germania, Magna Germania, in the early 2nd century For other uses, see Germania (disambiguation). ... Naturalis Historia Pliny the Elders Natural History is an encyclopedia written by Pliny the Elder. ... Gayus Plinius Colonoscopy Caecilius Secundus (63 - ca. ...


The province of his birth is unknown. His marriage to the daughter of the Narbonensian senator Gnaeus Julius Agricola may indicate that he, too, came from Gallia Narbonensis. Tacitus' dedication to Fabius Iustus in the Dialogus may indicate a connection with Spain, while his friendship with Pliny indicates northern Italy.[8] None of this evidence is conclusive. No evidence exists that Pliny's friends from northern Italy knew Tacitus, nor do Pliny's letters ever hint that the two men had a common background.[9] Indeed, the strongest piece of evidence is in Pliny Book 9, Letter 23, which reports that when Tacitus was asked if he were Italian or provincial, upon giving an unclear answer, was further asked if he were Tacitus or Pliny. Since Pliny was from Italy, some historians infer that Tacitus was from the provinces, possibly Gallia Narbonensis.[10] Gnaeus Julius Agricola (July 13, 40 - August 23, 93) was a Roman general responsible for much of the Roman conquest of Britain. ...


His ancestry, his skill in oratory, and his sympathetic depiction of barbarians who resisted Roman rule (e.g., Ann. 2.9), have led some to suggest that he was a Celt; the Celts had occupied Gaul before the Romans, were famous for their skill in oratory, and had been subjugated by Rome.[11] Celts, normally pronounced // (see article on pronunciation), refers primarily to the members of any of a number of peoples in Europe using the Celtic languages or descended from those who did. ...


Public life, marriage, and literary career

As a young man, Tacitus studied rhetoric in Rome to prepare for a career in law and politics; like Pliny, he may have studied under Quintilian.[12] In 77 or 78 he married Julia Agricola, daughter of the famous general Agricola;[13] little is known of their home life, save that Tacitus loved hunting and the outdoors.[14] He started his career (probably the latus clavus, mark of the senator)[15] under Vespasian,[16] but it was in 81 or 82, under Titus, that he entered political life, as quaestor.[17] He advanced steadily through the cursus honorum, becoming praetor in 88 and a quindecemvir, a member of the priest college in charge of the Sibylline Books and the Secular games.[18] He gained acclaim as a lawyer and an orator; his skill in public speaking gave a marked irony to his cognomen: Tacitus ('silent'). Rhetoric (from Greek , rhêtôr, orator, teacher) is generally understood to be the art or technique of persuasion through the use of oral, visual, or written language; however, this definition of rhetoric has expanded greatly since rhetoric emerged as a field of study in universities. ... For other uses, see Law (disambiguation). ... The Politics series Politics Portal This box:      Politics is the process by which groups of people make decisions. ... Marcus Fabius Quintilianus (c. ... Julia Agricola (born 64 AD) was a only daughter and youngest child to Roman General Gnaeus Julius Agricola and Domitia Decidiana, a lady of illustrious birth. ... This article is about the hunting of prey by human society. ... In Ancient Roman regalia, a laticlave, or clavus, was a broad stripe or band of purple on the fore part of the tunic, worn by senators as an emblem of office, from which the difference of the tunica angusticlavia, and laticlavia. ... Imperator Caesar Vespasianus Augustus (born November 17, 9, died June 23, 79), known originally as Titus Flavius Vespasianus and usually referred to in English as Vespasian, was emperor of Rome from 69 to 79. ... For other uses, see Titus (disambiguation). ... Quaestores were elected officials of the Roman Republic who supervised the treasury and financial affairs of the state, its armies and its officers. ... Ordinary Magistrates Extraordinary Magistrates Titles and Honors Emperor Politics and Law The cursus honorum (Latin: course of honour) was the sequential order of public offices held by aspiring politicians in both the Roman Republic and the early Empire. ... Ordinary Magistrates Extraordinary Magistrates Titles and Honors Emperor Politics and Law Praetor was a title granted by the government of Ancient Rome to men acting in one of two official capacities: the commander of an army, either before it was mustered or more typically in the field, or an elected... The quindecemviri sacris faciundis were the fifteen members of a college for less clearly defined religious duties. ... The Sibylline Books or Sibyllae were a collection of oracular utterances, set out in Greek hexameters, purchased from a sibyl by the semi-legendary last king of Rome, Tarquinius Superbus, and consulted at momentous crises through the history of the Republic and the Empire. ... Secular games (Lodi Sæculares, originally Terentini). ... Look up orator in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The cognomen (name known by in English) was originally the third name of a Roman in the Roman naming convention. ...


He served in the provinces from ca. 89 to ca. 93 either in command of a legion or in a civilian post.[19] His person and property survived Domitian's reign of terror (93–96), but the experience left him jaded and grim (perhaps ashamed at his own complicity), and gave him the hatred of tyranny evident in his works.[20] The Agricola, chs. 44–45, is illustrative: The Roman Legion (from Latin , from lego, legere, legi, lectus — to collect) is a term that can apply both as a transliteration of legio (conscription or army) to the entire Roman army and also, more narrowly (and more commonly), to the heavy infantry that was the basic military unit of... This page is about the religious concept of Tyranny. ...

Agricola was spared those later years during which Domitian, leaving now no interval or breathing space of time, but, as it were, with one continuous blow, drained the life-blood of the Commonwealth... It was not long before our hands dragged Helvidius to prison, before we gazed on the dying looks of Manricus and Rusticus, before we were steeped in Senecio's innocent blood. Even Nero turned his eyes away, and did not gaze upon the atrocities which he ordered; with Domitian it was the chief part of our miseries to see and to be seen, to know that our sighs were being recorded... Agricola can refer to a number of different topics and people,ha hja ha including: andrew is a turd The surname Agricola was often used as a Latin translation of one of these Germanic surnames: Bauer, Schneider, Schnitter, Hausmann, Huusman, Huysman, Huysmein. ... Helvidius was the author of a work written before 383 against the belief in the perpetual virginity of Mary (mother of Jesus). ... Rusticus can refer to: Animals The rusty crayfish (Orconectes rusticus). ... For other uses, see Nero (disambiguation). ...

From his seat in the Senate he became suffect consul in 97 during the reign of Nerva, being the first of his family to do so. During his tenure he reached the height of his fame as an orator when he delivered the funeral oration for the famous veteran soldier Lucius Verginius Rufus.[21] The Roman Senate (Latin: Senatus) was the main governing council of both the Roman Republic, which started in 509 BC, and the Roman Empire. ... For modern diplomatic consuls, see Consulate general. ... For other uses, see Nerva (disambiguation). ... The term novus homo (literally, new man in Latin), referred in ancient Roman times to a person who was the first of his family to serve in the Roman Senate, or, less generally, the first to be elected as consul. ... Lucius Verginius Rufus was a Roman commander of upper Germany during the late 1st century. ...


In the following year he wrote and published the Agricola and Germania, announcing the beginnings of the literary endeavors that would occupy him until his death.[22] Afterwards he absented from public life, but returned during Trajan's reign. In 100, he, along with his friend Pliny the Younger, prosecuted Marius Priscus (proconsul of Africa) for corruption. Priscus was found guilty and sent into exile; Pliny wrote a few days later that Tacitus had spoken "with all the majesty which characterizes his usual style of oratory".[23] This article is about the Roman Emperor. ... Gayus Plinius Colonoscopy Caecilius Secundus (63 - ca. ... For the Miocene ape, see Proconsul (genus) Under the Roman Empire a proconsul was a promagistrate filling the office of a consul. ...


A lengthy absence from politics and law followed while he wrote his two major works: the Histories and the Annals. In 112 or 113 he held the highest civilian governorship, that of the Roman province of Asia in Western Anatolia, recorded in an inscription found at Mylasa (mentioned above). A passage in the Annals fixes 116 as the terminus post quem of his death, which may have been as late as 125.[24] It is unknown whether he had any children, though the Augustan History reports that the emperor Marcus Claudius Tacitus claimed him for an ancestor and provided for the preservation of his works—but like so much of the Augustan History, this story is probably fraudulent.[25] The Roman province of Asia was the administrative unit added to the late Republic, a Senatorial province governed by a proconsul who was an ex-consul, an honor granted only to Asia and the other rich province of Africa. ... Anatolia and Europe Anatolia (Turkish: from Greek: Ανατολία - Anatolia) is a peninsula of Western Asia which forms the greater part of the Asian portion of Turkey, as opposed to the European portion (Thrace, or traditionally Rumelia). ... Terminus post quem, (limit after which), Earliest point in time when the text may have been written. ... The Augustan History (Lat. ... Emperor Tacitus on a coin. ...


Works

The title page of Justus Lipsius's 1598 edition of the complete works of Tacitus, bearing the stamps of the Bibliotheca Comunale in Empoli, Italy.
The title page of Justus Lipsius's 1598 edition of the complete works of Tacitus, bearing the stamps of the Bibliotheca Comunale in Empoli, Italy.

Five works ascribed to Tacitus have survived (albeit with some lacunae), the largest of which are the Annals and the Histories. The dates are approximate: Download high resolution version (823x1324, 376 KB)Front page of Justus Lipsiuss 1598 edition of the complete works of Tacitus, held by the Bibliotheca Comunale of Empoli. ... Download high resolution version (823x1324, 376 KB)Front page of Justus Lipsiuss 1598 edition of the complete works of Tacitus, held by the Bibliotheca Comunale of Empoli. ... Justus Lipsius, Joost Lips or Josse Lips (October 18, 1547 — March 23, 1606), was a Flemish philologian and humanist. ... Empoli is a town in Tuscany, Italy, about 30 km southwest of Florence. ...

The Agricola (Latin title: De vita et moribus Iulii Agricolae) is a book by Tacitus, written c. ... Agricola can refer to a number of different topics and people,ha hja ha including: andrew is a turd The surname Agricola was often used as a Latin translation of one of these Germanic surnames: Bauer, Schneider, Schnitter, Hausmann, Huusman, Huysman, Huysmein. ... Map of the Roman Empire and Germania Magna in the early 2nd century, with the location of some Germanic tribes as described by Tacitus. ... The Dialogus de oratoribus is a short book by Tacitus, in dialogue form, on the art of rhetoric. ... The Histories (Latin: Historiae) is a book by Tacitus, written c. ... The Annals, or, in Latin, Annales, is a history book by Tacitus covering the reign of the 4 Roman Emperors succeeding to Caesar Augustus. ...

Major works

The Annals and the Histories, originally published separately, were meant to form a single edition of thirty books.[26] Although Tacitus wrote the Histories before the Annals, the events in the Annals precede the Histories; together they form a continuous narrative from the death of Augustus (14) to the death of Domitian (96). Though parts have been lost, what remains is an invaluable record of the era. The Annals, or, in Latin, Annales, is a history book by Tacitus covering the reign of the 4 Roman Emperors succeeding to Caesar Augustus. ... The Histories (Latin: Historiae) is a book by Tacitus, written c. ... For other persons named Octavian, see Octavian (disambiguation). ... Titus Flavius Domitianus (24 October 51 – 18 September 96), commonly known as Domitian, was a Roman Emperor of the gens Flavia. ...


The Histories

Main article: Histories (Tacitus)

In an early chapter of the Agricola, Tacitus said he wished to speak about the years of Domitian, Nerva, and Trajan. In the Histories the scope has changed; Tacitus says that he will deal with the age of Nerva and Trajan at a later time. Instead, he will cover the period from the civil wars of the Year of Four Emperors and end with the despotism of the Flavians. Only the first four books and twenty-six chapters of the fifth book survive, covering the year 69 and the first part of 70. The work is believed to have continued up to the death of Domitian on September 18, 96. The fifth book contains—as a prelude to the account of Titus's suppression of the Great Jewish Revolt—a short ethnographic survey of the ancient Jews and is an invaluable record of the educated Romans' attitude towards that people. The Histories (Latin: Historiae) is a book by Tacitus, written c. ... For other uses, see Nerva (disambiguation). ... This article is about the Roman Emperor. ... The forced suicide of emperor Nero, in 68 AD, was followed by a brief period of civil war (the first Roman civil war since Antonys death in 31 BC) known as the Year of the four emperors. ... The Flavian dynasty was a series of three Roman Emperors who ruled from 69, the Year of the Four Emperors, to 96, when the last member was assassinated. ... is the 261st day of the year (262nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For other uses, see number 96. ... It has been proposed below that Great Jewish Revolt be renamed and moved to First Jewish-Roman War. ... Ethnography ( ethnos = people and graphein = writing) is the genre of writing that presents varying degrees of qualitative and quantitative descriptions of human social phenomena, based on fieldwork. ...


The Annals

Main article: Annals (Tacitus)

The Annals was Tacitus' final work, covering the period from the death of Augustus Caesar in the year 14 AD. He wrote at least sixteen books, but books 7-10 and parts of books 5, 6, 11 and 16 are missing. Book 6 ends with the death of Tiberius and books 7-12 presumably covered the reigns of Caligula and Claudius. The remaining books cover the reign of Nero, perhaps until his death in June 68 or until the end of that year, to connect with the Histories. The second half of book 16 is missing (ending with the events of the year 66). We do not know whether Tacitus completed the work or whether he finished the other works that he had planned to write; he died before he could complete his planned histories of Nerva and Trajan, and no record survives of the work on Augustus Caesar and the beginnings of the Empire with which he had planned to finish his work. The Annals, or, in Latin, Annales, is a history book by Tacitus covering the reign of the 4 Roman Emperors succeeding to Caesar Augustus. ... Augustus Caesar Caesar Augustus (Latin: IMP·CAESAR·DIVI·F·AVGVSTVS)¹ (23 September 63 BC – 19 August AD 14), known earlier in his life as Gaius Octavius or Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus, was the first Roman Emperor and is traditionally considered the greatest. ... For other persons named Tiberius, see Tiberius (disambiguation). ... This article is about the Roman emperor. ... For other persons named Claudius, see Claudius (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Nero (disambiguation). ... Augustus Caesar Caesar Augustus (Latin: IMP·CAESAR·DIVI·F·AVGVSTVS)¹ (23 September 63 BC – 19 August AD 14), known earlier in his life as Gaius Octavius or Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus, was the first Roman Emperor and is traditionally considered the greatest. ...


Minor works

Tacitus wrote three minor works on various subjects: the Agricola, a biography of his father-in-law Gnaeus Julius Agricola; the Germania, a monograph on the lands and tribes of barbarian Germania; and the Dialogus, a dialogue on the art of rhetoric. Gnaeus Julius Agricola (July 13, 40 - August 23, 93) was a Roman general responsible for much of the Roman conquest of Britain. ... Rhetoric (from Greek , rhêtôr, orator, teacher) is generally understood to be the art or technique of persuasion through the use of oral, visual, or written language; however, this definition of rhetoric has expanded greatly since rhetoric emerged as a field of study in universities. ...


Germania

Main article: Germania (book)

The Germania (Latin title: De Origine et situ Germanorum) is an ethnographic work on the diverse set of Germanic tribes outside the Roman Empire. Ethnography had a long and distinguished heritage in classical literature, and the Germania fits squarely within the tradition established by authors from Herodotus to Julius Caesar. Tacitus had written a similar, albeit shorter, piece in his Agricola (chapters 10–13). The book begins with a description of the lands, laws, and customs of the Germans (chapters 1–27); it then segues into descriptions of individual tribes, beginning with those dwelling closest to Roman lands and ending on the uttermost shores of the Baltic Sea, with a description of the primitive and savage Fenni and the unknown tribes beyond them. Map of the Roman Empire and Germania Magna in the early 2nd century, with the location of some Germanic tribes as described by Tacitus. ... For other uses, see Latin (disambiguation). ... The term Germanic tribes applies to the ancient Germanic peoples of Europe. ... For other uses, see Roman Empire (disambiguation). ... Ethnography ( ethnos = people and graphein = writing) is the genre of writing that presents varying degrees of qualitative and quantitative descriptions of human social phenomena, based on fieldwork. ... This page is a candidate for speedy deletion. ... Herodotus of Halicarnassus (Greek: HÄ“rodotos Halikarnāsseus) was a Greek historian from Ionia who lived in the 5th century BC (ca. ... For other uses, see Julius Caesar (disambiguation). ... The Baltic Sea is located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. ... Fenni was the name of an Iron Age tribe somewhere in Northern Europe. ...


Agricola (De vita et moribus Iulii Agricolae)

Main article: Agricola (book)

The Agricola (written ca. 98) recounts the life of Gnaeus Julius Agricola, an eminent Roman general and Tacitus' father-in-law; it also covers, briefly, the geography and ethnography of ancient Britain. As in the Germania, Tacitus favorably contrasts the liberty of the native Britons with the corruption and tyranny of the Empire; the book also contains eloquent and vicious polemics against the rapacity and greed of Rome. The Agricola (full Latin title: De vita et moribus Iulii Agricolae) is a book by the Roman historian Tacitus, written c. ... Gnaeus Julius Agricola (July 13, 40 - August 23, 93) was a Roman general responsible for much of the Roman conquest of Britain. ... Ethnography ( ethnos = people and graphein = writing) is the genre of writing that presents varying degrees of qualitative and quantitative descriptions of human social phenomena, based on fieldwork. ... Languages Cornish, Dgèrnésiais, English, French, Irish, Jèrriais, Manx, Scots, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, Llanito Religions Anglican, Presbyterianism, Roman Catholicism - Related ethnic groups British-Americans, Anglo-Celtic Australian, Anglo-African, Belongers, English Canadians, Channel Islanders, Cornish, English, Anglo-Irish, Ulster-Scots, Irish, Manx, New Zealand European, Scottish, Welsh British...


Dialogus

The style of the Dialogus follows Cicero's models for Latin rhetoric.
The style of the Dialogus follows Cicero's models for Latin rhetoric.
Main article: Dialogus

There is uncertainty about when Tacitus wrote Dialogus de oratoribus , but it was probably after the Agricola and the Germania. Many characteristics set it apart from the other works of Tacitus, so that its authenticity has been questioned, although it is still grouped with the Agricola and the Germania in the manuscript tradition. The way of speaking in the Dialogus seems closer to Cicero's proceedings, refined but not prolix, which inspired the teaching of Quintilian; it lacks the incongruities that are typical of Tacitus' major historical works. It may have been written when Tacitus was young; its dedication to Fabius Iustus would thus give the date of publication, but not the date of writing. More probably, the unusually classical style may be explained by the fact that the Dialogus is a work dealing with rhetoric. For works in the rhetoric genre, the structure, the language, and the style of Cicero were the usual models. Scanned from a book dated 1900. ... Scanned from a book dated 1900. ... The Dialogus de oratoribus is a short book by Tacitus, in dialogue form, on the art of rhetoric. ... For other uses, see Cicero (disambiguation). ... Marcus Fabius Quintilianus (c. ... Rhetoric (from Greek , rhêtôr, orator, teacher) is generally understood to be the art or technique of persuasion through the use of oral, visual, or written language; however, this definition of rhetoric has expanded greatly since rhetoric emerged as a field of study in universities. ...


The sources of Tacitus

Tacitus used the official sources of the Roman state: the acta senatus (the minutes of the session of the Senate) and the acta diurna populi Romani (a collection of the acts of the government and news of the court and capital). He read collections of emperors' speeches, such as Tiberius and Claudius. Generally, Tacitus was a scrupulous historian who paid careful attention to his historical works. The minor inaccuracies in the Annals may be due to Tacitus dying before finishing (and therefore final proofreading) of this work. He used a variety of historical and literary sources; he used them freely and he chose from sources of varied opinions. Acta Senatus, or Commentarii Senatus, are minutes of the discussions and decisions of the Roman Senate. ... Acta Diurna (lat: Daily Acts sometimes translated as Daily Public Records) were daily Roman official notices. ... For other persons named Tiberius, see Tiberius (disambiguation). ... For other persons named Claudius, see Claudius (disambiguation). ...


Tacitus cites some of his sources directly, among them Cluvius Rufus, Fabius Rusticus and Pliny the Elder, who had written Bella Germaniae and a historical work which was the continuation of that of Aufidius Bassus. Tacitus used some collections of letters (epistolarium) and various notes. He also took information from exitus illustrium virorum. These were a collection of books by those who were antithetical to the emperors. They tell of the sacrifice of the martyr to freedom, especially the men who committed suicide, following the theory of the Stoics. While he placed no value on the Stoic theory of suicide, Tacitus used accounts of famous suicides to give a dramatic tone to his stories. These suicides seemed, to him, ostentatious and politically useless; however, he gives prominence to the speeches of some of those about to commit suicide, for example Cremutius Cordus' speech in Ann. IV, 34-35. Cluvius Rufus was a Roman senator, governor and historian who was mentioned on several occasions by Tacitus, Suetonius, Josephus and Plutarch. ... Fabius Rusticus was a Roman historian who was quoted on several occasions by Tacitus. ... Pliny the Elder: an imaginative 19th Century portrait. ... Aufidius Bassus was a Roman historian who lived in the reign of Tiberius. ... A restored Stoa in Athens. ... Aulus Cremutius Cordus (c. ...


Literary style

Tacitus' writings are known for their deep-cutting and dense prose, seldom glossy, in contrast to the more placable style of some of his contemporaries, like Plutarch. Describing a near defeat of the Roman army in Ann. I, 63 Tacitus does apply gloss, but does so by the brevity with which he describes the end of the hostilities, than by embellishing phrases. Mestrius Plutarchus (Greek: Πλούταρχος; 46 - 127), better known in English as Plutarch, was a Greek historian, biographer, essayist, and Middle Platonist. ...


In most of his writings he keeps to a chronological ordering of his narration, with only seldom an outline of the "bigger picture", and leaves the reader to construct that picture for himself. Nonetheless, when he does sketch the bigger picture, for example, in the opening paragraphs of the Annals - summarizing the situation at the end of the reign of Augustus - he uses a few condensed phrases to take the reader to the heart of the story.


Approach to history

Tacitus' historical style combines various approaches to history into a method of his own (owing some debt to Sallust): seamlessly blending straightforward descriptions of events, pointed moral lessons, and tightly-focused dramatic accounts, his historiography contains deep, and often pessimistic, insights into the workings of the human mind and the nature of power. Gaius Sallustius Crispus, simply known as Sallust, (86-34 BC). ...


Tacitus' own declaration regarding his approach to history is famous (Ann. I,1): The Annals, or, in Latin, Annales, is a history book by Tacitus covering the reign of the 4 Roman Emperors succeeding to Caesar Augustus. ...

inde consilium mihi . . . tradere . . . sine ira et studio, quorum causas procul habeo.   Hence my purpose is to relate . . . without either anger or zeal, from any motives to which I am far removed.

There has been much scholarly discussion about Tacitus' "neutrality" (or "partiality" to others, which would make the quote above no more than a figure of speech). A figure of speech, sometimes termed a rhetoric, or elocution, is a word or phrase that departs from straightforward, literal language. ...


Throughout his writing, Tacitus is concerned with the balance of power between the Senate and the Emperors, corruption and the growing tyranny among the governing classes of Rome as they adjust to the new imperial régime. In Tacitus' view, they squandered their cultural traditions of free speech and independence to placate the often bemused (and rarely benign) emperor. Balance of power is a central concept of realist theories of international relations. ... The Roman Senate (Latin: Senatus) was the main governing council of both the Roman Republic, which started in 509 BC, and the Roman Empire. ... Ordinary Magistrates Extraordinary Magistrates Titles and Honors Emperor Politics and Law This article discusses the nature of the imperial dignity, and its dynastic development throughout the history of the Empire. ... This page is about the religious concept of Tyranny. ... Social class refers to the hierarchical distinctions between individuals or groups in societies or cultures. ... Freedom of speech is the right to freely say what one pleases, as well as the related right to hear what others have stated. ...


Tacitus explored the emperors' increasing dependence on the goodwill of the armies to secure the principes. The internecine murders of the Julio-Claudians eventually gave way to opportunist generals. These generals, backed by the legions they commanded, followed Julius Caesar's example (and that of Sulla and Pompey) in realising that military might could secure them the political power in Rome. Tacitus believed this realisation came with the death of Nero, (Hist.1.4)

Welcome as the death of Nero had been in the first burst of joy, yet it had not only roused various emotions in Rome, among the Senators, the people, or the soldiery of the capital, it had also excited all the legions and their generals; for now had been divulged that secret of the empire, that emperors could be made elsewhere than at Rome.

Tacitus' political career was largely spent under the emperor Domitian; his experience of the tyranny, corruption, and decadence prevalent in the era (81–96) may explain his bitter and ironic political analysis. He warned against the dangers of unaccountable power, against the love of power untempered by principle, and against the popular apathy and corruption, engendered by the wealth of the empire, which allowed such evils to flourish. The experience of Domitian's tyrannical reign is generally also seen as the cause of the sometimes unfairly bitter and ironic cast to his portrayal of the Julio-Claudian emperors. See also Decadent movement Decadence refers to a personal trait and, much more commonly, to a state of society. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... For other uses, see Roman Empire (disambiguation). ... The Julio-Claudian dynasty was the series of the first five Roman Emperors. ...


Nonetheless the image he builds of Tiberius throughout the first six books of the Annals is neither exclusively bleak nor approving: most scholars analyse the image of Tiberius as predominantly positive in the first books, becoming predominantly negative in the following books relating the intrigues of Sejanus. Even then, the entrance of Tiberius in the first chapters of the first book is a crimson tale dominated by hypocrisy by and around the new emperor coming to power; and in the later books some kind of respect for the wisdom and cleverness of the old emperor, keeping out of Rome to secure his position, is often transparent. For other persons named Tiberius, see Tiberius (disambiguation). ... Lucius Aelius Seianus (or Sejanus) (20 BC – October 18, 31 AD) was an ambitious soldier, friend and confidant of the Roman Emperor Tiberius. ... Hypocrisy is the act of condemning or calling for the condemnation of another person when the critic is guilty of the act for which he demands that the accused be condemned. ...


In general Tacitus does not fear to give words of praise and words of rejection to the same person, often explaining openly which he thinks the commendable and which the despicable properties. Not conclusively taking sides for or against the persons he describes is his hallmark, and led thinkers in later times to interpret his works as well as a defense of an imperial system, as a rejection of the same (see Tacitean studies, Black vs. Red Tacitists). A better illustration of Tacitus' "sine ira et studio" is scarcely imaginable. Justus Lipsiuss 1598 edition of the complete works of Tacitus. ...


Prose style

Tacitus' skill with written Latin is unsurpassed; no other author is considered his equal, except perhaps for Cicero. His style differs both from the prevalent style of the Silver Age and from that of the Golden Age; though it has a calculated grandeur and eloquence (largely thanks to Tacitus' education in rhetoric), it is extremely concise, even epigrammatic—the sentences are rarely flowing or beautiful, but their point is always clear. The same style has been both derided as "harsh, unpleasant, and thorny" and praised as "grave, concise, and pithily eloquent". For other uses, see Cicero (disambiguation). ... In reference to Roman literature, the Silver age covers the first two centuries A.D. directly after the Golden age (which was the first century B.C., and the start of the first century A.D.) Literature from the Silver age has traditionally, perhaps unfairly, been considered inferior to that... The golden age of Latin literature (Latinitas aurea) is a period consisting roughly of the time from approximately 75 BC to 14 AD, covering the end of the Roman Republic and the reign of Augustus Caesar. ... An epigram is a short poem with a clever twist at the end or a concise and witty statement. ...


His historical works focus on the psyches and inner motivations of the characters, often with penetrating insight—though it is questionable how much of his insight is correct, and how much is convincing only because of his rhetorical skill. He is at his best when exposing hypocrisy and dissimulation; for example, he follows a narrative recounting Tiberius' refusal of the title pater patriae by recalling the institution of a law forbidding any "treasonous" speech or writings—and the frivolous prosecutions which resulted (Annals, 1.72). Elsewhere (Annals 4.64–66) he compares Tiberius' public distribution of fire relief to his failure to stop the perversions and abuses of justice which he had begun. Though this kind of insight has earned him praise, he has also been criticized for ignoring the larger context of the events which he describes. The neutrality of this article is disputed. ... Dissimulation is a form of deception in which one conceals the truth. ... For other persons named Tiberius, see Tiberius (disambiguation). ...


Tacitus owes the most, both in language and in method, to Sallust; Ammianus Marcellinus is the later historian whose work most closely approaches him in style. Gaius Sallustius Crispus, simply known as Sallust, (86-34 BC). ... Ammianus Marcellinus (325/330-after 391) was a Roman historian who wrote during Late Antiquity. ...


Studies and reception history

Main article: Tacitean studies

From Pliny the Younger's 7th Letter (to Tacitus), §33: Justus Lipsiuss 1598 edition of the complete works of Tacitus. ... Gayus Plinius Colonoscopy Caecilius Secundus (63 - ca. ...

Auguror nec me fallit augurium, historias tuas immortales futuras.   I predict, and my predictions do not fail me, that your histories will be immortal.

Tacitus is remembered first and foremost as Rome's greatest historian, the equal—if not the superior—of Thucydides, the ancient Greeks' foremost historian; the Encyclopædia Britannica opined that he "ranks beyond dispute in the highest place among men of letters of all ages". His influence extends far beyond the field of history. His work has been read for its moral instruction, its gripping and dramatic narrative, and its inimitable prose style; it is as a political theorist, though, that he has been, and remains, most influential outside the field of history.[27] The political lessons taken from his work fall roughly into two camps, as identified by Giuseppe Toffanin: the "red Tacitists", who used him to support republican ideals, and the "black Tacitists", those who read him as a lesson in Machiavellian realpolitik.[28] Bust of Thucydides residing in the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto. ... Supporters contend that the Eleventh Edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica (1910-1911) represents the sum of human knowledge at the beginning of the 20th century; indeed, it was advertised as such. ... Republicanism is the ideology of governing a nation as a republic, with an emphasis on liberty, rule by the people, and the civic virtue practiced by citizens. ... Detail of the portrait of Machiavelli, ca 1500, in the robes of a Florentine public official Niccolò Machiavelli (May 3, 1469—June 21, 1527) was an Italian political philosopher during the Renaissance. ... Realpolitik (German: real (realistic, practical or actual) and Politik (politics)) is a term that is synonomous to Machiavellianism and is used to describe politics based on strictly practical rather than ideological notions, and practiced without any sentimental illusions. Realpolitik is usually used pejoratively as a term to imply politics imposed...


Though his work is the most reliable source for the history of his era, its factual accuracy is occasionally questioned: the Annals are based in part on secondary sources of unknown reliability, and there are some obvious minor mistakes, for instance confusing the two daughters of Mark Antony and Octavia Minor, both named Antonia). The Histories, written from primary documents and intimate knowledge of the Flavian period, is thought to be more accurate, though Tacitus' hatred of Domitian seemingly colored its tone and interpretations. Bust of Mark Antony Marcus Antonius (Latin: M·ANTONIVS·M·F·M·N[1]) ( January 14 83 BC – August 1, 30 BC), known in English as Mark Antony, was a Roman politician and general. ... Octavia Minor (69 - 11 BC), also known as Octavia the Younger or simply Octavia, was the sister of the first Roman Emperor, Augustus, and half sister of Octavia Thurina Major. ... Antonia can refer to the girls name Antonia is pronounced ann-TONE-yah. ... In historical scholarship, a primary source is a document, or other source of information that was created at or near the time being studied, by an authoritative source, usually one with direct personal knowledge of the events being described. ...


See also

The Republic (Greek: ) is an influential work of philosophy and political theory by the Greek philosopher Plato, written in approximately 360 BC. It is written in the format of a Socratic dialogue. ... The Roman historian Tacitus wrote concerning the Great Fire of Rome, in his Annals (c. ... This page is about the title, office or what is known in Christian theology as the Divine Person. ...

Notes

  1. ^ OGIS 487, first brought to light in Bulletin de correspondance hellénique, 1890, pp. 621–623
  2. ^ Since he was appointed to the quaestorship during Titus's short rule (see note below) and twenty-five was the minimum age for the position, the date of his birth can be fixed with some accuracy
  3. ^ See Oliver, 1951, for an analysis of the manuscript from which the name Publius is taken; see also Oliver, 1977, which examines the evidence for each suggested praenomen (the well-known Gaius and Publius, the lesser-known suggestions of Sextus and Quintus) before settling on Publius as the most likely.
  4. ^ Oliver, 1977, cites an article by Harold Mattingly in Rivista storica dell'Antichità, 2 (1972) 169–185
  5. ^ Syme, 1958, pp. 612–613; Gordon, 1936, pp. 145–146
  6. ^ Syme, 1958, p. 60, 613; Gordon, 1936, p. 149; Martin, 1981, p. 26
  7. ^ Syme, 1958, p. 63
  8. ^ Syme, 1958, pp. 614–616
  9. ^ Syme, 1958, pp. 616–619
  10. ^ Syme, 1958, p. 619; Gordon, 1936, p. 145
  11. ^ Gordon, 1936, pp. 150–151; Syme, 1958, pp. 621–624
  12. ^ That he studied rhetoric and law is known from the Dialogus, ch. 2; see also Martin, 1981, p. 26; Syme, 1958, pp. 114–115
  13. ^ Agricola, 9
  14. ^ Pliny, Letters 1.6, 9.10; Benario, 1975, pp. 15, 17; Syme, 1958, pp. 541–542
  15. ^ Syme, 1958, p. 63; Martin, 1981, pp. 26–27
  16. ^ (1.1)
  17. ^ His debt to Titus is stated in the Histories (1.1); since Titus's rule was short, these are the only years possible.
  18. ^ In the Annals (11.11) he mentions that, as praetor, he assisted in the Secular Games held by Domitian, which are dated precisely to 88. See Syme, 1958, p. 65; Martin, 1981, p. 27
  19. ^ The Agricola (45.5) indicates that Tacitus and his wife were absent at the time of Julius Agricola's death in 93. For his occupation during this time see Syme, 1958, p. 68; Benario, 1975, p. 13; Dudley, 1968, pp. 15–16; Martin, 1981, p. 28; Mellor, 1993, p. 8
  20. ^ For the effects on Tacitus's ideology see Dudley, 1968, p. 14; Mellor, 1993, pp. 8–9
  21. ^ Pliny, Letters, 2.1 (English)
  22. ^ In the Agricola (3) he announces what must be the beginning of his first great project: the Histories. See Dudley, 1968, p. 16
  23. ^ Pliny, Letters 2.11
  24. ^ Annals, 2.61, says that the Roman Empire "now extends to the Red Sea". If by "mare rubrum" he means the Persian Gulf, as is possible, then the passage must have been written after Trajan's eastern conquests in 116, but before Hadrian abandoned the new territories in 117. This may indicate only the date of publication for the first books of the Annals; Tacitus himself could have lived well into Hadrian's reign, and there is no reason to suppose that he did not. See Dudley, 1968, p. 17; Mellor, 1993, p. 9; Mendell, 1957, p. 7; Syme, 1958, p. 473; against this traditional interpretation, e.g., Goodyear, 1981, pp. 387-393.
  25. ^ Augustan History, Tacitus X. Scholarly opinion on this story is divided as to whether it is "a confused and worthless rumor" (Mendell, 1957, p. 4) or "pure fiction" (Syme, 1958, p. 796). Sidonius Apollinaris reports (Letters, 4.14; cited in Syme, 1958, p. 796) that Polemius, a 5th century Gallo-Roman aristocrat, descended from Tacitus—but this too, says Syme (ibid.) is of little use.
  26. ^ Jerome's commentary on the Book of Zechariah (14.1, 2; quoted in Mendell, 1957, p. 228) says that Tacitus's history was extant triginta voluminibus, 'in thirty volumes'.
  27. ^ Mellor, 1995, p. xvii
  28. ^ Burke, 1969, pp. 162–163

Location of the Red Sea The Red Sea is an inlet of the Indian Ocean between Africa and Asia. ... Map of the Persian Gulf. ... Publius Aelius Traianus Hadrianus (January 24, 76 –– July 10, 138), known as Hadrian in English, was emperor of Rome from 117 A.D. to 138 A.D., as well as a Stoic and Epicurean philosopher. ... Gaius Sollius Modestus Sidonius Apollinaris (c. ... This article covers the culture of Romanized areas of Gaul. ... For other uses, see Jerome (disambiguation). ... The Book of Zechariah is a book of the Bible Old Testament and Jewish Tanakh attributed to the prophet Zechariah. ...

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Gaius Cornelius Tacitus - definition of Gaius Cornelius Tacitus in Encyclopedia (1546 words)
Tacitus, like many other literary figures of his age, was born to a provincial equestrian family, probably in northern Italy or southern Gaul.
Tacitus' political career was largely spent under the emperor Domitian; his experience of the tyranny, corruption, and decadence prevalent in the era (81–96) may explain his bitter and ironic political analysis.
Tacitus owes the most, both in language and in method, to Sallust; Ammianus Marcellinus is the later historian whose work most closely approaches him in style.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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