The Annals of Imperial Rome

By Cornelius Tacitus; Michael Grant | Go to book overview

KEY TO TECHNICAL TERMS

AEDILES. Roman officials ranking above quaestors and below praetors (qq.vv.). There were two branches of the aedilate, 'curule' and 'plebeian', but by this time the functions of both mainly related to little more than the care of the city of Rome. Nero lessened their powers further.

AGENTS, IMPERIAL. This term is used here for the 'procurators' of the emperor (see GENTLEMEN OUTSIDE THE SENATE), whom he employed to staff certain departments under his control, to manage his property and to handle the national finances in the provinces and armies for which he was directly responsible (see GOVERNORS). They possessed certain juridical authority from the time of Claudius. Other 'procurators' served as governors of certain minor provinces, e.g. Judaea. For the Treasury Agent see TREASURY.

ASSEMBLY. This ancient, democratic element in the State had lost its power. Its elective and judicial functions gradually lapsed under the first emperors. But throughout the first century A.D. it remained, formally, Rome's law-giving body.

ASSISTANT. See QUAESTOR.

AUGURS. The official Roman diviners -- one of the four great Orders of Priesthood: believed to owe their lore to the Etruscans. Augural observations, which particularly related to the inspection of birds, still preceded every important public action. The Augury for the Welfare of Rome was a periodical religious inquiry from the gods (in time of peace only) whether it was permissible to pray for the national well- being.

AUGUSTA. The first 'Augusta' was Augustus' widow Livia, who became ' Julia Augusta' by adoption in his will -- probably to the grave embarrassment of Tiberius. I have followed Tacitus in calling her the Augusta and not Livia, since certain of his effects demand this employment of the more solemn designation. Agrippina (II) was named ' Augusta' by Claudius, and Nero's wives received the same appellation.

AUGUSTUS. The name selected by or for the young Octavian (officially, by adoption, Gaius Julius Caesar) in 27 B.C. as the emperor's most distinctive title, and assumed by all his successors. Believed to be etymologically akin to 'augur' (q.v.) and 'augere' = to increase, it signified the possessor of superhuman Increase, the 'augmented' and sanctified. The same term had of old been applied to temples and sacred objects.

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The Annals of Imperial Rome
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Contents 5
  • Introduction 7
  • The Annals Of Imperial Rome 27
  • Chapter 1 - From Augustus to Tiberius 29
  • Chapter 2 - Mutiny on the Frontiers 41
  • Chapter 3 - War with the Germans 59
  • Chapter 4 - The First Treason Trials 88
  • Chapter 5 - The Death of Germanicus 102
  • Chapter 6 - Tiberius and the Senate 126
  • Chapter 7 - 'Partner of My Labours' 153
  • Chapter 8 - The Reign of Terror 193
  • Part Two - Claudius and Nero 223
  • Chapter 9 - The Fall of Messalina 225
  • Chapter 10 - The Mother of Nero 244
  • Chapter II - The Fall of Agrippina 274
  • Chapter 12 - Nero and His Helpers 310
  • Chapter 13 - Eastern Settlement 334
  • Chapter 14 - The Burning of Rome 349
  • Chapter 15 - The Plot 356
  • Chapter 16 - Innocent Victims 370
  • Notes 385
  • List of Roman Emperors 399
  • Lists of Some Eastern Monarchs 400
  • Key to Technical Terms 402
  • Key to Place-Names 410
  • Genealogical Tables 433
  • Index of Personal Names 439
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