Tacitus

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Psychology Press, 1994 - History - 211 pages
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The histories of Roman senator Cornelius Tacitus constitute the most influential examination of tyranny, political behavior and public morality from the classical age. For centuries these portraits of courageous martyrs to freedom, of paranoid tyrants, and of sycophantic flatteres and informers shaped modern political attitudes. Ronald Mellor provides a compelling analysis of the ideas of the greatest historian of evil in the western intellectual tradition.

In Tacitus, Ronald Mellor passionately argues for reclaiming this ironic genius whose cynical world view is particularly well-suited to an analysis of the tyranny and brutality in our own century.

Tacitus is presented as a moralist, psychologist, political analyst and literary artist. Tacitus' greatest impact has never been on historians. Rather, his political vision and dramatic images left their mark on painters, poets and thinkers.
 

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Contents

The Historian and His Histories
6
The Historians Method
29
The Historian as Moralist
47
The Historian as Psychologist
68
The Historian as Political Analyst
87
The Historian as Literary Artist
113
The Impact of Tacitus
137
Editions and Translations
194
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About the author (1994)

Ronald Mellor is Professor of History at the University of California, Los Angeles. He has published From Augustus to Nero: The First Emperors of Imperial Rome and The Worship of the Goddess Roma in the Greek World.

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