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Tacitus: Great Books of the Western World 15

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  118 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Great Books of the Western World
54 volume set
Robert Maynard Hutchins, Editor in Chief
Hardcover, 313 pages
Published 1952 by William Benton, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc. (first published 1908)
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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.
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
More about Tacitus...
The Annals of Imperial Rome The Agricola and The Germania The Histories Germania Complete Works of Tacitus

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