Tacitus: Histories Book II

Tacitus: Histories Book II

Hardback Cambridge Greek and Latin Classics Language: English / Latin

By (author) Cornelius Tacitus, Edited by Rhiannon Ash


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  • Format: Hardback | 430 pages
  • Language: English / Latin
  • Dimensions: 142mm x 218mm x 30mm | 680g
  • Publication date: 31 December 2007
  • Publication City/Country: Cambridge
  • ISBN 10: 0521814464
  • ISBN 13: 9780521814461
  • Edition: 1
  • Illustrations note: 2 maps
  • Sales rank: 1,613,715

Product description

The Histories is the first historical work by Rome's most accomplished and challenging historian, Tacitus. It narrates the brutal civil wars which broke out in AD 68-9 across the Roman Empire after the suicide of the last Julio-Claudian emperor, Nero. Book II covers the bloody finale of the war between two of those emperors, Otho and Vitellius, and the emerging challenge from the eventual victor, Vespasian. The progression of events, kaleidoscopic and gripping, unfolds over a broad geographical sweep and is presented by Tacitus with consummate artistry. This commentary on Histories Book II, first published in 2007, elucidates historical questions, clarifies Tacitus' historiographical techniques and explains grammatical difficulties of the Latin for students. It also includes a Latin text, relevant maps, and a comprehensive introduction discussing historical, literary and stylistic questions.

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Review quote

In conclusion, I am grateful to the editors of the Cambridge series for continuing to publish quality commentaries for senior undergraduate and graduate level Latin courses. These commentaries, including the one under review, provide adequate help for students while also allowing teachers the opportunity to initiate scholarly discussions of the material. These books are not only useful in the classroom, but outside as well. Ash's commentary on Book II of the Histories will no doubt find itself on the bookshelf of Tacitean scholars alongside the previous volumes in the series. --BCMR

Table of contents

Introduction; 1. Tacitus; 2. Ancient historiography; 3 Qvo qvo scelesti ruitis? Civil war and Roman identity; 4. Histories 2; 5. Dramatis Personae; 6. Style; 7. Sententiae and moralising allusions; 8. The sources; 9. The parallel tradition; 10. Pro-Flavian historiography; 11. The text; Corneli Taciti historiarvm liber secvndvs; Commentary.