Definitions for tacitus, cornelius

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The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Tacitus, Cornelius

    Roman historian, born presumably at Rome, of equestrian rank, early famous as an orator; married a daughter of Agricola, held office under the Emperors Vespasian, Domitian, and Nerva, and conducted along with the younger Pliny the prosecution of Marius Priscus; he is best known and most celebrated as a historian, and of writings extant the chief are his "Life of Agricola," his "Germania," his "Histories" and his "Annals"; his "Agricola" is admired as a model biography, while his "Histories" and "Annales" are distinguished for "their conciseness, their vigour, and the pregnancy of meaning; a single word sometimes gives effect to a whole sentence, and if the meaning of the word is missed, the sense of the writer is not reached"; his great power lies in his insight into character and the construing of motives, but the picture he draws of imperial Rome is revolting; b. about A.D. 54.

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