Cornelius Tacitus

Dylan Sailor (University of California, Berkeley)
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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 Ten for Civil Cases”. Around 82 or so, he was a quaestor

2753 words

Citation: Sailor, Dylan. "Cornelius Tacitus". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 09 March 2008 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=4305, accessed 05 March 2024.]

4305 Cornelius Tacitus 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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