The Annals of Imperial Rome

The Annals of Imperial Rome


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His last work, regarded by many as the greatest work of contemporary scholarship, Tacitus' The Annals of Imperial Rome recount with depth and insight the history of the Roman Empire during the first century A.D. This Penguin Classics edition is translated with an introduction by Michael Grant. Tacitus' Annals of Imperial Rome recount the major historical events from the years shortly before the death of Augustus up to the death of Nero in AD 68. With clarity and vivid intensity he 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.

Michael Grant's translation vividly captures the emotional patriotism of Tacitus' moral tone, offset by a lucid understanding that Rome is doomed, and conveys with cinematic vigour the lives of the great Emperors who laid the foundations of modern Europe.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780140440607
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/30/1956
Series: Penguin Classics Series
Edition description: REV
Pages: 464
Sales rank: 171,036
Product dimensions: 7.78(w) x 5.00(h) x 0.78(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Tacitus studied rhetoric in Rome and rose to eminence as a pleader at the Roman Bar. In 77 he married the daughter of Agricola, conqueror of Britain, of whom he later wrote a biography. His other works includethe Germania and the Historiae.

Michael Grant's academic titles include Chancellor's Medallist and Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, and President of the Classical Association.

Table of Contents

The Annals of Imperial RomeTranslator's Introduction
1. The Life and Works of Tacitus
2. What Tacitus Inherited
3. Tacitus on Empire and Emporers
4. Tacitus and the World
5. The Style of Tacitus: Translator's Note

Imperial Rome

Part One: Tiberius

1. From Augustus to Tiberius (Bk, I. 1-15)
2. Mutiny on the Frontiers (I. 16-49)
3. War with the Germans (I. 49-II. 26)
4. The First Treason (II. 27-52)
5. The Death of Germanicus (II. 52-III. 19)
6. Tiberius and the Senate (III. 19-76)
7. Partner of My Labours (IV, V)8. The Reign of Terror (VI)

Part Two: Claudius and Nero
9. The Fall of Messalina (XI)
10. The Mother of Nero (XII)
11. The Fall of Agrippina (XIII, I-XIV. 13)
12. Nero and his Helpers (XIV. 14-65)
13. Eastern Settlement (XV. 1-32)
14. The Burning of Rome (XV. 32-47)
15. The Plot (XV. 48-74)
16. Innocent Victims (XVI)

List of Roman Emporers
Lists of Some Eastern Monarchs
Key to Technical Terms
Key to Place-Names
Genealogical Tables
Further Reading index of Personal Names

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The Annals of Imperial Rome 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This edition of Tacitus' phenomenal story is outstanding. Follow the tragic death of Germanicus and the rise Tiberious. Even Jesus is mentioned here by Tacitus, a secular historian. The tragedy of Rome in its grandeur, spite, and drama is all here. As Caesar Augustus lay dying, the seeds of Rome's eventual collapse was already being sewn.
RandyStafford on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Anyone who has even casually read about Roman imperial history will have encountered Tacitus. He is, according to translator and noted classicist Michael Grant, virtually the only Latin historian we have for the early days of the Roman Empire. This work, generally considered Tacitus' greatest, covers the period from shortly before Augustus' death to AD 69, about three years before Nero's death. Unfortunately, we don't have the entire work. (The Annals only survived into the Middle Ages through two manuscripts, one for each half of the work.) The section on Caligula is totally missing, and we only have parts of Tiberius' and Claudius' reigns. It's history with a moral purpose: to punish evil and reward virtue through the judgement of posterity. Grant calls Tacitus' Latin "unusual and difficult", possessing a pungent simplicity in the original. Has Grant rendered it accurately? Not knowing Latin, I have no idea. (The problem of translation is further complicated by possible corruption in those two manuscripts.) As it appears here, it's a stylish history, particularly in its many speeches. Tacitus himself was a noted orator and wrote about the art. The speeches he gives us range from mutinous Roman soldiers and Agrippina (wife of Tiberius' nephew Germanicus) reacting to said troops, German barbarians, and some of Nero's victims before they "opened their veins" after his condemnation. I say Tacitus gives us those speeches because they are all invented. There's no way Tactitus would have a verbatim record of what was said. However, as Grant makes clear, he's operating in a tradition of ancient historical writing as well as trying to tell a compelling story. Grant claims that Tacitus' account of Tiberius' reign is usually considered the highest example of his art. There is certainly art there. I didn't find the condemnation of Tiberius entirely convincing though, and Grant argues that Tacitus is reacting to his experiences as a senator under the tyrannical reign of Domitian rather than Tiberius' who died before Tacitus was born. There is much on Rome's intervention in Parthian and Armenian politics. I found the reign of Nero the most interesting with Tacitus noting the craven, cowardly flattery of most of Rome's nobility along with a few who would not abase themselves. (The amount of people who pliantly committed suicide after facing Nero's disapproval is explained by their effort to protect surviving family members and to preserve at least a portion of their estate.) Grant helpfully footnotes some of the allusions to missing parts of the work or earlier episodes of Roman history. Still, I wouldn't attempt this work without first reading a general history of the period. Grant does put in a nice glossary of Roman political and military terms. Frankly, I didn't need to look at it, but I did happen to glance at some of the entries. Grant chooses, here, to make some unconventional translations of some terms, particularly the military ones. I'm not sure why. I haven't seen things like "company-commander" for centurion in his other work including his later _The Army of the Caesars_. The several included maps show almost all the referenced places, and there are four very necessary pages covering the complicated genealogies surrounding the Julio-Claudian emperors.
isabelx on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Next year, when the consuls were Nero (for the second time) and Lucius Calpurnius Piso (V), little worth recording occurred, except in the eyes of historians who like filling their pages with praise of the foundations and beams of Nero's huge amphitheatre in the Field of Mars.Tacitus tells the story of Rome under the Caesars, from shortly before the death of Augustus until the end of Nero's reign, although various parts of his book are lost, including the whole of Gaius(Caligula)'s reign. Tacitus was writing long enough afterwards to be able to speak frankly about the emperors' many faults. He seems to be fairly even-handed though, as although he quite obviously hates Tiberius, he comments more than once that Tiberius hated flattery, and did not not accept money left to him in people's wills unless they were personal friends of his. Tacitus is rather sharp tongued comments at times; the translator included a footnote saying that the quotation above is a catty reference to Pliny the Elder.I think it's a pity that the translator decided to use the less picturesque division (when the auxiliaries are included) or brigade instead of legion, and company commander instead of centurion.
gooneruk on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I managed to plough through The Annals of Imperial Rome by Tacitus, which details the history of Rome from (roughly) 15AD to 66AD, across a few emperors and a hell of a lot of history.I say that I ploughed through it, but that¿s not strictly true. The initial chapters were a bit of a slog, but once I got used to the style and how events were described, it became thoroughly enjoyable. There¿s detail where you want detail, but equally Tacitus seemed to know a slow year when he saw one, and barely gave it more than a couple of pages.Tacitus seemed to take great pleasure in detailing how the imperial family were basically corrupt and despicable, for the most part, and were heavily influenced by advisers who were only interested in their own ends. Maybe this was because of the time when he wrote, with Rome firmly in decline, and transposing his contemporary views onto history. But I can see why someone like Nero drew contempt from Tacitus: he basically gorged and copulated his way through his time as Emperor, to the detriment of the Empire.I don¿t know Roman history particularly well, and I¿ve no idea why I picked this book off of the shelves. My knowledge of Roman culture and history comes from one of those Horrible Histories books back when I was in school, and even then it¿s concentrated around things like the army, its conquests and the many odd gods they worshipped.[Sidenote: weren¿t Horrible Histories the best series of books? I swear that my entire interest in history, especially British monarchs, stemmed from those books. They knew exactly how to make history interesting and how to make it appeal to children/young teens. I believe there was even a TV show developed at one point.]So to go into this book a little blind was a bit daunting. Thankfully, the appendices were multiple and explanatory, and the introduction from its translator also gave the setting for the rest of the text. Usually I skip introductions when I read classics, and just go straight into the novel/text itself, but in this case it was almost necessary to read it.It¿s not an easy read, and it¿s not exactly light, but I think it¿s worth picking up if you¿ve got a vague interest in the gradual downfall of the Roman Empire, and particularly the personalities which brought it to its knees. Whether I go so far as to pick up The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is another matter whatsoever.
philae_02 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Annals are the main source for Robert Graves' novels and miniseries 'I, Claudius.' Tacitus covers the lives of the early Roman imperial family -- starting with Augustus to Nero (parts of Caligula's reign are missing, but what is there, makes for an interesting look at Rome). Very fun read.
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Is bored.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
... hates B&N.... so much... so much.........................
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*puts vthe building in lockdown mode as it blows up, his satisfaction proved* Ha.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Starts t cry
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
(Jag, me?)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Go to Scarlet Letter. And Nora, America likes Alyss. So... your dreams of ever being with him... just got crushed. Bye all!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sets fire to the camp. In the shade logan laughs and leaves. FROM LA RESISTANCE
Anonymous More than 1 year ago La Resistance. I didnt know they lived on.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yawns and stretches. Here. She said.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
.I.m h.e.r.e.B.o.r.e.d.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She walks in hey u guys
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im back!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I dont belong in this world im to different or i guess everyone thinks i am. Im insane. Im crazy. Im loopy. I wish people would see what i really am like inside instead of jidging me from the rumors and gossip but i dont think that will ever happen. I say this not in strain or pain but in peace and good will. I know we have not really known eachother that long but i know most of you from scarlet letter and xmen. I wish i could stay but theres a place i long and desire to be. Thats heavan cause i want to meet someone very specail there. Good bye. See ya guys in another life. Sometime we will meet again. * i take out my pistol amd shoot myself five times in the stomach. I fall to the ground and grin insanly one last time then my hand softens around my pistol and it falls to the floor. I i close my eyes and close my smile then go motionless.*