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Historiae

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Also been made which have been suggested by use of the book in classes or to which my attention has been called whether by private correspond ence or by notices and reviews in the public journals I have been especially indebted to the critical acumen and accurate scholarship of my friend Mr Charles Short of Roxbury wri ting in the Bibliotheca Sacra for not a few valuable sugges tions and amendmentsAbout the PublisherForgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books Find at wwwforgottenboo. Well there goes the last major work of Tacitus Over the last month and a bit its been a fun experience going through the Annals and the Histories The histories is an extremely chaotic book both in content and narration Tacitus constantly switches back and forth between events Sometimes this change can be uite unforgiving and without the footnotes I would have probably struggled to notice the change especially for the discussion of Vitellius time in Rome Overall I would divide this book into two parts both in terms of themes and my enjoyment The first portion of the book spans book 1 to book 3 and this is by far my favourite part of the histories Tacitus is at his most cynical and brutal in this section There are very few redeeming moments Tacitus very clearly deals with what he perceives to be a disruption of Roman traditions At the centre of this narrative is the crowd They are fickle sycophantic and uick to change sides Galba and Piso are brutally murdered in the forum senators degrade themselves by dressing as slaves or freedmen Galba Otho and vitellius are all shown as incompetent in commanding troops and dealing with sycophants Even the victorious Vespasian is treated in a negative light By far my favourite part of this section is book 3 No where else is Tactius' absolute disgust at this period clearly seen than in the destruction of Cremona and the burning of the capitol This disgust created one of the best books written by a classical historian I have ever readThe second major part of this book comes from books 4 to 5 The themes of the first 3 books give way to new ideas the Senate dealing with Neros former informers a precursor to the tyranny of Domitian and the revolts of Germany and Judea This part was not as good as the first section Perhaps this is because this section is so incomplete After reading the first part I cannot say that this part was as good In fact I would be lying if I did not say that I found Civilis' revolt to be boring That being said Tacitus' discription of Jews and Jewish history was very fascinating I've decided to come back after a month of really letting this work sink in I still stand by my stance that the 'second half' of the book is not as good as the first but I do believe there is a real importance to it Yes the narrative is cut off All we get is the rebellion of Civilis and a history of Judea but there is the essence of some really intriguing ideas It always seems to me that a focus is placed on the actions of the major parties during a civil war and not so much the effects of said civil war on the provinces Perhaps this is the case because Marius and Sulla are immediately followed by the mithridatic war and the rise of Pompey The same can be said with the war between Octavian and Antony the brilliance of the beginning of the principate takes centre stage With the histories we get the sense of the real damage that a civil war can have on volatile regions of the empire Tacitus really helps to answer the uestion of what happens when large number of troops are moved away from the Rhine or political instability threatens Romes control of her borders This may be a somewhat incoherent ramble but I've really come to appreciate this second half Civilis may be insignificant in the grand scheme of Roman history but he shows just how precarious the relationship between Rome and tribes of Gaul and Germany really are

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Excerpt from The Histories Of Caius Cornelius Tacitus With Notes For CollegesIR this Revised Edition the text and the notes have been carefully collated With those of Ritter in his new edition bonn and Cambridge and such corrections and additions as were deemed just and important have been adopted from this source I cannot however by any means accept the many gratuitous emendations and dogmatic assertions which disfig nre and depreciate this otherwise excellent commentary Other corrections and improvements have. For all the detail Tacitus goes in to this is a fast paced introduction to a turbulent year in Roman history Emperor Nero has recently committed suicide and has been replaced by the elderly Galba who in short order is murdered by Otho who seizes the imperial crown only to commit suicide himself when Vitellius declares himself Emperor and marches on Rome defeating Otho's army with an army drawn from the Rhineland frontier but Vitellius doesn't get to enjoy being Emperor for long before he is executed by supporters of Vespasian who has left the siege of Jerusalem for his son to complete while he launches his claim for the Imperial throne Pause for breath This has taken place over the years 68 to 70ADTacitus' account of the course of the war is shaped by the role of the unpredictable and unforeseeable Plans are made and the Generals have a fixed course of action but troops panic or are unexpectedly successful battles develop almost by chance and loyalties change Particularly enjoyable are Tacitus' prejudices Natives are cowardly and fickle although despite this opinion they fight no less bravely The plebeian soldiers are prone to swing from one extreme mood to the its opposite While members of the upper classes have vices that are sadly too appalling to be detailed Occasionally someone will meet with Tacitus' approval generally for having committed suicide with appropriate dignityOn the subject of suicide apparently if you are a messenger in Imperial Rome and your news is not believed killing yourself is a sure way to convince people that you were telling the truth This happens a couple of times during the course of the narrative As unlikely as it sounds Suetonius mentions this in his life of Otho one of The Twelve CaesarsReading between the lines Tacitus' views seem unusual even in the Roman world For all his negative comments about Otho and Vitellius both are described as having been cronies of Nero If Vitellius is freuently shown eating and being greedy both he and Otho seem to have inspired affection and support from parts of the army and from the people of Rome You are left with the feeling that perhaps the people of Rome liked these extravagant larger than life figures and that their massive appetites better reflected the Roman way of life than Tacitus' ideas on virtue and old fashioned disciplineIf you enjoy The Histories then there is along similar lines in The Annals of Imperial Rome although admittedly the pace of it is somewhat less intense

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KscomThis book is a reproduction of an important historical work Forgotten Books uses state of the art technology to digitally reconstruct the work preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy In rare cases an imperfection in the original such as a blemish or missing page may be replicated in our edition We do however repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works. It's like a soap opera but with swords Part II


About the Author: Tacitus

Publius or Gaius Cornelius Tacitus ca AD 56 – ca AD 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 who reigned in the Year of the Four Emperors These two works span the history of the Roman Empire from the death of Augustus in AD 14 t


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