Tacitus

Tacitus: Dialogue on Orators

The Dialogue on Orators (Latin: Dialogus de oratoribus) is a work on rhetoric attributed to Tacitus. Although this has been questioned, the concluding speech by Maternus accepting the necessity of the empire in spite of the resulting decline of oratory seems in keeping with the tone of Tacitus' other work.

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Online Texts

Loebulus. L035 - Tacitus -- Dialogus, Agricola, Germania. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Latin and English.

Wikisource: Dialogue on Orators, translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb, 1876. Online, downloadable as PDF/MOBI/EPUB

Other resources

Librivox: A Dialogue Concerning Oratory - Public domain audiobook.

Wikipedia: Dialogus de Oratoribus.

The Great conversation: further reading at Tom's Learning Notes.

Tacitus: The Annals.

Tacitus: The Histories.

Tacitus: The Agricola - presents its subject as an example of ho to deal with the circumscribed opportunities of public life in the empire.

Tacitus: The Germania.

Latin Resources: Online materials for learning Latin.


Tacitus: The Annals

The Death of Nero, by Vasily Smirnov (1888).The Annals are the final work of the great Roman historian Tacitus, covering the period from the death of Augustus in 14 AD to the death of Nero in 68 AD. Passages covering some 14 years of this 54 year period are lost. It is nevertheless the most important historical source covering this period, during which the principate, the autocratic regime established by Augustus, was consolidated by the later Julio-Claudian emperors. Tacitus understood that Rome's domination of the Mediterranean world was linked to the decay of its republican institutions, and his work is shot through with ambivalence about that development. 

The Annals at Amazon.com, .uk, .fr, .de, .ca.

Free Online Texts

 Internet Archive: The annals and history of Tacitus. A new and literal English version (Oxford: Talboys, 1839). Multiple formats.

Internet Classics Archive: The Annals, translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb. English HTML and TXT files.

Internet History Sourcebook: The Annals, translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb. English TXT file.

LacusCurtius: The Annals, The Histories. Loeb Edition, English HTML text.

Loebulus. L249 - Tacitus -- Histories II: 4-5. Annals 1-3. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Latin and English.

Perseus: The Annals. English HTML text, translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb. Latin text, edited by Charles Dennis Fisher.

Wikisource: The Annals, translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb, 1876. Online, downloadable as PDF/MOBI/EPUB.

Other Resources

Dickinson College Commentaries: Tacitus - Annals.

Librivox: The Annals - Public Domain audiobooks.

Livius: Tacitus.

Wikipedia: Annals (Tacitus).

The Annals at Amazon.com, .uk, .fr, .de, .ca.

The Great conversation: further reading at Tom's Learning Notes.

Tacitus: The Histories - covers the period after the Annals, including the dramatic year of the four emperors.

Tacitus: The Agricola.

Tacitus: The Germania.

Suetonius: The Lives of the The Twelve Caesars - part of this work covers the same period as the Annals.

Cassius Dio: The Roman History.


Tacitus: The Histories

The Histories (Latin: Historiae) is a work by Tacitus, written at around the turn of the first century CE. Although written before The Annals, it covers a later period, in its original form chronicling the Roman Empire from 69 to 96 CE, years which largely coincided with the Flavian dynasty of Vespasian, Titus and Domitian.

Only the first four books and a part of the fifth survive, but their short span of 69-70 CE include the turbulent Year of the Four Emperors, and the rise of Vespasian, whose command in the east occasions a digressive section on the Jewish Revolt, an event chronicled in more detail by Tacitus' contemporary Josephus.

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Online Texts

Gutenberg: The Histories, translated by William Hamilton Fyfe. Multiple formats.

Internet Classics Archive: The Histories, translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb. HTML and TXT formats.

LacusCurtius: The Annals translated by J. Jackson - The Histories, translated by C.H. Moore. English text of public domain Loeb editions. HTML format.

Loebulus. L111 - Tacitus -- Histories I: Books 1-3. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Latin and English. Also available from the Internet Archive.

Loebulus. L249 - Tacitus -- Histories II: 4-5. Annals 1-3. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Latin and English.

The Latin Library: Historiae. Latin text, HTML format.

Poetry in Translation: The Histories, translated by A.S. Kline (2016). Multiple formats.

University of Adelaide: The Histories,  translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb. Multiple formats.

Wikisource: The Histories, translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb (1876). Online, downloadable as PDF/MOBI/EPUB.

Wikisource: The Histories, translated by William Hamilton Fyfe (1912). Online, downloadable as PDF/MOBI/EPUB.

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Tacitus: Germania

Txu-pcl-maps-oclc-70574898-germania-1851The Germania (Latin: De Origine et situ Germanorum),  is an extended account of the Germanic peoples encountered by the Romans on the northern frontiers of their empire. Completed by Tacitus in around AD 98,the work describes the land of Germany and the customs of the Germans as a whole, before discussing individual tribes in turn, dividing them into three main groups, the Ingaevones, the Herminones and the Istaevones.

Tacitus contrasted the simplicity and liberty of the Germans with the decadence of Rome, in an influential example of the rhetorical trope that would come to be known as the myth of the noble savage.

The Germania at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Online Texts

Bibliotheca Augustana: De Origine et Situ Germanorum - Latin text, HTML format.

Internet Archive: The Agricola and Germania, translated by R.B. Townshend. Multiple formats.

Loebulus. L035 - Tacitus -- Dialogus, Agricola, Germania. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Latin and English.

The Latin Library: De Origine et Situ Germanorum - Latin text, HTML format.

Medieval History Sourcebook: Germania, translated by Thomas Gordon. HTML format.

Perseus: De Origine et Situ Germanorum, edited by Henry Furneaux - Latin text, HTML and XML formats.

Perseus: Germany and its Tribes, translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb. HTML and XML formats.

Poetry in Translation: The Agricola and Germania, translated by A.S. Kline (2015). Multiple formats.

Sacred-texts: Germany - Latin and English side by side. HTML format.

Wikisource: The Situation of the Germans, translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb, 1876. Online, downloadable as PDF/MOBI/EPUB.

Other resources

Classical Wisdom Weekly: Tacitus' Germania - The Mythology Behind German Nationalism, by Benjamin Welton.

Librivox: Tacitus' Germania - public domain audiobook.

Livius: Tacitus.

New York Times: The Idea of Germany - from Tacitus to Hitler, by Cullen Murphy.

Tertullian.org: Tacitus and his Manuscripts.

The Great conversation: further reading at Tom's Learning Notes.

Caesar: The Gallic War - includes an account of the first Roman incursion into Germany.

Pliny the Elder: Natural History - includes some material on the Germans in Book IV. Pliny's lost writings on the German Wars were probably a major influence on his contemporary, Tacitus.

Tacitus: The Annals - From the Death of Augustus to Nero.

Tacitus: The Histories - the Year of the Four Emperors and the rise of the Flavian Dynasty.

Tacitus: The Agricola.

Latin Resources: Online materials for learning Latin.


Tacitus: Agricola

Txu-pcl-maps-oclc-70574898-britannia-1851The Agricola (Latin: De vita et moribus Iulii Agricolae) by Tacitus is a short biography of his father-in-law, the general Gnaeus Julius Agricola. This provides the occasion for an account of Britain and events there during Agricola's governorship. As in the Germania, a much more detailed ethnographic work, Tacitus' portrait of the barbarians is partly intended to throw into relief the decadence of Rome. The clearest example of this is the speech put into the mouth of the Caledonian chieftain, Calgacus, who says of the Romans that 'they make a desert and they call it peace.'

In the Agricola this contrast is given added point by Tacitus' attempt to show that provincial service could be a way to lead an honourable life in the face of the tyranny of Domitian portrayed in the concluding chapters of the work.

The Agricola at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Online Texts

Internet Archive: The Agricola and Germania, translated by R.B. Townshend. Multiple formats.

Loebulus. L035 - Tacitus -- Dialogus, Agricola, Germania. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Latin and English.

Poetry in Translation: The Agricola and Germania, translated by A.S. Kline (2015). Multiple formats.

Wikisource: The Life and Death of Julius Agricola, translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb, 1876. Online, downloadable as PDF/MOBI/EPUB.

The Great conversation: further reading at Tom's Learning Notes.

Tacitus: The Annals.

Tacitus: The Histories.

Tacitus: The Germania.

 Latin Resources: Online materials for learning Latin.