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The Annals and The Histories

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  134 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Tacitus offers a dramatic, almost tabloid vision of imperial Rome in The Histories and The Annals. He reports on scandals-offering skepticism of Nero's incest with his mother-and orgiastic revels, and explores how the emperors' increasingly decadent behavior alienated the upper classes. Starting with the death of the first emperor of Rome, Tacitus describes how the Julio-C ...more
Paperback, 482 pages
Published December 31st 2005 by Barnes & Noble (first published 1908)
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Woo-hoo, I finally finished this book! It took me awhile because it is jam-packed with people, and information, and all kinds of stuff about the Roman Empire circa 14-70 AD. Tacitus describes all kind of things that went on during this time frame, and it was really interesting to see how the Roman culture was then. For instance, it was commonly accepted that if you had disgraced yourself (even if you hadn't actually but someone accused you), it was best to commit suicide. That was considered the ...more
Along with Thucydides, Tacitus is the greatest historian ever. I say this with full knowledge of modern historical writing's achievements. Like no other historian, Tacitus grasps the essence of authoritarian politics and the wretched state of man's soul.
It took me forever to get through this ancient Roman text that covers the period between the end of the reign of Augustus and the beginning of the reign of Vespasian. The reigns of Tiberius, Claudius, Caligula, Nero, Galba, Otho and Vitellius are also covered. At times, Tacitus seemed to merely be cataloguing the various accusations and trials in the Senate that were the petty disputes between Senators vying for prominence and imperial favor. However, in other parts it was an exciting story of i ...more
Covering the Roman Empire from 14 - 70 AD, the translation and writing was superb for something from almost 2,000 years ago. However, there were hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people from that time that was covered with very little introcution of who they were, how they got where they were, etc. Senators, gladiators, centurians, emperors, etc. As a result, it was very difficult to follow.
I liken it to someone writing a 500 page book regarding everybody in Congress today, and then having
Colin Brown
Good to read after I, Claudius or before- ideal supplement for the First Five although missing the most interesting parts of Claudius' reign.
Aug 02, 2015 Dakota marked it as partially-read  ·  review of another edition
Books I-VI, XIII-XV. Lots of depressing material, but the presentation (and especially juxtaposition) of events is often enjoyable.
too sweeping a history for me, without enough excitement to keep me fully engaged. there were some fun moments, though, and i appreciated occasionally running into a familiar name or event. that it ended with a foray into anti-semitism was an unexpected treat (um, what?).

my next metro read- 'something i should have read in college but didn't 101'- will be something slightly less ambitious, so it won't take quite so long, i hope.
Masen Production
“I finally read Tacitius... I feel blessed. Historian who has penned down memoirs of Roman greatness post Augustus era. BRILLIANT !!!! He took me back 2000years to the Great Rome, fantastic feeling of I have read a book that was penned 2000 years back and which has been read by other great luminaries of literature post that. For serious history buffs.....”
You are going to have to take it slow reading this...very heavy, but well worth your time. Probably not a good book for people with ADD.
Heather Domin
Re-reading for research. Tacitus isn't my favorite, but he usually has just the information I need.
Cynical, concise and fascinating. The original 'Game of Thrones'!
Fascinating history of the Caesars.
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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 ...more
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