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  1. His full nomenclature may have been "Publius Cornelius Tacitus Caecina Paetus". [1]


  1. Birley 2000, p. 232.
  2. Van Voorst, Robert; Evans, Craig A.; Chilton, Bruce (2000). "Tacitus: The Executed Christ". In Evans, Craig A.; Chilton, Bruce (eds.). Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence Studying the Historical Jesus. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. p. 39. ISBN   9780802843685 . Retrieved 7 June 2020. Cornelius Tacitus is generally considered the greatest Roman historian [...].
  3. Compare: Ferguson, Everett (1987). "Literature and language". Backgrounds of Early Christianity (3 ed.). Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing (published 2003). p. 116. ISBN   9780802822215 . Retrieved 7 June 2020. The Silver Age produced two outstanding historians. Cornelius Tacitus (c. A.D. 55-120), through his Histories and the Annals, is the major source for the history of the empire in the first century.
  4. 1 2 Brodribb, William Jackson; Godley, Alfred Denis (1911). "Tacitus, Cornelius"  . In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica . Vol. 26 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 345–46.
  5. OGIS 487, first brought to light in Bulletin de correspondance hellénique, 1890, pp. 621–623
  6. Since he was appointed to the quaestorship during Titus's short rule (see note below) and twenty-five was the minimum age for the position, the date of his birth can be fixed with some accuracy.
  7. See Oliver, 1951, for an analysis of the manuscript from which the name Publius is taken; see also Oliver, 1977, which examines the evidence for each suggested praenomen (the well-known Gaius and Publius, the lesser-known suggestions of Sextus and Quintus) before settling on Publius as the most likely.
  8. Oliver, 1977, cites an article by Harold Mattingly in Rivista storica dell'Antichità, 2 (1972) 169–85
  9. Syme, 1958, pp. 612–13; Gordon, 1936, pp. 145–46
  10. Birley 2000, p. 231–232.
  11. Caecina. Strachan stemma.
  12. Syme, 1958, pp. 60, 613; Gordon, 1936, pg. 149; Martin, 1981, pg. 26
  13. Syme, 1958, pg. 63
  14. Michael Grant in Introduction to Tacitus, The Annals of Imperial Rome, p. xvii; Herbert W. Benario in Introduction to Tacitus, Germany, pg. 1.
  15. Syme, 1958, pp. 614–16
  16. Syme, 1958, pp. 616–19
  17. Syme, 1958, pg. 619; Gordon, 1936, pg. 145
  18. Gordon, 1936, pp. 150–51; Syme, 1958, pp. 621–24
  19. The fact that he studied rhetoric and law is known from the Dialogus, ch. 2; see also Martin, 1981, p. 26; Syme, 1958, pp. 114–115
  20. Agricola, 9
  21. Pliny, Letters 1.6, 9.10; Benario, 1975, pp. 15, 17; Syme, 1958, pp. 541–42
  22. Syme, 1958, pg. 63; Martin, 1981, pp. 26–27
  23. (1.1)
  24. He states his debt to Titus in his Histories (1.1); since Titus ruled only briefly, these are the only years possible.
  25. In the Annals (11.11), he mentions that, as praetor, he assisted in the Secular Games held by Domitian, which can be precisely dated to 88. See Syme, 1958, pg. 65; Martin, 1981, pg. 27; Benario in his Introduction to Tacitus, Germany, p. 1.
  26. The Agricola (45.5) indicates that Tacitus and his wife were absent at the time of Julius Agricola's death in 93. For his occupation during this time see Syme, 1958, p. 68; Benario, 1975, p. 13; Dudley, 1968, pp. 15–16; Martin, 1981, p. 28; Mellor, 1993, p. 8
  27. For the effects on Tacitus of this experience see Dudley, 1968, pg. 14; Mellor, 1993, pp. 8–9
  28. Pliny, Letters, 2.1 (English); Benario in his Introduction to Tacitus, Germany, pp. 1–2.
  29. In the Agricola (3), he announces what was probably his first major project: the Histories. See Dudley, 1968, pg. 16
  30. Pliny, Letters 2.11
  31. Hazel, J. (2002). Who's who in the Roman World. Routledge who's who series. Routledge. p. 297. ISBN   978-0-415-29162-0 . Retrieved 28 August 2018. Seniority brought him the governorship of the province of Asia as proconsul in 112–113.
  32. Grant in his Introduction to Tacitus, Annals, pg. xvii; Benario in his Introduction to Tacitus, Germania, pg. 2. Annals, 2.61, says that the Roman Empire "now extends to the Red Sea". If by mare rubrum he means the Persian Gulf, the passage must have been written after Trajan's eastern conquests in 116, but before Hadrian abandoned the new territories in 117. But this may only indicate the date of publication for the first books of the Annals; Tacitus could have lived well into Hadrian's reign, and there is no reason to suppose that he did not. See Dudley, 1968, pg. 17; Mellor, 1993, pg. 9; Mendell, 1957, pg. 7; Syme, 1958, pg. 473; against this traditional interpretation, e.g., Goodyear, 1981, pp. 387–93.
  33. Augustan History, Tacitus X. Scholarly opinion on this story is that it is either "a confused and worthless rumor" (Mendell, 1957, pg. 4) or "pure fiction" (Syme, 1958, p. 796). Sidonius Apollinaris reports (Letters, 4.14; cited in Syme, 1958, pg. 796) that Polemius, a 5th-century Gallo-Roman aristocrat, is descended from Tacitus — but this claim, says Syme (ibid.), is of little value.
  34. Jerome's commentary on the Book of Zechariah (14.1, 2; quoted in Mendell, 1957, p. 228) says that Tacitus's history was extant triginta voluminibus, "in thirty volumes".
  35. Thunberg, Carl L. (2012). Att tolka Svitjod [To interpret Svitjod]. University of Gothenburg. p. 44. ISBN   978-91-981859-4-2.
  36. Donald R. Dudley. Introduction to: The Annals of Tacitus. NY: Mentor Book, 1966. p. xiv: "No other writer of Latin prose—not even Cicero—deploys so effectively the full resources of the language."
  37. The Annals (Tacitus)/Book 1#1 Translation based on Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb (1876). Wikisource, 15 April 2012.
  38. Ostler 2007, pp. 98–99 where the quoted example is used; Further quotes from the book: "…some writers—notably the perverse genius Tacitus—delighted in disappointing the expectations raised by periodic theory." – "this monkeying with hard-won stylistic norms…only makes sense if readers knew the rules that Tacitus was breaking."
  39. John Taylor. Tacitus and the Boudican Revolt. Dublin: Camvlos, 1998. p. 1 ff


  • Benario, Herbert W. An Introduction to Tacitus. (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1975) ISBN   0-8203-0361-5
  • Birley, Anthony R. (2000). "The Life and Death of Cornelius Tacitus". Historia: Zeitschrift für Alte Geschichte. 49 (2): 230–247. ISSN   0018-2311. JSTOR   4436577.
  • Burke, P. "Tacitism" in Dorey, T.A., 1969, pp. 149–171
  • Damon, Cynthia. "Relatio vs. Oratio: Tacitus, Ann. 3.12 and the Senatus Consultum De Cn. Pisone Patre." The Classical Quarterly, vol. 49, no. 1, (1999), pp. 336–338
  • Damon, Cynthia. "The Trial of Cn. Piso in Tacitus' Annals and the 'Senatus Consultum De Cn. Pisone Patre': New Light on Narrative Technique". The American Journal of Philology, vol. 120, no. 1, (1999), pp. 143–162. Archived 2018-07-19 at the Wayback Machine .
  • Damon, Cynthia. Writing with Posterity in Mind: Thucydides and Tacitus on Secession. In The Oxford Handbook of Thucydides. (Oxford University Press, 2017).
  • Dudley, Donald R. The World of Tacitus (London: Secker and Warburg, 1968) ISBN   0-436-13900-6
  • Goodyear, F.R.D. The Annals of Tacitus, vol. 2 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981). Commentary on Annals 1.55–81 and Annals 2.
  • Gordon, Mary L. "The Patria of Tacitus". The Journal of Roman Studies, Vol. 26, Part 2 (1936), pp. 145–151.
  • Martin, Ronald. Tacitus (London: Batsford, 1981)
  • Mellor, Ronald. Tacitus (New York / London: Routledge, 1993) ISBN   0-415-90665-2, 0415910021, 978-0415910026
  • Mellor, Ronald. Tacitus’ Annals (Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press, 2010) (Oxford Approaches to Classical Literature) ISBN   0198034679, 978-0198034674
  • Mellor, Ronald (ed.). Tacitus: The Classical Heritage (New York: Garland Publishing, 1995) ISBN   0-8153-0933-3, 978-0815309338
  • Mendell, Clarence. Tacitus: The Man and His Work. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1957) ISBN   0-208-00818-7
  • Oliver, Revilo P. "The First Medicean MS of Tacitus and the Titulature of Ancient Books". Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association, Vol. 82 (1951), pp. 232–261.
  • Oliver, Revilo P. "The Praenomen of Tacitus". The American Journal of Philology, Vol. 98, No. 1 (Spring, 1977), pp. 64–70.
  • Ostler, Nicholas. Ad Infinitum: A Biography of Latin. HarperCollins in the UK, and Walker & Co. in the US: London and New York, 2007. ISBN   978-0-00-734306-5; 2009 edition: ISBN   080271840X, 978-08027184022010 e-book: ISBN   0007364881, 978-0007364886
  • Syme, Ronald. Tacitus, Volumes 1 and 2. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1958) (reprinted in 1985 by the same publisher, with the ISBN   0-19-814327-3) is the definitive study of his life and works.
  • Tacitus, The Annals of Imperial Rome. Translated by Michael Grant and first published in this form in 1956. (London: The Folio Society, 2006)
  • Tacitus, Germany. Translated by Herbert W. Benario. (Warminster, UK: Aris & Phillips Ltd., 1999. ISBN   0-85668-716-2)
  • Taylor, John W. Tacitus and the Boudican Revolt. (Dublin, Ireland: Camuvlos, 1998)
Cornelius Tacitus
Wien- Parlament-Tacitus.jpg
Statue of Tacitus outside the Austrian Parliament Building
Bornc.56 AD
Diedc.120 AD (aged approx. 64)
Occupation Historian, politician
Years active Silver Age of Latin
Academic background

Works by Tacitus

Political offices
Preceded byas Suffect consuls Suffect consul of the Roman Empire
with Marcus Ostorius Scapula
Succeeded by
Nerva IV,
and Trajan II
as Ordinary consuls