Tacitus

Annals
  • Annals

  • A compelling new translation of Tacitus' Annals, one of the greatest accounts of ancient Rome, by Cynthia Damon.

    Tacitus' Annals recounts the major historical events from the years shortly before the death of Augustus to the death of Nero in AD 68. With clarity and vivid intensity Tacitus describes the reign of terror under the corrupt Tiberius, the great fire of Rome during the time of Nero and the wars, poisonings, scandals, conspiracies and murders that were part of imperial life. Despite his claim that the Annals were written objectively, Tacitus' account is sharply critical of the emperors' excesses and fearful for the future of imperial Rome, while also filled with a longing for its past glories.

Tacitus was born c.55 AD and probably survived the emperor Trajan who dies in 117. Known in Rome for his impressive oratory, he maintained a political career as a sentor under Vespasian, Titus and Domitian. Rhiannon Ash is Fellow and Tutor in Classics at Merton College, Oxford. After taking an MA in Medieval Latin at the University of Toronto, she returned from Canada to Oxford, where she wrote a doctorate on Tacitus' Histories. Her publications include Ordering Anarchy; Leaders and Armies in Tacitus' Histories (1999) and a comentary, Tacitus Histories Book II (2007), in the Cambridge Greek and Latin Classics series. She has also written articles on Naevius, Pliny the Younger, Pliny the Elder, Suetonius and Plutarch. Kenneth Wellesley was, until 1981, Reader of Humanity (Latin) at the University of Edinburgh. He contributed a number of papers to learned journals on various aspects of Roman history and literature. Most of the sites mentioned in the Histories were familiar to him from personal knowledge, and he was co-editor of the standard Teubner text of Tacitus (Leipzig). He died in 1995.