The History of Tacitus

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y Tacitus – Evaluation of Sources
history is a branch of literature. It is colourful, vivid. It has to read well. Born in 56 AD in Gaul
Wealthy Family From the Provinces . He is an aristocrat which means that he would not need funding from anyone else, so he would not be biased in that way. An expert in Rhetoric- He influences the subtly, we think that we make up our own mind. Claudius is very rarely the subject of active verbs. Tacitus is manipulative, he is an artist. He puts his rhetorical training to good uses. He pretends to balance things. Senator – Under the rule of Vespasian. He has vast (inside) information as he has witnessed the court of the emperors and he has access to the imperial archives. Praetor in 88

Lived under the Tyranny of Domitian, Many of his acquaintances did not survive the Tryranny. He must have a bitter view of the emperors as he spent most of his life under a tyranny. He was obsessed with the evils associated with one man rule Tacitus chooses his source material careafully- to emphasise the negative and oppressive nature of the participate The prose of Tacitus is also difficult to translate so there may be missing details. One of the purposes of his history was to teach moral Lessons His history was meant to be read aloud

Agrippina is not the subject matter- he is writing about the emperors He can be accused of being a misogynist (STEREOTYPING) – “ because women easily believe what is enjoyable” He is the most important written source, other sources are Suetonius and Dio Cassius The other non written sources – Coins, archaeology, architecture Super Natural forces are used to explain/emphasise certain things/events
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