P. Cornelius Tacitus (c. 56 – c. 120? CE) is best known for writing, in Latin, narrative histories of first-century CE Rome. His work is our most important source for much of that era, and its dark tones and cynical outlook have defined our impression of elite life under the emperors.

Born perhaps in southern Gaul or northern Italy, he enjoyed a very successful career as a politician and orator under the Flavian dynasty (69-96 CE) and under the emperors Nerva (96-98 CE), Trajan (98-117 CE), and perhaps Hadrian (117-138 CE). By 75 CE, Tacitus was in Rome, and in c. 76 CE he married the daughter of the general Gnaeus Julius Agricola; around this time he will also have held his first political appointment, on the “Board of T…

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Citation:
Sailor, Dylan. "Cornelius Tacitus". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 09 March 2008
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=4305, accessed 03 September 2015.]

Articles on Tacitus' works

  1. Annals
  2. De origine et situ Germanorum [On the Origin and Geographical Situation of the Germani]
  3. De vita Iulii Agricolae
  4. Dialogus de oratoribus [The Dialogue on Orators]
  5. Histories