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'His books must be burned by the aediles! the senators decreed. But they survived, hidden and spread. All the more pleasurable, then, to mock the witlessness of those who believe that with present power it is possible to extinguish the future's memory.' Tacitus (56-117 AD), a Roman senator and acclaimed orator, was also Rome's greatest historian. In the surviving volumes of the Annals, he examines the Roman Emperors who succeeded Augustus and the imperial dynasty itself, explaining and recording the peace the Emperors brought, but also the corruption and decadence that came with it. This remarkable work brings the Roman Empire to life through the ambitions and passions of the characters who dominated the time. In Cynthia Damon's introduction to her lively new translation, she explores Tacitus' political and literary career, his purpose in writing the Annals, and the nature of the surviving text. This edition also contains a chronology, maps, a genealogy, suggested further reading and notes. Translated and introduced by Cynthia Damon
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About the Author

Tacitus, born in about AD 56 in southern Gaul (modern Provence) under the emperor Nero, was probably the son of an equestrian. He enjoyed success as a both a politician and writer, publishing the Agricola (a biography of his father-in-law) and the Germania (an ethnographical study of the peoples of Germany) in 98. Today he is best known as a historian, the author of The Histories and the Annals. The culmination of Tacitus' public career was when he won the prestigious post of proconsul of Asia (112/13). He died at some point after 115 and probably lived into the reign of Hadrian, but there is no evidence for his later life or the date of his death.Cynthia Damon received her PhD from Stanford University and taught at Harvard University and at Amherst College before moving to the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of The Mask of the Parasite, a commentary on Tacitus' Histories 1, and, with Will Batstone, Caesar's Civil War.

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