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The Annals by Tacitus
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The Annals

by Tacitus

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Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
Read this after the Twelve Caesars. Tacitus is quite compelling. You won't be bored. ( )
  datrappert | Oct 17, 2016 |
For a book written during the Roman Empire, this particular translation of Tacitus isn't that bad. The flow is relatively easy to work with, and it is constantly informative. Tacitus often reminds his readers that much of what he writes is what that people say, and he warns to be wary of rumours. Still, it gives some idea of culture. I read this book for a course on the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, and I found it to be the most enlightening book assigned. ( )
1 vote Morteana | Mar 20, 2016 |
I was distracted by the year-to-year history of the empire by an amazing amount of wrist slitting. Read in series of warming up for Gibbon. ( )
  kcshankd | Jun 18, 2015 |
Tacitus needs no recommendation. The five stars are for the translation by Cynthia Damon which was published in 2009. She captures what Kenneth Rexroth described as "the most mordant style in the history of prose." The bite and terseness of the writing, which seems amenable to English translation, can make Tacitus difficult reading. The year-by-year structure of the Annals and the lacuna of several books, add to the difficulty.

A few years ago, I tried reading the classic Victorian translation of Church and Brodribb. I thought it was fine, but I struggled to get through the work. In the older translation, it was hard to discern reported speech from Tacitus's narrative. Damon's translation sets off the reported speech in italics, an innovation which makes the text easier to follow while not cluttering the prose with verbal markers of speech. That and an updated syntax and less dated vocabulary make this new version preferable. ( )
3 vote le.vert.galant | Jan 26, 2015 |
In the year of the consulship of x and y, military events occurred, as did these notable moments of jurisprudence. There was the following scandal. The emperor plotted the deaths/punishment/exile of the following people. And so forth.

Tacitus himself apologizes for the monotony of some of the stories in 16.16, which is obviously a bit mischievous, since the continuous deaths, sexual escapades and military idiocies are, in their own way, pretty entertaining. He's great at telling small scale tales, particularly of Nero (his discussion of Tiberius is a little dull, unfortunately). But it's hard to see the overall arc here. That might be because I didn't read it in Latin and give it my undivided attention, it might be because we're missing big chunks of the text, it might be because the annalistic organization doesn't really allow for overarching arc. Or might be because there is no arc: it's just descent from one repulsive, disgusting emperor to the next.

Otherwise, I had to skim hefty portions of the text because I couldn't really be bothered to look up notes on every 'barbarian' tribesman, or every obscure Roman advocate. And I imagine that will go for anyone who's reading this but isn't a classics student or professor or obsessive. But the high (i.e., low) points make it very much worth while, and anyone who thinks Hollywood and Television and Modern Art are destroying the olde time morals should take note that there's more bloodletting, sexual misconduct and greed in Tacitus than in anything that would make it to your local cinema. ( )
1 vote stillatim | Dec 29, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (44 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tacitusprimary authorall editionscalculated
Brodribb, William JacksonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Church, Alfred JohnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dudley, Donald RTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fisher, Charles DennisEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Furneaux, HenryEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grant, MichaelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kajanto, IiroTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Meijer, J.W.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Woodman, A. J.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140440607, Paperback)

Tacitus' "Annals of Imperial Rome" recount the major historical events from the years shortly before the death of Augustus up to the death of Nero in AD 68. With clarity and vivid intensity he describes the reign of terror under the corrupt Tiberius, the great fire of Rome during the time of Nero, and the wars, poisonings, scandals, conspiracies and murders that were part of imperial life. Despite his claim that the Annals were written objectively, Tacitus' account is sharply critical of the emperors' excesses and fearful for the future of Imperial Rome, while also filled with a longing for its past glories.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:06 -0400)

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A recording of excerpts from the history written by Tacitus during the Julian line of Emperors in Rome.

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140440607, 0140455647

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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