Remarks on the Structure and Content of Tacitus, Annals 4. 57–67

Classical Quarterly 22 (01):150- (1972)
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Book 4 of the Annals, covering the years A.D. 23–8, traces the turning-point in the story of Tiberius' reign. Tacitus prepares us for disaster from the start. After a reference to fortuna in suitably Sallustian language and the deum ira in rem Romanam , we are told that the year A.D. 23 ‘initiated the deterioration in Tiberius’ principate .1 Modern historians are agreed that a decisive factor in this’ deterioration was the emperor's determination to leave Rome in A.D. 26, a move which Tacitus gloomily portends in chapter 41 and eventually records, in due chronological sequence, at 57. 1. Suetonius is our other main source for this momentous event, and it is instructive to compare his treatment of it with that of Tacitus



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