Books V and VI of Tacitus’ Annals, when complete, carried the narrative of Tiberius’ reign from AD 29 to 37. Unfortunately most of Book V has been lost, and, with it, Tacitus’ account of the sensational events that led to the execution on 18 October in AD 31 of Aelius Sejanus. Nevertheless, Annals VI contains a fascinating variety of incidents both at Rome and on Capri, to which Tiberius had retired permanently in AD 27. But, in addition to all the material that portrays Tiberius in a highly unfavourable light, there is much in Annals VI that shows a very different side to his character. Whereas Suetonius talks of an elderly emperor who discarded all interest in public affairs from the time he retired to Capri, Tacitus portrays a more complex character – one in which cruelty and vice stand alongside a deep concern for Rome’s prosperity at home and abroad. Annals VI provides an absorbing account of the varied aspects of the behaviours and personality of Rome’s most enigmatic emperor during the final years of his life. Latin text with facing-page English translation, introduction and commentary.
†Ronald Martin was Professor Emeritus, and former personal Chair in Classics at the University of Leeds. He is the author of Tacitus (Bristol Classical Press, 2nd edition 1998), which is generally acknowledged as the best introduction in English to Rome’s greatest historian. In addition to numerous articles on Tacitus he is joint editor, with Professor A. J. Woodman, of editions of Annals III and IV (Cambridge University Press, 1996; 1990).
Edition of Tacitus’ Annals Books V and VI. Latin text, with translation, introduction and commentary.