- Paperback: 798 pages
- Publisher: McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Languages; 1 edition (September 1, 1964)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0075536390
- ISBN-13: 978-0075536390
- Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 1.8 x 7.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #748,322 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Complete Works of Tacitus 1st Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Tacitus rose to prominence in an age of empire, but he nevertheless laments the decadence and complacency of his age, and looks back longingly to the stalwart and uncompromising republic. He caustically criticizes those of his own time who have traded freedom for safety under the imperial system. In the Annals, Tacitus focuses much on Germanicus, who he sees as a throwback to the days of the republic, and doomed never to realize his potential because he is born in the wrong era.
Tacitus' most devastating criticism of empire, however, appears in the later small work, Agricola, which Tacitus wrote as an encomium to his father-in-law, Gnaeus Julius Agricola, a renown Roman general who served in Britain. At one point in the story, Tacitus places a speech in the mouth of a Scottish chieftain named Galgacus, whose force is preparing to do battle with the Romans. Galgacus' speech is at once a condemnation of Roman depredations, and a rousing call to arms to Galgacus' followers. It is a very inspirational speech, containing elements similar to Shakespeare's St. Crispin's Day speech in Henry V and Richard II's sceptr'd isle. Galgacus's speech is the source of the quote now popular among critics of U.S. foreign policy: "They make a desert and call it peace." Although in this translation it is rendered, "They make a solitude and call it peace."
* small format pages
* Narrow margins means it's difficult to hold onto book without blocking text.
Really this book needs to be printed on slightly larger paper and given a little more in the way of margin space. Yes, this would make it a bit more expensive but you get what you pay for.
Otherwise, I think this is a good complete translation of the works of Tacitus. I found the translation accessible and quite readable, and the character of the author came across very well. In this book you will find a wealth of information about Roman history as well as some misc. other writings by Tacitus (The Agricola, The Germania, and a dialog on oratory). The work covers a wide range of topics concerning Rome, and provides a clear sense of what Tacitus thought and was trying to achieve with his writings. While one can never put a writing into the author's context in translation, this comes remarkably close.
I'd recommend this edition. I just wish they'd do better book design....
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As stated in the introduction, Tacitus is very difficult to translate.Read more