The Annals

The Annals

The Annals

The Annals


Woodman's translation masterfully conveys Tacitus' distinctive and powerful literary style and reflects the best of relevant current scholarship. His introduction provides a wealth of insight into the period about which Tacitus wrote, Tacitus himself, and the principles of translation that have shaped this rendering. Includes extensive notes; political, military, and geographical appendices; imperial family trees; suggested further readings; maps; and index.


"These days," wrote T. P. Wiseman recently, "we should be reading Tacitus with a livelier and more sensitive interest than ever." I hope that this new translation of the Annals will respond to and, if possible, promote just such an interest. From the start my principal aim, though subsequently and successively modified, was to produce as exact a rendering of Tacitus' Latin as lay within my power; at the same time I sought to incorporate some of the latest developments in Tacitean scholarship and even to introduce some innovations of my own. I would like to think that the resulting version will be equally appropriate for casual readers who want to make the acquaintance of a classic text and for those who, whether at school, college, or university, are studying the literature, history, or civilization of ancient Rome through the medium of English. the footnotes with which the translation is equipped are designed to meet the needs of both categories of reader. If readers discover mistakes or misunderstandings in either translation or notes, I hope most sincerely that they will bring them to my attention.

I had the singularly good fortune to begin my translation at the same time as I was reading the Annals with graduate students at Princeton University in the autumn of 1989,and to conduct the final revisions at the same time as I was again reading the Annals with graduate students at the University of Virginia in the autumn of 2003: I could not have wished for more enquiring or enthusiastic readers of Tacitus, and to all of them I would like to record my gratitude. in the intervening years, and particularly more recently, I have received various sorts of help from numerous scholars and friends, among them J. N. Adams, K. M. Coleman, E. Courtney, the late J. Ginsburg, M. T. Griffin, M. Helzle, J. Keegan, C. S. Kraus, D. S. Levene, E.A. Meyer, J. Nelis-Clément, M. Peachin, J. G. F. Powell, D. Sheldon, the late W. S. Watt, and T. P. Wiseman. David Braund, Ted Lendon, and John Rich provided invaluable comment on some of the appendices, and I am especially indebted to Juliette Moore for all the labor and expertise which she devoted to the geographical appendix.

Deborah Wilkes expended a great deal of time and trouble on a frustrating and difficult text. With good-humored tolerance Clemence Schultze allowed me on countless occasions to pester her with questions of English usage: her unfailing willingness to respond and in general to enter into the spirit of my enterprise was a constant source of encouragement: ueteris stat gratia facti. Without the award of a Sir James Knott Foundation Research Fellowship from the University of Durham in 1998–9 I would never have been able to bring my work to its conclusion.

Over the past fifteen years Ronald Martin has commented in detail on two drafts of my translation and has engaged in a substantial correspondence on the innumerable problems, great and small, which have arisen. My greatest debt of gratitude is owed to him.

A. J. Woodman Charlottesville, March 2004 . . .

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