Irony and Misreading in the Annals of Tacitus

Irony and Misreading in the Annals of Tacitus

Irony and Misreading in the Annals of Tacitus

Irony and Misreading in the Annals of Tacitus

Synopsis

This book is a literary analysis of the language and style of Tacitus' Annals. The political context of first-second century AD Rome is also taken into consideration. In analysis of particular passages close attention is given to the structure of the Latin, which is fully translated. Issues relating to the study of narrative, Roman politics and theories of history are addressed in the course of the discussion.

Excerpt

The editions of Tacitus'works used throughout this work are: R. M. Ogilvie and I. Richmond, Agricola, Oxford 1967; H. Heubner, Annals, Stuttgart 1983; K. Wellesley, Historiae, Leipzig 1989. All translations are my own unless otherwise indicated.

I have used the terms 'princeps' and 'emperor' interchangeably according to the rhythms of individual sentences rather than as precise analytical terms. Similarly (though perhaps less noticeably for the classicist reader) I have conflated 'Tacitus' and 'the narrator'.

This is a revised version of a PhD dissertation completed at the University of Bristol, Department of Classics and Ancient History, under the supervision of Catharine Edwards; the comments of my examiners, Charles Martindale and John Moles, and of the cup readers contributed significantly to the transformation from thesis to book. Two years of graduate research were aided by a fees-only award from the British Academy; during this time I received further financial aid from the University Access Fund and held a teaching fellowship in the Department itself. I would also like to thank the University Alumni Foundation for funding attendance at overseas conferences. in the course of writing and rewriting I have benefited enormously from the intellectual engagement, careful reading, computer support, collegiality and friendship of many people: Duncan Barker, John Betts, Mark Buchan, Catríona Cannon, Louise Charkham, Ray Clare, Howard Duncan, Geoff Foote, Bob Fowler, Chris Hall, Debra Hershkowitz, Al Judge, Duncan Kennedy, Earl McQueen, Charles Martindale, Neville Morley, Lin Pountney, Christopher Rowe, Patrick Sinclair, Gideon Tearle, Neil Titman, Sharon Watson, Thomas Wiedemann, Phil Young and Vanda Zajko. I am also extremely grateful for the advice of Pauline Hire at Cambridge University Press, and for the scrupulous copy-editing of Susan Moore. Finally, I would like to thank my family, Matty and Peggy Fox, Duncan Kennedy and Synnøva O'Gorman, and especially my mother, Pauline O'Gorman, to whom this book is dedicated.

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