Tacitus and Other Roman Studies

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Tacitus, and Other Roman Studies  (1906) 
by Gaston Boissier, translated by William G. Hutchison
Originally published in French as Tacite (1903).
OCLC 1495587all editions
 

TACITUS

AND OTHER ROMAN STUDIES


BY

GASTON BOISSIER

PROFESSOR OF LATIN ELOQUENCE AT THE COLLEGE
DE FRANCE; PERPETUAL SECRETARY OF
THE ACADEMIE FRANÇAISE


TRANSLATED BY

W. G. HUTCHISON



LONDON

ARCHIBALD CONSTABLE

AND COMPANY, LTD.

1906

 
 

Edinburgh, T. and A. Constable, Printers to His Majesty

 

 

CONTENTS

TACITUS PAGE
CHAP. I. HOW TACITUS BECAME A HISTORIAN 1
II. THE CONCEPTION OF HISTORY IN TACITUS 43
III. THE JUDGMENT OF TACITUS ON THE CÆSARS 87
IV. THE POLITICAL OPINIONS OF TACITUS 122
THE SCHOOLS OF DECLAMATION AT ROME 163
THE ROMAN JOURNAL 195
THE POET MARTIAL 233


 

PREFACE


The Romans had a very just appreciation of the merit of their historians. Quintilian, in his rapid survey of the writers of his country, asserts that there are three literary forms in which they bear comparison with those of Greece. 'Satire,' he says, 'is wholly ours. . . . In the elegy we are their rivals. . . . Our historians take no lower place than theirs.'[1]

Let us note that when Quintilian thus expressed himself he was unacquainted with the works of Tacitus, that is to say of the greatest man among them. In his time it was a question for dispute whether Sallust or Livy were preeminent. The classicists preferred Livy, who delighted them by the pure and abundant flow of his eloquence. The new school was fascinated by the vigorous strokes and the profundity of Sallust, and Martial, who liked to embody in well-turned verses the opinions of his time, had no hesitation in saying:

Crispus romana primus in historia.

To-day we rank Tacitus above the two others; he even enjoys the privilege, in the decline of classical studies, of preserving all his popularity. Not only is he read still, though the ancient authors have scarce any longer readers, but to speak of him is almost a claim to be read. I have no pretension in these few pages to exhaust all that could be said of him. I shall emphasise certain questions which might have been much discussed, both in Germany and amongst ourselves, with respect to the manner in which he conceived of history and on his way of judging events and men.

I crave permission to add to this work on Tacitus some studies published on various occasions, which may serve for its elucidation.

  1. Satira tota nostra est . . . elegia Græcos provocamus . . . non historia cesserit Græcis . . . Inst. orat., x. 1.


This is a translation and has a separate copyright status from the original text. The license for the translation applies to this edition only.
Original:
This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.
 
Translation:
This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923. It may be copyrighted outside the U.S. (see Help:Public domain).