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Tacitus, modern sculpture in front of the Parliament building in Vienna

Publius Cornelius Tacitus (* around 58 AD; † around 120 ) was an important Roman historian and senator .

Name and family

As can be seen from a manuscript, Tacitus' praenomen (first name) may have been Publius , although Sidonius Apollinaris (5th century) referred to him as Gaius . The cognomen Tacitus (literally "the silent one") is also found in the historian's possible father, a procurator of the province of Gallia Belgica , mentioned by Pliny the Elder. If this connection is correct, then Tacitus' family was a knight and he rose to the nobility as its first member ( homo novus ) . The family probably came from one of the western Roman provinces , perhaps Gallia Cisalpina or Gallia Narbonensis . Tacitus' possible grave inscription comes with CA, the beginning of another name component; possibly it was completely Caecina (Paetus?) , which could indicate a familial connection with the senatorial family of Caecinae . Tacitus' father may have been married to a Caecinia.


Presumed epitaph for Tacitus (fragment), Museo delle Terme di Diocleziano , Rome

There are only scattered testimonies about Tacitus' life from himself or from his contemporaries, especially from the younger Pliny , in whose collection of letters Tacitus is the most frequent addressee. He was probably born around 58 AD and was clearly prepared for entry into civil service. He himself names Marcus Aper and Iulius Secundus as his teachers . He hit the usual career as a court speaker; H. Lawyer, a. Even as a young man he was known, as the somewhat younger Pliny states, who strove to emulate him. Around the year 76 or 77 Tacitus became engaged to the daughter of the consul Gnaeus Iulius Agricola and married her soon afterwards. Under Vespasian he began the political career of a Roman senator ( cursus honorum ) , which he continued under the two following Flavian emperors. The exact years in which he held the usual offices is not known, but can be partially deduced from a comparison with better documented careers. According to a more recent assumption, which relates a fragmentary tomb inscription to Tacitus, he was Decemvir stlitibus iudicandis , around the year 76, and then probably a military tribune . The inscription next names a position of trust with the emperor as quaestor Augusti , which Tacitus may have held towards the end of Titus' reign in 81. The last remaining office on the inscription is the tribunate , which is likely to fall in the first years of Domitian's rule . Tacitus may have been legate of a proconsul in a province before or after .

Tacitus himself is testified that he 88 n. Chr., In the acclaimed Domitian Secular Games , Praetor was and at that time already the religious function of Quindecimvir sacris faciundis held. Subsequently he was not in Rome for several years (as governor or legate of a legion?) And therefore not present when his father-in-law died in 93. Tacitus, like Agricola, can hardly be considered an opponent of Domitian, but made a career under this emperor, whom he later portrayed as a tyrant. During the reign of Nerva (96-98 AD) in 97 Tacitus became a suffect consul - it is disputed whether Domitian had already designated him for this purpose - and held a funeral oration for Lucius Verginius Rufus in this office . Around this time, at the latest with the beginning of the reign of Trajan (98–117 AD), he took up his writing.

In the year 100 Tacitus and Pliny indicted the former governor of the province of Africa , Marius Priscus , in a repetition trial . In the following years up to 104/105 he seems to have been temporarily absent from Rome, possibly as governor of a consular province. After his return he worked on his first great historical work, the histories , which are mentioned in several letters of Pliny. Tacitus held the proconsulate of the province of Asia (on the territory of today's Turkey ) , probably in the year of office 112/113, as an inscription found in Mylasa shows. He probably survived Trajan; the exact year of death is not known.



Tacitus was considered one of the most important speakers of his time; he dedicated the oratoribus to the art of speaking , stylistically based on Marcus Tullius Cicero , the most important orator of the golden Latinity , the Dialogus de oratoribus . After the consulate (97) under Nerva , he began to work on his great historical works, which eventually continued into the reign of Emperor Hadrian . Tacitus wrote his historical works from the perspective of the senator, who judged the time of the Roman emperors from Tiberius to Domitian according to how far they still corresponded to the ideal of the Roman Republic . Basically, he rejected the monarchy and repeatedly complained about the loss of senatorial freedom. His sharp and linguistically brilliant analyzes have significantly shaped the modern image of the Roman Empire in the 1st century AD. He criticized contemporary conditions as phenomena of decline and tried to prove this by means of deliberately selected episodes of history. The subtle coloring of the characters had the task of conveying a very specific image to the reader. It should be noted that Tacitus was expressly committed to the maxim sine ira et studio (Latin "without anger and zeal"); but this did not mean neutral or objective reporting. Similar to his role model Sallust , Tacitus wanted to emphasize his independence from day-to-day politics through the formula: He claimed not to write out of vindictiveness, fear or favor.

When reporting actual events, he usually stuck to the facts. His choice of material and the interpretation of the events, however, is rarely objective. This can be seen, for example, in the characterization of Tiberius, to whom Tacitus basically assumed bad intentions and ulterior motives. Here Tacitus' thinking becomes noticeable in stereotypical categories . His statements are particularly to be questioned if he does not take responsibility for what has been reported, but expressly reproduces rumors or stories of others - this applies, for example, to his implausible description of the alleged murder of Claudius .

Tacitus, Annals (end of the 11th and beginning of the 12th book) in the Florence manuscript, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana , Plut. 68.2, fol. 6v (2nd half of the 11th century)

The historian Tacitus used oral reports and Senate files as sources as well as several historical works that have not survived. Among other things, he used the Teutonic Wars and the histories of the elder Pliny . Furthermore, the works of Aufidius Bassus , Servilius Nonianus , Fabius Rusticus and Cluvius Rufus were used . The fact that these works are lost makes it very difficult to judge the originality and importance of the Tacitus in comparison to its predecessors. Recent research suggests that Tacitus used multiple sources at a time.

The works in the presumed order of origin:

  • Agricola ( De vita et moribus Iulii Agricolae ) - biography of the general Gnaeus Iulius Agricola , his father-in-law, with a geographical description of Britain.
  • Germania ( De origine et situ Germanorum liber ) - geography and culture of the Germanic tribes , partly held in mind of his compatriots as a counter-image to a corrupt and decadent society.
  • Dialogus de oratoribus - on the decline of eloquence.
  • Histories ( Historiae ) - History of the Roman Empire from Galba (69) to Domitian (96) (only partially preserved).
  • Annales ( Annalen or from excessu divi Augusti) - History of the Roman Empire from the death of Augustus (14) to Nero (68) (about half preserved)

Character of the Tacite historiography

Tacitus was a sharp critic of the state order established by Augustus in the principate . As a supporter of the old republic (and the freedom associated with it from the perspective of the senatorial-republican upper class), he criticized the autocracy, which he saw as the cause of the decline of justice and virtus . At the same time, he was realist enough to recognize the factual inevitability of the monarchy. Shaped by the experience of Domitian's rule (81-96), portrayed as tyranny (probably wrongly in this way ), he describes the events of the Julio-Claudian emperors from Tiberius to Nero (Annales) as well as Flavier Vespasian , Titus and that same Domitian ( Historiae) , whereby his view of history gradually darkens: the alleged intention to bear witness to present happiness (testimonium praesentium bonorum) takes a back seat and gives way to the endeavor to keep alive the memory of earlier bondage (memoria prioris servitutis) . In the awareness that there were few times in which one could freely express one's opinion, this became his main focus: to give the deeds of historical persons appreciation or disgrace, whereby Tacitus fell into stereotypical thought patterns. Tiberius, for example, is a thoroughly evil person with him, with Tacitus glorifying the person of Germanicus as the antipode to Tiberius. The allegedly planned description of the time under Augustus, Nerva and Trajan, which seemed more positive to him , did not come about (according to some ancient historians , however, Tacitus did not write about his own time because it seemed too risky to him). Tacitus also saw that it was impossible to return to the idealized conditions of the res publica libera or that he should have taken Trajan into consideration when writing a “contemporary history”.

Tacitus' historiography is therefore not didactic-moral like that of, for example, that of Titus Livius , but descriptive-moral and deeply pessimistic. He does not believe in an improvement of the situation, since the remedies against the vices of the time would have worked too slowly, especially since most of the carriers of virtue ( virtus ) fell victim to tyrants and the rest of the citizenry ( civitas ) sank into lethargy .

Tacitus and the revolt of Arminius

Tacitus described the war against the Teutons in detail in his annals. He differed from contemporary authors precisely in his bitter criticism of the outcome of the war.

With regard to the sources used in relation to the Germanicus campaigns , no reliable information is possible. Various works that have been lost today come into question, such as those of Aufidius Bassus or the older Pliny ; Tacitus also mentions at least the latter. For the Germanicus campaigns, the representation of Tacitus only allows a factual reconstruction of the events to a limited extent; Above all, the goals and intentions behind the individual campaigns remain unclear.

The central compositional aspect of the first two annals of Tacitus is the sharp contrast between the hero Germanicus and the tyrant Tiberius (parallel to Tacitus' father-in-law Agricola and Domitian). The Martian campaign after the suppression of the mutiny of the Rhine legions (autumn 14 AD) was the actual start of victorious and glorious Roman offensives against Germania on the right bank of the Rhine. Tacitus also creates the idea that under Augustus Rome had definitely given up the only honorable goal of restoring Roman rule over Germania (as far as the Elbe ). For Tacitus - and only for him - "the" Germanic war began in the autumn of 14 and ended in the autumn of 16. The nature of the matter in no way gave his opinion there. The modern historiography is nevertheless z. T. followed in it.

Another important work is his Germania . This book was probably published in 98 under the title De origine et situ Germanorum . This book is one of his so-called little writings. The work gives an insight into the life of the tribes ("Germanic") north of the Alps, as they existed in the first century AD. In his Germania not only the warlike peculiarities of the Teutons are described, but also the way of life of these peoples down to family structures. Tacitus also carries out a tribe analysis of the Germanic peoples as they existed before the migration.

Tacitus, Annales 15.44 (remarks on Nero's persecution of Christians) in the manuscript Florence, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Plut. 68.2, fol. 38r (2nd half of the 11th century)

Tacitus on early Christianity

Tacitus also gave an extra-biblical testimony about early Christianity . In the 15th book of his annals , Tacitus writes about the fire in Rome in AD 64 and about Nero's attempt to blame the Christians for it. Tacitus reports about their names: "This name comes from Christ who was executed under Tiberius by the procurator Pontius Pilate ".

Jewish excursion

In the 5th book of histories, Tacitus gives an outline of ancient Judaism as an excursus to the representation of the Jewish war . In this he characterizes the Jewish cult practice very negatively:

“So that he could secure the people for the future, Moyses gave them new cult customs that are in contrast to those of all other people. Everything that is sacred with us is unholy, on the other hand, what is considered to be disgraceful for us is allowed. "


The title page of Justus Lipsius 'Edition of Tacitus' Complete Works (1598), with the stamp of the Bibliotheca Comunale in Empoli , Italy

Tacitus received relatively little attention in antiquity, although, as Pliny shows, he enjoyed great fame as a writer among his contemporaries. Due to the great success of Sueton , the traditional form of historiography in the Latin West (especially in its specific senatorial form , for which Tacitus stood) expired into late antiquity ; at least we don't know of any such works. There, unlike in the Greek East, the genre of the emperor's biographies dominated from then on (see also Marius Maximus ). In addition, Tacitus' language and style were probably considered too demanding by many. Ammianus Marcellinus consciously followed Tacitus with his comprehensive history in the late 4th century; not a few historians, including Syme, even see Ammianus as the (literary) "heir of Tacitus". Sidonius Apollinaris (5th century) has apparently read Tacitus, and the church father Hieronymus understood the annals and histories as an imperial history comprising 30 books.

In the Middle Ages, the writings of Tacitus were almost completely forgotten. At least there is extensive use of Germania in the introduction to translations. Alexandri of Rudolf von Fulda , who almost literally uses the Germanic characteristics of Tacitus to describe the Saxons of the 9th century. In the time of humanism (15th / 16th century) the writings of Tacitus (especially the Germania , but also the chapters about Arminius in the annals ) then became an important basis for an emerging national consciousness after their retrieval and publication in first prints. German humanists enthusiastically accepted the positive characteristics of the Teutons through Tacitus and used them quite uncritically and literally to represent "the" German national character. The figure of Arminius also developed into a German national hero and a champion of German freedom against Rome (see above all the Arminius of Ulrich von Hutten ). During the French Revolution, he was celebrated as a champion against oppression, but later he was sometimes viewed very critically ( Theodor Mommsen ).

The lunar crater Tacitus was named after the historian in 1935.

Modern evaluation

When considering the historical works of Tacitus - which are stylistically impressive and led the annalistic-historiographical tradition of Rome to its climax - one must proceed critically. So Tacitus often built in rumors and court gossip, which is probably due to the source material that he had viewed to complete his works. He skillfully brings the reader closer to a certain interpretation of the processes described, without showing any colors himself. His thinking in black and white categories should also urge caution. He omits some events, he interprets others in such a way that they seem to underpin his theses. The actors are often assumed to have secret motives, of which Tacitus, viewed objectively, could not have had any knowledge. His tempting-sounding principle of writing sine ira et studio (“without anger and zeal”) can therefore only be used to a limited extent in his own work. What is meant at the point in question is not objectivity, but Tacitus merely claims to be independent in his judgment. Precisely in those cases in which there is a parallel tradition that enables his information to be checked, it becomes apparent that the historian has sometimes manipulated the material available to him. An impressive example is the affair surrounding Gnaeus Calpurnius Piso ; Since the senate resolution in the matter of Piso is now available as an inscription, a comparison with the Tacite version can be made. All this, however, hardly diminishes the source value of his presentation, provided it is used with appropriate caution, and certainly not the literary quality of his works. It also remains undisputed that Tacitus was one of the most important Roman historians of the early Imperial period.


Critical Editions

  • Cornelii Taciti libri qui supersunt. Tom. I Pars Prima: From Excessu Divi Augusti Libri I-VI. Ed. Stephanus Borzsák . Stuttgart and Leipzig 1992.
  • P. Cornelii Taciti libri qui supersunt. Tom. II fasc. 3: Agricola. Ed. Josephus Delz . Stuttgart 1983.
  • Cornelii Taciti Annalium from Excessu Divi Augusti Libri. Rec. Brev. adnot. crit. instr.CD Fisher. Oxford 1906. ND 1951.
  • P. Corneli Taciti libri qui supersunt. Tom. I: From Excessu Divi Augusti. Ed. Henricus Heubner . Stuttgart 1992.
  • P. Cornelii Taciti libri qui supersunt. Tom. II fasc. 4: Dialogus de oratoribus. Ed. Henricus Heubner. Stuttgart 1983.
  • P. Cornelii Taciti libri qui supersunt. Tom. I: From Excessu Divi Augusti. Ed. Erich Koestermann . Leipzig 1960.
  • P. Cornelii Taciti libri qui supersunt. Tom. II fasc. 2: De origine et situ Germanorum liber. Rec. Alf Önnerfors . Stuttgart 1983.
  • Cornelii Taciti libri qui supersunt. Tom. I, Pars Secunda: Ab Excessu Divi Augusti libri XI-XVI. Ed. Kenneth Wellesley. Leipzig 1986.
  • Cornelii Taciti libri qui supersunt. Tom. II Pars Prima: Historiarum libri. Ed. Kenneth Wellesley. Leipzig 1989.

Bilingual editions and translations


  • P. Cornelius Tacitus. Annals. Latin-German. Edited by Erich Heller. With an introduction by Manfred Fuhrmann (Tusculum Collection). 3rd edition Düsseldorf / Zurich 1997.
  • Tacitus. Annals. German by August Horneffer . With an introduction by Joseph Vogt and comments by Werner Schur. Stuttgart 1957.
  • Tacitus. The Annals, Books I-III. With an English Translation by John Jackson. In: Tacitus in Five Volumes III: The Histories, Book IV-V. The Annals, Books I-III. Cambridge, Mass. and London 1969 (first edition 1931).
  • Tacitus in Five Volumes IV: The Annals. Books IV-VI, XI-XII. With an English Translation by John Jackson. ( Loeb Classical Library 312). Cambridge, Mass. and London 1970 (first edition 1937).
  • Tacitus in Five Volumes V: The Annals. Books XIII-XVI. With an English Translation by John Jackson. Cambridge, Mass. and London 1969 (first edition 1937).
  • Cornelius Tacitus. Tiberius. Annales ab excessu Divi Augusti / Rome's history since Augustus' death. First part: I.-III. Book. Latin and German. Transferred from Ludwig Maenner. Munich 1923.
  • Tacitus. Annals I-VI. Translation, introduction and comments by Walther Sontheimer . (RUB 2457). Stuttgart 1964.
  • Tacitus. Annals XI-XVI. Translation and comments by Walther Sontheimer. (RUB 2458). Stuttgart 1967.


  • P. Cornelius Tacitus. Historiae / Histories. Latin-German. Edited by Joseph Borst with the collaboration of Helmut Hross and Helmut Borst. 4th edition Munich 1979.
  • Tacitus in Five Volumes II: The Histories. Books I-III. With an English Translation by Clifford H. Moore . (The Loeb Classical Library). London and Cambridge, Mass. 1925. ND 1968.
  • Tacitus, The Histories, Books IV-V. With an English Translation by Clifford H. Moore. In: Tacitus in Five Volumes III: The Histories, Book IV-V. The Annals, Books I-III. Cambridge, Mass. and London 1969 (first edition 1931).
  • P. Cornelius Tacitus. Histories. Latin / German. Translated and edited by Helmuth Vretska . (RUB 2721). Stuttgart 1984.

Agricola, Germania, Dialogus

  • Publius Cornelius Tacitus. The historical attempts. Agricola. Germania. Dialogue. Trans. U. ed. by Karl Büchner (Kröner paperback edition, vol. 255). Stuttgart 1955.
  • Tacitus. Agricola. Latin / German. Translated, explained and with an afterword ed. by Robert Feger . (RUB 836) Stuttgart 1973.
  • Tacitus. Germania. Latin / German. Translated, explained and with an afterword ed. by Manfred Fuhrmann . (RUB 9391). Stuttgart 1972.
  • Tacitus. Dialogus de oratoribus / Dialogue about the speaker. Latin / German. After the edition by Helmut Gugel ed. by Dietrich Klose (RUB 7700). Stuttgart 1981.
  • Tacitus. Agricola. Translated by M. Hutton. Revised by RM Ogilvie . In: Tacitus in Five Volumes I: Agricola. Germania. Dialogus (The Loeb Classical Library). Cambridge, Mass. and London 1970 (first edition 1914).
  • Tacitus. Germania. Translated by M. Hutton. Revised by EH Warmington . In: Tacitus in Five Volumes I: Agricola. Germania. Dialogus (The Loeb Classical Library). Cambridge, Mass. and London 1970 (first edition 1914).
  • Tacitus. Germania. Latin and German. Transferred and explained by Arno Mauersberger (Dietrich Collection, vol. 100). Leipzig 1942.
  • Tacitus. Germania. Latin / German. Translation and notes by Curt Woyte . Epilogue, review of translation and comments by Gottfried Härtel . Publishing house Philipp Reclam jun. Leipzig. 1971
  • Tacitus, Dialogus. Translated by Sir W. Peterson. Revised by Michael Winterbottom . In: Tacitus in Five Volumes I: Agricola. Germania. Dialogus (The Loeb Classical Library). Cambridge, Mass. and London 1970. (first edition 1914)
  • Cornelius Tacitus. Agricola. Germania.- Latin and German. Edited, translated and explained by Alfons Städele. (Tusculum Collection). Munich 1991.
  • Tacitus. The life of Iulius Agricola. Latin and German by Rudolf Till . Darmstadt 1961.
  • P. Cornelius Tacitus. The conversation about the speakers / Dialogus de oratoribus. Latin - German. Edited and translated by Hans Volkmer. Tusculum Collection. 4th revised edition Düsseldorf / Zurich 1998.


Overview display
  • Michael von Albrecht : History of Roman literature from Andronicus to Boethius and its continued effect . Volume 2. 3rd, improved and expanded edition. De Gruyter, Berlin 2012, ISBN 978-3-11-026525-5 , pp. 926-969
  • Heinz Heubner : Studies on the art of representation of Tacitus. Triltsch, Würzburg 1935.
  • Heinz Heubner, Wolfgang Fauth : P. Cornelius Tacitus. The Histories, books 1-5. Comment. Five volumes. Winter, Heidelberg 1963–1982: Volume 1, 1963 DNB 456981160 , Volume 2, DNB 456981179 , Volume 3, 1972, ISBN 3-533-0221-2 / ISBN 3-533-02213-4 , Volume 4, 1976, ISBN 3 -533-02492-X , Volume 5, 1982, ISBN 3-533-03028-8 .
  • Heinz Heubner: Commentary on the Agricola des Tacitus. Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, Göttingen 1984, ISBN 3-525-25744-9 .
  • Erich Koestermann: Tacitus. Annals. Four volumes. Winter, Heidelberg 1963–1968, DNB 457252634 .
  • Rudolf Much: The Germania of Tacitus. Winter, Heidelberg 1937 (3rd edition, edited by Wolfgang Lange and Herbert Jankuhn, 1967, DNB 457642858 ).
  • Roland Schuhmann: Geographical space and way of life of the Teutons: Commentary on Tacitus' "Germania", c. 1-20. Dissertation Uni Jena 2006, DNB 995223548 ( full text PDF; 4.3 MB).
Introductions, general presentations and investigations
  • The rise and fall of the Roman world . Volume II 33, 2/3/4. de Gruyter, Berlin / New York 1990f. Several scientific articles or bibliographies on Tacitus and his works, including:
    • Michael M. Sage: Tacitus' Historical Works: A Survey and Appraisal. Volume II 33, 2. de Gruyter, Berlin / New York 1990, pp. 851-1030.
  • Herbert W. Benario : An introduction to Tacitus. The University of Georgia Press, Athens, GA 1975, ISBN 0-8203-0361-5 .
  • Harald Fuchs : Tacitus on the Christians. In: Vigiliae Christianae Volume 4, 1950, pp. 65-93.
  • Konrad Heldmann : Sine ira et studio. The subjectivity principle of Roman historiography and the self-image of ancient historians (= Zetemata . Volume 139). Beck, Munich 2011, ISBN 978-3-406-61494-1 .
  • Ronald Mellor: Tacitus. Routledge, London / New York 1993, ISBN 0-415-90665-2 .
  • Victoria Emma Pagán (Ed.): A Companion to Tacitus. Wiley-Blackwell, Malden, MA et al. a. 2012 (current scientific introduction).
  • Dylan Sailor: Writing and Empire in Tacitus. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2008, ISBN 978-0-521-89747-1 .
  • Stephan Schmal: Tacitus (= study books antiquity. Volume 14). Olms, Hildesheim 2005, ISBN 3-487-12884-5 .
  • Werner Suerbaum: Skepticism and Suggestion. Tacitus as a historian and as a man of letters. Universitätsverlag Winter, Heidelberg 2015, ISBN 978-3-8253-6419-9 .
  • Ronald Syme : Tacitus. Two volumes. Clarendon Press, Oxford 1958 (still an important reference work).
  • AJ Woodman (Ed.): The Cambridge Companion to Tacitus. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2009, ISBN 978-0-521-87460-1 (a scientific introduction).

Web links

Wikiquote: Tacitus  - Quotes
Wikisource: Tacitus  - Sources and full texts
Wikisource: Tacitus  - Sources and full texts (Latin)
Commons : Tacitus  - album with pictures, videos and audio files

References and comments

  1. Cf. Anthony R. Birley : The life and death of Cornelius Tacitus . In: Historia 49 (2000), p. 231 with note 4.
  2. Pliny the Elder , naturalis historia 7, 76: Corneli Taciti, equitis Romani Belgicae Galliae rationes procurantis ("of Cornelius Tacitus, a Roman knight who administered the finances of Gallia Belgica").
  3. Ronald Syme , Tacitus , vol. 2, p. 611 ff., Suggested Vasio ( Vaison-la-Romaine ) as a possible place of origin .
  4. a b CIL 6, 41106 ( Heidelberg epigraphic database with illustration and reconstruction drawing ): [---] cito Ca [--- X] viro stlitib [us iudicandis --- quaesto] ri Aug (usti) tribun [o] plebis ("Dem -cito Ca ---, Decemvir stlitibus iudicandis, ... quaestor of the emperor, tribune of the people"); to Géza Alföldy : Cancels the silent his silence? A grave inscription from Rome . In: Communications of the German Archaeological Institute, Roman Department . Volume 102, 1995, pp. 251-268.
  5. Birley: The life and death of Cornelius Tacitus , pp. 231-233.
  6. See Birley: The life and death of Cornelius Tacitus , p. 236.
  7. ^ Tacitus, dialogus 2, 1 .
  8. Pliny the Younger , epistulae 7, 20, 4 .
  9. Tacitus, Historiae 1, 1, 3 : dignitatem nostram a Vespasiano inchoatam, a Tito auctam, a Domitiano longius provectam non abnuerim (“I do not want to deny that my rank started by Vespasian, increased by Titus, was further advanced by Domitian ").
  10. Birley: The life and death of Cornelius Tacitus , pp. 237-238, considers it possible that Tacitus served in the army of his father-in-law, who was governor of Britain at the time.
  11. So the presumption of Birley: The life and death of Cornelius Tacitus , pp. 237-238.
  12. ^ Tacitus, Annales 11, 11, 1 .
  13. Tacitus, Agricola 45, 4-5 .
  14. Pliny, epistulae 2, 1, 6 .
  15. Pliny, epistulae 2, 11 .
  16. Pliny, epistulae 4, 13, 1 .
  17. Birley: The life and death of Cornelius Tacitus , p. 247, note 70, refers to an inscription from the beginning of the 2nd century that has been preserved without naming ( CIL 3, 10804 ); the honored in it, Quindecimvir like Tacitus, was governor of Germania Inferior and Hispania Tarraconensis.
  18. Pliny, epistulae 6, 16 and 20 ; 7, 33 .
  19. Inscriptions from Mylasa 365, line 2 : [ἀνθυπά] τω Κορνηλίω Τακίτω ("under the proconsul Cornelius Tacitus").
  20. On the question cf. Birley: The life and death of Cornelius Tacitus , pp. 241–247, who, like Ronald Syme, considers it possible that large parts of the annals were first written under Hadrian , while other scholars see no evidence that Tacitus Trajan survived .
  21. Extensive discussion in Syme, Tacitus , passim. In general, see also John Wilkes: Julio-Claudian Historians . In: Classical World 65 (1972), p. 177ff.
  22. Tacitus, Annales 1, 69; on the sources used by Tacitus for this period cf. u. a. FA Marx: The sources of the German wars in Tacitus and Dio . In: Klio 26 (1933), pp. 323-329; Friedrich Münzer : The source of Tacitus for the German wars . In: Bonner Jahrbücher 104 (1899), p. 67ff .; Sage, Historical Works , pp. 1004ff .; Schmal, Tacitus , p. 113; Syme, Tacitus , Vol. 1, pp. 274ff.
  23. ^ Tacitus, Germania. Edited by Arno Mauerberger. Dieterich'sche Verlagbuchhandlung, Leipzig 1971.
  24. Tacitus: Annals 15, 44, 3-4 . In the oldest manuscripts, instead of Christ and Christiani, there is Chrestus and Chrestiani , which has caused confusion in the older research; see. E. Koestermann: "A serious error of Tacitus (Ann. 15, 44, 2ff.)?" In: Historia 16, 1967, p. 456ff. The name procurator is also incorrect , since Pilatus was actually praefectus iudaeae .
  25. Cf. René S. Bloch: Ancient ideas of Judaism. The Jewish excursion of Tacitus in the context of Greco-Roman ethnography . Steiner, Stuttgart 2002, ISBN 3-515-07971-8 .
  26. ^ Tacitus: Historien 5, 4–5 : Moyses quo sibi in posterum gentem firmaret, novos ritus contrariosque ceteris mortalibus indidit. profana illic omnia quae apud nos sacra, rursum concessa apud illos quae nobis incesta .
  27. Syme, Tacitus , Vol. 2, p. 503, Note 8: "The heir of Tacitus, in every sense, is Ammianus".
  28. ^ Tacitus, Annales , 4, 53.
  29. cf. Cynthia Damon: The Trial of Cn. Piso in Tacitus' Annales and the Senatus consultum de Cn. Pisone Patre . New light on Narrative Technique . In: American Journal of Philology 120 (1999), pp. 143-162.