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A Companion to Tacitus

ISBN: 978-1-4051-9032-9
618 pages
January 2012, Wiley-Blackwell
A Companion to Tacitus (1405190329) cover image
A Companion to Tacitus brings much needed clarity and accessibility to the notoriously difficult language and yet indispensable historical accounts of Tacitus. The companion provides both a broad introduction and showcases new theoretical approaches that enrich our understanding of this complex author.

  • Tacitus is one of the most important Roman historians of his time, as well as a great literary stylist, whose work is characterized by his philosophy of human nature
  • Encourages interdisciplinary discussion intended to engage scholars beyond Classics including philosophy, cultural studies, political science, and literature
  • Showcases new theoretical approaches that enrich our understanding of this complex author
  • Clarifies and explains the notoriously difficult language of Tacitus
  • Written and designed to prepare a new generation of scholars to examine for themselves the richness of Tacitean thought
  • Includes contributions from a broad range of established international scholars and rising stars in the field
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Notes on Contributors viii

Abbreviations xiii

Introduction 1
Victoria Emma Pagán

PART I Texts 13

1 The Textual Transmission 15
Charles E. Murgia

2 The Agricola 23
Dylan Sailor

3 Germania 45
James B. Rives

4 Tacitus' Dialogus de Oratoribus: A Socio-Cultural History 62
Steven H. Rutledge

5 The Histories 84
Jonathan Master

6 The Annals 101
Herbert W. Benario

PART II Historiography 123

7 Tacitus' Sources 125
David S. Potter

8 Tacitus and Roman Historiography 141
Arthur Pomeroy

9 The Concentration of Power and Writing History: Forms of Historical Persuasion in the Histories (1.1-49) 162
Olivier Devillers

PART III Interpretations 187

10 Deliberative Oratory in the Annals and the Dialogus 189
Christopher S. van den Berg

11 Tacitus' Senatorial Embassies of 69 CE 212
Kathryn Williams

12 Deuotio, Disease, and Remedia in the Histories 237
Rebecca Edwards

13 Tacitus in the Twenty-First Century: The Struggle for Truth in Annals 1-6 260
Barbara Levick

14 Tacitus' History and Mine 282
Holly Haynes

15 Seneca in Tacitus 305
James Ker

PART IV Intertextuality 331

16 Annum quiete et otio transiit: Tacitus (Ag. 6.3) and Sallust on Liberty, Tyranny, and Human Dignity 333
Christopher B. Krebs

17 "Let us tread our path together": Tacitus and the Younger Pliny 345
Christopher Whitton

18 Tacitus and Epic 369
Timothy A. Joseph

19 Silius Italicus and Tacitus on the Tragic Hero: The Case of Germanicus 386
Eleni Manolaraki and Antony Augoustakis

20 Historian and Satirist: Tacitus and Juvenal 403
Catherine Keane

PART V Theoretical Approaches 429

21 Masculinity and Gender Performance in Tacitus 431
Thomas Späth

22 Women and Domesticity 458
Kristina Milnor

23 Postcolonial Approaches to Tacitus 476
Nancy Shumate

24 Tacitus and Political Thought 504
Daniel Kapust

Bibliography 529

Index 565

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Victoria Emma Pagán is Professor and Chair of Classics at the University of Florida. She is the author of Conspiracy Narratives in Roman History (2004), Rome and the Literature of Gardens (2006), A Sallust Reader (2009), and Conspiracy Theory in Ancient Rome: Conjecture and Social Status (forthcoming), and has published over a dozen articles on Latin literature.
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“In sum, this volume is highly recommended – to the novice or the expert alike – in its multiple forms and functions: as an effective introduction to the works of Tacitus; as a refresher on Tacitus’ formative role in shaping Latin historiographical practice and the reception of Latin historical writing by contemporary and modern readerships; as a collection of critically nuanced responses to the literary sophistication of Tacitus’ approaches to producing meaning in its many guises; and as a curative for critiques of Tacitus’ writing which fail to recognize the richness of his intellectual palette.”  (Bryn Mawr Classical Review, 31 February 2014)

“With its sensible blend of traditional philology and theoretical innovation, this companion makes, overall, a significant contribution to Tacitean scholarship...The editorial quality of this companion is excellent…The book is well organized and user-friendly…More than enough to guide the kind of readership for which this companion is intended, especially in English.”  (The Classical Review, 1 September 2013)

“Here is a work that indicates clearly why Tacitus and his works still matter.”  (Reference Reviews, 1 May 2013)

“Even so, the whole remains more than the sum of its excellent parts.  Summing Up: Essential.  Upper-division undergraduates and above.”  (Choice, 1 August 2012)

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