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Cornelius Tacitus complete works - 8 PDF ebooks

Cornelius Tacitus complete works

Cornelius Tacitus complete works
Cornelius Tacitus complete works



This collection contains the complete work of the historian. Cornelius Tacitus. Translated by Arthur Murphy (27 December 1727 – 18 June 1805) who was an Irish writer and translator.

This PDF collection contains his two major works—the Annals (Latin: Annales) and the Histories (Latin: Historiae)

Excerpt from the First Volume's preface:


Caius Cornelius Tacitus was born about the beginning of Nero's reign, but the exact year cannot be ascertained. Pliny the younger informs us that Tacitus was near his own age and that when he was growing up to manhood, his friend was flourishing among the orators of the bar. Pliny's age can be stated with certainty. Tacitus was at least four or five years older than Pliny, and most probably was born in the year of Rome 810, in the sixth of Nero's reign.

 The place of his nativity is nowhere mentioned. Tacitus has gained, by the suffrages of posterity, the highest rank among the historians of Greece and Rome. A profound judge of men, and a severe censor of manners, he has delineated, with the pencil of a master, the characters and the very inward frame of the vile and profligate; while the good and upright receive, in his immortal page, the recompense due to their virtue. He knew the value of that private history which traces the springs of action in eminent men, and in the Life of Agricola has left a perfect model of biography. 

It is evident he did not imbibe the smallest tincture of that frivolous science, and that vicious eloquence, which then debased the Roman genius. He probably had the good fortune to be educated on the plan adopted in the time of the republic, and, with the help of a sound scheme of home discipline, and the best domestic example, he grew up, in a course of virtue, to that vigor of mind which gives such animation to his writings. 

The early bent of his own natural genius was such, that he may be said to have been self-educated. It is reasonable to suppose that he attended the lectures of Quintilian, who, in opposition to the sophists of Greece, taught, for more than twenty years, the rules of that manly eloquence which is so nobly displayed in his Institutes. 

The infancy of Tacitus kept him untainted by the vices of Nero's court. He was about twelve years old when that emperor finished his career of guilt and folly; and in the tempestuous times that followed, he was still secured by his tender age. Vespasian restored the public tranquillity, revived the liberal arts, and gave encouragement to men of genius. In the first eight years of that emperor's reign, 

Tacitus was at leisure to enlarge his mind, and cultivate the studies proper to form an orator and a Roman citizen. Our author's first ambition was to distinguish himself at the bar. In the year of Rome 828, the sixth of Vespasian, being then about eighteen, he attended the eminent men of the day in their inquiry concerning "the Causes of Corrupt Eloquence"

 It is assumed that he was the author of that elegant tract, for the reasons given in the introduction to the notes on it. Two years after, he had given such earnestness of his future fame, that Agricola chose him for his son-in-law. Thus distinguished, our author began the career of civil preferment. 


Vespasian had a just discernment of men and was the friend of rising merit. Rome at length was governed by a prince, who had the good sense and virtue to consider himself as the chief magistrate, whose duty it was to redress all grievances, restore good order, and give energy to the laws. 

By the emperor Domitian Tacitus was made pretor, A. D. 88; and was also appointed one of the colleges of Quindecimviri. In the course,  of the following year, our author and his wife left Rome and absented themselves for more than four years. Some writers state that he was sent into banishment: this however is mere conjecture. He had been four years absent from Rome when he received the news of Agricola's death. 

That commander had carried his victorious arms from the southern provinces of Britain to the Grampian Hills in Scotland, and reduced the whole country as far as the Firth of Tay; but such a rapid course of success alarmed the jealousy of an emperor, who dreaded nothing so much as the military reputation of a successful general.

 Agricola was recalled A. U. C. 838, entered Rome in a private manner, and was received by Domitian with cold civility. He lived a few years longer in a modest retreat, endeavoring to shade the luster of his vast renown, and died August 23, in the year of Rome 846. A report prevailed that a dose of poison, administered by the emperor's order, put an end to his days.

Publication date 1813
 

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