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The Reign of Tiberius

Publius Cornelius Tacitus

Book Overview: 

The Annals was Tacitus’ final work, covering the period from the death of Augustus Caesar in the year 14. He wrote at least 16 books, but books 7-10 and parts of books 5, 6, 11 and 16 are missing. Book 6 ends with the death of Tiberius and books 7-12 presumably covered the reigns of Caligula and Claudius. The remaining books cover the reign of Nero, perhaps until his death in June 68 or until the end of that year, to connect with the Histories. The second half of book 16 is missing, ending with the events of the year 66. We do not know whether Tacitus completed the work or whether he finished the other works that he had planned to write; he died before he could complete his planned histories of Nerva and Trajan, and no record survives of the work on Augustus Caesar and the beginnings of the Empire with which he had planned to complete his work as an historian. (Summary from Wikipedia.)

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .ould administer respite, nor suffer them to be beholden to death for the last relief from their toils; but discharge them from a warfare so lasting and severe, and grant them the means of a comfortable recess." Nay, some there were who of him required the money bequeathed them by Augustus; and towards Germanicus uttering zealous vows, with omens of happy fortune, declared their cordial attachment to his cause if he would himself assume the Empire. Here, as if already stained with their treason, he leaped headlong from the Tribunal; but with swords drawn they opposed his departure, and threatened his life, if he refused to return: yet, with passionate protestations that "he would rather die than be a traitor," he snatched his sword from his side, and aiming full at his breast, would have buried it there, had not those who were next him seized his hand and by force restrained him. A cluster of soldiers in the extremity of the assembly exhorted him, nay, what is incredible to. . . Read More