1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Tacitus, Marcus Claudius

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TACITUS, MARCUS CLAUDIUS, Roman emperor from the 25th of September A.D. 275 to April 276, was a native of Interamna (Terni) in Umbria. In the course of his long life he held various civil offices, including that of consul in 273, with universal respect. Six months after the assassination of Aurelian he was chosen by the senate to succeed him, and the choice was cordially ratified by the army. During his brief reign he set on foot some domestic reforms, and sought to revive the authority of the senate, but, after a victory over the Goths in Cilicia, he succumbed to hardship and fatigue (or was slain by his own soldiers) at Tyana in Cappadocia. Tacitus, besides being a man of immense wealth (which he bequeathed to the state), had considerable literary culture, and was proud to claim descent from the historian, whose works he caused to be transcribed at the public expense and placed in the public libraries. Tacitus possessed many admirable qualities, but his gentle character and advanced age unfitted him for the throne in such lawless times.

See Life by Vopiscus in Historiae Augustae Scriptores; also Eutropius, ix. 10; Aurelius Victor, Caesares, 36; Zonaras xii. 28; H. Schiller, Geschichte der römischen Kaiserzeit, i. 1883; Pauly-Wissowa, Realencyclopädie, iii. 2871 ff.