Monday, April 11, 2022


TACITUS (Roman, c. 56-120 CE)

Modern scholars consider Publius Cornelius Tacitus to be one of the greatest of Roman historians; he was also a politician. What we have of his two major works--the Annals and the Histories--cover the reigns of the Roman emperors Tiberius, Claudius, Nero, and the so-called "Four Emperors" who reigned in 69 CE (Galba, Otho, Vitellius, and Vespasian). Thus, they cover the time between the deaths of Augustus in 14 CE and Domitian in 96, though a number of gaps exist in what has survived. He wrote other, lesser, works too, but is noted by some for his early mention of the persecution of Christians at Rome and the earliest authenticated extra-Biblical reference to the crucifixion of Jesus.

  • We know few details about Tacitus's personal life; some of what we know comes from the letters of his friend and admirer Pliny the Younger.


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