Sculpture of Cornelius Tacitus

Timeline

Lifetime: 56 CE - 120 CE Passed: ≈ 1903 years ago

Title

Historian, Politician

Country/Nationality

Roman Empire
Wikipedia

Cornelius Tacitus

Publius Cornelius Tacitus was a Roman historian and politician. Tacitus is widely regarded as one of the greatest Roman historians by modern scholars. He lived in what has been called the Silver Age of Latin literature, and has a reputation for the brevity and compactness of his Latin prose, as well as for his penetrating insights into the psychology of power politics.

The surviving portions of his two major works—the Annals and the Histories—examine the reigns of the emperors Tiberius, Claudius, Nero, and those who reigned in the Year of the Four Emperors (69 AD). These two works span the history of the Roman Empire from the death of Augustus, in 14 AD, to 70 AD in the First Jewish–Roman War of 66–73. There are substantial lacunae in the surviving texts, including a gap in the Annals that is four books long.

Tacitus' other writings discuss oratory (in dialogue format, see Dialogus de oratoribus), Germania (in De origine et situ Germanorum), and the life of his father-in-law, Agricola, the general responsible for much of the Roman conquest of Britain, mainly focusing on his campaign in Britannia (De vita et moribus Iulii Agricolae). Tacitus' works are a chief source next to the Bible and the works of Josephus for providing significant and independent extra-Biblical account of the life and crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth.

Books by Cornelius Tacitus

A Dialogue Concerning Oratory, or the Causes of Corrupt Eloquence Cover image

A Dialogue Concerning Oratory, or the Causes of Corrupt Eloquence

Non-Fiction
Education Antiquity Fine Arts

The Dialogus de oratoribus is a short work attributed to Tacitus, in dialogue form, on the art of rhetoric. Its date of composition is unknown, though its dedication to Lucius Fabius Justus places its publication around 102 AD.

The Annals of Tacitus, Volume 1 Cover image

The Annals of Tacitus, Volume 1

History Non-Fiction
Imperialism Empire Roman

The Annals by Roman historian and senator Tacitus is a history of the Roman Empire from the reign of Tiberius to that of Nero, the years AD 14–68. The Annals are an important source for modern understanding of the history of the Roman Empire during t...

Germania Cover image

Germania

Non-Fiction Travel
Culture Ethnography

The Germania, written by the Roman historian Publius Cornelius Tacitus around 98 AD and originally entitled On the Origin and Situation of the Germans, is a historical and ethnographic work on the Germanic peoples outside the Roman Empire.

Agricola  Cover image

Agricola

Non-Fiction Biography
Classics Antiquity

The Agricola is a book by the Roman historian Tacitus, written c. AD 98. The work recounts the life of his father-in-law Gnaeus Julius Agricola, an eminent Roman general and Governor of Britain from AD 77/78 – 83/84. It also covers the geography and...

Tacitus' Histories Cover image

Tacitus' Histories

History
Death Tradition Rome Classics Antiquity Historical

The Histories was written between 110 and 100 B.C. It covered the Year of Four Emperors following the downfall of Nero, the rise of Vespasian, and the rule of the Flavian Dynasty up to the death of Domitian.

The Annals of Tacitus, Volume 3  Cover image

The Annals of Tacitus, Volume 3

History
Empire Classics Antiquity Historical Roman

The Annals was Tacitus' final work and provides a key source for modern understanding of the history of the Roman Empire from the beginning of the reign of Tiberius in AD 14 to the end of the reign of Nero, in AD 68. Tacitus wrote the Annals in at le...

The Annals of Tacitus, Volume 2  Cover image

The Annals of Tacitus, Volume 2

History
Tradition Modern Historical Writing Roman

The Annals by Roman historian and senator Tacitus is a history of the Roman Empire from the reign of Tiberius to that of Nero, the years AD 14–68. The Annals are an important source for modern understanding of the history of the Roman Empire during t...