Tacitus Agricola, Germania, Dialogus

ISBN-10: 0674990390
ISBN-13: 9780674990395
Edition: 1970 (Revised)
List price: $26.00
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Description: Tacitus (Cornelius), famous Roman historian, was born in AD 55, 56 or 57 and lived to about 120. He became an orator, married in 77 a daughter of Julius Agricola before Agricola went to Britain, was quaestor in 81 or 82, a senator under the Flavian  More...

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Book details

List price: $26.00
Copyright year: 1970
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication date: 1/1/1914
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 374
Size: 4.75" wide x 6.75" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.418

Tacitus (Cornelius), famous Roman historian, was born in AD 55, 56 or 57 and lived to about 120. He became an orator, married in 77 a daughter of Julius Agricola before Agricola went to Britain, was quaestor in 81 or 82, a senator under the Flavian emperors, and a praetor in 88. After four years' absence he experienced the terrors of Emperor Domitian's last years and turned to historical writing. He was a consul in 97. Close friend of the younger Pliny, with him he successfully prosecuted Marius Priscus. Works: (i) Life and Character of Agricola, written in 97-98, specially interesting because of Agricola's career in Britain. (ii) Germania (98-99), an equally important description of the geography, anthropology, products, institutions, and social life and the tribes of the Germans as known to the Romans. (iii) Dialogue on Oratory (Dialogus), of unknown date; a lively conversation about the decline of oratory and education. (iv) Histories (probably issued in parts from 105 onwards), a great work originally consisting of at least twelve books covering the period AD 69-96, but only Books I-IV and part of Book V survive, dealing in detail with the dramatic years 69-70. (v) Annals, Tacitus's other great work, originally covering the period AD 14-68 (Emperors Tiberius, Gaius, Claudius, Nero) and published between 115 and about 120. Of sixteen books at least, there survive Books I-IV (covering the years 14-28); a bit of Book V and all Book VI (31-37); part of Book XI (from 47); Books XII-XV and part of Book XVI (to 66). Tacitus is renowned for his development of a pregnant concise style, character study, and psychological analysis, and for the often terrible story which he brilliantly tells. As a historian of the early Roman empire he is paramount. The Loeb Classical Library edition of Tacitus is in five volumes.

Tacitus was a Roman senator who survived the terror launched among the Roman aristocracy by the emperor Domitian to rise to prominence and become first suffect consul and later proconsul of Asia. His historical works, which originally covered the first century of the empire from the accession of Tiberius to the assassination of Domitian, are an indictment of the emperors and of the senatorial aristocracy under imperial autocracy. They remain the fundamental sources of imperial history in this period. The embarrasing paradox of Tacitus's success under a "bad" emperor appears to have had an effect on his works, whose tone may have struck contemporaries as a defense of his prominence under a despot. Tacitus is thus often thought to have nursed a nostalgia for the Republic and the free nobility of its senatorial order. However, his attitude is less genuinely backward-looking than occupied with the contemporary moral and political problems of aristocratic honor. In The Annals, which survives only in part, he examines palace politics under the Julio-Claudians. The unspoken questions that occupy this examination are those of the possibilities of uncompromised and dignified service under despotism, and the opportunities therein to mitigate its evil. These themes emerge into daylight in The Agricola, his laudatory biography of his father-in-law, the Roman general who conquered Britain. The work portrays Agricola as a straightforward military man who preserved his integrity and the admiration of his contemporaries under the emperor Domitian, even though his greatest achievements went unrewarded. Tacitus was a trained advocate, and fundamental to his outlook is his prosecutorial purpose. He states the case against the emperors and others who attract his unfavorable judgment. This bias can be difficult for the reader to overcome. But Tacitus also played by the rules of advocacy. He appears to bring to light facts unfavorable to his case in order to interpret them according to the necessities of his argument. His lawyerly honesty thereby allows the historian to dissect the facts from their matrix in order to use them in reconstructing a historical account of the first century of the empire which is more balanced, if inevitably less committed, than that of Tacitus.

Preface
General Introduction
Agricola Introduction
The Life of Julius Agricola Germania Introduction
The Land of the Germans Dialogus de Oratoribus Introduction
A Dialogue on Oratory Indices To Agricola Indices To Germania Index
To Dialogus Maps Agricola's Campaigns Germania in the Time of Tacitus

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