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Tacitus: Annals: Book 1

3. Succession

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About this Lecture

Lecture

The Annals begins not with Augustus’ rise to power, but with his death in ad 14 and the succession of Tiberius. This video asks why. A large part of the answer concerns Livia, the female power behind the throne, and the strange similarities between Tiberius’ accession here and Nero’s accession forty years later.

Course

In this course we explore Book 1 of Tacitus’ Annals, in which Tacitus describes the death of Augustus, the accession of Tiberius and the mutinies of the army in Pannonia and Germania. We consider not just what happened in those years, but especially how Tacitus presents and analyses it – and what sort of interpretations he might be inviting us to make.

Translations:
- A. J. Woodman (trans.), Tacitus, The Annals. Translated with Introduction and Notes. (Indianapolis and Cambridge: Hackett, 2004)
- J. C. Yardley (trans.), Tacitus. The Annals: The Reigns of Tiberius, Claudius, and Nero. With introduction and notes by Anthony A. Barrett (Oxford World Classics, 2008)

Commentary:
- Norma Miller (ed.), Tacitus: Annals I: Bk 1 (1959, republished 1992)

Further Reading:
- Rhiannon Ash, Tacitus ( Ancients in Action) (2006)
- A. Woodman (ed.), Cambridge Companion to Tacitus (2009)

Lecturer

Dr Christopher Whitton studied Classics at St John’s College, Cambridge, where he then wrote a PhD on the works of Tacitus and Pliny. He has taught at Cambridge since 2007, where he is now a Senior Lecturer in Classics and a Fellow of Emmanuel College.

His particular area of expertise is Latin imperial prose literature, in particular Pliny’s Epistles and the works of Tacitus. Among other things, he’s currently writing a commentary on Annals 14.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Whitton, C. (2018, August 15). Tacitus: Annals: Book 1 - Succession [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/tacitus-annals-book-1/succession

MLA style

Whitton, Christopher. "Tacitus: Annals: Book 1 – Succession." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018, https://www.massolit.io/courses/tacitus-annals-book-1/succession